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There’s yet another new hotel in Las Vegas.
The past year in Las Vegas has seen the opening of The Cromwell (formerly Bill’s Gambling Hall), The SLS Las Vegas and The Delano. Now, here comes The LINQ H Hotel & Casino. Except, it’s not entirely new.
Most recently, The LINQ Hotel & Casino was known as The Quad, the millennial-friendly casino adjacent to The Linq entertainment district, which is anchored by the High Roller observation wheel. (It’s also home to The Brooklyn Bowl and the Yard House.)
But before it was The Quad, this casino was long known as the Imperial Palace, which first opened in 1979 and was consistently built up throughout the 80s. The 90s saw some interesting revelations about the IP’s owner at the time (he apparently had a Nazi memorabilia room on site.)
By 2005, the casino was acquired by Caesars Entertainment (the company went by the name Harrah’s back then) but was in desperate need of repairs. Then the recession hit. But once the economy improved and once construction began on The Linq district, the Imperial Palace was discarded and The Quad was born in late December 2012, sporting a shiny, eye-catching, LED-popping exterior. But much of the old Imperial Palace remained, including the rooms and the distinctive pagoda rooftops.
As parts of The LINQ promenade were finished, The Quad gradually changed too, renovating the reception area, adding new bars and restaurants and making the hotel accessible to The LINQ and vice versa. But still no change on the rooms.
Then in July, Caesars Entertainment announced that The Quad would turn into The LINQ Hotel, accompanied by complete renovations of the rooms, the exteriors, the pool area and the spa, along with new F&B concepts.
And now, the official opening day of The LINQ is nearly here.
The room renovation has been kept tightly under wraps but HotelChatter was able to get a sneak peek at the rooms which will officially open to the public on Thursday, October 30.
KEEP READING BELOW FOR MORE PICTURES OF THE LINQ
In Las Vegas, it used to be that the cocktail waitresses were the only employees in a casino, save for the headliners, who got to wear shiny, sparkly uniforms. But in case you haven't noticed, Las Vegas, isn't quite the same city it used to be and at the forefront of the town's modernization is the SLS Las Vegas with its vast array of nightlife options, encircling a rather small casino floor. Well, small for Vegas anyways.
Indeed, the slot machines and poker tables can be seen as nuisances obstructing your path to Katsuya's decadent sushi rolls, Umami's juicy burgers, Jose Andres' bizarre Bazaar meat presentations and the pulsing beats coming from the LiFE nightclub.
Upstairs, the rooms are compact but chic with playful Philippe Starck touches like a silver tree stump, a tilted desktop and giant mirrors. And if you've forgotten to pack something, you won't have to settle for a strange name label since LA's own Fred Segal stores have seven different shops downstairs.
With all these trendy "New Vegas" concepts inside the SLS, it's no wonder the employee uniforms are just as stylish. And we're not only talking about the cocktail waitresses.
SLS tapped Las Vegas designer, Barbara Bell of Bell Uniform Design, to custom-make the everyday look of SLS employees. Bell has been the preferred designer for new establishments in Vegas, including Hakkasan nightclub at MGM Grand, the Holstein's restaurant at The Cosmpolitan and the Aria Resort & Casino. Now, here's a look at some of the uniforms Bell and her team created for SLS:
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Morgans Hotels are rather infamous for their gift shop offerings such as the kinky vending machine at the Mondrian South Beach called "Automat" which once sold (or maybe still does) 24-karat gold handcuffs from Kiki de Montparnasse. The automat also sold rentals for premium luxury cars like a Rolls Royce or a Benz.
When the machine made its debut at the Hudson Hotel in New York, it sold an $8,000 photo shoot with photographer Ben Watkins and a rental of a red Ferrari 599 GTB.
However, the gift shop offerings at the Essence shop at the new Delano Las Vegas aren't quite that risqué, although they are still rather expensive. You can get a small discount on the items if you're a member of the M Life rewards program but for the most part, be prepared to spend.
Here's what we found while admiring the wares at Essence the other week.
The Delano Las Vegas, while strongly inspired by the original Delano in South Beach, is very much its own hotel.
We like to think of it as, "Delano Does the Desert", since much of the hotel's design and subsequent vibe, was inspired by the surrounding area. Like the towering boulders, sourced whole from the Nevada desert that now, split in half, grace the entrance to the hotel. And the long narrow carpet in the lobby that's meant to be a picture of the winding Colorado River. And just before you approach the reception desk, you're greeted by a a few hundred rocks hanging from the ceiling (an installation piece from Korean artist Jaehyo Lee.)
