Hard Rock Hotel
Hard Rock Hotel
Location: Just Off The Strip
4455 Paradise Rd.
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Number of Rooms: 1500 Rooms
Rates: $119 and up double
Average: $150-$300 per night
Resort Fee: $36 per night plus tax
Vegas4Visitors Rating: 73
At a Glance
It doesn’t get any more hip or happening than this.
It doesn’t get any more hip and happening than this.
A bit of an oasis, but not too far from The Strip.
Can be very expensive to stay here.
Good bang for your buck.
Sexy, hip, and very comfortable.
Tons of action, but it can be very loud.
Rooms are very well-stocked.
Just about everything you need is on the premises.
A little cold at times.
If this is your crowd, this is your place for fun.
This isn’t my crowd.
Note: The Hard Rock Hotel has been purchased by billionaire Richard Branson who plans a $100 million renovation to every single corner of the property and a rebrand to Virgin Hotel Las Vegas. The project is already underway and expected to be complete by May of 2020. So everything you are about to read is from the Hard Rock era of the hotel and could be completely different when you visit. This review will be updated when the Virgin Hotel makes is formal debut.
And just in case it needs to be stated, there will be construction inconveniences if you choose to stay here while they are working.
Now… the Hard Rock…
When The Hard Rock Hotel debuted is was the fresh new kid on the block with a rock and roll theme, trying to change the game in terms of audience, ambience, and attitude. It was Rage Against the Machine; Alanis Morrisette; U2; Hootie and the Blowfish? Yes, it was 1995, which in Vegas terms means that the Hard Rock is no longer the young upstart, it’s the aging rocker still trying to be relevant. It’s Bon Jovi. It’s Kiss. It’s kind of like Cher.
It’s amazing what a couple hundred million dollars can do for an aging rocker’s appearance. No, that’s not a Cher joke.
The Hard Rock underwent a transformation a few years back, turning a relatively small niche property into something much larger and much more mainstream. But despite moving toward the middle of the road, so to speak, the Hard Rock is not going to be rocking for very much longer. The hotel was sold in 2018 to billionaire Richard Branson and partners and they plan on remodeling and rebranding the place as Virgin Las Vegas. What that will mean in terms of rooms, restaurants, entertainment, and all the rest is yet to be seen but don’t get married to anything you read from here on out – it’ll probably be changing.
That expansion a few years ago added casino space with hundreds of slots and dozens of table games plus a couple of bars and restaurant space. It’s much more upscale in design terms than the older space, all done in dark woods and metal giving it a lustrous, luxe sheen. If I were to gamble at the Hard Rock, this is the area I would choose.
The original check in desk and Porte Corchere are still in existence but there is a second with its own parking garage, valet parking area (complete with an enclosed, climate controlled waiting area – nice touch!), and check-in for the HRH Tower Suites. Done in more of that dark wood offset by glowing, backlit marble and glass, it’s decidedly more fancy than anything the older part of the hotel has to offer.
There are nightclubs, two concert venues (the big barn-like Joint and the more intimate Vinyl), shops, restaurants, and a Turkish Bath themed spa among other diversions. The latter, in an effort to perhaps prove that this is not your father’s spa, features a room with stripper poles so you can “exercise” your inner thighs, I suppose. They also have a live version of the male strip show seen in the Channing Tatum “Magic Mike” movies. Check out the Related Reviews below for some of the dining and entertainment options.
The pool area has two sandy-bottomed beach areas, beach clubs, gaming, and more acres of hot, tanned, toned bodies than you may have believed could be possible.
Finally we get to the rooms. The original hotel tower is still in operation of course but now there are two newer options.
The Paradise Tower is located just off the older of the parking garages that faces Paradise Road. The rooms here are bigger and nicer than the original Casino Tower rooms and are done in varying shades of brown, black, and white, which should be cold and sterile but actually comes off warmer than it has any right to. Packed with the all of the latest amenities – cushy beds, plush furniture, built in desks, flat panel televisions, iPod docking stations, wireless Internet, and more. About the only way in which they suffer by comparision to the Casino Tower rooms is that these don’t have the nice French doors and balconies. Pity.
Also worth noting is that the Paradise Tower rooms only have a shower – no tub – so if you are looking for a soak, try a different tower.
The HRH Tower perhaps. An all suite facility, the rooms come in two basic packages. King rooms are more of a studio with an entertainment center separating a sleeping and living area. Queen rooms have a formal wall with pocket doors between the two areas. Both have their pluses with the Queen rooms offering more privacy but the King rooms ultimately feel more spacious (even though they really aren’t). The decor here is mostly white and black, all very sleek and modern.
Special touches in these rooms include iPod docking stations built into the walls and a touchscreen, programmable jukebox of sorts. Guests can set up their own playlists from a library of thousands of songs or they can tap into the music being played in other parts of the hotel, from the casino to restaurants to the nightclubs. Pretty cool.
Bathrooms here feature a full tub and are much more spacious than those in the Paradise or Casino towers.
Speaking of the Casino Tower, those got a 2016 makeover that put in all new furnishings, swank decor, and lots of plush amenities like 55″ TVs. And don’t forget about the aforementioned balconies, which are quite nice, at least in theory. Whether you will ever use yours, especially when it’s a bazillion degrees outside, is probably doubtful.
The location of the property still leaves a bit to be desired – it is off ‘The Strip’ by about a mile, which doesn’t sound like a lot unless you are planning to walk that distance in 110 degree heat. There are more options nearby these days in terms of dining and shopping so it isn’t quite as isolated as it used to be but you’re still going to have to cab it to get to The Strip.
Prices these days are less pricey than they used to be or at least seem like they are in comparison. Weekday rates start as low as $89 although $130-$180 is more common and weekends are usually in the $200 and up range. Don’t forget that’s before the $36 per night resort fee. That’s expensive, to be sure, but with the expansion there is a lot more that comes with those rates.
The overall effect of the Hard Rock these days is much more grown up. True, the young party-all-the-time crowd that seems to flock to this place hasn’t stopped coming but the good news for everyone else is that hotel now has a lot more to offer, which means that if you can stand to be around the party-all-the-time crowd, you have a new option for your next Vegas visit. Whether they stick around when it becomes a Virgin hotel is yet to be seen. Tune in sometime after 2019.