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The Green Turtle (Hawaiian Inn), Daytona Beach, Florida (restaurant)

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Name:The Green Turtle, Daytona Beach, Florida
Street:2301 S. Atlantic Ave. (A1A)
City:Daytona Beach
Phone:(904) 255-5411

The Green Turtle is the official name of the restaurant at the Hawaiian Inn hotel/condominium in Daytona Beach, Florida. The restaurant is the home of Teauila's Hawaiian luau and dinner show which is usually open five nights per week. The show's owners have been entertaining for more than 30 years, and their performances retain the atmosphere of a vintage Florida tourist attraction.
The hotel also has an outdoor tiki bar by the pool with tiki's supporting the roof of the bar.
The Hawaiian Inn is one of the most outstanding tiki resorts left in the United States. Aside from its grand Polynesian pop architecture, the hotel features a Witco fountain, Witco furniture, outrigger canoes suspened from the ceiling, tiki poles and extensive bamboo trim.
The hotel was built in the mid-60's by the same owner who built the nearby Aku-Tiki Inn. It recieved a major face lift in 1999 / 2000 when it was converted to a condominum complex. This included the return of Teauila's luau and hula show -- which had left the hotel in the early 1990's -- and the refurbishing of the Green Turtle restaurant (originally called the Waikiki Supper Club & Lounge). The restaurant is now full of Witco and Orchids of Hawaii tiki carvings, vintage polynesian light fixtures, has a small bar, a smoldering volcano and classic tropical beverages served before and during the show by an experienced tiki-drink mixologist.
The bar serves most of its drinks in glasses, rather than the wide variety of tiki mugs inscribed with the hotel's name that can still be found on e-bay.
Overshadowed by the justly famous Mai-Kai restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale, the Hawaiian Inn and Green Turtle Restaurant are authentic tiki treasures and should not be missed by any serious Polynesian pop enthusiast. It is also an outstanding value since the luau buffet and show only cost $27, and drinks run about $6 each. The show is dark on Monday and Tuesdays. Reservations are suggested.

[ Edited by: Kailuageoff on 2003-10-10 15:08 ]


There are lots of pictures of this placed scattered here and there in various events threads, but I thought I'd resurrect this dusty old thread (is it a thread if it only has one post?) of Geoff's and add some pictures. So here ya go.

Now, step inside...

I love these Witco light boxes:

And Teauila's Hawaii Dinner Show. Forgive the flash, but it's very dark in there and I was more interested in capturing the bones of the place rather than the ambience.

These Witco chairs scream to be liberated from their paint and floral patterns! But at least they're still there. I think the paint is blacklight paint.

[ Edited by: GatorRob 2007-11-12 17:27 ]

We went there last summer and spent the night, nothing like sleeping by the beach with doors open and the Atlantic putting you to sleep, it was a very cool hotel and the show was the best, also if you go in and sit at the bar they don't charge you for the show, next time I am paying for the show as the food smelled terrific The witco is all over the place. I am trying to get Mrs Bood to let me buy a condo there and just totally tiki it out, Man what a place to go on the weekends that would be, recommend this trip to anyone who is going to be in the Daytona area, do be prepared though as Daytona is still recovering from 04's hurricanes things are a little run down.

Thought I'd bump up this post a little. First up some mugs from my collection two "paddle lickers" and a "paddle sucker". These classic mugs come in a wide variety of colors and glazes and could end up being a huge collection by themselves.

A Leilani style.

A great matchbook with a nice rendering on the inside cover from my collection. This rendering as well as one of the mug can be seen on this ad from DC's Hawaiian resort thread.

Dusty's ad.

A couple of newer brochures.

"Anyone who has ever seen them is thereafter haunted as if by a feverish dream" Karl Woermann

[ Edited by: uncle trav 2009-08-27 04:06 ]

I lucked into finding this nice Panoramic postcard of the Hawaiian Inn.

:up: You can see the entrance to the Green Turtle Restaurant, back when it was the Waikiki Supper Club to the far right of the main entrance:

:up: Is this entrance with the Moai still there today?

:up: A nice rendering of the logo tiki

:up: Looks like there were Witcos in the rooms

:up: The Waikiki Supper Club back in the 60s

:up: Are these Witco pieces still on the walls of the Green Turtle?

A very worthy post to bump, for a worthy place.

