By Skye Sherman
October 31, 2019
Credit: Skye Sherman

What does it take to construct the world’s first guitar-shaped hotel on a protected Seminole reservation near the bustling metropolis of sunny Fort Lauderdale, Florida? Just $1.5 billion and some patience.

The shiny new Guitar Hotel, centerpiece of the massive multi-year expansion of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, made its highly anticipated debut on October 24, 2019.

In true rock-and-roll fashion, Hard Rock opens new properties not with a tame, ho-hum ribbon cutting, but with a dramatic, celebrity-studded guitar smash, complete with pyrotechnics (and live mermaids). Grand opening festivities were sprinkled with A-list fanfare, an over-the-top opening party, a sold-out performance by Maroon 5, and red-carpet sightings of celebs like Johnny Depp, Khloe Kardashian, Morgan Freeman, and many more.

Credit: Skye Sherman
Credit: Courtesy of Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood

But what’s a stay at this high-energy, instrument-shaped hotel really like? In two words: very Vegas. Between the party-hardy atmosphere, music-themed amenities, and round-the-clock entertainment, mere mortals transform into rock stars during a stay at the 450-foot-tall digs. Its base is blanketed by a 13.5-acre lagoon-like chain of pools, where luxurious Bora Bora-inspired overwater bungalows give high-rolling guests the opportunity to kick back in style. Each villa has its own plunge pool and an attentive butler to keep the watermelon margaritas coming.

Apart from the Guitar Tower and pools, the Seminole Hard Rock complex is also home to a sprawling casino, a day club/nightclub, a food court, the new seven-story Oasis Tower—which houses 168 guest rooms, including a ground floor of swim-up suites—and a renovated Hard Rock Live venue, now with 7,000 seats. Maroon 5 broke in the freshly redesigned entertainment venue and set the bar high for succeeding acts. The month of November alone will welcome musical legends Andrea Bocelli, Sting, Alicia Keys, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and comedians Kevin James and Chris D’Elia.

Another hotel highlight is the nightly light show which happens every evening at 7:30 p.m. Guests can gather to gaze in awe at the spectacle, during which LED lights built into all sides of the “guitar” conduct a dance of varying color and intensity, choreographed along to music as high-powered beams project 20,000 feet into the air, resembling the strings of a guitar neck.

Credit: Courtesy of Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood
Credit: Skye Sherman

A stay at the Guitar Hotel can be as loud and energetic or as laid-back, low-key, and casual as you please, but the fine dining destinations are worth dressing up for. Kuro, Council Oak Steaks & Seafood, and Abiaka all serve memorable meals, and they’re popular reservations (even among locals). In the morning, caffeinate at Constant Grind, or visit 24-hour Rise Kitchen & Deli for hearty, healthy fare at any time of day.

Stay up all night if you choose, but every rock star crashes at some point. In dramatically soothing contrast to the live-fast vibe of the rest of the property, guestrooms are serene, even spa-like, layered in a palette of soft blues and greens; most also come with an oversized multi-head marble shower and a wall of floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking the lagoon.

Still, the Seminole Hard Rock’s music-loving morale carries through even the tranquil guestrooms; the Sound of Your Stay signature in-room music amenity will sing you to sleep once you’re bundled into the Egyptian cotton bedding, which is custom-made for Hard Rock with subtle guitar-shaped stitching.

Of course, there’s an actual spa as well. The 42,000-square-foot Rock Spa & Salon is a true oasis away from the go-go-go atmosphere outside. It’s the perfect place to relax and recharge before arising again to hit the slots or play a hand of blackjack in the 195,000-square-foot casino.

Credit: Courtesy of Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood

No matter your luck, don’t leave the casino without wandering its perimeter on the hunt for costumes, guitars, and other memorabilia from your favorite musical legends. You can take a self-guided tour and spot recognizable outfits and instruments from stars like Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Ariana Grande, Aerosmith, Prince, and more, which are on display throughout the property.

The Seminole Hard Rock Guitar Hotel is a bucket-list destination for rock stars, wannabes, and groupies around the world, and it’s officially open for reservations.