Before the quick list below, we must stress that almost all high-end Vegas hotels will be able to provide a sensational experience, if you don’t have a tight budget. For a more tailor-made choice, we invite you to read the section titles ‘Best of Vegas’ (see menu on top of the page), since it’s meant to help you choose according to specific features. However, quick lists are popular and the one we’ve compiled below is based on both popular choice and our own opinion:
♥ Mandarin Oriental. For those seeking total sophistication and an overall more relaxed setting (no casino, no night club but… Please read on for our ‘footnote’) whilst being in the middle of everything. Spacious rooms, elegant, luxurious and spacious bathrooms, both with all the modern, high-end features you may expect; quality materials, luxurious touches; one of the very best spas in Vegas. The location is very good, in the city center, though of course not ideal if you plan to spend a lot of time playing at the Venetian, for example. You will have access to plenty of good casinos nearby (such as Aria) as well as 2 very good buffets. I have heard that a few people have been disappointed by the lack of action by management following incidents such as noisy room parties; this seems to be a trend following the obvious efforts of Vegas resorts to attract alcohol-and-party crowds: the drink-and-party-hard crowds have arrived, but resort management have generally failed to provide suitable guidelines (and to put them into practice) which ensures that all guests have a good time. Party crowds should have plenty of options to enjoy themselves at all hours without having to leave their resort, whilst sleeping guests should be guaranteed a good sleep; this is hard to obtain in mid range Strip resorts (though if you complain firmly enough you will be given a free lunch, for example, at least in resorts where customer service is decent); however, high-end resorts such as Mandarin Oriental should offer high-end customer service. Generally speaking, to be fair, Mandarin Oriental will provide all you expect; the exceptions mentioned above may remain just that. Our advice is never stop complaining if you did not receive what you expected, especially in a high-end resort.
♥ Bellagio. A 5-star resort all around, a safe choice if you seek the best of the best in every aspect, from exquisite restaurants to beautiful pools, a modern, beautiful spa, the best gym of any Vegas resort & which only hotel guests can use. Bellagio is a stunning resort inside and out, elegant through and through, replicating the highly picturesque North Italian lakes areas (not Tuscany, as some have written!) very well. The standard rooms at Bellagio are beautiful (and the bathroom is spacious and elegant, with good quality marble all around) but, personally, I prefer a much larger window, especially given that some of them overlook the stunning lake (and mid Strip); a smaller window makes the room feel less ‘grandiose’ and, of course, less bright. But the rooms are very well sound-proofed; I particularly liked the switch which allows you to follow the fountain show if you want and, if you don’t, allows you to have total silence. Very nice, especially since many Vegas resorts are not sound proofed (they want you up gambling or paying for something…!). Of course, the location is probably the best in Vegas. The property is huge so occasionally we hear stories of service not being as excellent as expected (this definitely happens in their buffet), but I still remember they they personally sent me, by post at no charge to me, the jacket I had left in the room, all the way back to Canada! I have never encountered this service anywhere else. I am not saying that this will happen to everybody, but it’s the only resort which did that to me (I often leave items in the room, not on purpose but given that we change hotels often and we stay in Vegas for extended periods of time).
♥ Encore (& Wynn). Another stunning, high quality resort with great service. it’s beautiful inside and outside. We love the large, elegant, exquisitely appointed (with excellent quality materials) rooms at the Encore. Modern, unmatched room amenities are provided, from the high number of HD TV channels provided to the high quality mattresses. When we were there every inch (or centimeter) of the room was perfectly maintained; the overall trend of attracting drink-and-party crowds (such as the loud pool parties by Encore) may well affect this well-maintained resort. The only less-then-perfect aspects of this magnificent resort is, arguably, the buffet (which looks stunning but still cannot match the quality of the very best buffets in Vegas. Its spa is luxurious it still does not match the spa at Mandarin Oriental or even at Four Seasons. The location of Encore/Wynn is less then ideal, still, despite new developments coming up in the area, being at the far end of the main Strip area; this will change once the new property in front will be complete, in 2016, though until then it’ll be facing a building site. If you plan to move around by car or taxi only, it won’t matter as much.
♥ Palazzo. A higher-end version of the beautiful Venetian, it’s an all-around exquisitely appointed resort offering a stimulating environment for all your senses, luxurious suites and large marble bathrooms. At Palazzo you will also enjoy a large variety of delicious, gourmet restaurants in beautiful settings; its sister property Venetian is a very lively resort with a strong nightlife, soit’s arguably a good resort to stay if you don’t want to go outside much. The location is good because, although still on the Northern side of the Strip, it faces the Mirage and it’s not too far from the heart of the Strip (Caesars and Bellagio). However, I am not too keen on its gym/spa facilities, which are actually not their own but rather part of the Canyon Ranch chain; although delightfully open late, the gym is a significant let down once you walk past the cardio room; the spa is still not a match to the best spas in Vegas.
♥ Four Seasons. Incorporated into the Mandalay Bay resort, it’s still a separate section retaining all of its original, all-around 5-star class, service and refinement. It features an excellent spa, one of the very best breakfast restaurants in Las Vegas, luxury rooms and bathrooms and a non-gaming atmosphere. The location is not great if you plan to walk anywhere on the Strip, since you’ll need to use their fast shuttle to Excalibur; however, if you stay at Four Seasons you’ll probably be using taxis or renting a car; however, if it’s your first time in Vegas, you may want to opt for a resort which is surrounded by more Vegas magic. If you have been in Vegas many time and you are only seeking luxury, then Four Seasons is definitely an option.