To ad some perspective to the "paddle licker" term, it has been concluded that the mug Tiki is supposed to be holding a Maori war club ( though it looks more like a knife), not a dance paddle. As the tongue was erroneously connected with the this implement, it began to look more like a paddle. My Maori war club research could not ascertain exactly WHICH form of club this creature has in hand:


Those Moai were still there last I was...but grossly painted. I believe there was a "door handle scandal post" here on TC a while back that showed them. The Witco pieces that remain inside have also been "touched up" with day glo paints.

Please also revisit the Florida Escapes chapter in Tiki Modern for some more Hawaiian Inn images.

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2009-08-27 00:03 ]


That is one awesome postcard, I have never seen that one before.

Here is another card I have with an old sign painted on the beach side of the hotel advertising the Waikiki Lounge and Supper Club.

As to Bigbro's comments regarding the Moai at the door, here is a current Google view showing the unfortunate paint job (wasn't that the theme of another post?)

So what's wrong with this picture. Restore the damn Moai statutes, trim the vegetation growing in front of them, and get a little no parking zone in front of them so everybody can see them.



On 2009-08-26 23:58, bigbrotiki wrote:
I believe there was a "door handle scandal post" here on TC a while back that showed them.

Boy, I remember that drama. Here they are a couple of years ago. I assume they're still there. I think it's time for another drive over to see how things are doing.

EDIT: Agh! Sorry. These are from the Aku Tiki down the street. Not the Hawaiian Inn. But I'll leave the picture here because they are so very cool. :wink:

[ Edited by: GatorRob 2009-08-27 15:08 ]

I just got a minty brochure from the Hawaiian Inn chocked full of some great photos and descriptions.

This is the cover with a view of the hotel from the beach.

Some exterior photos:

The indoor pool and shuffleboard courts

The great entrance to the Waikiki Lounge and Supper Club.

Indoors we have the lobby, looks to be full of Witco.

A different picture of the interior of the Waikiki lounge area - look at that Witco lined up on the walls.

The Luau show

This is the Wikiki Coffee Shop

A hotel room with some Witco over the bed.

The nice rendering from the reservation form

Some of the great ad text to go with the images.
Teaching us Americans how to speak Hawaiian.

A great brochure for sure.


Since this is now the official Hawaiian Inn post, I thought I would add a few more pieces from the past:

A matchbook

Some more postcards

And a soap bar.

Sure is great that this place is still around.


Love the graphic on the soap bar. I wonder if that artist's rendering appears on anything larger.

That's a great brochure Dusty. Thanks for posting. A lot has changed at the Hawaiian Inn in the last few years. Wayne and Teauila split up and their show is tragically no longer in existence after so many years of constant performing. Sven and I taped a charming interview with both of them a few years ago that I have yet to copy. A new group that ran the show at Sea World in Orlando took over the showroom and was making some nice changes to the place - no more buffet and the addition of a new bar. Some of the old cast, including two of their daughters, are still working there as is Dave the poolside bartender. The Witco is still there last I checked, although tiki scoundrels keep trying to buy it from them.

[ Edited by: Kailuageoff 2010-02-25 23:12 ]


Just thought some here might like to see that the Hawaiian Inn, Daytona Beach, is making some improvements. Although the bar by the pool still leaves much to be desired, I went by there a couple of weeks ago and took some pictures. Most of the inside still looks the same as what is shown in other parts of this thread (though they have a sign that says more improvements are coming). However, they are doing more to the outside, to make it look more Polynesian. Here's a picture of how they are removing the stone on the outside and replacing it with Polynesian designs.


This seems to be the closest to a TC Hawaiian Inn thread, though the Green Turtle restaurant in the topic title is no longer known by that name.

The Hawaiian Inn itself opened circa July of 1965. Though originally a hotel, it is now a condominium, as noted above. However, quite a number of the condo owners don't reside in the resort. About 100 rooms are available for overnight or longer stays, so it still operates and feels like a hotel. Although undergoing relatively recent renovations, the Polynesian Pop character of the building has been retained. The lobby looks essentially unchanged, as evidenced by these photos taken yesterday...

Closer views of the mural...

Here's the Witco fountain, still functioning in the planter to the right of the second photo above...

