A major Las Vegas resort about a mile from the Strip with tons of bells and whistles but no resort fees? You bet!
Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, at the site of the former Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, debuted in March 2021 after a complete renovation overhaul. It’s hip and upbeat, with plenty of on-site dining, plus a casino and multiple outdoor pools… and room rates don’t include any extra resort fees for things like Wi-Fi, self-parking, and use of the fitness center that are so prevalent at other Las Vegas resorts.
To boot, this property is part of the Curio Collection by Hilton, so you can use your Hilton Honors points to stay here and benefit from other perks depending on your membership level.
Here’s a peek inside this affordable new Las Vegas hotel with the sleek desert vibe.
Rooms Are Modern With A Few Quirks
Hotel rooms are called “chambers” here, and there are 1,500 of them in three towers. Chamber decor is contemporary and minimal, with nods to the property’s desert surroundings. Shades of orange, rose, gold, and tan are found in chambers’ decorative accents. The white-walled rooms are light and airy.
A few odd things I found in the layout and furniture: First, the bed has “arms,” like a couch on either side of the head of the bed and one corner at the bed’s foot. My husband said it wasn’t easy reaching for a drink of water from the bedside table in the middle of the night. The upholstered “arm” was in the way.
Similarly, the large, red-orange, L-shaped couch in the room covered up the electrical plug/USB outlet closest to my side of the bed. I had to plug my phone in on another table steps away, overnight. (Not a dealbreaker, but I’m used to sleeping with it bedside!) I also much prefer to have a side table for a glass of water next to me. I feel like the furniture arrangement in our king chamber in the Canyon Tower wasn’t quite right.
Also to note: You won’t find a coffeemaker in the standard rooms, though they are in the suites according to the resort FAQ. (I will say, that feels counter to the resort’s marketing message of “no nickel and diming,” not a huge deal, in-room coffee is usually weak, anyway, but sometimes it’s nice to have a little jolt of caffeine ASAP upon waking.)
I did appreciate the spacious walk-in shower (no tub) with a generous supply of toiletries. There is a door that separates the sleeping/living area from the bathroom, open closets, and sit-down vanity with a lighted mirror, so there are options for privacy as needed (e.g., you get ready for a night out, while your travel partner continues to nap).
Dining And Drinking Options Abound
Restaurants at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas are plentiful; you could stay and eat here for several nights and not get bored.
My husband and I had a great Mexican meal at Casa Calavera. I recommend A) making dinner reservations (especially if seating is limited when it’s too hot to dine outside) and B) the chipotle bacon guacamole. Meal portions are generous, the bar scene is lively, and the ambiance is cool: lots of reclaimed wood, colorful ceramic tiles, and traditional altars and decorative painted skulls are on display.
Other options for meals include Todd English’s Olives, Nobu (as in named for chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa and co-owned by Robert De Niro), and One Steakhouse. There’s also Thai food at Night + Market, Italian food at Kassi Beach House, an American restaurant that’s open 24/7, and casual pizza, breakfast items, and ice cream to go. I liked that several of the restaurants open to expansive patios that face the pool — ideal for kicking back and relaxing in temperate weather (e.g., maybe not when temperatures regularly reach 100 degrees in July).
The Bar at Commons Club just off the main lobby is open 24/7 with specialty cocktails and a generous menu of wines by the glass and craft beer.
Adjacent to that space is the more intimate The Shag Room, which is decidedly groovy and sexy with its plush seating and dim lighting. I was sorry to miss “Boozy Tea-Time” with savory and sweet bites every Sunday afternoon.
What To Do At Virgin Hotels Las Vegas
At some of the sprawling properties on the Strip — I’m looking at you, MGM Grand and Caesars Palace — it can be quite a trek from your room to the casino or to the pool. But at this Virgin property, no matter which tower you’re staying in, you’re never too far from key amenities (though the Canyon Tower is probably most centrally located).
If you’re a gambler, the 60,000-square-foot casino has more than 650 slot machines and all your typical table and online games. There’s also a fitness center and spa on site. With multiple live-event spaces, including an expansive outdoor Event Lawn, chances are when you’re visiting, there will be a concert or other performance scheduled.
A centerpiece of the property is the resort pool, with sandy “beach” areas leading into the freeform pool that’s surrounded by palm trees and VIP cabanas and daybeds that cost extra. (We had no trouble finding free-to-use lounge chairs under an umbrella on one very hot day in June.) The scene here is decidedly family friendly, with plenty of small children wading and splashing in the shallow and sandy areas.
Next door to the Resort Pool is adults-only Elia Beach Club, where the party is Friday through Sunday. Here, it’s all about good vibes with two pools, an open-air entertainment stage for live performers, a DJ booth, and optional poolside bottle service. You’ll pay extra to enter the exclusive area, but if you’re in the mood to feel like a celebrity, a pricey couch, lounge, or cabana could be fun for day-into-night entertainment in glitzy Vegas.