(I actually had 2 stays, weeks apart so this will touch on both stays)
I was so excited to stay at my first Tribute property, as a SPG Loyalist I get excited about small things such as this! And although the hotel itself did not disappoint so to speak, the Service and Platinum recognition did. In the properties defense, they are a newly minted SPG property,) less than 30 days when I stayed (The first time) , and they were in the middle of starting to turn one of their towers, the LUX tower into a W Hotel, so things were very confused and muddled. Not only were the employees just learning the SPG program, they were in transition of giving up management of one of their towers directly to SPG for management (SPG will fully manage the W and SLS will remain under same management but be affiliated with SPG as a TRIBUTE), so I want to say at the outset that I do understand the confusion and do not hold that against them, because the property itself is a GEM and in my opinion one of the best in Vegas! It is afterall the old Sands Hotel and Casino, at least some of it is!
When we arrived I noticed that it was a mess checking in, with velvet ropes everywhere, but to my surprise it did not take very long. I booked a Story Tower room which was the cheapest under a triple points rate they were offering at the time. The rate itself was ok at around seventy dollars a night bu there was a twenty-nine dollar resort fee daily which brought the rate up to about one hundred a night. I was upgraded to the Lux tower as a platinum SPG member (the Lux will soon the be The W) to a double bed room, the best they had with two beds ) I find alot if your in need of two beds you don’t get good suites, at most hotels . There was a bit of confusion about the platinum breakfast , again the newness ,we was given a voucher for the 4 nights to be used only at the one restaurant and ONLY for the Continental breakfast, but it was a production trying to explain the vouchers, and or substituting, etc, and finally had to get 4 separate vouchers vs one voucher for all four nights.. We were also given two free drink vouchers at the bar right across from the front desk. Funny the Continental breakfast is like Nineteen dollars on the menu, by far the most expensive YET the least food. Glad they made the change to give you a credit to use on anything, although that was subject to much confusion as well.
The room was Fabulous in my opinion. Yes it was gaudy and Yes it has fabric covered walls but in all ways it was fabulous! (Apparently this will change as they will completely redo all this for the W) The decor was very eclectic with both modern and classic style, mostly all in white and light pastel tones. both my guest (an interior designer) and myself, loved the decor. The room had a mini bar with snacks and drinks, although it did NOT have coffee. I called down and was instructed coffee is included in the continental breakfast or sold downstairs in the coffee shop. Well I am the type that needs coffee to get up and get ready to go downstairs, NOT go downstairs to get coffee to get up and get ready. Of course for a ridiculous fee coffee can be brought up to you! Sorry, but I found this quite tacky and petty. A four star hotel with no coffee maker .. even motel 6 has coffee makers.
We used our drink vouchers in the bar for Espresso martinis which I highly recommend! And then we hit the Casino. I have to say I was disappointed by the casino, and apparently I wasnt the only one, as it was pretty much always dead! The casino did not recognize SPG status at all , not sure if I should be surprised by this but doesnt the other hotel- casinos offer perks at both hotels casinos?.. to me this would have been the thing that made me spend my money there, versus going down the street where my Hyatt Diamond Status gave me M Life Platinum! Even SPG platinum gives you Gold with Total rewards (which is basically useless) but non the less you would think a Casino in a SPG hotel would do something, but I was explained, NO its separate. (A side note, I have since received an email from the casino (The code) giving me a free night at their casino.. I have been back since I started writing this, but the offer is for March, so I probably wont use it
Continuing on from my second stay , 1 night in late February. I did whirlwind tour of the west coast with my nephew who’s leaving for the air force, so we flew to Vegas for the nigh from LA, t and stayed at SLS again. This time I was upgraded to a LUX Suite. I paid the lowest rate, but I did use a Suite Upgrade.. They tried to give me a Lux King at Check-in, which is probably an upgrade from a story suite, but I wasnt having it and after a bit of back and forth she was able to “find a suite”. The Lux suite was FABULOUS In the same decor as the King we had earlier, but 2 rooms, and big! Again, no coffee , but over all it was very nice! Not St. Regis NYC nice, or Park Hyatt NYC nice, but it was very nice! Funny that the details that make the 2 hotels I mentioned VERY nice, is not present at SLS (but price is MUCH cheaper), but the Slippers are WAY better than the St. Regis slippers by FAR! probably the best slippers I’ve ever came across in a hotel!
The second stay was very short and we did very little other than have dinner on the strip and room service for breakfast (I paid as I opted for points this time) The room service was a bit pricey but good and presentation very good! BUT I probably wont do it again as $45 for a simple breakfast (since all I had as a Vegan was oatmeal) is a bit rich for my blood!
We opted for the shuttle this trip..(Included in the “resort fee”), on the way to the Hotel, after waiting at the shuttle pick up area at the airport for about 40 minutes , we boarded the shuttle bus, the driver was trying to be friendly but I found her very crude and vulgar… She actually made comments about how she thought my nephew was my Boy toy instead of my Nephew… I found that tacky and wondered how they allowed such a familiar person to drive the bus but It was apparently a contractor doing the shuttle service. On the way back we missed the Shuttle by a minute so I went to the VIP lounge (although still not sure If I am considered VIP as JUST a 50 night Platinum), I spoke with one of the same VIP concierges I worked with before, and after I asked and suggested it she said “oh let me see if we have a house car” and she did and we took the Escalade to the airport… it was waiting within the one minute it took to get to the front door and took us promptly to the gate!
I never got a FULL clarification about what a VIP is at this Hotel… the first time I was there, Like I previously said it was still very new that the Hotel was SPG and there was much confusion, but the VIP Concierge Manager told me that VIPs at that hotel were Casino VIPs and SPG Platinum concierge’s as she called them. I actually tweeted about this and tried to get clarification, and an SPG Twitter team supervisor called me and explained a platinum should be a Platinum at all Hotels, but concierge’s (100 night Platinum’s) do have a personal concierge. When pressed she sorta danced around it , and said she would check into it, although I never followed up. This was my first time experiencing this as Ive always thought I was treated the same as all Platinums at other SPG Hotels, but I certainly felt “mid-Level” elite at SLS.. I hope this is either clarified or corrected. As I feel one of the Great things about SPG is consistency!
All in all I really like this Hotel.. Its HUGE, although the Lux tower by years end will be W Las Vegas with separate entrance, desk, pool etc.. and there was a lot of progress on this from the first and second time I was there.. Its moving along very fast, apparently they are going to redecorate and do away with cloth covered walls etc… And I have every intention on being there for the opening.. and will probably be back before as well. I feel like once all the kinks get worked out and integration happens, things will go more smoothly, but I also have to point out, and remember myself, that tribute hotels are not full on SPG properties, although there is a lot of confusion about that as well. Now we just have to see what happens and what confusion there will be when Marriott takes over.
(Please forgive this mix-match of a post.. not only was it written over a few weeks and about 2 stays, I am a NEW Blogger, and I realize I need to work on ALOT of things, so please forgive the post and be patient with me, as I will get better!!)