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Tiki Central Forums » » General Tiki » » Is the Islands Restaurant/Hanalei Hotel being gutted?
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Is the Islands Restaurant/Hanalei Hotel being gutted?
Jeff Central
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 23, 2002
Posts: 1578
From: Columbus, Ohio
Posted: 2006-11-07 11:08 am   Permalink

This is VERY sad. The pictures just ripped my heart out. At least I got to see the place at the Tiki Oasis this year.

What a shame.

Jeff




 
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Humuhumu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 3612
From: San Francisco
Posted: 2006-11-07 11:23 am   Permalink

I'm very sad they're removing the water features -- that was what really made the Islands feel like you were sitting in the middle of a gorgeous postcard.

I would never tell anyone not to write an establishment to let them know how much you value their tikiness, but I just don't think it will change this course. It's just too late. Perhaps if we'd known about this months ago, but now it's a fait accompli.

The post of Otto's email is a bit hard to read; here's a summary of what's going on, taken from a post I just made on my blog:

Quote:
Here’s a quick summary:

  • The hotel’s name is changing. The new name is not known, but it will no longer have “Hanalei” in it. According to Otto, “This was mandated in order to raise the status of the property.”
  • The Islands Restaurant “[is] going to be more TROPICAL than TIKI,” per the GM.
  • The waterfalls and the waterway into the restaurant are being removed.
  • The Dragon Room will be removed.
  • The bamboo in the Islands is staying, the glass floats might stay, but all the other tiki decor in the restaurant is being removed. It’s not known yet what the fate of these items will be. There’s a chance the artifacts will be put on dispay for Tiki Oasis attendees, but this has not been worked out yet. The large outrigger sign is staying.
  • On the first day of renovation, all of the artifacts in the Islands Restaurant have been removed and boxed up for storage.
  • The Islands Restaurant’s monkeypod tables are staying, and $38,000 is being spent to refinish them.
  • Some walls are being knocked down, and an outdoor patio is being added, to expand seating.
  • Windows are being added to overlook the patio and pool.
  • Food & drink menu will be unchanged. Tiki mugs will be used for serving.
  • Carved railings removed from the Islands Restaurant will be relocated into the tropical, tikified Atrium area in the hotel tower.
  • Landscaping is being enhanced with a $20,000 budget, and fresh palapas have been added.
  • Room rates are increasing, but this won’t affect Tiki Oasis 2007, because Otto locked those rates in before these changes.




Bottom line: the Red Lion Hanalei Hotel is a conference hotel. They're courting large group reservations, not individual reservations, and large groups want a large restaurant, not a tikiphile's dream. It can't hurt to let them know the historic value of what they have (although I can't imagine they *don't* know this, now that they've been working so much with Otto).

The big thing that's at risk at this point are all those artifacts that have been removed from the Islands and are now boxed up. It sounds very much like they haven't figured out what they're going to do with it, which sounds to me like it's at risk of going home with somebody. Perhaps write to the Hanalei to express a desire to see the items remain visible on property somewhere?
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freddiefreelance
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 15, 2003
Posts: 2990
From: San Diego, Ca.
Posted: 2006-11-07 11:23 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-11-07 09:34, bigbrotiki wrote:
Quote:

The entire waterway from lobby and into the restaurant is going away...


I was afraid of that. Too high maintenance, of course. This was the only place I know of besides the Chicago Marriott Kona Kai that still had fully working waterways, fed by waterfalls and crossed by Tiki-railed bridges, once a defining feature of classic Tiki supper clubs. Everybody at the last Oasis can be glad they got to see it.


Lotus Garden, Indianapolis, In. still has a small waterfall & stream crossed by a bridge with a Moai supported railing:


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Haole'akamai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 2272
From: The Polynesian Port of NOLA
Posted: 2006-11-07 11:42 am   Permalink

What about the clamshell water fall behind the sushi bar? Did I miss news on it's fate?
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Dr.TikiMojo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 26, 2006
Posts: 465
From: Elk Grove, CA
Posted: 2006-11-07 11:44 am   Permalink

This sort of thing REALLY upsets Mrs.Mojo and myself!

We both belong to the National Trust for Historic Preservation
http://www.nationaltrust.org/
since we own a historically registered 1895 Queen Anne Victorian home and live in a registered historic district.

