Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
A Peter Morton
4455 Paradise Road
Las Vegas, NV 89109
I stayed at this casino for three nights in March of 2002.
This was huge for me, as I detest slot machines and stick almost entirely
to table games for hours upon hours at a time. An unfriendly dealer
can just plain ruin your gaming mood for days. I have never seen
such a gathering of friendly and courteous dealers as I did at Hard Rock.
Hell, even some of the pit bosses were nice. Hard Rock is
obviously going after a younger demographic, and with very few exceptions
the dealers (and the rest of the staff) were young, friendly, and attractive.
I mean, my mind knows that they're only doing it because I'm statistically
likely to sit and lose money for a longer period of time if I like the
dealer, but my addicted-to-blackjack heart still thinks it's still a
big plus. One note: I was carded each and every time I sat down at a table...so if you're underage, don't even think about it.
Rooms & Amenities
The room was immaculately clean and had a very "rock star" feel to it,
with colorful furniture and musically themed paintings all over the room.
Even though it was just one of their standard rooms, it was nice to see
them make an concerted effort to liven up the room a little bit.
Half of the rooms face the poolside area (unfortunately not ours). Check-in took five minutes, check-out took two.
A security guard stands by the elevators leading up to the hotel rooms
every night starting at 8 PM or so to prevent anyone without a room key
from going upstairs.
Shows at The Joint
"The Joint" is Hard Rock's concert venue, and due to their prestige
they attract a lot of big names--The Who, Britney Spears (bleh), Billy
Joel, and a whole sea of other music icons have played there. They
have around one concert per week.
There are 5 different restaurants to choose from, ranging from a 24-hour restaurant (Mr. Lucky's) right off the casino floor--REAL handy when you've got a craving for a burger at 4 AM--to overpriced mexican food and margaritas (Pink Taco)--to some really good high-end cuisine (Nobu for Japanese, Mortini's for Italian, AJ's Steakhouse for steak). There's also a Starbucks for those of you with no soul.
The poolside area is beautiful. There are seven or eight distinct
areas you can go including around four different sanded beaches, an outdoor
bar (with poolside gambling available during certain hours), a waterslide,
and two or three hot tubs. There are also more secluded areas if
you just want to relax and don't want to be disturbed. Of course,
the main reason (mine, anyway) you want to be out poolside is...
Oh. My. God. I have never seen so many drop-dead
gorgeous, silicone-enhanced bombshells staying at the same hotel in my
life. This is the hotel where the Beautiful People go, and there's
enough bikini-clad boobage to send you into sensory overload. It
can get a little out of hand sometimes, like when...
Young, Drunk, Coked Out, Incredibly Beautiful Teenage Hookers (and
their Pimps) Wander the Casino Area And Buy Cigarettes Before Going Out
To the Poolside Area, Making Out With Each Other and Flashing Half the
Hotel For Twenty Minutes Before Being Kicked Out By Security (Not For Flashing
People Or Dyking Out, But For Violating Hard Rock's Dress Code Because
One of Them Was Wearing A Completely See-Through Top)
I'm not kidding. I was cursing myself for not having my camera
on me for weeks afterwards. From what one of the dealers told me, it's a not-too-uncommon occurance.
If you like the whole mainstream dance club scene, then Baby's is
one of the best in town and you'll happily pay the $20 cover charge to
get in and enjoy the beats. If you don't go for that sort of thing,
then every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights you'll want to avoid Hard
Rock like the plague--because it's overrun by people who do.
Distance from the Strip
Hard Rock is about six blocks off the Strip, so it'll be a long walk
or a short taxi drive to get there. It wasn't that big a deal for
me, however, because I was having such a good time there that I just didn't
bother to ever leave Hard Rock for the three days I was there.
This is my only real gripe, and it's a relatively small one at that.
Most major casinos now have a comping system whereby you hand your "comp
card" to the pit boss whenever you sit down at a table (or insert it
into the slot machine you're playing) and you earn points depending on
how much money you spend at the casino. When you get a certain amount
of points, you start getting free stuff--free ride on the roller coaster
at 20 points, free buffet at 50 points, free room at 100 points, whatever.
Backstage Pass is Hard Rock's version of it. After a day or two
of using my card, I went back to the Backstage Pass counter and asked them
for a points list, they had absolutely no idea what I was talking about.
They explained (and I'm not quite sure if they were just clueless or it's
really true), there's no set point amounts that you get comped at, and
that it's entirely up to the pit boss' discretion when he starts comping
you. Well, okay, but then what's the point of having the damn
cards if you're just going to get arbitrarily comped anyway? It
may be that the stupid girls at the BP desk were idiots, but either they
have uninformed employees or their system sucks. Either way, it was
the one thing that really bothered me all week.
But anyway, aside from that one minor blip I truly enjoyed my experience
there, and I heartily recommend staying at Hard Rock to anyone visiting
Las Vegas anytime soon.