Hawaiian Gardens Resort
Bar, Hotel/Motel & Restaurant
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Opened in the late '50s-early '60s
Defunct tiki not included,
distances are as the crow flies.
Jumbo postcard from Hawaiian Gardens Resort in Holly
date unknown, from the collection of Dustycajun
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Hawaiian Gardens Resort was a large complex on the shores of Oahu Lake in Holly, Michigan. It was created by Fred and Jane Barton, who were inspired by their travels to Hawaii and New Zealand. Both Hawaiian and Maori imagery were used throughout the resort.
The resort had some dramatic and very modern shapes, including a geodesic dome and irregular angles, plus some A-frame structures. The entrance featured a stylized outrigger canoe full of rowers, and a large Barney West-style moai on top. The architect was James H. Livingston Associates.
Aside from hotel rooms, the complex had several restaurants and lounges. The Huki Lau Restaurant "tried to capture the true effect of Polynesia," per the restaurant's menu. The Polynesian Longhouse had full table service and advertised "individually cooked" meals. The Kahili Room served buffet-style food inside the geodesic dome and was available for private rentals. Waitoma Grotto Lounge had rock walls, and "glow worms" in the ceiling, inspired by a visit to an actual glow worm infested grotto cave in New Zealand. The Banyan Court had lots of tropical plants, and windows overlooking Lake Oahu. The Banyan Court itself contained three sub-rooms: the Tahitian Room, Samoan Room, and Hawaiian Room, plus the Monu Chief House, with a 50-story high skylight.
At some point the resort closed, and the buildings were used as a rehab facility. The buildings were bulldozed sometime in the mid-2000s.
There is a "Hawaiian Gardens" mobile home park on the other side of Lake Oahu, with Hawaiian street names. It is unclear what relationship existed, if any, with the former resort.