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Lux Vegas: A High Rollers Guide to Vegas’ Most Desirable Hotspots


Platinum Hotel in Las Vegas Welcomes Four-Legged Guests

It’s becoming more and more common for people to travel with pets, and the nice thing is more hotels are not just allowing dogs and select other pets, but actually catering to them like the family members they are.

If you find yourself in Las Vegas with your pet, I recommend checking out the Platinum Hotel. It’s part of a new type of boutique hotel that has been popping up in Vegas in recent years. These smaller hotels offer up a luxury lodging experience, but while they’re usually close to or neighboring a casino resort, they don’t actually have a casino on premises.

At the Platinum, they offer 255 one and two bedroom accommodations just east of the Strip and Paris Las Vegas. They do allow pets under 50 pounds and offer up custom made dog runs, pet beds, bowls and treats.

When staying with pets, the hotel does not charge additional per night like most places do, but they do require a $75 non-refundable deposit regardless of length of stay for the four-legged friends.

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The Platinum Hotel And Spa


A low-key, luxe condo-hotel that’s away from the Strip. No casino, no smoking, and not the typical Vegas vacation.

View from the outdoor pool deck

View from the outdoor pool deck

Open since 2007, the 255-room, all-suite Platinum Hotel is one of the best deals away from the Strip. This non-gaming, non-smoking condo-hotel is popular with guests on extended stays, wedding parties and business travelers. Families will love the massive suites, but the low-key, upscale vibe may not feel kid-friendly. And travelers looking to booze and cruise around Vegas may not appreciate the away-from-the-action neighborhood, though the major casinos are a pleasant 15-minute walk away, with Bally’sand the Flamingo closest.

The hotel didn’t skimp when they built these luxury condominiums. Suites start at 900 square feet, and the appliances look like they were installed yesterday. The gym is large and modern, the pool deck coolly elegant, and the lounge stylish and intimate. The 17th-floor event space, with sweeping views of the Strip, regularly hosts private parties, weddings and business functions. The space is closed to regular hotel guests, but if you ask the staff to take you there, they’re happy to oblige. The only place that compares on sensibility and price is the MGM Signature, the condo-hotel arm of the massive MGM Grand.


One long, long block from Bally’s and the Flamingo, the nearest Strip hotels. The neighborhood has little to offer, save a small casino best known for karaoke.

Located on East Flamingo Road, the Platinum Hotel is a good 15-minute walk (or quick cab ride) from the Strip, the densely packed, three-and-a-half mile long stretch of hotel-casinos that most visitors want to explore. The closest Strip properties are Bally’s, theFlamingoCaesars Palace, and the Bellagio. The immediate neighborhood is dreary, with empty lots, a power generator, and a residential complex across the street. Next door is a bus stop and an AM/PM gas station. The only nearby entertainment is the Ellis Island Casino, popular among locals for its karaoke nights.

Once you’re on the Strip, cabs are easy to find at virtually any time of day or night. A generally less expensive option is the Deuce, a double-decker bus that runs up and down the strip 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and costs $3. There’s also a monorailsystem, which stops at MGM GrandBally’s/ParisFlamingo/Caesars Palace,Harrah’s/Imperial Palace, the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Hilton, and the Sahara. A single-ride ticket is $5; a one-day pass is $13. If you’re traveling along the Strip with at least one other person, a cab is often the least expensive option.

Virtually every hotel on the Las Vegas Strip is a 10- to 15-minute cab ride from McCarran International Airport; the ride typically costs about $15.


The heated indoor/outdoor pool on the 5th floor has a sweeping view of of the Strip — and a more relaxing feel than many Vegas pools.

Night swimming at the outdoor pool

Night swimming at the outdoor pool

On first glance, the 5th floor pool outside the Kil@wat restaurant doesn’t look impressive. No palm trees. No waterfalls. But when you walk out on the pool deck, you’ll see that the temperature-controlled pool is connected to an indoor pool, making it twice as big as it first appears. That also means guests can swim even during the cooler winter months, when most Vegas outdoor pools are closed.

The pool passes on individual cabanas, but a variety of furniture lets guests lounge or dine around the pool in comfort as pop music wafts across the deck. Couches surround fire pits, making it possible to hang out even on brisk desert nights. Circular rattan couches covered with colorful throw pillows are strategically placed in the shade, allowing for poolside naps away from the sun. Day or night, the pool affords a great view of theLas Vegas Strip. The other thing that sets this pool apart is the lack of the typical Vegas pool scene, as the guests seem to favor relaxing over partying.

Food and drink service is from Kil@wat restaurant.


With suites so nice, you might skip the casinos. The sparkling eat-in kitchen, 42-inch flat-screen TVJacuzzibalcony and comfy pillow-top bed are hard to beat.