I suggest that all of you who have posted here, are passionate about our "historic" Tiki venues, go to the above link and join. Then as a group we can start to point out the historic relevance of these Hotels, Restaurants and Bars and start getting "Government" protection of these important and Beautiful locations!

We both felt SICK when very recently we read the post about Portland's Jasmine Tree Restaurant closing down in less than 6 weeks after our visit. We had spent hours there dining, drinking, hanging out and taking photos and we heard nothing about this future closure.

The biggest problems with trying to protect ANY site even with the backing of our local and government agencies are these:

Fighting BIG corporations with LOTS of money -when the Hotel/Bar/Restaurant is owned now by a larger "corporate" entity they seldom care about "historic" issues ONLY PROFITS...they also can afford the lawyers and the pay offs to make the changes regardless.

Knowing about a change or closure BEFORE it happens! Once the permits are issued, workers hired and plans made it is pretty difficult to get in on time to stop this devistation...unless of course you want to play the roll of TIKI ACTIVIST and chain yourself to a Tiki somewhere to halt workers and get enough media attention to increase public awareness!

Lastly: defining WHAT is historic?
While we here at TC love all of these places, are they OLD ENOUGH, HISTORICALLY RELEVANT ENOUGH to warrant local and government agencies, not to mention the local public, to step in and do something to save and preserve these as Landmarks?

We watch this in our own neighborhood everyday! One very old and beautiful building gets demolished to put in new generic, stucco crap while another seemingly uninteresting old building or location is preserved and not allowed to be used for the better because it IS defined as Historic! It can be and does become a "double edged sword"!

Again I say, especially today voting day, if you want to stop these losses go to http://www.nationaltrust.org/ and join and start making Tiki Locations be seen as something TO BE PRESERVED!! Or find any other State or local organization you can join to raise awareness before ALL our Original treasured Tiki locations become another generic, mass marketed, corporate owned company or dissappear all together!


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GatorRob
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Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1770
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2006-11-07 12:15 pm   Permalink

Wasn't the Kahiki on the National List of Historic Places? Anybody know if that at least slowed down its destruction?

 
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Humuhumu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 3612
From: San Francisco
Posted: 2006-11-07 12:17 pm   Permalink

Another update: Joel Delano, banquet manager at the Hanalei, has posted a comment on my blog, giving a bit more info. He says that the hotel is becoming a Crown Plaza hotel, and will be renamed the "Crown Plaza San Diego." He says he "was quite thrilled when Tiki Oasis came this last year. I hope that all of the removed artifacts find their way back on property in time for Tiki Oasis this coming year."

Here's a link to my blog post with his comment:
http://blog.humuhumu.com/2006/11/07/islands-update-here-come-the-jackhammers

His blog is the one that tipped me off on the changes at the Islands -- he's posted a new entry today, giving a bit of an update. He says that some walls were ripped out today, that at least one of the waterfalls might survive the remodel, but that the others are scheduled to be removed, and the waterway filled in. He says that he thinks the glass floats (which came down on Sunday) are not going up again.

Here's a link to his blog post:
http://joeldelanoreis.blogspot.com/2006/11/islands-drop-lights.html

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Dr.TikiMojo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 26, 2006
Posts: 465
From: Elk Grove, CA
Posted: 2006-11-07 12:44 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-11-07 12:15, GatorRob wrote:
Wasn't the Kahiki on the National List of Historic Places? Anybody know if that at least slowed down its destruction?



Yes, I believe it WAS! Again, that just pisses me off! I never even got to visit it!
The problem is that even when a location IS registered it still takes MONEY, public, private, government, it's got to come from somewhere. From what I heard/read about the Kahiki was that it had been closed for quite awhile and VERY run down and in poor repair. When there are safety issues it becomes very difficult to protect. But that was another location that I believe was bought up by a large corporation, (Walmart if I'm not mistaken?).
Getting a property registered as a Historic Landmark is just one step towards preservation NOT a guarantee!

Here are some images from last years Tiki Oasis of the treasured items I believe we WON'T be seeing again for 2007!











 
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Haole'akamai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 2272
From: The Polynesian Port of NOLA
Posted: 2006-11-07 12:48 pm   Permalink

Are they willing to hold all The Tikiness (especial The Luau stuff) they're not planning on putting back in for an Auction at TO7?!



