Lara Grant

Over just the last month, the Strip in Las Vegas had two new hotels open amidst a ton of buzz. The four-pearl SLS Las Vegas – from the luxe brand known for its properties in Beverly Hills and South Beach – debuted on the site of the former Sahara Resort & Casino and, not to be outdone, the 4.5-pearl Delano replaced THEhotel at Mandalay Bay shortly after. We were lucky enough to get an exclusive, inside look at both and see some of their stellar (and some of their mediocre) features first-hand. Though both have their pros and cons, we’ve had them battling it out in a few categories to declare a winner. In round one of our Delano versus SLS faceoff, we compared their scenes and locations to determine which has the bragging rights for each — and with SLS taking the scene and Delano scooping location…well, now it’s time for a tie-breaker. So in round two we’re going to see which hotel can say it has the best rooms and features. Signal the bell!

Category: Rooms

At the Delano

DRoom

If you’ve stayed at the Delano in South Beach, then you’ll be familiar with the design scheme in the rooms. A major shift from the dark public spaces, all of the 1,117 rooms are styled in whites, with gray and gold accents; they’re bright with light pouring in from the floor-to-ceiling windows. Read More »

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Over just the last month, the Strip in Las Vegas had two new hotels open amidst a ton of buzz. The four-pearl SLS Las Vegas — from the luxe brand known for its properties in Beverly Hills and South Beach – debuted on the site of the former Sahara Resort & Casino and, not to be outdone, the 4.5-pearl Delano replaced THEhotel at Mandalay Bay shortly after. We were lucky enough to get an exclusive, inside look at both and see some of their stellar (and some of their mediocre) features first-hand. Though both have their pros and cons, we’re going to have them battle it out in a few categories to declare a winner. In round one of our Delano versus SLS faceoff, we’re comparing their scenes and locations to determine which has the bragging rights for each. Signal the bell!

Category: Scene

At the Delano

DScene

The sleek public spaces here are a calculated nod to the Nevada desert, beginning with a huge 126,000-pound boulder greeting guests at the entrance. Brown leather couches, chairs with leather belt buckles, and a suspended rock installation by Korean artist Jaehyo Lee continue the striking, earth-inspired decor.

DScene1

Connected to the bustle of Mandalay Bay, the Delano is a convenient option for those needing proximity the Mandalay’s convention center, but seeking quieter accommodations.  With no casino, only two full-service restaurants, and a spa, the Delano provides a refreshingly calm oasis compared to the nearby party hotels.

 

At the SLS

SScene3

After a $415 million renovation of Sahara Resort & Casino (a former favorite of The Beatles and The Rat Pack,) SLS opened in August to mixed reviews. Owned by SBE Entertainment, which is a leader in L.A.‘s nightlife scene, SLS Las Vegas blends the old-world vibe of the former Sahara with strikingly modern features.

SScene2

Acclaimed French designer Philippe Starck is the brainchild behind most elements seen at the hotel; picture several LED fixtures, plastic body parts affixed to the wall, and quirky, monkey-inspired accents. It could be jarring for some to walk through a bright red corridor to get to the elevators, but it’s certainly a daring design that makes an impression. With several restaurants and clubs, the SLS attracts a hip, young crowd primarily interested in the nightlife the hotel has to offer.

And the winner is…SLS! See who wins for location after the jump >>

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The post originally appeared on Yahoo! Travel.

Ever been to a hotel that has full-time residents? No, we’re not talking about celebrities or Eloise, but rather residents of the furry or feathered variety that act as mascots at various properties. These domesticated residents often greet guests upon arrival, and can be seen wandering around the lobby or grounds. Whether it be two friendly St. Bernards or a white Birman cat, these animals are more like hotel staff than pets, but they prefer petting to tipping. So if you have to leave your pooch or kitten at home while traveling, you can still get your pet time in at these eight hotels.

Montage Deer Valley, Utah

Montage Deer Valley

The Montage in Deer Valley is a large, luxurious resort with a ski-in/ski-out location. The rooms feel like upscale apartments, with warm wood accents, chandeliers, high-end artwork, fireplaces, and marble bathrooms complete with heated floors, soaking tubs, and separate showers. The pricey hotel has a massive spa (guests get free access to its pool, steam rooms, and saunas) and several restaurants, one with fine dining and another with a bowling alley. In addition to being a pet-friendly hotel, there are two canine ambassadors — Monty and Jonas — both Bernese Mountain Dogs that greet guests in the lobby.

