p42_a.jpgProperty Profile:  Seminole Hard Rock Casino
Tampa, FL
1-800-937-0100
www.seminolehardrock.com
Published March 2008
Written By Mary Maguire

The city of Tampa is known for a lot more than sun, sand and seafood. With the lively nightlife and gambling options, a weekend in Tampa can turn the ordinary into extraordinary, especially at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino. When you walk into the lobby of the hotel, you are blatantly and beautifully reminded that it is all about the music. The lobby is decorated with a hip and funky flare, and the walls are covered with pictures of rockers from Lennon to Lennox, making any guest feel like a rock star. From the beginning to the end of your stay, you will be treated like one as well.

Upon checking in, you will encounter the helpful bellhops, who are above courteous and give that vital positive first impression. Once smoothly checked-in and entering the room, it is hard not to become enraptured in its lush furniture and blue and beige colors. The music coming from the television is welcoming and adds to the rich rock ‘n’ roll atmosphere. From the moment you walk through the door, you will have already seen enough to make you want to stay.

After exploring and praising the room’s amenities, the next stop is the casino that boasts a surreal feeling that you are not in Tampa, Fla., anymore. It’s a vibe more reminiscent of Las Vegas. There are people everywhere, music meandering from every direction and one-of-a-kind rocker memorabilia decorating the walls to create an electric atmosphere.

While the gambling is enticing, take some time to wander around, uncovering all that is available. Notice the wall décor including Shakira’s sexy outfits, a variety of Grateful Dead concert art and an authentic guitar played by Willie Nelson. As with most Hard Rocks throughout the nation, the priceless and vast amount of authentic memorabilia is amazing.

While the art and collections are fascinating, the culinary options are impressive as well. Whether you are looking for a café, sushi spot, steakhouse or a food court, you will find what you are looking for. In addition to the array of casual restaurants, you might find fine dining fits your taste. The highly acclaimed and newly added Council Oak Steakhouse has received much praise and is quickly becoming an area favorite. Guests find the food to be outstanding and opulent, to say the least.
p42_b.jpgOnce inside the restaurant, the noise of the casino drowns out, and you quickly forget about being in a hotel or casino. As your stay continues, impressions will elevate with superior service and selection. After being warmly welcomed by the manager, the festivity of foods begins with a display of sea treasures including colossal shrimp, succulent oysters and clams, large and luscious lobsters and, a definite favorite, Florida Stone Crabs.

A wide range of salads is available with crisp bacon and perfectly pungent blue cheese hidden within the lettuce. Another recommendation is the Council Oak Field Green Salad, delightfully delicious with the perfect combination of pears, gorgonzola and caramelized walnuts.

Try the filet or sea bass to get a feel for the restaurant’s range of cuisine beyond steaks. You will not be disappointed. The filet is fantastic and flavorful, thanks to Council Oak’s dry-aging process, making the steak so moist it seems to melt in your mouth. Also offered are the restaurant’s signature steak sauces, but this steak can stand alone, leaving no need for additional adornment. The sea bass was perfectly crisp on the outside while flaky and buttery on the inside, all resting on a decadent and rich white truffle risotto. It was heavenly – possibly the best you will ever have, and at a very reasonable price.

Of course you can’t have dinner without dessert! The flambéing of the crème brule tableside and the presentation of the white chocolate cheesecake were both superb! These deliciously decadent desserts are sure to be a wonderful ending to anyone’s dining experience.

After dinner, venturing into the ever-so-happening Floyds Lounge will remind you of a chic city scene. High ceilings, great music and beautiful people set the mood for a night on the town, without leaving the property.

p42_c.jpgBe sure to treat yourself to some time in the Body Rock Spa to sooth and relax in luxury. It just might be the best massage you will ever have. This ultra trendy and eclectic spa, with an adjacent workout facility, offers everything you might need to soothe your body, mind and soul. Services ranging from manicures and pedicures, to mud treatments and body polishing, can be enjoyed in-room or poolside, along with a special Spa Meal to complement your treatment.

The morning after a long night in the casino and lounge always deserves a good brunch, so be sure to check out the Hard Rock Fresh Harvest before you leave. The assortment and options of food are quite breathtaking, and each bite is as delicious as the one before. The light and bright energy of the restaurant is enough to make you want to stay.

Your stay at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino Hotel in Tampa is bound to be impeccable. The luxurious and entertaining experience will serve as a great getaway, even if you never set foot on the casino floor.

Live impeccably, eat exceptionally and travel leisurely! For reservations, call (800) 937-0010 or visit www.seminolehardrock.com.