My review of the Four Seasons Las Vegas hotel – is it worth the splurge?

For my three nights in Las Vegas, I booked myself into the luxurious Four Seasons Las Vegas hotel.  Here is my review of the Four Seasons Las Vegas along with a selection of photographs.

Hotels in Las Vegas are b-i-g.  The Mandalay Bay, where my conference was being held, has over 3000 rooms.  If you include the Delano – officially part of the same complex but in its own tower – it has over 4000 rooms.  The Four Seasons Las Vegas also operates as part of the Mandalay Bay complex.

Even that is a bit puny by Vegas standards.  This Wikipedia list of the largest hotels in the world features six Las Vegas hotels in the top 10.  The Mandalay Bay can only squeeze in to number 8.

Four Seasons Las Vegas exterior

These hotels typically run at over 90% occupancy, and effectively 100% at weekends.  Can you imagine what it is like checking in, going to the breakfast buffet or getting a lounger at the pool in a property with over 4000 rooms?!

Add in the fact that I was only there for three nights and flying directly in from London, it seemed stressful.  There was an alternative, though.

The top five floors of the Mandalay Bay operate as the luxury Four Seasons  Las Vegas hotel.  It has its own separate entrance and its own quiet swimming pool (below) and restaurants.  An unmarked (well, almost unmarked) door gets you onto the casino floor at the Mandalay Bay.

Four Seasons Las Vegas pool review

The key selling point of the Four Seasons is that it is like a ‘normal’ hotel! Instant check-in, instant check-out.  No problem getting a spot by the pool (they even remember your name).  No queue at the restaurant.  For Las Vegas, these things are unheard of!

The rooms have recently been refurbished.  My suite was impressively done, although it could have done with some additional lighting:

Four Seasons Las Vegas hallway review

Four Seasons Las Vegas suite living room review

Four Seasons Las Vegas bedroom review

Four Seasons Las Vegas bedroom 2 review

Four Seasons Las Vegas bathroom review

Four Seasons Las Vegas view review

You can’t really fault the rooms.  However, it is a ‘Four Seasons Lite’ property – George V in Paris it is not.  The layout of the property and pool feels like a compromise because they had to share the available space with the far bigger Mandalay Bay.  The walk from the hotel lobby to the lifts is ludicrously long, for example.

Some other niggles could have been fixed.  The weather was hitting 35 degrees when I was there, but I didn’t get any free water in my room.  (I did a small bottle for free at check-in.)  They were happy to sell me overpriced water in the minibar though.

There is also, as with most hotels in Vegas, a $28 inc tax ‘resort fee’ added to your bill each day.  This is effectively an additional room rate charge – the hotel argues that it includes the hotel wi-fi, but Four Seasons wi-fi is usually free for suite guests anyway.

When I asked to use a computer for a few minutes, I discovered that the Four Seasons Las Vegas has no business centre (and this is effectively a business hotel for many of the guests).  I was directed to a wall-mounted terminal next to a pay phone which had to be used standing up and which cost $1 per minute.  Luckily I found a FedEx office in the Mandalay Bay where I could sit in a cubicle with a proper PC for 40c per minute.

Should you stay here?  I think you know in your heart if it’s for you or not.  For some people, part of the Vegas experience is being in a hotel with 3000 rooms, walking through a casino to get to the lifts, having loud music playing in the pool area and joining hundreds of others for a monumental breakfast buffet.  I have done that myself in the past.

I may even have done it this time if I had been there midweek when it is quieter.  My main focus this time, though, was to be able to relax in the few quiet hours I could eke out around the conference.  The Four Seasons Las Vegas did the job from that point of view.

(If you want to compare the Four Seasons with the main Mandalay Bay property, Brian Cohen wrote a review of his room on his blog here.)

There is a Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas now with no casino.   The Vdara boutique hotel, in the same complex as the Mandarin, is also casino-free.  The trade off is that rooms in the casino hotels are hugely subsidised – on the Sunday I left, the Luxor hotel next to the Mandalay Bay had rooms on hotels.com for £34 (plus resort fee).  The price gap between the casino and non-casino hotels means that peace and quiet comes at a cost.

PS.  I booked the hotel via hotels.com.  It had a ‘3 nights for the price of 2’ deal which was not available on the Four Seasons website.  I will get a further 10% back via their Welcome Rewards programme assuming I can get to 10 nights before they devalue their scheme.  The net cost was about 65% less than we pay for a similar sized room at Four Seasons Hampshire, which partially explains the ‘Four Seasons Lite’ nature of the hotel.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  To see our complete list of promotions from the major chains, click here to visit our ‘Hotel Promos’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

What Nick did when he won our Melia competition
Google Flights .... slowly becoming interesting
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Comments

  1. “A few years ago, the top five floors of the Mandalay Bay were converted into a luxury Four Seasons hotel.”

