by Maya Dollarhide | January 24, 2017

Boutiques Rising
Beyond the majestic, sprawling resorts of the Strip -- like the Bellagio, Venetian, Caesars Palace, and Mandalay Bay -- a smaller, yet no less luxurious approach to hotels is growing in Vegas. In the last quarter of 2016, several luxury boutique hotels opened their doors. In December, the W Hotel opened on the North End of the Vegas Strip, turning an SLS Las Vegas tower into an elevated boutique hotel with all 289 rooms designed with W's signature Philippe Starck chic. W Las Vegas is home to three floors (and 15,000 square feet) of meeting and event space, plus the adjacent SLS Las Vegas hotel has approximately 80,000 square feet of flexible space. For total luxury, check out the W Las Vegas' Extreme WOW Suite, designed by musician Lenny Kravitz, with 2,382 square feet of living space on the top floor. Using hotel-in-a-hotel placement means guests have access to the many restaurants, lounges, and bars at SLS, like Bazaar Meat (a creation of celebrity chef José Andrés), The Perq, 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria, and more. Groups seeking venues for work and socializing can take advantage of the W's indoor and outdoor event spaces.

Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino opened its doors in December, offering a unique opportunity for guests to enjoy elements of Asian culture in one boutique property. It is small by the oversized Vegas standards, with just 203 rooms, but the attention to detail includes an eight-sided bar (considered lucky by the Chinese) and a casino filled with classic Asian table games. Authentic Chinese food is served in five dining areas, each with a distinct Asian influence; visitors will enjoy the night market feel of Dragon's Alley, featuring street food and dim sum.


Giada at The Cromwell Hotel
serves high-end, contemporary
Italian cuisine

Guests seeking a decidedly American vibe should head over to the recently opened Libertine Social at the Mandalay Bay. New American cuisine and a modern spin on classic cocktails are served up in style. Groups can rent out the chic location in many formats, including the Arcade Bar (up to 70 for a drinks reception) or the main dining room that can seat 20--92 guests. It is also possible to arrange a full buyout of the location for a 350-guest reception. Event planners can assist in creating a culinary group experience at a multitude of luxurious restaurants."We love to arrange meals for our clients, and with a varied price point ranging from $40 to $110 a person, there are many great choices. One of my favorites is Giada, located in The Cromwell," shares Steck.

Las Vegas is renowned for its culinary scene, and celebrity chefs' restaurants dot the landscape. Skip the all-you-can-eat buffet for restaurants like Guy Savoy (typically $250 a person), or Bar Masa for delightful Japanese food. For example, The Mandarin Oriental is offering an exclusive opportunity to "dine by city lights" at Twist by Pierre Gagnaire, where diners can relish five courses paired with wine, while enjoying the skyline.