If you want to see just how versatile Hollywood, Florida’s Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino can be, look no further than the marquee on Hard Rock Live, the complex’s 7,000-seat entertainment venue. There was one early-2022 stretch where the lavish space hosted soul legend Gladys Knight, a boxing match and the Dancing with the Stars tour all in the same month. And you thought the 450-foot guitar-shaped structures soaring into the clouds meant you’d only find music here?
Step back even further from the main stage and you’ll find an entire campus that puts on a daily show for its guests, whether it be at a restaurant serving prime dry-aged beef, some private time at a poolside cabana or plush overnight accommodations at the resort’s signature property, The Guitar Hotel. Grammy-winning singer or not, everything’s at your fingertips here.
Forbes Travel Guide recently visited to put together a playlist of the property’s top five qualities.
Keeping with the nimbleness theme, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino offers nearly 1,300 rooms and suites, ranging from the Hard Rock Hotel’s family-friendly deluxe queens to the swanky, 1,090-square-foot Platinum Suite at The Guitar Hotel. To get to any of the latter property’s 638 rooms and suites, you have to show your key to the guard on the ground floor.
But the guest-list check is warranted; it’s a whole other world at The Guitar Hotel, which is our pick among the accommodations. The neon-lit guitar shape that you admired outdoors actually contains several floors of rooms, some affording floor-to-ceiling views of the nearby 13.5-acre lagoon stretching all the way to downtown Miami. All the units come with rock-star-level amenities (signature bedding, Rock Spa bath products), but designers left the music memorabilia downstairs at the Hard Rock Café.
Look at the dining options at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino like you would a stadium seating chart. Consider your most lavish, floor-level seats to be top restaurants like Council Oak (fine steaks), Abiaka (wood-fired meats) and Kuro (new Japanese), none more than a short walk from your Guitar Hotel room.
One tier down as far as price and polish are eateries like the 24-hour Rise Kitchen and The Bōl, the latter a new-Asian restaurant serving wok-style Szechuan shrimp and whole snapper worthy of a standing ovation from the kitchen. And then there’s the food court, where, just like the upper section at a concert hall, you won’t find many frills, but you can get a satisfying pizza or burger around 10:45 p.m.
While we’ve already praised Hard Rock Live’s dexterity, it can’t be ignored that the actual building hits all the right notes, too. Constructed in 2019, the spacious venue features unobstructed sight lines and state-of-the-art sound technology, ensuring perfect acoustics for a Rod Stewart concert or Gabriel Iglesias comedy show.
If you’re requesting a more intimate venue for live tunes, you can find microphones at Hard Rock Café and a stage at DAER Nightclub/Dayclub. The Oculus, the multi-sensory experience at the center of the resort, doesn’t involve any live performances, but its light-and-waterfalls show (from the same creative team behind Bellagio’s famed fountain) features dynamic music choreography. That nightly show is only topped by an outdoor light spectacle from the top of the guitars that occurs every evening at 7 and 7:30 p.m.
With 245,000 square feet of gaming floor, Seminole Hard Rock makes its case for one of the nicest casinos east of the Mississippi River. Here you’ll find more than 3,000 slot machines and nearly 200 card tables all in a bustling, super bright space.
Yes, there’s pomp in the air and pastels on the rugs, but this is still a Hard Rock production. As such, glass displays of clothes worn by superstars such as Lady Gaga and Jay-Z dot the casino. But speaking of celebrities, a little birdie at the hotel told us that whenever visiting sports franchises come to South Florida to compete against one of the Miami teams, odds are good that you’ll see familiar faces playing a few hands in the 45-table poker room.
The Other Fun
In the event you’re looking for some non-gaming excitement, you can bet the property has you covered there as well. The lagoon is a splash maker’s paradise with waterfalls, a massive swimming area the size of three football fields and a host of luxury cabanas that can be rented for the day. VIP tip: walk past the lagoon and around the Beach Club & Pool Bar to discover a swimming area with a more intimate beach and chairs.
Back inside the main building, you’ll find a Vegas-style retail center, The Shoppes at The Guitar Hotel, that sells fashion (Psycho Bunny), food (Aubi & Ramsa’s adult ice cream) and fun. The latter comes via PLA, a sports bar filled with soccer, baseball and hockey simulators. Kids can join in the good times until 9 p.m., when the flexible address converts to an adults-only spot for good drinks and virtual golf drives.