Through the years, a succession of supper clubs and shows have been hosted at the Hawaiian Inn. One of the earlier ones was the "Waikiki Supper Club." Here's a 1979 ad for one of the Hawaiian Inn shows...

Daytona Beach Morning Journal November 3, 1979

Teauila's Hawaii, a long-running resident Polynesian dinner show, was succeeded in February of 2008 by Ohana Luau, operated by Patti and Jose Santiago...

Here's the exit doorway from the dinner show and restaurant area...

And a partial view of the driveway...

Tiki still lives at the Hawaiian Inn!


Thanks for the great photos, Tom.

The Witco fountain looks good and I'm relieved to see the two Moai at the entrance are no longer painted turquoise.

On 2011-12-08 13:56, Sabu The Coconut Boy wrote:
The Witco fountain looks good and I'm relieved to see the two Moai at the entrance are no longer painted turquoise.

I second that Sabu. And they trimmed the bushes back that were obscuring the Moai on the right.

It went from this

To this

Now back to this.

Thanks for the photos Tiki Tom D.


DC, in the evolution of paint schemes shown in your Moai photo collage, I have a clear preference for the latest.

I ran across a couple of Hawaiian Inn Waikiki Supper Club show ads in the news archives, though the microfiche quality is pretty poor...

Daytona Beach Morning Journal August 1, 1969

Daytona Beach Morning Journal May 6, 1971



Last night, Pat and I were guests of Ohana Luau at their “Christmas in Hawaii” show. We had a wonderful time amidst the great Poly Pop setting of the Hawaiian Inn, arriving a bit early in order to snap a few photos as we wandered around...

The front desk...

The lobby Witco fountain with a little Christmas lighting...

Same thing with the camera flash enabled...

Looking out over the ocean, the main pool has been emptied for maintenance...

Looking back at the resort building from the seaward side...

Décor on the side of the beachside Tiki bar...

Painted Tiki between the beachside restrooms...

The beachside men’s room door plaque...

In addition to the main pool, there is a heated pool inside its own bath house next to the beach. Inside, we discovered another mural similar to that in the main lobby...

The etched glass entry door to Ohana Luau...

Inside, to our delight, there was Witco everywhere...

Wailana, “executive” hula girl, told me that this framed tapa was here at the very start...

To be continued…


Continuing with our “Christmas in Hawaii” night at Ohana Luau, seasonal décor was everywhere...

There was more Witco...

A mural by Esene, Samoan husband of Wailana...

Food was set up in chafing dishes to be served buffet (not Buffett) style...

The salad area, with volcano in the background...

The bar...

Patti Santiago, owner of Ohana Luau with her husband, is on the left and Wailana, “executive” hula girl is on the right; both are holding a volcano bowl that Patti gave to Pat and I...

Wailana runs the day-to-day operations at Ohana Luau. In addition, she is in business as a home renovator with her husband, Esene, and is also a performer, bar tender, decorator and mother. Even at that, I am quite certain that I’ve missed a number of her talents and avocations.

Pat and I were seated at the table for two next to and on the left side of the stage...

Esene came out, having finished his duties as Chef, and poses here with Pat, my wife, prior to going on stage as one of the performers...

Wailana took a few moments out from her many duties to pose with Pat as well...

Here are Pat and I at our table...

Wailana suggested we try a cocktail of her own invention, not yet on the menu, so here is Pat trying it out...

Here is a closeup of Wailana’s custom cocktail, called the “Wacky Wai,” which she said was kind of a cross between a Rum Runner and Long Island Tea, containing Rum, Gin, Vodka, Banana Liqueur and Blackberry Liqueur; it was so good that that’s what we drank all night...

Wailana promised to share the recipe with me; that’s one promise I hope she keeps!

To be continued...



From the audience comes the youngest performer to take the Ohana Luau stage all night...

The entertainment began sometime after 7:30 pm...

Esene at the drums...

The Chief playing the guitar, conch horn and additional percussion...

The interested ladies (and some guys) in the audience get hula lessons...

The Santa Chief...

From the audience came a select few who were willing to abandon personal dignity in order to promote mirth and merriment among their fellow guests...

The fire dancer...

The Chief as zombie or something like that...

Esene posing with Pat and friend, Lynn, after the show...

Three of the performers (Esene, Chief, Wailana) posing after the show with our friends, Jerry and Lynn, who own two of the Hawaiian Inn units, along with Pat and I...