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10 Vegas Pools Making a Splash

by Lara Grant on September 10, 2014

Although summer is coming to a close and soon we’ll be trading in our bathing suits for comfy sweaters, the pool parties in Las Vegas were still hopping when we visited them over the weekend. From DJ-led poolside dance parties to quiet pools focused on tranquility, we saw a wide range of scenes. Many of these hot spots will still be going strong for a few more weeks — thanks to that desert heat! — so here’s a list of the best pools, and what to expect, if you need to squeeze in one more water-filled weekend. If you don’t make it out before the fall weather sets in, don’t fret! These bashes will undoubtedly be back as soon as it’s warm enough to drink a frozen mojito outside.

Encore at Wynn Las Vegas

Encore2 A five-pearl property, Encore at Wynn is home to huge rooms, fine dining and one of the best pool parties on the Strip. Encore Beach Club, exclusively used for pool parties, is open seven months a year, every Friday through Sunday, beginning in March. The area, which includes Surrender Nightclub, is a whopping 60,000 square feet and includes three tiered pools. It’s home to a wide array of resident DJs, including famous acts like Deadmau5 and David Guetta.

Encore1 The popular spot includes several bungalows that share an infinity plunge pool, and are always filled with a fun and rowdy crowd. The complex may be pretty large, but still expect to fight through mobs of around 4,000 people to get to the stage or a bar. Read More »

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The highly-anticipated Delano Las Vegas opens its doors today. A ribbon-cutting ceremony commemorating the event will take place at 11:30 a.m., followed by a tour of the luxury property and tastings at its many eateries. Replacing THEhotel at Mandalay Bay, the all-suite tower has rooms starting at 725 square feet and featuring sophisticated decor in white and neutral color palettes, mixed with eclectic pieces that reflect the surrounding desert landscape. Spacious bathrooms include both glass showers and separate soaking tubs, along with MALIN+GOETZ toiletries. This soon-to-be packed spot also has a private pool. For the culinary curious, there are several fun dining and drinking options on-site — Della’s Kitchen will serve upscale comfort food like chicken and waffles with bourbon maple syrup; miX at Delano has fine French and Italian dining on the 64th floor. Guests can head to the cozy bar Franklin for a cocktail, or 3940 Coffee + Tea for an espresso or breakfast burrito. We’re excited about this new opening on the strip and will have tons more photos and details after we head there later this week! We’ll also be checking out the new mixed-use resort and casino SLS Las Vegas (sister property to the popular SLS South Beach), so stay tuned and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram as we post updates from Sin City!

In the meantime, check out some of the current top luxury spots on the Las Vegas strip after the jump >>

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Even if you never took an astronomy class in college, you can still appreciate looking up at the night sky and seeing an infinite number of twinkling stars. Stargazing is often associated with camping or the viewing of once-every-few-months meteor showers, but — with so many stars in the sky — it can really be done whenever…the where is more important. Secluded areas away from the bright lights of the city are best for admiring the flickering sky and searching for constellations, and some hotels in these secluded spots are best suited for stargazing as well. Whether they have their own telescopes on hand or offer stargazing sessions with an astronomer, these 12 hotels provide perfect settings for an evening enjoying the view above.

Westward Look Resort, Tucson

Westward Look Resort

This renovated guest ranch is Tucson’s oldest resort and one of its most popular. Outdoor activities abound at the upscale property, which offers three saline pools, horseback riding and hiking trails, volleyball, basketball, and eight tennis courts. Big rooms and two highly regarded restaurants at Westward Look Resort overlook the serene mountains and city lights. Nature is everywhere at this property with the various gardens, including a butterfly and hummingbird garden. Another highlight is the telescope on hand, perfect for guests to view the desert night sky. If that’s not enough, travelers can drive about an hour and a half to the Kitt Peak National Observatory; it’s home to the world’s largest collection of optical telescopes and hosts nightly observing programs.

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There’s something so cozy about watching a movie, both solo and with a crew. If you don’t want to hole up in your room with pay-per-view while on vacation, there are many hotels where you can still catch a flick without leaving the property. Some hotels offer movie nights for their guests – whether it’s curled up on a comfy couch indoors or outside lounging by the pool — giving vacationers a chance to unwind in front of a big screen. Many are geared toward little ones so that parents can enjoy some alone time, while others are a chance for travelers to meet and participate in activities together. No matter if you’re away on business or having a family vacation, grab some popcorn, sit back, relax, and watch the show. We definitely give the following 10 hotels two thumbs up!

