The Sahara Hotel and Casino is now the SLS Las Vegas, completely revamped with a taste of Los Angeles and playful Philippe Starck style inside.
Why Go: The $415 million remake of the former Sahara resort is at long last a sign of life on the north end of the Strip. Surrounded by empty lots and half-built resort towers, the SLS Las Vegas brings a taste of Los Angeles to Sin City. The Los Angeles–based SBE undertook the 1,613-room renovation with an emphasis on restaurants and nightlife—the lifestyle, hospitality, and entertainment company’s bread and butter. Angelenos will recognize nearly all of the nine dining venues. Most are Nevada outposts of Los Angeles originals (Cleo, 800 Degrees, Umami Burger, Katsuya by Starck). The three new dining concepts fulfill the Vegas must-have food trifecta: steak, Chinese, and buffet. Bazaar Meat by José Andrés, José Andrés’s Ku Noodle, and the SLS Buffet are all worth the trip north. True to SBE’s Hollywood cool-kid image, the Life and Foxtail nightclubs bring together top DJs and plenty of beautiful people nightly.
What to Expect: Since the SLS is a renovation and not a teardown, expect the 1950s scale of the Sahara. The casino floor is modest in size, the resort footprint is not exhausting to navigate, and the rooms (from $170) are small. SLS directs young partiers to the Story Tower, businesspeople to the World Tower (the Las Vegas Convention Center is one monorail stop away), and all other adults to the Lux Tower. Booking a room at the nearly 300-room Lux means a private check-in lounge, turndown and 24-hour room service, plus dual showerheads and sinks in the bathroom. The “all-suite” tower is a mix of rooms and actual suites with separate living and sleeping rooms, so book carefully. Three signature suites are located on the Lux’s penthouse floor. Two pools, Ciel Spa, and seven Fred Segal stores are welcome diversions during daylight hours.
How to Get There: The drive to Henderson Executive Airport takes about 25 minutes; to McCarran International, it is about 15 minutes. (855.761.7757, www.slsvegas.com)