I grew up a half mile from Dinah’s Hotel in Palo Alto but have never stayed or eaten on the hotel property. There was a Trader Vic’s adjacent to the hotel from 2001-2012 that I visited several times but during these years I was not a tiki bar regular. The Vic’s was owned by Dinah’s hotel owner as a franchise, and fit in well with the oceanic art that is pervasive on the grounds at Dinah’s. There’s even a remnant from Trader Vic himself (see photo, bottom left).
There’s a “Trader Vic’s Mai Tai” on the menu at Dinah’s Poolside Restaurant, so I decided to check it out over lunch. “Rum, dark rum, orange curaçao, lime juice” is the description and it does seem like maybe there’s no orgeat. But as Mai Tais go, this one wasn’t too bad. My Wagyu Burger was quite tasty.
The grounds are filled with lush feature, ponds, statues, and artifacts from Papua New Guinea, Polynesia, and Africa. The neon sign was something I remember seeing as we drove by when I was a kid.