The Story Superior King at SLS Las Vegas

The VegasTripping Review 2015

Posted by Chuckmonster

Sls Vegas Review Minibar

Inside the fridge - Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Sierra Mist ($5), Bud Light ($6) Heineken (not listed in price list), Evian or Badoit water ($6) Red Bull ($7) Perrier-Jouet Brut champagne ($55) Moet & Chandon Rose ($35) white wine ($35) a Stella Artois ($7). Various juices and beer products are listed in the price list, but they are not in the fridge.

Sls Vegas Review Minibooze

Airline bottle collection consists of Bacardi 8 anos rum ($9), Bombay Sapphire ($10), Belvedere vodka ($11), Absolut Mandrin ($9), Ketel One ($10), Grey Goose ($11), Jameson ($10), Jack Daniel's Single Barrel ($11), Hennesey VS ($11), Glenlivet ($11), Don Julio Blanco ($11), Casamigos Blanco ($10).

Sls Vegas Review Prices

The full mini-bar pricelist. Remember to sip liquids slowly.

I tend to doubt that the minibar/snacks/booze selection at SLS will continue to be reordered. Yes, the mark up is huge, but the prices they're charging for rooms (I paid $60/nt + $9 tax + $25 resort fee) probably doesn't bring in clientele that would be willing to pay $11 for an airline bottle of booze.

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Comments & Discussion

I like the bed placement, and the glowing headboard. The room is cozy. I kinda like the barn doors covering the throne room and shower box. But something I will never understand about minibar/snack drawers in hotel room though. Why do they try and rape you on the prices. I am not a cheapo. But I can't make myself pay 11.00 for a bag of almonds. The beer and soft drinks aren't that bad. But 11.00 for the airline bottles of booze ? I'll pass. But if they charged $3-4 a bottle I would probably drink them all. But at 11.00 per bottle they will make no money from me. But at a reasonable price they stand to make $40-$50 bucks .

Yes, I'm a snob.
No, I wouldn't stay there.
It'a joke. Unfinished cement ceilings. Like living in a closet.

I liked this a lot more than I thought I would. The light-up bed and sofa are very cool, though they needs to be controlled by a smartphone app rather than those flimsy knobs. Also, how many hotel rooms can Squeeze Little Sofas into a room that size? Finally, I didn't hate the banana yellow tile, though waking up to that after a night of drinking would be INTENSE.

But I'm still not sure I'd stay here. Why?
Smallish Little Suite: The room seems OK for one person, but can you imagine two people in it?
Shatroom Lacks Sink: To wash up after using the restroom, everybody has to touch the barn door.
Safe Lacks Security: What's to stop me from walking out with the whole drawer under my arm?
Sideways Looking Samsung: Side-hung TVs are a pet peeve, be they at SLS or Courtyard Marriotts.
Snacks Leech Shillings: Commenter d3wayne already mentioned why high prices are a bad idea.
Silly Little Simians: Not quite sure why the monkeys are so prevalent, but I guess this is what you get for flair when your hotel isn't a pyramid or a homage to Rome.

Thoroughly enjoyed reading this!

I got claustrophobia just looking at the video. They wouldve been better off just tearing everything down and building new.

Great review, fun to read. I would never stay there with my wife. Too small and the barn door/Lets Make a Deal looking bathroom is a deal killer. Too many quality rooms in Vegas to stay here.

The room looks nice. For me it's just to smegging small.

I'm actually quite impressed with the room and how they managed to work with the bones of the Sahara, it's not a blatant remodel of a dated room, which I mostly expected.

The most glaring problem with SLS is apparent with the final comparison of mini bar pricing and the room rate. This is a resort trying to compete with Cosmo/Encore et al but its location, timing, and the tempered expectations of working with a renovation versus ground up build, mean SLS will likely never manage to be a truly high end Vegas destination. Had they opened in the mid 2000s this concept would have worked, similar to the success of Hard Rock and Palms. Post recession we saw the nightlife scene concentrate on center strip, and we've seen those "peripheral" party oriented properties fade in favor of the strip heavyweights and their doubling down on nightlife venues. The market as such simply isn't there for people to go "out of their way" to stay and play here without a monetary incentive, as the type of people that would pay $200+ a night for a nightlife oriented property already have plenty of options in more convenient locations surrounded by well established nightlife hype machines. SLS isn't a brand people are loyal to but a brand that has mastered nightlife/restaurant/hospitality marketing and design to a certain demographic. Their LA and Miami hotels have prime, highly visible locations that suck in their targeted demographic with ease, whether they know the brand or not. Alot of SLS's demographic probably assumes the strip ends past Encore, and their Vegas bookings revolve around pool and nightclub buzz as opposed to hotel loyalty (Just as many of their nightclub patrons in LA probably migrated from hotspot to hotspot never fully aware they may have all been SLS properties). SLS may very well find a niche as a middle market offering, but it would be completely contrary to how the brand elsewhere positions itself.

