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Yes, Virginia, there is an about face in Vegas.
When Delano Las Vegas (a rebranded and renovated THEhotel at Mandalay Bay) debuted in September, guests who turned over their car to valet were faced with a $20 fee when they went to reclaim their wheels the next day. Execs tried to use the ol' "well, they're doing it" game plan while pointing to Four Seasons and Mandarin Oriental to justify the charge; however, if guest reaction was anything like the responses of VegasChatter readers, some of whom vowed to never stay there because of it, it's no surprise it's been quietly abandoned, as reported by VC member @davey123.
Now, what should we turn our collective powers towards next? Twenty-five dollar personal use fees for the minibar? We're looking at you, Aria.
The Strip / Delano Las Vegas / Franklin / Drinking / Bars / Vegas Fashion / Vegas Observations / → All Tags
The giant boulders at the entrance to Delano can be excitingly interesting to some, or not. Either way, they’re a harbinger of what’s to come when you enter Delano’s quirky-to-say-the-least lobby. Though this writer shares the seemingly common aversion to Delano’s pillows, I am a big fan of the lobby experience so far, for several reasons.
First off, it truly does feel like I feel a “boutique” hotel should, with that necessary secret clubhouse sort of feel. The word “boutique” is becoming so trite these days, not least of all in the Vegas hotel, dining and bar scenes. It’s refreshing to know there’s a lobby out there that is making a real effort to maintain its prestige as a unique locale.
It’s been just shy of two months since the newest resorts on The Strip, SLS Las Vegas and Delano Las Vegas, officially opened their doors. In that time, both properties have dealt with their share of setbacks.
At Delano, underwhelming furnishings, housekeeping delays, and a pillow problem (that, somehow, still hasn’t been resolved) are all contributing to a 3-star Yelp score that surely falls short of what the luxury resort was aiming for. At the other end of the Strip, SLS faces challenges of its own. Operation cutbacks and, now, staff layoffs suggest visitorship isn’t meeting expectations. How are these issues affecting room rates? Let’s take a look.
Delano Las Vegas / miX / miX Lounge / Name Changes / Renovations / Mandalay Bay / Closings / Rivea / Restaurants / Bars / Drinking / → All Tags
Delano Las Vegas debuted September 1, but the infusion of new has yet to reach the 64th floor where miX will eventually evolve into French Chef/Restauranteur Alaine Ducasse’s third Rivea restaurant as well as a yet-unnamed integrated lounge concept.
While some of us at VegasChatter feel the time for miX has passed, this writer recommends you plan at least one more visit (or your first one) before this restaurant/nightclub toasts its final sunset.
When given the chance to crash in a friend’s room at Delano Las Vegas over the weekend, this writer was really excited... until I remembered the pillow situation. The revamped hotel rooms have a lot of welcomed features like plush towels, super soft robes, separate powder room, comfortable desk chair in the living area, and upscale oversized toiletries. What some rooms still lack are comfortable pillows, at least for actual sleeping.
The firm and lengthy pillows found on each bed make excellent props if reading or watching TV, but when it comes time to relax and settle into the very comfortable mattress and smooth sheets, it’s clear that one of these things is not like the other.
It's an attention grabber, for sure. Among the specialty coffees listed at newly opened 3940 Coffee + Tea inside the equally new Delano Las Vegas (formerly THEhotel at Mandalay Bay) is the simply stated yet pause-giving offering of Jelly Donut Coffee.
Jelly donut coffee ($7), you ask (with emphasis on the umm, what)? Yes, it's not just java flavored as a jelly donut. It really does consist of the makings of a jelly donut. An employee told us the brew is made up of raspberry jam, donut milk (what you get when you soak a glazed donut in whole milk for four hours) and espresso. Let that percolate for a minute.
Future Vegas / Delano Las Vegas / Openings / Name Changes / THEhotel at Mandalay Bay / Delano Beach Club / Pools / Rivea / miX / Eating / Dining / Restaurants / Closings / → All Tags
The lobby and rooms (the panoramic suite pictured above and below) may say Delano meets the desert, but the transformation of THEhotel at Mandalay Bay into an entirely new brand isn't entirely complete.
Still to come is the departure of rooftop restaurant and lounge, miX. The long-lived dining destination by Alain Ducasse is expected to remain open through the remainder of the year. A new restaurant, also by Ducasse, Rivea, will debut around this time in 2015. The concept made its debut in Saint-Tropez last year and will feature French and Italian cuisine. (See what they're serving up in the French Riviera here.) miX Lounge will see a rebranding of its own, too.
