Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
When the Green Valley Ranch first opened in 2001, it was a scene to be seen in with Bill Clinton lounging by the pool and George Clooney hanging out at the Whiskey Bar. In 2004, the Discovery Channel used the resort as the setting of a reality TV series, American Casino. Today, however, it mostly attracts conventioneers -- the resort boasts more than 65,000 square feet of meeting space -- and a steady stream of locals. The property's celebrity days appear to have passed -- the helicopter landing strip behind the pool hasn't seen a chopper in some time -- but the Green Valley is still an impressive, full-service resort.
With its Mediterranean-style buildings, tufted palms, and long skinny pine shrubs pointing to the Nevada sky like giant green fingers, this resort is just 15 to 20 minutes from the Strip but feels worlds away. The sand-bottom pool, with its disappearing edge waterfall and a bridge that spans its length, blows most of the pools on the Vegas Strip out of the water.
During my stay this hotel was filled to 98 percent capacity, mostly by large groups. On one weeknight, the Pond, the hotel's adult-only pool, transformed into a venue for the Boys & Girls Club of Las Vegas mixer. The next night, an Intel distribution sales and marketing conference banquet took over the entire backyard pool area. A weekend during the high season might see as many as two or three weddings (the ceremony usually occurs on the open terrace), plenty of anniversary celebrations, and honeymooner getaways. "But not many bachelor parties," a hotel manager told me. "They go to the Palms or Hooters for that."
If you're looking for a Vegas vacation without the crowds or fuss of the Strip, the Green Valley Ranch is still one of the best in the area for both high-rolling gamblers seeking a little Vegas-style thrill and low-key families. However, if you're looking to be a distance from the Strip and actually enjoy Nevada's landscape -- not its shopping malls -- Red Rock Resort may be a better option. This sister property has an equally cool pool and casino, a movie theater, and even a bowling alley. But unlike Green Valley Ranch, the Red Rock is smack in the middle of Red Rock Canyon National Park -- great for hiking, biking, and admiring natural splendor.
Luxury-level service is comparable to what's found on the Strip.
The Strip-inspired service is luxe, personalized, and discreet. An excellent concierge staff can help guests make dinner and show arrangements, plus help schedule outdoor activities and arrange for tee times at nearby golf courses.
Located in suburban Las Vegas, 15 to 20 minutes from the Strip, next to two highways and a shopping mall.
Green Valley is located in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson, the second largest city in Nevada. Once among the fastest-growing cities in the U.S., the area's growth has slowed with the slumping economy. The resort is just off Paseo Verde Parkway and the Las Vegas Beltway, though clever landscaping mostly shields guests from sights and sounds of rushing traffic.
Clean, comfortable, well equipped, and tastefully decorated
All rooms at the Green Valley Ranch were renovated in 2005 and 2006. Standard rooms feature plenty of luxe details like extra-deep soaking tubs and tiny reading lights on both ends of the headboard. At 500 square feet, they're at least 100 square feet larger than the average room on the Strip. Bathrooms have lovely details like decorative Spanish tiling and surround-sound speakers hooked up to the TV, so a guest can relax in the soaking tub while getting riled up about the news on CNN.
A glamorous casino that constantly bustles with locals and is a great place for beginners
The casino has some 3,000 slot machines, 55 game tables, a 24-hour poker salon, and a 220-seat race and sports book venue. This casino is popular among the residents of Henderson, especially for the low-stakes $5 blackjack table. (The minimum bet at many blackjack tables on the Strip is $15 to $20 and up.)
Plenty of nearby courses
The Green Valley Ranch is about 10 minutes away by car to many of the area's top golf courses, including Revere at Anthem, Rio Secco Golf Club and Legacy Golf Club. The resort's concierge can help guests plan a day on the greens and can get guests some decent rates, and occasionally, a priority tee time.
Dogs can check in (for a fee) if they don’t weigh more than 40 pounds.
The Green Valley is happy to let guests check in their pooches, as long as they are 40 pounds or less. Other pets, such as cats, are permitted to the hotel manager's discretion. There is a fee per pet, per room charge, and a two pet per room maximum.
While the hotel doesn't have a Kids Quest activities program like its sister property, Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa, there's plenty here to keep kids occupied, including a great sand-bottom pool, a classic carousel, a multiplex movie theater, and an arcade.
None of the couches in the larger rooms open up into beds, but rollaways are available for $35 a day. Cribs are available at no extra charge.
Well-maintained grounds and spotless rooms
Resort has elegant -- but not extravagant -- casino dining down pat, good poolside grub, and 24-7 room service.
There are plenty of mealtime choices at the Green Valley Ranch. The casino has nine restaurants: Hank's Fine Steaks and Martinis, serving prime beef cuts and more than 30 varieties of martinis; Terra Verde, an Italian restaurant with a huge wine selection, wood-fired pizzas, and house-made pasta; Sushi + Saki for Japanese; China Spice for pan-Asian; Tides Oyster Bar for seafood; Turf Grill for quick sandwiches and burgers; Quinn's Pub for Irish pub fare an extensive beer menu; The Original Pancake House for a hearty breakfast; and Feast Around the World for a classic Vegas buffet experience.
This resort may be wedged between two major highways and a shopping mall in suburban Las Vegas, but it's a stunner. With an awesome sand-bottom pool, clean and elegantly furnished guest rooms, impressive casino, a great spa, and a movie theater, Green Valley Ranch is suburban glam to the max -- and under 20 minutes from the Strip.
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