New York’s Hard Rock Hotel has music wove into the fabric of the exquisite venue

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From the $15,000-a-night Rock Star penthouse suite on the 36th floor to the Venue concert hall in the basement, the 446-room hotel – a baseball pitch from Times Square – celebrates the Big Apple’s musical energy while offering a luxurious base from which to explore. And while you can breakfast to the backdrop of Amy Winehouse or the Rolling Stones, the rock element remains a subtle presence, allowing a pleasant stay for those who don’t know their Muse from their Metallica.

Rooms offer floor-to-ceiling windows, a comfortable king-sized bed so big it crosses zip codes, an equally large flatscreen TV, Lavazza espresso machine, fridge, safe, armchairs and a table.

The tasteful dark blue and gold colour scheme continues into a well-stocked bathroom with shower, and a semi-transparent life-size image of Bruce Springsteen set into the door to watch over your ablutions.

New York’s Hard Rock Hotel is still a must for music fans


Music is woven into the very fabric of the building. Metal ropes run from floor to ceiling in the lobby atrium mimicking guitar strings, soundwave patterns are built into the marble flooring and even the push buttons in the lifts look like tiny cymbals. But the big attraction for music fans is the wealth of memorabilia on display.

Entering the hotel, you step into an Instagrammer’s dream with a silver mannequin on a plinth wearing an Alicia Keys yellow dress beside the striking circular staircase inset with spotlights which sweeps up to Sessions restaurant and bar above.

There, the walls are lined with glass-fronted cabinets displaying such items as Bob Dylan’s 12-string Martin acoustic, a love letter from Frank Sinatra to Mia Farrow, a James Brown jacket, and a large assortment of guitars. There’s even the suit John Lennon wore for A Hard Day’s Night.


Sessions is the main culinary hub of the hotel set in an expansive circular space on the first floor. There’s an extensive breakfast menu to get you fuelled up for pounding the streets, with cooked fare, a bagel cart (white sturgeon caviar, anyone?) and fruit platters. The soft scrambled eggs with crab flakes certainly hit the spot.

Lunches here range from huge club sandwiches, octopus carpaccio or burgers to salmon, chicken breast with mushroom ragout and mac & cheese. Starters are around $18 with mains going up to $38 for the prime ribeye. For fine dining, head downstairs to elegant NYY Steak, an atmospheric haven with low lighting, wood-panelled walls and a well-stocked bar. This carnivore’s paradise has a wide selection of cuts and for the true connoisseur with a fat wallet, you can even sample exclusive Kobe wagyu beef at $65 an ounce (minimum order 4oz)!

The coolest place to relax though is the RT60 bar and lounge on the 34th floor with its endless selection of cocktails, shareable bites and two rooftop terraces from which to sip a smokey old fashioned and gaze across the twinkling lights of Manhattan.


The hotel offers an ‘immersive guest experience’ which allows you to dive into a curated playlist inspired by the city you are staying in. You can even order a Fender from room service but, despite the hotel having 50 guitars for loan, and repeated enquiries, I failed miserably to get my hands on one.

Then, if banging out Smoke On The Water through headphones leaves you in need of unwinding, there’s a fully-equipped gym and moonlit rooftop yoga.


Times Square is on your doorstep and Broadway’s theatreland just around the corner. Grand Central, Carnegie Hall, the Chrysler building and the Empire State are nearby and a 15-minute stroll north brings you to the leafy oasis of Central Park.

I caught the No 7 train one stop to Hudson Yards and walked the High Line – once a dingy elevated railway, now one of New York’s best loved green spaces.

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