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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]
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There's always some crazy news out of Las Vegas these days but we were a bit stunned this morning to hear that Blackstone Real Estate had purchased The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas from Deutsche Bank for about $1.73 billion. That's a lot of cash!
But does this mean The Cosmopolitan will stop being an Autograph Collection Hotel by Marriott?
The chances of The Cosmo moving from a Marriott to a Hilton entity are extremely likely as the Blackstone Group pretty much owns Hilton Hotels. Yet Blackstone's real estate division, which is responsible for the purchase of the Cosmo, has a diversified portfolio, which also includes, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, a percentage in Caesars Entertainment. Innnnteresting.
If Cosmo does move from Marriott to Hilton, we don't think it will happen immediately and we are sure Cosmopolitan will keep its Identity, not just the players reward club, but its cool kid persona which had made it a premiere casino resort on The Strip.
Yesterday, we showed you a cool piece of technology inside a room at The Delano Las Vegas, opening on September 1 at The Mandalay Bay--telephones with USB ports in them. Today we've got photos of the rest of the room and there are even more design and tech touches to admire.
The Delano is in the midst of renovating THEhotel's old rooms but there are quite a few that are already completed...and hosting some special guests (more on that later.) We were able to look inside a king room suite on the 37th floor. These suites start at a spacious 725-sq.ft. and include a separate sitting area, wet bar and an extra half-bathroom.
The design is merely reminiscent of the original Delano in South Beach rather than a replica. Indeed, the white sheer curtains and a white leather headboard that nearly covers the entire wall behind the bed are the only two items that will make you think of the original.
Instead of mirrors and chrome accents, the Delano Las Vegas has gone for gold with tasteful gold trim on the wardrobe closets, gold table legs, gold sconces (with outlets in them), gold cabinet handles, and even a gold luggage rack. (Of course, it it not real gold. You know what we mean.)
We usually associate the Delano brand with design and not necessarily technology but when we peeked into a model room of the Delano Las Vegas, opening September 1 at the Mandalay Bay, we geeked out over the room phone. Yes, the room phone which we actually thought was nearly extinct.
While the phone may look like an ordinary cordless phone with the requisite hotel buttons on the front, on the side, it has a USB port so you can directly plug in your phone for charging.
No more schlepping over to the desk to the plug panel. No more bringing both the outlet charger and the USB cord. Just plug and charge while you sleep.
This is the first time we've seen this sort of phone in a hotel room, anywhere. But we sure hope it gets picked up by hotels, everywhere.
Stay tuned tomorrow for more photos inside The Delano Las Vegas!
Last week, we got to the tour the most ambitious SLS Hotel project yet--the SLS Las Vegas Hotel and Casino at the far end of the Las Vegas Strip, where the old Sahara casino used to be.
For "old" Vegas fans, there's not much of the original Sahara left, aside from the bones of the room towers and casino building. But if you want a thrilling new way to do up Vegas, baby, Vegas, the SLS will satisfy little and large spenders alike. Sorry, we got carried away with SLS-speak. What we meant to say is, there will be something for everyone here. You may not need to leave the SLS at all.
As we mentioned on Friday, there will be three different room towers, each with a different category of rooms inside.
The World Tower will feature SLS "lite" sort of rooms. These rooms are no bigger than 400-sq.ft. (with the exception of a suite) and they are more fun and functional rather than over-the-top luxurious.
Rob Oseland, president and COO of SLS Las Vegas told us these rooms were designed by Philippe Starck to be "cost effective chic."
There's an exclusive SLS bed (called Sleep Lying Still from Beauty Rest by Simmons Hospitality), 300-thread count bedding, down pillows and a comfy little couch at the foot of the bed. There's also the SLS-branded Saints & Sinners minibar goodies as well as a desk and rolling chair and a flat-screen TV.
And instead of putting in a lot of luxury layers where room technology is concerned, Oseland said SLS will simply boost the cell reception and install a fast WiFi network, which at the end of the day, is really what guests want from their hotel rooms. The World Tower rooms are the starting room rate at $149 a night on August 25. Yet if you want some luxurious settings, you should upgrade up to the Lux Tower.
Yeah. That's all we got. BUT we did get to tour some model rooms and the rest of the property. We'll have a bigger breakdown for you on Monday but here's what you need to know:
· The room types are spread out amongst three towers. The World Tower has the biggest but most basic rooms. The Story Tower has the smallest but funnest rooms while the Luxe Tower has the plushest rooms with the full SLS experience (mirrors on the ceiling, peek-a-boo showers, pops of pink.)
· The casino floor will have plenty of gaming but surrounding the gaming floor is an SBE-wonderland of sorts with restaurants from Katsuya, Umami, 800 Degrees and Cleo, along with several retail stores from Fred Segal.
· The Bazaar restaurant from Chef Jose Andres isn't just a restaurant. The space will have 10 gaming tables, a MEAT room (yes, it's what you think it is) and a Bar Centro.
· The Life nightclub, which was created out of the old Sahara theater space, is going to be off the chain. Make no mistake--this is a massive nightclub but if you're into that, it will blow you away with massive LED screens and aerial performers.
We'll have more from inside the SLS on Monday but if you want to get all caught up with the latest, head on over to VegasChatter to get up to speed.
It's been a long time coming but the Delano Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay has opened its reservations line for stays beginning on September 1. Today, our sister site VegasChatter is touring the property (which is still undergoing its transformation from the existing THEhotel) and will be answering some of our hard-pressed questions like, "What's the best room to book?" and "What makes this hotel so special from others?"
But for now, you can peep some room photos and lobby photos that the hotel released today. You can also view a video here.
Last month we looked at a range of niche hotel butlers, from fireside butlers to tanning butlers and even camping butlers. We've also documented some of the more unusual specialty concierges out there (Spice Concierge, anyone?)
Today, The Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas tells us of another hotel service we didn't know we needed--bikini concierge.
The Palms Pool & Dayclub has partnered up with Bikini.com for the weekly pool party, Ditch Fridays, which begins again on May 2. The bikini concierge will help gals shop for bikinis at the poolside pop-up shop which will be open on Friday and Saturday afternoons. The bikini concierge also promises to deliver bikinis to guests on property within 60 minutes.
Some of the styles on display in the shop include monokinis and two-piece styles from brands like Mikoh, Luli Fama, Bettinis, MinkPink and Solkissed. As you could probably already tell, this won't be the place to shop for modest aka Mom swimsuits. This is Vegas baby, Vegas. Let it all hang out.
Rooms at The Palms are going for $239 on May 2, but they are sold-out for Saturday, May 3. Rates drop back down to $129 on Sunday, May 4.
[Photo via Palms/Facebook]
Finding a hotel is often only one part of your trip. The other half is getting there. And our bro Jaunted does a bang-up job of covering the latest news and trends in the travel world. Out in Vegas, VegasChatter is keeping us informed on what's going down in Sin City.
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(PHOTO: Yury G. on Foursquare)
We often gripe about housekeeping barging in on us, even though we've put out the Do Not Disturb sign. We've also been concerned about intruders breaking down our door (the likelihood is low but still) so when we saw this on the back of the door at The Bellagio we got excited. You know, in a hotel nerd way.
The hotel door has both a door lock (turn the handle up like in the photo) as well as a latch. Double the protection. It's especially useful when you're stalling in the room after check-out time. Not that we've ever done that or anything. Nooooooo. Not us.