It used to be that nothing lasted very long in Las Vegas. But that’s old news. The city now proudly touts two very historic hotels — both of which are more than seven decades old and are undergoing remodels this year.
And two of the newer mega resorts, one off the Strip and one on, have been re-envisioned with an eye on the future of what travelers to this lauded destination want: surprise-and-delight moments.
So, regardless of whether you are here for a fresh look at Old Vegas or to gaze out the window onto its future, there’s a beautiful place to rest your weary head.
El Cortez Hotel & Casino
Starting in late summer, Las Vegas’ longest continually operating casino (open since 1941) will offer fresh rooms as 73 of its Tower accommodations and five suites debut a new aesthetic. The vibe starts in the bold hallways with murals that depict abstract snippets of El Cortez’s distinctive sign, or black-and-white pop-art drawings layered over a monochromatic mural of the original skyline of the historic city.
Taking a note from the building’s 1952 classic Spanish colonial façade, the rooms have sublime details, such as black-and-white floor tiles contrasted with traditional rugs, and four-poster wooden framed beds juxtaposed against bright yellow accent seating and tan-leather quilted banquettes.
In the bathrooms, you’ll find floating shelves holding cacti, towels and a tissue box and walls covered in ultra-hip subway tiles.
Las Vegas-based design firm Tandem was charged with re-envisioning the contemporary rooms and hallways sparking a touch of nostalgia.
Palms Casino Resort
Completed in late spring, phase one of this luxe casino resort’s reshaping ushered in new spaces such as Camden Cocktail Lounge and Apex Social Club, Scotch 80 Prime steakhouse, A.Y.C.E. Buffet and the clever Send Noodles.
The centerpiece, quite literally, of the $620 million renovation is The Unknown, a casino bar featuring prominent works from British artist Damien Hirst, including his infamous tiger shark in formaldehyde.
Now the concentration is on phase two as the Fantasy Tower accommodations and six Sky Villas are being transformed. Bentel & Bentel, who also did the mega suites at Red Rock Casino Resort Spa, is handling the redesign.
Inside the guest rooms, Avenue Interior Design used a neutral color palette of cream and gold for interiors and fabrics with the boldest statements beaming from the walls. Artwork — including pieces from Thrush Holmes, Gary Stranger, Cody Hudson, Sandra Chevrier and Carlos Rolon — blends typography, neon, crafts and ornate abstractionism.
Downstairs, the collection sprinkled throughout the casino spaces features works from the likes of Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and other notables.
Park MGM and The NoMad Las Vegas
The resort formerly known as Monte Carlo shed its last layer of old skin in May with the removal of its glittering sign. Now, in that place, the letters Park MGM pique the curiosity of locals and visitors alike. The new casino resort is a partnership between MGM Resorts International and Sydell Group, known for unique boutique offerings like Forbes Travel Guide Recommended The NoMad Hotel in New York and The Line in Los Angeles.
But there is nothing small-scale about Park MGM, which offers 2,700 guest rooms and suites. Hotel-within-a-hotel The NoMad Las Vegas, which promises just shy of 300 units, will occupy the top four floors of the building with a late-2018 debut. And since Sydell Group prides itself on its deep pool of collaborators and contributors to make you feel at home, there will be a NoMad restaurant by chef Daniel Humm and restaurateur Will Guidara, the duo behind NoMad Restaurant in New York as well as Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Eleven Madison Park.
The departure from the typical Las Vegas experience starts the minute you step foot in the lobby, where you’ll find natural light and nature-inspired décor, including a dramatic tree sculpture with roots that stretch across the ceiling.
Park MGM’s rooms break the conventional earth-toned palette that has been popular in hospitality design over the last decade. The king and queen accommodations come in a red or green hue — both colors inspired by the flora and fauna of the desert. Step inside and find the allure of a warm, modern European apartment thanks to antique-inspired furnishings, an expansive picture window and a built-in settee with an inset connectivity hub.
Flamingo Las Vegas
Seventy-two years old and still going strong, this iconic Vegas property is a rare bird. It has been revered as the resort that started it all — the dusty desert town’s first luxury hotel. Thankfully, the legendary address is finally receiving a beautiful refresh worthy of her incredible history.
With the first phase complete of the $90 million makeover, and the second starting in July, the 2,000-plus-room renovation has many people excited. Conceived by the respected Forrest Perkins design firm, these accommodations feature the use of the resort’s signature pink in all the right places — like inside the closet.
There are watercolors of flamingos, bold white geometric tables and gold lamps, high-contrast vintage photography, and patterned and textured fabrics that will scream “retro chic” once the doors fully reopen.