WYNN AND ENCORE WYNN
Readers' Choice Rating: 91.4
Wynn Las Vegas
This black-and-gold tower opened in 2005 and "somehow gives you the feeling that you’re staying in a small, intimate hotel." "Outstanding rooms" with floor-to-ceiling windows offer "amazing views of the Strip" or the 18-hole golf course designed by owner Steve Wynn and Tom Fazio. "Excellent on-property dining choices" range from French and Italian to Japanese and American: "The food is impeccable at all of the restaurants—we know because we tried them all!" At 12,000-square-foot Tryst, DJs spin for revelers on a dance floor that borders a 90-foot waterfall. Spend an afternoon browsing the on-site Chanel, Dior, and Louis Vuitton boutiques or at the resort’s two pools. "The service is second to none, and we love the location."
This resort next to sister property Wynn has design elements in public spaces that include Venetian glass mosaic floors and pearl-inlaid marble from Asia, but is "pretty far away from the heart of the Strip." "Suites are meticulous about every detail": They have floor-to-ceiling windows with skyline views, mirrored walls, houndstooth-patterned panels, and white sycamore furnishings. The lighting and walls change throughout the night at Switch, a French-inspired boîte that is one of "many fine restaurants to choose from." "The service is fine, but the hotel has amazing facilities."
Readers' Choice Rating: 91.2
"I’ve stayed at other hotels in Vegas but will never stay anywhere else after my amazing experience here." A non-gaming hotel on five floors of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, it has dog-friendly rooms in neutral hues with down bedding, marble bathrooms, and views of the city or the desert terrain to the south. The Sunrise/Sunset suites have 180-degree views of Vegas and the surrounding mountains. "This place is five-star all the way." The weekend breakfast buffet at Verandah has a make-your-own-doughnut machine; for dinner, Italian is the norm. "The spa is one of the best I’ve ever experienced, with the most fantastic staff."
PALAZZO RESORT HOTEL CASINO
Readers' Choice Rating: 90.6
Expect "sensory overload and plenty of things to do" at this towering take on Italian flair, the sister resort of the Venetian. "Well-laid-out and -appointed" rooms have angora wool throws, marble baths, and sunken lounge areas done in a modern European design. Chef Emeril Lagasse’s Delmonico Steakhouse delivers New Orleans cuisine, and AquaKnox flies its seafood in daily. Fusion’s cocktail menu focuses on Brazilian, Peruvian, and Mexican libations, but "staff run hot and cold" and "the drink service in the casino leaves much to be desired."
Readers' Choice Rating: 89.7
The "five-star surroundings" of this Vegas Strip hotel include an eight-and-a-half-acre man-made lake and synchronized water fountains. The Tuscan-inspired design extends to "very tastefully done rooms" that have contemporary furniture and "terrific bathrooms" with Italian marble. More than a dozen "diverse dining options" are offered, from Asian at Jasmine to Mediterranean at Todd English’s Olives to cigars and caviar at Petrossian Bar. The adults-only Cypress Pool has chilled towels and misters as well as 60 chaise longues, four daybeds, and three cabanas. "Because it’s a monstrous property, staff can be hit or miss."
Readers' Choice Rating: 89.4
"Luxury abounds" at this resort constructed of green stone from the Italian Alps. Replicating Venice with winding canals, gondolas, and arched bridges, the design also features 25-foot-high Botticino marble columns. "Great rooms" include sunken living rooms and marble baths with Roman tubs. Dine on Wolfgang Puck’s contemporary American cuisine at Postrio, which sits on a replica of St. Mark’s Square. "The terrific variety of restaurants" includes celeb-chef eateries like Thomas Keller’s Bouchon and Mario Batali’s B&B Ristorante. "The whole experience was better than the real Venice!" Book an Ayurvedic treatment at the Canyon Ranch SpaClub.
Readers' Choice Rating: 88.1
It’s ironic that the standout of the splashy new CityCenter is also the most understated thing in it. From the elegant bamboo and bonsai gardens at the entrance, to the key card access–only elevators to guest rooms, to the serene ambience (free of casino cacophony), the 392-room hotel is a study in calm sophistication—nary a fanny pack nor a bachelor party in sight. But don’t be fooled by the Zen. This is a tightly run ship where guests’ every desire is anticipated. Rooms are equipped with bedside touch-screen panels to control curtains, lighting, temperature, music, and TV. Bathrooms are sizable even in the smallest rooms (500 square feet), with luxe touches such as Frette robes, LCD-screen TVs inside the mirrors, and free-standing soaking tubs. Adam D. Tihany’s Asian-esque decor cleverly incorporates modern hotel conveniences such as a technology kit and room service menus within tasseled traditional Chinese boxes. The one place where hyperbole rules is at The Spa. Here, you don’t have a massage but rather a journey; the place where you rinse off isn’t a shower but an experience. Adjacent to the twenty-third-floor lobby is the glass-enclosed Mandarin Bar, where well-heeled guests look out on the Strip without getting their hands dirty.
Readers' Choice Rating: 87.0
The Cesar Pelli–designed centerpiece of the hyper-anticipated 67-acre CityCenter, Aria meets all the criteria of the now-standard Vegas mega-hotel formula: A whopping 4,004 rooms—check. A casino the size of three football fields—check. Sixteen wildly varied restaurants, with celebrity chefs—check. An Elvis-themed Cirque du Soleil extravaganza and dancing fountains at the front entrance—check, check. The resort does everything in an unabashedly big way, but beyond the razzle-dazzle veneer are unique triumphs that include bragging rights for being the world’s largest LEED Gold–certified building and an impressive collection of modern art (including a suspended Maya Lin sculpture inspired by the Colorado River, and a 266-foot-long LED installation by Jenny Holzer). Although rooms are a hike from the elevator, the tower’s crescent shape and floor-to-ceiling windows ensure that all have great views—either of the desert or the leaning Veer Towers and the irregular angles of the Daniel Libeskind–designed Crystals shopping complex, next door. Comfortably large and muted in tone, the rooms come equipped with a nifty bedside touch screen controlling the temperature, curtains, and entertainment. Aria’s epic scale means that individualized attention is rare but every craving is literally satisfied: The buffet feeds casual diners, the restaurants Jean-_Georges and the terrific Julian Serrano please gourmets, and celebrity DJs spin for club hoppers at the velvet-rope dual-level Haze. Centrally located on the Strip, Aria also deliver excellent value—just beware the outrageous amenity surcharges, including $35 a day for gym and spa access.
COSMOPOLITAN OF LAS VEGAS
Readers' Choice Rating: 86.9
Just one year old, the Cosmopolitan is "a fresh, fun, sophisticated, yet not-too-Vegas hotel in the heart of it all," next to CityCenter. The "modern, non-themey property is nice in a place that’s so lit-up and splashy." Each of the residential-style guest rooms—from city-facing rooms to three-story bungalows off the adults-only Marquee Dayclub’s pool deck—have a sprawling terrace. Inside, you’ll find plush sectionals, lacquered coffee tables, and marble bathrooms, as well as in-room technology that lets you preset your lighting, music, and temperature preferences. There are 13 restaurants—Blue Ribbon Sushi, Estiatorio Milos, and Va Bene Caffè among them—plus five bars and lounges, but "the service is not as good as it should be." The Sahra Spa has a hammam.
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