By Merilee Kern, ‘The Luxe List’ Executive Editor
As of May 2014 ten years will have passed since the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino opened up in Hollywood, Florida. Now with a 96% year-round occupancy rate, an AAA Four-Diamond rating, and an array of accolades, this destination is at the top of its game. Located in the Seminole Tribe territory, the hotel has held true to the tribe’s vision of creating a landmark destination with international appeal that also has a positive economic and social impact on the South Florida community at large. Amid its success, this Hard Rock property—which boasts no less than 700 original pieces of original memorabilia—continues to add new features and enhance those existing, like ramping up its VIP program to ensure participating guests are treated like rock-and-roll royalty.
Heading up this exalted VIP experience is Samantha Cox, the hotel’s Director of VIP Services, who’s unofficially known as the Ultimate “Go-To” Girl. Her mandate is to facilitate special requests to ensure the most memorable VIP guest experiences possible. And, options abound. From shaking hands with Al Pacino to private concerts with the likes of Stevie Wonder to meet and greets with Dr. Mehmet Oz, Samantha, who formerly served as personal executive assistant to Virgin Group chairman and founder Sir Richard Branson, makes it happen.
While the Hard Rock brand boasts 180 different types of venues in 55 countries, this particular Hard Rock is a flagship location—the one-and-only property that has all of the elements for an utterly complete Hard Rock experience. That means it’s the lone Hard Rock that offers hotel accommodations, a casino, a Hard Rock Live theater for entertainment, a Hard Rock Café for bites and beverages, a Rock Shop and retail shopping district, tropical pool oasis, convention center with ballrooms, Rock Spa for pampering, and one of South Florida’s most exhilarating nightlife districts. The convivial confusion here is not what you should do, but rather what you should do first. And, for VIP high rollers, the options for amping up these and other available experiences are seemingly endless.
As would be expected, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has some super cool amenities. One of note is designed as the ultimate outdoor play space for VIPs: the resort’s exclusive, utterly spectacular pool chickee oasis inspired by the DIY Network Man Caves program. This poolside party palace offers 520-square feet of well-appointed paradise that comes complete with its own intimate plunge pool, seven plush lounge chairs, three canopy umbrellas and an oversized wrap-around couch on a lavish private patio that is enveloped in lush, tropical landscaping. And, this special oasis is not short on modern entertainment. It features a state-of-the-art entertainment system that includes a 70” Smart LED HDTV, an iPod dock, and a PlayStation3 with complimentary Wi-Fi. “Man Cave” chickee guests also enjoy a stocked refrigerator, a wet bar, table seating for six, a personal safe to store belongings, a secluded shower, cooling misters and a remote-controlled glass fireplace. Of course, this space wouldn’t be complete without a personal butler and a dedicated Beach Club attendant.
To sustain the resort’s standards of excellence, they are continually looking for other unique ways to elevate the on-site experience for VIPs. Towards this end, the property has also added specialized wine-pairing dinners at its signature Council Oak Steak & Seafood restaurant, and offers top tournament play at the casino, including blackjack, slots, and record-breaking guaranteed poker events. Another exciting amenity for VIPs is “The Dinner Series” at the resort’s Chef’s Table, an exclusive private dining experience where one of the talented Hard Rock Chefs designs and prepares a three-course menu “live” in the resort’s culinary workshop. The Chef’s Table dinner is a unique experience that offers guests a more intimate setting.
Of course, music is the central theme of what the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino embodies. Through the destination’s VIP Series program, they transform Hard Rock Live from a traditional entertainment arena into a luxurious space with a fun atmosphere to deliver intimate concerts with some of the most popular artists and pop-culture icons. Past concerts have featured Lionel Richie, Brian Wilson, and Jeff Beck.
The overarching VIP strategy is the cornerstone of Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s steadfast focus on increasing customer loyalty. The hotel is making great strides to reward both frequent and high-caliber guests. That’s where Samantha comes in. After all, she understands that, to feel like a rock star, guests have to know their special requests will be met…no matter what. In keeping with the resort’s VIP service-oriented vision, Samantha aims to say “yes” as often as possible.
"The Luxe List" Executive Editor Merilee Kern scours the luxury marketplace for exemplary travel experiences, extraordinary events, and notable products and services. Submissions are accepted at www.LuxeListReviews.com. Follow her on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/LuxeListEditor and Facebook here: www.Facebook.com/TheLuxeList.
***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above were provided at no cost to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***