advertise on Tiki Central

Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop
  [Edit Profile]  [Edit Preferences]  [Search] [Sign Up]
[Personal Messages]  [Member List]  [Help/FAQ]  [Rules]  [Login]
Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki Red Lion Hanalei Hotel, San Diego, CA (hotel)
Goto page ( Previous Page 1 | 2 | 3 Next Page ) Remove Highlighting
Red Lion Hanalei Hotel, San Diego, CA (hotel)
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Sep 23, 2004
Posts: 39
Posted: 2004-11-01 6:11 pm   Permalink

don't cry christiki - there are more restaurants similar to this -

View Profile of kuuipo Send a personal message to kuuipo      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11594
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2004-11-03 11:57 am   Permalink

A traumatic experience for our Bosko, indeed!

But, has there been more damage done recently? Last time I was there (3 years ago?), this is what I saw:

As bad as the exterior, the sign, and the bar area by the old entrance had been obliterated (see Tiki News #13, "A classic Case Study of Tiki Devolution" by Sven-Tiki), a big part of the dining room had been left intact:

The Tiki poled bridges were still crossing a running stream that went along from the large entrance waterfall to the other one at the end of the room, and many other fixtures were still there, giving an impression of completeness.

But only if you didn't know what had been sacrificed: The room had been shrunk down by throwing out the cool booths with the indirectly lit Maori panel Tikis and weapons to create a seperate, totally boring covention table room next to it.

Many lamps were missing, so were one or two of the very important large Tikis. Important why? Because they hailed from the Luau in Beverly Hills!

The postcard interiors above are from a time BEFORE the Hanalei really blossomed by becoming a depository for the Luau's treasures. This happened in 1979, after Steve Crane sold the Luau's land to developers, and it's decor to the owner of the Atlas Hotel chain in San Diego. This man apparently was an incorridgeable Polynesiac and bought up everything, even the Luau entrance hut, which until a few years ago could be seen in the atrium of the hotel's highrise in the back (BOT p.205 small photo at bottom), together with Tikis from the Luau (see Tiki next to hut on Luau menu illustration p. 204, and compare to Tiki in large photo on page 205). He actually flew in a Kahuna from Hawaii to have the new additions blessed. All this off course went out the window when the place changed owners.

But can somebody confirm that the Hanalei dining room is still in the state described above, waterways and all?

And the status of the courtyard? The hut apparently fell apart, the Tiki railing and gazebo posts were painted in colors (shudder!), but does the yellow Uli figure (which can be seen in the Luau interior shot, BOT p.102) still sit on top of the waterfall? In the photo, it is hidden behind foliage in the upper right corner. It was one of the artifacts I identified as hailing from the Luau.

View Profile of bigbrotiki Send a personal message to bigbrotiki  Goto the website of bigbrotiki     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 17, 2002
Posts: 573
From: Originally Israel, now Oceanside, CA
Posted: 2004-11-03 12:59 pm   Permalink

The dinning room, as of a few months ago, is still in that state, with the waterways, conch-shell water fall, etc.
The boring convention room next to it is still there. I don't remember seeing the yellow figure in the court yard, but I could be mistaken.


View Profile of kick_the_reverb Send a personal message to kick_the_reverb  Email kick_the_reverb Goto the website of kick_the_reverb     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 02, 2002
Posts: 290
From: Seattle, WA
Posted: 2004-11-03 3:44 pm   Permalink

I think I have some photos of the exterior tikis from around 1990, I'll try to find them and post pics in a few days. Here's some pics of a brochure from the Hanalei Hotel, probably from the '60's:

View Profile of puamana Send a personal message to puamana      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 11, 2002
Posts: 2026
From: Aku Hall, Chicago
Posted: 2004-11-03 5:09 pm   Permalink

Thanks for the brochure pics, Puamana. I get so sad when I see vintage Hanalei stuff. It was the first truly major Tiki palace I visited (even before Hala Kahiki and Trader Vic's here in Chicago), and was the a large part of the impetus to begin the Tiki Bar Review Pages in 1994/1995. I have visited about five times: twice in it's original state, then I wandered through the place during the deconstruction (it was a sad, sad thing to see it being dismantled in front of my eyes), and then twice in it's new guise.

