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VegasChatter Reviews / Sahara / SLS Las Vegas / Name Changes / Reopenings / Room Remodels / Renovations / → All Tags
The Sahara was one of the first Vegas hotels that this writer (and my other half) ever stayed in. After visiting many times, both alone and with pals, Sahara felt like an old friend. Unfortunately, our relationship faltered when the property and level of service fell into decay. After a particularly unpleasant experience in 2009, I vowed not to return as a guest. And, I kept that promise… until last weekend when it was reborn as SLS Las Vegas.
As soon as an opening date for SLS was announced, I was able to book a two-night stay in a World Tower accommodation (360 sq. ft.) for that weekend. The World Tower is, by SLS’ own description, the "functional” arm of its three towers, with the Story Tower rooms (325 sq. ft.) intended for partiers, and Lux Tower rooms (465 sq. ft.) designed for those with luxury tastes.
Sahara / SLS Las Vegas / Lost Vegas / Name Changes / Sam Nazarian / Vegas History / Vegas Design / → All Tags
When we heard that SLS Hotels would be closing down the iconic Sahara Hotel back in 2011, one of our first thoughts was, "But what will happen to the Sahara door handles?" Seriously.
During our visit to the down-trodden casino in 2009, that was one of the design details that this writer adored the most. (It's probably because my last name begins with an "S.") We had hoped then that SLS would incorporate the door handles somewhere into the SLS and as it turns out, they have.
Johnny Kats uncovered the whereabouts of the door handles in his LV Weekly profile on SLS honcho Sam Nazarian.
Today, some elements of the property remain at the new SLS, where Nazarian has a design effect that he calls “Sahara-esque.” He has saved 50 or so S-shaped door handles from the old resort and turned them into a chandelier.
We looked high and low for the chandelier during the SLS Las Vegas' opening day but we could not find it anywhere. And it wasn't because our vision was hampered by gin cocktails. (Or tequila cocktails. Or vodka cocktails.) It turns out the chandelier hadn't been installed yet. But now it's up and here's what it looks like.
You can admire the chandelier for yourself when you walk in between The Sayers Club and the 800 Degrees pizza joint. Alas, the jewels in the door handles have been plucked out. We heard that some over eager folks pried them out of the door handles during the Sahara Liquidation Sale. It was probably for the better. Red, blue and yellow don't really work with the SLS color scheme.
The Strip / SLS Las Vegas / Name Changes / Sahara / Openings / → All Tags
When the iconic property first shuttered, skepticism was high regarding a promise by owners to be back soon. It wasn't soon, but it is back. We'll tour you around the completely redesigned and re-imagined resort via this live blog throughout the day and into the late hours of the evening. We'll also have live coverage on our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Openings / SLS Las Vegas / The Strip / Nightclubs / LiFE / Foxtail / Sahara / Umami Burger / Burgers / Eating / Dining / Drinking / Nightlife / → All Tags
[Ed. Note: Our sneak peek was actually part of the SLS Las Vegas invite-only "Play Days" which serve as a dress rehearsal of sorts for the SLS service team. Stay tuned for further impressions of the resort when it officially opens to the media and the public on Friday.]
Given the fun billboard ads showing the transition between the “old Vegas vibe of Sahara and the changing of the guard to the hip and trendy SLS Las Vegas, you might expect the entire resort to be a little more retro or at least a hybrid of the eras. After a sneak peek of SLS Las Vegas last night, there weren't as many old school elements hearkening back to the old Sahara as we may have all anticipated but this writer, at least, certainly wasn’t let down by what I saw.
The renovated property has all the upscale hipster-ish feel of the Cosmo in a more easy to navigate package. And, that new casino smell is downright delicious. If body glitter had a scent and you mixed it with the aroma of a fruity tropical drink, that’s how I would describe the first whiff. It was sweet smelling and new, with a dash of seductive optimism.
SLS Las Vegas / Openings / Sahara / Monorail / Taxis / The Deuce / Survival Strategies / Self Parking / Tips / Hotels / Room Rates / → All Tags
When Sahara closed May 16, 2011, sbe chief executive Sam Nazarian hung a note on the door promising “Be back soon.” At that time, those words seemed like wishful thinking. Yet here we are, three plus years later, counting down the days until Sahara is reborn as SLS Las Vegas August 23.
If you’re as excited as we are to see a new hotel casino on the Strip, then you’ve probably got plans to check it out when the doors open for the first time. VegasChatter will attend the unveiling at midnight, Saturday August 23 (that’s Friday night if you’re unsure) and will share our impressions soon after. If you intend to join in on the fun, here are a few tips and (hopefully) useful information to get you there with minimal headache.
Openings / SLS Las Vegas / Sahara / Renovations / Name Changes / Future Vegas / → All Tags
We may have to wait until August 23 to step foot inside SLS Las Vegas, but we didn't have to wait that long to get some of our 'must know' questions answered.
