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Old Aug 19, 2010, 12:51 am
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Asheville, NC
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new Las Vegas luxury hotel site inspections

I'm in Las Vegas for TravelMart and had a chance to have a site inspection of the Mandarin Oriental on Saturday ... and will have an inspection of Aria tomorrow. Here are my reviews:

The Mandarin Oriental is, for now, the best luxury hotel in Las Vegas. Part of City Center, guests enter the hotel through a secluded Lower Lobby so discrete that pedestrians walking down the Strip probably will not even be aware of the hotel entrance. An elevator whisks guests up to the Sky Lobby where they are greeted by the site of a stunning wall treatment when the elevator doors open. Featuring 1004 gold bricks shaped like ancient Chinese currency, the wall treatment reflects off the black marble floors - an elegant foretaste of the aesthetic treat to come. Turning to the left, a guest's attention will again be struck by the sight of the front desk silhouetted against a stunning view of the Las Vegas Strip. The Lobby also features the Mandarin Bar with its 240 view of the strip.

The secret to the hotel's stunning design? It was not designed by committee. Architect/designer Adam Tihany was given free reign to create a hotel with contemporary Asian spaces. His imaginative aesthetic is evidenced everywhere, from the design of the marble floors, to splashes of red in the hallways with their custom carpeting and hanging pendant lamps, to the textured fritted glass walls of the guest bathrooms designed to resemble raw silk, to the pendants hanging in Twist restaurant that create the impression of rising champagne bubbles.

I loved the guest rooms. The lead-in Cityscape room category is 500 square feet with a fully featured bathroom (oval soaking tub, separate shower, separate water closet, and dual vanities. Cityscape rooms overlook City Center, Mandarin rooms have a better view, and Mandarin Executive rooms feature Strip Views (either facing north or south). The Mandarin Premier room is larger, 650 square feet; most feature Strip views, but be sure to request one. Executive Suites (850 square feet) are large and interesting spaces; request a corner suite. Dynasty Suites and Apex are 1600 - 1700 square feet and are found on the top three floors; the Apex Suites are on the corner of the building. Finally, we were shown one of the three Presidential Suites called the Emperor Suite - a real WOW of a room with full kitchen, large den, dining area, large living room with grand piano, its own Exercise room (which can be furnished with the gym equipment of our choice), and a Master Bedroom.

The hotel has just 392 rooms with an intimate outdoor pool area on the sixth floor. The Mandarin Oriental has it all: a great location in the center of the Strip, great view, and incredible rooms. Las Vegas has a new "best" hotel!
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