Conrad Las Vegas
I’d been warned about the Conrad Las Vegas – mostly by Mark. Nonetheless, I was intrigued by the property. Full disclosure, the ability to stack the Amex Platinum’s Fine Hotels & Resorts credit and Hilton Diamond benefits substantially played into my decision to stay here twice. Like any newish hotel, I tried to have realistic expectations. But even measured expectations can lead to disappointments here and there. What I wasn’t prepared for were the wild swings between excellent and poor experiences at the Conrad. Read on!
Here is Shawn’s property tour shortly after the resort first opened:
I booked two separate, non-consecutive stays at the Conrad for my recent Vegas trip using the $200 FHR credit from multiple Amex Platinum cards. In order to ensure I received the FHR food and beverage credit each night, I did not stay at the Conrad on back-to-back nights. My first stay was ~$180 (including taxes), plus a $51 resort fee not covered by the credit. My second stay was ~$214, plus the same resort fee totaling $65 in out of pocket expenses. I earned just over 10k Hilton Honors points for each stay. I’ll cover the FHR benefits specific to the Conrad in a future article.
The Conrad, along with the Hilton and Crockfords, are the three hotels within Resorts World on the North Strip of Las Vegas. Resorts World is within easy walking distance to other North Strip properties, such as The Wynn, Encore, Palazzo, and Venetian. Beyond that, you’re apt to break a sweat getting to other parts of the Strip, mostly south. The immediate area adjacent to the property isn’t particularly desirable, either. An aged strip mall sits across the street, and the infinity pool looks onto a construction site to the south.
You can read about my first Conrad check-in experience here. While my first check-in was disappointing, the second check-in couldn’t have been more opposite. Brandon at the front desk was welcoming and concise. And while I didn’t expect an upgrade based on my past stay, he somehow was able to provide one – more on that in a bit.
Still, the Conrad check-in has an assembly line feel to it, even though I was able to use the Gold and Diamond priority line. We’re all travel widgets being processed at the Resorts World Plant. Of course, long-check-in lines are part of the deal with coming to Vegas, but I feel the Conrad could do more to streamline the process.
For my initial night at the Conrad, I received a premium one king bed room – what I understand to be their entry level room. On paper, the room is generously-sized at 550 square feet. But in practice, I feel the Conrad squanders the extra room. The entry to the room is distractingly wide and bare. More dead space exists next to the windows.
The room has a few missing amenities that I should probably no longer assume are standard. The bathroom had not one bar of soap – neither in the shower nor vanity area. I know there’s been a recent push for bolted-to-the-wall, huge dispensers in bathrooms. Regardless, I found this a bit low rent for the Conrad, which purports to be a luxury brand. There’s nothing else worth saying about the bathroom.
More concerning, the room didn’t have a desk. The small, circular table and cafe chairs simply weren’t conducive for work activities. After I caught myself hunching over my laptop, I gave up. Writing could wait.
But hey, the TV was huge.
During check-in for my second night at the Conrad, Brandon upgraded me to a one bedroom suite. News flash, suites are generally nicer than entry level rooms. But based on their basic rooms, I felt the Conrad would find a way to screw up the suite layout. They didn’t, though. A powder room is at the left upon entry, leading into the spacious living area. The bedroom felt very similar to the entry level room, except for the addition of a lounger. The bathroom and dressing areas offer plenty of space. The bathroom houses a separate tub, shower, and dual vanity. A proper desk area is missing from the suite, as well. But a small chair and counter in the dressing area may be useful for some.
All Resorts World guests – that’s right, from three different hotels – share the same dining options. Luckily, there’s plenty to pick from. Resorts World houses about 20 or so different dining and drinking outlets in addition to the Famous Foods Street Eats options. I experienced a variety over my two stays.
Upon my arrival, I had a quick lunch at The Kitchen. The French Dip was fatty and disappointing, and the Chicken Parmesan the next day was bland. I couldn’t get through either. The Kitchen served satisfying breakfast standards, though. While The Kitchen serves a breakfast buffet daily, I cut my losses and stuck to a la carte breakfast.