With the changeover of THEhotel at Mandalay Bay to Delano so has THEcafe morphed to Della's Kitchen. This is a breakfast/early lunch spot just off the lobby, and the only Delano-specific place to have a good meal early in the day (after 5 p.m. you can go up to miX, for now.)
If you're staying at Delano, you're within walking distance of one of the best brunch services in the city at Border Grill. All-you-can-eat Mexican fusion tapas are certainly a great thing to behold, but they're relegated to Saturday and Sunday. Where would one get a good bite in the morning the other five days of the week? The new answer is Della's Kitchen.
VegasChatter Reviews / Delano Las Vegas / THEhotel at Mandalay Bay / Name Changes / Mandalay Bay / Openings / Renovations / Room Remodels / → All Tags
As a 14-year resident of south Florida (and longtime fan of Las Vegas), this writer was excited to learn that Delano, a Miami/South Beach landmark since 1947, was going to bring its upscale Floridian flavor to THEhotel at Mandalay Bay. Nearby Tropicana had already introduced this motif --rather successfully IMHO -- so I was interested to see how Delano would approach their own Miami-in-the-desert theme.
Not having stayed here previously, I found it easy to view Delano Las Vegas as a completely new lodging experience. What wasn’t so easy was finding my way to the lobby as the valet gave no directions or information before dashing away with my car. Nor did he mention the $20 daily valet charge that you may have already read about here.
After a false start into the nearest entrance (the Delano doorway within the Mandalay Bay parking garage is barely marked), I was surprised by the lack of Miami-inspired decor throughout the foyer. (PR reps will, however, point out the white sheers as very "Delano.") At least the air was fresh smelling as Delano is entirely smoke (and gaming) free. The large boulders as well as rock sculptures are very lovely and impressive and the hotel's version of melding Florida with Vegas. If you aren't told that (or didn't read it here), though, it could be a real headscratcher.
Delano is known for exemplary service, which has clearly carried over to its Nevada sister. Desk agents, concierge and bell staff were all buzzing efficiently and courteously at their tasks as sleek lighting and sexy music set a Wynn-like tone. Check-in was fast and pleasant, with my agent eagerly urging me to try her favorite new citrus juice at 3940 Coffee + Tea (the lobby coffeeshop) and describing the locations of the recently overhauled Franklin Bar (the lobby bar) and Della’s Kitchen (the ground-floor cafe).
My king suite on the 26th floor was easy to find, halfway down a corridor that was simple and tasteful. Thankfully, there were no feelings of vertigo like during my recent stroll through the SLS World Tower funhouse corridors. That relief quickly turned to deja vu, though, once inside the suite. Was this the Delano or the SLS? It’s easy to spot the many similarities as designer Philippe Starck’s vintage-meets-modern stylings were introduced to the Delano Miami during its ‘94 renovation, and he put a similar stamp on Sahara's rebirth.
Fees / Delano Las Vegas / THEhotel at Mandalay Bay / Mandalay Bay / Name Changes / Openings / → All Tags
It's enough to make you feel like you're stuck between a 126,000-pound rock and a hard place. Luggage-laden guests who choose to valet at Delano Las Vegas will also end up handing over at least $20 along with their car keys.
The Delano's Sin City arrival brings with it an overnight valet parking fee of $20. Yes, that's per night. A statement from MGM Resorts reads as follows:
Snapshots / Vegas Observations / Delano Las Vegas / THEhotel at Mandalay Bay / Name Changes / Mandalay Bay / → All Tags
Delano comes to Vegas via South Beach and while there are lots of design nods to its beachfront roots -- from the rippling, blue-hued carpeting in guest corridors to underwater photography in its suites -- the upscale brand didn't forget it's been plopped into the middle of the Mojave Desert.
Pet Friendly Vegas / Delano Las Vegas / THEhotel at Mandalay Bay / Mandalay Bay / Name Changes / → All Tags
At Mandalay Bay's all-suite tower, a new name won't bring a new change in its pet policy. Now that THEhotel is officially Delano, guests can still expect the rebranded hotel-within-a-hotel experience to welcome Fido. (But, only canines. Felines are still out of luck.)
A Doggie Delights menu features in-room dining options as well as butler services. Yes, double check that bill at the end of your stay 'cause you know how crazy dawgs can get when they're let out in Vegas. (Insert Baha Men musical break here.)