NEED GAMBLING ODDS OR MARRIAGE ADVICE? ASK ZOLTAR AT W LAS VEGAS

It can be hard for a new hotel to get noticed in Las Vegas, a town best known for its glittering and dizzying marquees, but the W Las Vegas, which opened last month, has a few aces up its sleeve.

To be clear, this W isn’t exactly the newest W hotel in the world. It’s not even the newest hotel in Las Vegas. The 289-room hotel actually opened inside the former SLS Lux tower at the SLS Las Vegas, which debuted in 2014 to much fanfare on the site of the old Sahara Las Vegas. That means the W guest rooms are pretty much the same as they were when they were SLS rooms. The Philippe Starck-designed tapestries still cover the walls, the all-white and chrome scheme has not been subtracted from or added to, and those naughty mirrors on the ceiling are still surprising guests. About the only thing that has changed in the guest rooms is the introduction of large Bliss toiletries in the bathrooms. Oh and W marketing material on the desks and tables.

Downstairs, however, the W did get to bring a little bit of its own magic to the hotel. W guests have their own private entrance away from the jazzy porte cochere of the SLS. This subtle arrival flows into an intimate reception area and then out to a mod lobby/Living Room where guests can relax on butterscotch leather furniture, have a few drinks, and even spin a few records.

The artwork throughout the space is gambling-themed, but not overt. The installation behind the check-in desks consists of different colored poker chips arranged to look like sound levels. The gilded partitions that divide the Living Room seating area are actually old printing templates for playing cards. Along the walls are framed orange dice arranged in geometrical patterns. Near the room elevators are “murals” made from old Sahara Las Vegas playing cards.

Another zany touch is Zoltar, the fortune-telling machine tucked off the lobby in a small room flanked by pink bathrooms. This space doubles as the wedding chapel but most visitors will come to hear what Zoltar has to say instead of getting hitched. At check-in, guests are given a special W Las Vegas token to put into the Zoltar machine. There are three options for guests to hear—their fortune (usually about gambling), prenup advice and good ole marriage advice. So, what’s your poison?

Just beyond the W Living Room lays the SLS casino floor and hot restaurants and clubs including Bazaar Meat by José Andrés, Katsuya, Cleo, Umami Burger, Foxtail and The Foundry. But perhaps understanding that its guests also like to sleep hard as well as party hard, the W carefully lays out sleep masks and ear plugs at turndown. Did we just find a saint in Sin City? Seems like it. Rates at the W start at $126 a night during an off peak weekend and $360 during a busy weekend.

[Photos: W Hotels, Juliana Shallcross/LE Miami]

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Juliana Shallcross
A self-confessed hotel addict, Juliana Shallcross has been reporting on hotels around the world for more than a decade. She was previously the managing editor HotelChatter.com. A good portion of her job involves sleeping in new hotels, obsessing over technology and keeping tabs on the ever-changing hospitality landscape. She's based in Los Angeles.