[ This Message was edited by: tikibars on 2005-01-29 21:39 ]

View Profile of tikibars Send a personal message to tikibars  Email tikibars Goto the website of tikibars     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 11, 2003
Posts: 336
From: ripon: almond capital yet no orgeat
Posted: 2004-11-03 6:25 pm   Permalink

maybe we can clear up some of the mysteries regarding the current status of the hanalei in san diego. we had the pleasure of visiting the hanalei (as recommended by polypop and monkeyman) at the end of july this year. we stayed one night, and snapped endless pictures of everything tiki there. we also pulled some info out of one of the long-time waitress' there who let us in on some of the secrets as to where everything went (after the deconstruction). she said that A LOT of things are still in the basement. some artifacts DO come out when they have their luaus. the blowfish lights deteriorated, so those were all thrown out. she described how beautiful it once was...spoke of how the bar we were sitting at was once a huge extension of how 'the islands' is decorated. it was rather sad to hear, while sipping a rum runner out of a new repro bamboo mug (which they sell with the drink) and sitting at a bar stripped of all character.

but anyway, here is a link to all of the pictures we took of anything and everything tiki at the hanalei. i apologize for the dorky photos of me or the drunken hat. we were a bit whiffy, what can i say?

and yes, i can confirm that the gazebo in the courtyard is all painted (you can see them in our photos) it is covered with thatching now. the yellow tiki from the luau is still there in the courtyard, on top of the little waterfall.

as for the islands, it is still very worthwhile to explore. the main waterfall at the entry NO LONGER connects with the streams in the restaurant, though.

while exploring in the courtyard, i did find this tiki. it was completely covered by plants, and was not visible AT ALL. i plowed my way through the landscaping (i think a caretaker was there too while i was doing this, he sure gave me the evil eye). i thought this was the best one.

 View Profile of tikicleen Send a personal message to tikicleen  Email tikicleen     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11594
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2004-11-04 11:18 am   Permalink

Thanks for the urban archeology update.
Some of the stuff looks so wrong, like all the masks and weapons against the white walls (of the conference room) which were once in the booths. And the painted posts in 39 and 41, these are textbook images of bad Tiki renovation.

But there's obviously still enough to be enjoyed, the big New Guinea Tiki in j-peg 20 and the wallhanging in 23 are from the Luau, and a lot of the railing posts. The majority of the masks and weapons were supplied by Oceanic Arts, very vintage style, one can tell by the lovingly applied paintjobs.

The waitress' report leaves hope that the other artifacts are still there. Greedy graverobbers stay away, an exisiting site is strictly kapu!

View Profile of bigbrotiki Send a personal message to bigbrotiki  Goto the website of bigbrotiki     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 15, 2003
Posts: 3006
From: San Diego, Ca.
Posted: 2007-05-05 2:00 pm   Permalink

The Red Lion Hanalei is no more, or at least not by that name. From the April 26, 2007, San Diego Union Tribune:
The crowning touch
As of Tuesday, no one will be going to the Red Lion Hanalei Hotel on Mission Valley's Hotel Circle anymore. That's because the 416-room hotel changes its name that day to the Crowne Plaza San Diego.

The tropical paradise-themed resort becomes San Diego's first Crowne Plaza, a brand operated by the InterContinental Hotels Group. Despite its new signage and renovated facilities, though, hotel representatives say that ownership and management remain unchanged.

