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Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa

FLORIDA, HOTELS, RESORTS & SPAS, UNITED STATES

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa is the premier entertainment destination of Central Florida. It’s only an hour and a half drive from Orlando. Owned and operated by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the property is one of the largest and most successful casinos in the world. Located off I-4 at North Orient Road and Hillsborough Avenue, only ten minutes east of downtown Tampa.

Guitar at the Entrance of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa
Guitar at the Entrance of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa

We arrived at the hotel via limo and were greeted by the hotel staff with a red carpet entrance.

Red Carpet Event at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa
Red Carpet Event at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa

First Impression

The lobby reception area is grand with golden accents.  I really loved the guitar stanchions in front of the reception area .  The inscription above the desk read “Hello, I love you Won’t you tell me your name?” (Any Doors fans out there?) The quote on the corresponding exit door was equally iconic: “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave…” (aka The Eagles).

Reception Area at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa
Reception Area at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa

One of the things I was looking forward to seeing the most was all the memorabilia pieces around the property.  The Hard Rock has the largest music memorabilia collection in the world (over 80,000+ items), and they rotate the collection to allow guest to see new pieces throughout all their properties.

The collection was started by Eric Clapton, who was a regular customer at the original Hard Rock Cafe London.  He asked the staff if he could hang his guitar on the wall to mark his favorite bar stool as “his spot”.  They did, and one week later, a package from The Who’s Peter Townshend arrived with a guitar and a note bearing the message, “Mine’s as good as his!  Love, Pete.”

 

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa Music Memorabilia
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa Guitars Memorabilia
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa Music Memorabilia
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa Music Memorabilia Collection

Accommodations

The hotel offers 239 rooms (including suites).  I didn’t get the chance to spend the night in one this time around, but a peek inside had me wishing I could!

Luxury Suite - Image Courtesy Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa
Luxury Suite – Image Courtesy Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa
Luxury Suite Bathroom - Image Courtesy Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa
Luxury Suite Bathroom – Image Courtesy Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa

Dining

The hotel offers seven award-winning Zagat-rated restaurants, including the fine dining venues Council Oak Steaks & Seafood and Grey Salt giving you plenty of options to choose from.   It also has five bars/lounges where you can enjoy a cocktail before trying your luck in the casino.

Our first stop for drinks was inside the Council Oak Lounge.  It is located alongside the Council Oak Steaks and Seafood restaurant.  Upon entering the restaurant, guests can peer into the Butcher Shop through an expanded glass-walled partition. This is where the portions of meat are personally selected, cut, and branded for diners.

The Council Oak Lounge is an upscale bar offering live entertainment seven days a week.  They boast a full bar and a large collection of specialty drinks, the likes of which I had never heard of before.  Some of the gentlemen were smoking cigars that are available at the Council Oak Lounge for purchase.  You can also order bite size appetizers to accompany your drink.

 

Council Oak Steaks and Seafood - The Butcher Shop
Council Oak Steaks and Seafood – The Butcher Shop

After drinks we headed to the Grey Salt for a wonderful dinner. Chef Marc Murphy’s Mediterranean restaurant specializes in locally sourced fresh seafood, handmade pasta , artisanal flatbreads, as well as rotisserie and grilled meats.  I had the local snapper with seasonal vegetables. For dessert the Nutella profiteroles is a must!

Grey Salt inside the Seminole Hard Rock & Casino Tampa
Grey Salt inside the Seminole Hard Rock & Casino Tampa
Snapper Dish at Grey Salt
Snapper Dish at Grey Salt

On October 5th, Chef Marc Murphy will host the first “Tampa No Kid Hungry Dinner” at his restaurant, Grey Salt, located in Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa.  Presented by Citi®, the dinner will be an exclusive multi-course event to benefit No Kid Hungry‘s work to end childhood hunger in America. It will feature locally renowned guest chefs Greg Baker (The Refinery | Fodder & Shine), Michael Buttacavoli (Cena), Courtney Orwig (Haven) and William Gideon (Seminole Hard Rock Tampa).

All proceeds from the event support No Kid Hungry’s work to end childhood hunger across the country.

Nutella Profiteroles Dessert at Grey Salt
Nutella Profiteroles Dessert at Grey Salt

Casino

After dinner, we walked through the casino which features high-stakes table games, thousands of the hottest slot machines, and a new smoke-free slots area offering 250 popular games.

Seminole Hard Rock Casino Tampa
Seminole Hard Rock Casino Tampa

We were escorted to a private VIP black-jack room.  For one hour, our black-jack dealer showed us how to play, when to double down, and when to stop based on what the dealer was showing in her cards.  I had a blast and learned a lot on how to play black-jack.

The High Limit Table Games Room offers guest the casino royalty ultimate high-limit experience. The room has an elegant lounge, two private salons, four table game varieties and a full-service upscale bar that includes complimentary beverages for players. It’s very popular among celebrities and guests who want to remain unnoticed.

