In its '60s heyday, the Tropics, especially its Congo Room steakhouse and underground Cellar bar, attracted the celebrities of the era who lived and vacationed in Palm Springs, including members of the Rat Pack. The front of the resort held a Sambo's coffee shop. In later years, the Cellar bar was closed, and the Congo Room became the Reef Bar.
The Tropics fell into rough times in the '80s, attracting unsavory characters who disrespected the hotel. The hotel was rescued by new owners in 2000, and after a $2.2 million renovation, it was restored to its former tiki glory.
In 2009, the Reef Bar/Hawaiian Bill's had been gutted of all tiki details, and the hotel was advertising the restaurant/bar space on site as available for lease. They were planning on making some major architectural changes to the building, including the removal of an A-frame entrance to the bar and restaurant. Thankfully, that didn't happen.
In 2015, new hotel owners reinvested in the tiki theming, having the artist Bosko complete large tiki signs ringing the courtyard, representing different Polynesian islands. The grounds still have several detailed vintage tikis by carver Ed Crissman. In February 2017, Rory Snyder took over and refreshed The Reef Bar
The Reef Bar
Palm Springs, CA
Bar & Restaurant
overlooking the pool.