You have to see it to believe.
The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in South Florida is banking on the idea that music-lovers will flock to its new $1.5 billion-expansion, which opened Thursday and features a giant guitar hotel that’s impossible to miss.
The neon-lit structure can even be spotted from the air for passengers flying into nearby Fort Lauderdale International Airport.
The guitar-shaped hotel features the recognizable body of an guitar but stops short of including the long, thin neck that houses the frets in a real instrument.
Its aqua-glass tones reflect the Florida sunlight during the day, and once inside, it’s easy to forget you’re in a building shaped like a guitar, save for Hard Rock’s signature rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia on display. In the lower level, items include Elvis Presley’s motorcycle and Neil Diamond’s car, plus outfits worn by Madonna and Rihanna and one of Jimmy Page’s guitars.
The door handles throughout are, of course, shaped like electric guitars.
“You can’t have art without music,” said artist Laurence Gartel, 63, whose work is featured in the lobby.
On opening day, Gartel was awed by the magnitude of the final project.
“I think it’s unbelievable. It’s fun; it’s different; it’s exciting; it’s pop culture. It’s all the things I think make art and architecture enjoyable,” the Fort Lauderdale local said, adding with a laugh he hopes the new hotel doesn’t cause too much traffic in the area.
The new structure is extensive and Hard Rock employees are on-hand to help you find your way if you get lost. Most routes eventually take you outside, where you’ll undoubtedly wind up at a pool, since the guitar structure is surrounded by swimming areas.
“When you drive up … you come in and you realize you’re in a very different kind of resort. There’s an emphasis on natural materials, teak and stone and live plants, water and content and music. It pulses with not-so-much the literal iconography of music but the sound of music,” said architect David Rockwell, who worked on the building’s interiors and experiential features.
The guitar building boasts 638 guest rooms and suites, with a Platinum King Suite (1,100 square-feet) for $989. Other rooms, such as a Deluxe King or Queen without a pool view, start at $189 but can climb as high at $519, depending on your dates. Guests are also responsible for a $25 per day resort fee.
The 34-level hotel has your standard amenities, like room service and flat-screen TVs, but it also has guitar rentals available for guests who want to rock out during their stays. The instrument rental is complimentary as part of your stay.
The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is a sprawling complex that includes 19 restaurants, 20 bars, shops, nightclubs and a spa.
A new entertainment venue, Hard Rock Live, is opening on Friday, and Maroon 5 will perform at the inaugural show.
In addition to the 450-foot guitar hotel opening this week, the Hard Rock also added the Oasis Tower, which houses an additional 168 rooms along with swim-up suites.