The Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas opened in 2009, just after the financial crisis. It is located in the US$9 billion City Centre development that also comprises the Aria and Vdara, as well as luxury shopping mall Crystals. The project was a collaboration between MGM Resorts International and Dubai World – at the time it was the largest privately funded construction project in the country.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
The Kohn Pederson Fox-designed glass and steel tower has 47 storeys with a mix of hotel rooms and residences. Interiors are by Adam D Tihany. A unique feature among newer hotels in Las Vegas such as the W (click here to read a review) is that many of them don’t have casinos in them, and the Mandarin is no exception. Smoking is also banned.
Once you are dropped off outside in the forecourt, where you’ll often see super cars parked, guests take one of the lifts up to the 23rd-floor Sky Lobby to check in. There are dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows, polished marble floors, a gold feature wall and a vending machine that dispenses mini bottles of rosé and blanc Moet champagne (only in Vegas). Staff are extremely polite and helpful – the receptionist offered to help me with my suitcase and take me to my room but I didn’t need her to. Everything feels tranquil after the chaos and noise of the Strip.
WHERE IS IT?
In City Centre, on the Strip, well located 15 minutes’ drive from Las Vegas McCarran International airport. There is the option of a Mercedes Benz S series airport transfer but Ubers are easy to book as well. A pedestrian footbridge connects to the Crystals shopping precinct, which also takes you to Aria and the Cosmopolitan. You can also walk to the Park, a few minutes away, which is planted with trees and has venues such as the Beerhaus, which is a fun place for a drink.
After taking lifts from the ground floor to reception, you have to take a different set of lifts, which are activated by key card, to the rooms. The lower floors of the tower are for entry-level Standard rooms, all of which come with walk-in wardrobes, spacious bathrooms with walk-in power showers and freestanding tubs, air conditioning, Philips HD digital TVs with on-demand movies, robes and slippers, minibars and plush double beds. There is no free bottled water; Fiji costs US$9.
Other categories include Cityscape rooms, Strip View and Mandarin Studio rooms, as well as Junior suites, Strip View, Cityscape, Dynasty, Penthouse, Taipan, Emperor and Mandarin suites. (The most expensive ones start from US$7,500 a night and measure 288 sqm.) Even the entry-level rooms are a good size, though, at 47 sqm.
I was staying in an elegant Strip View room (also 47 sqm) with full-height windows affording fantastic views of the city. There was a workdesk with a media hub and US plug sockets but unfortunately there were no sockets by the bed, which was very inconvenient. Wifi for up to four devices is included in the resort fee. A bedside tablet controls the curtains, lights, temperature, TV, music and privacy. (At night, however, it was too bright so I had to lay it flat.) The interiors were tastefully designed and very luxurious.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
The Mandarin has an impressive choice of places to eat and drink. Level 23 features Twist by three-Michelin-starred chef Pierre Gagnaire, the Tea Lounge and Mandarin bar, while on the third floor is MOzen Bistro. A breakfast buffet is available here until 10.30am although I missed this so ordered the a la carte burrito, which was a hefty portion served with guacamole, sour cream and salsa. It took about 40 minutes to arrive at the table though.
On level eight is the al fresco pool café (open seasonally), which I ate at on my second morning. As you would expect, prices are pretty high. I ordered the avocado toast (US$17), which was delicious, while other options included the US$31 classic American, and the US$16 golden waffle. I also tried the Power of Green smoothie, which was packed with coconut, kale and banana, and tasted a lot better than it sounds (US$12).
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES
The hotel has 1,114 sqm of event space on the third floor – the largest is the Oriental ballroom, which can accommodate up to 400 people and also has a 278 sqm pre-function area with views of City Centre. In addition are three meeting rooms, which can seat between 20 and 40 delegates in each, and a business centre.
One of the standout features of the Mandarin is its dimly lit, 2,508 sqm spa (across both level seven and eight), which has 17 treatment rooms. There is also a light-filled fitness centre with personal trainers and Technogym equipment, a yoga studio and two beautiful outdoor pools lined with lounges and 20 cabanas available for hire.
Inside are spacious locker rooms with steam rooms, experience showers and vitality pools. Outside, “sun butlers” are on hand to make sure you have everything you need, dishing out compliments, adjusting umbrellas and offering you iced water.
The Mandarin Oriental is a sophisticated sanctuary for guests who want to get away from the madness of Las Vegas. You won’t find clanging fruit machines here. It is a peaceful, elegant hotel in a great location that delivers everything you could need when in town for work – plus a few nice perks for your downtime as well. The rates aren’t always as high as you’d think, either.
HOW MANY ROOMS? 392 rooms and suites, plus 225 residences.
HIGHLIGHTS The Moet vending machine, the spa and outdoor pool deck, the luxurious bathrooms, extremely comfortable beds and views of the Strip. Not having a casino will be a plus for some.
PRICE Internet rates for a Cityscape room in October started from US$326.
CONTACT Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas, 3,752 Las Vegas Boulevard South; tel +1 702 590 8888; mandarinoriental.com