Everyone knows how important making a fabulous first impression is. And nowhere does this adage hold truer than at a hotel.
Since the lobby is what you see upon arrival, it has to be memorable. Not only does a lobby provide you with your first (and last) impression of a property, but it also sets the tone for your stay.
For these reasons, the lobbies at many of the hotels in Las Vegas have been designed to wow guests. They do this in different ways. Some lobbies are traditionally elegant while others are jaw-droppingly spectacular. Some have high-tech swagger while others showcase creative exhibits or amenities. There are even a few lobbies that change their looks throughout the year.
So we’ll take you on a tour of 15 resorts in Sin City that offer the most striking, unusual or fun experiences…beginning right at check-in.
Imagine entering a dazzling disco-lit world. Eight long, glittering chandeliers grace the glamorous 12,800-square-foot lobby at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. You’ll spot them alongside the escalator as you descend. Each one is comprised of 66,000 individually hand-strung crystals. Together with a giant crystal-laden ball that hangs overhead, they reflect the color-changing LED lighting from bands above and behind the front desk.
Similarly, at Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa, located in the northwest corner of Las Vegas near scenic Red Rock Canyon, you’ll be greeted by a splendid 32-foot-long chandelier in the lobby. Hovering dramatically above the bar area, it contains cascading pieces of crystal. Instead of heading directly to your room, why not order a cocktail, settle down on one of the chic chairs and enjoy an eyeful of this sparkly stunner?
Old World lobbies
The regal lobby at Paris Las Vegas is inspired by the Palace of Versailles. In addition to hand-laid mosaic tiles and replicas of paintings by masters, it shines brightly – in the spirit of the City of Light – thanks to 15 large crystal chandeliers. Gold-leafed cornice moldings adorn them from the ceilings. With such an enchantingly elegant ambiance, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported across the Atlantic Ocean to France, non?
Speaking of Europe, the lobby at The Venetian captures Renaissance-style Italian décor. Gold accents, ornate columns and marble abound. Plus, there’s a domed ceiling boasting frescoes that looks a lot like the Gallery of Maps walkway to the Sistine Chapel at Vatican City. Just be careful while gazing up at the beautiful paintings or you may get a neck cramp.
The lobby at The Cosmopolitan is like a computer-generated dream world. Described as a “kinetic space,” it features eight giant columns that are wrapped with mirrors and LCD screens. An additional 26 screens have been installed behind the front desk. All of them are used to create immersive digital experiences. The images are so mesmerizing you may find yourself lost in virtual reality.
At the off-Strip Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, the front desk is backed by a panoramic video display wall made up of 24 high-definition digital monitors. They span a total of 55 feet. Not only are the screens eye-catching, but they are also moveable – meaning each one can slide out to create a 3-D effect. Often you’ll see concert and promotional footage for the resort, but the screens can also be customized to display fun personal messages for special occasions like birthdays and bachelor/bachelorette parties.
When you walk through the front doors of the Bellagio, you’ll initially be awed by a permanent ceiling sculpture in the lobby. The magnificent multicolored piece by Dale Chihuly is called “Fiori di Como.” It’s comprised of 2,000 hand-blown glass blossoms. If you can tear your eyes away from that to check in, you’ll notice the front desk has a breathtaking floral backdrop of its own designed to complement the display in the adjacent Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Depending on the time of year, you’ll be charmed by scenes evoking each season as well as holidays like Christmas and Chinese New Year.
Likewise, the lobby at The Palazzo will captivate you with its changing appearance. When you arrive, you’ll enter a grand foyer with a 60-foot glass dome that showcases a lovely two-story fountain. Decked out with flowers, plants and creative props, its theme matches whatever holiday or seasonal transformation is taking place in the resort’s Waterfall Atrium and Gardens.
Wynn Las Vegas is not to be outdone in terms of offering fantastical-looking floral sculptures. Late last year the resort unveiled two whimsical new pieces designed by Preston Bailey: a 20-foot-tall hot air balloon and a 13-foot-tall by 16-foot-wide carousel. They are located in the atrium just steps from the registration area and will reside there indefinitely. Together, these sculptures utilize more than 110,000 flowers. The lush atmosphere of the atrium, which also houses a 50-year-old ficus tree, is updated every three weeks with seasonal blooms and plants for guests to enjoy.
Lobbies full of history
Located in downtown Las Vegas, the Golden Gate Hotel & Casino has roots dating back to 1906, when it opened as the Hotel Nevada. The most recent renovation of the resort included an overhaul of the lobby. Lit by a vintage “HOTEL” sign, its décor consists of wooden flooring, antique fixtures and a gold-colored, tin-like ceiling. Artifacts of the Golden Gate’s past are on exhibit here as well. Hanging on one of the walls is a collage of photos from nearly every decade, and a large display case by the entrance holds items like gaming ledgers from 1907 and Prohibition-era whiskey bottles.
The lobby at Main Street Station, also found in downtown, actually resembles a train depot with its long wooden benches. The whole area is replete with turn-of-the-century artifacts including vintage coin-operated slot machines, apothecary cabinets and a pair of pipe organs.
Lobbies with other noteworthy features
The star of the lobby at Aria is an 87-foot-long, 3,700-pound rendition of the Colorado River. Look up while you’re registering to see this graceful artistic work designed by Maya Lin. Called the “Silver River,” it has been cast from recycled silver and suspended over the front desk. The sculpture makes for a fitting introduction to the hotel, which is renowned for its numerous art installations.
Providing the background for the registration desk at The Mirage is a 20,000-gallon saltwater aquarium. The tank measures 53 feet in length and uses artificial coral reefs to support ocean life. It’s home to about 450 fish representing 85 different species. You may catch sight of an adorable puffer fish puffing up or a brightly colored tang surgeonfish while you’re being issued a room key. If you arrive or check out during the early morning hours, you may also see a member of the aquarium’s staff suit up and dive in to do some cleaning.
The centerpiece of the elegant round lobby at MGM Grand is a huge gold lion. Standing proudly on a pedestal, it’s often decorated for holidays or special events. For example, in March collegiate sports flags representing the teams competing in the Pac-12 men’s basketball tournament surrounded the lion. And in early April, the shimmering king of the jungle was enclosed in a boxing rink for the Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley match-up. Both of these events were being held in the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The off-Strip Palms is a swanky place to roll into. In late March the property announced the arrival of someone you’re sure to adore in its lobby – the “beverage butler.” So if you should arrive and discover there’s a line of people checking in, no worries. The dapper-looking, bow-tied beverage butler will gladly prepare you a drink at his stylish mirrored cart. Order classic cocktails made with vodka, rum or whiskey for just $5 each…and if your wait time is longer than five minutes, then the drink is free. Now that’s the perfect way to begin your Vegas vacation! (Note: The beverage butler is on hand Sunday through Thursday from 4 – 7 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 4 – 8 p.m.)