Originally built in 1953 as a meager 40-room roadside lodge, Town and Country is now a bustling, full-service resort with a nostalgic and playful celebration of its mid-century roots.
It is located 5 miles from the San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park.
The Tiki Hut (aka Tiki Pavilion, Tiki Room) is an event space built on the grounds. The octagonal shake-covered building was designed by Hendrick and Mock (also designers of the Islands Restaurant and Hanalei Hotel -- at the site of the current San Diego Crowne Plaza) as part of a 1962 expansion project that brought 80 more rooms to the hotel complex. The pavilion was topped with a William Westenhaver Witco Mainlander carving named “Riki Tiki.”
On special occasions, Tiki torch flames or fireworks would be set off from his head. Riki caught fire a couple of times even though he was protected from the flames via a sheetmetal dulì (Chinese farmer’s hat).
San Diego Fire Department officials soon put a stop to that, and Riki Tiki was relocated to good ol’ terra firma. The pavilion and Riki Tiki have survived under various names to this day.
Starting in 2021, the Town and Country became host to the growing Tiki Oasis event, previously hosted at the Palm Springs Caliente Tropics (2001-2005), then at the San Diego Crowne Plaza (2006-2019), and briefly at San Diego's Paradise Point (2020).