The Castaways

Bar, Hotel/Motel & Restaurant
On the Ocean at 163rd St.
Miami Beach, Florida, United States
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Opened in 1958
Closed in 1981
Defunct tiki not included,
distances are as the crow flies.
Mai-Kai, Fort Lauderdale 16.8 mi
27.1 km
Hawaiian Gardens, Lauderdale Lakes 17.3 mi
27.9 km
Marco Island Marriott Resort, Marco Island 99.8 mi
160.6 km
The Original Tiki Bar, Fort Pierce 105.9 mi
170.4 km
Mai Tiki Gallery, Cocoa Beach 168.0 mi
270.3 km
ad, 258
menu, 256
photo, 257-258
text, 257-258
Postcard from The Castaways in Miami Beach
date unknown, from the collection of Jessica Russell
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Humuhumu’s description:
The Castaways resort complex was in the Sunny Isles part of North Miami Beach, just a short distance from another hotel/restaurant/bar complex, Hawaiian Isle. It was advertised as being at "the ocean at 163rd," in reality it was on the inland side of a thin land strip, and was just south of 163rd, occupying a small jetty of land. It opened in 1958, and closed in 1981.

The Castaways had just over 300 guest rooms in a series of buildings with Asian-Polynesian peaked roof details. The main attraction was a dramatic structure designed by Charles Foster McKirahan—a square glass building with a pointed, A-frame roof at each corner. The building was up on stilts, and each of the four corners held a different establishment: the Wreck Bar, the Tahitian Cocktail Lounge (featuring mixologist "Stanley the Entertainer"), the Shinto Temple Room, and possibly a coffee shop or indoor swimming pool. The Beatles reportedly stayed at The Castaways, and an ad in the 1969 AAA travel guide promoted nude sunbathing on site.

The jetty of land that used to hold The Castaways is now the site of two tall condominium towers.

There are 14 comments.
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January 21, 2010, 7:16 PM
I had stayed at the Castaway's a number of times in the early to mid '70's. The hotel actually had property on both sides of Collins avenue. I always stayed on the ocean side. The large pool was on the ocean side. I don't recall any indoor pool. A brochure I have states the hotel had 540 rooms. In addition to the Wreck Bar there was also the Ginza Bar. Besides additional accomodations, there was a large parking lot and sportfishing enterprise on the inland side.

May 30, 2010, 6:07 AM
My wife and I stayed at the Castaways in Dec 1969. She was pregnant with our son, this was the first long trip we made together. There was a parrot in the dining room who kept saying, Seymour Schwartz is here. I asked the server who he was. She said he stayed there a lot and got the bird to say his name, very cute.

June 6, 2010, 2:40 PM
We stayed at the Castaways when I was about 12 or 13 years of age. My family went there during Christmas Vacation. There were two pools. One salt water the other regular and larger. Everybody used the regular pool. One day I was frightened out of my wits when I saw a huge spider on the wall outside my room. I sent my dad to look at it, but it was gone by then. Apart from that, my stay at the Castaways was memorable.Yes, I remember the parrot. But I never heard him talk,

July 13, 2010, 11:58 AM
My Grandfather worked at the Castaways from the time it opened until it closed in 1981. I have fond memories of visiting him at work there, the annual Easter Egg hunt, mooning the Wreck Bar patrons through the pool portholes and, as a teenager, sneaking my favorite drink- the Pineapple Bomb- from hotel guests!!!!
I also remember the parrot and since my grandfather's last name was Swartz (original family name was Schwartz) we always suspected that he had a hand in teaching that parrot. They also had a Minah bird that would greet people with the phrase "Hello Joe"; apparently in reference to Joe Hart who owned the hotel. This was a nice trip down memory lane. Thanks for including this magical place from my childhood on this site!!!

September 8, 2010, 9:51 AM
WOW! I loved this place as a kid. Just a wonderful place to stay. My parents would take me into the Wreck bar and I was amazed at the portholes that looked into the pool. A real wonderland that everyone seemed to enjoy. It was a very special place. Loved the parrot! And the big chinese junk in the lagoon. And walking over little bridge full of money going to dinner. Jimi Hendrix jammed in the Wreck Bar one time I heard. This resort was on both sides of the highway for sure.This place was one of the greatest fun spots in America during it's day. Really sad that all that's gone. Wish I would have saved a swizzle stick from the Wreck Bar!!!!!Damn. Did get to make it there for a few hours in 1972 while at the democratic convention. Again I loved that place.

October 23, 2010, 12:02 PM
Between the ages of 5 and 12 we would get in the car and in 24 hours we were in Miami at " THE CASTAWAYS".
All first memories are flooding back, sunburn, solarcane"OUCH" the kids pool and the HUGE ANT , falling off the Hammock,catching Barracudas and els, realizing Santa wasn't real. Oy !!!!!!!!!!!!

