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Tiki Central Forums » » Locating Tiki » » Hotel Taharaa, Papeete, Tahiti (hotel)
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Hotel Taharaa, Papeete, Tahiti (hotel)
Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4275
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2010-06-23 9:13 pm   Permalink

Name:Hotel Taharaa
Type:hotel
Street:
City:Papeete
State:
Zip:
country:Tahiti
Phone:
Status:defunct

Description:


I first learned about the Hotel Taharaa reading the Book of Tiki. The hotel was perched atop a hill above Moorea Bay outside of Papeete in Tahiti. The hotel had a majestic A frame, but the real Tiki connection occurred when Ed Crissman from Oceanic Arts carved a giant Tiki for the hotel.

I purchased a postcard recently showing the A-Frame structure on top of the hill.





Did some research and found some more images.

Another shot of the hotel.




A luggage sticker



Another view in a brochure



And, THE TIKI (photo from Armchair Travelling)



Here is the article about Ed Crissman and the photo from BOT.




The hotel is gone now.

DC



 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11141
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2010-06-24 10:56 pm   Permalink

...and then there is the photo on page 94 of Tiki Modern of that woman posing with the Ed Crissman giant. I found that pic at her estate sale. And also this one...that lady was one swinging gal:


We need more Wahines to dress like that at Tiki events!

Now here is a nice painting by my friend Moritz R. that was inspired by the Tahara'a:



DC, are you sure it is completely gone now? Because for years it stood closed up and deserted, DVD director Jochen got to sneak into the complex and shoot it for his documentary, I'm so jealous! That place, together with the Coco Palms
http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=29331&forum=2
and the Rainmaker Hotel in Pago Pago
http://www.american.samoa-hotels.com/rainmaker-hotel/Index.html
was on the top of my "Forgotten Tiki temples in the South Seas" list.

All three, Coco Palms (1956), the Rainmaker (1966) and the Tahara'a (1969) were built by Pete Wimberly's firm, the architect who build Canlis and the Waikikian/Tahitian Lanai.


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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4275
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2010-06-24 11:25 pm   Permalink

Wowza, that's one exotic dame. Missed that pic in Tiki Modern.

Bigbro, you are right, the Taharaa buildings and Tiki still stand with no hotel operating, rotting in time like the Coco Palms. I read that there was an attempt at condos at one point.

I found some more current photos on Fickr.

















Somebody's got to save that Tiki.

DC


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11141
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2010-06-24 11:29 pm   Permalink

Well...what are we waiting for, let's go and sail to Tahiti!

 
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Zeta
Grand Member (2 years)  

Joined: Feb 13, 2007
Posts: 2049
From: Atlantis/Basque Country/Spain/Mexico
Posted: 2010-06-24 11:40 pm   Permalink

So cool... So mysterious... I bet there's some tropical ghosts holding ectoplasmic Mai-tais in there... Mr. Dusty, the grass on the pictures you posted look like was recently cut. I guess those pictures where taken to show and try to sale the place... I would love to see come pictures of the place unkept and with some wild vegetation taking over. So so cool...
_________________
ˇViva Tiki! Ambassador of Tiki in Mexico. Zeta is specialized in the research, study and preservation of Tiki culture in Latin countries.


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4275
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2010-06-27 3:45 pm   Permalink

Zeta,

The flickr credits on the photos indicate they were taken in 2009, so they are fairly current.

Bigbro,

You indicated that the hotel was designed by the famous Architect Peter Wimbly. I found some additional info on the architect Neal Prince who is credited with designing the interiors of all of the Inter-continental Hotels during this period using local materials and cultures.

I wonder if he ordered the Tiki from OA?


In January 1961, Mr. Prince was hired to work full time as the Director of Interior Design Division in the Pan-Am Development Department with the intention, at least in developing countries, that Inter-Continental Hotel would produce its International Hotels' Interior Designs "in-house" and be reimbursed at cost under the TSA's. Mr. Prince shortly engaged Kenneth Smith, an International Interior Designer from the Walter M. Ballard Firm, and Charles R. Alvey, a famous specialist in Graphics and Industrial Design. Mr. Prince's concepts and ideas were the forefront of its time, after designing and opening as many as 154 International Inter-Continental Hotels from 1961-1985, Mr. Prince gained the deepest respect on the International Interior Design level. Mr. Prince is a person who uses function with ethnic style which mostly are lacking in today’s designs. With his ability to design each new Hotel using local materials and talents, such as the native artists and craftsman, he produced each Hotel with its own National personality and flare but maintained the Corporate highest standards of Inter-Continental Hotel. Mr. Prince gained the respect and acceptance by the local authorities. This in turn avoided any local resistance in building the new Hotels around the world. With the assistance of Charles R. Alvey, Kenneth Smith, James Ray Baker and Richard W. Simpson, Mr. Prince created an industry of International Hotel Designs and personalities that reflected the Country in each property. Inter-Continental Hotels gained much growth and respect throughout the world by those concepts of designs. Still today, his work is unknown on a domestic level, but his concepts and designs are still cherished by all guest, management and the organization of Inter-Continental Hotels Group

Another shot showing the rooms built into the side of the hill overlooking the bay.