The room is quaint but way too small. Not sure I am comfotable about a light up headboard and a bathroom that close to the bed. The color scheme works for me but not the ceiling. As for the mini bar the CVS is right down the street so who would pay those prices for what's inside. If I was in town for just two days and felt like staying somewhere that far down the Strip I would try this but if I was going to be there for a week I would pass.

Chuck, any issues with the AC? I didn't see a thermostat.

So you liked it? !! I've been waiting for your opinion since I stayed in a World Tower King in December. It was a little bigger room, and almost the same floor and location as a way earlier Sahara stay (pre fountainbleau view). Much nicer, of course, but not one drawer, only shelves next to the mini bar. I guess the nice etched stemware didn't survive long enough for your visit. I liked SLS, but couldn't win a dollar in the casino, = deal breaker.

Great comments all around, thank you. Regarding the minibar, this is an illustration of the crux their conundrum. SLS thinks they've got a Casadores crowd, but location and pricing dealt them a cold deck of warm Milwaukee's Best with pocket bottle of Cuervo Gold splurge crowd.

Before I moved to the suburbs and became boring, I lived in a factory that was converted into artist lofts. The aesthetic SLS is working on jibes with my personal taste - I understand exactly what they're attempting to do here and they're doing it very well. SLS wasn't an attempt at creating luxury property, it is creative aspirational place for the folks who find Caesars props to be fanny packer, MGM props to be identical soulless bores and Wynn's aesthetic to be stodgy and old.

The problem is that narrowcasting to admirers of quirk, coupled with location, mis-matched pricing, a dearth of activities that aren't food/gambling/booze/club and distinct lack of customer energy... the SLS is in most likely destined for failure.

I'll guess that at some point a smart operator looking to get a toehold on The Strip might buy SLS for a song, oust the higher end dining, lower the table limits, put giant windows in the Foxtail wall and let the party spill on to the casino floor, open up the Sayers Club wall and let that party spill out too, deliver Umami burgers and pizza to the casino floor, bring the booze to the people and turn the casino floor into a vibrant party everybody is invited to. Add roving entertainment. Find a sick banjo player or bluegrass combo to walk around and play tunes all day, roving illusionists, living statues, ballerinas, pop-up dj sets, have servers troll casino wanderers with food samples from the restaurants to raise awareness. Make a big promotion - "FREE ROOMS" - for the worst week in August. Fill the hotel and charge them a resort fee. Get bodies in the door and then put out the effort to romance them with the best shit you got. All it takes is some ideas and a little bit of hustle. Or they can sit around and keep dribbling zero impact money at the joint until the guy with the pencil tells them to cut their losses and go into default on the debt.

@dadice the hotel, yes. the resort/casino has issues which i will be writing about.
@mattk no issues with the ac, room was chilly. therm is on the wall over the minibar, just below the register:

It's Cosmopolitan for people who can't afford Cosmopolitan. Which has it's niche, except it feels like Caesars is doing that more successfully in both Planet Hollywood (for people who like Cosmo for it's buffets and meeting rooms) and Cromwell (for people who like it's skin and sun.)

So, if you take a poo, and want to wash your hands, you have to take your filthy hands and use them to slide a barn door? Am I the only person who would want gloves? Seems like some privacy curtains were in order there.

Is the barn door also the shower door or was there some transparent door that I didn't quite notice? I wasn't certain if you're supposed to shower with a full view of your room and the entrance inaccessible (which at least would ward off any housekeeping ladies who barge in while you're cleaning up) or slide the barn door shut from the inside.

It's a weird idea that I'm surprised passed the post-Ballys fire code.

