Last week a friend and I decided to visit the new Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. (The plural “hotels”is on every Virgin luxury property and requires a large vocabulary and understanding of hotel economy to get the full picture). Before I go further, let me say that the areas we visited were quite lovely, much brighter and more welcoming than I remember at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, its predecessor.
Back to the vocabulary. The official name of the newly-renovated establishment is “Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, Curio Collection by Hilton”. (The Hilton “Curio” connection means that the property is a one-of-a-kind location and accepts Hilton Honors points.)
If you ask who operates the casino, the answer is “Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment“. THEN if you ask who actually owns the establishment as a whole, you get this answer: “JC Hospitality, LLC in partnership with Juniper Capital Partners and the Labourers International Union of North America (LiUNA). The investment as a whole is managed by Fengate Real Asset Investments working in conjucntion with their partners Dream, Cowie Capital Partners, Virgin Group, Orlando Development and other private investors.” Commit all this to memory and you can be a Jeopardy contestant.
For more simple folks, here’s the information you might want. The Virgin has three hotel towers and intermixes “a passion for food and beverage with music and culture.” At present, the property has no resort fee, free Wi-Fi and free self-parking. Valet parking costs $15. My friend and I found the garage and the free parking.
Walking into the casino area was almost a private experience as very few people had “found” the Virgin on a mid-week Wednesday following its March 25 Grand Opening. (A little bird mentioned to us during our visit that the Grand Opening might have been more newsworthy, “so we’re likely to have another opening celebration later.”)
In the meantime, as we walked around, we noticed, indeed, a one-of-a-kind decor and a bright modern clean feel to everything. We stopped for a drink at the Casa Calavera restaurant which had a lively Spanish decor and a number of customers. The Calavera is next to the pool area, still under renovation, and plenty of outdoor seating was available. We spoke to a man eating alone at the restaurant. He is a Hilton Honors member and that’s how he picked the Virgin. He said his room was very nice, and he was enjoying his stay. He wondered about the Virgin’s location, 4455 Paradise Road, a rather healthy walk to the Strip, but otherwise he was pleased.
Later on, we noted a huge limousine outside the exit entrance we were using. A newly-married middle-aged couple was checking in for a Vegas-style honeymoon. The woman said she had a host at the hotel who had made the arrangements.
I took photos during our visit, but they suffer from a lack of people in the pictures. Nonetheless, I offer the pictures.
I also recommend that locals and Las Vegas visitors visit the Virgin and look around. I think you’ll like the decor. If you sign up for a gambling card you may get (as we did) $5 in free play. I made $4 on my money. My friend made $3 — a nice return.
The Virgin Hotels Las Vegas has much more to offer than just a nice casino and 12 food and beverage venues. Space is available for outdoor events and for massive live music shows. We didn’t visit the entertainment areas, but as Vegas comes back, I’m sure we will.
In the meantime, a few more photos.