It was a wonderful evening. The show, even with fewer performers than the Mai Kai, was very well done and a more intimate experience. The food and drink were excellent. The setting was authentic Poly Pop (kind of an oxymoron). It was so good that we’re tentatively making plans to attend Ohana Luau’s New Year’s Eve party. Anybody want to join us?


Bryan Cranston from Breaking Bad told a really, really funny story about murder and working at the Hawaiian Inn:


That was great and so is Crantson. The Tiki Time episode of Malcolm in the Middle was solid.


Great pics Tikitomd. I definitely want to pay them a visit the next time I'm down there. Looks like a fun place to hang out. The pics also helped confirm that one of my masks is a Witco. The masks you showed were on the sides of the tapa cloth. You can see my mask done in a different color scheme if you search Witco mask or knockoff. Aloha...

Uglyguy, glad you enjoyed the photos. Yep, you sure have a nice Witco mask (http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=41725&forum=5)!

Here’s a digital photo of a few of the performers idling after last Saturday night’s show, sent to me by the Ohana Luau's professional photographer, Don Howard...

And another with Pat and I on the right side with Wailana on the end...



I asked Wailana to email me her memories of the various Polynesian shows that had performed at the Hawaiian Inn from the beginning to now. Her recollections follow...

On 2011-12-19, Wailana wrote:
Now to the history of the shows at the Hawaiian Inn...

The first show started in roughly 1965 or 1966 by a Samoan woman named Otila Massaro. The name of her show was “South Sea Island Magic.” It continued until approximately 1987. My parents were a part of this show. My father was named Prince Benjamin Pokii Hele Loa I Ko Aina Kelii Waiwaiole; my mother's stage name is Kalene Ku'ulei Teipo Temarama and her birth name is Darlene Dawn Wharton Waiwaiole. My mother performed on and off until 1972. My father mainly performed at his club on Long Island, "The Bali-Hai," or was touring the US with my mother. The name of my father’s group was "Silhouettes of the Tropics."

There were a few short term groups that I can't remember the names of.

In mid 1987, “Ali'i O Samoa” started their run by Doug Ali'i Slade, continuing until 1994.

From 1994 to 2008, there was "Teauila's Hawaii" run by Wayne and Teauila (Dorothy) Travassos.

From June to December 2009, there was "Drums of Tahiti" run by Andy and Moeata Tehani.

I have had the show from since then to now. My group is called "Silhouettes of Polynesia."

I have been a part of the shows at the Hawaiian Inn since 1982.

A bit of clarification: the show names and performer group names may or may not have been identical to each other. For example, Patti Santiago and her husband have operated Ohana Luau since February of 2008, but their performers’ group names have included “Drums of Tahiti” and "Silhouettes of Polynesia."

There’s a nice article by Bethany Chambers in the Hometown News edition of February 5, 2009 entitled "Ohana Luau offers 'hipnotic' entertainment." Here’s an interesting excerpt...

Onstage, the show is run by Wailana Waiwaiole-McFall, daughter of the show's original stars, Prince Pokihele Loaf Ko Ainae Kelii Waiwaiole, the last of the Hawaiian princes before the islands became a U.S. state, and his French/Tahitian wife, Princess Kalenakuulei Teipotemarama Waiwaiole.
Ms. McFall's husband, Esene McFall of Samoa, is the band's drummer. Even owners Jose Santiago and wife Patti, of Ormond Beach, met at the Hawaiian Inn.

Esene, Wailana’s husband, is from Apia, Samoa (recall that as the setting for the good Dr. Funk and his famous cocktail of the same name).

I found an article and an ad in the Google News archives describing that first “South Sea Island Magic” show...

Daytona Beach Morning Journal January 27, 1979 (page 3)

Daytona Beach Morning Journal August 18, 1978 (page 15)

There is internet evidence that, as of 2009, Otila was still active in the Manatee County (Bradenton), Florida area doing shows, teaching hula and recruiting hula dancers.

Wailana stated that “Drums of Tahiti” played at the Hawaiian Inn in 2009. This newspaper entertainment clip indicates that the show played in an earlier time at Sea World in Orlando...

The Evening Independent May 31, 1985 (page 32)



It didn’t occur to me to look before, but the murals adorning the Hawaiian Inn are signed. I snapped this photo today of the artist’s signature on the lobby mural while signing up for the New Year’s Eve party at Ohana Luau...

