Arizona Tiki Oasis is coming to Hotel Valley Ho, Scottsdale

It’s fairly clear the previous few years have had an opposed affect on the hospitality trade. From social distancing to obligatory face masks to stay-at-home orders, the pandemic was a viral moist blanket to anybody eager to have a selected form of social enjoyable of their neighborhood.

Thankfully 2022 is wanting brighter for lifting that pall and social gatherings are getting a well-deserved renaissance. In that vein, there may not be something extra colourful or exuberant than the Arizona Tiki Oasis, occurring from April 28 by way of May 1 on the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale.

At least that’s the sensation you get whenever you speak to occasion founders, organizers, and married couple Baby Doe and Otto Von Stroheim, who additionally produce the favored sister tiki occasion in San Diego.

“We are bringing the pizzazz and excitement of what we do in San Diego, but allowing people to have more of a curated experience,” Baby Doe says. The pleasure in her voice appears fueled by her devotion to the mission and every part it entails. It’s contagious.

click on to enlarge The outfits are always on point at Arizona Tiki Oasis. - ARIZONA TIKI OASIS

The outfits are at all times on level at Arizona Tiki Oasis.

Arizona Tiki Oasis

The Arizona Tiki Oasis began right here in 2019, however its inception goes again greater than twenty years. The duo started a mutual curiosity in tiki tradition in Palm Springs on the Caliente Tropics Hotel, a midcentury architectural marvel that had misplaced a few of its Polynesian pop. Doe and Von Stroheim got here to its rescue and helped it to change into a tropical paradise.

Then in 2006, practically 140 miles southwest, they set their websites on a San Diego resort with a Polynesian theme, The Town and Country.

“We’re all about architectural preservation of historic tiki bars and midcentury modern architecture,” Otto says. This “Ohana spirit,” as they name it, is what led them to Scottsdale and the Hotel Valley Ho, the place they began the annual Arizona Tiki Oasis.

The Valley Ho was designed by acclaimed architect Edward L. Varney. His design included forged concrete, pure stone, and large home windows. For the time, the resort was innovative. But when it was offered within the ’70s, a lot of its design options had been thought of old-fashioned and lined up by the brand new homeowners.

With the arrival of at the moment’s renewed curiosity in midcentury fashionable structure, the Valley Ho was renovated and reopened in 2005 virtually because it had seemed 50 years prior.

It caught the attention of the Von Stroheims.

“The Hotel Valley Ho had a Trader Vic’s there [at the time], you know,” Otto says, “so that’s what really piqued our interest. We have a strong relationship with Trader Vic’s. And you know, we wanted to do something back then but we weren’t able to do it. We weren’t able to have the resources to do it.” (Trader Vic’s closed 5 years after the rework.)

More than a decade later, not solely have they got the expertise to prepare a big occasion they had been lastly in a position to create Arizona Tiki Oasis on the Hotel Valley Ho. People dwelling the tiki life can come dressed of their favourite flowered wiggle attire and guayabera shirts, sipping tropical drinks poolside amid tall tikis and picket masks. Cocktails are part of the costume, with garnishes starting from brightly coloured orchid clippings to recent fruit slices. It’s an enormous social affair with fairly a following.

“This one in Arizona is a slightly different concept,” Baby Doe says. “It’s a slightly smaller scale event [than the San Diego event]. We want folks at Arizona Tiki Oasis to have plenty of time to have a conversation or learn something new. At one of our seminars, you get to be part of what we call the ‘Ohana Spirit’ of the event, which is people being together. So we really kind of make that event about opportunities for people to connect a little bit more than say, like, a larger-scale event.”

At one level in the course of the weekend, there’s going to be a caftan and cabana swimsuit strut. Baby Doe describes a cabana swimsuit as “matching short-shorts and Hawaiian shirts.” She provides, “It’s very popular in the tiki.”

click on to enlarge Cocktail culture is a huge part of Arizona Tiki Oasis. - ARIZONA TIKI OASIS

Cocktail tradition is a large a part of Arizona Tiki Oasis.

Arizona Tiki Oasis

This all would possibly sound a bit kitschy to some, and in case you had been dwelling within the ’80s you wouldn’t be alone. Tiki tradition fell out of vogue in that decade and have become virtually a joke. Hawaiian shirts had been virtually offensive as vogue statements and had been the bastion of island vacationers and informal golfers.

Still, if one thing falls out of vogue, simply wait about 20 seasons and it will be again in model as soon as once more. However, it’s uncommon for vogue tendencies to even have architectural ties. Otto appears at tiki tradition as extra than simply tropical pret-a-porter. Its midcentury roots got here at a time when American artists had visions past what was conventional and new generations had been taking discover. Future generations would come to understand their creativity.

“Tiki is very, very egalitarian,” Otto says. “I think the tiki culture permeated every aspect of America and every rung on the ladder of life; it was open to everybody, and I think that’s what’s appealing to it now. It’s not divisive. It’s not confrontational. There’s no competition.”

Still, the tiki tradition has been accused of appropriating the Polynesian ethos. The Von Stroheims are conscious of that criticism and even handle it on their occasion web site.

“Tiki is this Americanized version of Polynesia, right? So, you know, we think of maybe like ticky-tacky 1950s barbecues and wearing your Hawaii shirt and eating pu pu platters,” Baby Doe says. “But there is a deep historical past of Polynesia. And so we would like individuals to comprehend that. We need to be respectful of different individuals and that this is their tradition that tiki is constructed on, and simply to concentrate on that and to make choices which might be considerate round what you put on.

“I think that is important for us that we put that statement out there so that people can make the best, most informed decisions of how they can celebrate this fun party without offending anybody.”

“We’re doing a seminar called ‘Conscious Tropical,’ which is presented by Be for Change,” adds Baby Doe, “which is an organization that is basically all about conversations. You know, ‘Let’s talk about the history. What is it? What’s the history from the past? Where are we at now? How do we move forward?’”

click on to enlarge Hanging by the pool at Hotel Valley Ho during Arizona Tiki Oasis 2021. - ARIZONA TIKI OASIS

Hanging by the pool at Hotel Valley Ho throughout Arizona Tiki Oasis 2021.

Arizona Tiki Oasis

Arizona Tiki Oasis is shifting ahead, and this yr’s occasion is including just a few issues corresponding to a cigar and whiskey pairing. Renowned style artists John Mulder and Hector Guerrero will probably be in attendance. Celebrated mixologists like Adam Rains from The Golden Tiki, Las Vegas; Chris Coy from the Inferno Room; and Just Abby from Australia are serving up cocktails. Kyla Hein, the winner of 2019’s bartender battle, will make particular punches and totally different drinks over the weekend.

Whether you suppose tiki is just a few kitschy slice of Americana design, otherwise you’re all-in for its comic-book coloured tropical immersion, Arizona Tiki Oasis has one thing for everybody. And that appears to be what the tradition is all about. At least that’s what the Von Stroheims are serving past the luau.

“Everybody’s friends in a tiki bar,” says Otto, “and I think that’s what’s appealing about these tiki events is when you go, you just start meeting people, and then you come back the next year and it’s like a high school reunion or a family reunion where you know you’re going to see your friends again.”

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