Along southern Florida’s Federal Highway (part of U.S. 1), mom and pop hotels seem endless. Unfortunately, if one does not have reservations the week between Christmas and New Year, one is hard pressed to find a vacancy, particularly at the budget end. I know because I was one of those people looking. Fortunately, after an Internet search on two different cell phones while waiting to see Les Miserables at The Classic Gateway, a wonderful independent movie theater in Ft. Lauderdale, we (my husband, daughter and I) came across Tiki Hut Motel in Boynton Beach.
The Tiki Hut’s management’s policy to not make same day reservations over the phone worked in our favor. We rolled into the parking lot just before midnight to find one room left– one of the two with a king-sized bed. Since we had an Aerobed with us, this was perfect, particularly when the price was $66. The few available rooms around Ft. Lauderdale were above $200.
The manager, happy to be able to turn over the “Vacancy” sign and call it a day, gave us extra bedding for the Aerobed, extra towels and directions to the close by Dunkin’ Donuts.
Although the motel does not serve breakfast, all rooms do include a refrigerator and microwave so making breakfast is an option. However, I recommend doing what we did. We headed a few miles south to Ellie’s 50’s Diner in Delray Beach. The diner serves up an extensive menu of American classics where items are named after songs and the waitresses wear poodle skirts.
Along with its budget price, and accessibility to other towns that edge southern Florida’s east coast, we liked the Tiki Hut for its funky uniqueness. The motel’s fifteen rooms, all clean and comfortable, that range from efficiencies with kitchens and queen-sized beds to rooms with one king, are decorated to have their own appeal.
Palm trees, an elephant, a woman climbing a mountain, marine life and parrots are just a part of the mix that is added to each year as the management gets new ideas.
After our first night, we were given the option to move to a room with two queens or the efficiency room with the kitchen for $10 more but we chose to stay where we were. Although the other rooms were terrific in their own way, we were fond of ours. Plus, we were gone most of the day exploring the area so the extra elbow room wasn’t needed.
If you do decide the Tiki Hut is for you, do make reservations ahead of time. As I was told by the management, a husband and wife team who are friendly and accommodating, many guests return year after year and stay for several days at a time.
The motel also has free WiFi, HBO and Showtime. Also, the beach is within walking distance if you don’t mind a 5 to 10 minutes walk.
911 South Federal Highway
Boynton Beach, Florida 33435
561-732-9283 Ext. 0.
For reservations page, click here.
Photos courtesy of Jamie Rhein. (The last photo is courtesy of Tiki Hut Motel)