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Andrea Bennett Contributor
There’s arguably no place more transporting than the Las Vegas Strip. Within convenient walking distance of wherever you’re staying you’ll find the Eiffel Tower, Lago di Como and an Egyptian pyramid topped with a laser beam so bright you can see it from space. A visiting Italian friend, expecting to hate our Piazza San Marco, instead marveled at the novelty of experiencing it sans marauding pigeons.
Much of this began as schtick, of course, but the race to accommodate an increasingly well-traveled and cosmopolitan visitor has made the resorts along the three-mile stretch among the best luxury accommodations in the world, and at some of the most reasonable prices for travelers. Each resort provides a distinctly different travel experience; what’s good for you and all the kids is not ideal for a sexy weekend a deux, for instance. Here are the best hotels in Las Vegas for all kinds of vacationers.
Best Luxury Hotel: Wynn And Encore
Wynn and Encore Las Vegas
Who Will Love It: The unapologetically glamorous
All-Star Amenities: Two gorgeous spas; an unrivaled nightclub scene; the first Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant in North America,
What Not To Miss: Shopping on Wynn’s esplanades; securing a waterfront table at SW or Lakeside; the floating pagoda table at Wing Lei
The opulent Wynn redefined the resort casino concept when it opened in 2005 with its sun-dappled atrium gardens, floral mosaic floors, private lakes and waterfalls, and the Strip’s only golf course, a par-70 championship course designed by Tom Fazio. The resort’s fans are so devoted, many no longer say they’re going to Vegas but to Wynn. Other resorts might rest on their laurels, but Wynn and sister resort Encore are in a constant state of glamorization. In 2022, Wynn unveiled a $200 million renovation of its nearly 2,700 Wynn guest rooms and Wynn Tower Suites. The masculine 1940s look is achieved with custom-designed furniture, warm wood accent walls, custom-designed etageres and Cubist-like artworks. Once you scoop your jaw off the floor, you’ll want to devour the resort’s intriguing dining and lounging scene. Delilah, a supper club reminiscent of the city’s mid-century golden era, is one of the toughest reservations to secure in town. Beautifully dressed patrons dine on wagyu beef wellington and Alaskan king crab in a stunning room anchored by 40-foot-high cast brass palms (think Havana’s El Tropicana circa 1950). Also check out a trio of stunning new cocktail venues, including the witty, Regency-inspired Overlook; Bar Parasol, a paean to the gilded European jet set lifestyle, and Aft, inspired by yachting life. Look out at the Lake of Dreams with a Monaco seaside spritz cocktail and you’ll swear you can feel the ocean breeze.
Best Amenities Hotel: Aria
Aria Resort and Casino
Who Will Love It: Tech-savvy travelers and F&B aficionados
All-Star Amenities: Spa with salt room and Japanese stone Ganbanyoku beds; co-ed spa pool; new med spa
What Not To Miss: The 80-foot-long pergola walkway at Catch—extra fun at brunch (order the sky-high Anytime Waffle Tower)
When Aria’s two glass and steel towers opened as part of the massive CityCenter complex in 2009, they brought more modernity to the Vegas resort casino. Aria’s soaring lobby with natural materials is the antithesis of the dark windowless casino room. Sanctuary-like guest rooms have always had high tech details like one-touch lighting, temperature and curtain controls; Aria’s seven Sky Villas and more than 400 Sky Suites take luxury to a new level. The villas and suites have their own entrance and elevator, personal concierges, private pool and airport transportation. Plus, guests in the desert-inspired Sky Suites receive a revolving selection of turndown gifts like backgammon for kids, custom-designed drink coasters by local artists and truffles. Sky Villa butlers may show up with a cigar cart, custom chocolates or fresh-baked bread. It’s not just the in-room amenities that shine; Aria is walking distance to T-Mobile Arena, the Shops at Crystals and CityCenter. Aria’s excellent restaurants included Jean Georges Steakhouse, Din Tai Fun and an outpost of the New York hotspot Carbone (Drake has dibs on the restaurant’s private dining room when he’s in town).
