It's official — the Vegas suite wars are on. Taken for granted: airport pick-up in a Bentley, 24 hour butler service, wraparound views of the Strip, VIP show seating, and a Jacuzzi. Some interesting new twists: golf simulators, bowling lanes, indoor waterfalls, backstage passes, and a Jacuzzi that seats 25 people.
Almost 40 million people visited Sin City last year. With that kind of tourist traffic, how can a sophisticated and well-heeled traveler get a resort experience that is a cut above the rest? Hoteliers in Las Vegas have been doing all they can to answer the need for new higher-end accommodations.
Gone are the days when high rollers, also known as whales, got all the pampering. Travelers are now demanding a taste of that luxury, and they're willing to pay for it.
Welcome to the new Vegas, where the best rooms are referred to as "sanctuaries." The local hospitality industry is in a continuous cycle of one-upping the last definition of luxury, and these days even non-gamblers can buy their way into the best room in the house.
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The Maloof brothers have recently introduced the Fantasy Towers, part of a $650 million dollar expansion of their Palms Casino Resort. For $15,000 a night, anyone can rent out a retro-styled party room that features not one but two regulation sized bowling lanes.
For $25,000 a night, you can sleep in the Palms' Hardwood Suite, a 10,000 square foot two-level room with a half basketball court, ten-person Jacuzzi, media room and rotating "make out cubby." Sign your name on the wall next to Carmen Electra.
But the piece de la Palms resistance is the new Hugh Hefner Sky Villa on the 34th floor of the Fantasy Tower. This ultimate bachelor pad comes decorated with Playboy artwork selected by the man himself. Needless to say, the Playboy logo is featured prominently in the outdoor Jacuzzi, which seats you and 24 of your best friends.
Just off the main casino floor of Caesars Palace, past a private guarded entrance, an elevator takes invited guests to the Artemis and Neptune Villas. These aren't hotel rooms so much as indoor mansions. Just ask the butler if you can't figure out how to operate the golf simulator.
The MGM SKYLOFTS place a premium on their butler service. James Hogg, the Director of Operations, got his experience running small luxury hotels in England, and organizing parties for members of the royal family: "An example of intuitive service is our butler unpacking and packing service, in which your butler will press your outfits and polish your shoes without being asked."
Our list of the most expensive Vegas suites is a combination of what is available to the public, as well as a taste of what is in store for those on a casino-invited-only list. While we weren't able to see the rooms that Mr. Wynn stays in while at his Wynn Las Vegas, or get a peek at the famed Mansion at MGM, we personally inspected most of Vegas' very best rooms. Enjoy.