Colored lights illuminated the exterior of the new Hard Rock Casino Biloxi's Platinum Tower on Thursday night when a sneak peek gave invited guests a first look at the hotel that opens today.
Kim Daoust, designer with Tandem in Las Vegas, promised the crowd this hotel is something unique for her company, "and we do hotels and casinos around the world." After the traditional guitar-smash celebration, General Manager Duncan McKenzie led a tour of the tower.
The music memorabilia that fills the Hard Rock Biloxi carries through to every floor of the new hotel. Guests pass by Elvis Presley's pajamas and outfits worn by Sammy Davis Jr. and Johnny Cash in the hallway between the lobby and the new hotel. Upstairs is memorabilia from Gene Simmons, Buddy Guy, Sammy Hagar, Brett Michaels and more. Floors 1 through 10 are ready for guests and the final touches are in progress on the top two floors, McKenzie said. He called the decor and design of the hotel "exotic and irreverent" and said it's unlike anything else in South Mississippi.
The tower, on the south side of U.S. 90, curves around the resort's tropical swimming pool and provides views out to the barrier islands from the south side. North-facing rooms overlook the city and Back Bay. Even the "standard" rooms have glass nearly floor to ceiling in both the bedrooms and baths, along with Hard Rock robes in the lighted zebra-wood wardrobes, built-in seating areas, double vanities, oversized showers and custom furnishings and art. In the suites, huge soaking tubs fill with a rain shower from the ceiling. The seven Cabana Suites on the first floor overlooking the pool and seven Sky Suites on the top floor have balconies. The 140 rooms and 14 suites push the total at Hard Rock Biloxi to 479 rooms.
Roy Anderson Corp built the original Hard Rock Biloxi, which was two days from opening when Hurricane Katrina caused $180 million in damage. The company rebuilt the resort and now this tower. Justin Wheeler with Leucadia National Corp., owner of the resort, said Hard Rock Biloxi has been ranked the best in the brand in four of the last five years. The new hotel "is a testament to the brand," he said.