Casino Boy Says: Live fast and die young! But be comfortable here while you do!

Hotel Size:
Overall Quality:
Room Price:
Casino Size:
670 rooms
30,000 s.f.
Good-V. Good

Hard Rock Hotel
1-800-473-7625, 4455 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, NV 89109
Check out their Website.

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Room Quality These rooms are about as trendy as they come. The Crate and Barrel in Las Vegas must have been completely empty the week after this place opened up, because they cleaned them out. The rooms are a nice size, very clean and tastefully furnished. The two-bed rooms come with two queens, and the one-bed rooms have kings. The entire new tower is all two queen rooms, we understand. Two big French doors open up onto the pool (at least those on the pool side do), or a great view of the Strip. There is no balcony, though, just doors that open up onto a protective railing. Rumor has it that room service will bring you Oreos and milk if you pay them enough. The bathrooms in the older tower are bad, looking like those in a Motel 6, and the sink is weird, because some designer bought really non-functional faucets. However, this is all fixed in the new tower, where the bathrooms have tubs large enough for two, functional faucets, marble floors, counters and walls. If you love your bathrooms, make sure you get put in the newer part of the hotel.

Around $100
Around $60-$70
Around $140-$160
Around $100-$130

What Does Discount Mean?

Service Quality: Good. If you aren't old, they will treat you like you belong there. It helps a lot to have a goatee (boys) or fake boobs (girls). Take your I.D., though, because they are really scared of being raided thanks to their reputation as a hotbed for youth action. Also, older people will be happier visiting during the day when it is quieter and the stupid music isn't blaring over the buzz of a thousand airheads trying to pick each other up at the center bar.
What You Get Bottles of in the Bathroom: The dreaded shampoo/conditioner combo, almond scented lotion, and French-milled soap. They used to be larger than average hotel fare, but they have cut back and now the bottles are nothing special.
Clientele: Single fraternity and sorority members in their 20's, looking to become unsingle or at least get some. There are a few older people either looking for a mate in the prime of its life, or pillaging the full-pay video poker.
How's the pool? A great place for picking up chicks or guys, which is what this place is all about. It looks like it came right out of MTV Spring Break. There's a sand beach and plenty of places to ogle the opposite sex from. The coolest thing about the pool is the floating craps table. Just bring lots of sunblock in case you get on a hot roll.
Free Shuttle: The hotel runs a shuttle which stops at the Fashion Show Mall and the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. From the Cafe (just across the parking lot from the hotel), you can catch a free ride to he Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, the Las Vegas Hilton, the Stardust, Stratosphere, and Tropicana. (For all complete free shuttle info and schedules buy our guide--it's only $4).

Table Games: The casino is small, but they have versions of all the popular table games, with worse than average rules to help pay for the loud music. The blackjack used to be generous but it isn't any longer, and you'll be hard pressed to find a hald-dealt game. No surrender and they hit soft 17, the bastards!
Machines: Slots from a nickel to $100. An excellent cluster of full-pay video poker machines are available on some "multi-play" machines and at the 10/7 Poker bar area. The slots have "rock" themes with guitar necks for handles. don't let that fool you, though. No matter how cool you think they look, they still work exactly the same and they still take your money.
Bet Minimums: Five dollar table games at the slowest times, going up on weekends and holidays.
Cocktails? Fair cocktail service.The waitresses (who are often very pretty) here are more likely to get a big tipper drunk, and a big tipper means $5 a drink here. In our experience, if you're just an average joe who tips the average amount, they won't be back very often.
Who Gets Comps? We've gotten a couple of free nights here, but only because they thought we were someone we are not. Mostly, you need to be playing the black chips to get free rooms. At the slots, the slot club gives you 0.5% back in comps, which is pretty mediocre. They also happily rate $5 bettors at their tables. Not sure what they do with that information, but we know they will rate you if you ask.

AJ's Steakhouse:When Mortoni's just won't do, you must go to the steakhouse. It's good cuts of meat prepared with a slight lack of attention. We still prefer the old-school class of Binion's Ranch House or the Circus Circus Steakhouse for a perfect steak.
Mr. Lucky's: The Hard Rock's "rockin'" version of a coffee shop is, well, a coffee shop but with more types of appetizers on the menu. Ask the waitress what the unadvertised specials are, because they have a great late-night steak and shrimp plate ($5.95) that isn't on the menu.
The Counter: Even more coffee-shoppish than the coffee shop. It's quick and easy to eat here. It's also pretty good. If you don't have time for that full-blown coffee-shop experience, drop in.
Mortoni's: Yummy grub with a high price tag. This is a very California-style decor upscale meat and pasta restaurant with excellent meat. If you want to impress a man or lady in his/her 20s, dine here.
Pink Taco: Yes, the title is somewhat vulgar, but that's what the kids dig. It's a loud place for Mexican food by way of California. Better food can be had in California at an El Pollo Loco or Rubio's. But since you're not in California, this may have to suffice. If you need attitude with your salsa, you'll love it here.
Nobu: Outstanding food, pretentious atmosphere and high prices. It's Japanese cuisine with a Latin American twist. All we can think of is the Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori. The rumor is that their sushi is the best in Vegas.
Hard Rock Cafe: On the edge of the Hard Rock property is the Hard Rock Cafe, just like in every other big city. The food is overpriced, the music is too loud and there is a lot of rock and roll memorabilia on the wall. This is not within the hotel, but about 100 yards away.

