Thinking you'll just stop at the front desk and get a room at the Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood for this week's grand-opening festivities? If so, the only place you'll find a vacancy will be Heartbreak Hotel.
That's because the Guitar Hotel is booked solid for its first five days in business, Hard Rock spokesman Greg Rios says.
The 450-foot-tall guitar-shaped hotel — part of Seminole Hard Rock's $1.5 billion, two-and-a-half-year expansion project — boasts 638 luxury guest rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows that, on the outside, will double as a massive light show and screen.
Residents as far away as Miramar have said they can hear the music of concerts held at Hard Rock Live. Beginning Thursday, when the first guests check in at the Guitar Hotel, the bright lights from its LED-screen-like windows might reach far western Broward County too.
However you see it, what's new and newly renovated at Hard Rock Hollywood is a feast for the eyes.
Thursday's gala grand opening for the hotel will feature as-yet-unnamed celebrities on the red carpet, along with a commemorative guitar smash, light show, and pool party.
A second grand opening is set for Friday, when the overhauled Hard Rock Live — a multitiered, 6,600-seat theater — is unveiled. The inaugural show will be headlined by Maroon 5.
Rios hosted a walk-through for New Times Friday while Seminole Tribe members enjoyed a preview of the new pools and facilities as part of a friends-and-families celebration.
Among the highlights was the Oculus, the resort's tri-directional hub, whose ceiling-to-floor water centerpiece will likely rival the Guitar Hotel-window light shows in brilliance, if not scale.
There's also the seven-story Oasis Tower, offering 168 upscale guest rooms, including garden-level swim-up suites. Beyond the tower is a shallow Bora Bora-style pool with private bungalows dotting the water off the wooden walkway. The place was abuzz with waitstaff and cocktail servers maneuvering among guests and gala party preparations. Farther from this center is a 13.5-acre water recreation area for swimming, kayaking, and paddleboarding. From this vantage point, construction workers and heavy machinery could be seen toiling toward the project's completion.
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Rios says the initial 2,000 resort jobs for Hard Rock were quickly filled and roughly 400 more employees have been hired since then. Construction workers for the expansion project numbered an estimated 2,400.
Hard Rock Hollywood will now offer 19 eateries and 20 bars and lounges, a promenade of roughly 26,000 square feet of (blessedly) indoor retail shops, more meeting and convention space, and the massive Daer South Florida — a day spa and nightclub whose grand opening is set for next week.
The resort's new and renovated sections include all sorts of exquisite detailing and even occasional Easter eggs. Among the best, if you can find it, is a faux elevator, and a surprise awaits behind its realistic doors. This past Friday, as engineers tested the holographic lift, the doors opened to reveal a floating image of John Lennon's guitar, turning and flipping for a 360-degree view.
A note to those planning to join this week's festivities at Hard Rock Hollywood — one Rios stressed several times during New Times' visit: Expect otherworldly congestion on U.S. 411 leading up to 1 Seminole Way. The backup resulting from Hard Rock visitors and the already heavy daily traffic in the area might itself reach as far as Miramar.