Bitter End Yacht Club, British Virgin Islands

Bitter End Yacht Club

The Bitter End Yacht Club, snuggled into a steep hill on the scenic North Sound, is a relaxed, family-friendly resort. The tech-free rooms (no TVs or Wi-Fi here) feature stunning views from the balconies, and the sliding doors allows breezes to sweep through; some rooms do not have air-conditioning but most guests find they don’t miss it. While some rooms could use renovations, guests are here for the white-sand beaches that offer plenty of water sports and relatively calm waters. Although popular among couples, the hotel also caters toward families; each night two movies are screened at The Sand Palace, next to the lobby. The movies are all rated G, PG, or PG-13 and popcorn is provided. Adults may want to send their kids to watch the movie while they enjoy a meal at the Clubhouse Grille next door.

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Sure, Labor Day has come to be synonymous with the beach and end-of-summer parties, but it’s actually a holiday with more industrious beginnings. In 1882, the first Labor Day was held in New York City to create a holiday for workers, thanks to the efforts of the Central Labor Union; the group wanted a day to allow the public to appreciate and acknowledge the work of the trade and labor organizations. Made a federal holiday in 1894, Labor Day has become more and more celebratory throughout its 120 years and often features parades, music, food, and all-around festivities. Many of the biggest parades occur in smaller cities throughout the country, so if you’re still looking for something to do before we say farewell to summer, consider a trip to these locales! These eight parades are sure to make for an afternoon of family-friendly fun!

Charlotte, NC

Charlotte

Charlotte may be a bustling city these days, but it still retains its southern charm. Freedom Park, the Rosedale Plantation, and one of the country’s best symphony and operas can all be found in this lovely North Carolina destination. The historic city will be celebrating the three-day weekend by hosting a Labor Day Parade with the theme “An old-fashioned parade, union-made!” Next Monday, the parade will begin at 11:00 a.m. at the Hal Marshall Center. Expect to see local union floats, beauty queens, and political candidates.

Stay: Charlotte Marriott City Center

The Charlotte Marriott City Center hotel is a quick 13-minute walk to the parade starting point. The hotel boasts spacious rooms, the acclaimed Savannah Red Restaurant, and a cool cigar bar.

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As summer comes to a close and Labor Day fast approaches, it can only mean one thing — school is about to be back in session. Of course, degrees and majors are important (kinda, sorta). But when choosing their collegiate home for the next four years (or five or six — no judgement; it’s the best years of your life), many high school seniors also consider the nightlife, history, and culture of the college towns. Taking a trip to these locales offers potential students an opportunity to check out the scene — and it’s also fun chance to explore a young, vibrant college town and relive co-ed life — without the homework — for those who have already attended plenty of college reunions in their day. Here are 10 hotels to visit the next time you want to go back to school — but you can trade in the projects and essays for interesting sights and delicious meals.

Hotel Commonwealth, Boston

Hotel Commonwealth

Some of the most well-known universities call Boston home, so it’s no wonder the city’s population contains a large amount of students. Harvard, MIT, Boston University and Brandeis make up just a small handful of the Boston area’s higher education options. Rich in history, Boston can be as educational as it is entertaining. When you go, make sure to check out a few of the college campuses and perhaps opt for a stay at the 148-room Hotel Commonwealth, one of the most well-rounded boutique hotels in Boston. With its classical furnishings, large rooms, and impressive array of services, it captures the spirit of the city like few others. It’s also a quick three-minute walk to Boston University.

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Lights, camera, action! Over the last several decades, hotels have played important roles in the film industry. Some iconic scenes — like Julia Roberts and Richard Gere bathing in Pretty Woman – will forever be a part of cinematic history and were actually filmed at hotels, instead of on sound stages. Most hotels that make it to the big screen are (for obvious reasons) primarily in Los Angeles and New York, but many others across the country get scouted to become shooting locations as well. So we’ve found 9 hotels all over that have been prominently featured in movies. Even if you never become a movie star yourself, you can at least visit these properties and feel like you’re walking through a film set. And sure, you’ll happily sign a few autographs.

Beverly Wilshire Beverly Hills – A Four Seasons Hotel

Beverly Wilshire

Let’s start with the iconic Beverly Wilshire – a top luxury pick for business or leisure, families or couples. With beautiful guest rooms, a Wolfgang Puck restaurant, and a great spa, pool, and fitness center — plus doting Four Seasons service, it’s a classic five-star property. The hotel was featured prominently in the 1990 film Pretty Woman and it’s certainly proud of this; you can even borrow one of the many DVD copies from the concierge’s library. In the film, Julia Roberts plays Vivian Ward, a Hollywood prostitute who’s hired by Richard Gere’s wealthy businessman character. Their relationship develops over their week-long stay in the Presidential Suite at the hotel. From the couple soaking in the suite’s luxurious tub to Vivian walking through the lobby with numerous bags from shopping on nearby Rodeo Drive, the hotel received a lot of screen time in the classic rom-com.

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