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Looking for Inspiration for Hotel Design? Try Violent, Profane Movies

Quentin Tarantino’s cult classic, “Reservoir Dogs,” with its cast of violent, sociopathic killers with names straight out of a Crayola box–Mr. Orange, Mr. Blue, Mr. Pink–was the inspiration for a 10-pack of rooms at the recently-opened Paradise Tower at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas.

Quentin
Tarantino’s cult classic, Reservoir Dogs, with its cast of violent,
sociopathic killers with names straight out of a Crayola box–Mr. Orange, Mr.
Blue, Mr. Pink–was the inspiration for a 10-pack of rooms at the
recently-opened Paradise Tower at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. Like skulls stenciled on your bedroom
wall? Got that. A bed illuminated
by blue neon? Check. Wall-sized images of topless women enjoying a post-coital
smoke above the headboard? No problem.

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Hard Rock Phil Shalala

“Everyone
was so afraid we’d look like another Morgans Hotel property,” says Hard Rock
CMO Phil Shalala. “But we kept our brand.” Indeed.

The
ten pool suites in “The Dime” were designed by South African designer Mark Zeff
of ZeffDesign and Las Vegas-based designer Mark Tracy of Chemical Spaces to be
decadent, party-like-a-rock-star spaces. Each one is outfitted with the accoutrements critical to the life of a
hard-partying young music or entertainment industry executive: direct access to the pool, 8-person
Jacuzzis, cast iron “Tea for Two” tubs, and iPod docking stations.

The
Paradise Tower’s penthouse, with its interactive digital pool table and
platinum walls and hot tubs, is an homage to the lads from “Entourage.”

The
Tower is part of a $770M expansion
of the existing property, which will include an entirely new, even more upscale
building, the HRH Tower, targeted
to the hotel’s “more seasoned” guests (think: a tired Keith Richards.) It will
open in late December.

None
of this is so unusual, given Las Vegas’ predilection for over-the-top
extravagance. What’s remarkable is
that the project is proceeding at all, given the city’s near economic collapse.
The words being used to describe what happened to Sin City’s economy over the
past year have ranged from the crisp and straightforward “brutal,” to the
flamboyantly hellish “financial apocalypse.”

The Fontainebleau and the Lake Las Vegas
resort community are in bankruptcy, Echelon Place is dead in the water, and the massive City
Center project
was the subject of a harrowing rescue.

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But,
says Shalala, the Hard Rock, buoyed by its blend of music industry guests, and bachelor
parties holding fast to the sacred belief in man’s god-given right to party, is
soldiering on, despite the downturn.

“The
only thing down right now is the average room rate,” he says. “There’s no more
$250 rooms midweek.”

But
revenues from food and beverage, accommodations, and gaming are up 25 to 30%
over last year, and the 475-room
Paradise Tower is sold out until the end of November. “Our demographic is sick
of being told the economy sucks,” Shalala says.

The
375-unit HRH Tower Suites will include eight two-story mega-suites. They’ll have direct access to the “nudie
pool,” a European-style pool where swimsuits are frowned upon. If it’s too chilly
for outdoor bathing, the
suites will provide interactive
pool tables by Digital Obscura or holograms of women swimming in your own
private pool. Blow-up dolls are so
2008!

For
those who prefer to enjoy their amusements while clothed, the hotel is
developing a real rarity in Vegas–a five acre version of Central Park. With
apologies to Frederick Law Olmsted, the place will be short on scenic bridges
and leafy rambles and long on motocross tracks and volleyball courts.

For
folks who are neither in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame nor a whiz at craps, we
got an exclusive look.

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hard rock hotel penthouse

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About the author

Linda Tischler writes about the intersection of design and business for Fast Company.

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