Hawaiian Gardens Resort

Holly, MI
Bar, Hotel/Motel & Restaurant
I want to go!
Plan your visit:
Get there
I have been!
Report back to Critiki:
Add Pics
4501 Grange Hall Road
Holly, MI
Opened in the late '50s-early '60s
No longer in operation.

Critiki ratings

Hawaiian Gardens Resort



by 1 person



Everyone You
Former Glory 9

Humuhumu’s description

Hawaiian Gardens Resort was a large complex on the shores of Oahu Lake in Holly, Michigan. It was created by Fred and Jane Barton, who were inspired by their travels to Hawaii and New Zealand. Both Hawaiian and Maori imagery were used throughout the resort.
The resort had some dramatic and very modern shapes, including a geodesic dome and irregular angles, plus some A-frame structures. The entrance featured a stylized outrigger canoe full of rowers, and a large Barney West-style moai on top. The architect was James H. Livingston Associates.
Aside from hotel rooms, the complex had several restaurants and lounges. The Huki Lau Restaurant "tried to capture the true effect of Polynesia," per the restaurant's menu. The Polynesian Longhouse had full table service and advertised "individually cooked" meals. The Kahili Room served buffet-style food inside the geodesic dome and was available for private rentals. Waitoma Grotto Lounge had rock walls, and "glow worms" in the ceiling, inspired by a visit to an actual glow worm infested grotto cave in New Zealand. The Banyan Court had lots of tropical plants, and windows overlooking Lake Oahu. The Banyan Court itself contained three sub-rooms: the Tahitian Room, Samoan Room, and Hawaiian Room, plus the Monu Chief House, with a 50-foot high skylight.
At some point the resort closed, and the buildings were used as a rehab facility. The buildings were bulldozed sometime in the mid-2000s.
There is a "Hawaiian Gardens" mobile home park on the other side of Lake Oahu, with Hawaiian street names. It is unclear what relationship existed, if any, with the former resort.


April 17, 2021, 11:15 AM
Fred Barton was my maternal grandfather. I visited the Hawaiian Gardens as a kid when I spent the summer with my aunt in Holly. Grandpa Fred was a flamboyant, energetic businessman, and Hawaiian Gardens was right in character for him. Here is some video footage of the restaurant narrated by Mr. Barton: https://youtu.be/I4UFaDKP-HU.
July 20, 2012, 12:27 PM
This was a place of legends. My father and his brothers, all in the Navy during WWII, loved this place. I grew up hearing the stories of Hawaiian Gardens whenever they got together. It always began, "Remember that night at Hawaiian Gardens?" My mom would roll her eyes, my aunts would blush, and one of my uncles would start doing the hula.