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“A nice place to stay. Could easily be even better” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Elara, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club - Center Strip

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Elara, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club - Center Strip
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   80 E. Harmon Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89109 (Formerly Planet Hollywood Towers)   |  
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Ranked #31 of 269 Hotels in Las Vegas
Certificate of Excellence 2014
London
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“A nice place to stay. Could easily be even better”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2012

We had two, one-bedroom suites booked for a 6 night stay in July.

Check in.

Access to the valet parking is via Harmon Avenue. We never personally experienced any issues, but I did notice over the weekend that the valet parking was frequently full and often understaffed. Accessing via Harmon is a huge benefit over the strip.
First impressions of the lobby were very positive. The lady at checkin was personable and helpful, and the check in area was bright and airy, calm and nicely decorated.

Rooms.

The rooms are laid out with a kitchen and bar area, lounge with a large "L shaped" sofa and HDTV. The main blackout blind also doubles as a giant projector screen. The bedroom has a huge, comfy bed, chaise lounge and jacuzzi tub, and there is a large bathroom with walk in shower. The decore was very "Vegas". Trendy, lots of red and black, and nicely finished but it did look like it may not last as well as it could. For a new hotel there were already some signs of required maintenence. We had a great view from the 18th floor. Our only issue was one night when the a/c stopped working, as you can imagine this is not ideal if you are in Vegas in July!

The other negative was the wireless internet access. In 2012 no decent hotel should be charging $10 per day for internet access, much less a condo hotel which almost always provide complimentary Wifi. Even worse, the Elara in its wisdom charges per DEVICE!. This is a disgrace and, regretably, will put me off staying there again.

Amenties.

I used the gym, which offered a good selection of new, well maintained equipment including both machines and free weights (with space to use them). The pool area was very nice and it was usually relatively easy to get a lounger, even on weekends. Some shade was available, and to be fair everything was new so I'm sure this will imporve when the trees have matured. There are some nice shallow shelves around the outside with loungers on them. The one drawback to the pool were the "pool police". These are the lifeguards that search your bags for drinks and such before you access the pool area, they then issue a rigorous set of rules, including in which directions you are allowed to move your lounger!. We used a tennis ball to throw around for a while until the "police" spotted us - we were the only ones in the pool at the time. I also witnessed one particularly officious female lifeguard literally chase a guest because he walked in without being searched......because she wasnt at her post!

The irritating thing about these rules is that there is no other reason for not allowing your own drinks around the pool except to make you buy from the bar - and at $4 for a coke it gets expensive. If the Signature and many others let you take your own drink, whats the problem?

We did get drinks and a couple of meals from the pool bar. The food was ok, but service was very slow. Next time I'd save time and walk to the shops where there were plenty of decent (and cheaper) options. The drinks were overpriced. Whilst not acceptable, this is unfortunately the norm in Vegas

Location.

The location is great. Road access is via Harmon ave which is easier than having to go down the strip. The hotel has direct access to the Miracle mile shops at Planet Hollywood, and the casino is a short walk away. The location really offers the best of both worlds, close enough to the casino, yet just far enough from the strip to allow you to detach yourself from the mayhem.

Overall, Elara was a nice place to stay. I would have no reservations about staying there again, but I would like to see them address the issues with the "pool police, and provide complimentary internet access. Unfortunately, and mainly for these reasons, I would not actively seek out Elara when I am next in Vegas because there are many other options available

Room Tip: Ask for a high floor - great views on either side!
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2012

I cannot comment on the value of this hotel because I was taken here as a birthday surprise but having stayed in Las Vegas a few times, I can compare some of the services.
Be aware that this hotel's check in time is 4pm and their check out time is 10AM! I have never heard of a hotel with such an early check out, especially in Vegas. They do not offer a later check out option but we simply checked out on the TV in our room at 10 and then continued packing up at a leisurely pace before exiting the hotel around 11:30ish.
As for check IN, we had arrived in Las Vegas at 9:30am and were hoping that they might be able to get a room for us before 4pm. NOT THE CASE. Unfortunately the front desk people made no effort to attempt to get us a room. That being said, we were staying in a 2bdrm suite which they said required more time for them to get ready for us.

The rooms themselves are absolutely beautiful. Floor to ceiling windows, modern decor, great amenities, and the pull down shades with projector television was just an added bonus. Great for watching some Olympics as we got ready for the day. We had absolutely no complaints about the room. We slept 6 people in the 2 bdrm suite and everyone was extremely comfortable, even the 2 on the pull out couch.

