Hilton’s Waldorf Astoria hits Las Vegas as Mandarin Oriental gets rebranded

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If you were looking for a luxurious but quiet hotel option in Las Vegas, the options have historically been few. 

Even the Four Seasons Las Vegas, which I reviewed here, is effectively just an extension of the Mandalay Bay hotel which occupies the lower floors of the building.  Whilst Four Seasons has its own reception, restaurants and (modest) pool you are always aware that you are still part of a massive casino.

The Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas, which opened in 2009, was different.  It is part of a 47-floor tower block (reception is on the 23rd floor) but it is purely a mix of luxury hotel and apartments, not luxury hotel / mid-range hotel / casino as you get with Four Seasons.  It is exceptionally well regarded and one of only six hotels in the US to hold a ‘triple’ Forbes Five Star rating for its rooms and restaurants and spa.

Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas to rebrand as Waldorf Astoria

The CityCenter complex which includes the Mandarin Oriental has had a tangled history, being caught up in the financial crisis of 2007/8 which occurred during construction.  The project was eventually bailed out and, earlier this year, the owners – which included MGM – sold to an unknown group.

The new owners have decided to terminate Mandarin Oriental as operator of the hotel.  The good news, for anyone looking for a good way to use hotel points in Las Vegas, is that it will be replaced by Hilton’s Waldorf Astoria brand.

Waldorf Astoria opened a property in Beverly Hills in 2017 which has been a major critical success (never a given with any chain-owned luxury brand) so I have high hopes for this.

The hotel is not yet bookable on  The Mandarin Oriental lease ends on 30th August but – with a $50m renovation plan being reported – it isn’t clear if it will switch brands overnight or if it will close for a period to undergo a facelift.

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  1. Peter says:

    OT but was approved for Amex Gold rewards card, says in the blurb I can use it for Utility Bills which would be a help getting to minimum spend; any idea what utilities I can use it for? Council tax? Eon? EE? ????

    • Gareth says:

      Depends from one company to the next just need to call EE etc and ask. Council tax usually a no direct but I have success paying council tax at the paypoint at COOP using Amex

      • Peter says:

        Thanks Gareth, guess it’s a case of calling up and seeing what the score is with each company

      • EE takes Amex via their website. Just log in to your account.

    • Peter – pls post OTs in Bits if it’s available, thanks

      • peter says:

        didn’t realise you ran this site, I do apologise but it does seem like a free for all for OT, with no-one generally commenting on the articles.

        • TripRep is only repeating what has been common practice on this site for years and sarcasm doesn’t help anyone when asking for assistance.

        • peter says:

          after years of reading this site I’ve never noticed that OT is confirmed to the ‘Bits’ article, you do indeed live and learn, now you can get back in your box.

        • And you in yours – and perhaps not expect too much help in the future from long term commenters like TripRep. If you had been a long term reader you’d know about OTs.

        • Peter – apology accepted, enjoy your weekend.

        • I’ve been using this site for years. Genuinely didn’t know that OTs were supposed to go in ‘bits’ threads.

        • They’re not (at least as far as I’m concerned) but as the people who are most likely to reply tend to look there for people to help, you may be doing yourself a favour if you do.

      • Genghis says:

        Perhaps Rob should be the arbiter given it’s his site?

        • There is a convention but it is not one I ever created or sanctioned ….

        • Lumma says:

          I think it should be down to how off topic your question is. If you have a question about credit cards, then you’d be more likely to get a response from an article about credit cards than just putting it in bits.

          As this is about hotels and there’s no article about any cards today, it would’ve probably been advisable to post in bits. Although I don’t see why people get so angry about it

      • the_real_a says:

        Oh please! If you don’t like the comment move on…

      • Chris says:

        If whinging about where someone is posting a comment is the biggest concern in your life today, good luck to you.

    • Each company will have details of the payment methods they accept on the payment pages of their websites. Very few utility companies accept Amex. Our council accepts PayPal so I pay our council tax with Amex via that.

    • the_real_a says:

      You can often pay your utility bills via paypoint either via a barcode on your bill or by requesting a payment card from your supplier – which if you live in the right region your local co-op or supermarket will accept using your AMEX.

    • Jamoe says:

      Also if they don’t take amex directly, see if they take PayPal.

  2. Gareth says:

    I think any amendments would be a shame- stayed here several times and the relaxing atmosphere shines through with also a great deal to be had through virtuoso
    Also what’s the estimate for max points per night required on the Hilton Honors scheme?

    • I think the cap on standard rooms is 95,000 per night – at least that’s what Conrad rangali is. And 5 nights for the price of 4, so 380k for 5 for HH silver and above.

