How Vegas Is Reinventing the Boutique Hotel

Christine Sarkis, October 15, 2014
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    The next big thing has arrived in Vegas, and it's surprisingly … small. Whether you see Las Vegas' wave of boutique-inspired hotels as an adaptation, a reinvention, or a perversion of the small-hotel concept, there's no doubt that boutique is reshaping the city. With the recent opening of three high-profile hotels that rely heavily on the boutique angle to differentiate themselves from what's come before, it's clear that the hotel trend has reached critical mass in Vegas.

    But as with everything else, Sin City does things its own way, and it has taken the core concepts of boutique hotels—individuality; personalization; quirkiness; fewer rooms; and destination restaurants, bars, and spas—to new and different heights than the rest of the world.

    So what's Vegas boutique? Since the concept is constantly being reinvented, there's no single profile. Some properties occupy a few floors within major casino hotels, others fill high-rise towers that help define the skyline; some eschew gaming, while others embrace the casino floor. But similarities exist: When bigger isn't the point, all that manic Vegas energy is channeled into the small things—like subtle and sophisticated scents, high-end toiletries, sumptuous fabrics, and cool communal spaces with the trendiest coffee in the morning and cocktails in the evening. 

    Here's a tour of the latest boutique offerings in Vegas.

    (Photo: MGM Resorts)

    Delano Las Vegas

    Delano debuted on Labor Day of this year, bringing an "all-suite boutique offering" that draws on the spirit, the name, and the vibe of the original Delano South Beach, all adapted to Las Vegas. The underlying design theme is desert chic. The hotel was previously THEhotel Mandalay Bay.

    Vital Stats: 1,117 suites fill the Delano's 64-level golden tower. Since there's no casino, the ground floor is given over to a series of beckoning modern spaces where guests can hang out, mingle, and eat and drink.

    Part Of: MGM Resorts International and Morgans Hotel Group.

    (Photo: TripAdvisor, LLC)

    SLS Las Vegas

    SLS has all the focus of a boutique hotel—service, luxury, creativity, and community—but presents it on a massive scale for grand Las Vegas.

    Vital Stats: 1,600 rooms and suites fill the former Sahara Hotel & Casino. The hotel includes a casino as well as Bazaar Meat by Jose Andres, the latest restaurant by the renowned chef.

    Part Of: SLS already has hotels in upscale hot spots South Beach, Beverly Hills, and New York, and in August, the brand opened the SLS Las Vegas.

    (Photo: TripAdvisor, LLC)

    The Cromwell Las Vegas

    The Cromwell, which opened in May of this year, touts itself as the Strip's first boutique hotel.

    Vital Stats: With 188 rooms that mingle modern and vintage design elements, The Cromwell is also home to one of the city's hottest new restaurants, Giada, helmed by celeb-chef Giada De Laurentiis.

    Part Of: Caesars Entertainment Corporation.

    (Photo: TripAdvisor, LLC)

    Nobu Hotel

    Nobu Hotel opened in the spring of 2013, mingling Japanese and Asian design elements with a bit of Vegas flair. The hotel was imagined into being by its namesake, Chef Nobu, as well as actor Robert De Niro and designer David Rockwell.

    Vital Stats: Part of the much larger Caesars complex on the Strip, Nobu Hotel occupies the former Centurion Tower and has just 181 rooms.

    Part Of: Caesars Entertainment Corporation.

    (Photo: TripAdvisor, LLC)

    SkyLofts

    Crowning the top two floors of the MGM Grand, SkyLofts defines the hotel-within-a-hotel subset of the Vegas boutique trend. With chauffeured airport service and butlers on 24-hour standby, service is paramount.

    Vital Stats: 51 two-story lofts offer incredible views and luxurious amenities like in-room espresso machines, pillow menus, and Dream Butlers (who will draw you a bath and make you tea).

    Part Of: MGM Resorts International.

    (Photo: TripAdvisor, LLC)

    Rumor Hotel Boutique

    The off-Strip Rumor Hotel Boutique is an all-suite, low-rise hotel with a pool-and-cabana scene and dog-friendly rooms.

    Vital Stats: The two-story hotel, which opened in 2010, has 150 suites, many with private balconies or patios.

    Part Of: The Siegel Group, which also operates the off-Strip Artisan Hotel Boutique.

    (Photo: TripAdvisor, LLC)

    Artisan Hotel Boutique

    The off-Strip Artisan Hotel Boutique is the wild child of the boutique hotel set in Las Vegas. A favorite for bachelor and bachelorette parties, the hotel plays up its sexy/naughty vibe with a top-optional pool and nonstop weekend parties.

    Vital Stats: Each of the 64 rooms and suites at this 21-and-up hotel is unique.

    Part Of: The Siegel Group.

    (Photo: TripAdvisor, LLC)

    Hotel 32

    Since 2009, the 32nd floor of the Monte Carlo has been home to the stylish but low-key Hotel 32. The small boutique hotel within the larger casino distinguishes itself with amenities such as limo service from the airport, on-call personal assistants, and a private lounge.

    Vital Stats: Hotel 32 has 50 rooms and a check-in process that's entirely separate from the bustle downstairs at the Monte Carlo.

    Part Of: MGM Resorts International.

    (Photo: TripAdvisor, LLC)

    El Cortez Cabana Suites

    The vintage classic El Cortez Hotel & Casino was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 2013, and now it can claim its own part of the boutique hotel market with the El Cortez Cabana Suites. Located across the street from the original hotel in downtown Las Vegas, El Cortez Cabana Suites is brimming with funky, playful, modern design.

    Vital Stats: The hotel has 64 rooms and suites.

    Part Of: The hotel is an extension of El Cortez Hotel & Casino, but it isn't part of one of the mega-hotel groups.

    (Photo: MGM Resorts)

    Aria Sky Suites

    Another boutique-hotel-within-a-hotel concept, Aria Sky Suites maintains its separation from the main property with a VIP entrance, a private elevator, and private check-in. Opened in 2009, the luxury hotel has earned both a Forbes Travel Guide Five Star rating and a AAA Five Diamond award.

    Vital Stats: Aria Sky Suites has 442 one-, two-, and three-bedroom rooms and suites.

    Part Of: MGM Resorts International.

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    This article was originally published by SmarterTravel under the title How Vegas is Reinventing the Boutique Hotel. Follow Christine Sarkis on Google+ or email her at editor@smartertravel.com.

    (Lead Photo: TripAdvisor, LLC)

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