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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Events » » California Events » » How was your Crowne Plaza experience at Oasis?
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How was your Crowne Plaza experience at Oasis?
bb moondog
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 18, 2006
Posts: 501
From: Gilbert AZ
Posted: 2007-08-22 07:39 am   Permalink

this seemed to be the phenomenon........

if you sat in full view of the sushi chefs right at the bar ...the service was kickass and the drinks/food were prompt and delish. If you were unfortunate enough to seat at a table out by the aquarium or the FANTASTIC TVs (kidding) that show sports shows among the bits o'tiki still there, it was hit or miss--mostly miss. Does the Hanalei (old skool) NOT realize they need to beef up the staff for a big event like this? Our waitress, cute as she was, was not exactly at the apex of her skills and there were some SERIOUS time gaps between order taking , Coke refills, items coming out of sync--she was running her ASS off and not getting anywhere. The table next to us had a boatload of sushi delivered--I think they were just overwhelmed which is dumb cause SECOND YEAR they could have ---well, PREPARED for this?

The Islands restaurant was kinda the same as off- bar seating...the staff seemed PERPLEXED at the fact there were a LOT of Hawaiian shirt wearing people coming in this weekend--could have been a GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY to make big tips but I'll tell ya...when it takes an HOUR to get a couple of sushi orders there is no way I am leaving any more than 15%.

That said, the sushi was really fresh and good but never again whatever garlic cream PASTE was put on top of my Dragon Roll

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 03, 2005
Posts: 1205
From: Sacramento
Posted: 2007-08-22 08:26 am   Permalink

First off it is hard to blame a waitress for getting anxious when Hinano Paul and I sit at the same table for dinner!

That being said the morning/day crew at the Islands: Juan and JC were top notch. The sushi chefs rocked too. Wait staff in the bar was just plain overwhelmed and the Islands evening staff seemed ill prepared. I also had a problem with poor timing by the maid staff but only on Friday morning. The Islands is now a traditional menu because they closed Peacock (their other upstairs restaurant) and rolled it into one but kept the name. The least they could have done for this event was have the chef create polynesian specials for the menu. They also never opened the upper back part of the Islands which was because they didn't have enough people to staff it.

Overall it was still a fantastic event and kudo's to all of the official and unofficial ohana who made it so.

One positive note was that the GM was very visible almost everyday and management did seem to listen when problems were brought to their attention.

Looking forward to next year (except for the Sunday night red-eye home)!
Moai in the house!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 9192
From: Anaheim,Ca.
Posted: 2007-08-22 08:46 am   Permalink

the only 2 things I was very bummed out about was,

since I was not really staying there, I wasn't sure if it was ok to park in the gravel lot to the East of the Hotel on Fri. so I payed 12 bucks, ouch.

and the ATM in the Lobby was out of Order.
Luckily Al-ii came to my rescue, and I repayed him back at dinner on
Mon. nite.

I had no desire to sit in the Islands room since they remodeled it.
I was lucky to have ate there last year.
I am not into Sushi, so I had no want or need to go sit there.
But I asked Ran to Grab me a Burger while he was in there getting sushi for himself. That burger and the one I had down by the pool were great.
The Pizza I shared at the Pool on Sun was very weird and gave me heartburn.

My suggestion for Breakfast is go to Pacific Beach and go to Broken Yolk.
I was there 2 times in 5 days.
its the bomb.

I wanna try that place across the freeway.


[ This Message was edited by: bigtikidude 2007-08-22 08:49 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2002
Posts: 268
From: Charleston, South Carolina
Posted: 2007-08-22 09:14 am   Permalink

i am one of those that kept talking about the "good old days" at the Caliente Tropics but i must say that the Crowne worked out great.

service at the restaurants was slow but the Mexican restaurant at the Tropics would take an hour to make a few burritos during the busy times.

the rooms were great - ours overlooked the pool and was perfect. the rooms, although a little pricey, were the same that we paid at the Tropics and SO much better. unfortunately, that $ 150.00 to $ 200.00 range is the going rate for these bigger, convention accommodating hotels these days.

pool and lawn venue were great and the open area between the towers allowed me scan up and down the floors and figure out were the parties were. the suites some got for the parties were great - thanks to those who provided those parties and paid extra for the large rooms.

overall, i was very impressed with the hotel and staff. i know the restaurant service was down right bad, but after many years of attending the Oasis and other conventions, i believe service is always slow during those peek hours. next time, bring some food to your room or eat a big lunch at 3:00 so you won't miss the show activities. you'll save money too and can buy more vendor offerings!

balmy regards,

tiki bob

[ This Message was edited by: tikibob 2007-08-22 09:16 ]

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Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 05, 2005
Posts: 57
From: San Diego
Posted: 2007-08-22 09:44 am   Permalink

I didn't eat at the Islands. Just glancing inside and seeing the remodeling job depressed me. I did eat at the bar twice, though. It was crowded and the service was slow, but the food was good. The burgers by the pool were a little rare for me, but otherwise tasty.