November 30, 2010, 10:09 AM
Back in the summer of '67 we stayed at the Castaways. We did a lot of deep sea fishing where my mother caught a 7' Sailfish which we had mounted. Mom is gone now, but that was a highlight in her life and I still have the sailfish proudly hanging for all to see. Sad to see the Castaways is gone now....

March 31, 2011, 7:17 AM
FYI I am almost positive that there is footage of The Castaways with tiki torches lit and alive with action in the 1969 movie "Popi" with Rita Moreno. Have not seen it in awhile, but I am sure there is footage of The Castaways and the area surrounding. Would like another Tikiphile to confirm this if possible.

November 3, 2011, 10:06 AM
My hubby and I spent our honeymoon at the Castaways in 1972. DIdn't realize when we booked it that it was during Easter week. Alot of college kids which was ok since we were only 20 & 21 ourselves. Actually met someone we went to grammar school with & someone my husband worked with both of whom were staying there. Remember crossing Collins Ave. to go to the restaurant. Got drunk. Husband missed out that night! Were actually talking about going to Florida to celebrate our 40th and going to DIsneyworld which we went to back then, there wasn't much there since it was only opened around 5 months. Mention to my husband about seeing if the Castaways was still around. He was right in saying that it probably closed years ago. Many fond memories.

February 29, 2012, 4:30 PM
My Grandfather was one of the original investors in this property and my family was given rooms every Christmas vacation from the late 50s through the middle 1960s. I have lots of great memories from deep sea fishing, learning to water ski in Biscayne Bay, playing pinball in the arcade for hours on end, swimming in the fresh and salt water pools and great food. I remember the great food in the Shinto Temple dining room where I discovered Texas french toast, ham steaks and spring chicken dinner. New Years Eves were spectacular with live entertainment in the Shinto and the beach was a wonderful hang-out day and night. I also remember an outdoor play area on the corner off of the property that had in-ground trampolines and a pinball arcade. Does anyone remember Joe Hart, I remember referring to him as Uncle Joe but honestly don't know if he was a relative. My Grandparent's last name was Schwartz.

March 8, 2012, 4:53 PM
My brother, David Gardiner, was a lifeguard at Castaways Miami in the late '70's. Visited him there. Remember a lot of pretty girls at the pool...staring at my brother. :)

May 15, 2012, 12:41 AM
I've been going to Florida at least yearly since I was born in the late 50's. We used to stay in Sunny Isles from the 50's to the 70's... My parents moved down there in the late 90's.. so since then my experience of Florida has been staying at Hilton Garden Inns and Hampton Inns... corporate, efficient...but anonymous.

For whatever reason, the Castaways popped into my head tonight and I Googled the property and went into shock at what was left of Sunny Isles - nothing. I guess they should call it Sunny Aisles... block after block of characterless behemoths...totally overbuilt..

South Beach was saved cause time passed it by.. but not this area - I remember it in the late 60s, there was a clothing shop near the castaways where my brother used to shop, tight leather jackets, bell bottom jeans... Traffic moving slowly up A1A, convertibles, guys and girls in cars and on the streets, families filling the restaurants, and all the flashing lights of the motels..

We ate at the Castaways one night and my parents let me wander the place, I was about 12 years old - it was a wonderland! All lit up and amazing.. endless nooks and crannies and hidden away places..

The strip is just characterless now... I would imagine at some future date some sort of resort being created somewhere, inspired by the faded color postcards which are all that is left of the magic of the strip...

June 24, 2012, 6:08 PM
Thank you for sharing. But, the Castaways dates back to at least 1955. My parents spent their honeymoon at the Castaways. They were married on September 11, 1955 and their wedding was at a catering hall called Lincoln Manner. Located at Lincoln Road and the Ocean. It's long since been torn down. And, when I was an infant we stayed at the Castaways. I was born August of 1956. I believe we stayed there in July of 1957. My grandparents lived in Miami Beach way back in the day. And, I'm sure my parents stayed on the Ocean side. The Ocean block buildings were actually the original buildings and across the street came later. My sister, cousin and myself checked out the Wreck Bar in June of 1980. We walked around the Castaways and sadly it looked very rundown on the inside and the place was dead. This was right before the rebirth of Miami Beach. I had a feeling back then the Castaway's days were numbered. Sure enough the Castaways closed in 1981. As others have mentioned Motel Row on Sunny Isles is no more. Only a handful of the classic hotels and motels are still open. Even the Rascal House ceased operations back in 2008. Now, Sunny Isles is the home of 50 story condominiums and hotels that if you have to ask the price you can't afford it. Sad that "Motel Row" was a victim of progress. Sunny Isles changed their zoning which changed the face of Collins Avenue above 163 rd. Street for good.

August 4, 2012, 11:07 AM
I worked in the castaways in 1968 in the shinta room i remember that bird cursing at you when you went into the bar ( what the hell are you drinking tonight schotch and soda etc ) And the bartender balancing i dont know how many trays with drinks on his head with drinks bet he has a bad neck now and working with Peter rabbit wonder if hes still kicking ?? i have a couple pictures ill put on tonight

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