Tiki to the Max at Mahiki
February 23, 2011
LONDON, UK – Dreary winter days seemingly without end can definitely have a girl longing for a tropical beach, even while on holiday in London. The other night, I realized the closest I’d get to the tropics was imbibing a sultry cocktail and, as such, decided that something Polynesian was definitely in order. I considered going to Trader Vic’s, which always delivers mighty tasty Mai Tais. But along with my frothy drink, I hoped for an even frothier dance floor and so settled on hotspot Mahiki.
Mahiki is a little like Trader Vic’s but on Polynesian steroids. The drinks, the decor — everything is Tiki carried to the nth degree. Enormous piña coladas are served in whole frozen pineapples. The Mahiki Treasure Chest is Mahiki grog topped with a bottle of champagne served in an actual chest that serves eight. The mulit-level space looks not unlike an exploded coconut, with bamboo and Tiki kitsch everywhere. Even the tabloid-worthiness of the clientele is larger than life: not just celebs like Paris Hilton and Scarlett Johansson but royalty like Prince William. Yet there’s no velvet rope and no attitude — the royals party like the rest of us.
A couple girlfriends and I started out the evening upstairs in the Lanai Lounge, where a Coconut Grenade (Appleton VX and Koko Kanu coconut rum, passion fruit, and lime), served in a whole frozen coconut, scratched my tropical itch. There are hookahs up there, which we passed on but which give the space an incredibly chill vibe. Once we were relaxed and properly lubricated, it was time to hit the dance floor.
We made our way down to the Aloha party room where the DJ was serving up Euro-pop tunes. The crowd was primarily 20-/30-somethings (though Prince William nor Prince Harry was nowhere to be found). And let me tell you — things got good and tropical down there. With so many bodies on the too-small dance floor, it felt humid enough to rival a hot afternoon in Tahiti. (Given that everything else is so oversized at Mahiki, it wouldn’t kill them to expand the dance floor a little!) Still, shaking my tail while sweating coconut rum was indeed a glorious antidote to the London winter gloom.
Read more about Mahiki in our London Guide. Or, check out our full-form mobile travel guide, The Purple Passport to London.
RL contributed to this post.