Going on vacation is definitely an adventure. New sights, smells and sounds always to be had. It’s exciting to break out of the mundane routine and mix it up a bit. However, I think it’s fair to say that not only can vacations be expensive, they can also be stressful. The planning that goes into it and the toll travel can take on your body sometimes leaves you exhausted from your actual vacation. So what’s the alternative? A staycation! I mean after all, how well do you really know where you’re from? It’s nice to be able to see your home city from a different perspective AND it takes no travel time to get there. Now, staycations are a little bit different when you live in Las Vegas. Clearly, there are many excellent choices to choose from when picking your accommodations. Each hotel has its own unique set of restaurants, night clubs and amenities. I like to judge my staycations on two simple standards: the room and the food. How’s a girl to choose? In this most recent case it was simple. The hotel asked me to stay there. Which hotel you may ask? SLS Las Vegas, the “newest” hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. I put the word newest in quotation marks since it’s not a new building they just renovated the old Sahara hotel. I had the opportunity to stay at SLS not just once, but twice.
During my first stay, the room assigned to me by the rather bland and hardly there Front Desk girl was the basic World Tower King Bed. The room was small, but they make do with what they have. There were two wall size mirrors on each side of the room that help add an illusion of size to the area, as well as a fun factor. Who doesn’t love an easily accessible mirror to take selfies in front of? *Guilty!* Over all, the room was simple with modern, mirrored furniture with an occasional splash of color. Everything works well with the room. The bed is comfortable and they have a great TV. Can’t really ask for more than that sometimes.
Now, on my second stay at SLS, the staycation Gods must have been on my side because not only was my check in process so much smoother; considering I had a Front Desk Agent who knew how to smile this time, but I was staying for 2 nights and they upgraded my room to their Lux VIP Tower. SCORE. Now, I didn’t know what to truly expect before I step foot in the room. I mean, yes it’s VIP but it’s not a 5 Star property…. So where did that leave me? It left me in a larger room with Victorian inspired decorations (with the modern twist of course), a way better bathroom and a mirror on the ceiling. Overall, I would say that considering the venue, the VIP tower is a sweet step up from their basic room. It doesn’t compare to some of the nicer suites in larger properties, but their dual headed shower does help it compete. And besides, who doesn’t want to look at themselves while they fall asleep? That’s what that mirror is for right?
As mentioned, the second standard I judge a staycation hotel is their on-site dining options. I had the opportunity to try four different restaurants, their coffee shop and in room dining. For their sit down restaurants I enjoyed: Cleo, their Mediterranean tapas restaurant, Bazaar Meat, their steakhouse tapas restaurant, 800 Degrees their gourmet pizzeria and The Griddle, their café. Each one very different from the other in terms of cuisine and ambiance, but all rather delicious. I could go on and on describing the experience at each location. Howver, in an effort to save time, my general synopsis is that there is something for everyone and at every price point. If you find yourself in SLS and have time for any kind of sit down meal, you can be confident in any of those four options to provide a delightful food experience, regardless the budget you are willing to spend.
The Perq is their coffee shop which I stopped by in the mornings. They have a decent variety of pastries to choose from and a basic coffee selection. I wasn’t too impressed. They were smart in only putting one coffee shop, take away the customer’s options. If you’re not as lazy as I was being, save yourself some money and just walk to the Starbucks across the street from the hotel. You’ll end up more satisfied I’m sure. It needs a little more pizazz. Give me a better reason to want to buy from you other than the fact that I don’t like crossing busy streets alone. Lastly, their in room dining. Now, I understand that In-Room dining is always up-charged like crazy, but never in my life did I think I would pay $36 for a pot of coffee and a small 4in piece of cheesecake. In my defense, the menu said the coffee was $9, the cheesecake $12. SO I was mentally prepared for spending about $22 or so. I didn’t think that a smaller hotel like SLS would have an $8.00 delivery charge and then tax on top of that. The coffee and the cheesecake arrived very quickly and they were decent in terms of taste, but let’s be real. $36 on coffee and cheesecake shouldn’t be decent. It should be decadent. After the sticker shock I had from my simple order, I didn’t even dare try ordering another meal. If at SLS, do yourself a favor and just dine at one of their restaurants. You will spend just as much (if not less) and be much happier afterwards! The only plus side to In-Room dining is that I was able to eat my cheesecake in a bathrobe while I watched television. Overall, my stay at SLS was still enjoyable. The beds were comfortable and I didn’t want to check out (they do a late checkout at 1:00pm which is almost unheard of in Las Vegas! Usually you have to be gone by 11:00am) and the only time I wanted to leave a bed was when I was staying in the Lux Tower and it was time to enjoy their magical shower. Whenever invited to stay somewhere for free, the big question is always “would you pay to go back?” and for SLS the answer is yes, if the rates are right. I think SLS is a nice compromise for the Las Vegas local. The prices are not quite as expensive as the bigger luxury resorts further South on Las Vegas Blvd. and it still has good rooms and good restaurants to enjoy. Also, it’s just a 20 minute drive from my house. When wanting to get away from my regular Las Vegas life, I can definitely see myself staying at SLS again. I just have to play nice with the Front Desk and hope for another sweet upgrade and definitely no room service! But before I go… here are some selfies in that awesome mirror.