If you’re familiar with the divinely trendy Delano South Beach in Florida and have been craving a similarly sophisticated and chic hotel experience in Las Vegas, the wait won’t be much longer.
In late 2012, MGM Resorts International announced a partnership with Morgans Hotel Group to transform THEhotel at Mandalay Bay into Delano Las Vegas. Construction has already kicked off (it began in early April), and the grand opening is anticipated for September 2014.
Between now and then, the property will be undergoing an $80 million overhaul to revamp more than 1,100 rooms as well as THEhotel’s public areas, lounge and restaurants. Almost everything is being redone in order to bring the style and luxurious service of the original Delano South Beach to the Strip.
“The space really has to change to usher in the new hotel,” said Matthew Chilton, general manager of Delano Las Vegas, while leading a media tour to highlight many of the planned design elements.
You can expect all of THEhotel’s stately marble and artwork to disappear. This will be replaced with an atmosphere that is elegant but more laid back, like a “breath of fresh air.” Generally speaking, the new décor will blend facets of the ocean and South Beach’s decadent lifestyle with those of the desert and Las Vegas’ high-energy spirit. It will feature locally sourced stone, flowing curtains, Delano South Beach’s iconic sheers and unique art installations.
For instance, the foundation was laid yesterday for a 9-foot-tall, 45,000-pound boulder that’s been split in two. It was quarried in Good Springs, Nevada, and is part of the eye-catching display that will greet guests entering from the valet area.
The existing lobby has been reduced to half its size as work gets underway to create a whole new environment that will include a giant wooden doorway and a lovely stone pathway surrounded by draped columns. The ceiling height will even be dropped to 14 feet to produce a more intimate space.
Located just off the lobby will be 3940 Coffee + Tea. Its name comes from the resort’s street address. In the morning, 3940 will offer gourmet coffees from the esteemed Grand Avenue Specialty Coffee brand as well as freshly squeezed juices and warm-from-the-oven pastries.
“We’re even going to have cronuts, which we’re very excited about because they will be new to the market,” said Chilton.
Afternoon tea, complete with finger sandwiches, scones, homemade jams and an array of artisanal loose leaf teas, will be available late in the day at 3940. During the evening, you’ll be able to delight in glasses of wine, cocktails and small plates.
THEcafé in THEhotel is going to be converted into something of a farmhouse-meets-urban kitchen concept. The not-yet-named eatery will serve breakfast and lunch daily.
“We’re going to offer desert-sustainable cuisine,” said Susan Wolfla, executive chef at Mandalay Bay, of the transformation.
Not only will the eatery boast hydroponic greens from Pahrump, but herbs will be grown on the premises in a small garden and fish will be flown in from Monterey Bay on the northern coast of California. The ever-changing menu will feature fruits like citruses or apricots when they’re in season. Wolfla said it will also have “decadent dishes for those wishing to indulge while on vacation” and healthy options.
Perched high on the 64th floor, miX is getting a new look and attitude too. Internationally acclaimed chef Alain Ducasse will remain at the helm of the restaurant, which will be called Rivea and serve French and Italian cuisines. Details about the lounge’s makeover are not yet available. All of these changes will occur in the winter of 2014/2015 after Delano Las Vegas opens.
In addition, there are plans to raise the bar on THElounge. It will be renamed Franklin. The sophisticated atmosphere will have club-like elements, such as DJ-spun music on some nights. Franklin will be a seductive-looking gathering place in the heart of the hotel with a stunning light installation.
“It’s what we’re calling our constellation of fireflies,” said Chilton. “It will have movement and certainly draw people into the space.”
The only facility not being transformed at THEhotel is the Bathhouse Spa. However, even that will get a new menu of treatments and signature services. This includes a collection of “Global Journeys,” which will showcase exquisite rituals from far-off places like India and countries in Asia.
Room renovations at Delano Las Vegas are already well in progress. There will be 1,117 standard suites that range in size from 720 to 750 square feet, along with 44 penthouses situated on the tower’s top three floors. Crisp white décor is designed to create the feel of a serene oasis. Guests will also enjoy plenty of amenities – from 46-inch flat-screen Samsung TVs and media hubs to Keurig coffeemakers, soaking tubs and exclusive Malin+Goetz bath products.
Following in the footsteps of Delano South Beach, Delano Las Vegas will unveil a glamorous pool experience. Although Delano Beach Club will take over the East Lagoon at Mandalay Beach, it will not appear until spring/summer 2015.
When Delano Las Vegas opens, it will be the second Delano location in the United States with more Delanos set to debut around the world in cities like Moscow in Russia, Cesme in Turkey and Cartagena in South America.
“We’re super excited to introduce Delano to Las Vegas,” said Chilton, who also emphasized that THEhotel will not be closing during construction and they are doing everything they can to make the transition a pleasant and seamless one for guests.
Get a sneak peek of Delano Las Vegas below. We’ve created a slideshow of renderings and photos so you can see some of its stylish new amenities – and then go to VEGAS.com to make reservations for an upcoming visit. You can book suites at Delano Las Vegas now for stays beginning on Sept. 2, 2014.