FEATURES | MUSIC | BOOKS | DRINKS | FORUMS | GAMES | LINKS | ABOUT


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 » » Polynesian Room, Naniloa Hotel, Hilo, HI (restaurant)
Polynesian Room, Naniloa Hotel, Hilo, HI (restaurant)
Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4351
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-08-06 09:31 am   Permalink

Name:Polynesian Room, Naniloa Hotel
Type:restaurant
Street:
City:Hilo
State:HI
Zip:
country:USA
Phone:
Status:defunct

Description:



The Polynesian Room was a pretty cool looking restaurant and bar located in the Naniloa Hotel in Hilo, Hawaii. I have a few postcards that show the bamboo and tapa-rich interior of the room.





The ceiling lights were an amazing combination of bamboo and fish floats.





With the centerpiece chandelier even described on the back of the postcard.



Some New Caledonia Tikis on the wall.



Here is another photo of the Polynesian Room showing the concave ceiling and the stage area from Arkiva Tropika.



And a menu from the same.



I also picked up this postcard rendering showing the overall hotel grounds.



The matchbook with cool looking volcano.







There was once a large Tiki out in front of the hotel as evidenced in this tourist photo.



Makes you want to jump on a plane and head to Hawaii!

DC



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

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11193
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2011-08-06 11:52 am   Permalink

Here is my photo of that rad chandelier and the great ceiling from several years ago when I was last in Hawaii:




Exactly as described in the postcard caption!

The rest of the room had been stripped and painted white (though they left the Tiki poles)

Examining my photo again, another detail came to my attention (inexplicably not photographed closer at the time!):
The "Outrigger beams" at the end of the dark-painted buffet overhang in the background are actually made with the classic O.A. warclubs:




[ This Message was edited by: bigbrotiki 2011-08-06 14:31 ]


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

Joined: Jan 02, 2004
Posts: 836
From: Port Angeles, Wa
Posted: 2011-08-06 1:53 pm   Permalink

Shame that room has been white washed you'd think that with the revival and the tourist appeal someone would have restored that place. Hawaii had a nice tradition of watercolor rendering of these Polynesian hotels, first with the Naniloa



then the Kauai Surf


and even The Waikikian where it looks like the same artist captured the idyllic surroundings.


I wonder who it was and what else they've done.


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

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11193
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2011-08-14 6:59 pm   Permalink

In the above rendering, the "Polynesian Room" restaurant is barely visible on the left in the back, but on THIS postcard:



...you can see the four hut shaped roofs of its building on the left. I came upon this place years ago, by chance, when I was staying at the Naniloa for a couple of nights to explore Hilo. The main entrance to the hotel lobby is on the RIGHT of the big high rise tower. The lobby felt like there should be some vintage Tiki, but there was none to be found.


The next day I set out to explore the grounds, and I followed my Tiki nose, starting at the pool (on the right)...



...down the meandering path, taking a pleasant stroll along the lava rock beach, until I came upon that building quite unexpectedly. It was deserted and decomissioned, probably kept for events, but looked like it hadn't been used for a while. Heaven knows if it is still standing, and in what condition.

[ This Message was edited by: bigbrotiki 2011-08-15 01:54 ]


 
View Profile of bigbrotiki Send a personal message to bigbrotiki  Goto the website of bigbrotiki     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
hang10tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2010
Posts: 3927
From: Las Vegas
Posted: 2013-04-26 6:55 pm   Permalink

Matchbook I found today












Jon
_________________
Worst sound ever, slurp of an empty tiki mug through my straw!!!


 
View Profile of hang10tiki Send a personal message to hang10tiki      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
kenbo-jitsu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 27, 2011
Posts: 206
From: Southern CA
Posted: 2014-07-21 4:28 pm   Permalink

Quote:
On 2011-08-14 18:59, bigbrotiki wrote:
Heaven knows if it is still standing, and in what condition.