Large, marble bathroom

Large, marble bathroom

All rooms are sprawling suites — ranging from 900 to 2,165 square feet — are possibly the best of their kind in Vegas. They’re equipped with everything a traveler could need for a long stay in Sin City. Every detail, from the shower handles to the laptop-friendly safe, reflects the generous and thoughtful design. If you do decide to spend time in the room, try to catch the sunset, when Strip-facing balconies are awash in dusk light and the Strip lights begin to flicker on.


A lot to offer business and leisure travelers: Well Spa, a modern and spacious fitness center, a business center, meeting rooms, and a 17th-floor event space.

Bright and spacious fitness center

Bright and spacious fitness center

The bright and spacious fitness center has top-of-the-line equipment, including 10 StarTrac cardio machines, one StairMaster and a dozen Free Motion weight machines. The free gym also has an outdoor space where exercisers can lay down on mats and stretch under the sun. There are also complimentary yoga classes.

The Well Spa is open daily.

Wireless and hard-wired Internet are availble throughout the hotel for free.

The Platinum is a pet-friendly hotel, offering a fenced-in dog run and special amenities for your pooch. There is a weight-limit and one-time fee.


The spacious suites can comfortably house families. A kids’ menu, but no kids’ activities aside from the quiet pool.

Large eat-in kitchen

Large eat-in kitchen

At 900 square feet, the smallest suite, the Solitaire, is gigantic, and all the units provide much of what a family needs in a home — a fully-equipped eat-in kitchen, a spacious living room, a flat-screen TV and two sinks in the bathroom. Every room comes with a queen-size sofa bed, except for the Marquis suite — the 2,165-square-foot, top-of-the-line unit with two bedrooms. Rollaway beds are available for a nightly fee. Cribs are free.

A kids’ menu is available at the restaurants and on the room service menu.

On the other hand, this low-key hotel doesn’t offer many distractions for rambunctious young kids. While the kids might enjoy the pool, parents may miss having a lifeguard on duty.


This hotel is kept impeccably clean

The management is doing a fantastic job with the upkeep of these three-year-old condominiums. Unlike at other condo-hotels, condo owners are not allowed to make changes to the suite design, so hotel guests are assured of a consistent look and feel. The countertops are gleaming, the furniture shows no scuffs or signs of other damage and the carpets and tiles are free of dirt and mildew. Housekeeping comes every day to tidy up. The pool furniture is showing signs of wear — nothing major, just discolored cushions — but that’s the only flaw I spotted.


The two on-site restaurants, Kil@wat and Stir Lounge, deliver good food at a reasonable price.

Dinner at Stir Lounge

Dinner at Stir Lounge

Guests who don’t plan to cook all their meals in the suite kitchens won’t be disappointed by the hotel’s two restaurants. The more casual Kil@wat is open for breakfast and lunch and also provides drink service to the pool directly outside its doors. The menu includes a breakfast burrito, made-to-order omelet , a Caesar salad with chicken and a build-your-own-burger. It’s surprisingly affordable for an upscale condo-hotel, and the food is good. Smoothies, lattes, and cocktails can be whipped up for poolside service.

Stir Lounge beside the lobby serves dinner and drinks. Designed as a sexy lounge with bold colors and low lighting, it’s the most easygoing place in the building, with friendly bartenders engaging the small crowd in conversation.

In-room dining is a more expensive option. While the menu is the same as in the restaurants, guests pay a service charge, delivery fee, and sales tax. Room service is available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

For guests who want to make use of the suite’s gleaming kitchen, the nearest grocery store is Albertsons, about a mile east of the hotel. It’s open 24 hours, and is about a $10 cab ride. There is also plenty of dining around the area.

 Bottom Line

A classy condo-hotel tucked behind the big casinos, this 255-suite property is one of the best off-the-Strip values to be found. The luxurious oversized apartments are spectacular. The relaxing pool with a view, modern gym and stylish lounge add to the hotel’s low-key, high-service sensibility.


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Arena Plan Unveiled

Original Article

Plans unveiled Wednesday outline a new sports and entertainment arena off the Strip, a facility to be built without taxpayer dollars jointly by Harrah’s Entertainment and AEG, the biggest worldwide player in sports facilities and events.

The $500 million arena is to be built about a block off the Strip behind Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas, officials for Harrah’s and Los Angeles-based Anschutz Entertainment Group said during a news conference at Bally’s.

The 20,000-seat arena to be built on 10 acres owned by Harrah’s will be funded privately by both companies. In a joint venture, AEG will develop, build and manage the arena for Harrah’s.

“I’m 100 percent for being in a position where taxpayers are not at risk,” AEG Chief Executive Officer and President Tim Leiweke said. “Harrah’s presented us with the best opportunity.”

AEG and Harrah’s said they have funding for the project and will not have to rely on the volatile credit market.