SLS COO Rob Oseland held a Facebook chat on Wednesday and answered a host of queries on everything from whether the renovated resort would be gay friendly (it will) to whether guests will be able to opt out of the resort fee (they won't). Here are a few more responses you should know:
Tips / Survival Strategies / SLS Las Vegas / Future Vegas / Openings / Sahara / Name Changes / Valet / Self-Parking / → All Tags
With its grand opening just over two months away, SLS Las Vegas will be here before we know it. When you head there to visit or to stay awhile and you're driving yourself, don't automatically pull into the Las Vegas Boulevard entrance.
Openings / SLS Las Vegas / Future Vegas / Sahara / Tips / Survival Strategies / → All Tags
Being one of the first to walk into a newly opened casino is one of the most thrilling things you can do in Las Vegas. This writer remembers doing just that for the debuts of Treasure Island, Monte Carlo, Venetian and Palms. In August, we'll all have a new chance to reminisce about the time we walked into a just-opened resort when SLS Las Vegas comes online.
SLS Las Vegas / Sahara / Hotels / Restaurants / Jose Andres / Nightclubs / → All Tags
Last week, we got to the tour the most ambitious SLS Hotel project yet -- the SLS Las Vegas Hotel and Casino at the north end of the Las Vegas Strip, where the old Sahara casino used to be.
For "old" Vegas fans, there's not much of the original Sahara left, aside from the bones of the room towers and casino building. But if you want a thrilling new way to do up Vegas, the SLS will satisfy small and large spenders alike. Sorry, we got carried away with SLS-speak. What we meant to say is, there will be something for everyone here. You may not need to leave the SLS, at all.
As we mentioned on Friday, there will be three different room towers, each with a different category of rooms inside.
The World Tower will feature SLS "lite" sort of rooms. These rooms are no bigger than 400 square feet (with the exception of a suite) and they are more functional rather than over-the-top luxurious. Rob Oseland, president and COO of SLS Las Vegas, told us these rooms were designed by Philippe Starck to be "cost effective chic."
There's an exclusive SLS bed (called Sleep Lying Still from Beauty Rest by Simmons Hospitality), 300-thread-count bedding, down pillows and a comfy little couch at the foot of the bed. There's also the SLS-branded Saints & Sinners minibar goodies as well as a desk and rolling chair and a flat-screen TV.
And, instead of putting in a lot of luxury layers where room technology is concerned, Oseland said SLS will simply boost the cell reception and install a fast WiFi network which, at the end of the day, is really what guests want. The World Tower rooms start at $149 a night . Yet if you want some luxurious settings, you should upgrade up to the Lux Tower.
SLS Loses Sahara.
With a grand opening set for Labor Day weekend, SLS Las Vegas is close to erasing the last vestiges of an era gone by. This weekend, only small patches of Sahara's tan exterior remained. The physical changes to the old Alexandria Tower, as captured in the before-and-after shot below by VegasChatter friend Greg C., are the most dramatic. Gone are all the Moroccan influences. Now, a much more
anonymous contemporary facade sports gleaming walls of glass paired with the staid hues of white and grey.
As much as it's being thought of as a party resort, SLS Las Vegas will also take care of business with 30,000 of dedicated meeting space and a 9,000 square foot ballroom. (The rest of the 80,000 number will be provided through the many venues that can serve dual purposes like its restaurants and clubs.)
The main SLS website doesn't yet list Las Vegas on its booking engine, but that doesn't mean you can't reserve a room at the coming soon resort.
SLS Las Vegas recently announced a partnership with Preferred Hotels & Resorts and it is now accepting reservations for dates beginning Monday, August 25 and beyond through the Preferred website. We took the booking process all the way to the point of entering a credit card with no issues so if you're interested, book fast.
A check of rates for August 25 revealed the lowest to be a starting price of $149 for a World Superior King. (Towers seem to have been redubbed Lux, World and Story.) A World Superior Double and a World Superior King - High Floor both begin at $159 while a World Superior Double - High Floor was $10 more. No other room options are listed for the 25th nor the 26th. That changes on Wednesday, August 27 when Lux and Story accommodations are added to the mix. A Lux Deluxe King begins at $239 while a Story Superior King is at $159. Suites begin at $309 and go up to a starting rate of $499. Only a limited selection of rooms were listed as available for the resort's opening weekend.
4.8 Update: You can now book a stay at SLS Las Vegas directly via slslasvegas.com. Reservations are being accepted for August 25 and beyond. Reserve a room by month's end to take advantage of a special opening rates of $109/midweek and $139/weekends. The special requires a two-night minimum stay and is valid for select dates between September 1 and December 27.
As noted, higher floors will come at a premium as will, apparently, corner rooms and pool views. A resort fee is listed at $25, however, no inclusions were cited.
Each room will feature WiFi as well as a "Sleep Lying Still BeautyRest Mattress and 310-thread count linens exclusive to SLS Hotel & Casino, Samsung® 55-inch televisions, and Ciel Spa amenities."
Towers are described as follows: