Okay, so we'd stayed here earlier this year and we loved it so much, we went back again (7/3-7/5--this time with our kids, "16" & "10"). We actually had to talk ourselves out of visiting beautiful San Diego again, and one reason Las Vegas won (but doesn't it always?) was the Elara.
If you have kids--or even if you don't--there aren't too many hotels out there that give you as much a "cool factor" for your money as the Elara does. From the minute we first spotted it as we were on the strip---tall, sleek, glass building--the anticipation began.
We parked for free in the covered garage (btw, the lobby entrance is on the 3rd parking level, so keep that in mind if you've got several bags and don't intend on using valet) carried our bags down one flight of stairs--since we didn't know about the 3rd floor connection--walked into lobby and saw the long line--no problem. Being HHonors members, we have our own, shorter line. I've said it before and it's worth repeating: take the one or two minutes and sign up to become a member of your favorite hotel chain's loyalty program--it's free, you get little perks with just about every stay (from a free paper to room upgrades) and as you build up points--all depending on the frequency of your travel--you can get a free night or save them to take a dream vacation for free!! We stay mostly at Hilton hotels, but also belong to a few other chains as well for those times when Hilton hotels aren't available.
Speaking of upgrades, this was the one thing that disappointed me. When we visited in February, we received an upgrade from a studio room to a 1BR suite (due to "Gold" status), so naturally, I booked a studio again, hoping for the upgrade. Imagine my (unpleasant) surprise when I was told that they no longer offered the free upgrades for Gold members (all I could think was "no soup for you!"). However, a "Gold" perk was that the cost of the upgrade was discounted so we paid it in order to stay in a way more spacious and cooler room than the studio would've been. In fact, taxes included, and the fact that it was July 4th, the total we paid was around $370 for both nights--not a steal, but not unreasonable.
So why was the extra cost worth it? Why would you choose 115 degrees over 75 degrees? Why bring your kids to Vegas? If you read the review from our February trip, you can see how excited I was--and I'm old! Imagine how the boys reacted to a suite on the 50th floor, with 5 tv's--including the 12' HD projection and the one in the bathroom--shades that opened automatically when we first entered the room, the jet tub right next to the bed; walking right out into a mall and through the casino; and what ended up being an awesome private viewing area for the July 4th fireworks put on by Caesar's Palace (way cool seeing their entire building "disappear" as they turned off all outside lights just prior to starting the show).
Sure they weren't jumping on the bed and screaming like the (younger) kids in the suite next to us were, but by the amount of pictures they each took, you can tell they won't soon forget their "high roller" suite in Vegas! We all had a wonderful time. They slept in the living room (pullout sectional) with their blinds up and we had our own, private bedroom. The gym is on 4th floor and surprisingly big and well equipped. The pool renovations were complete (pool was closed in February), but, also surprisingly, closed super early at 8pm--it was still light out, and in my opinion, they could have kept it open until at least 9pm. Keep that in mind if having fun at the pool is something you look forward to during vacation.
Btw, I plan to review this later, but if I don't get to it--go see the Mac King magic show. It's at Harrah's and totally 100% family friendly--we had an awesome time and "10" even got picked to help! There are many discounts available online/brochures/those half-price ticket places/Harrah's, etc. so try not to pay full price (although even at full price, it's more affordable than many other shows/attractions).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ideally located in the heart of the most desirable location in Las Vegas, Elara by Hilton Grand Vacations 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