Guests must take two elevators to reach their rooms
A new breed of Las Vegas luxury, with 392 elegant rooms and some of Vegas' best service, the Mandarin Oriental is a quiet haven on the glitzy Strip. The hotel lacks the characteristic excess that many people come to Vegas for (including a casino), opting instead for a more restrained approach: a beautiful spa, two fine dining restaurants, a peaceful pool, meeting space, and the rarest of Las Vegas features -- serenity. But the convenient City Center location means easy access to all the excess you want.
First-rate service and an abundance of thoughtful details make this non-smoking, non-gaming property one of the best of the best.
Located in the massive, eco-consciously designed City Center hotel and shopping complex, the 47-story Mandarin Oriental represents a new brand of Las Vegas luxury: sumptuous accommodations minus the ornate glitz that characterizes so many Strip hotels. Sure, you're sacrificing the casino, dozens of restaurants, multiple pools, and high-end shopping you'll find on-site at luxury competitors, but that's sort of the point: The Mandarin is the rare Vegas property that lets guests leave the razzle-dazzle of the Strip behind.
For the many conventioneers and business travelers who come to Vegas every year, the Mandarin is a revelation. Even its meeting space is calm and understated compared to the massive convention halls found elsewhere in Vegas. For leisure travelers, the hotel represents the best of both worlds: A serene, luxurious hotel experience, with all the noisy casinos, restaurants, and shops you could want just steps away in the City Center complex.
My only minor complaint about the hotel is the elevator system. The guest elevator bank is located off of the 23rd-floor sky lobby, so guests must take two elevators to reach their rooms (one up to the lobby, and then a different one back down again.) But the configuration does keep guests more secure, and the sky lobby is stunning, with stunning views, so it's almost worth the hassle.
Warm, attentive, and professional without being stuffy, the Mandarin's service is among the best in Las Vegas.
In a city where most big-name luxury hotels have thousands of rooms, the 392-room Mandarin Oriental offers a rare level of service. Guests get a more personalized, intimate experience than they would almost anywhere else.
24-hour room service
Concierge available during day-time hours, but the front desk staff can answer questions 24 hours a day
In the massive City Center complex, on the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip.
The Mandarin Oriental is the smallest and most luxurious of the three hotels in the City Center complex, a massive hotel and shopping center on the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip. The Strip, a densely packed three-and-a-half mile long stretch of hotel-casinos on Las Vegas Boulevard, is the city's main artery and tourist center.
The free City Center tram stops at the Crystals shopping center (connected to the Aria Hotel), the Monte Carlo, and the Bellagio.
Every major hotel has a taxi stand where visitors can catch cabs at any time of day or night. Taxi lines are the only legal place to get a cab in Las Vegas (no hailing for a ride from the Strip).
$5-$10 cab ride to most hotels on the Strip -- the most convenient option, and often the least expensive if you're traveling with at least one other person
10- to 15-minute, $15 cab ride to McCarran International Airport (don't let your driver take the freeway -- the ride can cost up to twice as much)
The Deuce double-decker bus runs up and down the strip 24/7 and costs $3 to ride
It's the details that make these big, beautiful rooms truly luxurious.
The Mandarin's rooms start at a spacious 500 square feet, but it's not their size that sets them apart -- the less expensive rooms at the neighboring Aria are just as big. Rather, it's the details that put the Mandarin's rooms in a class above: bath salts by the deep, freestanding tub; wine and champagne glasses in the cupboard; a ceramic hair straightener in the bathroom; a "technology kit" at the desk; a reading light on the bed -- the list goes on. The same attention to detail went into the lovely Asian-inspired decor, which is unique to the hotel (no two Mandarin Orientals look alike). The modern aesthetic common in many new hotels can start to feel generic, but the Mandarin's brand of luxury is distinct, from the stunning light-and-dark-marble bathroom down to the mother-of-pearl headboard. The result? A zen-like haven to rival any of Las Vegas' luxury properties.
All rooms include:
Top-notch electronics: A 42-inch flat-screen TV; 15-inch TV in the bathroom mirror; iPod hookup; DVD player and stereo with subwoofer
High-tech control system for drapes, lights, temperature and TV, managed from the TV or a touch-pad screen by the bed
480-thread-count sheets (although texture is starchy rather than soft)
Stocked minibar with gourmet Dean & Deluca snacks; large bottles of liquor (Grey Goose vodka, Johnnie Walker Black Label, and Bombay Sapphire Dry Gin, among others); and Red Bull, soda, beer, water, juice, champagne, and wine
CityScape Room: King or two double beds; 500 square feet; city view; floors 4 to 9
Mandarin Room: King or two double beds; 500 square feet; view of the city, mountains, and valley; floors 9 to 22
Mandarin Executive: King or two double beds; 500 square feet; view of the Strip; floors 9 to 22
Executive Suite: King bed; 850 square feet; city or Strip view; floors 4 to 22; private bar
CityScape Suite: King; 1,750 square feet; city view; floors 4 to 6; separate dining room, pantry, lounge, study, and powder room
Dynasty Suite: King; 1,500 square feet; view of neighboring Veer Towers or the mountains; floors 20 to 22; separate dining room, separate butler's entrance, and full bar
Apex Suite: King; 1,625 square feet; 270-degree view of the city or Strip; floors 20 to 22
Taipan Suite: Two bedrooms with king beds; 3,100 square feet; view of City Center; 20th floor; specialty suite with Asian design, dining room, kitchen, bar, separate butler's entrance, and fitness area
Emperor Suite: Master bedroom with king bed; 3,000 square feet; Strip view; 21st floor; specialty suite with black-and-white decor, living room, dining room, kitchen, bar, fitness area and media room; connecting bedroom available;
Mandarin Suite: King and two double beds; 3,100 square feet; Strip view; 22nd floor; specialty suite with dining room, bar, study and fitness area
A non-gaming property that delivers quality rather than quantity.
The Mandarin doesn't have the slew of shops, restaurants, and pools you'll find at luxury competitors like the Bellagio and Wynn. But what the Mandarin does, it does very well: Its spa is first-rate, its pool area is lovely and low-key, and Twist by Pierre Gagnaire is one of Las Vegas' best restaurants (which is saying something). Plus, the Mandarin's deliberately scaled-back approach allows guests to enjoy its features in relative peace and quiet. You'll sacrifice the variety of options you'll find elsewhere, but you'll still have everything you want -- unless what you want is a casino.
Phenomenal spa with 27,000 square feet, 17 treatment rooms, relaxation lounges, steam rooms, a hammam, a Vitality Pool with views of the Strip, a salon, and a separate Chinese Foot Spa for pedicures. Facials, massages, and body treatments
Pretty pool deck with two narrow lap pools, a Jacuzzis, a plunge pool, poolside food and drink service, a quiet area for guests over 21, and 20 private cabanas. Every few loungers is a pump with free sunscreen.
Although it's better suited to business travelers and adults, this non-smoking, non-gaming property is a fine choice for low-key families.
For well-heeled families who want to shield their children from Vegas' casinos, scantily-clad cocktail waitresses, and drunken revelers, the Mandarin is a reasonable choice. This grown-up, serene property isn't the kind of place where kids can run wild, but I did see a few splashing around in the pool.