Best Location: Nobu Hotel
Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace
Who Will Love It: Travelers who want a boutique experience with all the benefits of a massive resort
All-Star Amenities: In-room dining made by Nobu chefs; large suites
What Not To Miss: Rare sakes in Nobu Lounge; beer brewed for Nobu at Japan’s Hokusetsu brewery on Sado Island
Caesars Palace is a behemoth (it has nearly 4,000 rooms and suites spread over 85 acres), but Nobu Hotel is a little pocket of Zen. Guests of the 182 room hotel in the former Centurion Tower–Nobu Matsuhisa’s first hotel–receive the special attention they’d expect from a precious boutique property. An elevator bank accessed through a simple Japanese portal takes guests to the hotel-within-a-hotel. During a 2022 renovation inspired by kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery, designers gave the hotel a warmer, more residential feel. If you’re splurging, you can book the 10,000-square-foot Nobu Villa (also recently refreshed), which comes with butler service, limo transportation, a garden and whirlpool, and a VIP omakase dinner at Nobu restaurant just downstairs. You may never want to leave your new Vegas cocoon.
Best Something-For-Everyone Hotel: The Venetian
The Venetian Resort and Palazzo
Who Will Love It: Those who love a little Epcot with their Vegas—and a fantastic high/low, save/splurge retail and dining mix
All-Star Amenities: Canyon Ranch Spa and Fitness, which has a huge climbing wall, nutritionists, and acupuncture; largest standard guest rooms on the Strip; Cut steakhouse
Don’t Miss: Estiatorio Milos Greek restaurant; a gondola ride
The Venetian Resort is a gilded and frescoed tribute to the city of Venice. With more than 7,000 guest rooms and 17 million square feet, it is the second largest hotel in the world. Complete with a replica St. Mark’s Square (even the Campanile has been included), a canal system and singing gondoliers (you too can smooch in a gondola under the Bridge of Sighs), it’s one of the most delightfully gaudy places to suspend disbelief. Wander the resort and its Grand Canal Shoppes under Canaletto-blue trompe l’oeil “skies” and you’ll find everything from a reasonably priced food court to Mott 32, one of the best Chinese restaurants in the country. Don’t miss breakfast at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon hidden away on the 10th floor of the Venezia Tower. The airy French bistro is as dreamy as Las Vegas gets.
Best Hotel For Business Travelers: The Four Seasons
The Four Seasons Las Vegas
Who Will Love It: Business travelers who want to be connected to the action but escape it at the end of the day
All-Star Amenities: The Forbes Five-Star rated spa; access to the Mandalay Bay Pool complex with a real sand beach
What Not To Miss: Four Seasons Ultimate Facial; an afternoon in a cabana at the pool
If you think you know precisely what a Four Seasons looks like, you haven’t visited The Four Seasons Las Vegas, which is ensconced on floors 35 to 39 of Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. You’d never know it wasn’t a standalone resort considering it has a valet entrance, restaurants, bar and lounge and intimate spa. The hotel has one of the Las Vegas’s most tranquil pool scenes which is open only to Four Seasons guests. Guest rooms begin at 500-square-feet with floor-to-ceiling window views of the Strip or the new Allegiant Stadium. The design, all serene Art Deco-inspired lacquer furniture and silver leaf, feels like the ultimate escape. And if you’re wondering where the city’s power brokers, Hollywood elite, and sports agents go to meet and broker deals, you’ll see some of them eating breakfast on the serene poolside patio at Veranda.
