Hard Rock’s ‘Guitar Hotel’ opens in Florida

by Charlotte Lee Last Updated
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Entertainment giant Hard Rock opened it’s latest hotel last Thursday in Hollywood, South Florida which stands 450 feet (137 metres) tall and is shaped in the company’s iconic ‘guitar’ logo.

Owners Seminole Tribe wish the new light-beam hotel to become South Florida’s latest tourist destination.

The Guitar Hotel is situated on the tribes land which was once only a trailer park and some smoke shops. This is the latest step in the Seminole Hard Rock empire, which includes naming rights on the Miami-area stadium where the 2020 Super Bowl will be played.

“It really is special,” said Mitchell Cypress, vice chairman of the Seminole tribal council. “The Seminoles now are known throughout the world.”

The new hotel is a unique addition to South Florida’s tourist landscape where no hotel is like it in the world. It houses over 600 rooms and at night, beams of light will mimic the strings of the guitar.

The $1.5 billion project also has a refurbished venue to host concerts and other events. Maroon 5 opened the venue last Friday.  The resort also has a giant pool and lagoon, retail shops, restaurants, and of course gambling.

Jim Allen, CEO of Hard Rock International, said given the brand is already filled with guitars, why not a guitar shaped hotel.

“Wouldn’t it be really cool if we could design a hotel shaped like a guitar?” Allen remembers saying. “Before, we were more of a locals facility. Now, we have the ability to market this internationally.”

Allen said the guitar shape is meant to be generic and not necessarily the Gibson Les Paul made famous by Page and others. He added that Hard Rock has relationships with both Gibson and Page, and the hotel and casino features many Led Zeppelin artifacts.

“When we present the Hard Rock brand on a global basis, it literally starts with Jimmy Page saying ‘It was a cool idea then and it’s a cool idea now,’” Allen said.

The hotel also includes a 26,000 square-foot promenade of retail stores, and a 13.5-acre pool with a lazy river.

Private lagoon area among the features

A private lagoon area, designed to resemble Bora Bora’s overwater bungalows, is also a new addition to the property.

A new entrance will feature a fountain equipped with lasers, which will have a show about every 40 minutes. The fountain was created by the same designers responsible for the Bellagio Hotel’s fountain in Las Vegas, NBC reports.

“We created this unique hotel because the guitar is a symbol of music worldwide for any person of any background,” Drew Schlesinger, Vice President of Hotel Operations, who is also an industry executive noted for opening new properties, told PEOPLE during an exclusive tour.

“Since the guitar is an iconic symbol for the Hard Rock, we embraced its unique shape and form to create a narrative that begins at ground level,” Craig A. Stoner, Associate Principal of EDSA, a firm that designs outdoor spaces that work in conjunction with nature, told PEOPLE.

“When guests arrive they discover a layered, lush and dynamic resort environment that transforms into an experience that changes around every corner, and allows for events, interaction and ultimately excitement.”

In addition to celebrity photos that grace most public area walls, there are constant videos shown at elevator banks of musicians with entertainers like Mick Jagger chatting with Bruce Springsteen.

The DAER South Florida, a 44,000-square-foot indoor-outdoor entertainment complex also features at the Hard Rock hotel location. At night, the club offers a massive venue with 45 VIP gaming tables featuring blackjack, baccarat and other table games.

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