The Mai Kai. Wow, what a place! For those of you who don’t know, this fine country of ours used to have many “Tiki” palaces in the 50’s and 60’s – an exotic escape from grey conformity of American life. They fell out of fashion and most of them closed in the 70’s and 80’s. In recent years there’s been a Tiki Culture resurgence, but that’s a story for another time.
The Mai Kai in Fort Lauderdale is not only a survivor of the original craze, but it is simply the best tiki location I’ve seen so far. (Click here for some history)
Let’s go on a photo tour, shall we?
Your tour guides, Steve & Joyce.
Joyce and her little friend
This, my friends, is a Tiki.
I didn’t have any good photos of the entrance as the place was packed with people and cars. We had reservations for the 7pm show, so we spent some time enjoying the Molokai Bar, which as you can see, is intended to be the interior of a wooden sailing ship.
Let’s go check out the Mai Kai gardens…
We enter the gardens…
The main dining room – not so easy to take photos. Here’s a little video.
Then… the floor show!
…with some damn fine fire dancing. You’ll have to go and see it for yourself.
In our on-going quest to find unique and interesting places, we stopped to visit the Wreck Bar. What the heck is that, you say? Opened in 1956, the Wreck Bar is designed to make you feel you’ve entered a partially submerged wooden shipwreck. The portholes look out into the hotel pool and if you’re there at the right time, you’ll enjoy the mermaid show!
It’s in the B Ocean Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The hotel building itself is designed to resemble a cruise ship.
Joyce enjoying some Florida weather.
Outside the Wreck Bar
As you can see… the intended effect is to feel you’re entering a wooden sailing ship of the 1700’s era.
Inside… normally the windows behind the bar look out into the pool, but during our visit the pool was under renovation. 🙁
In this video you can see some of the “shipwreck” effects in the bar.