Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 | 4:06 p.m.
When the new Gansevoort Hotel opens on the Strip next April, it will be the first true boutique lifestyle hotel with just 188 rooms and 19 suites. Nightlife czar Victor Drai will have three clubs on the property, and celebrity chef Giada de Laurentis will open her first restaurant there.
"It's a very unique perspective for the Strip," Gansevoort founder and President Michael Achenbaum said as he showed me the final plans for the property, at the crossroads of Bally’s, Bellagio and Caesars Palace on Flamingo Road. Last night's official unveiling of the new renderings confirmed all our previous Vegas DeLuxe exclusives about the project.
"Everybody who stays with us will feel and be treated like a high roller VIP. The moment you walk in, it will be different. We're not into convention, crowds and cattle."
His flourishing Gansevoort brand has already won five-star awards since launching in 2004. There are two luxury hotels in Manhattan and a third in the Turks & Caicos Caribbean islands. The Las Vegas outpost will be his fourth but the first with a casino that spans 40,000 square feet.
"It took me eight years to find the right partnership for Las Vegas," he said. "We had opportunities, but nothing felt right, or negotiations went south pretty quickly. A chance meeting with Caesars Entertainment bankers finally clicked and we had the entire deal all wrapped up within eight months. I'm assured we will be open in April."
Caesars and Gansevoort are partners in the hotel and casino operations. Caesars is partners with Victor on the nightclubs and Giada on the restaurant.
"Everything is designed to be built so our hotel guest never has to run into casino players or nightlife crowds. Everything is separate, although you don't think of it that way," Michael said.
"The luxury rooms are all styled as Parisian apartments with a lot of rich colors, leathers and velvets. Each has a pink ottoman clothed in a leather girdle for the ladies to sit on while doing their makeup. We know every guest will use Twitter or Instagram to post photos of that!
"Immediately after walking into the hotel's front door, you've got the intimate lobby, a stunning lobby bar and ultralounge with the elevator to the suites without having to walk for miles through a casino. At Gansevoort Las Vegas, you will never have to leave your room for anything if you don't want to. We will bring everything to you. The thinking was that if you don't want to hear the nightclub crowds and DJs, you won't. If you don't want to eat at the restaurant, we'll bring it to you. If you don't want to gamble, you're set apart from it. We are the only standalone boutique resort on the Strip with an exceptionally high standard of style and service that redefines the Vegas stay.
"Think intimacy where your name and individual needs are known to our staff. You are not an anonymous part of the Unknown Hotel Guest syndrome."
"There's no other hotel on the Strip like this one. Even the new ones under construction still have 2,000 rooms to fill with the long casino walk. We have 188 keys — and the ultimate in luxury and serenity in the best location in the heart of Las Vegas, if not the country, if not the world. We are at the crossroads of the world's gaming capital, where more than 20 million people pass every year."
Victor said that guests in the rooftop clubs will party closer to the Bellagio fountains than their hotel guests. He promises that the views from the eighth floor are "breathtaking."
"The pool club will run from morning to evening, and the nightclub will go from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.," Victor said. "My original after hours club in the lower level under the casino floor (which has been a unique, 15-year success story) will re-open at the same time as the hotel in April, and that will go from 3 a.m. until maybe 10-11 a.m. So, yes, we'll be providing that environment right around the clock, 24 hours."
We first reported Victor's plans as far back as Aug. 27, 2010.
"Vegas nightlife is still growing and exploding," Victor said. "It will get way bigger than it is already. Vegas will be known as the No. 1 nightlife destination in the world. It's not necessarily about big name DJs with big salaries and high cover prices."
Hailed as "the father of Las Vegas nightlife," Victor created Tryst and XS for Steve Wynn at his Wynn and Encore hotels. "These new rooftop clubs will be unlike any other club venue in the world. I am thrilled to once again reinvigorate the nightlife scene where it all began. No other Strip hotel has its pool party on top of the skyline!"
Food Network superstar Giada's 10,000-square-foot, 300-seat restaurant, with its mix of Italian cuisine (embracing her birthplace of Rome) and lighter California influences, will feature an open kitchen on the second level above the casino floor. It extends over an adjacent pedestrian walkway, continuing the theme of the hotel's desire to provide maximum privacy and luxury for its guests.
Michael summed up: "The property has been totally transformed. It's an all-encompassing entertainment facility from top to bottom, with a magnificent original boutique hotel in between. We'll start accepting reservations three months before the actual opening date. Our room rates aren't set yet but will be slightly higher than standard charges because of the top level of luxury we're bringing to your city."
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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