Tonga Room

Field review by the editors.

San Francisco, California

After World War II, American appreciation of tiki culture blossomed like a mushroom cloud over a Pacific atoll. A world of faux-Polynesian clubs and restaurants helped create our current collective fetish for rustic island bars, carved idols and sweet drinks with umbrellas.

The Tonga Room, in San Francisco's opulent Fairmont Hotel on Nob Hill, offers an impressive old time Tiki vibe. The large basement level room started as the Fairmont's swimming pool. The pool was converted to the S.S. Tonga cruise ship theme restaurant in 1945, and transformed into the Polynesian-themed Tonga Room in the 1960s.

The Tonga Room is decorated with a profusion of bamboo, carved idol heads, and other cliched touches. Lights are strung between thatched roofs above poolside tables. The pool/lagoon features what appears to be a floating, open-sided boat; at 8 pm the band boards the boat to play island-appropriate music.

Patrons hang out in the Hurricane Bar, grab a plate of Happy Hour fare, or actually eat there (you can't really just walk in and gawk). The Tonga Room gets busy; reservations are recommended. Every hour on the hour there's an indoor rainstorm over the lagoon -- complete with lightning.

The Tonga Room is only open in the evening, so plan your visit accordingly.

Tonga Room

Address:
950 Mason St., San Francisco, CA
Directions:
Fairmont Hotel, Mason St. and California St.
Hours:
W, Th, Su 6-10, F-Sa 6-11. Bar W, Th, Su 5-11:30, F, Sa 5-12:30. (Call to verify)
Phone:
415-772-5278
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Fortune Cookie FactoryFortune Cookie Factory, San Francisco, CA - < 1 mi.
Giant Ghost FiguresGiant Ghost Figures, San Francisco, CA - < 1 mi.
Magic BusMagic Bus, San Francisco, CA - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Emperor Norton Grave, Colma, CA - 8 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in California

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in California.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use RoadsideAmerica.com's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

May 27, 2017

My Sights

My Sights

Create and Save Your Own Crazy Road Trip!

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

California Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Stumpy's Hatchet House, Eatontown, New Jersey (May 22-28, 2017)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from RoadsideAmerica.com. Subscribe now!
RoadsideAmerica.com Hotel & Motel Finder

Special online rates for hotels & motels.

Nearby Hotels and Motels, San Francisco, California

Nightly rates found:

Find Hotels Near:

Book Online Now