2 -min. read

While SLS Hotels are still hard at work on their upcoming New York and Miami properties, much has been happening at the SLS Las Vegas, which opened in August 2014 after a lengthy renovation that transformed the once iconic Sahara Las Vegas (the Rat Pack’s fave Vegas casino) into a chic casino with flashy mind-bending interior design by Philippe Starck.

SLS Las Vegas Hotel Exterior
SLS Las Vegas Hotel Exterior

But not long after that grand opening party, news emerged that SLS had experienced some difficulty obtaining a gaming license from the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Long story short, SLS was ultimately granted a temporary license with lots of restrictions.

And now, look who is joining the table–Starwood Hotels.

News dropped this morning that the SLS Las Vegas will be rebranded as a part of Starwood’s new-ish Tribute Portfolio, a collection of independent luxury hotels with their own distinctive personality. Stockbridge will continue to manage the property. But that news is nothing compared to the excitement that W Las Vegas will also open at the SLS Las Vegas.

An existing tower, the SLS Lux Tower, will be transformed into a proper W Hotel complete with 289 rooms, a W Living Room, a dedicated entry and reception area for W Hotel guests, an Away Spa, and WET, an exclusive outdoor pool and bar. This will open sometime next year after a minor renovation. For what it’s worth, of the three towers that compose the SLS, the Lux is the nicest. And the ones with mirrors on the ceiling. Wink, wink.

This is positive news for a couple of reasons. First, SLS will be able to tap into Starwood’s massive network of guests, and since the property is located on a still somewhat isolated portion of the Strip, this could be a huge boost to business. Second, W has been trying for-evah and a day to open in Las Vegas. May we point you all to the W Las Vegas of 2005 which George Clooney had once hoped to launch within his Las Ramblas project. (Oh, how we miss those delusional days before the economy collapsed.)

Lastly, the SLS may no longer look like the Sahara, but it’s still an important piece of Vegas real estate and after being hampered at the start, it deserves this second chance.


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.

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