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Tiki Central Forums Ľ Ľ Locating Tiki Ľ Ľ Best Western Aku Tiki Inn, Daytona Beach, FL (hotel)
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Best Western Aku Tiki Inn, Daytona Beach, FL (hotel)
TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 672
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2011-05-28 7:52 pm   Permalink

PatTiki and I were cruising in the Ormond Beach area today and decided about mid-afternoon to stop someplace for lunch. Since Julianís Restaurant was nearby and the sign said open for lunch, we pulled in, only to find out that they had changed their hours and are now only open for dinner. So we cruised further southward to the Aku Tiki Innís Traderís Restaurant and Lounge in Daytona Beach Shores.

In late 2007, GatorRob posted a nice photo log from his visit. Iím pleased to say that the tiki elements of the place, including Witco carvings, survive to this day, though a bit more weathered.

The innís iconic sign, driveway and entry...














Hereís the lobby area adjacent to Traderís Restaurant and Lounge...






The entryway to Traderís from inside the inn...




The exterior sign and entry to Traderís...







Inside the restaurant and lounge...
























Memorial weekend business was good at the inn, though we were early for restaurant activity. Pat and I inquired about rum specialties of the lounge and were offered Rum Runners or Bahama Mamas. The bartender also offered Mai Tais and Zombies, so we took a big gamble and ordered the Zombies. They were served in chimney glasses, but were not the Zombies of our experience. With pineapple juice, orange juice, Triple Sec, rum and fresh fruit slices, they packed just enough spirit to make a passable rum punch. We ordered simple lunch fare and were surprised by truly enormous char-grilled hamburgers on toasted buns with the worksÖ really great burgers. Lounge music was 1960s hit songs and the outside view was the innís oceanside pool...




Not exactly a tiki immersion experience, but a pleasant place with quite a number of visual tiki elements.

-Tom


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11100
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2011-05-29 8:21 pm   Permalink

What happened?:

Quote:

On 2007-11-11 15:49, GatorRob wrote:






Was he being bad?:

Quote:

On 2011-05-28 19:52, TikiTomD wrote:






Thanks for the Makai scans, Tom, got'em!

Here's a post with the original Aku Tiki brochure, with close up scans that shows you how the place looked originally - not that much more tiki-ed out:

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=29385&forum=5&vpost=421637

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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11100
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2011-05-30 12:10 pm   Permalink

Also, here is a finding that belongs to this thread:

Quote:

On 2011-05-28 19:52, TikiTomD wrote:
The entryway to Traderís from inside the inn...





I wanted to add a B&W tourist photo of the Mai Kai entrance doors that Swanky discovered a while back which obviously inspired the above -uh- "zany" interpretation (not by Witco!) of the Cannibal carvings, but I can't find it on TC



All I can do is post the MENU cover, which was based on those Mai Kai doors (it opens like the doors, too) and add the Aku Tiki Traders doorway to the list evidence of how much the Mai Kai was influential in the flowering of Tiki style in Florida


 
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TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 672
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2011-05-30 6:25 pm   Permalink

On 2011-05-29 20:21, bigbrotiki wrote:
Quote:
What happened?

Was he being bad?



Good catch, Sven ... it was so dark in the corner of the restaurant that I didn't realize the Witco table was turned front to the wall until I viewed the photo on my laptop.

Glad that USPS came though and delivered the Makai scans to you... I drove by the Makai today and noticed that the tiki atop the iconic sign was missing. I also saw another sign stating that the Makai has "New Owners." Let's hope that the sign is under repair and that this doesn't correlate to the initial phase of an intended change in style by the new owners. I'd like to reassure GROG that the stone Moai with an attitude remains as it was for the moment.

While at the Aku Tiki Inn this weekend, I picked up a brochure and business card from the front desk for comparison with the vintage articles...







Add a bit of cartoon exaggeration to the Mai Kai cannibals and you get the Trader's entry door cannibals... particularly noticeable in the "grin" and body configuration of the upper carvings... thanks for the insight, Bigbrotiki!

-Tom


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11100
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2011-05-30 6:54 pm   Permalink

Yeah, well, the lower ones look more like frog-legged chipmunks than anything else

Scary to hear that about the Makai sign -after they had just refurbished it. New owners often feel they have to put their "stamp" on things. But good to see the use of Tikis in the new Aku Tiki brochure! If I remember the story right, both Aku Tiki and Hawaiian Inn are run by the same family who built them, and the daughter who manages it now honors the theme that her dad initiated. It was her who spent the money to completely re-build the Moai sign. I was in disbelief until I saw it standing. When everybody else would choose the cheapest option possible, she went all the way.


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4247
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2012-01-14 09:41 am   Permalink

Tom,

Thanks for posting all of the photos. Great to see most everything still intact.

Here is an old ad for the Aku Tiki Inn and the Traders.



Not sure what that "Royal Shaft" is all about?

DC


 
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TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 672
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-01-14 10:10 am   Permalink

Aloha, DustyCajun, and Happy New Year!

That ad is for a like-named establishment located in Sarasota, rather than Daytona Beach.

I found this brief description of that lounge act, a threesome, in the Google News archives...

Sarasota Journal July 14, 1978 (page 10)



-Tom


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TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 672
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-01-14 7:09 pm   Permalink

Pat and I drove by the Aku Tiki Inn tonight on our way to dinner. I stopped long enough to snap a few nighttime photos of the iconic Moai on top of the sign...












-Tom


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11100
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2012-01-15 12:30 pm   Permalink

VERY cool. It' s great that they rebuilt that sign!

 
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TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 672
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-01-17 2:33 pm   Permalink

DC, you spurred my curiosity: It seemed more than coincidental that there would be two Best Western Aku Tiki Inns on opposite coasts of Florida; there must have been a connection. Well, the following article from the Google News archives shows that there was...

Sarasota Herald-Tribune June 25, 1981 (page 72)



Hereís the relevant paragraph from the article...




-Tom


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TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 672
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-01-17 3:13 pm   Permalink

Hereís a nice ad for the Aku Tiki Inn from a Hopkinsville, Kentucky newspaper...

Kentucky New Era March 29, 1973 (page 21)



-Tom


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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4247
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2012-05-01 12:14 pm   Permalink

I picked up an old oversized advertising postcard from the Aku Tiki Inn.



Close up of the entrance and the Tiki.



Aerial view of the complex.



The restaurant with some nice lamps and Witcos.



DC


 
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