When I think of Las Vegas, I think high-energy, excitement, and crowds of people. I want to feel the rush, be entertained and enjoy the energy of the strip. But after a night of what happens in Vegas~stays in Vegas, I want to retreat to a peaceful and serene setting where I can regain my sanity.
For a long time, I didn’t even realize there were non-gaming hotels on the strip. My first experience with one was at the Four Seasons which occupies the top 5 floors of the Mandalay Bay Hotel. It’s perfect in the sense that it has its own private entrance, and yet when you’re ready, you can take the elevator to a certain floor and walk through a private door which opens up to all of Mandalay Bay’s chaos. The Four Seasons became my go-to hotel in Vegas for several years but the only inconvenience was that they were located at the very end of the strip. It provides for a fantastic strip view from your room but, if you are someone who likes to walk, it makes it more difficult and tiring to get around.
When the City Center was built, I was excited to discover that they offered a few non-gamining hotels such as Vdara and the Mandarin Oriental. Being located in the middle of the strip makes it so much easier to get around, however, the City Center hotels don’t offer the same views. Vdara was originally built to be sold as condos, but when the economy tanked they turned it into a hotel. Because of this, the rooms are very spacious and feel like mini-condos with kitchens, living areas and bed/bath suites. There are some corner suites that offer a nice view of the Bellagio water fountain and this is a nice property for its price-point.
On my next visit, I wanted something a little more upscale than Vdara and decided to try The Mandarin Oriental. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as I had always thought of Mandarin hotels as a business man’s hotel, and although they do cater to the business sector, I have discovered over the years that the Mandarin brand is an incredible option for any leisure traveler who enjoys a luxury experience and exquisite service.
As mentioned, The Mandarin is located in the City Center development in the middle of the strip which allows for easy walking access to all the hotels and casinos. This is a non-gaming hotel but it is located steps from Aria and the Cosmopolitan, where you can gamble to your heart’s content.
This property is a boutique hotel with only 392 rooms (in comparison to most hotels in Vegas that literally have thousands of rooms…and people) and is only one of two hotels that has received the Forbes Five-Star rating. The hotel is a triple Five-Star award winner for its hotel, spa and restaurant ~ Twist by Pierre Gagnaire. The service is impeccable and very reflective of the Asian culture and their hospitality principle.
The Check-In Process
The lobby is not located on the main level as you enter the hotel. It is a very discreet entrance and you must take an elevator up to the 23rd floor to find the lobby. Once you step out of the elevator you enter into a world of serenity. The lobby is elegantly designed with rich wood tones, beautiful orchids, and has a great view of the strip. It feels like such a dichotomy to be in this peaceful, serene location looking out to all the lights, activity and hustle and bustle below.
The staff was extremely accommodating in trying to find me the best room available. I stayed in a King Strip View room that was very nice but when you are in the center of the strip, other hotels will inevitably block a part of your view. When staying at this property, I suggest asking for a room located as close to the street edge as possible for a better view.
The hotel decor is contemporary and elegant in its design. The colors are warm and inviting and the room is designed with your every comfort in mind.
The marble bathroom with an oval soaking tub feels so decadent. At turn down service, a rose pedal is placed on the tub, inviting you to an evening soak after a long Vegas day. Luscious cotton robes and slippers are provided in each room for your comfort.
One of my favorite features in the room is the Valet Closet. Valet Closet you ask…why yes, this is a small pantry-style closet door that allows for private deliveries to your room without you having to answer the door ~ love it! The staff accesses the door from the hallway and slips your room service, et al, delivery inside the closet discretely so you are not interrupted or inconvenienced.
Just as an FYI, there are some incredible specialty suites here as well, some larger than my own home.
Two large lap pools, one smaller dipping pool and a heated spa provide plenty of options for your swimming pleasure. An abundance of comfy lounge chairs provide ample seating for everyone, and one of my favorite aspects about this pool is that it’s not a scene out of Girls Gone Wild. It’s a peaceful setting, albeit a little surreal with huge mirrored buildings looming over you. I suppose all that mirrored glass provides for a better tan. Private cabanas are available for day rentals.
The pool side service is amazing. My drink never ran dry, snacks were periodically delivered, amazing lunches were available for order and the staff even accommodated me by recommending and ordering show tickets for the evening.
And now, what you’ve all been waiting for…the Spa! It’s quite obvious why this is a Forbes Five-Star rated spa. This full-service spa is designed with pure decadence in mind. Everything about this spa is luxurious and indulgent, and use of the facilities are included in your stay. I took advantage of all the spa amenities such as the steam room, thermal pool beds, heated tile lounges and the relaxation beds overlooking the strip. This is truly a slice of heaven in Las Vegas!
Although the Mandarin brand is sheer luxury and usually a little higher price-point than some other hotels, don’t be convinced that this property is out of your price range. The market in Las Vegas is very competitive due to the amount of hotel rooms available in the city and the Mandarin (or any other luxury property here) has to be competitively priced in order to compete with the casino hotels. There is one sure bet in Vegas, and that is that you won’t be disappointed with your stay here.