Super-size Suites

Vegas hotels believe bigger is definitely better

By: Kathy Espin

When it comes to luxurious accommodations, there is no fantasy that can’t become reality in Las Vegas.

Generally the mythic high-roller suites are reserved for celebrities or deep-pocket gamblers but top-drawer elegance is available for those willing to pay the price.

The Las Vegas Hilton, for example, will rent one of its three Sky Villa suites for a $17,500 a night. In 1993 the hotel spent $45 million to remodel the suites, which are on top of the hotel’s three towers.

“We were looking for something that, when you walked in the room, you knew you were surrounded by a level of luxury that you had never seen before; it would just overwhelm and awe you. And we think the Sky Villas do just that,” said Julius Kazen, the Hilton’s vice president of hotel operations.

Each suite has its own layout and decor, but all have an old-world, European style, with hand-painted murals, huge windows, butlers’ pantries and telescopes to take in the view.

Few individuals are willing to spend the price of an economy car on a one-night hotel stay but Cullen West, assistant director of marketing, said large corporations sometimes book the suites for parties.

The Mirage’s Villa Suites are so exclusive they can’t be rented for any price, but opulent one- and two-bedroom penthouse suites are available when they aren’t reserved for special guests. The one-bedroom suite is $450 to $725 per night; the two-bedroom version, $600 to $1,025. The beige-toned décor is luxurious, with accents of burgundy, and floor-to-ceiling windows with electronically controlled drapes offer views of the Strip or the surrounding city.

“Everything in those rooms is custom. Even down to the wall plates and switches; they are all solid brass,” said Frans Kallao, the Mirage’s operations director. He noted that the oversized bathrooms with their glassed-in showers, whirlpool baths and walk-in closets are the most popular feature, “particularly for the ladies.”

Other Mirage suites include the Junior Petite, starting at $275 a night, and the two-bedroom tower suites, which can be as much as $800 a night.

The Bellagio’s two-bedroom Grand Lake View Suite whispers quiet elegance even though it covers more than 3,000 square feet. The suite is done in soft taupes and yellows with chocolate-colored marble in the entryway and rose marble in the semi-circular living room, which has a panoramic view of the hotel’s lake and signature dancing fountains. Each bedroom features his-and-her baths with steam showers, whirlpools and bidets. It rents for $1,650 to $2,250 a night.

The hotel’s four Lake View Suites occasionally are available at $1,450 to $2,050 a night, while the 852-square-foot junior suites are $350 to $800 a night.

Guests in the MGM Grand’s 29th-floor penthouse suites can choose between two layouts. The first, which starts at $800 a night, is a two-story, two-bedroom model. It includes 2 1/2 baths, a kitchen, dining area and bar, elevator and spiral staircase.

The second version is a 1,401-square-foot, one-bedroom suite that starts at $509.

Caesars Palace also boasts a selection of suites, including the Ramses popularly known as the “Rainman” Suite. The Oscar-winning film used the room, with its large Jacuzzi, for the scene in which Tom Cruise teaches Dustin Hoffman to dance. It rents for around $3,500 a night.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Petit Palace Tower Suite starts at $300 a night.

The Mandalay Bay offers three suites, starting with the 610-square-foot Honeymoon Suite, a one-room suite with living area, wet bar and garden whirlpool tub. It rents for $50 more than the prevailing room rate of $129 to $239 per night. The Executive Suite offers similar amenities in a slightly larger suite for $100 more than standard rate while, for an additional $250, the two-bedroom Parlor Suite offers a separate living area and two whirlpool baths.

Two Vegas hotels offer only suites.

The Rio’s standard room is a 600-square-foot mini-suite with a seating area, dining area and bathroom with a separate dressing area. Rates run from $69 during the slow winter and summer months to $239 or more during the high season. Higher on the luxury scale is the Cariocas Suite, a 1,100-square-foot, one-bedroom suite with a view from the Jacuzzi and the Super Suite, a 1,200-square-foot accommodation with 1 1/2 baths. These suites are $200 to $1,000 a night and must be reserved at least 60 days in advance.

The Rio’s premiere suite is the Masquerade, which offers a 180-degree view of the Strip and mountains for $700 to $1,150 or more a night.

The Guinness Book of World Records lists the Venetian’s 700-square-foot mini-suites as the largest standard hotel rooms in the world. They feature canopied king-size beds, sunken living rooms and large baths lined in Italian marble for $279 to $439 a night. The hotel also offers larger suites, including the Rialto, a double-queen version, from $369 to $549 a night and the 1,456-square-foot Piazza, from $559 to $1,000 or more.

Guests can expect the usual luxuries: cable service, modem access, bathrobes, room safes, makeup mirrors, ironing boards and phones alongside the toilets. But since Las Vegas’ unofficial theme is “anything goes,” just about anything else is available for the asking.