Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
No smoking and no on-site casino, but reasonable rates attract all types of visitors
There's a lot to like about the 52-story Elara, which opened in December of 2009 as the PH Towers. But you get the feeling that the hotel is trying to be too many things at once: a family-friendly luxury tower, sleek and modern, bright and kitschy.
Reasonable rates and well-equipped rooms make Elara a popular choice for all types of visitors to Vegas, but it can't be everything to everyone. Families will like the kitchens, washer-dryer units, no smoking policy, but they might not like the lack of an on-site restaurant. Gamblers might miss a casino on-site, and partiers will probably not like the fact that room service is not available through the night. All in all, though, most guests will come away happy -- especially those who upgrade to the big one- and two-bedroom suites, which are some of Vegas' most luxurious for the price.
The location is another minor drawback. Elara isn't a luxury tower removed from the excess of the Strip, like the Trump, and it's not a true Strip hotel -- it's something in between. The entrance to the hotel is actually buried inside the massive Miracle Mile mall; I had to ask directions to find it. Guests will have to trek five to 10 minutes through the mall to reach the Strip. At least you'll be staying within skipping distance of Miracle Mile's 15 restaurants and 170 shops, and the party scene at the Planet Hollywood Resort.
The decor, likewise, feels like a compromise between two extremes: It's part modern, "new Vegas" luxury, and part Vegas kitsch. But the merger works out fairly well: The hotel is sleek but still distinctly Vegas, with bright red accents, busy fabrics, and Hollywood-themed photos on the walls.
A five- to 10-minute walk to the Strip through the Miracle Mile mall
The Strip, a densely packed three-and-a-half mile long stretch of hotel-casinos on Las Vegas Boulevard, is Las Vegas' main artery and tourist center. Elara advertises itself as right on the Strip, but you'll have to walk through the massive (and somewhat difficult to navigate) Miracle Mile mall to reach the hotel entrance. But it's only a minor inconvenience: Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino and Paris Las Vegas are right next door, and the hotel is within easy walking distance of Bally's, Flamingo Las Vegas, the Bellagio, and Caesars Palace.
A fitness center and a pretty pool, but no casino and no dining options on-site
Not much beyond room service, but plenty of options in Miracle Mile and Planet Hollywood
This non-gaming timeshare property has 1,201 stylish rooms, all with kitchens or kitchenettes (although some are not fully equipped), and some with washer-dryer units. It's a solid value, but it’s short on amenities, with just a pool with cabanas, a lobby bar, and a fitness center. Its location right by the Miracle Mile and the Planet Hollywood Resort means guests have a wide array of dining and shopping options nearby, but you’ll have to trek through the shopping complex to reach the Strip.