Summer Amplified in Tampa
WITH HARD ROCKIN’ RHYTHM & MOTION
By Robin Jay
Everyone on the East Coast of South Florida knows the entertainment mecca where rock royalty lives is Hard Rock Live and the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood. What you may not know is that just four hours away, a summer rockin’ vacation more Zeppelin than Zen awaits at sister property Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tampa.
When you check in for the Sound of Your Stay Program, you won’t be handed a chocolate chip cookie. That’s sissy stuff. Rather, agents will greet your inner rock star with a choice of 18 different world-class Fender Stratocasters, as well as a pair of SOUL headphones by Ludacris, a Fender Mustang Floor multi-effect pedal and a tailor-made soundtrack for your own private in-room jam session! My boys chose the standard left-handed Stratocaster midnight wine rosewood guitar. I’ve never seen them more excited.
After you get your in-room rock on, take your stage cue and head down to the Rock Spa for some “Rhythm & Motion,” the world’s first fully immersive music-centric spa menu utilizing amplified vibrations, pressures and patterns as the foundation of its treatments. This groundbreaking experience will take you on a rhythmic ‘Synchronicity’ massage journey that starts with an overhead sound bubble, enveloping you with soothing tempos. Beats are synchronized to vibrations within the massage table that quickly send you into dreamland.
After the Rock Spa, head into the modern casino featuring 24/7 high-energy gaming action, including high-stakes table games, thousands of slot machines and a new smoke-free area offering 250 popular games. Then relax in the luxurious outdoor pool, complete with underwater speakers, a pool bar and poolside chickee cabanas.
After an action-filled day enjoying the amenities at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, you’ll no doubt have an avid appetite. For an innovative and sophisticated fine-dining experience, visit Council Oak Steaks & Seafood. The name stems from the iconic, ancestral oak tree, which is still in existence (in Hollywood), and is where tribe leaders gathered to discuss tribe affairs.
Council Oak offers the finest 100 percent USDA prime steaks – dry-aged 21 to 28 days – and cut to order in their on-site butcher shop. I had the pleasure of trying the evening special by Chef de Cuisine Dave Puatu – a 60-day dry aged New York Strip, which was prepared and seasoned perfectly rare with an amazing Pittsburgh style crust and rich au poivre sauce. If you’d like to add a bit of surf to your turf, the seafood here is brought in daily from local fishermen, and live Maine lobsters from their custom-made saltwater tanks are available with each course. Patrick House, Assistant General Manager/Wine Sommelier, precisely paired with an award-winning wine.
Save room for a one-of-a-kind homemade dessert. We tried the famous Council Oak 151 Volcano, flambéed tableside. It was as much fun to watch being prepared as it was delicious to eat. After dinner, relax for a bit in the Council Oak Lounge, where you’ll enjoy live entertainment and specialty cocktails.
Marc Murphy’s Grey Salt
For an innovative Mediterranean meal in a modern and welcoming venue with a vibrant open kitchen, lemon-jar vases and whitewashed wood panels, visit Grey Salt by Chef Marc Murphy at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa. The menu takes inspiration from Murphy’s childhood, highlighting items that trace back to his French heritage and Italian roots. With locally sourced fresh seafood, the menu also features artisanal flatbread, handmade pastas as well as rotisserie and grilled meats. Some of our favorite dishes included the kale salad with marcona almonds, goat feta and lemon vinaigrette; the spicy lamb and tzatziki grilled flatbread; the succulent roasted duck; the roasted chicken (which requires a three-day marinating preparation process); and the grilled pineapple with mascarpone, Moroccan honey and pistachios. Pablo, the wine and spirits manager at Grey Salt, was superb!
He paired our courses with excellent Mediterranean-region wines and then spoiled us with house-made limoncello and fine port during dessert. Outstanding!