The only five Las Vegas resorts to book if you're serious about luxury
Do you really want to gamble on a "meh" resort in Vegas?
I think not.
Most people who plan Vegas trips either go for "below budget" friendly or gangbusters luxury. If you're reading this story, you're definitely not creeping on the Circus Circus website.
I've traveled to Vegas a dozen times now, and I've stayed at the best of the best on the strip. I know there's an overwhelming number of properties to consider when you're booking, so I went ahead and weeded out the creme dela creme. Taking into account the level of luxury, dining, spa, rooms and service, these are the only five properties I'll book again and again when visiting Sin City.
1. Aria. Everyone loves Aria, and it raises the bar on swank casino resorts. It's AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five Stars, so you know you're getting your money's worth. Aria also has mind-blowing suites like Sky Lofts and Sky Suites, which feature a massive living area, kitchen and killer views (see photo). It's also not a trek to get from Point A to Point B. Most of the restaurants are on one level up the escalators (Herringbone, Jean Georges Steakhouse, etc). Jewel Nightclub is still hot (for now), the spa is sexy and the outdoor pool area isn't a total mess.
2. Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas. Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas, in the same complex as Aria, both of which are in the heart of the strip, is classy AF. I've stayed here three times, and every time I feel like a VVVIP. There are only 392 rooms, so the staff-to-guest ratio is ideal, and it's the only five-star non-gaming resort on the strip. The Sky Lobby bar on the 23rd floor is Shanghai glam (with amazing strip views), the rooms are stylish and elegant and the spa is the BEST on the strip. It's not even debatable. I've been to all the top spas, and this one wins big. The two-level sanctuary is drenched in sunlight from floor-to-ceiling windows (not dark and "basement-y" like other resort spas in Vegas), with whirlpool stations, steam, sauna, the works, all with gorgeous design. There's also a very intimate, outdoor pool deck that's not a Vegas shitshow.
3. Cosmopolitan. Admittedly, Cosmopolitan of Vegas is a party resort, but it's a luxury party resort. You'll find the luxury in the amenities. All rooms have outdoor patios (huge perk for fresh air or pot maybe), stellar views of the strip (including aerial views of Bellagio fountain), some of the best restaurants in Vegas (Blue Ribbon, Momofuku, Eggslut, Jaleo), a bi-level, swank spa and amazing nightlife (I saw Lady Gaga perform here). Cosmopolitan is my go to when I'm looking for a high-end party vibe.
4. Four Seasons Las Vegas. Four Seasons Las Vegas actually feels like a resort without 2,000 people in it. It's part of Mandalay Bay but it has its own front entrance and is completely removed from the casino (though extremely accessible). The entrance to the pool oasis is by the elevators (you don't have to walk a mile or go through two elevators to get here like other resorts), the pool is intimate (not a Vegas mess), there's a Charlie Parker restaurant, the suites are done well and the service is point on.
5. Bellagio. Bellagio is great if you book a suite. Considering how famous the resort is, it can be a total mess and crowded, but I still like staying here. The spa (with its own men/women's sections) is amazing if you go off peak (when it's not so crowded) and it's the only spa with outdoor patios (that overlook the pool). There are three pools but you can pay extra for the pool section with better chairs and service. Also: Le Cirque. Don't leave without having a dining experience here. One of the best on the strip.