Paula Abdul opened the High Limit Room back in 2013 Image Courtesy Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa
Paula Abdul opened the High Limit Room back in 2013 Image Courtesy Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa

While here, you’ll also have access to the hotel spa, the pool and the property’s various nightlife venues. The hotel is less than seven miles northwest from Tampa’s Busch Gardens and about 16 miles from the Pebble Creek Golf Club. It’s the ideal location for a relaxing vacation, or staycation.

Disclaimer:  I was a guest of the Hard Rock Hotels and Hard Rock Tampa, but all options here are my own.

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About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder and Senior Editor of Carmen's Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Our travels allows her the opportunity to pursuit her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.

38 Comments

  1. Jitaditya Narzary
    September 24, 2016 at 3:33 am
    Reply

    Looks likea great property…
    And the food looks great too!

    • Carmen Edelson
      September 24, 2016 at 11:59 am

      It is a nice property with a great choice of restaurants.

  2. Jenna
    September 24, 2016 at 3:53 am
    Reply

    Looks like a really nice hotel–love the decor and the restaurants look delicious! Love all the memorabilia everywhere. It would be fun to wander around and look at everything!
    Jenna recently posted…Happy Campers Iceland Road Trip – Part 4: Cooking on the RoadMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      September 24, 2016 at 12:00 pm

      I could spend several hours wondering around the property and checking out all the memorabilia on the walls.

  3. Megan Indoe
    September 24, 2016 at 3:58 am
    Reply

    Did you win any money playing black jack? I’ve always wanted to stay at a Hard Rock hotel! It’s like staying in a rock n’ roll museum and a beautiful hotel!
    Megan Indoe recently posted…Hotel 1929 in Singapore – Cozy & CompactMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      September 24, 2016 at 12:01 pm

      Unfortunately, this time I lost all of it, but I have won some money in other occasions. It’s a fun place to stay because you can enjoy dinner in one of the many restaurants, play a little at the casino, and go dancing afterwards.

  4. Annika
    September 25, 2016 at 4:47 am
    Reply

    How awesome is the butcher shop in the hotel?! I must admit I have never been to a Hard Rock Cafe or Hotel but this looks beautiful. Honestly, I didnt expect such classy rooms – stunning!
    Annika recently posted…Of Molas & Mantas – Diving in Bali.My Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      September 25, 2016 at 10:54 pm

      You get to pick the meat selection you want from dinner, and see the selection through the window. The rooms are very classy and comfortable with all the amenities.

  5. Meg Jerrard
    September 25, 2016 at 10:07 am
    Reply

    I’ve heard a lot of hard rock hotels and casino’s opening – it sounds like a really fabulous brand all round. I’ll spread the word about the Tampa No Kid Hungry Dinner – such a terrific event. I’m so glad to hear when large hotel chains like this participate in social responsibility.
    Meg Jerrard recently posted…Tips for Traveling as a Couple Without Killing Each OtherMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      September 25, 2016 at 10:57 pm

      I’ve really enjoyed working with the Hard Rock Brand. Each hotel is unique in its own way. I was very pleased to hear that they were hosting the first dinner at the hotel for the Tampa No Kid Hungry. It’s such a great cause.

  6. Travelwith2ofus
    September 25, 2016 at 12:42 pm
    Reply

    It is great that they are supporting the No Kid Hungry‘s charity. We have researched a couple of the Hard Rock Cafe hotels, but never stayed at any of them. We have bookmarked a couple of them and will eventually have a stay. The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa seems to have all the right ingredients to make a great hotel. Creative Ideas like the butcher shop is what will make it stand out from the rest.
    Travelwith2ofus recently posted…Going on first trip to Milan? Free and other things to doMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      September 25, 2016 at 10:59 pm

      We have stayed in a few of the Hard Rock Hotels. One of my favorite ones is the one in Hollywood, Florida.

  7. Bryanna
    September 25, 2016 at 1:59 pm
    Reply

    Wow! What an amazing place to stay! Always love looking at the guitars and other memorabilia when we visit a Hard Rock location. And those restaurants and that food – yum!!!

    • Carmen Edelson
      September 25, 2016 at 11:00 pm

      I really like walking around the hotel and seeing what the memorabilia is they have on display.

  8. Leah
    September 25, 2016 at 4:15 pm
    Reply

    I’ve visited the Hard Rock in Vegas and love looking at all the memorabilia…and playing blackjack. I didn’t realize that Tampa had casino gambling. Looks like a reason to visit.
    Leah recently posted…5 Unique things to do in the Loire ValleyMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      September 25, 2016 at 11:01 pm

      I’m sure the Hard Rock Vegas is stunning. The Tampa location is very huge, and a great place to go for a weekend getaway.

