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There has long been speculation that the land now occupied by
the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino is cursed. No facility at
the Las Vegas Strip and Harmon Avenue location has ever enjoyed
long-term success. The string of bad luck goes back to the Tally Ho
that opened in 1963, and continued through the latest evolution of
the Aladdin Hotel and Casino, which opened in 2000 and folded its
tents in 2003. Since then, a conglomerate of owners including
Robert Earl, founder and CEO of Planet Hollywood International,
Inc., Bay Harbour Management LLC and Starwood Hotels and Resorts
Worldwide have been working feverishly to exorcise the spirit of
the Aladdin. The development of the new Planet Hollywood began in
2003, and won’t be completed until Sept. 28.
In keeping with the current trend in Las Vegas resort design,
the property’s new look will be a non-themed theme. The decor is a
modernized ’60s retro, with towering lighted columns, square light
fixtures and chandeliers that evoke beaded evening gowns.
A criticism of the 2000 version of the Aladdin was that the
elaborate Strip frontage served as a barrier to foot traffic rather
than an enticement. That facade is being removed and replaced with
a more accessible Strip presence, including patio dining at a new
Trader Vic’s. The driveway and porte-cochere will remain on the
south side of the property because of space and zoning
The shopping mall, formerly known as Desert Passage, is now
called the Miracle Mile as it is more than a mile long. It, too, is
slowly being stripped of the Arabian Nights theme in favor of a
more modern non-themed look.
While the public areas
avoid a traditional themed approach, the remodeled guestrooms will
be highly themed. Each room will be designed after a particular
Hollywood hit with photos and memorabilia. The fully decorated
model of a typical king room was done in a “Pulp Fiction” theme
with a glass case containing the tuxedo Harvey Keitel wore in the
film, along with photos and other memorabilia.
The idea is for each guestroom and suite to feature photos,
costumes and props from a different film, but as yet, the execution
is not complete. Will there be enough costumes and memorabilia to
furnish all 2,600 rooms and suites?
“Oh yes, we have warehouses full,” said public relations manager
Andrea Roqueni during a recent tour.
The room remodel is sill underway. So far, only three floors of
the north tower have been redone with new carpet, window
treatments, furniture and the signature Starwood bedding. A desk
has been added, and the new black-laminate armoire features
his-and-her closets, as well as a large flat-screen TV.
The extra-large bathrooms remain essentially the same right down
to the Aladdin’s lamp-shaped faucets. Eventually, they will be
replaced, Roqueni said.
The rooms feature all the standard amenities. But what guests
might find pleasantly surprising is the quality of the service,
which was quick, complete and friendly and always ended with a
question about what more could be done.
“That’s the Starwood influence,” Roqueni said. “We’ve worked
hard on that.”
The makeover will also include eight new dining facilities,
including Strip House, a steakhouse from New York; and Koi, the
popular Asian restaurant from Los Angeles. For now, dining options
include Planet Dailies, an upscale 24-hour coffee shop; the Spice
Market Buffet; and P.F. Chang’s China Bistro. Other dining options
are available in the shopping mall.
The Living Room, an ultra lounge, is now open, and more lounges
and nightclubs will soon debut. Entertainment options include
“Stomp Out Loud” and “The Beauty of Magic,” starring magician Hans
Klok with Pamela Anderson.
By the time the grand reopening ceremony is held in September,
officials say all of the public areas should be complete, as well
as most of the room remodeling. Then, time will tell if the
exorcism has been successful.
Average room rates start at $229, per night; as low as $89, per
night, during the off season. Strip-view rooms cost an additional
$30, per night.
Full Casino including poker and race and sports book
Two outdoor pools and sun deck
Convention and Meeting Space
Mall with 170 retail outlets
Nine restaurants (three, including the buffet, are currently
Living Room Ultra Lounge