      The cap is then removed on non standard rooms.

  3. Hi Rob, the Four Seasons is not on the lower floors of the Mandalay Bay, it’s the top floors. Floors 35-39 to be exact. Yours, pedant. 🙂

    • Jonty says:

      That’s what the article states…the Mandalay is on the lower floors

    • You probably want to try reading the article again.

    • Mr(s) Entitled says:

      Article reads to me as the Mandalay Bay occupying the lower floors.

      I’ve stayed at the Four Seasons and I found it being part of a resort complex to be a virtue. You get all the benefits but have a quiet sanctum to withdraw to if/when required.

      Not sure the WA LAS would appeal to me. If I am seeking that kind of experience I am unlikely to be heading to Vegas in the first instance. Think I’ll stick with the Wynn and save my points for Hiltons where good quality hotels are not ten a penny.

  4. Saw this reflagging mentioned on LL & TPG a few days ago.

    As I thought at the time, I think I’ll be visiting the style of Waldorf’s that are more in keeping with an old historic building brought back to life as opposed to a gigantic brash new build.

    Rome, Amsterdam, Versailles and New Orleans look more my cup of tea.

    Was drinking Whisky cocktails in Peacock Alley at the Caley WA in Edinburgh this weekend, great setting. The head sommelier was slicing open champagne bottles with a Sabre that was just casually residing in its resting place on the cocktail bar. If your visiting Edinburgh it’s worth nipping in for a drink and a walk round, great building.

    • Rome Cav is outstanding, imperial floor is a must, worth it for prosecco on the balcony overlooking the city alone.

      Very ugly building from the outside though.

    • TripRep, you’re frequently in the Caley WA I believe? Do you live locally or stay overnight there?

  5. Spursdebs says:

    I’ve stayed at MO Las Vegas I loved the fact it was a retreat away from the hustle bustle and madness of Vegas. Also not having a casino meant no smell of smoke in the hotel. Went to four Seasons for dinner all I can remember of that was it’s right down end of strip and you went through Mandalay Bay to get there. I’ve not stayed at any Hilton’s as of yet but have some Amex points I’m considering transferring to their scheme once I’ve read up on it properly.

  6. MO was the best hotel in Vegas. I doubt Hilton will maintain the same extremely high standards.

    Even in the highend hotel within a hotel places like Aria SkySuites the service was not a patch on the MO.

  7. Can the Centurion lounge at McCarran (or any other LAS lounge) be used for arrivals into Vegas from T3? I know it needs a shuttle from T3 to T2 for departures but is it also possible to go there when arriving when there won’t be another flight after or does it require passing through a security check?

    • AndyR says:

      The shuttle from T3 to T1 is landside so don’t think you can. If you arrive in to T1 you can use the lounge.

  8. Chris Jarvis says:

    Stayed at the MO Vegas in April and it was wonderful and was going to be our goto place for future stays. Shame it will be going but I’m HH Gold so will see what the WA is like when it opens and reserve judgement till then.

  9. Michael C says:

    Anyone any views on the WA Orlando as an alternative to staying in a DIsney report? Cheers,

    • Michael – not sure, the Grand Vacations team sometimes run promos for Orlando properties, could be worth asking the Honors customer services.

    • ankomonkey says:

      We stayed in a Disney resort over Easter and I was pretty disappointed overall at the extra benefits it gave over a non-Disney resort hotel.

  10. Mark Priest says:

    Stayed in the madnarin last year.

    Room stank of cooking food. (it was coming through the airvent) management had known about it for months but had not done anything about it and didn’t do anything whilst we were there.

    One day at the pool, service was amazing, next day it was dire! Proves how staff can make or break a brand.

    Wouldn’t rush back.

  11. Graham Walsh says:

    I’m heading to LAS for a conference next month. Have been booked into the Wynn Encore, anyone stayed there before? Seems to be their own scheme too, wonder if I can credit anywhere else?

  12. Patrycja Coz says:

    I am going to Las Vegas in August and I was going to stay in Mandarin Oriental 26th-30th of August which means this would be the last day of their open dates. Partially this kind of excites me but I wonder if anyone has had a similar experience and if service is in any way impact by hotel closure. Keen to hear your thoughts.

    • Depends if it is closing or not – may just swap the sign overnight …

      • Patrycja Coz says:

        Thank you Rob. Would you say that it is worth then to wait for another month or so before booking? Would we have more information by then?

  13. Patrycja Coz says:

    Thanks, will hold off for a few more weeks. BTW we’re flying first class to Vegas using our companion voucher. Thanks to your tips, we’ve been able to travel in comfort more often and upgrade from business to first.

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