The location of the hotel itself was a bit off the strip. It attaches to Las Vegas BLvd through the mall. Some people may find this a bit annoying. It certainly added a bit more walking but if you like shopping, then its not a big deal. Its not a particularly fancy mall, if you're looking for the Tiffanys, Cartier, Coach, etc etc then head across the street to Aria or to the Forum Shops at Caesar's (I find this to be the best shopping). There are a few restaurants in the Miracle Mile mall that you can eat at, but no fine dining. Mostly mexican joints and a few bars. I would suggest eating meals off the Planet Hollywood property. The hotel is essentially across the street from Cosmo and Aria and we had much better food there.

The pool at this resort is very nice but nothing extremely fancy. We were there Sun-Wed and it was pretty low key. The lifeguard told us they tried having pool parties with a DJ, etc but there were too many drunk problems so they don't do it anymore. Pool side food was very good and surprisingly not a rip off, though the booze is obviously expensive. You can't bring your own food or drink to the pool either, they check all bags! Tough to find shade around the pool unless you rent a cabana.

Other things: there is no resort fee at this hotel but they then charge for everything including LOCAL calls. I was really disgusted at this. $1 per local call. Give me a break. There is no included wifi in some rooms (including the 2bdrm suite we were in) so I'm not sure where there is any free wifi. If you want to check in to your flight or print boarding passes you will need to buy internet time and pay for printing (my previous stays in Vegas, the concierge at other hotels has done all this for me complimentary!)

Thats all I can think of for now. It was a good hotel, but if given the choice, I would not stay here again. I prefer to stay closer to the strip, with a casino directly attached and better restaurants nearby. Also a better check in/check out time would have been greatly appreciated.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
137 reviews 137 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2012

I'm a Hilton Diamond member and try hard to stay in Hiltons in whatever city I stay. I was happy to see this hotel open up right off the strip. I had a convention in Paris and this hotel was an easy walk each morning. The room I stayed in was a junior suite and had an awesome view of the strip. I enjoyed the huge wrap around couch and drop down projection TV screen that had to be something like 12 feet wide by 9 feet tall. Awesome. There was a nice jacuzzi tub for two in the room as well which was great. No executive lounge but I was told that's in the works. Nice pool. Room service food was rather poor, that was my only downside comment. This hotel is an easy inside walk to the the Miracle Mile Shops and the Planet Hollywood hotel. I'd come back.

Room Tip: Get a room as high as you can for the best views.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2012

This was my 2nd stay at this hotel & it was again wonderful! We arrived early & were allowed to check in at no add'l cost. Our room was very clean and 5 star all the way. The pool area was really nice. The issues I had was to rent the cabanna was a little on the expensive & the wireless is terrible. The Valet guys are top notch and just really cool people. I've stayed in many hotels in Vegas but Elara (PH Towers) is top on my list!

Room Tip: A cabanna is a must for the pool in July/August!!
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2012

We had two 1 bedroom suites booked for a 6 night stay in July.

Check in.

First impressions were very positive. The ladty at checkin was personable and helpful, and the check in area was bright and airy, calm and nicely decorated.

Rooms.

The rooms are laid out with a kitchen and bar area, lounge with a large "L shaped" sofa and HDTV. The main blackout blind also doubles as a giant projector screen. The bedroom has a huge, comfy bed, chaise lounge and jacuzzi tub, and there is a large bathroom with walk in shower. The decore was very "Vegas". Trendy,lots of red and black, and nicely finished but it did look like it may not last as well as it could. For a new hotel there were already some signs of required maintenence. We had a great view from the 18th floor. Our only issue was one night when the a/c stopped working, as you can imagine this is not ideal if you are in Vegas in July!

The other negative was the wireless internet. In 2012 no decent hotel should be charging $10 per day for internet access, much less a condo hotel which almost always provide complimentary Wifi. Even worse, the Elara in its wisdom charges per DEVICE!. This is a disgrace and, regretably, will put me off staying there again

Amenties.

I used the gym. Good selection of equipment. New. also had free weights and space to use them. The pool was very nice. Never to hard to get a lounger, even on weekends. Some shade available, and there are some nice shallow shelves around the outside. The one drawback to the pool were the "pool police". These are the lifeguards that search your bags for drinks and such before you access the pool area, they then issue a rigorous set of rules, including how you are allowed to move your lounger!. We used a tennis ball to throw around for a while until the "police" spotted us - we were the only ones in the pool at the time.

