In the battle between the north and south ends of the Las Vegas Strip, there are two new worthy contenders for consideration. At the south end, you have Delano, and at the north, SLS. Both anchor their respective ends, and though they’re on opposite sides of the action, they share a few common traits: luxury, style, and fun. Here’s the skinny on each hotel to help you decide where to stay on your next Vegas trip.
Delano Las Vegas
On the south end of the Strip, luxury hotel Delano Las Vegas has taken over the tower that THEhotel once occupied at Mandalay Bay. But it’s created its own identity, importing some of the South Beach vibe from the original Delano in Miami, while incorporating its new, natural landscape. As you enter, you pass through two sides of an enormous cut boulder which was extracted from the surrounding desert. That geological theme carries through the lobby when you bypass a wire and rock art installation suspended from the ceiling to the floor.
The Delano’s a true all-suite hotel, with the smallest rooms starting out at a whopping 725 square feet, with a separate living room from the master bedroom, an enormous marble-covered bathroom, and a powder room. The living room comes with a wet bar, and the super comfy couch is an earthy, neutral shade. Gold trim edges all the white in the ultra-plush bedroom, where little touches, like custom postcards, greet you from the pillow.
But you’re not in Vegas to spend all the time in your room (though at Delano, who would blame you if you did). Franklin goes way beyond what you think of a hotel lobby bar. It’s fashioned itself into a destination for drinking, a seductive lounge in dark hues of blue and gold, with twinkling lights above the bar, that make you feel as if you’ve traveled back to the glamorous nights of Vegas past. The cocktail program is concise, but well thought out, with a selection of classic drinks prepared with a modern edge, including the Delano Daiquiri, made simply with rum, fresh lime, and sugar; to specialty drinks you can’t find anywhere else, such as the barrel-aged Comfortably Numb, made with the hotel’s own reserve double-oaked bourbon.
Delano is a non-gaming hotel, but if you need your fix, you only need to walk down a hallway to the Mandalay Bay’s expansive casino. If you prefer to catch some sun, Delano Beach Club is a private pool for hotel guests, a quiet and more intimate sanctuary away from the water park atmosphere of Mandalay Bay Beach.
SLS Las Vegas
The north end of the Strip is seeing a revitalization that began with the transformation of the iconic Sahara hotel into the trendy SLS Las Vegas. The entire building, from the casino floor to the guest rooms, was gutted to make way for this 21st century hotel. The casino floor is modest by modern standards, but with its beautiful, ornate chandeliers and modern decor it is a far cry from its smoky old incarnation as the Sahara.
Famous designer Philippe Starck had a big hand in the redesign of the entire property, from the hunter’s paradise Jose Andres restaurant Bazaar Meat and Japanese-influenced Katsuya, to the luxuriously renovated rooms, warmly appointed in pale white and soft pink with plush beds. Make sure you upgrade to one of the lavish LUX rooms, which feature French-inspired decor, oversize chaise lounges, and dual shower heads in the bathrooms. Nightlife is big here, with Life hosting world-famous DJs, and the more intimate Foxtail. There’s also its daylife counterpart, Foxtail Pool Club, where you can shimmy in the sun to the beats of the famous DJs on-hand.
It’s hard to give the edge to either contender in the battle between north and south, since they both have so much to offer. You will win eith either choise. And besides, wherever you stay, you’ve still got the rest of Las Vegas in between to explore.