Speak to anyone who's visited Resorts World Las Vegas, and you're most likely to hear these two observations: 1) It's too spread out, and 2) It feels like a shopping mall. Both opinions are entirely valid, reflecting the fact that as a luxury destination, Resorts World is an utter failure. Yes, already.
A great deal of the blame for this poor layout can be attributed to the fact that it was built on the remains of a long-canceled project. The new builders created updated plans then continually whittled away at them during the redesign and construction phases. What remains is this over here, that over there, and huge spaces in between. You can read my take on the overall resort by reading part one of this report. And now we cover my actual stay in a Hilton "City View" room.
If you arrive by car, know that there are two parking garages. The one on the south end of the property (nearest Trump Tower) is primarily intended for short-term visitors. The second one services the hotel itself and is located on the northwest corner of the property. Whichever you choose, know that you will be walking a very long distance. The advantage of the hotel garage is that the journey is indoors, albeit through one long corridor after another. You'll enter the building near the showroom, take a left when you encounter the casino, stroll past the unattended security desk, then continue on your trek.
Once you finally arrive at the hotel, know that there are 3,500 rooms operating under THREE separate divisions: Hilton, Crockfords, and Conrad, aka the "three wise men". I was booked through Hilton, which is the first lobby encountered. Take note that there are separate check-in areas for the other two. An elderly gentleman ahead of me made the mistake of standing in the wrong line. After 40 or so minutes of waiting, he was directed to a different corridor, and presumably another next long wait.
Despite the fact that automated check-in kiosks have become the norm in this era of no-contact and understaffing, there was no such option here. The line was separated into regular and VIP guests, with one agent manning VIP and between two and four staffers in the primary line (they kept disappearing and reappearing). Signs offered you the option to avoid waiting by downloading the Hilton Honors mobile app, which I attempted to do. Unfortunately, I couldn't remember the password to my existing account.
Instead of providing a link to reset the password, I was directed to speak to an agent by phone...in order to use an automated system and avoid speaking to the agents already in front of me. You can rightly assume that the hotline would be "experiencing higher than normal call volume". So I continued to wait, deleted the app, and was glad that I did (more on that later).
My reservation called for a Deluxe Room, which is fancy-speak for "bottom tier". These come in three choices of regular, "City View" and "Strip view", with slight variations in price. The agent informed me that my option was currently sold out, so she upgraded me to City View #30-369, then directed me to the elevator banks. There was no discussion of amenities, workout facilities, checkout time, or dining suggestions. Instead, she cautioned me against using the casino garage if I'd come by car (too late!). "It's not marked very well", she confided.
The gentlemen in my elevator were dressed in suits and apparently knew each other. Their conversation involved problems with reservations and rooms. Naturally, I butted in and asked if they were having issues. "That's all we've had since we arrived" one replied. "This place is a f*cking joke and we're never booking here again". I'd hear similar comments at least twice more before my stay was over.
Before you consider calling this report "hyper-critical", it's important to keep in mind the magnitude of this resort, the worldwide attention it has received, and the record-setting cost of $4.3 billion. And yet, nothing screams "spectacular" at all. The walls, floor coverings, and decor in its common areas could easily be found at a newer Homewood Suites or Doubletree. This is no Wynn/Encore, or even remotely close.
That same statement applies to my room, which definitely was basic. Despite efforts in the hospitality industry to provide guests with hi-tech temperature control systems, voice-activated features, and other "smart" technology, none of that was present here besides the television. Not even electronically-controlled drapes, which Palazzo included in their construction thirteen years ago. And the furniture looks dorm-room cheap. IKEA cheap.
The Resorts World Hilton Deluxe King Room gives you a paltry 400 square feet of space. Compare those dimensions to the most basic accommodations at Wynn (640 sq. ft.), Aria (520 sq. ft.), Cosmopolitan (460 sq. ft.), Bellagio (510 sq. ft.), Venetian (650 sq. ft.), or even the aging Rio (500 sq. ft.) and you'll agree that they really skimped on space. Knowing that the property sits on 87 acres, most of it unused...you may be asking yourself "why?".
There was a small table and upholstered chair against the window. Inside the closet were an iron, ironing board, and a single luggage rack. The bathroom is also basic but modern, with a walk-in shower and pump dispensers for lotion and cleansers. Unlike other Vegas hotels in which dispenser bottles are secured in locked holders to ward off pranksters, these ones can be tampered with. So use the provided toiletries at your own risk.
Other in-room amenities include a mini-bar, digital clock, and supposedly a safe (which I never found). There is a small refrigerator for guests but be warned that if you leave anything behind in the mini-bar, you will be charged $25 for housekeeping to remove it. Nothing says "hospitality" like being charged for a hotel to throw your shit away. They'll also charge you an extra $50 if you want to check in before 3 pm.
$25 charge if you leave something behind.
Use at your own risk.
Already underwhelmed by accommodations at the "hottest resort in the city", I checked out the most important feature...the bed. A king-sized mattress, four pillows, and bedding were indeed absolute bliss, so I was sure to sleep well that night. There were no extra pillows or blankets in the closet.
Having plenty of USB and standard power outlets on each side of the bed was nice, but also to be expected in this day of electronic dependence. The absence of a desk in a hotel situated across from the Las Vegas Convention Center was odd and an unfortunate misstep. At least wi-fi was fast and steady.
Another important factor for many Vegas visitors is the view from their room. Since I'd received an upgraded sightline, I was eager to check it out. What I saw was less than spectacular. Stripper clubs, porn shops, an industrial section of town, and directly below me, an incomplete Resorts World structure that was wrapped in already-torn canvas. Remember, you'd normally pay extra to experience these sights. Just lovely.
The standard rate for a Deluxe King Room starts at $135.00, but that has already plummeted due to poor occupancy. I was able to reserve for only $29.00 through Agoda.com. A mandatory daily resort fee of $45 plus tax is added, which includes 5G internet access for up to eight devices, smart TV casting ability, and a host of insipid and worthless perks: 10% off spa or fitness retail, 5% off spa or fitness treatments, 5% off cabana experience, 5% off 2 pool chair experience, and unlimited local and toll-free calls.
Directly across the street from Resorts World northwest entrance
Parking is currently free, but kiss that goodbye soon.
As I headed down to explore the rest of the property (covered here), I struck up a conversation with a guest who looked upset. It seems that the electronic room key feature on her Hilton Honors app had malfunctioned, meaning that security measures prevented the lady from accessing her floor. So she was just riding up and down, waiting for someone else to get off at level 26. I asked why she didn't just go to the lobby for an actual key card. "Have you seen that line?" she asked. Yes, I had.
As I exited the elevator, I wished the frustrated guest good luck. "Yeah, right. I'm never staying in this f*cking place again". Somehow I knew she was going to say that.