Hard Rock returns to its roots and opens new hotel in its birth city of London

Hard Rock Hotel London

It's full circle for the Hard Rock brand: the international chain has opened a 900-room hotel in the heart of London, where the first Hard Rock Cafe was founded almost 50 years ago by a pair of American businessmen and restaurateurs.

Despite having 29 hotels in locations like Bali, Cancun, Ibiza and Shenzhen, the brand's London opening marks its first hotel property in the UK.

The Hard Rock Hotel London occupies prime real estate in the city, opening on the corner of Oxford Street at Marble Arch, and houses memorabilia from some of music's biggest legends, such as the Kirkwood piano used by Queen's Freddie Mercury as an adolescent and a 1958 letter in Buddy Holly's handwriting.

Building on its musical heritage, rooms feature Crosley turntables, while guests are also able to reserve a Fender guitar and jam in their room (to be played with headphones to avoid noise complaints).

The Hard Rock Café is able to seat 370 and features daily live music performances from both local and international artists. The menu is "American-inspired."

The first Hard Rock Café was opened in the British capital in 1971 by American expats Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton. Or, as the site's corporate history describes, "two shaggy-haired Americans who just wanted to find a good burger while living in London."

Morton would also go on to found the chain Morton's Steakhouse.

More Hard Rock hotels and casinos are slated for cities like Amsterdam, Berlin, Budapest, Dublin, Madrid, Maldives, New York City, Ottawa, Sacramento, Dalian and Haikou in China.

One of the most anticipated openings this fall is the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood in South Florida, which will become the world's first guitar-shaped hotel.

The Hard Rock chain is present in 74 countries.