Trendy Smaller Hotels Popping Up Around Vegas

Las Vegas has recovered from the economic crash of 2008 with great gusto. Building has resumed both in the housing and commercial markets and there is a new trendy type of hotel appearing all around Las Vegas. One trend that visitors may not notice at first is the increase of boutique hotels that are appearing all over the strip.

These hotels are typically smaller and offer fewer rooms. They are upscale, pricier, and display a warm and intimate ambiance. Some have casinos and some don’t. They often come with more amenities and superior service.

The Cromwell has only 188 rooms. The Nubo contains 181 rooms. And, Hotel32 offers only 50 rooms. There are some exceptions to the smaller size. The Four Seasons, for example, has 400 rooms and the HRH at Hard Rock 374 rooms.

According to various sources such as Fodors, Forbes, and Trip Advisor there are 10-20 boutique hotels now standing or coming soon to the Vegas landscape. Some boutiques are freestanding such as the Cromwell and others reside within other properties such as the Nubo at Caesars or Hotel32 at Monte Carlo.

There is a new boutique hotel, the Lucky Dragon that opened in late 2016. It offers 201 rooms and sports an Asian theme. It  is located near the corner of W. Sahara and the Strip. It is trendy because it is the first Asian themed hotel. There is at least one more planned. Check out the Lucky Dragon here.

The boutique trend is the third major trend since 1989. There may be disagreement as to how clear cut these trends have been, but this author believes them to be fairly easy to discern. Let’s take a quick look back at what occurred in 1989 that has led to where we are today.

1989 proved to be monumental in Vegas history when Steve Wynn opened his Mirage. What set this hotel apart from the others, beside it’s gold and glitzy exterior design, was a faux-volcano that sat right in front of the hotel. The volcano erupted each night as tourists gathered to experience the earth shaking show. The volcano is still there and continues to wow nightly crowds.

The volcano received a $25,000,000 redesign in 2008 with better lighting, sound effects, and new water. It is one of the must-sees in Las Vegas and remains one of the most popular things to see.

The Mirage began a trend of “theme” hotels on the Strip. The next year, 1990, Excalibur opened. This hotel touted a King Arthur, Knights of the Round Table, theme. 1993 brought us one of the world’s largest pyramids, the Luxor. Also in the same year came the pirate themed Treasure Island and the MGM Grand with its Wizard of Oz motif. This trend continued well into early 2000 years.

The Wynn opened its doors in 2005 and this hotel clearly abandoned the theme approach. It was pure luxury. This led to a series of the more upscale properties such as those within the City Center Project (Vdara, Aria, and Manderin), the Encore, and the Palazzo. More are being built right now. When you see these hotels, inside and out, you will agree they are trendy.

A major $4 billion dollar project, Resorts World Las Vegas will open in 2018/19. It will be located across the Strip from the Wynn/Encore complex on the former Stardust property.

Resorts World Las Vegas will plant 3 hotels in this new development plus dozens of restaurants, gaming, a panda habitat, water park, and a replica of the Great Wall of China. Uh oh, we may see a new “theme” trend start again. Well, that’s Vegas.


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