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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.
While working for a new hotel is exciting, it also carries an element of risk, too. Executives tend to over-staff when everything is shiny and hopeful and adjust when reality sets in. Just over a week ago, we reported on sweeping changes to the hours of operation for many SLS Las Vegas venues, most significantly its daily buffet transforming into a weekend-only affair. Now, SLS has confirmed publicly that about two percent of the resort's staff have been let go.
A recent stay at SLS Las Vegas had this writer in my hotel room much more than expected. My reservation was for a Thursday night so I had the option of watching the Thursday Night Football game in my room, the Umami Burger sportsbook or at one of the TVs in-between the table games. The sportsbook is nice, but wasn’t necessary for a stand-alone game. I opted to watch in my room since I wasn’t in the mood to watch while playing blackjack. And, I’m glad I did.
The picture on the brand new 55” Samsung TV was wonderful. I also discovered something that sports fans like me crave when staying at hotels. There are a host of sports channels available at SLS Las Vegas that you won’t find in most Las Vegas hotel rooms.
The Strip / Drinking / Bars / SLS Las Vegas / Happy Hours / Deals / WTF / → All Tags
Somewhere along the line SLS Las Vegas decided they loved locals, theoretically putting them in competition for the attention of locals' love meter against another Vegas gambling conglomerate. More love being shot our way is fine by us. The first question this Vegas resident wondered was what benefits would be received by accepting SLS' advances? THE CODE, the resort's players club, lists them as:
· Preferred seating and restaurant reservations
· Preferred room rates and availability
· $5 happy hour drink specials Sunday-Thursday 5pm-8pm
· 2-for-1 admission to The SLS Buffet for breakfast, lunch or dinner Friday-Sunday 8am-9pm
· 25% off treatments in Ciel Spa Sunday-Thursday
· Skip the line on Industry Nights at LiFE & The Sayers Club on Sundays & Foxtail on Mondays
North Strip / SLS Las Vegas / Foxtail / Buffets / Eating / Dining / Nightclubs / Nightlife / → All Tags
Just over one month in, SLS Las Vegas is already making noticeable operational changes. Before it opened, many wondered just how the resort would do on the desolate north Strip. Now, could we already be seeing the answer?
Over the last few days, readers have reached out to us about cutbacks at Foxtail, one of several nightlife venues at the north Strip resort, and the SLS buffet.
After the great fanfare of the SLS opening, there has been an oddly short amount of critiques regarding Bazaar Meat, the flagship restaurant in a hotel of flagship restaurants. So, you may not know that Bazaar Meat is doing some really game-changing things.
Anyone with a cursory knowledge of Jose Andres' dining destinations will immediately be able to discern that this spot is different than his other Bazaar concepts. It is Vegas, after all, and even a chef like Pierre Gagnaire of Twist inside Mandarin Oriental cannot resist the voices that call for a seakhouse menu. Bazaar Meat, however, has quite an unusual steak program. There are two main attractions, both ribeyes, from either the Washugyu farm of Angus/Wagyu crossbreeds (I call them Wangus!) or Harris Ranch Black Angus. It's the higher concept dishes, though, that really show the true nature of Bazaar Meat.
Just One Dish / Umami Burger / Burgers / SLS Las Vegas / Eating / Dining / Restaurants / → All Tags
Trying new casino restaurants is nothing new for any of us at VegasChatter. This writer is a fan of all things cow, whether it's in steak or burger form. It may not be the healthiest diet, but it sure is goooooooood. After ordering a typical lunch at the newly opened Umami Burger inside SLS Las Vegas, I was pleasantly surprised to discover my chosen side dish was anything but typical.
After snapping pictures of the casino the day SLS opened, I stopped at Umami to play a little video poker and have a beer. A friend asked to split a burger and fries and who am I to say no? That first half of a burger was good enough to make me want to return and have a full one all to myself.
SLS Las Vegas / Dining / The Griddle Cafe / Breakfast / Eating / Restaurants / Just One Dish / → All Tags
Pancakes are never a bad idea and we’re grateful The Griddle Cafe at SLS Las Vegas is open 24 hours a day. You’ve heard about our savory taste of Griddle, but now it’s time to get sweet and sticky… and yes, we’re still talking about pancakes here.
Before a recent late night trip to Sayers Club, this writer popped into The Griddle Cafe for 4th meal. Taco Bell may think it has the monopoly on this, but Las Vegas visitors and residents have become all too familiar with this post-dinner, pre-clubbing (or more often post-clubbing) snack for ages. Needing some quick and tasty carbs, I pondered the extensive pancake and French toast menu, only to find there were too many tempting options to decide on my own.
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.
Eating / Dining / SLS Las Vegas / The Griddle Cafe / The Strip / Openings / → All Tags
The Griddle Cafe at SLS Las Vegas might feel like it's in the frying pan as much as its eye-poppin', plate-sized pancakes are on the griddle. Since opening this weekend, we've heard of long lines and waits. Even when we strolled up around 10:30 a.m. Monday -- after passing a near empty casino -- we found every table taken. (Granted the room is small, by Vegas standards.)
Being an east coast transplant who hasn’t become completely jaded (yet) by the bright lights of the Strip, this writer is occasionally still in awe of nightclub and lounge culture. Aside from the obvious amazement over women who choose to wear shoes and clothes that look so uncomfortable in order to fit in at some of these venues, I still get excited about live music in nightclub/lounge settings.
That is why, on what turns out to be my nine-year Vegas-versary of when I arrived in Sin City, I’m excited Sayers Club at SLS Las Vegas is finally open. I am especially hyped after hearing about Sayers Sessions at the outpost in LA and also the one-off events held at sister venue, Hyde Bellagio, featuring the Sayers Sessions band.