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Spain
MrBaliHai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 01, 2002
Posts: 804
Posted: 2006-01-03 11:47 am   Permalink

Quote:

Aloha: Grumpy service, shittiest drinks ever.



I totally agree, and have complained on TC before about how bad Aloha's drinks were, plus the bartender was a total jerk.

Quote:

in Lloret Del Mar...Hula Hula:



Tried visiting this place 3 years ago when I was sailing up the Costa Brava, and anchored overnight in Blanes. Unfortunately, the cost of the cab ride over to Lloret was prohibitive, even though it was only 1.5km away (something like 15 Euros!), so we decided not to go.

Quote:

Port Aventura: yes, the park is for kids, and is pretty cheezy, but it is also pretty Tikirific.



It was also pretty freakin' hot and humid when I took my family there year, and the crowds were so huge that they shut the whole water park down. It's also full of grossly obese vacationers who insist on removing their shirts; this is apparently such a problem that the park put up these signs:


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Tiki Diablo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2002
Posts: 1907
From: socal
Posted: 2006-01-04 12:28 am   Permalink



chillin with Andrew who puts on the Tiki Parties in Spain.

Sh!t faced with Nicolas the owner of the Kahala. He treated me like family,class act!




[ This Message was edited by: Tiki Diablo 2006-01-04 00:34 ]


 
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tikibars
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 11, 2002
Posts: 2024
From: Aku Hall, Chicago
Posted: 2006-01-04 05:58 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-01-03 11:47, MrBaliHai wrote:
Quote:

Port Aventura: yes, the park is for kids, and is pretty cheezy, but it is also pretty Tikirific.


It was also pretty freakin' hot and humid when I took my family there year, and the crowds were so huge that they shut the whole water park down.



I was there the day after Xmas, and the place was a ghost town. It was rockin - ZERo wait time for most of the rides! That said, it was also 45 degrees - odd being on a roller coaster in an overcoat and scarf...


 
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tikibars
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 11, 2002
Posts: 2024
From: Aku Hall, Chicago
Posted: 2006-01-04 06:00 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-01-04 00:28, Tiki Diablo wrote:
chillin with Andrew who puts on the Tiki Parties in Spain.
Sh!t faced with Nicolas the owner of the Kahala. He treated me like family,class act!



Andrew met us out at Kahala on NYE. Cool guy. He wanted me to guest DJ at their annual party at Aloha, but for some reason they cancelled it this year.

Nicholas was really stoked about the Tikis you made for him, and was showing them off to Andrew and I.


 
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aikiman44
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 08, 2004
Posts: 281
From: NY
Posted: 2006-01-04 1:17 pm   Permalink

Wow, great thread. I'm going to be in Spain for a short time in September on my honeymoon. Now I have something to bother my wahine about!

 
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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2006-01-04 5:48 pm   Permalink

Welcome back JT! I had almost the exact same experiences at the tiki bars in Barcelona. Kahala is #1! Can't wait to hear more about Boadas, the best cocktail bar in the world! (at least until I check out the bars in Cuba)

And I'm looking forward to hearing more about the tiki bars in Calella. I don't think anyone on TC has reported on them before, and I couldn't make it there.

[ This Message was edited by: thejab 2006-01-04 17:51 ]


 
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MrBaliHai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 01, 2002
Posts: 804
Posted: 2006-01-04 7:27 pm   Permalink

Quote:

I'm looking forward to hearing more about the tiki bars in Calella.


So am I. We stayed in Llafranc last summer, and walked over to Calella a couple of times for dinner. I had no idea there were any tiki bars there!
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SES
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 14, 2003
Posts: 992
Posted: 2006-01-05 07:54 am   Permalink

Does Andrew visit TC?

 
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Tiki Diablo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2002
Posts: 1907
From: socal
Posted: 2006-01-05 10:01 am   Permalink

Andrew is a cool guy, not sure if he visits TC though.