If you're looking for a breakfast spot next year, I recommend a coffee shop called Perry's on Pacific Highway (less than 5 minutes from the CP). It's only open for breakfast and lunch and is popular on weekends, but I've never had to wait more than 10 minutes for a table even when it's busy. It's old-fashioned comfort food, with a few Mexican dishes, served amid a riot of unremodeled 1970s avocado-and-harvest-gold truck stop splendor.

Overall, I thought the setup for Oasis was far far better than last year. Having everything by the pool instead of in a tent in the parking lot made all the difference in the world. I didn't stay in the hotel this year or last, but I'm considering it next time.

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Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: May 18, 2002
Posts: 524
From: las vegas
Posted: 2007-08-22 3:17 pm   Permalink

We had dinner late sat at the Islands. We got a table on the patio and had a great view over the pool straight to the stage. We were able to see the whole thing and great people watching! Even though the food wasn't great and the service was slow, we liked the location that made it easy to eat and not leave the event. So we ate on the patio the next day for breakfast too. Russell enjoyed the fact that he got to say Hi to all his fans as they sauntered by!

I think the location was great, we especially loved the communal nature of the guestroom tower. Made it very easy to find room parties and to yell to friends.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 31, 2005
Posts: 666
From: Oakland
Posted: 2007-08-22 3:43 pm   Permalink

Please tell Russell that he was the best dance partner I had all weekend! Watch out ladies, that monkey really knows how to samba!

...and then there was a duck.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 30, 2004
Posts: 582
From: Santa Rosa, CA (Sonoma - wine country)
Posted: 2007-08-22 4:10 pm   Permalink

This is our second year at Tiki Oasis, so I can't compare it to the Caliente events. Since I knew most of the hotels in the San Diego area, I don't think Otto could have found a better choice - enough rooms, enough outside space for a stage, enough room outside to set up a Vendor showcase, tropical settings with a giant swimming pool, and spacious enough rooms to host room crawls for thirsty rum drinkers. The only other possibility would have been either Humphrey's/Half Moon Inn or the Catamaran (on Mission Bay). But, I know H/HMI doesn't have enough rooms to accommodate all of the Tiki Oasis goers; but a point in their favor is that they are across the round-a-bout from the Bali Hai restaurant.

The front desk staff at Crowne Plaza was fantastic. The guy who checked us in reviewed our reservations and all the special requests we had (quiet room, need a refrigerator, etc) and gave us 3 options on the room. I am also a member of Priority Club, which gives kissy points if you stay at any of their affiliate hotels, and he was able to locate my registration number so I got the 7200 points for the stay there. I spoke with a desk clerk upon checkout and she admitted their staff was scared due to all the noise complaints they had last year, though we would be taking up the entire hotel. But she admitted we were "orderly" and they loved us and welcome us back next year.

Housekeeping was also above average and was always able to find time when we weren't in the room to clean it; they didn't want to clean when it was convenient for them. The trash cans around the buildings could have been emptied a few more times, but there was never any trash laying around or obstacles to avoid. The ice machines couldn't accommodate our needs either (enough said on that point).

We too had a couple difficulties with the Food & Beverage service staff. On the most part, when a hotel knows it is running 80%+ it needs to review any planned, group dining events. Tiki Oasis goers were on their own for all meals, thus they should have understood all food outlets would be slammed, and staff their servers accordingly. With the upstairs "coffee shop" closed, they had to rely on their main dining room, the sushi bar, and the grilling cart outside by the pool for all of us rum drinks to get some nourishment. When the waiter has to tell the hostess and manager of the restaurant where the division of his station (tables) is, then you know something is wrong.

Our first experience in the dining room wasn't too bad, but a table next to us, in a different waiters station, had to get the manager's attention when they hadn't even been served drinks after 40 minutes. My second experience was waiting 25 minutes before my server acknowledged my existence. Lastly, at the sushi bar, we waited 20 minutes to pay our bill while there was a line of people waiting to get a table. But, we never went unfed, the food was good, and the staff always seemed to smooth out the problems before we left.

I would definitely stay at the Crowne Plaza again. But, I would not rely on their Food & Beverage outlets for most of my meals. San Diego is packed with wonderful restaurants and delivery services to help keep the blood sugars regulated after all that rum! I can only see things improving each year we return.

The many personalities of Myke

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2006
Posts: 247
From: Monterey, CA
Posted: 2007-08-22 4:37 pm   Permalink

I had a fantastic time and really, really want to thank Otto for putting together such a great event. It was twice as nice as last year by having everything in the courtyard. The pool side music by The Martini Kings was fantastic. Otto has got the formula down pat now.

