Las Vegas’ identity has long been linked to resorts constructed on a massive scale and filled to the brim with buffets, pools, spas, and casinos. That’s what makes the March 25 opening of Virgin Hotels Las Vegas—on the site of the former Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, three blocks east of Las Vegas Boulevard on Paradise Road—so refreshing.
There are just 1,504 rooms, divided among three towers. (If that sounds like a lot, know that the MGM Grand Las Vegas boasts 6,852 rooms and Luxor Hotel and Casino 4,407 rooms.) But the amenities you’d expect on the Strip haven’t been, well, stripped away: a casino, live-music venues, bars and restaurants, and a day club/pool. Another refreshing detail? The hotel does not charge resort fees.
And just like Sir Richard Branson’s new cruise ship line and the growing number of Virgin Hotels (others are in Chicago, Nashville, and Dallas), many decor accents at the Vegas property are cherry-red. This includes red couches in the guest rooms and pops of red in the gallery wall hung above the bed, along with shapely booths covered in red fabric at The Kitchen at Commons Club, one of the restaurants.
Each guest room—er, chamber, per Virgin Hotels’ speak—is divided into two spaces: “The Dressing Room” and “The Lounge,” separated by a set of sliding doors. As you might expect, the Dressing Room is for prepping for a night out on the town (thanks to a well-lit vanity) while The Lounge is for sleeping and relaxing. Some of the rooms are dog-friendly in case Fido is joining any trips to Vegas. This property also includes Grand Chamber Suites and Penthouses.
Mohegan Sun is operating the 60,000-square-foot casino. The pool area (opening in May with a Mykonos-themed day club) spans five acres. A spa (with treatments like “Bloody Brilliant!” massage plus a Happy Hour Spa Menu that includes a Texas-wine-grape infused facial) and a fitness center are also available to guests.
There are 12 noshing and imbibing spots in the hotel. For dining, the options include steak (surf-and-turf One Steakhouse is run by David and Michael Morton, the sons of steakhouse guru Arnie Morton, who co-founded Morton’s Steakhouse); Thai street food (another outpost of SoCal chef Kris Yenbamroong’s Night + Market); Mexican food (Casa Calavera from Hakkasan Group is an open-air, sandy-floor eatery); Southern Mediterranean cuisine (Kassi Beach House pulls from influences in Greece, Dubai and Italy); and 24/7 diner fare (The Kitchen at Commons Club blends American and Brit favorites). With the hotel opening, Vegas also gets its second Nobu, the other one tucked into Caesars Palace. In addition to the celebrity-chef cred with Nobu (chef Nobuyuki "Nobu" Matsuhisa is at the helm), Todd English’s Olives is another dining choice, opening in May.
The 9,000-square-foot One Steakhouse is a fitting return to the Mortons’ roots: the Mortons’ brother Peter founded and owned Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, with a Pink Taco location on site, which was owned by Peter's son, Harry.
From morning coffee at Funny Library Coffee Shop (brewing Hugh Jackman’s Laughing Man beans) to cocktails at night—at The Shag Room, The Bar at Commons Club—the list of food and beverage options winds down with Afters Ice Cream. This popular ice-cream spot already has 27 locations in Southern California. This is the first time those off-beat flavors (like Cookie Monster and Milk and Cereal) are crossing the state line.
This hotel definitely doesn’t go quiet at night once COVID-19-related capacity restrictions lift. The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas expects to host live concerts, DJs will spin vinyl at 24 Oxford and Money, Baby! merges sports betting and other interactive games with drinking and dining (opening in May).
Although part of the Virgin Hotels brand, this property also falls into the Curio Collection by Hilton brand. Rockwell Group—known for its work on properties that include Moxy South Beach, Virgin Hotels Chicago and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas—was hired for some of the interior design, such as The Shag Room.
Room rates start at $160. To book, visit the website.