 
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tikibars
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 11, 2002
Posts: 2024
From: Aku Hall, Chicago
Posted: 2006-01-05 12:46 pm   Permalink

And I am certain that his ears are ringing like mad right about now!




 
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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2006-01-08 10:28 am   Permalink

There's an article on Barcelona's tiki bars in today's Washington Post. That damn word "tacky" is back!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/06/AR2006010600490.html?referrer=emailarticlepg

(Registration necessary to read article)


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Scottiki
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 21, 2004
Posts: 56
From: The Moai Lounge
Posted: 2006-01-08 8:16 pm   Permalink

Just so's you don't have to deal w/the registration & stuff, I've pasted the article below.
FWIW, I thought it was pretty cool to see a TC shout-out in the Washington Post (despite the gratuitous 'tacky' descriptor)
Enjoy!
Scottiki

Barcelona Puts the Tiki in Tacky
By Laura Randall
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, January 8, 2006; Page P01

It's a long walk from the Maria Cristina metro station to Barcelona's oldest tiki bar. After exiting onto busy, tree-lined Avinguda Diagonal, you must head east past several modern high-rises, one of the city's biggest shopping malls and a branch of the department store El Corte Ingles.

Just when you're ready to give up and duck into the nearest tapas joint for a glass of vino tinto, the neon "Hawaiano Bar" sign and carved wooden doors of Kahala finally appear.

That's when you leave the Barcelona most travelers know -- the one of high-end cuisine, classy wine bars and 20th-century Gothic palaces -- behind. Far behind.

It may seem hard to believe, but this sophisticated European city has three tiki bars with the kind of beach-hut decor and ambiance that make the knees of Polynesian culture devotees buckle in delight. Tiki bars, with their tropical environments and umbrella-topped drinks, have long been icons of island living and the good life. The bars, which flourished in the 1940s and 1950s after the return of U.S. soldiers from World War II tours of duty in Asia, have experienced a resurgence in the past decade as a new generation of plugged-in fans discovered their retro-hip allure.

When Tiki Central, an online network for all things tiki, asked its members last summer to rank cities with the best tiki environments, Barcelona's name came up as often as Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. And in a 2002 article about the comeback of Polynesian culture, Fortune magazine included all three of the city's bars on its short list of worldwide tiki bars -- right between San Francisco's Tonga Room and Trader Vic's London.

Besides Kahala, there is Kahiki, centrally located near Las Ramblas promenade, and Aloha, not far away on a quiet urban street in the L'Eixample district. As a resident of Los Angeles, home to Trader Vic's and a handful of other thriving, well-known tiki bars, I was curious to see if Barcelona lived up to its reputation as a city with a great tiki vibe. The answer turned out to be yes -- and no.

With their dizzying expanses of bamboo, Hawaiian-shirted servers and huge variety of exotic mugs (most of which are manufactured in Toledo, Spain), the bars would make even the late Victor J. Bergeron (founder of Trader Vic's) drop his swizzle stick in admiration. At Kahala, the doors give way to a carved stone wall and a bridge that crosses a murky pond that must have once housed some pretty unhappy koi. The main room is dominated by a long wooden bar flanked by carved wood masks and an aquarium full of puffer fish and other tropical marine life. Waiters deliver trays of Ponche de Plantador (Planter's Punch) and Ciclones de Azores (Hurricanes) to customers lounging in semidarkness on rattan sofas.

On the Thursday night I was there, the amount of dry-ice mist drifting from the drink prep area bordered on the obscene. Young couples and boisterous groups of office workers dominated the crowd, and as my husband and I studied the drink menu and gawked at the wall hangings, we felt like the only tourists in the place.