Up in the all-suite guest rooms, however, there's less Nevada and more New York with white leather furniture, gold accents and black and white photography. That cosmopolitan style carries up to hotel's 28 penthouse suites, which are found on floors 60-62. Each suite averages about 1,642 square feet but there are a couple of different layouts. Allow us to tell you about two of them.
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Miami and Las Vegas have become sister cities of a sort. Both are well-known for their robust hotel scenes, their penchant for partying, their "less is more" credo when it comes to clothing and their general love of excess.
More recently, we've been seeing an influx of South Beach in Sin City, thanks to the opening of the SLS Las Vegas and the Delano Las Vegas. But now, Vegas is sending off something to Miami--Michael Mina's StripSteak restaurant.
Stripsteak can be found in Vegas at Mandalay Bay, where the Delano Las Vegas also lives, but Mina plans on spinning off StripSteak Miami at The Fontainebleau sometime this fall. Mina already operates the Michael Mina 74 restaurant at the resort so he's already familiar with the property. StripSteak will replace Gotham Steak restaurant. We'll keep you updated on the opening date. In the meantime, peruse the StripSteak Vegas menu for a hint of what's to come. We'll take the 10oz filet mignon, the truffle mac n' cheese and one, make that two, orders of the potato gratin please.
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South Beach meets the desert...Delano style.
The Delano Las Vegas may have technically opened to guests over Labor Day Weekend but the desert outpost of the Delano South Beach made it official last night with a grand opening party that was hosted by model/actress Jaime King and included South Beach-inspired cocktails and appetizers, a Spring/Summer 2015 fashion show from designer Charlotte Ronson, and a small acoustic set from the Toronto-based reggae band, Magic!
You've probably never heard of this band before but you haven't gone anywhere without hearing their hit song, "Rude." (Come on, sing it--"Why ya gotta be so ruuuude? Don't you know I'm human too?")
The opening party was actually a trial event of sorts for the Delano as the hotel hopes to put on more exclusive shindigs and events like this in the future. While the hotel's bars and restaurants--Franklin, Della's, Mix and 3940 Coffee +Tea--are open to the public, folks who book the all-suite rooms at the hotel will have priority access to these events. Rates for the rooms start at $599 on the weekends and around $150 during the week.
Stay tuned next week for more from inside The Delano! In the meantime, peep a room below and head on over to VegasChatter for more info!
All eyes were on the grand opening of the SLS Las Vegas last weekend, but now the spotlight is heading down The Strip to The Delano Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay, which will officially open on Tuesday, September 2.
Back in May, we admired the "different yet still designer" look of the Vegas version of the Delano Hotel in South Beach, one of the original boutique hotels created by master hotelier But this is by no means a literal translation of the South Beach hotel. If anything, the Delano Las Vegas actually feels more luxurious and warmer than the original. Sure, there is all-white furniture in the bedroom but out in the sitting room, there's furniture that you can actually sit on and feel comfortable doing so. Little but important luxury touches in the rooms include a robe and slippers, Malin + Goetz bath amenities, flat-screen TVs, a well-stocked bar, plug panels at the desks and this most excellent phone on the nightstand. Downstairs, there will be more of Delano to experience. See how!
But this is by no means a literal translation of the South Beach hotel. If anything, the Delano Las Vegas actually feels more luxurious and warmer than the original. Sure, there is all-white furniture in the bedroom but out in the sitting room, there's furniture that you can actually sit on and feel comfortable doing so.
Little but important luxury touches in the rooms include a robe and slippers, Malin + Goetz bath amenities, flat-screen TVs, a well-stocked bar, plug panels at the desks and this most excellent phone on the nightstand.
Downstairs, there will be more of Delano to experience. See how!
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We've just taken you inside a World Tower room at the SLS Las Vegas but the beauty of this casino, and all casinos in Vegas really, is that you don't need to stay the night to take it all in. Here are 10 ways to see, like and savor the SLS Las Vegas without spending the night.
1. Werk Your Arrival: The grand entrance to the SLS is rather spectacular. After admiring the Philippe Starck-designed sculpture/caricature of SLS Hotels CEO Sam Nazarian out front, you walk through simple glass doors into an entryway that features a mirrored ceiling (perfect for #selfies!) and light-up floor squares which make you feel a little like Michael Jackson in the "Billie Jean" video. This "stage" of sorts then gives way to the casino floor. Overall, it just gives you a baller sense of arrival.
