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

QuentinTarantino’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 therecently-opened Paradise Tower at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. Like skulls stenciled on your bedroomwall? Got that. A bed illuminatedby blue neon? Check. Wall-sized images of topless women enjoying a post-coitalsmoke above the headboard? No problem.

QuentinTarantino’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 therecently-opened Paradise Tower at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. Like skulls stenciled on your bedroomwall? Got that. A bed illuminatedby blue neon? Check. Wall-sized images of topless women enjoying a post-coitalsmoke above the headboard? No problem.

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Hard Rock Phil Shalala

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

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

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

TheTower is part of a $770M expansionof the existing property, which will include an entirely new, even more upscalebuilding, the HRH Tower, targetedto the hotel’s “more seasoned” guests (think: a tired Keith Richards.) It willopen in late December.

Noneof this is so unusual, given Las Vegas’ predilection for over-the-topextravagance. What’s remarkable isthat 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 thepast year have ranged from the crisp and straightforward “brutal,” to theflamboyantly hellish “financial apocalypse.”

The Fontainebleau and the Lake Las Vegasresort community are in bankruptcy, Echelon Place is dead in the water, and the massive CityCenter 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 bachelorparties holding fast to the sacred belief in man’s god-given right to party, issoldiering on, despite the downturn.

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

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

The375-unit HRH Tower Suites will include eight two-story mega-suites.They’ll have direct access to the “nudiepool,” a European-style pool where swimsuits are frowned upon. If it’s too chillyfor outdoor bathing, thesuites will provide interactivepool tables by Digital Obscura or holograms of women swimming in your ownprivate pool. Blow-up dolls are so2008!

Forthose who prefer to enjoy their amusements while clothed, the hotel isdeveloping a real rarity in Vegas–a five acre version of Central Park. Withapologies to Frederick Law Olmsted, the place will be short on scenic bridgesand leafy rambles and long on motocross tracks and volleyball courts.

Forfolks who are neither in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame nor a whiz at craps, wegot an exclusive look.

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hard rock hotel penthouse

About the author

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

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