Las Vegas Travel Guide
Loyalty Program News / Loyalty Programs / Viva Vegas / Hyatt Gold Passport / Starwood Preferred Guest / Hilton HHonors / Marriott Rewards / Fine Hotels and Resorts / → All Tags
If you're a frequent hotel guest, then you're probably a member of that hotel's loyalty program. Or you should be, so you can earn and use loyalty points at different hotels across the world.
While using a hotel's loyalty program is pretty straight-forward (find the hotel brand in whatever city you like and book), things work a little bit differently in Las Vegas which is dominated by massive hotel-casino resorts. In past years, you needed to be a member of a casino's players club program to earn rewards like upgrades, dinner comps and free rooms.
But that's no longer the case. Even first-time visitors to Vegas (affectionately called Vegas Virgins on our sister site, VegasChatter.com), can get a free room, a killer view, and more, all through their existing loyalty program membership.
See where your favorite hotel loyalty program can be used in Vegas below!
It's been nearly three years since the legendary Sahara Hotel closed down in Las Vegas and we've been stalking the property's transformation into the SLS Las Vegas ever since. And now, thanks to our super SLS stalker sibling, VegasChatter, we've got an opening date--Labor Day Weekend.
Hotelier Sam Nazarian announced the date on the SLS blog simply saying:
Hello Vegas! It’s been an incredible journey these past few years and I’m proud and humbled by some big news – SLS Las Vegas is officially opening Labor Day Weekend 2014. Looking forward to toasting The Strip’s next chapter with you! We are “back” indeed!
No word on when the room reservations will open or how much they will cost but given that Labor Day weekend is a big weekend in Vegas and this is a much-hyped new hotel and casino, we bet it will be a pretty penny. But we'll do our best to get in there on opening day.
Still interested in attending opening weekend? You can always book the SLS 5th Anniversary Package which includes two tickets to the SLS Las Vegas opening. For "only" $10,000!
Ever since Gansevoort Las Vegas was dismissed as the operator for Caesars Entertainment's new boutique hotel in Vegas (opening in the old Bill's Gambling Hall building), speculation on the new name has been running wild, with most folks, including us and our super sibling, VegasChatter, believing it to be The Cromwell. Lo and behold, today's announcement from Caesars, made moments ago on their website. Here are the details:
With its prime location on one of the busiest intersections of the Las Vegas Strip – one that welcomes more than 20 million passersby each year – The Cromwell will feature 188 rooms and suites, a 40,000 square foot casino, hotel lobby bar, lounge, restaurant by Giada De Laurentiis and day and nightlife venues by Victor Drai.
Indeed, not much has changed from the original Gansevoort announcement, not even the purple-hued logo on the rendering. (Here's what the rendering used to look like.)
Bitcoin / Bitcoin Hotels / Geek Hotels / Viva Vegas / Las Vegas Hotels / Downtown Vegas Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
We thought Bitcoin, the open-source internet currency, was over…as far as using it to pay for hotel stays. Indeed, the Howard Johnson hotel in Fullerton, Calif. that we spoke to back in 2011 stopped using it after the Bitcoin market crashed.
But today Bitcoin is back and is now accepted in the one city where money talks--Las Vegas.
Two Downtown Vegas hotels--the D Las Vegas and the Golden Gate Hotel & Casino will begin taking Bitcoins starting tomorrow, including the front desk for each hotel and the D's gift shop. You can even use Bitcoin to pay for Coney Dogs at American Coney Island and steaks at Joe Vicari’s Andiamo Italian Steakhouse. Here's how it will work:
Bitcoin purchases at the casino hotels will be processed through BitPay, a service that streamlines transactions using tablet and mobile interfaces. Tablets programmed with BitPay will be installed at each cashier, allowing Bitcoin users to easily pay for services using their mobile wallets.
Derek Stevens, CEO of the D and Golden Gate, said the hotels began accepting Bitcoin due to "guest demand." Hmm…while we like how Stevens took initiative, guest demands sounds unlikely. After all, do you know someone using Bitcoin? Seriously, do you? Ok, maybe some of you do. But most of us just know about Bitcoin from its Wikipedia page.
Nonetheless, one Bitcoin equals roughly about $822 and considering that rooms at the D start at $22 tomorrow night, if you're in possession of just one Bitcoin, then you can go wild in Vegas.
If we were a betting person, which we really aren't, we'd place some HUGE bets on the new name for Bill's Gambling Hall (which was supposed to be the The Gansevoort Las Vegas until that deal crapped out)--THE CROMWELL.
VegasChatter reported on the rumor on Monday, initially uncovered by Vegas Seven who cited sources as saying "the deed is done." Indeed, when we hit up the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office database, we found The Cromwell to be registered to Caesars (So have several websites, according to Vegas Seven.). Everything else planned for the property should remain the same including 188 sexy, boutique-style guestooms, 19 suites, a Strip-side restaurant from Giada de Laurentiis (yes, that Giada) and the return of Drai's nightclub, which will include a rooftop pool and day club.