2. Gamble In Style: The casino is smaller than most Vegas casinos, but it's filled with shiny, new things like flat-screen TVs in the gambling pits and funky Starck-inspired figures atop some of the slot machines. There's also a throwback slot machine for the Sahara in the center of the casino if you're missing the good old days.
Now open! Say hello to this caricature of Sam Nazarian, designed by Philippe Starck.
If you followed our live-blog on Friday, then you were privy to one of the first images from inside a room at the SLS Las Vegas, which officially opened at midnight to the public. Today, we're showing you all around that room.
This here is a superior room in The World Tower, which is standard SLS fare in terms of design and amenities. The Story Tower has smaller, budget-type rooms with bright yellow-tiled bathrooms, while the Lux Tower has larger plusher rooms and suites, with more of designer Philippe Starck's ethereal elements like mirrors on the ceilings, peekaboo bathrooms and illustrated draperies.
The decor in the World Tower is simple but with alternating soft and bold touches like a white sofa at the foot of the also white and extremely comfortable king bed, an armchair with a silver tree stump table next to it, baby pink and black wallpaper design, and giant mirrors on three walls, including one which lights up.
The minibar amenities offer up SLS Saints and Sinners goodies (including SLS's Culinary Director Jose Andres' brand of potato chips!) along with fancy cocktail glasses to use. In the bathroom are SLS's Ciel Spa toiletries which are thankfully gentle on your skin and hair. There's an open closet and an open shelf for storing your clothes as well as an ironing board and iron to crisp up for a night out.
Our favorite part, however, was the desk.
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Something lovely starts today.
SLS Las Vegas has officially completed its $400 million renovation of the iconic Sahara casino and will be opening their doors at midnight tonight to excited and skeptical guests alike.
Currently, we're in the "excited" group because it's been a hell of a ride to watch SLS grow from one boutique hotel in Los Angeles to a full-fledged casino resort in Las Vegas, with a property in South Beach opening along the way, and several more to come.
We toured the SLS back in May and even though the rooms were not ready and the casino floor was just beginning to get its finishing touches, we could envision the sort of fun playground it will be, with big names and brands installed at the restaurants, nightclubs and retail that surround the casino floor.
Yet aside from a few touches that honor the old Sahara resort, made famous by the Rat Pack, the SLS has done away with anything old and replaced it with everything new. Folks still clinging onto memories of the Sahara may enter SLS with skepticism (or perhaps, it's bitterness) but we'll go in excited--you know how we love new things--and hopefully, we'll come out excited too.
Below are our on-the-scene observations. Be sure to follow us on Twitter for some other live coverage. For even more dedicated coverage on the SLS Las Vegas, head on over to VegasChatter's own live blog.
Caesars Entertainment announced today that the Quad will undergo more than $200 million worth of additional renovations to turn into the LINQ Hotel & Casino, capitalizing on the adjacent LINQ shopping and entertainment district that opened this spring and which culminates in the soaring High Roller observation wheel.
The Quad/LINQ has been slowly renovating its 2,256 rooms and suites which should be finished this fall as will the much-needed renovation of the exterior, which is still from the Imperial Palace days. A new spa and a new pool deck will open in early 2015. Yet, the energy of The Quad should remain as Caesars is hoping to attract millennial travelers using "social interaction" by "catering to the 'connected' consumer.
Tariq Shaukat, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Caesars Entertainment, hinted at all this saying, "The resort will provide guests with a highly social and connected environment, with all the great restaurants, shops and experiences available at the LINQ Promenade right at their fingertips.” The LINQ. Yup, there's probably going to be a couple of apps for that.
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Hotel delays don't faze us. But hotels that open earlier than expected do, which is why today we're doing a little happy dance after hearing that the SLS Las Vegas will open at midnight on August 23, and not August 25 as we last heard and not September 1 as was originally planned.
The casino resort put out a press release, stating something completely unheard of in the hotel world: "construction on The Strip’s newest resort is wrapping ahead of schedule." Translation: SLS Las Vegas is a unicorn.
According to the release, rooms will be open for reservations on August 23 yet all we're seeing on the website is availability for August 25. We also couldn't pull up a room rate as the site was having issues. Perhaps too many people trying to ride the unicorn? However, last we checked room rates for that date we found a World Tower room for $149 a night. You can also book a room through HHonors, thanks to SLS's new partnership with Hilton Hotels' Curio Collection. All the restaurants will also be open on August 23, including Bazaar Meat by José Andrés, Cleo, Katsuya, Ku Noodle and The Griddle Cafe.
[Photo: Greg Clarke/VegasChatter]