“We have never announced a deal and not built,” Leiweke said. “We’ll save our bluffing for the tables downstairs.”

The announcement was made by Leiweke, Harrah’s Chairman and CEO Gary Loveman and Clark County Commission Chairman Rory Reid.

Reid said it was important that the arena be developed privately while addressing the issue of the 24-year-old Thomas & Mack Center and other older venues.

“Las Vegas has always been able to compete as the entertainment mecca of the world,” Reid said. “To continue, we need a new and superior arena.”

The new arena must be available to the entire community, Leiweke added, not just visitors filling the 200,000-hotel rooms within “comfortable” walking distance of the facility.

Plans are to break ground in June and open by September 2010.

The arena still needs to receive approval from the county. A traffic study of the area also will be necessary.

The arena will be built to National Basketball Association and National Hockey League standards so it can be home to one of their franchises.

Although no team has agreed to move into the arena, AEG officials said they have had discussions with an undisclosed investment group interested in bringing a sports team to the city.

Leiweke said he hopes the arena could lure a team from both leagues, much like Staples Center, which has the NBA’s Lakers and Clippers and the NHL’s Kings. AEG built and operates Staples Centers.

Leiweke, however, said the arena would be profitable even without a professional sports serving as its anchor.

The developers said they expect the new arena to become the premier venue for sporting events, concerts and special events in the city.

It will be the third large arena along the Strip.

MGM Mirage has the 16,000-seat MGM Grand Garden Arena and the 12,000-seat Mandalay Bay Events Center.

“We are not here to put any existing facilities out of business,” Leiweke said, adding that the new state-of-the-art facility probably will draw some events away from the other venues.

AEG, an entertainment and sports presentation company, operates 50 venues worldwide, including Staples Center and The O2 in London.

The site for the arena is part of 34.5 undeveloped acres along Koval Lane from Flamingo Road to Harmon Avenue that Harrah’s had assembled for future development.

Reid, along with Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, was among the area officials that announced the formation of an arena task force in April 2006 to look into the need for a new arena. A report issued late last year said a new arena was needed to keep the Las Vegas market competitive.

The report, paid for by the city and county, put the cost for a new arena at $404 million, including at least $11 million in public financing.

Pat Christenson, arena task force chairman and president of Las Vegas Events, said he was pleased by Harrah’s and AEG’s announcement, especially because no tax dollars will be used in the construction and operation.

“I don’t know how it could be any better,” Christenson said. “You have the top sports and events producer in the world.”

The arena proposal comes just a month after plans were announced for a new arena that would be built in downtown Las Vegas as part of a $10.5 billion development by Michigan-based REI Neon/Warburg Pincus.

Goodman said the downtown project would not be affected by the latest proposal.

“I spoke to Mr. (REI Group President) John Weaver this morning, and it’s business as usual,” Goodman said.

REI does not have a construction plan nor has a financing plan been announced.

Later Wednesday, Goodman said he supports the off-Strip arena proposal although he believes downtown will ultimately be the better place for an NBA franchise.

Loveman said there is no plan for the arena to have a gaming component.

AEG has been looking to build an arena in Las Vegas for the past two years. AEG operates the Colosseum at Caesars Palace where Celine Dion performs. AEG had been interested in the downtown arena project until company officials decided to pursue a facility away from downtown.

Leiweke said he talked to various developers, including other gaming companies, before deciding to partner with Harrah’s.

“If this arena was built too far from the Strip, if it’s not within walking distance of the major developments and hotel rooms, quite frankly we would have missed the opportunity,” Leiweke said.

One of the keys to the success of the new arena will be working with other gaming companies to bring events to the new facility, he said.

If the arena was able to bring in a professional sports franchise, Leiweke said, companies such as Wynn Resorts Ltd., MGM Mirage, Las Vegas Sands Corp, Boyd Gaming Corp and others might buy luxury suites and ticket packages to support the franchise.

Darren Libonati, director of the Thomas & Mack, said the arena can be successful if AEG can market the new arena to people other than Strip customers.

“If AEG manages as a neutral operator,” he said, “the sky is the limit as to what they can attract.”

He said the Thomas & Mack has a contract with the National Finals Rodeo through 2014, but promoters have the ability to opt out at any time.

The announcement comes with Harrah’s in the middle of getting regulatory approval of a $17.1 billion buyout by private equity firms Texas Pacific Group and Apollo Management.

This is the third large capital investment project by the company since May.

In May, the company announced plans for a $704 million Margaritaville Casino & Resort in Biloxi, Miss. It was followed in July by the announcement of a $1 billion expansion and renovation of Caesars Palace on the Strip.

All three projects had to be approved by the pending ownership group.

Harrah’s Entertainment stock increased 52 cents, up 0.61 percent, to close at $85.55 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.


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