And now given the news that Caesars' player's club, Total Rewards, has partnered up with SPG we fully expect some new SPG Moments to include a cooking class with Giada and a poolside cabana at Drai's.
We're just wondering how The Cromwell, which is such a staid sort of name, will fare in Sin City. Then again, we thought The Cosmopolitan was silly at first. So the name is not the only game here.
We scoped out the construction site yesterday hoping for some sneak peeks at the rooms or public spaces but the construction crews were still removing parts of the old Sahara and putting in newer foundations. Various parts of the buildings are also trying out some paint jobs and the entire site is wrapped in banner ads for the restaurants, bars and retail coming to the SLS (Umami burger! Fred Segal!)
Still, we won't be able to see much happening on this hotel for another few more months. Don't worry, if something does happen, VegasChatter will be all over it.
You know us. We love to be one of the first people inside a new hotel and that's what we're doing at the just-opened Downtown Grand hotel in downtown Las Vegas. The hotel has been soft-opened for about 10 days but it's official opening in 11.12.13. (See what they did there?)
The Downtown Grand has transformed the old Lady Luck into an "industrial chic" hotel and casino. But perhaps more importantly, DTG has also helped revitalize the block surrounding the property, nicknamed Downtown3rd, adding several restaurants across the street from the hotel. We were so impressed with the hotel's stylish boutique look and innovative eatery options, we almost forgot there's a 25,000-sq.ft. casino here too. This seems to be the way of Vegas these days with revenue from gambling constantly shrinking while revenue from shopping, restaurants and nightclubs keep growing.
But enough about that. Now onto the guest rooms at DTG....
Over the weekend, major, major, MAJOR hotel news happened--The Gansevoort Las Vegas, which was to be built from the remains of the Strip's Bill's Gambling Hall, was officially dropped by Caesars Entertainment. As VegasChatter reports, the why of it all is pretty messy. (When is it ever clean?)
Essentially, Caesars is eager to bring a new casino to Massachusetts but in doing their background checks, Massachusetts was not impressed with Caesars' Gansevoort project, namely because of an investor with alleged ties to the Russian mob. So Caesars, in an effort to appease Massachusetts, dropped the Gansevoort partnership. Buh-bye. Wipes hands.
So now, what will happen to the boutique hotel, which is currently under construction? Word is that it will move ahead with a new name (The "Real" Caesars Palace perhaps?) but the 188 sexy hotel rooms along with a rooftop nightclub and pool area created by Vegas club king, Victor Drai, and a restaurant from Food Network's Giada De Laurentiis will remain.
Not long after we wondered if anyone was still checking-out of hotels, we come across a sign in a hotel room offering a video check-out. "For your convenience."
On the bright side, the WiFi was included in the $18 (!) resort fee and it was blazing fast. So there's that. Needless to say, we didn't do a video check-out this morning.
This is what greeted us in the bathroom at Aria Las Vegas when we returned to the room in the afternoon--our toiletries, hairbrush and glass all lined up in perfect order. Gorgeous! It really is those little things that win us over.
This also made up for the fact that the next day, housekeeping busted in on us, while changing clothes, completely ignoring our calls of "no, please don't open the door." And as we were reaching desperately for the hotel robe, the housekeeper peeked her head around the door just to remind us that we had to check-out that day. It was only 9:15am and check-out was not until 11am. Alrighty then. At least our toiletries were easy to pack up.
There's a new resort on the verge of opening in Las Vegas. And, chances are, you've never heard of it. It's because this hotel-casino isn't headed for the famed Strip. No, this multi-million dollar property is about to debut in Downtown Vegas.
While every traveler can instantly picture the Vegas Strip, not as many can do the same when it comes to the city's downtown. That part of Las Vegas has long been home to cheap drinks, cheap gaming, and cheap rooms (see where this is going?) as well as a more relaxed 'everyman' attitude, but isn't usually on the must do list of most Vegas visitors who are more attracted to the (pricier) flash and dazzle of Las Vegas Boulevard.
The Four Seasons Las Vegas located atop the Mandalay Bay Hotel (floors 35-39) finished its much-needed room renovations back in December and we're happy to report, they look incredible. And maybe more importantly, they look true to the website photos.
Here's how the rooms at the Four Seasons Las Vegas used to look. Eeek! You can see more from the rooms here, if you dare.
And here's a pic from the Four Seasons website of a renovated standard room.
And now, here's our pic of a one-bedroom suite with a strip view that we toured last week.
Hardly any difference. In fact, we think our picture looks better.
The renovations went for an Art Deco vibe but has a cool contemporary feel with eye-catching artwork and furniture. Nearly every piece in the rooms from the dressers to the mirrors, the floor lamps and even the wallpaper carry a detailed pattern or intricate finish. And of course, all the modern technological conveniences we've come to expect from hotel rooms are included, such as giant flat-screen TVs, TVs in the bathrooms mirrors and the all-important deskside plug panel where you can hook up your gadgets. For those of you concerned about the toiletries (and we know you are) the Four Seasons Las Vegas uses Ecro toiletries.