I visited the Island of Hawaii this summer for the first time in my life and, remembering this thread, I made sure to check out the Polynesian Room at the Naniloa Hotel. I was staying at one of the other hotels along Banyan Drive so I just grabbed my camera and walked on over.

First off, since I don't see it anywhere in the thread yet, here is the address:
Naniloa Hotel
93 Banyan Drive
Hilo, HI 96720

In the recent past the hotel has also been called “Hilo Naniloa Hotel” and “Naniloa Volcanoes Resort”. I’m not sure what the official name is right now.

The first thing I learned is that the hotel is the midst of renovations -- while still remaining open and operational. I’ve stayed at hotels in this situation in the past and it’s not ideal. It made me glad I wasn’t staying there.

The Polynesian Room DOES still exist. It is no longer used for dining or events, but rather has now been pressed into service as a job-site construction office for the hotel’s renovation. Cubicles have been set up inside complete with computer equipment, bulletin boards, etc. The front door was open so I walked merrily on in.

There was a single man inside working at one of the desks and he was initially a bit cross seeing me wandering around with my camera. I’m not sure who or what he feared I was but after explaining my interests and intentions his countenance changed considerably and he was content to let me have the run of the place while he returned to his labors. Not wanting to jeopardize this good turn of events, I made sure to keep myself and my camera away from the cubicles.

Here are some of the photos I took:

The Polynesian Room is a separate free-standing, single-story building. It’s connected to the main hotel tower by this covered walkway featuring tiki poles. This is looking back toward the hotel.


This is looking forward toward the Polynesian Room.




A close-up of one of the poles. Perhaps they were not always painted?


The building’s design is pretty neat. The footprint is of four overlapped circles. At the center of each circle the roof rises up dramatically into a cone.


Over the years the wood shingle roof has sprouted its own ecosystem. It reminds me a little of the “Living Roof” at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, but I think the Polynesian Room had it first. Did I forget to mention it sometimes rains in Hilo?

Here is the inside. There are actually two of these big chandeliers, one on each side of the stage, plus many more smaller matching lights scattered about.


Here's the other big one.


In the center of the room is the stage.


The war clubs are still there.




Most of them.


The back of the stage has two large tiki poles. Here is one of them.


There are still some tikis and other details on the walls but, as previously mentioned, everything's been painted over.




The ocean-facing side of the restaurant is entirely window. Tiki places normally avoid windows of course, but if your Polynesian restaurant is;
1) Actually in Polynesia, and
2) Literally feet from the ocean,
then windows work quite well. The Don the Beachcomber restaurant on the other side of the island in Kona is another good example. There are very nice views at both places.




As for the future of the Polynesian Room, I didn’t get a straight answer. The man working in the cubicle seemed hopeful it would return to service as an event space following the hotel renovations. A hotel employee I shot the breeze with seemed equally confident it was going to be torn down.

With some fixing up, the Polynesian Room could still be a pretty neat space. Someone needs to have the will and vision to do it though, and I’m not sure it’s there.

[ This Message was edited by: kenbo-jitsu 2014-07-22 09:38 ]


 
View Profile of kenbo-jitsu Send a personal message to kenbo-jitsu      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4351
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2014-07-21 5:00 pm   Permalink

Kenbo-Jitsu,

Excellent report and photos. Thanks for taking the time to document this place. It could, like the recent Coco Palms fire, be gone in the blink of an eye.

DC


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

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11193
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2014-07-21 6:27 pm   Permalink

Yes, thank you for the update! Glad that it's still all there - but for how much longer? It's a shame that they do not know what they have there.

 
View Profile of bigbrotiki Send a personal message to bigbrotiki  Goto the website of bigbrotiki     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
U-Moderate:
  
v1.5

[ About Tiki Central | Contact Tiki Central | Advertise on Tiki Central ]
(c) 2000-2014 Tikiroom.com (tm), Tiki Central (tm)

Credits & copyright infomation