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Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa

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


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


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


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 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.


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

    • Carmen Edelson

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

  2. 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

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

  3. 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

      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. 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

      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. 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

      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. 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

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

  7. 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

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

  8. 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

      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. 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

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

  10. 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

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

  11. 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

      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. 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

      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. 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

      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. 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

      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. 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

      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. 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

      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. 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

      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. 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

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

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

    • Carmen Edelson

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

  20. I’d love to visit this casino on my next trip to Florida! The design is amazing and I love the addition of the Doors quote in the lobby. It’s so nice that you got a blackjack lesson as well. Great post!

    • Carmen Edelson

      Yes, it was just so much fun! Thanks for reading, Heather 🙂

  21. Looks like a lovely spot. As a bit of a music memorabilia nut, I could spend hours wondering around.

    • Carmen Edelson

      I know, I definitely did!

  22. Roy

    Loved your post. would love to go there surely now. Lovely blog you have got fun and entertaining!

    • Carmen Edelson

      Thank you so much, Roy!

  23. Good Music coupled with an amazing place to stay, a dream come true ? wonderful article Carmen
    Malcome recently posted…Today is Election Day in the United States. Please Vote!My Profile

    • Carmen Edelson

      Thanks so much Malcome!

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