In its heyday, Palms Casino Resort was the place to see and be seen. It was a destination known for hosting celebs, a playground for the wealthy and home to the cast of The Real World Las Vegas. Over the years though, as newer hotels have opened directly on The Strip, the once-popular destination began to lose some of its luster and superstar appeal.
In the past few years, however, the 14-year-old resort has undergone multimillion renovations which have included updates to its rooms, amenities, casino floor and restaurants. No stranger to Vegas' list of amazing luxury hotels, I recently visited the property to get a feel for its present-day vibe and see how it stacked up against its competition.
First off, if you're a complete newbie to Vegas, you should know that it is located off The Strip. Depending on what you're looking to do on your trip, this may or may not matter. But hailing a taxi is never an issue, since most hotels and resorts offer a cab line right outside its front doors. Here's a tip though, thanks to Uber and Lyft's launch in Sin City this year, getting to, from and around The Strip is much easier. Taxi lines tend to get particularly crowded a few hours before partiers head to clubs and after they end at night. Waits can be long and frustrating (especially in heels); but those using rideshare apps only have to wait a few minutes in the porte-coch?re (no lines) before jumping into their cars.
As a part of the modernization, the resort revamped the 428 guestrooms in its Ivory Tower. Remodeled by the firm of Klai Juba, the rooms feature velvet accents, dark woods, violet and turquoise color palettes and custom artwork. Above the bed is also a dramatic mural of a seductive pair of women's eyes to tie everything together. The spa-inspired bathrooms are standard in size and offer stone finishes and open, frosted-glass showers. One thing the room was lacking though, was a full length, floor-to-ceiling mirror which is necessary in a city where dressing to impress is the name of the game.
While the Ivory Towers rooms are comfortable and chic, the really great accommodations lie in the property's Fantasy Tower. Its collection of uber luxurious suites are all about glitz, glamour and sexiness. With names like the G-Suite, Kingpin, Erotic and Hot Pink, the themed suites are lavish playgrounds for those who want to do Vegas right. Considered one of the best suites in the city, the Two-Story Sky Villa also lives within the Fantasy Tower and has played host to the Kardashians, Justin Timberlake, Timbaland and George Clooney. If you've got $35,000 a night to spare, you can't go wrong with this option for your Sin City getaway.
When it comes to dining there are plenty of restaurants within the resort that make it easy to never leave should you so wish. One of our favorites was Lao Sze Chuan located right next to the Ivory Tower guest elevators. Open daily for dinner only, the Chinese Sze Chuan restaurant is helmed by Chef Tony Hu offering a hefty selection of chicken, beef, seafood and pork dishes that all come in generous sharing sizes. Be sure to order a bottle of sake for the table as well, such as Ty Ku Silver Sake. If you'd prefer a great steak, head to N9NE Steakhouse which was named "Best Steakhouse" by Vegas Magazine and a "Top 100 Restaurant in the World" by Condé Nast Traveler. The atmosphere inside the restaurant is hip and sexy with blue and pink mood lighting shining down on leather booths and tables.
For nightlife, the Palms isn't going to be your go-to for a nightclub. Without a big club on property, your best bet will be to hit up the other big resorts on The Strip. However, if you'd rather something a little less crazy, but still lively, Ghostbar Dayclub is a great place to enjoy cocktails 55 stories above the city while listening to live DJs. Before heading up, catch a drink at Social which sits in the center of the casino floor. The vibe is energetic and as its name suggests, is a good place to meet others staying in the hotel.
If getting pampered is more your style, Drift Spa, located in a separate building connected to the property, offers over 20 treatments rooms and an extensive menu of therapies. It's also home to the city's first Hammam. The facility itself is large with separate men's and women's lounges, a co-ed relaxation room and an outdoor pool area. Because the ladies-only, suit-optional pool area is small, there's a chance you may not score a lounge chair upon arrival and it can feel a bit crowded. So if you're really hoping for a swim, head outside to the main spa pool (just be sure to bring your suit).
Palms Casino Resort is making its way back to its glory days, and you can see a vast improvement in its room offerings, amenities and dining venues. But it may still need to make a few more adjustments to really start competing with The Strip's list of luxury resorts. A nightclub would really be a great addition, especially since many music artists already stay in the Fantasy Tower suites (Chris Brown for one). It'd be an easy connection to offer residencies to those guests at the club and draw an greater crowd to the property. That said, it's still a great resort that definitely won't let you down. And trust me, don't skimp on your accommodations, book one of its themed suites, because Vegas is nothing if not the place to splurge on the best of the best. Who knows, you could even find yourself rooming next to CBreezy.