    Not sure where you got that information from but the Four Seasons has occupied these floor in Mandalay Bay since both hotels first opened in March 1999.

    I stayed at this hotel a few years ago and it was this only time I’ve returned to check-in to request a different room. It really sounded like other guests walking to the lifts were actually in my room as I could hear the talking so clearly.

    I quite enjoyed the rather attractive girls who circulate by the pool offering to give your sunglasses a clean, spray you with water and take food/drinks orders. However, I preferred the superior (although more densely populated) MB pool. I’m sure it would also be preferred by a family of four!

  2. We stayed there a few years ago with the family on a 50% rate and got upgraded to the Penthouse Suite for a week, so no complaints there! Loved the hotel and we had the ability to slip into the Mandalay Bay very easily. There are glitzier hotels, but this had a degree of refinement and peace, which is hard to find in the mega hotels, yet if you want the excitement of such, they are only seconds away.

  3. Being 20 floors up in a +4000 room resort hotel is my idea of hell.
    This is more my thing
    http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g2334950-d3840088-Reviews-Cressida_Cyrus-Palolem_Canacona_Goa.html

  4. There is always haggling to be done. We stayed there for under £800 for 8 nights via a site in the U.K. Noticed that there was a valet charge of $19 and resort fee of $24 a night , emailed the hotel saying that we were thinking of cancelling the booking and got all the charges deducted. We even got offered 2 free nights when our key card kept failing (4 times)

    • BTW one of the best dining deals in Vegas is the Tribute to MJ menu in Charlie Palmers, 3 courses, bottomless wine pairings for $59

  5. Have not stayed here as a bit to far up the strip and I prefer Mandarin Oriental Hotel,But did go for dinner here by the pool couple of years ago and the food was lovely.

    I also do not like the huge hotels I like to walk through them but not to stay in.

  6. What's The Point says:

    Maybe not up their for glamour, but if you want a peaceful escape from the Strip you can’t go wrong at the Staybridge Suites. No slots either!

  7. Never stayed there but stayed at Vdara last visit. A non casino hotel suited us very well. The lifts were just a normal walk from reception and no overpowering cigarette smell. We had a suite with a small kitchenette and a separate loo as well as a bathroom. Would have been snug for four but lovely for two. Aria was a few metres away when we wanted a casino. It was very quiet as the bedroom was furthest away from the corridor. We overlooked Aria and, on our 1st night, a shooting occurred outside there. We slept through it all.

  8. What's The Point says:

    The two Hilton Grand Vacations down the end of the Strip are pretty good as well for no slots and noise. Although maybe a little dated inside.

  9. We stayed at the Vdara in July, great hotel. Very unassuming, casino free, smoke free, very relaxed pool area and a short walk to all the action… which is why I chose it. When we booked it was substantially cheaper than hotels like Aria, Cosmopolitan, Venetian, Bellagio, etc.. The $20 trick at check-in got us an upgrade to a Bellagio fountain view room, which was a nice bonus. I have heard of lots of people negotiating to reduce the resort fee, but I forgot all about that.

  10. Hi Rob,

    Always been wanting to mention this: I am always shocked/surprised that you often mention using the PC facilities in lounges/hotels. Surely you can go with an ipad or even a tiny laptop. Those public machines are infested with all sorts of malware/key logging software / viruses. Hell, even the keyboards must be filth!

  11. I’m heading to Vegas next September. Think I’ll stay at Hilton at flamingo as my diamond status will get breakfast for all 4 of us, upgrade and I think it has a lounge too.

  12. We go to Vegas every year and now always stay at the signature at MGM. Reasonably priced it is an oasis in the hussle of Vegas, private pool area is fantastic but you can still use the massive MGM pool; complex as well.

    Would definitely recommend.

  13. On my recent status run with two overnights in Vegas I found a Monday night at the off-strip Hard Rock Hotel for around £30 through American Express Travel (bookable online as a Platinum cardholder). When checking the small print I discovered that NO RESORT FEE would be payable by a non-US resident on the rate – and took a screengrab to back it up. When I arrived at the hotel I was about to be charged the fee when the check-in agent stopped herself after seeing something on-screen. I was also upgraded to a corner suite in their upper tier HRH Tower – great, but I was only in the building for seven hours before heading back to the airport, which is about a $12-15 taxi ride away without traffic.