While there's plenty to do in each hotel on its own, (both the Vdara and the Mandarin have incredible spas) the hotels are all within walking or tram distance to CityCenter's luxury shopping mall, The Crystals, a very modern, futuristic building--both inside and out--filled with the poshest designer stores on The Strip. (So what if everyone's just window-shopping?) And we haven't even begun to touch on CityCenter's art collection and water features. (We'll do that in 2010, we promise.)
Now, it is quite possible that nothing like this will ever be seen again in Las Vegas. CityCenter is the biggest thing to happen to Vegas since...well, Vegas and we were on hand to witness it all. Take a peek at our video diary.
Mandarin Oriental (Warning: this one has its own soundtrack)
1. W South Beach: We waited forever for the W South Beach to open and it did not disappoint. Those rooms might be some of the best ones we've seen all year. We'll even forgive the hotel's "Entourage" bungalow poolside too.
2. Standard NYC: We also waited a long time for the Standard NYC and although it technically opend in December 2008, this year was the year it really took off. Whether it was the 360-degree views, the hot doormen, the dorm room decor, the exclusive door policy of the Boom Boom room, the dishes at the Standard Grill or the naked people in the windows, we constantly found ourselves talking about this hotel. Now, you see why we get so anxious for hotels to open?