In the 1950s Hawaii was a newly discovered mecca for rank-and-file tourists seeking a place in the sun for their vacation. Economy airfares put the Hawaiian Islands within reach of the middle class and visitors increasingly chose Honolulu over Miami Beach.
To counteract this shift in tourist dollars, some Miami Beach hotel operators attempted to give their guests a touch of Hawaii by renaming their properties and adding Hawaiian themed floor shows and luaus.
The Waikiki Resort Motel was located at 18801 Collins Avenue in Sunny Isles. The 60-room Waikiki was designed by architect William Friedman and built in 1953. It initially cost $24,000 to build, but after two additional buildings were added the Waikiki grew to 342 rooms and had a beautiful 300-foot beach front.