A dozen blocks away at Aloha, parakeets, canaries and turtles live in a glass-fronted cage under a yellow neon sign that resembles a vintage movie marquee. With a billiard table near the entrance and American pop music (think Madonna circa 1985) on the jukebox, the atmosphere reminded me more of Bennigan's than a South Seas hula hut, but the Aloha has a strong following among the out-of-town tikiphiles who've visited the bars. It's the site of tiki-themed fiestas organized by American expat Andrew Burns, a guitar technician for David Bowie, Patti Smith and other performers. For a $3.60 cover fee, Burns distributes floral leis, screens movies from the late 1970s and brings his own DJs to spin Martin Denny and other tiki-friendly crooners.

Burns's favorite tiki bar is the Aloha, for its bamboo decor and street-front aviary, but he admits the Barcelona bars don't have a Norm-from-"Cheers"-like following as many in the United States do. "They are hangout joints for the younger set . . . who find the drinks a bit pricey," Burns said. "So there is not really a daily scene."

Unlike many American tiki bars, which began as one-room establishments and grew with their popularity, the Barcelona bars haven't expanded or changed much since their opening, said Otto von Stroheim, the San Francisco-based founder of a tiki newsletter who has visited the Barcelona bars.

The tiki bars have been around since the mid-1970s, when the collapse of Gen. Francisco Franco's dictatorship opened the country to political and cultural freedoms it hadn't known since the early part of the century, he said.

"The concept [of tiki] already existed before they built, so they could build [the bars] whole," von Stroheim said. "They have this weird different take on things. It's a little more funky, disco-y, hip. It has a little more soul" than many of the U.S. bars, he said.

The bars' architects probably drew on the fanciful work of Catalan architect Antonio Gaudi, rather than on the nautical and trader themes favored by American tiki bars, von Stroheim said. "You have this weird weeping willow-looking stuff -- waterfalls dripping and craggy, with plants hanging off them, and all these textures and colors."

In my elbow-bending tour of the bars, I found Kahiki to be the most accessible of the three, with the tastiest tropical drinks and most affable bartenders, though some have criticized its faded floral-print furniture and sleepy environment on Tiki Central chat rooms. Located near the University of Barcelona, Kahiki attracts young couples who like the bar's quiet alcoves and unique drinks such as the Copa Tikaroa (a semisweet concoction of champagne, rum and fruit juices), bartender Eduardo Lopez told me on a quiet Wednesday night.

"They like it because it's different from the other bars and they think the drinks taste good," said Lopez, a middle-aged man who wore thick glasses and an oversize Hawaiian shirt purchased at El Corte Ingles.

As he mixed an $8 mai tai, Lopez told me he has worked behind Kahiki's bamboo bar for 20 years. Noting my interest in the bar's origins, he dug out a wrinkled yellow drink menu from New Year's Eve 2004 and a city map that shows Kahiki's location.

"Take these," he said with the faintest of smiles. "Tell your friends Barcelona has a good tiki environment."

Then he went back to waiting amid the bar's flickering puffer-fish lamps and red-eyed tribal masks for the next customer to step into the semidarkness.

Laura Randall last wrote for Travel on Ojai, Calif.


 
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MrBaliHai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 01, 2002
Posts: 804
Posted: 2006-03-18 07:41 am   Permalink

I'll be in Barcelona next Tuesday through Sunday. I'm going to hit the Kahiki and Kahala for sure, and I'm going to try talking my friend into driving to Lloret on Friday night to visit Hula-Hula. Don't think I'll make it to Calella this time.
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tikibars
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 11, 2002
Posts: 2024
From: Aku Hall, Chicago
Posted: 2006-03-18 09:35 am   Permalink

Calella is closer to Barcelona than Lloret is!

 
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MrBaliHai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 01, 2002
Posts: 804
Posted: 2006-03-18 10:47 am   Permalink

Quote:

Calella is closer to Barcelona than Lloret is!


I know, but I can't find any info about the places mentioned previously in this thread, so I don't have any idea where they're located or if they're even open this time of year.

Hula-Hula's got a website, so at least I know where they are and what their hours are.
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