  9. Aga
    September 25, 2016 at 8:18 pm
    Reply

    The suite looks very classy, I never imagined Hard Rock hotel to look this way – very positively surprised 🙂 And also, the Nutella profiteroles sound like a great dessert!
    Aga recently posted…Crying tears of joy at Wierzynek in Krakow, PolandMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      September 25, 2016 at 11:02 pm

      The food at the restaurant was delicious, but I can’t stop thinking about the Nutella profiteroles.

  10. Claire
    September 26, 2016 at 10:15 pm
    Reply

    What an iconic place! I love the story about the guitar collection and the quotes above the door. Looks like you had a great time here
    Claire recently posted…A unique hostel in Sydney – YHA Railway SquareMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      October 10, 2016 at 4:21 am

      They have an amazing guitar collection in their vault. My favorite one was Jimmy Hendrix’s.

  11. Lauren
    September 26, 2016 at 11:02 pm
    Reply

    It’s like a hotel and a rock museum all in one! One of those kinds of places where you wouldn’t have to leave the hotel property to have a great time!
    Lauren recently posted…Iceland South Coast VideoMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      October 10, 2016 at 4:23 am

      It truly is a combination museum and hotel. You can spend countless hours walking around the hotel and seeing all the memorabilia on the walls.

  12. Hugo Cura
    October 8, 2016 at 4:59 pm
    Reply

    Don’t think I’ve been to a Hard Rock hotel but this looks great. Love the quotes and the memorabilia, which, just like at the cafes, it’s quite amazing.

    Top quality all around!
    Hugo Cura recently posted…All about driving in IcelandMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      October 10, 2016 at 4:25 am

      They have Hard Rock Hotels in practically in very city now. I also make a point of stopping in each one if I’m near by.

  13. Mindi Hirsch
    October 8, 2016 at 8:16 pm
    Reply

    This resort looks super cool starting with the welcoming guitar and continuing to the Nutella profiteroles. I’m not a big gambler, but I totally want to check it out.
    Mindi Hirsch recently posted…Cruising the Rhine with Viking River CruisesMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      October 10, 2016 at 4:26 am

      You don’t have to be a big gambler to stay at a Hard Rock Hotel. I enjoy just walking around the property and seeing some of the memoribilia on the walls most of the time.

  14. Christina
    October 9, 2016 at 8:25 am
    Reply

    Those luxury suites look lovely and the rest of the hotel looks pretty enticing too. Hard Rock Hotels are so full of character and if you’re into music, it’s a bonus to stay there.
    Christina recently posted…Canada’s 150th Celebrations in OttawaMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      October 10, 2016 at 4:29 am

      The rooms are very spacious indeed with plenty of room for families traveling with children. The kids especially like the pool. You can hear music in the water.

  15. Indrani
    October 9, 2016 at 10:29 am
    Reply

    I too am fascinated by guitar stanchions.
    The interiors are grand, I may forget going out of the hotel! 🙂
    Indrani recently posted…Faces of India- 286 Rajasthani MoustacheMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      October 10, 2016 at 4:30 am

      I thought the guitar stanchions were nicely done. I had never seem those before either. It definitely adds some charcharter to the hotels lobby area.

  16. Brenda Tolentino
    October 9, 2016 at 11:53 pm
    Reply

    Our daughter has taught herself to play the guitar and I’m sure she’d love to see the collection Hard Rock owns. The food looks and sounds delicious. I also appreciate a company participating in No Kid hungry events, its commendable.

    • Carmen Edelson
      October 10, 2016 at 4:32 am

      That’s incredible that your daughter self taught herself to play the guitar. She would definitely get a kick out of seeing all the guitars hanging on the walls from famous singers.

  17. anto
    October 10, 2016 at 1:42 am
    Reply

    Awesome! I just heard that one of my favorite airlines (Icelandair) has launched a flights to Tampa so would love to visit some day! We love Hard Rock Cafes but have yet to stay at one of their hotels …

    • Carmen Edelson
      October 10, 2016 at 4:34 am

      Tampa is very beautiful and has lots of things to see. It’s a great hub if you want to travel to St. Petersburg and some of the surrounding cities.

  18. Mel Jones
    October 10, 2016 at 9:12 am
    Reply

    I’m so jealous Carmen! I love Hard Rock, I’m a big fan of the restaurants and seeing all the cool music memorabilia, probably spend more time looking at that then eating the food! The hotel in Florida looks absolutely lovely, very hip and glam, although I’m pretty sure I’d be useless in the casino with my luck but I would definitely stay here at least for a night of luxury 😉
    Mel Jones recently posted…San Francisco Gift HaulMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      October 10, 2016 at 6:54 pm

      I think most people wondered around the hotel for hours looking at all the music memorabilia on the walls. At least I did 🙂

  19. Monika
    October 10, 2016 at 2:59 pm
    Reply

    The dessert looks delicious – I’d love to try it!
    Monika recently posted…Why are you going there?My Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      October 10, 2016 at 6:56 pm

      The food was very delicious as well as the Nutella desert.

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