The newly renovated rooms at Golden Nugget are as good as gold

With Christmas fast approaching, everyone’s thoughts are focused on gift giving…or, let’s be honest, gift getting. And what better thing to bestow or receive than a stay at a fine hotel in downtown Vegas?

One of the newly renovated rooms in the Gold Tower

One of the renovated rooms in the Gold Tower (photo courtesy of Golden Nugget)

In early August, Golden Nugget (its name alone implies luxury) began a major undertaking – renovating 462 rooms on the first 15 floors of its Gold Tower. The project was completed last week.

To give you a little history, Golden Nugget opened on Fremont Street as a casino only in 1946 (actually back then it was considered the “largest casino in the world”). When the Gold Tower was built in 1977, it became the property’s first guest room tower. Although the Gold Tower underwent some updates in 2008, this latest refurbishment was a biggie – costing $15 million.

And boy, the resulting rooms are brilliant. Reminiscent of the luster of some precious metal, you ask? Yes! As a matter of fact, the design concept is described as utilizing a “rich brown and gold color palette.”

During an overnight stay last month, we got to check out one of the finished rooms and discovered even more riches. With a living area consisting of a chaise/loveseat sectional, a large ottoman and an armchair as well as a workspace with a chair, you can really spread out here. Plus, swinging doors on the bathroom and shower have been replaced with sliding doors, creating even more space.

The Tank pool area and a gold ATM

From top: Many rooms in the Gold Tower overlook The Tank pool area (photo courtesy of Golden Nugget); a gold ATM is one of the hotel's unusual attractions (photo by Renée LiButti)

Combining style (modern artwork on the walls) with comfort (you’ll sleep like a baby on a Serta mattress set designed exclusively for Golden Nugget), the refurbished rooms offer everything you could want for a refined and relaxing stay. There’s even a Keurig single-serve coffeemaker on hand, so if you crave a gourmet cup of joe, tea or cocoa…well, you’re the barista-in-charge.

Our favorite thing: the foyer-like entryway with a little shelf and basket, perfect for putting things like room key cards (which we always manage to misplace and typically spend several frantic minutes searching for).

Oh, and then there’s the view. The Gold Tower rooms generally overlook either downtown or the resort’s pool complex called The Tank. Ours was the latter, and we spent so much time checking out the three-story water slide and aquarium that houses several species of sharks, we barely turned on the TV. (But if you do, it’s big – a 42-inch flat-screen HD television, to be exact.)

Warning: Don’t let the posh décor of your room hinder you from exploring the hotel. All around the casino floor there’s much to be tempted by including delicious meals at Chart House (where you’ll find another engrossing aquarium, and it has a moray eel that looks like a sea serpent), Grotto Ristorante, Red Sushi and Vic & Anthony’s steakhouse, to name just a few. And don’t miss the display case containing the world’s largest golden nugget, which is located across from a gold ATM (yes, that’s a real thing where you can buy gold bars at market rate just like you’d get a can of Coke in a vending machine).

So, as suggested above, a stay at Golden Nugget, especially in one of the newly renovated Gold Tower rooms, is a wonderful gift idea. After the ho-ho-holidays, it’s just the thing for bringing in 2015 – putting you on the path to happiness and prosperity. It will also ensure your year gets off to a shining start.

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I’m a Las Vegas native. By profession, I write at Mostly about the city’s hotels, but on other topics – gaming and transportation – too. I really love staying at hotels. And the ones here are among the biggest and best in the world. Some key things I’ve learned: Resort fees are inescapable (frustrating but true), a friendly attitude at the front desk may score you a great view and over-the-top room amenities – bath butlers, Japanese tea service, menus with “intimate” items – do exist. What else should you know about me? Well, I’m comfortable at a blackjack table. And I like eating late-night pancakes in hotel coffee shops. A lot. Follow Renee on Google+.