painedplatinum

Bringing Old Marriotts Back to Life

Blog Post created by painedplatinum on Apr 18, 2017

I was recently reading an article that talked about the unknown future for the Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington,.  jerrycoin and erc (along with a few others), tell the story of the Key Bridge being the second Marriott Hotel. The first was Twin Bridges, not far from the Key Bridge, and it's been history for many years.

 

I think, but am not certain, the third Marriott was the Marriott Motor Hotel on City Line Ave. in Bala-Cynwyd, PA. It is across the street from Philadelphia so most folks always knew it as a Philly hotel.

 

The Marriott Motor Hotel, opened in 1961. One of the largest hotels in the United States, the Marriott hosted conventions and meetings year round, bringing visitors from the world over to the Philly area. In 1979, the Marriott was listed as the principal employer in the area, with 1,140 employees. I'm pretty sure I visited this property for the first time in or around 1980.  I had dinner at a famous Tiki Bar on property, The Kona Kai. My research says the restaurant opened in 1967 and closed in 1985. Not too long after, the Marriott also closed. I joined Marriott Rewards in 1994 (officially), but a stay at this historic Marriott Motor Hotel predated 1994, obviously. I just don't recall the exact date. I know it was a business function..the old style business function .. where the booze flowed and people stayed the night. Back then, I knew very little about hotels. I stayed rarely, but I had a handful of early stays that if I can recall enough about the properties, I feel comfortable adding them to my quest for 500 list........

 

The Kona Kai was one of four restaurants in the Philadelphia region’s Tiki scene that were around for the rise and fall of the trend nationally. The earliest to open in the area, Cherry Hill’s Hawaiian Cottage, opened in 1938 and the last to close, Kona Kai did so in 1985. I'm guessing erc, prior to his craft beer and bourbon sipping days, appreciated the exotic Mai Tai. It sure looks good in pictures!!  Back in the day, restaurants at hotels like the Marriott could be "in places". Not so much anymore.

 

I found a few pictures on line of the old place....

 

Please add any old Marriott stories that come to mind OR start a new thread for our reading enjoyment!!!

 

marriott city line.jpg

konakai-postcard-660x412.jpg

Tiki-12.jpg

maitai.jpg

zombiepunch.jpg

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