I first learned how to play guitar as a pre-teen. If you have a youngster around and are looking for a holiday gift suggestion, let me recommend giving him or her a guitar. You’ll be giving a lifetime of fun.

Playing guitar is a lot like playing poker. Neither takes that long to learn, really. And with both, being an “amateur” or “recreational” player can be as entertaining and rewarding (in various ways) as can putting in the hours to learn how to play a high, proficient level.

Learn three or four chords and you can probably play two-thirds of the pop/rock canon. Learn what beats what in poker and perhaps a little beginner strategy and you’ll find you can win some of the time there, too. You won’t be Stephen Chidwick or Jimi Hendrix, but you’ll be fine.

Visiting any Hard Rock facility can be enjoyable for musicians and fans of popular music thanks to the brand-influenced emphasis on music imagery and memorabilia. But the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has now seriously upped the ante in that regard (pun intended).

And oh man… it rocks!

Following several years of construction, in late October the property’s newest addition and primary element of a $1.5 billion expansion finally opened — the world’s first Guitar Hotel.

Strikes a chord, doesn’t it?

“Can’t miss it!” grinned my taxi driver on the way in a couple of days ago, and we both had to laugh.

I have to admit, when I first learned I’d be coming to the Moneymaker’s Road to PSPC 2020 – Seminole event, I knew exactly where I wanted to stay.

The 36-story, 450-foot structure rises up majestically to dominate the South Florida skyline. The effect is Las Vegas-like, you might say. However, the guitar stands alone — literally and figuratively.

Steve Peck of the Klai Juba Wald Architecture firm is the designer of the Guitar Hotel, and the design and construction took nearly 10 years to complete.

The hotel is actually designed as two guitars standing back-to-back, which if you think about it makes sense. That way from either direction you can see the guitar face and strings, which spectacularly illuminate during the twice-nightly light shows. Meanwhile during the day the sky and clouds reflecting in the outfitted floor-to-ceiling glass panes produces an uncanny, almost surreal effect.

There are 638 rooms and suites inside, adding considerably to the similar number elsewhere on the property in the Hard Rock Hotel and smaller Oasis Tower. I’ve heard different stories about why the neck of the guitar ends where it does, including speculation about architectural design and physics and even area flight traffic.

While my mind involuntarily continues upward to complete the rest of the neck and tuning pegs up top, I like the look and how the massive instrument appears to disappear into the clouds. Even so, during the light shows six beams shoot skyward to trace that detail upwards into the night.

Up into the purple haze

I can’t say I’m especially aware I’m sleeping inside a guitar when I go to bed each night. I can say, however, that my room is especially nice and comfortable.

But step outside and walk around. Then look up.

Don’t be surprised if your jaw starts to drop, much as it might when listening to a dazzling, head-spinning guitar solo.

You’re feeling funny, and don’t know why…


Chris Moneymaker had the day off today, and he gave us a quick tour of the property — including some great views of the guitar. Take a look:

 

 


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