The first surprise was the date; at 2001, it’s pretty recent. I ran into Wailana who was holding a birthday party today for her daughter, Tiana. She came out to give me a hug, and I took that opportunity to ask her about the mural. She confirmed it was relatively recent. She said there was no prior lobby mural in its place, at least as long as she’s been here (29 years). She also said that she didn’t meet or know the artist.

A bit of searching revealed that the artist was Summer Kuulei Kirn of Ormond Beach. She was born and raised in Hawaii, but is not of native Hawaiian descent. Rather, she’s a fourth generation descendent of a ship captain from Maine who settled in Hawai`i. At the time she painted that lobby mural, she was 71 years old. I found this information in a March 11, 2010 article by Wayne Grant in Hometown News, along with this photo...

That article also goes on to say that the original story for the 1996 movie, “Race the Sun,” starring Halle Berry was hers, and she is credited in the film as a co-producer of the movie. Tri-Star Pictures hired a scriptwriter to rewrite her story, something she maintains was unnecessary...



It was my good fortune to celebrate the new year, together with my wife, at Ohana Luau’s New Year’s Eve Party in the Hawaiian Inn on December 31.

In the entry hallway, Witco color sticks still adorn the wall just as they appear on page 261 of Tiki Modern...

A couple of Witco benches are in the hallway on the wall opposite the color sticks...

Thanks to Wendy’s (danlovestikis) thread on the subject, I noticed the resin chunk lamps in the Polynesian show area and, through correspondence with Roge Bodine, confirmed that they were his mid-century Laguna Lamps creations. The folks at Ohana Luau stated that they have been hanging there ever since the opening of the Hawaiian Inn, almost 50 years ago. Here’s one of them (other photos posted in Wendy’s thread)...

Wailana, leader of the Ohana Luau Polynesian performers, and Esene, her husband, received from bigbrotiki and I a gift of Tiki Modern, with a personal inscription by the author...

Esene was a little banged up from a fall earlier in the week, but was otherwise in great form as he entertained us with drums, guitar and vocals throughout the night and early into the next morning.

Patti and her husband, Jose, the business owners of Ohana Luau, also received Tiki Modern as a gift.

I had the great honor to be introduced to Wailana’s mom, Darlene, who attended the show and was celebrating the birthday of a friend. Darlene is of French-Tahitian descent and performed with her husband, Prince Benjamin Pokii Waiwaiole, in their mid-century Polynesian troupe, “Silhouettes of the Tropics.” They appeared principally at the Bali Hai in Northport, Long Island, but also in other locations, such as the South Pacific in Hallandale (see family photo in the South Pacific thread). Both Wailana’s mom and dad also performed with Otila Massaro’s “South Sea Island Magic,” the original Polynesian show at the Hawaiian Inn. Here’s Wailana with her lovely mom at the New Year’s Eve party...

Before the show started, Pat and I enjoyed Wailana’s signature cocktail, the Wacky Wai...

We also got a pre-show visit by the Chief, a performer from Hawai`i...

Then the show commenced. It’s kind of difficult to take good photos when the subjects are rapidly moving and the camera operator is happily into his nth tropical cocktail (n > 2), but I managed to get a couple that are reasonably clear...

Wailana and Esene’s 16-year old daughter, Tiana, made her debut in the show, to the delight of the guests...

The Chief performed the fire knife dance...

Appearing from left to right in a group photo by the show’s professional photographer, Don Howard, are Evalana, Esene, Pat, me, Wailana and, in the front, Tiana...


Amazing that this place has kept the Polynesian dance tradition alive for all of these decades. Some more early ads listing the various entertainers that came and went.


Found this large never used dinner napkin today in a box of salesman samples marked 1970. Some napkins in the box were from the late 60s so the age of the napkin is between that timeframe.

Glad we have a "search" function on here so I could find this thread to add this too :)

[ Edited by: SandraDee 2012-03-19 19:10 ]

Sandra Dee,

Nice napkin! You don't see too many of those oversized ones around.

Funny add - the chef versus the dancer.


Another ad for the News Years extravaganza.

I like that Tiki with the party hat!


Swizzle sticks from the Hawaiian Inn.

Images of the entertainment at the Waikiki Supper Club from a brochure I have.


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