In a place where over-the-top glitz is the norm, a luxury hotel in Vegas truly has to step it up a notch with special touches — from Michelin-starred chefs to airport transfers in a Rolls-Royce Ghost limousine. Vegas luxury often means enormous rooms, mind-boggling design, beautiful pools, and stunning spas. But the hotels in Vegas are also much larger (many are over 2,000 rooms) so the level of personalized service doesn’t quite match the standards at other American destinations, like New York City or even Miami. In terms of value, though, a hotel in Vegas can’t be topped. If the Wynn existed in New York City, for example, it would likely cost you about five times more per night.
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.
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.
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 flawless Art Deco-inspired rooms with velvety chairs and ottomans and massive marble bathrooms. Two upscale dining options (Charlie Palmer Steak and Veranda), a well-regarded spa with a mile-long list of treatment options, and full access to all of the Mandalay Bay’s amenities are additional advantages. The one downside we can think of is the hotel's location -- it's on the Strip’s southern end. Travelers who’d prefer a more central Strip location should check out the equally luxurious Mandarin Oriental.
Skylofts is the luxury section of MGM Grand, offering some of the most exclusive accommodations not just within the hotel but in Vegas. All of the rooms are one-, two-, and three-bedroom duplex lofts (they start at 1,400 square feet) with big living areas and sophisticated but understated urban decor; prices are usually upwards of $1,000 a night. High-end extras include airport transfers in a Rolls-Royce Ghost limousine; a calm, private reception area for Skylofts guests with a separate entrance; in-loft check-ins (no waiting in line!); and access to Skylounge on the 29th floor for cocktails and appetizers. But most facilities, such as the main fitness center and the spa, must be shared with MGM guests.
The Palazzo is an even-fancier extension of its sister hotel, the Venetian, with larger standard rooms that contain a bedroom and a sunken living room with L-shaped sofas; they're a warmer, less masculine version of the rooms at the Encore with all the same top-tier features (the Encore's rooms are just a little newer). Guests have access to the world-famous Canyon Ranch Spa and a haute-couture shopping mall (featuring Diane von Furstenberg, Christian Louboutin, and a Lamborghini showroom). The Palazzo's restaurants are helmed by the likes of Mario Batali, Wolfgang Puck, and Emeril Lagasse.
The Bellagio has all the Vegas-style luxury spectacle, but it still somehow remains classy. With 67 acres, there's space for an indoor botanical garden, a 8.5-acre lake in the middle of the desert, boutiques that include Prada and Chanel, and five pools housed in an Italian courtyard. And even with 3,933 rooms, the formal service remains attentive and efficient. While other hotels draw a young, raucous party crowd, the scene at the Bellagio remains more mature and upscale, with guests dining at Le Cirque or Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Prime Steakhouse, both on-site. Bed linens and pillow-top mattresses (designed by Serta specifically for the Bellagio) are a delight, as are the Italian marble bathrooms with granite countertops and deep soaking tubs. The famous 1,200-plus dancing water fountains make this hotel a must-see for all Vegas visitors.
Every inch of the 2,716-room Wynn hotel is designed to dazzle -- vibrant art, parasols hung upside down from the ceilings, a surreal nightly light show projected into the "Lake of Dreams" in front of the Strip's only man-made mountain. Guests have access to the on-site 18-hole golf course, and the hotel is home to Alex, a French restaurant that is one of the best in Vegas. Guest rooms start at an impressive 600 square feet and include the sinfully comfortable king-size Wynn Dream Bed by Sealy and a TV in the bathroom.
This 1,117-room, 4.5-pearl 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.
At 650 square feet, the standard rooms at the Venetian are among the largest on the Strip -- bested only by the Encore and Palazzo and a handful of others. Even the base-level rooms contain floor-to-ceiling windows, a king-size pillow-top bed dressed in Egyptian cotton sheets, and a bedroom that is partially separated from the sunken living room. A serene getaway from the property's hustle and bustle is its 10th-floor pool deck (open until 10:30 p.m.), which features additional pools, several small Jacuzzis, rose bushes, and the French patisserie Bouchon Bakery. To top it off, the hotel shares the world-famous Canyon Ranch Spa with the neighboring Palazzo hotel. Plus, the property is divided into two towers -- the 4,027-room Venetian, and the 1,013-room Venezia, built in 2003 as a more exclusive retreat for high-rolling gamblers.
This polished hotel is Donald Trump's attempt to, er, trump Vegas king Steve Wynn. Every detail of this property's design and decor was carefully planned and beautifully executed; it looks like it was plucked straight out of New York City, especially in the midst of to the typical flashing lights and kitschy themes of its neighboring hotels. Because the hotel was built in 2008, everything is new: the rooms, the pool, the lobby. No aging tube TVs. Comfort is emphasized with perks such as a fleece-lined Trump robe ($125 to take home). The suites' decor is surprisingly sedate, better designed for the business traveler than the conspicuous consumer. And as with all Trump Hotel Collection properties, guests can make special requests before checking in: anything from stocking the refrigerator to ordering business cards.