Rev. Dr. Frederick J. Freelance, Ph.D., Th.D., D.F.S

 View Profile of freddiefreelance Send a personal message to freddiefreelance      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 29, 2002
Posts: 1794
From: San Diego, CA
Posted: 2007-05-06 6:03 pm   Permalink

I was at the (former) Hanalei (now Crown Plaza) an hour ago and was sickened by the havoc wreaked by the "new" owners/management or whatever. The Islands Room & adjoining banquet room were virtually gutted of 75% of the original decor (and I'm talking POST Red Lion). The bar (already fucked up by recent owners) was about the same albeit no Tiki mugs and lackadaisical bartenders pouring shitty, pre-mixed drinks (Mai-Tai was $8.50 and tasted like kool-aid). Pool area looked the same but I was too ascared to venture any further. Hey Otto, is it too late to reschedule T.O. VII at the Caliente Tropics?

View Profile of Shipwreckjoey Send a personal message to Shipwreckjoey      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 13, 2006
Posts: 1434
From: San Diego
Posted: 2007-05-07 09:29 am   Permalink

If it's too late (and I assume it is) I would strongly suggest all future events be scheduled elsewhere. Why reward a hotel for this?

If not Caliente Tropics, perhaps Humphrey's or even Catamaran in San Diego.

View Profile of arriano Send a personal message to arriano      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 9193
From: Anaheim,Ca.
Posted: 2007-05-07 2:32 pm   Permalink


On 2007-05-07 09:29, arriano wrote:
If it's too late (and I assume it is) I would strongly suggest all future events be scheduled elsewhere. Why reward a hotel for this?

If not Caliente Tropics, perhaps Humphrey's or even Catamaran in San Diego.

I agree. Total shame shame shame on them.
I understand why they think this must be done.
But Tiki Oasis will not be the same.


View Profile of bigtikidude Send a personal message to bigtikidude  Email bigtikidude     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 21, 2006
Posts: 12
From: San Diego California USA
Posted: 2007-06-16 11:51 pm   Permalink

I just happened to stop into the Crown Plaza (formerly Hanalei) and was also so very disappointed to see what had been done to the Islands Restaurant. So much of it is gone, including the triptych panel with the pua shell-eyed tikis that I liked so much. They did open up the place to better light by tearing out the wall and putting in windows to the hallway, but still....The nice waterfall with the clam shells in the hallway across from it is still there, thankfully, as is the gazebo in the far back of the hotel, where we played our ukuleles. The big tiki in the entryway to the hotel is gone, as is the dragon room, just before the door out to the pool. The dragon room is now a coffee bar. The grey moai is still there out by the pool.

View Profile of LoungeLizard Send a personal message to LoungeLizard  Email LoungeLizard     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2006
Posts: 6161
From: Sun City Lincoln Hills (NorCal)
Posted: 2007-06-24 7:41 pm   Permalink

Sounds like this will be the last time Tiki Oasis will ever be there. It is a shame that it is so stripped of the great decor that made it famous.
"Oh waiter, another cocktail please!!!"

View Profile of VampiressRN Send a personal message to VampiressRN  Email VampiressRN Goto the website of VampiressRN     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Sabu The Coconut Boy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2804
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2009-10-23 10:36 pm   Permalink

The Motel 6 next door. They've since added a 2-story block of rooms onto the front, but the L-shaped wing around the pool still looks about the same as it did in this 1960s postcard.


View Profile of Sabu The Coconut Boy Send a personal message to Sabu The Coconut Boy  Email Sabu The Coconut Boy     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11594
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-10-24 08:47 am   Permalink

A fitting example of generic motel architecture, since the Hanalei succeeded in making itself look like that over its years of devolution.

Here is the page with my "In Memoriam Islands restaurant" photos:


I couldn't believe the current abomination was dubbed "less cool" here on TC:


Went a few weeks ago, the restaurant is less cool, but the fountain is still there. Here's a couple of quick pictures

Tiki Oasis or not, that place is freakin' RUINED! The sad thing is that many folks won't know better, and will take this state of things as "Tiki style".

 View Profile of bigbrotiki Send a personal message to bigbrotiki  Goto the website of bigbrotiki     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Goto page ( Previous Page 1 | 2 | 3 Next Page )

[ About Tiki Central | Contact Tiki Central | Advertise on Tiki Central ]
(c) 2000-2018 Tikiroom.com (tm), Tiki Central (tm)

Credits & copyright infomation