By E.C. Gladstone
Though you’d have a hard time finding a more democratic city than Las Vegas, the simple truth is, not all visitors to our Las Vegas hotels are created equal. Some do indeed get treated much, much better. Oh sure, everyone knows that big time gamblers get VIP status. But even those of us who are more moderate in our spending can find ways to feel like we’ve hit the big time. With Las Vegas hotel room rates still at themost competitive levels in years, it’s easier than ever to upgrade to exclusive club floors, suites and other semi-secret options.
Favorite Vegas secret stays
Encore at Wynn and Wynn Las Vegas: Both of these sister hotels have separate VIP entrances and registrations with private elevators leading to exclusive floors with subtle but significant details in the rooms. Between the two, I lean slightly towards the original Wynn tower suites with its rooms decorated in an updated Modern Regency palette, beds nothing short of exquisite, and marble-floored bathrooms with separate spa tub and shower (excellent water pressure, too), and every amenity imaginable. Overall, I’ve never experienced a room so elegant, ergonomic (in the truest sense) tasteful and comfortable. Tower suite guests also enjoy exclusive pool areas, with the nicest cabanas on the Strip.
Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino and Venetian Resort Hotel Casino: Guests of the concierge level within these connected hotels are escorted directly to the 23rd floor, to register privately in the spacious club (with breakfast, cocktail hour, and evening dessert services, free internet, dvd library and other amenities), where attendants await your every request. Junior suites on theselevels—connected by private elevators—are the same bi-level format as standard suites but with larger square footage and more frills. You might also want to consider the slightly more modest Fortuna suite, or options in the Venezia tower (with a fantastic 10th floor private pool).
Signature at MGM Prima Club and the Skylofts at MGM Grand: One of the most impressive stays on the Strip, the Skylofts, with a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it private entrance, are remarkable modern two-floor suites sporting impressive sound systems, infinity tubs, sexy bedrooms, espresso machines, and round-the-clock butler service. The private lobby becomes a cocktail lounge for happy hour. If this is out of your range, consider the Prima Club at MGM Grand and Signature (their condo/suites tower); in exchange for pledging to spend $500 on the premises, guest enjoy VIP check in, suite upgrades, two-for-one dining, admission to WET Republic pool & MGM nightclubs, spa passes, and more. Ask for details.
Hotel 32 at Monte Carlo: As I reported a few months back on Hotel 32, this new boutique floor at the top of the Monte Carlo has transformed the hotel in a plush property with private concierge and registration, club lounge, spa passes, and a variety of cool room options with excellent bedding, sexy showers and more.
Gold Club at the Golden Nugget
Upgraded rooms here include VIP lounge check-in, free internet, better amenities, turn-down service, spa day passes, bottled water and buffet line passes.
Most of the above hotels will even pick you up at the airport— an immediate savings to offset the price of upgrading.
There are also nice concierge levels at the Rennaissance (recently named one of the best value hotels in the country by Travel & Leisure magazine) and Las Vegas Hilton, private Sky Suites at Aria, and believe it or not, the solid—if less exciting—suites at Rio and Harrah’s, too.
Sweet upgrades with more moderate options
Check out these more “moderate” options, too:
- GO rooms at Flamingo
- Vintage suites at El Cortez
- Recent upgrades at Circus Circus, Excalibur, Four Queens andFitzgerald’s (all recommended at competitive rates)
- and even Gold Coast
The Gold Coast? Yes, really. Using an urban-geometric palette which wouldn’t be out of place in New York or Cologne, the standard rooms aren’t massive, but use space efficiently, with a big flatscreen and wardrobes built into one unit, while a small two-sided table works as desk or sitting area. The bathroom sports a good pressure rainfall-head open shower, large towels and lots of counter space for getting ready. Coffeemakers in the room, fitness room use included in $3 resort fee. Beds aren’t four-star deluxe, but they aren’t stone slabs either.
Lastly, Lake Las Vegas has been hit by a slew of bad press lately, but the 4-star Loew’s and 3-star suite-style Lake Las Vegas Resort are both fully operational, with a cozy spa, great pool areas, lake activities, a world-class sushi restaurant, and an Arnold Palmer-designed golf course. During quiet midweeks, the experience is like a sprawling boutique hotel!
Veteran entertainment and travel writer E. C. Gladstone writes regularly on top Strip entertainers, restauranteurs, moguls and behind-the-scenes players for many local and national publications and Web sites. Like many Las Vegans, he sleeps only when absolutely necessary.
Tagged: Las Vegas