The irritating thing about these rules is that there is no other reason for not allowing your own drinks around the pool except to make you buy from the bar - and at $4 for a coke it gets expensive. If the Signature and many others let you take your own drink, whats the problem?

Location.

The location is great. Road access is via Harmon ave which is easier than having to go down the strip. The hotel has direct access to the Miracle mile shops at Planet Hollywood, and the casino is a short walk away. The location really offers the best of both worlds, close enough to the casino, yet just far enough from the strip to allow you to detach yourself from the mayhem.

Overall, Elara was a nice place to stay. I would have no reservations about staying there again, but, for reasons that would be easy to rectify, neither would I actively seek out Elara as one of my preferred choices.

Room Tip: Ask at check in for a high floor - there are some great views to be had!
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2012 via mobile

Ok, so I studied all reviews posted here and approached trip with trepidation. Almost stayed elsewhere but the benefits (read, location and convenience) of Elara caused me to roll dice. Glad that I did. I don't doubt the prior negative reviews, but i quickly got impression that new owner Hilton was working diligently to resolve. I found check-in easy and all staff to be pleasant and helpful. The elevator experience was a bit of a hassle but certainly worth the added layer of security. Rooms were fantastic (we had 2 bedroom but kids slept on couch to enjoy huge projection TV). Pool seemed ample in size over a weekend stay. We rented a cabana, which was wonderful, although the haggling over price is VERY distasteful. Sort of like negotiating to buy a car without the new car smell. Elara should just post rates and stick to them. I know that I got screwed with my agreed-upon price based upon what later guests were charged, which leaves bad taste. Oh well.

Convenience of attached mall was huge for this family stay, and the PH casino served our gambling purposes (although I will agree with prior posts that PH seems smokier than other casinos on the strip). My one big recommendation to Elara would be to greatly tighten security around cleaning of rooms. Because the rooms are so big, theft potential is big issue. While housekeeping was at my room, I was able to walk in, change clothes, grab soda from frig and leave without notice. Not good. Any passing stranger could have strolled into room and grabbed my laptop and possibly other valuables (note I had cash and other small items in safe but hard to fit laptop in hotel safe), had a quick beer and wondered off without being noticed by housekeeping. My suggestion would be easy...wheel the housekeeping cart ALL THE WAY into the room and close door behind. Security issue solved and doesn't seem hard.

I will be happy to accept my bonus stay when Elara adopts my recommendation.

Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hiltongrandvacations, Manager at Elara, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club - Center Strip, responded to this review, August 20, 2012
Thank you for providing your feedback regarding your recent stay with us. First let me thank you for the great comments regarding your check in experience and the room quality. I would like to take a moment to address some concerns that you did have regarding your stay. The first issue was regarding the cabana prices. We do have very clear cut pricing on cabanas and days beds the only time that these prices ever change is halfway through the day when discount them by 50% because they are no longer able to be utilized for the entire day. The next is your suggestion regarding the housekeeping team and the security concerns with the door being left open. I certainly concerns us as a leadership team that you were able to enter your room without them noticing. We have taken your suggestion very seriously and currently looking at a variety of options to the respect of not keeping the guests room door open during cleaning.

Dana George
AGM Customer Service
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2012

Overall, this was a very nice hotel. Rooms are swanky, and look just like the pictures on this site and videos on youtube. Walk to the strip takes about 10mins. The walk to the mall is 2 minutes. I would stay here again. Pool could be better. Wireless was not very good.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Elara, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club - Center Strip

Address: 80 E. Harmon Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89109 (Formerly Planet Hollywood Towers)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Nevada > Las Vegas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#17 Luxury Hotel in Las Vegas
#24 Romantic Hotel in Las Vegas
#26 Family Hotel in Las Vegas
#35 Business Hotel in Las Vegas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Elara, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club - Center Strip 4.5*
Number of rooms: 1201
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ideally located in the heart of the most desirable location in Las Vegas, Elara, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club-Center Strip, provides an unrivaled resort setting. Towering over the center of the Las Vegas strip, the sleek 52-story tower is adjacent to the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino complex and offers adjoining access to the 170+ shops and restaurants in the Miracle Mile. Just across the street, find the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and City Center to experience the best of Las Vegas. The hotel is also conveniently located to the I-15 freeway and only four miles from McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas Executive Air Terminal and Signature Flight Support. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Planet Hollywood Towers Hotel Las Vegas

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