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November 23, 2014

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The Strip:

Delano Las Vegas opens with South Beach chic, no gaming and no smoking

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Christopher DeVargas

Chuck Bowling, president and COO, Mandalay Bay; Josh Fluhr, COO, Morgans Hotel Group; Matthew Chilton, general manager, Delano Las Vegas; Corey Sanders, COO, MGM Resorts International; and employees cut the ribbon to officially open Delano Las Vegas on Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014.

Delano Las Vegas Ribbon Cutting

Matther Chilton, general manager of Delano Las Vegas, welcomes the public to see the new hotel during a ceremonial opening Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014. Launch slideshow »

Delano Las Vegas/Christopher Rauschnot @24KMedia on Twitter

Delano Las Vegas

For years the maxim for Las Vegas was “if you build it, they will come,” but now there’s a new era. The old is going new with startling transformations. Today, the all-suite Delano Las Vegas debuts at Mandalay Bay in a $100 million makeover of the former The Hotel at Mandalay Bay that began in April.

Delano Las Vegas follows this year’s $200 million makeover of Barbary Coast, which became Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon before its incarnation as the Cromwell, along with Sam Nazarian’s $400 million gamble transforming the old Sahara into the new and chic SLS Las Vegas. Next up: Starting Oct. 30, the $223 million Linq overhaul from the Quad, the original Imperial Palace.

The arrival of the luxurious Delano boutique property brings the glamour and celebrity of Miami’s South Beach to the Strip for the first time. Executives and employees of MGM Resorts, the owner of Mandalay Bay, and Morgans Hotel Group, owner of the Delano brand, officially unveiled the Strip’s newest hotel. Guests are staying in the new rooms before the official grand opening Sept. 18.

“This marks a new chapter in the Las Vegas hotel experience ushering in elevated levels of personalized service, style and attention to detail,” said Delano Las Vegas General Manager Matthew Chilton. “We’re challenging the quintessential over-the-top Las Vegas experience by introducing a new brand focused on understated luxury, appealing to in-the-know travelers.” Matt penned a guest column last month in my absence on vacation.

There’s a desert theme to the new, nearly all-white 1,100 all-suite property with its floor-to-ceiling windows and 3940 Coffee + Tea cafe. That divided boulder, part of the elaborate stone entry, is from the Mojave Desert signaling that it’s more than just a Miami vibe and style unlike any hotel on the Strip.

Guests walk between the 126,000-pound boulder carefully and painstakingly divided in half. It’s a beautiful decompression and transition from the hustle-and-bustle of the Strip into a serene environment with the rock becoming an art piece with a color palette of yellow, orange and gray to complement the lobby design.

It’s more than 150 million years old and composed of metaquartzite. It took a 240-ton hydraulic crane to lift it onto a truck in Jean to transport it to Mandalay Bay. One half weighs 77,000 pounds, and the other weighs 49,000 pounds standing 12 feet in length and 8-foot-10 in height.

Matt added: “I’ve been involved in our Las Vegas hospitality scene since I was 15 years old, so I’m incredibly proud that I was asked to lead the team bringing the Delano Las Vegas vision to life as the property’s general manager.

“It transports the brand’s chic South Beach style to the magnificent Las Vegas Strip with a playful, energetic atmosphere of understated elegance offering dynamic public spaces, eclectic bars and lounges, delicious food-and-beverage offerings, a serene spa and more than 1,000 luxurious suites.

Preview of the Delano

A first look at the guest suites at Delano Las Vegas, Wednesday April 30, 2014. Delano Las Vegas, a South Beach style hotel experience, will have its grand opening in September of 2014. Launch slideshow »

Delano Las Vegas Renderings

Renderings of Delano Las Vegas, which is taking over the site of The Hotel at Mandalay Bay. Launch slideshow »

“Along with unique guest experiences and superior service, one of the most intriguing aspects of Delano Las Vegas will be the energetic, intimate vibe that guests will encounter the moment they arrive. In an age when social media and digital devices have become all consuming, Delano will offer social hubs where guests can interact and engage face-to-face.

“The sleek new lobby welcomes guests through the hotel’s striking stone entry and wood-slatted gate. A mirrored walkway, featuring colors and textures inspired by the layered landscape of the Mojave Desert, will lead guests toward a sleek black reception desk.

“Desert artwork and stone features are on display in the lobby and public hotel walkways set out on the route of the Colorado River. Korean artist Jaehyo Lee created a suspended art piece hanging from the ceiling made up of hundreds of small rocks.

“Bright and airy, each suite boasts one of the largest standard room square footages of any hotel in the city at 725 square feet with private bedrooms and spacious living areas. The decor features whites and neutrals with playful gold accents and floor-to-ceiling windows that show off stunning views of the Las Vegas skyline.

“Our Bathhouse Spa will introduce several signature Delano Las Vegas treatments, and our private pool Delano Beach Club will open in time for the 2015 pool season. The Delano is its own unique destination, but our guests will have convenient and direct access to the many incredible venues and amenities at Mandalay Bay.”

Out-of-towners might be surprised to learn that the Delano is a nonsmoking, nongaming hotel. There’s not a slot machine or blackjack table to be found. Delano regulars will be delighted with how the Miami hotel’s “white” look and underwater photos have been incorporated into the new Las Vegas sister property.

Jason Kalisman, chairman of the board of directors at Morgans Hotel Group, stated, “The arrival of Delano to the Las Vegas Strip is a historic moment for us. A Delano is so much more than just a physical structure; it is a special experience that transports guests into a world that combines fantasy and modern luxury. We are excited and honored to be partnering with MGM Resorts in bringing this unique lifestyle brand to the Las Vegas Strip.”

Matt explained the reasoning behind the makeover of The Hotel, which was added to Mandalay Bay in 2003: “At the same time as detaching it a little from Mandalay Bay, it now has its own real voice and branding message.“

The lobby area includes a new restaurant — the 140-seat farmhouse to urban eatery Della’s Kitchen, the Franklin lobby bar and 3940 Coffee + Tea. Next year, the Mix rooftop restaurant by Alain Ducasse will be transformed into his French and Italian cuisine concept Rivea, the third following in the footsteps of locations in London and St. Tropez.

The magic vibes and pulsating energy of Miami have officially arrived in the desert with today’s official soft opening of Delano Las Vegas.

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.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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