Las Vegas is the epitome of many things including excess, gambling, hotels, restaurants and nightlife. For me personally, it’s one of my favorite places but the turnover in Vegas can be pretty high and things change often. The new trend is toward new, luxury, over the top and celebrity influenced. I just took a trip out to Vegas to see what’s new for 2014. Here are 5 new things in Vegas.
The Cromwell Hotel
The Cromwell Hotel is a new and the first, boutique luxury hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. It is located at the corner of Flamingo and the Strip and is on the former site of Barbary Coast and Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall.
The Cromwell is a chic, cool, new hotel that is in line with the new trend of boutique luxury hotels gripping major cities around the world. There is of course a casino and several bars. There will only be one restaurant in the Cromwell and it will be the first ever restaurant by celebrity chef, Giada de Laurentiis. It should open in a month or so.
The rooms at the Cromwell are very cool and reminiscent of another Vegas hotel that many people don’t know about called the Artisan; which is off the strip. The Cromwell has just recently opened and I look forward to staying there the next time I head out to Vegas.
Drai’s Beach Club and Nightclub
Drai’s Beach Club and Nightclub will be the newest and trendiest addition to the Las Vegas nightlife scene when it opens Memorial Day weekend this month. You may recognize the name Drai’s from the infamous Las Vegas late night spot formerly in the Barbary Coast and Bill’s. It is the place that didn’t even really open until 4am and went well after the sun rose.
Drai’s Beach Club and Nightclub will be on the rooftop of the Cromwell Hotel and will feature a great view of both Caesars Palace and the Bellagio. When the Bellagio fountains are going, it will be a pretty amazing view, especially at night.
While Drai’s Beach Club and Nightclub was still under construction during my visit, chatting with Victor Drai was an experience and from the sound of it, he thinks this new venture is going to be a massive success. I cannot argue! The location alone is enough to convince me! I look forward to checking it out after it opens.
The Linq is a new and much needed addition to the Las Vegas Strip. It is located where the old Imperial Palace used to be across from Caesars Palace. It is basically an outdoor shopping and nightlife walkway flanked by the flamingo Hotel on one side and the new Quad Hotel on the other.
There are a ton of restaurants and bars and even a Brooklyn Bowl; which after the arenas at Mandalay, MGM and Hard Rock is the biggest event space in Las Vegas. I popped in for about 30 minutes and it’d be a cool place for a big show, without a doubt. However, it cannot touch the original in Brooklyn.
As you walk down the Linq, you can’t help but think that this is a welcome and an ‘about time’ change for this part of the Vegas Strip which used to be disgusting. While it is certainly much more upscale than it used to be, I can’t help but think; is the culture of the area going to change…we shall see, but again, it is 1000% better than it was before and seems to be catching on with tourists and locals alike.
The High Roller
The High Roller at the end of the Linq is the world’s highest observation wheel at some 550 feet over Las Vegas. It takes about 30 minutes to do a full revolution and the views from the apex of the wheel are fantastic.
I have also been on the London Eye and it is the same kind of thing but a nice addition to the choice of experiences in Las Vegas. I have to say that since I have now done it once, I likely won’t do it again but I am glad I did it. It is worth a spin if you’re in town.
The individual pods are big enough for 40 people and they feature 8 TV’s in each pod with some guy talking to you. He is a combination of cool/funny/annoying and the air conditioning can be incredibly cold so keep that in mind if you’re in shorts and a tee shirt-or less; it is Vegas after all!
While technically the Nobu Hotel is about a year old now, many people still don’t know about it. It is a small hotel wholly within Caesars Palace and is the brainchild of Nobu restaurant partners Robert de Niro and Chef Nobu himself; both of whom I was fortunate enough to meet last year.
I was fortunate to attend the opening event and party last year and this was my first time back at the hotel since. I have to say they have made some great strides and the rooms are fantastic.
I literally want to buy the bed for my own place; I have never slept on a more comfortable mattress. The Japanese amenities are all welcomed and the bathrooms, especially showers and sink are excellent.
Obviously, there is a Nobu restaurant downstairs and it is the biggest one on the world. I have been fortunate to eat at several of them around the world, if not close to all of them and this is definitely right up there for quality, décor and food. I highly recommend Nobu and the Nobu Hotel.
Disclaimer: I was brought out to Las Vegas by Caesars Entertainment and was fully comped for my flights, transportation, stay at the Nobu Hotel and for the High Roller. All opinions expressed here are solely my own and have not been influenced in any way-as always.