classic

The Polynesian Room

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Bar
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1489 East Hastings St
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Opened in 1955
(604) 253-7141

Critiki ratings

The Polynesian Room

7

Overall

by 15 people

1

10

Detail
Everyone You
Decor 9.1
Drink Quality 4.9
Drink Selection 5.7
Mood 8
Music 3.8
Service 7.2
Tikiness 7.9
Tilt 9.2
Vibe 6.8

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Humuhumu’s description

The Polynesian Room is located in the Waldorf Hotel. For much of the '90s and '00s, it was available only as a rental hall for private events. The Waldorf came under new ownership in late 2010, and the new owners have re-emphasized the Polynesian Pop angle. The Polynesian Room was renovated and restored, and a new era-appropriate analog sound system was installed. It reopened to the public in early November 2010.
It is made up of three rooms, the Polynesian Room, Tahitian Lounge, and Menehune Room. The Polynesian Room has a large collection of black velvet paintings by Edgar Leeteg, collected by one of the original owners of the hotel, Bob Mills.

Comments

CWGross
CWGross has visited The Polynesian Room.
July 6, 2018, 9:02 PM
I wish I didn't have to give a poor review of such a classic establishment as The Waldorf, and to be fair I should separate the hotel from the bars. My wife and I recently visited Vancouver for three nights, and on the strength of its history (and the affordability of its rooms) we decided to stay at the Hotel at the Waldorf. One evening we ventured into its Tiki Bar for their ostensible Tiki night.

The venue itself is really nice... The building has some classic mid-century architecture that is worth checking out. They owners did well with adding a tasteful Tiki vibe to the lobby and main restaurant. That restaurant, Nona's Table, serves a great breakfast as well. Tiki flavour doesn't carry up to the second floor, however. The theme transitions to deep maroon carpets and large framed photos of New York. The rooms may vary, but ours had no discernible Tiki theme.

The hotel's location is nicely centralized, but in a sketchier part of town. Lying between The Waldorf and downtown Vancouver is East Hastings, the city's skid row. The hotel is on the edge of that, so its not awful but you do want to make sure your car is cleared out of anything that could entice window-breakers. A screw that embedded itself in our rental car's tire may or may not have come from The Waldorf's parking lot.

We didn't get to see the basement bars, but the lady at the front desk did let us view the main Tiki Bar in the morning with the house lights up. Later on we went in to see the Tiki night, which is also karaoke. the place was dead and the karaoke killed any struggling ambiance. We didn't try the drinks. Our visit lasted all of six minutes before we went back upstairs to our room. It may have been unfair to The Waldorf that we checked it out after just spending a few hours at the Shameful Tiki Room... I don't think going a different night would have made it any better, but going that night certainly made it look worse.

What The Waldorf really needs is someone who appreciates the potential of the space. It really is a lovely, historic building with incredible vintage Tiki decor. Someone just needs to capitalize on it properly.

galtiki
galtiki has visited The Polynesian Room.
April 6, 2017, 3:34 PM
a few notes:
The original Leetegs are were sold off/replaced by prints some time ago.
There is a bit of a Miami Vice/dive bar vibe, and the music will turn to a bit of a club later, but stopping in early enough I found the staff really genuine and sincere — without pretense or snobbery, so what I like.
There are more rooms beneath the main one, these used for private bookings. Decor is decent, and would be great to host a proper Tiki-inspired private gathering in… on a quieter night perhaps, in order to avoid the regular revelry upstairs. (music conflict.)
December 27, 2016, 8:43 PM
If there is any Tiki bar that should get honorable mention, it should be the Waldorf Hotel in Vancouver, BC. The place is essentially a dance club. I can assure you, electronic dance music will be pumping out of the speakers—not Martin Denny. When I visited the Waldorf, I didn’t even have a drink. In fact, I don’t know if they even serve any Tiki cocktails at all. But the place has history. It's been around since the 40's! And it looks pretty much the same.

This is my full write up...

http://www.tikiwithray.com/tiki-bar-review-24-waldorf-vancouver-b-c/
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