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Guitar Hotel joins architecturally unique global structures

HOLLYWOOD — The Guitar Hotel – all 450 feet of it shaped like back-to-back guitars – is now open at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood.

As the first guitar-shaped hotel in the world, it is now part of the ranks of out of the ordinary structures the world over.

At the grand opening celebration of the hotel and expanded resort Oct. 24, Jim Allen said the task was a difficult one, and he noted how many people thought it was a crazy idea to begin with.

The Hang Nga Guesthouse in Đà Lat, Vietnam, is also known as the “Crazy House.” The unconventional structure was designed and built by Vietnamese architect Đang Viet Nga. Described as a “fairy tale house,” the building’s overall design resembles a giant tree, incorporating elements that represent natural forms like animals, mushrooms, spider webs and caves. (Photo Hang Nga Guesthouse)

“We had the most talented design and construction team in the world,” Allen, chairman of Hard Rock International and CEO of Seminole Gaming, said at the grand opening.

Steve Peck of Las Vegas’ Klai Juba Wald was the lead architect on the project.

Dave Miller, Hard Rock VP, and Joe Emanuele, SVP of design and construction for Hard Rock International, were key in bringing the Guitar Hotel to life as well, Allen said.

The Icehotel Sweden is comprised of a mix of permanent buildings and seasonal ice structures. Simple, temporary rooms made of ice come with platform beds, thermal sleeping bags and reindeer hides. (Photo Icehotel Sweden)

“It was an unbelievable commitment around the clock for three years,” Allen said. “It’s one thing when you build a resort, what we call a greenfield (previously undeveloped site) from the ground up, the bankers get a little nervous on that one.”

Allen recognized the Rockwell Group, Wilson Associates, EDSA, Cleo Design, Lawrence Associates, Wimberly Interiors, Sceno Plus, Wet Design Group and others for contributing to not only the Guitar Hotel, but executing an elaborately designed casino-resort from top to bottom and a state-of-the-art Hard Rock Live entertainment venue.

The Guitar Hotel in Hollywood is 450 feet tall and its shape goes with the theme of Hard Rock International, which is owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The hotel feaures orchestrated outdoor music and light shows that capitalize on LED lights built into every side of the guitar. The lights are programmed to change color and intensity, with changes timed to music. Six fixed high-powered beams of light project at least 20,000 feet into the night sky. (Photo Beverly Bidney)

“When we decided to create this building, we needed a structural engineer that was world renowned,” Allen said.

He said he found DeSimone Consulting Engineers with an office in Miami to fill the role.

“The founder of that firm, Vince, unfortunately passed about a year and a half ago,” Allen said. “And I’ll never forget when he called me up and he used a few f-bombs and asked me if I was out of my you know what kind of mind trying to create a building that’s shaped like a guitar.”

The Seminole Tribune thought it would be fun to showcase some of the other unique hotels around the world that the Guitar Hotel now joins.

The Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort is a luxury hotel and resort located in Huzhou, China. Its nicknames include the “Horseshoe Hotel” and “Doughnut Hotel” due to its torus geometrical shape. The horseshoe-shaped, 27-story structure sits on Lake Tai between Nanjing and Shanghai. (Photo Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort)
The Manta Resort at Pemba Island, Tanzania, is known for it’s underwater rooms. Anchored in an ocean floor anomaly, the floating underwater room is encapsulated within a turquoise blue bubble. The Swedish engineered floating structure has three levels. (Photo Manta Resort)
Damon Scott
Damon is a multimedia journalist for the Seminole Tribune. He has previously been an editor and reporter for digital and print media in Florida and his home state of New Mexico. Send him an email at