Fa'a'ā, French Polynesia
Once the residence of Princess Pomare, daughter of the last King of Tahiti.
Hotel Tahiti was celebrated as the largest hotel in French Polynesia at the time it was built in 1960. The double bungalows provided 18 deluxe suites and two 2-story plantation type buildings, each with 24 veranda suites, provided a total of 66 units on 53 acres bordering a blue lagoon 1 mile from the capital, Papeete. The interior of the original Hotel Tahiti's cocktail lounge bar had many floor-to ceiling tiki poles, a wood canoe hanging from the ceiling, and a thatch roof over the bar with lots of bamboo and other decorations familiar to fans of Mid-Century Poly Pop. This hotel was demolished in 1997.
Some key dates in the property timeline:
May 1960, Inauguration of the Hotel Tahiti, owned by Spencer F. Weaver (of SpenceCliff Corporation, who did so much building in Hawaii especially)
1997, Demolition of Hotel Tahiti
July 1999, Opening of Outrigger Hotel, owned by Mr. and Ms. Wane
2000, Outrigger becomes Sheraton Hotel Tahiti
2009, Sheraton becomes Hilton Tahiti
July 2010, Closing of Hilton Tahiti
November 2021, Grand Opening of Hilton Tahiti Resort
Today, the Hotel Tahiti site is home to a luxury resort, just opened in 2021 by Hilton. Hilton’s extensive renovations have transformed the property, with an emphasis on open-air public spaces, natural light and ocean views. Design details feature light woods, a neutral color palette and a modern take on island-inspired decor. The re-imagined property offers 200 rooms, a boutique spa, the largest pool in Tahiti and three dining venues. Additional new features include cabanas and a poolside restaurant with views of Moorea Island. The hotel has two bars: the Heiva Lounge in the open-air lobby, offering spectacular ocean views and a bespoke collection of wine; and the Vaipuna poolside bar that offers unique, tropical libations as well as traditional cocktails. There are a few tikis on the grounds and some generic mugs used at the bars, but, Hilton, as one would expect, is more interested in offering a luxury resort experience than catering to Mid-Century Poly Pop fans.
No one has visited this tiki bar.