The Tonga Room
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These scores tell you how well-liked a place is in each Tribe. Gogobot Tribes are groups who share a certain travel style, like Family Travelers or History Buffs.
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- 87%Local Culture
- 82%History Buffs
- 74%Nightlife Lovers
- 63%Adventure Travelers
- 63%Family Travelers
- 51%Business Travelers
Member Reviews (26)
- The Tonga RoomMember ofHistory BuffsLocal CultureOutdoor Enthusiasts+ 6Jul 04, 2012
The Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar first opened in 1945 and is named after the South Pacific nation of Tonga. It's apparently still open as the controversy between fans of the Lounge (including preservationists) and hotel management (who have higher profit motives) continues. Here's my take (and based on personal experience of course):
- It's overpriced kitchy fun and worth a special occasion visit.
- This is San Francisco and there's plenty of better kitchy fun out there.
The Tonga Room replaced the Terrace Plunge, an indoor swimming pool that was installed in the Fairmont in 1929. The pool was transformed into the Tonga Room's lagoon. The restaurant was redesigned again in 1967. Some have called the Tonga Room a "historical resource." Citing the Polynesian-themed bar's artificial lagoon, rainstorms, and lava rock, one report said: "The Tonga Room exhibits exceptional importance due to its rarity and as one of the best examples of 'high-style' Tiki bar/restaurant in San Francisco."
- The Tonga RoomFeb 12, 2013
Nestled in the Fairmont Hotel, this is the kind of decadent locale that has survived the rapid decline of Tiki Restaurants as a fad. It's a piece of living history since 1945, especially being in the city that spearheaded the franchise Trader Vic's (there was even one in Portland, OR). The wow factor is that it has a converted Olympic sized pool down the middle of the main room with a band playing on a moving, floating platform. If I remember correctly, there's a glass dance floor suspended over the water too. It's a great place to check out with a couple of friends, especially if you want to split the bill. For those on a budget, check out the place from Wednesday - Friday for a 5-7pm Happy Hour, because this place can add up quickly (especially with strong specialty drinks starting at $12). So have a drink or two then stumble around the hotel, because the architecture in there is pretty dazzling too.
- The Tonga RoomMember ofHistory BuffsLocal CultureOutdoor Enthusiasts+ 4Jul 05, 2012
I know it sounds goofy, but it's really fun! The drinks are big and strong, and the happy hour has great free appetizers. It's not for everyone, but it's the only place with an hourly rainstorm. An institution.
- The Tonga RoomMember ofHistory BuffsLocal CultureOutdoor Enthusiasts+ 3First to ReviewNov 24, 2013
Nob Hill Kitsch! Didn't used to be kitchy; from the '40s through the '70s this was the traditional place for your 21st birthday. "Thunderstorm" is kinda cheesy but kids will love it. Despite Nob HIll prices, drinks are potent and food is well prepared and delicious. Authentic? Maybe not, but it's a fusion of various cultures' foods, and the experience and location are a big part of your evening. You have to do it at least once, you can always use the excuse of bringing an out-of-towner here. Long live the Tonga Room!
- The Tonga RoomMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 8Mar 07, 2014
This will be my first and last time here.
1) Food was subpar. Not worth mentioning.
2) Delicious cocktails concoction, but overpriced.
3) Extremely slow service
This place was not my cup of tea. I liked the ambiance, live music, and decor but nothing made this place worth coming back. I blamed Anthony Bourdain for making this place seem so magically amazing...
- The Tonga RoomAmbassadorMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 9Nov 16, 2013
Obviously had to come here because the Bachelor made it look so awesome! Plus it's located in the Fairmont! How could you not at least drop by???
We ordered the HUGE punch bowl and shared it among the three of us. Man that is a lot of liquor for one person.
I really want to come and try the one in the pineapple next time!
Cute spot to gather with a small group of friends to gossip.Recommended for:Foodies
- The Tonga RoomMember ofBudget TravelersFoodiesNightlife LoversNov 08, 2013
Somewhat dated and far from the modern lounge atmosphere around SF these days, but locals and tourists alike love it here. With the hit-you-when-you-least-expect-it drink menu and an awesome live band pumping out all the tunes from oldies to top 40, one wouldn't have a reason not to return.
- The Tonga RoomMember ofOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget TravelersBusiness Travelers+ 3Mar 22, 2013
This might be the coolest restaurant/lounge in the city! As you're walking through one of the most beautiful hotels you turn a corner and fall right into an authentic Hawaiian tiki lounge. The buffet style happy hour leaves you and your wallet feeling full.