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Cammo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 18, 2006
Posts: 1952
From: San Diego
Posted: 2006-11-07 1:11 pm   Permalink

Those last pictures at Oasis 2006 look great. They look like postcards from 1964.

Bottom line; the problem is that the hotel changes can't be protested by TC members, because the entire Tiki Community is about to stay there next summer and give them our money! And Otto can't get out of it, he seems to be pretty locked in - money has probably already crossed palms.

Don't kid yourselves, the hotel wants Oasis 2007 there, I wouldn't believe anything management says about 'preservation', one way or da other.


 
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Humuhumu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 3612
From: San Francisco
Posted: 2006-11-07 1:18 pm   Permalink

I hope no one out there is thinking that this means they want to sit out of Oasis as protest. That would only hurt Oasis and Otto -- it doesn't hurt the hotel if people don't book for Oasis, it only hurts Otto, as he's on the line for those rooms. Otto has booked all the rooms, and he's paying for them one way or another.

Aside from all that, the hotel is simply still a great venue for Oasis, even with this huge loss. There are still amazing artifacts on the grounds, especially in the Atrium area in the hotel's tower.

If you want to contact the hotel (again -- likely a lost cause, but what the hey), consider letting them know that you'll be there at Oasis, that you enjoy the hotel outside of Oasis because of its tiki history, and you would like to see as much of that history remain as possible. At this point, the Islands is a lost cause, but the future of the items they've taken down, and the future of the other tiki things still there, is not.


 
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Mr. NoNaMe
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 10, 2006
Posts: 1919
Posted: 2006-11-07 2:51 pm   Permalink

I'll have a few more pics later tonight.

All the tikiness is locked up tight! And there is bubble wrap on the railings.
Yes, the artifacts will be dispursed around the hotel. What I suggest is that everyone who has taken pics of The Islands put there photos of the tiki peices on either Flickr or Shutterfly. Then we the TCers can have a scavanger hunt via digicams. It could be an event at Oasis. Most of the digi cams are set up with the time the pic was taken. So, the event could start at the bar with a mandatory two drink start. Non drinkers have to wear a pirate patch. Then gamers have to be back at a specific time with the proof. No pics are allowed timed/dated prior to start time.
The winners is the one with the most pics. The winner also has to buy the bar a round. Hmmm, this may require more thought.


 
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Jeff Central
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 23, 2002
Posts: 1578
From: Columbus, Ohio
Posted: 2006-11-07 3:48 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-11-07 12:44, Dr.TikiMojo wrote:
Quote:

On 2006-11-07 12:15, GatorRob wrote:
Wasn't the Kahiki on the National List of Historic Places? Anybody know if that at least slowed down its destruction?



Yes, I believe it WAS! Again, that just pisses me off! I never even got to visit it!
The problem is that even when a location IS registered it still takes MONEY, public, private, government, it's got to come from somewhere. From what I heard/read about the Kahiki was that it had been closed for quite awhile and VERY run down and in poor repair. When there are safety issues it becomes very difficult to protect. But that was another location that I believe was bought up by a large corporation, (Walmart if I'm not mistaken?).
Getting a property registered as a Historic Landmark is just one step towards preservation NOT a guarantee!





The Kahiki was on the National List of Historic Places but needed to be on the Local List in order to be saved. The Kahiki was NEVER closed until the Bon Voyage Kahiki party on August 26, 2000. Up until then it was open every day. Michael Tsao wanted to sell and Walgreens was ready to buy. End of story. It did need plumbing repair (especially to the basement) but the place was still fully operational. It all comes down to MONEY.

Cheers,
Jeff


 
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Humuhumu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 3612
From: San Francisco
Posted: 2006-11-11 5:17 pm   Permalink

Before


After


These photographs were taken by Joel Delano, the banquet manager for the Hanalei Hotel, and are from his blog. He also pieced together some before & after panoramas of the restaurant. He posted these photos on Wednesday; the demolition work has probably progressed since then, but this is his most recent update on the state of the restaurant.

http://joeldelanoreis.blogspot.com/2006/11/compare-and-contrast.html

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Mr. NoNaMe
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 10, 2006
Posts: 1919
Posted: 2006-11-11 6:31 pm   Permalink

Sorry that I have been lax in posting some pics.

Also, I was looking through the first Tikimag and wondered if the Hanalei remembers it.









 
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