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History

Located at The Fairmont San Francisco, Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar has delighted guests with its tropical décor, decadent libations and Asian cuisine since 1945.  Having reigned as a swanky outpost of South Seas high style for much of its storied history, Tonga Room more recently gained a following as an icon of tiki’s pop culture heyday of the 1940s and 1950s.   Following a $1 million restoration by Gensler San Francisco, Tonga Room has rekindled the excitement of its unique and time-honored décor to recapture the glory of one of the nation’s first tiki palaces.

Highlighting the refurbishment is an updated lounge area boasting a sleek granite top bar and bar stools dressed with snow leopard accents; new luxurious “good luck red” leather banquettes that wrap around the outer corners of the lounge to create intimate venues within the signature space; and atmospheric lighting through the use of hanging globes in amber, blue, red and opal. 

Tribal wall coverings in fuchsia and orange add excitement throughout the lounge and restaurant.  The dining room now features eco-friendly bamboo tabletops and chic modern chinaware, setting the stage for a memorable dining experience.

The Tonga Room features a top-40 band performing from a thatch-covered barge on the lagoon; a dance floor built from the remains of the S.S. Forester, a lumber schooner that once traveled regularly between San Francisco and the South Sea Islands; and periodic light tropical rainstorms, complete with thunder and lightening.

 

From Pool to Tropical Paradise

The Fairmont San Francisco created an indoor 75-foot swimming pool on its Terrace Level in 1929.  Known as the "Fairmont Terrace Plunge", the elaborate tile pool attracted local crowds as well as celebrities such as actress Helen Hayes, actor Ronald Reagan and members of the Water Follies.

In 1945, Metro Goldwyn Mayer’s leading set director, Mel Melvin, was hired to transform the Terrace Plunge into the Tonga Room.  The pool became a lagoon, a floating stage for the orchestra that entertained guests each evening.  Not surprisingly, Tonga Room was an instant success.

Tonga Room has been recognized as one of the nation’s hottest bars by InStyle, Gourmet, Travel & Leisure, Harper’s Bazaar and Wallpaper magazines and has been recently featured on ABC, Travel Channel Food Network.

Tonga Room at The Fairmont San Francisco luxury hotel is located at 950 Mason Street San Francisco, CA 94108.  For reservations, please call (415) 772-5278. 

Since 1907, The Fairmont has served as the San Francisco residence for US presidents, world leaders and entertainment stars.  Located atop Nob Hill, the landmark hotel offers 591 guest rooms and suites and continues to delight guests with awe-inspiring views, incomparable cuisine and a heritage of grand hospitality.