Besides being the city’s most convenient hotel for any theme park—the two parks are both a 10-minute walk away—the Hard Rock has more perks for the money than most of the city’s similarly priced hotels. Rooms have genuinely funky furniture, tons of mirrors, two sinks (one in and one out of the bathroom), two big beds, and music systems. The ginormous pool, which imitates a beach gently descending to depth, has not only a substantial water slide but also underwater speakers through which you can hear the party music. (They really bring out the finger cymbals in “Livin’ on a Prayer.”) The halls are lined with rock memorabilia (whoa: the gold-lion-head necklace Elvis was wearing when he met Nixon!). The Hard Rock really walks the rock walk: On the last Thursday of the month, the lobby is taken over by the rollicking Velvet Sessions ( concert series for well-known acts, which have recently included Bret Michaels, Taylor Dayne, and Survivor.