The Shisha in its first and simplest form originated in India. It soon traveled west to Iran, Turkey and Egypt where it gained mass popularity and are now the sites of some of the best quality hookahs in the world.
The hookah lounge has clear antecedents in the tradition of coffee house in the Middle East and Turkey where people smoke tobacco from hookahs or other styles of water pipe provided by the establishment.
In this traditional setting the hookahs is typically of the single-hose variety. This is in contrast with the multi-hose variety favored in the hookah lounge and intended to emphasize the communal nature of the activity.