Hard Rock Lake Tahoe opened on January 28, 2015. The property originally opened as Sahara Tahoe. It was rebranded into High Sierra and later Horizon Lake Tahoe before becoming Hard Rock. The property closed in 2014 so that Hard Rock could completely remodel it.
Hard Rock is by far the nicest casino and hotel in Lake Tahoe. All furnishings were replaced during the renovation. This includes everything in the hotel and the casino floor.
One oddity is that there is no Hard Rock Café inside the Hard Rock Casino. That is because there is one inside Harveys that predates the opening of the new Hard Rock Casino.
The casino floor at Hard Rock Tahoe is smaller than its competitors. It is only 28,689 square feet. It has about 500 slot machines. The best video poker is full pay Jacks or Better. Unfortunately, it is only spread in denominations of $5 and higher in the high limit slot area. Lower limit players will find 8/5 Bonus Poker throughout the casino and on some multi play machines in high limit.
There are four single deck blackjack games with a $10 minimum that pay 3-2. These games only allow double down on 10 and 11 and not after splitting. There are a few single deck tables that pay 6-5 with a $5 minimum bet. There are six $10 shoe tables that pay 3-2 on blackjack and allow double down on any two cards and after splitting. Players may re-split aces. The dealer hits soft 17 at all blackjack tables at Hard Rock Casino Tahoe.
There are five craps tables with a $5 minimum bet. The odds are 3-4-5 times. The Field bet pays triple on 12. Don’t Pass players may be annoyed by the craps procedure at Hard Rock. The bet does not stay on the line. The dealer picks it up and places it behind the number after the come out.
There are two double zero roulette tables with a $5 minimum bet. There is also video roulette. The minimum for Pai Gow Poker and baccarat is $10. There are also several proprietary poker games. These include Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Three Card Poker, Four Card Poker and Mississippi Stud.
The Hard Rock Tahoe uses the Backstage Pass players club. While it carries the same name as other Hard Rock casinos, the players club at Hard Rock Tahoe is independent. You will need to sign up for a card, even if you have one from another Hard Rock location.
New players swipe for a free play prize on the kiosk. I received $4, while my wife got $2. A buy one get one free coupon for the Park Prime steakhouse is also issued by the kiosk to new players. Video poker players receive .1% in free play. There are mailers that give players free play, food and hotel rooms.
There are two types of hotel rooms at Hard Rock Tahoe. There is a standard room and a suite. The standard room has three pricing tiers. The standard room faces US 50. The next tier faces the lake. The top tier standard room includes a balcony on a higher level. Rates start at $109 during the week and $199 on weekends. Each tier jumps $40 per night. Suites start at $199 during the week and $249 on weekends. There is a $22 per night resort fee that is not included in the price.
There are four restaurants at Hard Rock Tahoe. Fuel is a coffee and sandwich shop. Fire Break is open 24 hours and serves all three meals, including a late night menu. There is an oyster bar that is also open 24 hours. The service there is average but the portions are generous. The high end restaurant is Park Prime. When we tried it out, it was one of the worst high end steakhouse experiences we ever had. It took nearly two hours for our meal to arrive correctly and the meal wasn’t fully comped.
Oddly, there is no Hard Rock Café on the property. That is located at Harveys because it was there before Hard Rock Tahoe opened in 2015.
The environment at Hard Rock is positive. It has a great aura. Drink service is excellent and the staff performs as expected. Guest rooms facing the lake are among the best anywhere in Lake Tahoe.
The best dining option is the oyster bar. The other restaurants are below average. The single deck blackjack that pays 3-2 was a pleasant surprise. The craps procedure from the don’t pass that moves the bet behind the numbers is annoying and unnecessary. Overall, Hard Rock is a decent place to gamble, drink and stay.