Party around the clock at SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino on the north end of the Strip. Along with trendy pools, bars and nightclubs, this hotel is packed with celeb chef dining options.
Luxury meets monkey business, modern, party central
What we love
This is a property with history -- and we love that. An important piece of Elvis and Rat Pack lore, the Sahara Hotel & Casino was converted into SLS. Except for the bones of the building, it's been completely made over, but in a nod to the past you'll spot custom carpets with images of the Sahara at its prime.
SLS is packed with high-tech wonders. There are seven different digital art installations in and around the property. Walk across color-changing floor tiles triggered by your feet inside the main entrance. A digital "cloud" hovers over the Center Bar. And the north side of the parking garage facing Foxtail Pool Club forms a canvas for 3-D video mapping that will blow your mind. (We'll leave it to you to find the remaining installations yourself.)
The monkeys are so much fun. You'll spot them everywhere at SLS -- in chandeliers, in artwork that hangs above the casino floor, on the resort's white sedans and, of course, at the Monkey Bar (framed photos of simians in suits line the back wall). Why monkeys, you ask? Well, they set the perfect tone -- because SLS, while stylish, is far from being a stuffy and conventional resort.
With something of a South Beach-meets-L.A. attitude, daylife and nightlife reign supreme at SLS. You'll typically see a young, party-going crowd here. The Sayers Club is our fave spot because of the live music (and you never know who might show up to perform). You'll also find Foxtail Pool Club and Nightclub in the house.
Good to know
The Story Tower rooms are small at 325 square feet and have an offbeat design that probably appeals most to young men. The walls are gray and the bed frame has a bar top-like quality. Then there's the bathroom...we don't know what to say about that. Painted bright yellow, it's divided into three small compartments -- for the shower, sink and toilet -- and each is accessed by sliding doors.
None of the rooms at SLS come with fridges (but you can request one for an additional fee).
The windows are small, and don't expect a fabulous view of the Strip in every room. Many of the rooms on the lower floors look out toward the parking garages and monorail tracks. If having a good view is important to you, upgrade to a high floor when you make your reservation.
Because SLS is home to so many party places, you're going to hear pumped up, EDM-style music overhead throughout the resort. And since the entrances to many of pool clubs, bars and nightclubs are in public areas, you're also going to see long entry lines along with plenty of young partiers milling around.
While there isn't much that you can walk to in the immediate vicinity (excluding the "World's Largest Gift Shop" across the street -- one of our favorite places), SLS is close to a Las Vegas Monorail station. Seriously, it's about 100 yards away. This means you'll have easy access to the rest of the Strip via monorail. Getting to the station is easy: Head down the Lux Tower hallway (just past Monkey Bar) and you'll find the doors leading to the monorail.
Like the Story Tower, many of the rooms in the other towers at SLS boast interesting features -- courtesy of acclaimed French designer Philippe Starck. If you're in the mood for romance, reserve a room in the Lux Tower. It comes with a mirror on the ceiling and a playful peek-a-boo shower. The Lux Tower suite also has a banquette by the window -- perfect for kicking back in your plush bathrobe.
As mentioned above, the restaurants at SLS are helmed by a veritable who's who of the culinary world. If you don't have time to sit down and savor a meal (and we really think you should make time), many of them -- like Cleo and Umami Burger -- do offer takeaway service so you can order items at the hostess stand to take up to your room.
For some of the best people watching at the north end of the Strip, head to the beer garden at Umami Burger. This outdoor area stretches alongside Las Vegas Boulevard near Sahara Avenue. It's especially fun to sit out here when a music festival (like Rock in Rio) is in full swing across the street.