The W Las Vegas was the 50th W hotel in the world to open when it was unveiled in December 2016. It is located in the former Lux tower of the adjacent SLS hotel, which is also part of Marriott, but under its Tribute Portfolio brand. The whole complex used to be the Sahara, which was built in 1952. Across the way is a new four-floor US$50 million tower dedicated to meeting and events for the W.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
With just 289 rooms, this hotel is tiny when compared to other Las Vegas properties such as the MGM Grand with almost 6,000 rooms. The W is also both smoke-free and non-gaming, which will appeal to a lot of business travellers, and was very quiet when I stayed in September.
Upon arrival, there is a reception area to the left with three desks set against an installation of poker chips set into the wall to look like a volume equaliser (W hotels are into their music). To the right is a corridor for the lifts, decorated in original Sahara playing cards. In total there are 26 floors.
Staff are warm and welcoming. I received an email from a W “insider manager” asking if there was anything he could do to “amplify my stay”. He added: “I am your go to for any recommendations for Sin City.” W has a service philosophy of “Whatever, whenever” but I didn’t really test it to its limit.
WHERE IS IT?
The W is at the northerly end of the Strip, towards Downtown. Just next to the SLS hotel, with a separate driveway tucked away off Las Vegas Boulevard South. It has its own valet service with a free shuttle based on a first-come, first-served basis.
Opposite is a monorail station, which is just two stops from the Las Vegas Convention Centre. It runs from 7am to between 12am and 3am depending on the day of the week. Note that the W doesn’t always show up on the map when you book an Uber so you may have to arrange pick-ups and drop-offs from the SLS.
Entry level Wonderful rooms are 29 sqm. Located on floors three to 26, interiors have all been designed by Philippe Starck, who is known for his eccentric choices. In this case, rooms are covered in baroque printed wall hangings with bright red runners across the beds and gaudy playing card cushions. Long white leather banquettes run the length of the room and there are half-height windows facing the city and desert beyond. (The Extreme Wow suite has been designed by singer Lenny Kravitz.)
I was staying in a sizeable 45 sqm Fabulous room, which had a standard workdesk, generously stocked minibar, a Nespresso machine, free bottled water and spacious bathroom with large walk-in shower and zesty Bliss amenities including foaming face wash (a staple in every W hotel).
Wifi is free throughout but I struggled with find a USB socket to charge my phone – there was one (and only one) by the side of the bed, set into the table. There were also a couple of sockets in the media hub in the workdesk. The air conditioning kept the room very cold (windows don’t open).
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
Just off the lobby is the open-plan W Living Room, which reflects the retro design of the 1950s, with an orange, gold and green colour scheme, velvet and leather upholstery, and a neon-lit cactus garden visible through the window behind the bar, which is inlaid with brass and topped with jade marble. All furniture has been made locally in Vegas.
Speciality cocktails include All That Jazz (US$18) made with Campari, Benedictine and Chivas Regal, while light bites range from ahi poke tacos to eggplant fries. If you want a proper lunch or dinner, you are best off going somewhere else (Vegas is full of amazing restaurants).
The venue is open from 11.30am-2am Friday and Saturday, and from 4pm to 11pm Sunday to Thursday. Happy hour is 4pm to 7pm Sunday to Thursday.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES
The event tower opened in February 2017. Its three floors each have enormous ballrooms that can be divided into three and have their own dedicated pre-function areas. The Great Room, for example, can host 500 delegates theatre-style. In total there is 1,393 sqm of space; if you need more, you can use the SLS next door, which has an additional 2,787 sqm.
Opened in March, on the roof of the meetings and events tower, is a 24-hour, adults-only, rooftop swimming pool for W guests. (There are no crazy pool parties here.) Six cabanas – for between six and 14 people – are available to book for free, although there is a minimum spend of $250 to $500 depending on the time of year. There is lots of relaxing seating and loungers but the bar is only open at weekends during low season.
In the main tower is a 24-hour gym, which you enter via the pink-lit Away spa, on level two. Until recently, W had partnered with Bliss to create its spas but now the concept has come in-house. The Las Vegas property is the third to receive the Away spa, after Puerto Rico and Austin.
It plays funky music and has moved away from the idea of people coming for a whole day of pampering. Instead the focus is on express treatments. (I had a manicure one afternoon and was pleased with the result and the lovely therapist who I had a great chat with.) There are ten treatment rooms and a salon on level three, available for hair cuts on request.
VERDICT The décor in the rooms was pretty strange but this is a good choice for business travellers looking to stay away from the craziness of the Strip. It’s quiet, has excellent service and standout meeting facilities.
HOW MANY ROOMS? 289 rooms across seven categories (Wonderful room, Spectacular and Fabulous, plus Marvelous Studio suite, Mega suite, Wow suite and Extreme Wow suite).
HIGHLIGHTS The rooftop pool, three floors of contemporary event space and peaceful atmosphere.
PRICE Internet rates for a Wonderful room in November started from US$200.
CONTACT W Las Vegas, 2,535 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas; tel +1 702 761 8700; wlasvegas.com