We had no problems with the hotel or The Islands restaurant, but we only ate there for breakfast. The buffet was good and since it included drinks, it seemed like a bargain. The staff was very friendly. I like being able to roll out of bed and not have to go traipsing around town to eat in the morning. Even though I miss the pre-remodeled restaurant – man was that a sight to behold – I have to say the change did make a lot of sense for the hotel. The pool view and the open and well lit interior seem more inviting for the average consumer, and after all, that’s what it’s all about if you’re in business.

My only complaint for the whole weekend was the high volume level of the bands, especially since there were lots of kids there. There couldn’t have been more than 75 feet from the stage to the pool, but they pushed it to make it audible in the parking lot. But I don’t know of any sound man who doesn’t blast the audience now days. It’s o.k. for Surf, but it ain’t the way Hawaiian and Lounge should be mixed.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 10, 2006
Posts: 277
From: New York City
Posted: 2007-08-22 4:42 pm   Permalink

Love the tiki's still sprinkled all over the hotels, but we also got screwed at the Islands restaurant Friday night- it took way over 2 hours for them to get the screwed-up dinner to us and we missed all live the entertainment that night. It was more a fault of mgmt for understaffing than the harried waitstaff. Keep those tips for alternative nearby eateries for next year! There's got to be a better way!
However, the other hotel amenities were appreciated (magnifying makeup mirror, closet space etc) and when we dropped by the Caliente tropics this winter it sure looked a lot more run down than the Hanalei/Crowne Plaza.

I guess there are no hotel rooms with kitchenettes where some room parties could serve/sell food? I'd be happy with some heated pupu's from Trader Joe's if I could get them down my gullet quickly between drinks!

We did love the outdoor entertainment and vendors by the pool! Ah, those clear nights in Southern Cal!

Also, did not appreciate the $2.50 charged by hotel for a half pint bottled water at the outside bar. Yikes!

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Travellin' Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 05, 2004
Posts: 227
From: Vancouver, Canada
Posted: 2007-08-22 4:53 pm   Permalink

WOW! What an event this year. Felt like Palm Springs only bigger!

We ate at the Islands a bunch of times and found the service excellent, although things took a lot longer when they were super busy. It was obvious they weren't quite staffed for the capacity they were serving, but I found everyone polite, helpful and friendly. That goes for the rest of the hotel staff too, with maybe one exception in the five days I was there. Rock on Oasis!


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Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 18, 2007
Posts: 26
Posted: 2007-08-28 6:33 pm   Permalink

We had a great time! Our first Tiki Oasis! Already looking forward to next year!

The hotel and the hotel grounds were wonderful! We had a great time wandering around on Thursday afternoon, just checking out of the decor.

The front desk staff was great. The young man helping us made every effort to grant our special request and we ended up with a room with a fantastic view of the stage!

Islands was not so great. We too had to wait quite a while to get some pretty bad food for lunch one day. Neither of us was up to going elsewhere to eat at night, so we asked the front desk to recommend a local pizza joint that delivered and ordered out pizza the next two nights. It arrived quickly and was great!

Our thanks goes out to Otto and everyone else involved in planning and running Tiki Oasis. We will definitely be back!

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Tiki Fink
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 21, 2006
Posts: 392
From: Denver, CO
Posted: 2007-08-29 6:39 pm   Permalink

Thanks Otto! TO7 was truly great! I continue to daydream about it.

I used to be a Hotel Chef here in Denver and I am familiar with the corporate requirements that are put in place with regard to labor. All too often a hotel will come up short in the food and bev department when such a large group happens along. For this reason, I avoided the dining room so as not to be stuck waiting for my food or my check. My suggestion to fix this is to extend the operating hours and possibly the menu of the outdoor grill! This was a perfect alternative to expensive poolside or room service.

T. F.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 21, 2003
Posts: 979
From: Like Oh My Gawd..San Fernando Valley
Posted: 2007-08-29 10:11 pm   Permalink

The front desk, housekeeping, and room service were all stellar. We ordered breakfast and got it within 20 minutes. We ate at the sushi bar 3 times. The service was a little slow, but the sushi was good so it made up for it. Getting a fill-up on water or a drink was kind of tricky. I think they needed a 3rd person, just to bust tables and to serve drinks in that area.

I found the bed very comfortable, but what's with all the pillows. Man, talk about overkill.

My only complaint is the $10 a day parking fee, even if you're staying there -- that's kind of a bummer, they should just include it with the price of the hotel.

I managed to get a picture of the old parking lot sign before I left.

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Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2006
Posts: 6161
From: Sun City Lincoln Hills (NorCal)
Posted: 2007-09-01 10:09 am   Permalink

Good catch Cheeky!!!

Well, all-in-all, looks like the black marks go to the Islands for poor service due to being extremely understaffed. I also would have liked to have had some kind of a Polynesian dinner but the menu was pretty generic.

Hope it is a go for next year at the Hanalei (not the Crowne), I am looking forward to staying there and hosting for the room crawl, and hopefully the hotel will up the staff to provide decent service for everything.
"Oh waiter, another cocktail please!!!"

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