HARD ROCK LIFE

It’s a #HardRock life for me!  Calling Orlando my hometown always receives envious ooh’s and ahh’s from people I meet. Especially those in England where I now primarily reside. It makes me giggle because I think being from Florida, to them, means endless sunny days and laid back retreats. Well with all due respect it’s actually true. The jealousy is well deserved! Though I’m used to the colorful resorts of Orlando (not complaining!) I recently found the perfect day-cation spot: Tampa’s “Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino”.

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 Far enough from home but close enough for a much needed girl’s getaway I set out to get the lay of the land with my BFF of many years, Erin. Our first stop was the glittering oasis that is the Hard Rock pool. Upon arrival we checked in with Diane at the “Rock Spa” (oh we’ll get to that later…) who escorted us to our “chickee”. This is what they call the adorable little huts/cabanas by the pool! Diane was super informative about the grounds, entertainment and various areas we would later play in.

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We then met Ashley who would be with us all day to help with anything we needed at our cabana that was already loaded with snacks, drinks, a flat screen TV, cushions, towels, deck chairs etc.! She recommended some of her favorites from the lunch menu. For drinks we admittedly didn’t need help…we had our eyes set on two of the festive alcoholic beverages that were tasty and refreshing. It was such a relaxing few hours we spent at the pool, inside the pool and around it’s pretty tropical surroundings.

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Next up was the “Rock Spa” experience! Erin and I each opted for deep tissue massages. We were escorted to a pretty waiting room (pictured) with flavored water and healthy snacks and then changed in what I can only describe as an elegantly luxurious women’s lockeroom.

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 Due to my slacking on my usual yoga routine and my recent long plane journeys in seats as stiff as a board…my back was in such pain! I went for my massage and informed Kristen, my masseuse, of my knotty condition as she gave me a full body massage. I was pleased to hear her advice and recommendations on yoga practices I could do in my own time to lessen the pain should it arise again. This was such a welcome difference to other massages I’ve had where the person massaging me was quiet, cold or downright creepy with heavy breathing and no music. (Yes that happened once!). This massage was thorough and I felt 100% at ease.

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I should mention as an anecdote that Erin was not in my room but could have been. We had such a laugh about how a “couples massage” would’ve been fun for gossip but way too close for comfort. We’ll save that for actual partners of ours. Though I don’t think the gossip will be as entertaining…

The cutest touch at the spa, by the way, was after our massages we were each given an adorable spoonful of mango/raspberry sorbet. Refreshing and such a classy final touch! With our spa trip coming to an end we met up in the uber chic lockeroom again and enjoyed the jacuzzi and steam room. After another quick jaunt to the pool (and maybe another cocktail…but who’s counting?) we were ready to get our ROCK on!

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Switching gears into evening outfits based on black leather and edgy metal accessories we headed over to the “Hard Rock Cafe” within the casino, stopping by a few machines to try our luck. I lost about 40 cents and was pretty upset about that. Oh…did I not mention I’m weirdly frugal? All that losing really worked up my appetite!

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We were greeted at the front of the “Hard Rock Cafe” and taken to a cozy booth near the stage. Turns out this place is also a badass live music venue! Different to so many other Hard Rock’s I’ve seen in Los Angeles, Orlando etc. this one had it’s own distinctive charm. And speaking of charm…our waiter Freddie couldn’t have been more charming. Right off the bat he introduced us to the new Vegetarian menu. We started with an appetizer that I am STILL talking about and craving: buffalo cauliflower bites! These were just delicious. Crispy, tangy little bites of heaven. Served with ranch or blue cheese. (We had both!)

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Our entrees were also delightful. I opted for a hearty (but healthy) quinoa salad and Erin had classic fajitas. As you can see from the photos the presentation was colorful and fun. The prosecco we chose is one that I hope to feature in an upcoming article of “Glass of Bubbly” magazine. Stay tuned for that one!

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 I purposely included a photo of the espresso we had to end our meal. Freddie informed us that while they didn’t serve it in the cafe he went next door to get them for us. Now that’s service! We later were told he had no idea we were doing a review which made his sweet demeanor and eagerness to please us that much more genuine. Thumbs up to Freddie!

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After some more gambling…where I lost a whopping four dollars that I am still a little cross about…Erin and I headed home talking excitedly about what a fun time we had living the “Hard Rock Life”. The beautiful decor, interesting memorabilia and energetic atmosphere is what I always expect from the Hard Rock. But overall the staff is what made us want to come back someday soon.

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 We want to thank Darien from Hard Rock’s social media and all of the staff who made us feel like real rock stars! Next time you’re in the area please stop by the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Tell them SoCalVal sent ya! If that won’t bring you luck at the poker tables…what will? 😉

Rock on, my friends!

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