I decided to watch the NCAA College Basketball Championship at Resorts World’s Sports Bar, The Dawg House. I found the theming peculiar – I couldn’t shake the feeling I was in a Big Dogs store once popular years, or decades, ago. But there were loads of big screens and menus awaiting bad decisions. USA, USA!
A buddy and I met for a late night dinner and drinks at Wally’s on another night. The charcuterie board and wine selection are excellent. We enjoyed the outlet’s playlist focused on 90’s/early 2000’s hip hop. There’s nothing like savoring a Pinot Grigio while Paperboy’s “Ditty” plays in the background. I’d love to visit again.
A group of MtM Diamond members and I enjoyed formal Chinese dining at the Genting Palace. We had a fun experience eating okay food which I found a bit overpriced. I recall one of my dining mates ordering soup for the table, only to find the price was for a single serving. We reevaluated.
I had a great experience enjoying my complimentary sparkling wine – thanks again, FHR – in the Conrad’s lobby bar. The bar felt a bit odd, as if it was prefabricated offsite and dropped into the lobby just before the property opened. Nonetheless, I delighted in the experience as I watched the show across the lobby, also known as Conrad check-in.
After the Genting Palace dinner, MtM Diamond members and I visited the Here Kitty Kitty Vice Den hidden behind a vendor at Famous Food Street Eats. Our group of ten or so easily got in on a Thursday night after an approximate 15 minute wait. Drink minimums are one per person on weeknights and two over the weekend. I enjoyed this unique experience without the fuss involved with other Vegas nightlife options.
The pool area’s interesting designs led to it feeling more crowded than it actually was, for better or worse. Resorts World has a dedicated family pool area, in addition to the general, adults-only, and Crockfords-exclusive options. Again, I won’t forget the comical juxtaposition of the adults-only infinity pool over the hills of dirt at the adjacent construction site.
The Resorts World fitness center is excellent, but it should be. Indeed, the facility is new and must serve three different hotels. There’s plenty of cardio equipment, weight machines, and free weights to pick from. Guests have the option of watching mounted flatscreens or content on cardio machines. Plenty of water, carbonated and still, flowed from taps. The water taps may have been the most popular gadget in the fitness center. I waited in line multiple times for individuals to fill up their gargantuan water jugs – I’m not sure they were even working out. Overall, I enjoyed the space, but I also felt lucky for the low numbers. I imagine even this large space packs up during some periods.
I’m not a Vegas gambler. That said, you’ll see all the Vegas gaming standards here. But the casino feels tremendously antiseptic. Walking around the floor, it felt like I was more in a mall with a casino placed inside. Perhaps that’s because it’s sort of true.
Let’s get to the biggest wild card of my stays – service. I experienced either highly competent or noticeably poor service throughout each stay and rarely anything in between.
My first lunch at The Kitchen, the waitress repeatedly delivered the wrong drink and oddly congratulated me on eating part of a sandwich. At the Dawg House, my waiter didn’t appear until 20 minutes after I was seated. Out of nowhere, a Genting Palace hostess admonished my friend for taking a photo of the restaurant.
Oddly enough, the best service I got during my first stay was at the lobby bar when I got my free sparkling wine. Francine was attentive and proficient at handling the entire bar. I also found morning waitstaff service at The Kitchen consistently above average.
Most everything about the Conrad Las Vegas, and Resorts World, is shiny and new. But all of that “fresh” magnifies a substantial flaw – a tremendous lack of character. After combining that shallowness with so-so rooms, inconsistent amenities, and unpredictable service, I assess my stays as average, at best.
While I don’t think the Conrad meets the standards of the luxury property it aspires to be, many can enjoy the hotel for what it currently is. Travelers who leverage their Hilton elite benefits, Amex Platinum Fine Hotels & Resorts credits, or both, can obtain a great return here. And Joe Consumer booking a competitive rate during a cheap Vegas timeframe will probably be happy enough here.
I’ll leave you with this. The Conrad Las Vegas is just okay to me. But in a location with plenty of impressive options, just okay isn’t enough for me to return.