Over just the last month, the Strip in Las Vegas had two new hotels open amidst a ton of buzz. The four-pearl SLS Las Vegas -- from the luxe brand known for its properties in Beverly Hills and South Beach -- debuted on the site of the former Sahara Resort & Casino and, not to be outdone, the 4.5-pearl Delano replaced THEhotel at Mandalay Bay shortly after. We were lucky enough to get an exclusive, inside look at both and see some of their stellar (and some of their mediocre) features first-hand. Though both have their pros and cons, we're going to have them battle it out in a few categories to declare a winner. In round one of our Delano versus SLS faceoff, we're comparing their scenes and locations to determine which has the bragging rights for each. Signal the bell!
At the Delano...
The sleek public spaces here are a calculated nod to the Nevada desert, beginning with a huge 126,000-pound boulder greeting guests at the entrance. Brown leather couches, chairs with leather belt buckles, and a suspended rock installation by Korean artist Jaehyo Lee continue the striking, earth-inspired decor.
Connected to the bustle of Mandalay Bay, the Delano is a convenient option for those needing proximity the Mandalay’s convention center, but seeking quieter accommodations. With no casino, only two full-service restaurants, and a spa, the Delano provides a refreshingly calm oasis compared to the nearby party hotels.
At the SLS…
After a $415 million renovation of Sahara Resort & Casino (a former favorite of The Beatles and The Rat Pack,) SLS opened in August to mixed reviews. Owned by SBE Entertainment, which is a leader in L.A.‘s nightlife scene, SLS Las Vegas blends the old-world vibe of the former Sahara with strikingly modern features.
Acclaimed French designer Philippe Starck is the brainchild behind most elements seen at the hotel; picture several LED fixtures, plastic body parts affixed to the wall, and quirky, monkey-inspired accents. It could be jarring for some to walk through a bright red corridor to get to the elevators, but it’s certainly a daring design that makes an impression. With several restaurants and clubs, the SLS attracts a hip, young crowd primarily interested in the nightlife the hotel has to offer.
At the Delano…
The Delano is located within the larger Mandalay Bay complex at the southern end of the densely packed, four-mile-long stretch of hotel-casinos that make up the Strip. The complex’s 1,000,000-square-foot convention center and it’s 12,000-seat events center host several major conferences a year, so it’s ideal for business travelers to stay at the Delano; they still enjoy proximity to the center, while being slightly more removed from the hustle-and-bustle of Mandalay Bay Resort. Guests can walk to the main area of the Strip, but seeing as it takes 35 minutes to walk to its heart (where The Cosmopolitan can be found), cabs are generally a better option.
At the SLS…
Bookmarking the other end of the Strip, SLS is on the northern end between Circus Circus and Stratosphere Casino. It’s a less lively area, feeling somewhat desolate, so most Vegas visitors will want to venture to main area of the Strip at night. Walking to hotels like The Cosmopolitan isn’t an option, but cabs are always easy to catch. The monorail also stops right outside of the hotel and it’s a 14-minute ride to go to the last station in the other direction at MGM Grand.
And the winner is…Delano!
So it’s tied up at one to one after the first round of the Delano versus SLS faceoff. Stay tuned for round two coming up in the next several days, when we’ll assess a few more categories and determine an overall winner!
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