Las Vegas hotels By E.C. Gladstone

Lavish suites are nothing unusual in Las Vegas hotels, but the newest one in town is really something else: presenting the official Barbie Suite at Palms Casino Resort. Designed by Jonathan Adler with the full cooperation of Barbie’s parent company, Mattel, the adult-sized digs are truly a girlwoman’s dream, with Barbie-print chairs, doll displays and art, pucci prints, vinyl and silver lame accents, sparkly floors, a luxurious spa tub, steam showers, push-button fireplace…and more.

But while most Las Vegas hotel suites focus on opulence and luxury (and don’t worry, I’ll be talking about them soon, too), Barbie’s pad is not the only one here with a sense of funky flair. Palms alone has the Hardwood suite (with a 1/2 basketball court), Kingpin (2 bowling lanes), Erotic suite (8-foot rotating bed), as well as the six-bedroom “Real World” suite (where the MTV series filmed), Hugh Hefner Sky Villa (with an infinity pool hanging over the edge of the tower!) and more…

Las Vegas hotel Not to be out-cooled, Planet Hollywood has hip Apex, Panorama, and Mega suites, true one-bedroom accommodations that mix luxury and sex appeal nicely. Apex features a small bar, foosball and bumper pool tables — great for a party (in fact, I hosted one there a few weeks ago that was a blast). Panorama’s semicircular layout has a peek-a-boo spa tub and memorabilia displays. All have multiple flatscreen TVs, cool furniture & lighting design throughout, and incomparable Bellagio fountain and Strip views. Definitely among my personal faves…

Another recent stay and personal fave is the Metro Las Vegas Hotels two-bedroom suite at Flamingo. I’ve raved before about their sexy-chic GO rooms [in my Top 10 new Las Vegas hotel rooms story]: these are in the same spirit but just a bit more mature. A pop-earthy color scheme of browns, rusty orange, apple green and whitewhitewhite dominates, with shag rugs over hardwood floors, a full bar, four flatscreen TVs throughout, each with 5.1 sound CD/DVD, marble-tiled bathrooms with computerized spa tubs and big glass-walled body jet showers, two climate zones, golden age casino photos and fantastic floor-to-ceiling views of the tropical oasis below…

If you’re in the market, though, you should also consider the Hard Rock Hotel’s stunning Penthouse suite — three bedrooms, three big baths, a huge open hot tub with killer view, grand dining room, full bar, bowling lane, and lots of nooks and crannies. Their goth-rocker Celebrity Suites feature dramatic design elements, killer bathrooms, and pool tables… (and I can't wait to see the new Paradise Tower, debuting this August).

Las Vegas Hotels Perhaps most surprising, downtown’s Golden Nugget has a trio of hip one-bedroom suites, the “Scarlet,” “Classic,” and “Vegas Baby,” that definitely make a Fremont Street stay worth considering. Scarlet’s intense color-vibe is my favorite, though you might prefer the more Asiatic “Classic” or silly '60s-themed, lava-lamped “Vegas Baby.”  All feature two full bathrooms, iPod stereos, luxury bedding and sleek design…

Across the Strip, among their myriad suite offerings, Caesars Palace has an uber-cool Absolut suite (designed, yes, with the vodka company): four bedrooms inspired by the Citron, Peach, Ruby Red, and Vanilla flavors along with a two-story dance floor. Now, that’s a party pad.

Farther off-Strip, Red Rock Resort’s seven Penthouse suites (designed by Bentel & Bentel) each makes a unique statement (the statement is “I’m cool, and I can afford this!”) with technological wonders from the curtains to the toilets, massive TVs, rotating couches, that kind of thing. The 180 Suite, at 6,500 square feet, would even wow James Bond. M Resort and Eastside Cannery are two other off-Strip Las Vegas hotels with cool, if slightly more humble, suites…

But if technology and luxury are the priorities, you’d also want to consider MGM Grand’s exclusive SkyLofts, with private elevators, a private spa, every imaginable concierge service, an espresso machine, wine cooler, B&O stereo, iPod docks throughout, and remote controls for everything imaginable in an urban chic two-floor layout.

Still, you might just want that classic Vegas suite experience — a little tacky, a little decadent — and as far as I know, the only place for that is the Tropicana’s Island Tower Jacuzzi Suites. They may not want to brag about the rooms’ design being decades old, but at this point, they’ve gone from outdated to cool as it gets.

Insider Tip: Most of Planet Hollywood’s memorabilia is hidden in the guest rooms, But until June 26, Julien’s Auctions has a free display on the Mezz there of some incredible items up for bidding, particularly huge lots of Marilyn Monroe’s clothes and possessions, and other items once owned by Elvis, Liberace, Bob Hope, Cher and others. Yes, I said FREE (to look, anyway).

Related Orbitz resources:

A contributing editor at VEGAS Magazine, E. C. Gladstone also interviews top Strip entertainers, restauranteurs, moguls and behind-the-scenes players for other local and national publications and websites. Like many Las Vegans, he sleeps only when absolutely necessary.

Tagged: Family time, Gambling Vacation, Gay travel, Las Vegas Vacation, Travel news

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