DC

[ This Message was edited by: Dustycajun 2010-06-27 15:50 ]


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11141
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2010-06-27 6:48 pm   Permalink

Interesting, good find.

Quote:

On 2010-06-27 15:45, Dustycajun wrote:
Mr. Prince is a person who uses function with ethnic style which mostly are lacking in today’s designs. With his ability to design each new Hotel using local materials and talents, such as the native artists and craftsman, he produced each Hotel with its own National personality and flare but maintained the Corporate highest standards of Inter-Continental Hotel.



Using local materials and talents, and native artists and craftsmen -- like Ed Crissman at Oceanic Arts in Whittier, California? National personality and flair (!) -- like a Maori Tiki in Tahiti?


Another thing worth mentioning is the fact that though the Tahara'a Tiki was certainly the tallest ever carved by O.A., they used its design repeatedly for the Kona Kai chain. Its main characteristic is that it is holding a whale bone war club:





It was initially designed by Irving Weisenberg for the Kona Kai flag ship at the Philadelphia Marriot, but the Chicago Kona Kai at the O'Hare Marriot had two versions in different sizes at its exterior (on the right). One of these resides at Duke Carter's place now, you can see it in Tiki Quest.



Another thing I noticed about the Tahara'a giant is that he seems to have been brought to his knees. Unfortunately the postcard does not show its base...



...but there is one big difference between this photo shot at its inception at O.A. in 1968...



...and the swinger gal photo shot in 1979:


The Tiki was shortened at its knees. Initially, because he was too tall? Or years later, because of wood rot?
I bet Leroy or Bob would know...



[ This Message was edited by: bigbrotiki 2010-06-27 18:58 ]


 
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abstractiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 604
From: Lodi, CA
Posted: 2010-06-27 8:36 pm   Permalink

I am guessing that with the onset of wood rot the tiki became unstable and they were forced to cut off the bottom. Then to make it stable again they pured cement around it to make the new base and hold the tiki in place. The base looks very round and perfect.

 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11141
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2010-06-27 9:22 pm   Permalink

Or they had the wooden base already cemented into the ground, so that the feet were ground level, and then just poured a cement base around the feet up to the knees?

 
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Bail Tekey
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 36
From: West Lawn Park Lot 21 BLK 3
Posted: 2010-06-28 10:23 am   Permalink

Hope this helps!




 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11141
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2010-06-28 10:31 am   Permalink

Thanks, yes. So it was erected in its complete form, and later (as I suggested above) they poured an additional base around it.

 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11141
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2010-06-28 10:55 am   Permalink

Oh man, I wanna go there so badly and photograph this guy and that place!

 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4275
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2010-06-28 11:53 am   Permalink

Bail Tekey,

Thanks for posting that great photo, mystery solved on the disappearing legs.

Bigbro,

Great research as always, thanks for adding to the post. Looks like you need to swing by Tahiti on your next trip abroad.

Here is another postcard showing the incredible location of the hotel on Moorea Bay. It's really bewildering that this property has laid dormant for so long.



DC


 
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Babalu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 19, 2006
Posts: 2505
From: Lemon Grove
Posted: 2010-06-29 07:57 am   Permalink

Wonderful, wonderful place! Thanks for sharing this info guys.

I couldn't help but try to dig around on the Net for more info myself...You all most likely found this already, but it looks like from the discussions I found here:

http://tahitisuntravelstahititalk.yuku.com/topic/846/t/Old-Hotel-Taharaa-in-Papeete.html

That the Hotel contained the following:
"Captain Cook Restaurant, Mahana Terrace ( Polynesian specialties), Discovery Bar, Mahana Bar, La Grotte Snack Bar "

Plus - "There is talk of remodeling it into a senior living complex."

I can't think of a better place to be able to go to gum one's Jello down


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croe67
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 05, 2003
Posts: 1078
From: Land of Cheese & Beer
Posted: 2010-06-29 08:20 am   Permalink

When we were there a couple years ago, I started walking around the trail that leads up to the building to get some pictures, as I was really dying to see this tiki. I made it part way, but then I thought better of it, as I really didn't want to spend the rest of my vacation on a stinky french jail in Tahiti. I wasn't able to get an angle to be able to tell if the tiki was still there, unfortunately......

 
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