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The Joint: A medium-sized rock concert venue with a good sound system. Check the schedule on their web site because they have some quality acts coming to town. After the concerts, this place turns into an all-night meat-market/dance club. Lots of pretty young things show off way too much flesh.
Baby's: This place is literally underground and you know what that means - it'll be the first place to flood in a storm. That's okay because it will wipe out all those annoying techno and rave kids with the very baggy jeans. Lots of rave music, flashing lights and people taking experimental drugs that will either make them overly friendly or psychotic.
The Bar: In the middle of the casino is a huge, round bar where hipsters in turtlenecks and slinky dresses drink martinis, smoke overpriced cigars and partake of a mating ritual that would surely be of interest to National Geographic. Go, sit back, and watch with amused detachment as guys and girls try a little too hard.

Number of TVs 22, but 16 of them are in a block and can be turned into one or more jumbo screens. There is no horse racing, so the seats all go to the sports bettors
Number of seats About 25 and you wouldn't believe how comfy they are. These leather recliners with coffee tables beside them are probably only second to the Bellagio for comfort.
How many betting windows? Three or four, it's a small book, but the signboards are electronic.
Free Drinks? We didn't see any, and believe me, we looked pretty hard.
Snack Bar? No snacks, and no snack bar nearby. I guess the snotty rich kid are too busy on their Atkins diets to mess with greasy snack foods.
Minium wager $5 will get you in the action.
Other Notes THe sports book is just off the casino floor so it can be noisy, and there are lots of punks who lost all their gambling money just wasting time in here. However, it's aq really fine sports book. The chairs encourage you to park your butt for a while.

Where? East of the South Strip
Who owns it? Peter Morton
Ostensible Theme One's first instinct might be to assume that the theme is rock 'n roll or the glories of pop music. But as my colleague Stinky pointed out to me, the theme of the Hard Rock Casino is actually the Hard Rock mega-chain.
Clientele The casino was chock-a-block full of status-conscious twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings who wish they were twenty-something again. One of the negatives about this place is the fact that some male patrons feel that they must wear silver leather pants and a tight, shiny top to give off that youth vibe. Perhaps because I was dressed less ostentatiously, I got carded- the only place to card me all weekend.
Employee costumes Cocktail waitresses wear classic lil' black dresses with a leopard print collar, just for pizzazz. Dealers wear leopard print vests and white shirts.
Carpet and Other Decor The exterior resembles a hospital, except for the giant neon guitar stabbing the carport. Actually, perhaps hospitals could learn from this. Wouldn't you be more likely to get your annual check-up if the hospital had a giant syringe or stethoscope skewering the roof? The facade is actually the canvas for the Hard Rock's own light show.

Over the door hangs a Stevie Ray Vaughan quote, "If this place is rockin', don't come a-knockin'." Funny, because I thought that bon mot came from a bumper sticker on my neighbor's van.

The carpet is purple with indigo musical bars and notes, gold stars. Pithy song lyrics from Led Zeppelin, Prince, the Sex Pistols, and Aerosmith are displayed over certain "appropriate" amenities; but really, do we want to contemplate the lyrics to "Love in an Elevator" while we're in an elevator with a bunch of strangers? Pop music memorabilia is displayed throughout the gaming room; most of the bands who have guitars and leather jackets on display can still be heard on your local classic rock station. Symbolizing the global empire of the Hard Rock franchise, the light fixtures look like giant globes. The lighting through most of the casino is very disco-esque. The gaming area is circular, affording a view of everyone else in the room. Seen and be seen, baby.

There are several offshoots to the main gaming area- the Peacock Lounge, Viva Las Vegas Lounge (has a tv), The Fender Room (has lots of guitars on the walls)

Music consisted mostly of 1980s hits, with a sprinkling of especially annoying tunes from this decade. I will say, however, that this is one of the few joints where the sounds of music and talking were louder than the beeping of slots and video poker.
Food Mr Lucky's is open 24-7. Mortoni's is the fancy eatery in this place.
Games Some banks of games have signs overhead that say things like, "Take the Money and Run" or "Race with the Devil". That must have something to do with the edgy rock 'n roll lifestyle, but I wouldn't know. The games are the same old square things, natch.
Entertainment In the past, Hard Rock has presented concerts by Joan Baez, Monster Magnet, and Enrique Iglesias. They even hosted an "X-treme Xmas" that featured the honky stylings of Vanilla Ice.
Services For your pretentious cigar needs, a cigar shop is within an easy walk from the gaming room. And, to provide MTV a new place to shoot their infamous Spring Break Specials, the Hard Rock is building a beach out back.
Did it work? Judging from the reactions of all the swingers in the room, this casino rakes in the green. However, if the question is "Does it rock?", I must reply, "It rocks about as hard as Zamfir, Master of the Pan Flute."
Suggestions Just die! You're ruining rock 'n roll for everyone else!


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