Best “Cool Kid” Stay: The Cosmopolitan
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
Who Will Love It: The young and cool (and those intent on recapturing their youth)
All-Star Amenities: Swimming pool and swim-up movies in the summer; ice rink in winter; barbershop; live music venue
What Not to Miss: An authentic hammam ritual; truffle nachos and mezcal at Ghost Donkey; hidden Ski Lodge bar in Superfrico
Cosmopolitan’s provocative “right kind of wrong” ads have been attracting the desired demographic—young, hip travelers that love shopping, dining and clubbing—since it opened in 2010. The rooms–some of the very few in Vegas with terraces—are great for entertaining. The hotel’s dramatic design (LED columns in the lobby and a three-story chandelier) doesn’t disappoint. If you’ve chosen the Cosmpolitan you’re probably the go-to person in your friend group for restaurant recommendations, and you will be spoiled for choice at the resort with new additions like David Chang’s Bang Bar by Momofuku and classics like é by José Andrés, Jaleo and Scarpetta. And the Cosmpolitan has more up its sleeve: a barbershop where you can get a classic cut or straight-razor shave, an intimate live music and cocktail venue and a hidden bar inspired by the ski mountains of Hokkaido, Japan. Yes, that’s a snow flurry outside.
Best Boutique Hotel: NoMad Las Vegas
NoMad Las Vegas
Who will love it: Those looking for a luxe, adult vacation
All-Star Amenities: Roof deck pool; high limit casino; standalone tubs
What Not to Miss: Dinner at NoMad Restaurant; busts of groundbreaking female Las Vegas gaming icons; the truffle chicken sandwich in NoMad Bar
Las Vegas has largely stopped imploding its icons. Still, no one expected the musty old Monte Carlo to be transformed into the hip Park MGM. Fewer people anticipated an entry onto the Las Vegas scene by French design superstar Jacques Garcia (La Mamounia in Marrakesh, Hotel Costes in Paris) who decked out Park MGM’s interior boutique hotel, NoMad Las Vegas, with Old World European elegance and guest rooms inspired by Parisian apartments. Guests enter NoMad through a dedicated entrance (look for the discreet red awning at the side of Park MGM’s porte-cochère). NoMad has its own casino, skylit by the Monte Carlo’s original Tiffany glass ceiling, where guests can play high limit table games. The 239 guest rooms, on the top four floors of Park MGM, beg for a sexy couples retreat with their moody color scheme and standalone tubs. The jaw-dropping NoMad Library restaurant, with 23-foot-high ceilings and walls lined with 25,000 books from the collection of the late philanthropist David Rockefeller, is one of the city’s most cinematic spaces. Across the way, the opulent NoMad Bar is a perfect place to people watch and dine on a truffle chicken sandwich during weekend brunch.
Best Old-School Glam Hotel: Bellagio
Bellagio Resort and Casino
Who Will Love It: Those who are here for a big Vegas spectacle
All-Star Amenities: Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art; Hèrmes boutique; five pools; poolside spa services
What Not To Miss: At Mayfair Supper Club dinner morphs into live performance and late night lounging
When Bellagio Resort opened in 1998, it made other resorts—and their choreographed pirate battles and erupting volcanoes–look dated. The Lake Como-themed resort was the priciest resort in the world to build at the time. Even after a quarter century, the Bellagio is still relevant. Even the most jaded Las Vegas locals are charmed by the animatronic creatures and tens of thousands of flowers that a dedicated team of horticulturalists bring to the Conservatory and Botanical Garden each season. We’ll still pause to gawk at the Bellagio Fountains where 1200 powerful water cannons send sprays up to 460 feet high. The spectacle continues at lakeside Le Cirque, where truffles are shaved tableside, and Wolfgang Puck’s Spago, which relocated from the Forum Shops at Caesars. In 2015, Bellagio renovated all its guest rooms. The current look is inspired by water and includes backlit mirrors encircled by mother of pearl, massive marble showers and lots of blue tones.
About Andrea Bennett, Your Las Vegas Guide
I have covered travel for more than 20 years, identifying trends, vetting mileage programs and travel hacks, and sussing out the best in hotels. As the anonymous hotel critic for The New York Post, I enjoyed spending Rupert Murdoch’s money in the name of public service in the early 2000s. I’m a former longtime contributing editor and columnist for Travel + Leisure and The Wall Street Journal, the former group editor-in-chief of Vegas and Modern Luxury San Diego magazines and a contributing writer for Condé Nast Traveler. My writing has also appeared in O: The Oprah Magazine, Town & Country, Departures, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Fortune, Money, Outside, TripSavvy, TripAdvisor and many others.