Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Review
The Seminole Tribe of Florida was the first Indian tribe to get involved in high stakes gambling, and by the time 2004 rolled around, they had a successful history offering tax free tobacco shops and high stakes bingo operations, as well as their massive cattle operation, the 12th largest in the country, they were ready to move ahead with their first casino.
If there’s a tribe that has the mentality of go big or go home though, it’s the Seminoles, and they just didn’t start out with one large casino, they started with two, with one in Hollywood, Florida, and the other in Tampa.
By the next year, the tribe’s revenue exceed a billion dollars a year. They then set their sights bigger, and went after the company behind Hard Rock properties, Hard Rock International.
So in 1996, they bought the company for $965 million, including not only the brand but 131 Hard Rock Café’s, 22 hotels, and 11 casinos spread over 59 different countries. The Seminoles not only own a Hard Rock hotel and casino, 2 of them in fact, and 4 other casinos as well, they own Hard Rock itself now, including all of its licensing.
Florida did not permit table games at the time, but an arrangement was made whereby the Seminoles paid the state a $100 million fee and thus were allowed to offer all table games but blackjack.
Blackjack is the most popular game in the U.S. though, so its absence was noticeable, and this meant another deal had to be struck. This time the Seminoles lent the state $1.1 billion over 2 years for the right to offer blackjack as well.
When a state as large as Florida comes calling looking to borrow money, you know you’ve hit the big time, and this is most certainly the case with the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood underwent $100 million worth of renovations in 2014, and a lot of this money was spent to upgrade the centerpiece of the property, their 5,500 seat Hard Rock live entertainment venue.
So this is definitely an Indian tribe with lots of money to spend and are not willing to settle for anything short of world class, and they have achieved exactly that with their famed casino in Hollywood, FL.
Your Stay At The Hard Rock Hollywood
Given that this is a Hard Rock branded hotel and casino, it shouldn’t be surprising that music memorabilia plays a central role in the theme of the property, since that’s really what the Hard Rock brand is all about.
The hotel features 500 music themed luxury rooms and suites, and the standard rooms may not quite be up to the standards of a rock star as the hotel suggests, but they are very nice and the décor is definitely very upscale and modern. These are truly beautiful hotel rooms and really add to the enjoyment of your stay here.
The rooms also feature a long list of amenities, including being able to rent a guitar should you wish. The music theme here isn’t overdone though, it is tastefully subdued and the décor and feel here will suit anyone’s tastes really.
Music does play a role in the hotel rooms though and guests can choose from a selection of complimentary music delivered right to your room. They also feature a very good concierge service designed to take care of all of their guests’ needs.
They offer 2 signature restaurants as well as 7 “contemporary” ones, including of course, a Hard Rock café. They also have 3 casual dining spots, 4 places where you can get snacks, and in room dining.
The nightlife here is of course center stage, and they have 9 different bars available for your enjoyment and entertainment. There’s also the large Hard Rock Live venue which regularly features top musical acts.
The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino also features a rock themed spa, and a 4.5 acre pool and lagoon, to ensure a relaxing stay. There are also several golf courses nearby and their concierge is there to assist you with all of the arrangements.
The casino part of the operation offers 145,000 square feet of gaming space, which is almost big enough to place them among the top 10 casinos in the world. So there’s a lot of rock and roll that goes on in the casino here as well.
There are over 2,200 gaming machines to play here, of every variety, including lots of video poker, and plenty of different progressive slots that players can use to shoot for huge jackpots. They also have a private high roller slots room where you can play with big money for big time excitement.
The table game selection is subdued compared with most other large casinos, but they do have several popular games, such as Blackjack, Mini Baccarat, Pai Gow Poker, Three Card Poker, Texas Holdem Poker, Casino War, Spanish 21, and Let It Ride.
Their table games are therefore limited to games that use cards, there are no wheels or dice here, but card based casino games are a lot of fun and also bring an element of strategy to the table, and no one seems to mind.
The Seminoles had enough trouble just getting the state to agree to these and unlike in some states where the Indians simply do what they want, the Seminoles have crafted an excellent relationship with the state government, which benefits them in many ways beyond their casinos, and things have worked out very well indeed for the tribe overall to say the least.
The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood also has a very good poker room, with over 40 tables and a whole lot of poker action running all of the time. They offer many events here, and even some high buy in ones, including a World Poker Tour event.
If you like to play poker, the poker alone is well worth the stay here, although they have so much more to offer beyond that.
Overall, this is a very nice facility indeed, and the quality of the rooms in particular really stand out, there’s all the gambling you can handle, and it doesn’t hurt if you are a rock and roll fan.