Tropics Motel

While in Modesto, we stayed at the Tropics Motel. The Tropics Motel was one of five beautiful Polynesian-themed motels that were once all owned by Ken Kimes. It had sister motels in Blythe, Indio, Rosemead and the most elaborate of the chain which is now called Caliente Tropics Resort in Palm Springs. Most of these motels had an adjacent Sambo’s. The Tropics Motel of Modesto has been taken over as a Rodeway Inn , but luckily the four large tikis by Ed Crissman remain on the property.

Original postcard from the Tropics Motel. They recently found a bunch of these in the attic and have them for free in the lobby. We made sure to grab enough for all our tiki living friends.

The Tropics Motel, Tiki Cocktail Lounge and Sambo's in all it's glory!

The motel isn't as grand these days.

The motel manager tries to keep the tiki spirit alive in some ways.

One of the four Ed Crissman tikis still left on the property.

Ken Kimes cute little elfin title can be found in the showers.


Damon @ Let's Tiki said...

What a fun story. Mahalo for sharing!

Alex H said...

Thanks for sharing the description and photos of the old Tropics Motor Hotel in Modesto! We own the house Ken Kimes (builder of that motel) built for himself in 1961, in Santa Ana, CA - so I'm always interested in discovering more about his motels. The house he built is like a mini Hawaiian resort, with a real Polynesian vibe. There's even a full-size Ed Crissman tiki (about 7' high) still in the backyard! Thanks again for your post! Alex H.


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