What makes a hotel qualify as one of the best in Las Vegas? At Oyster, we know that the “best hotel” is different for just about everyone. For some, the best hotel is the most luxurious, and for others, it’s the one that offers the most for kids. We compiled lists of the best luxury hotels, best value hotels, best kid-friendly hotels, best business hotels, best party hotels, and the most amazing hotel rooms. Don’t have time to read all that? Not to fear. We selected one hotel from each list that bests its competitors (if only slightly). Below, we present the best hotels in Las Vegas.
Opened in December 2008 by famed Vegas developer Steve Wynn, the 2,034-room Encore takes the whim and luxury of its sister, the Wynn hotel (opened in 2005) and improves it with even bigger rooms and a more attractive spa and fitness center. Guests can use Wynn's nearby 18-hole golf course, and the hotel has a classy, adults-only European Pool. But it's the Encore's rooms -- all of which are suites -- that make it a cut-above even the very best hotels in Vegas: beautiful lighting via floor-to-ceiling windows, electronic bedside drape control, a comfortable lounge area in even the base-level rooms, and a bathroom that's bigger than the entire room in some New York City hotels.
Occupying the 35th through 39th floors of the Mandalay Bay Resort, the Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas is an oasis of calm in a city known for its frenetic energy. Guests at the Four Seasons can look forward to decadent Art Deco-inspired rooms with huge marble bathrooms, sophisticated on-site dining, a renowned spa, and the luxury hotel brand’s signature “anticipatory service.” Though there's no dedicated casino here, the Mandalay Bay's is an elevator ride away. The only downside is the hotel's location on the Strip’s southern end. Travelers who’d prefer a more central Strip location should check out the equally luxurious Mandarin Oriental.
Like the Paris and New York-New York hotels, the 5,030-room Venetian is an enormous and extravagant tribute to a place far from the desert, complete with gondola rides and a replica of Saint Mark's Square. Compared to the other theme-driven Vegas properties, the Venetian distinguishes itself with enormous guest rooms, endless shopping, a world-class spa, and heaps of premier restaurants, like Emeril Lagasse's Delmonico, Mario Batali's Carnevino, and Thomas Keller's Bouchon.
Their size alone would put the rooms at the Palazzo near the top of our list -- the fact that every square inch is filled with sumptuous finishings, thoughtful touches, and state-of-the-art electronics lands it at number one. Even standard rooms here measure 720 square feet. Each contains a bedroom and a sunken living room. The latter features L-shaped, crushed-velvet sofas that open up to full-size beds. Art Deco-inspired decor adds to the luxurious yet tasteful ambiance. The king-size, pillow-top beds are dressed in Egyptian cotton sheets and topped with wool throws. Rooms feature three -- yes, three -- flat-screen TVs: a 32-incher in the living room, a 42-incher in the bedroom, and a 20-incher in the bathroom. The bathrooms -- which, at 130 square feet, are larger than some entire New York City hotel rooms -- come with deep soaking tubs and twin sink basins, plenty of soft towels, and Agraria San Francisco bath products.
Since 1966, the 2,419-room Caesars Palace has, like the MGM Grand or the Venetian, defined excess on the Strip -- the largest poker room in Las Vegas; an enormous, 50,000-square-foot spa with Roman baths; a long labyrinth of a shopping mall; and three pools (surrounded by elaborate mosaics and classical architecture) that form the "Garden of Gods Pool Oasis." Base-level "Classic Rooms" are smaller and older than the Vegas norm.
This 3,933-room Italian "villa" is the embodiment of Vegas luxury. The elaborate Italian-themed courtyard is one of many highlights, with five swimming pools, elaborate sculptures, and fountains. Rooms are sophisticated and contemporary, and all have marble bathrooms with separate glass showers and soaking tubs. Guests (mostly couples, and a healthy dose of families and business travelers) will find formal room service, a superb fitness center and spa, and the best buffet on the Strip; attractions such as the indoor botanical gardens and the dancing fountains are world-famous. Cirque du Soleil performs here, and the massive gaming floor is one of the best in Vegas.
The Cosmopolitan has quickly established itself as one of the trendiest spots on the Strip. The typical Vegas kitsch has been swapped out for aggressively modern design and futuristic touches (guests sign in on an iPad). Fanfare aside, rooms are large and feature comfortable, designer furnishings and modern, open bathrooms. All types of travelers seem to come here, from frat boys to gambling grandmothers, but the nights decidedly belong to the younger crowd at BOND and Marquee -- as do the days, during Marquee's seasonal "dayclub" party poolside. It's certainly not the most family-friendly option, but couples looking for a phenomenal spa and nearby action won't be disappointed.
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.
Kids are sure to love the Shark Reef Aquarium, which in addition to sharks features endangered green sea turtles, piranha, rare golden crocodiles, moon jellies, sawfish, and giant rays. The huge pool complex includes a large wave pool and a lazy river. Abundant kid-friendly food options at the hotel's 20 restaurants.
This 1,117-room property is the result of an $80 million renovation, completed in Fall 2014, of the former THEhotel at Mandalay Bay. The revamping brought striking desert-inspired art installations to the lobby and chic, white furnishings in the suite-style rooms. There's not much in way of entertainment or dining on-site, but it's connected to the huge and lively Mandalay Bay. For guests or business travelers wanting a quiet retreat still near the Vegas hustle and bustle, the Delano is a prime pick.
Hard Rock is one of the most unapologetically hedonistic hotels in Las Vegas, which is a hard trophy to come by in this town. On Sunday, the Beach Club Pool hosts the raucous pool party Rehab. And true to its Hard Rock name, big-name bands regularly play The Joint, a 4,000-seat venue attached to the hotel.