I think I like it, but that room Seriously Lacks Space. If you can't pull the door closed across the shower when you're in it, I would be concerned about Steam Leaving Stains all over the room. And if you can't close the toilet door I would worry about Sad Lingering Smells. The mini bar had Some Lovely Selections and a few things with Super Ludicrous Selling prices. Over all I Shall Likely Stay at SLS on my next visit.

The handwashing issue is no different than all the lux bathrooms in town that have separate W/Cs off the main bathroom. Gotta open their doors before getting to a sink, too.

Still, I prefer "around the corner" bathroom entrances over having a shatroom that opens up a few feet away from the headboard. Sad Lingering Smells indeed. Here I'd vote for function over hipness.

This reminds me of an MGM West Wing room I stayed in once, minus the yellow tiles. The room was very small and everything was compact.

I toured the model of this room during the pre-opening, and I had similar overall impressions: lemonade had been made out of a 215 square foot lemon. There are things here I have never seen in any Vegas hotel room - a bed you can you walk entirely around, compartmentalized bathroom, a ceiling mirror in the standard room type, illuminated furniture. (Palazzo may have had a glowing table top, I don't remember) Major kudos are owed here. Necessity really is the mother of invention.

That said, if I were going to stay there, I would try very hard to sweet talk my way into an upgrade in one of the other towers. Seeing that these are days of desperation at SLS and occupancy must be low, it probably can't be too hard to use the $20 trick or make some minor complaint and get yourself upgraded to one of the other room types.

Claustrophobic space + stark white + banana yellow + weird prison ceiling. I was getting anxiety just looking at the photos.

@mattk - i had a hard time deciding between the world and story when booking. in the end the compartmental 'tiny living' gadgetry piqued my artistic sensibilities. i'm glad i chose this room. i'll try the other flavors at some point in the future. I almost went down to the front desk to switch towers due to the kids screaming in the room next to me, probably should have just to snag the photos. a missed opportunity.

i'd almost argue that it would be smarter just to book the story or world and pay the price tag, paying for the upgrade could work out to be less than a $20-40 bribe.

who knows how long sls will be open. sbe sold bev hills real estate in exchange for a management contract, and they've sold other real estate holdings. sam sold his mansion in las vegas too. i tend to doubt sbe/sam is taking profits here, more like a quasi-restructuring.

we all knew this was going to be difficult land to cultivate... none of this should be a surprise to sbe/stockbridge. i hope they paved their debt runway long enough.

To add to this, SBE just made a deal to sell Cleo and Katsuya to the One Group, who owns STK and Bagatelle. They also a few months ago lost a major investor who was going to invest $500 million into SBE (They were one of three board members who left after Nazarian returned to the company a few months ago.). Sam just plunked down $25 million on a place in Bel Air. SBE may be ripe for a takeover bid by someone like Blackstone.

I enjoyed the SLS when I was there but I didn't have a room. I haven't seen that much canary yellow since my Grandma's 1970's kitchen. This is good for a 22 year old frat boy on a weekend bender with his boys. You couldn't pay me to stay in that cruise ship of a room. Thanks very much for the review Chuck!

Having never actually set foot in this place, I agree with Chuck that some big changes are needed to call it a success. It has enough character that I'd probably stay here if I had to and not totally hate it, but I hope that isn't all they're hoping to achieve with this property.

It's quirky enough to appeal to poor/middle income millennials that desperately want to be hip for their 2 nights in vegas, but that's not aspiring for much. I agree that they absolutely need more of a party atmosphere to succeed. If they can fill the casino and everything around it with gorgeous girls that actually have a personality then this place has a chance. If not, there's no reason for most people (including their target market) to even consider staying here.

Thanks for the in depth review. You always provide thorough reports with great pictures.

I like the uniqueness and not the typical hotel room format.

@chuckmonster Great write up! I have stayed in the Story Tower a few times when I used to visit LiFE on the weekends to see my favorite DJs play. Didn't want to drive back to Summerlin at 4am after hitting the bottle. Being sans gfriend & other was a very cozy room. I personally enjoy the Luxe Tower rooms on the poolside. I've had stays in those and they were great!!! I see another commenter mentioned Blackstone group...I think the SLS is going down that path. Need to knock the "fancy" attitude off and make it more reasonable for the budget friendly traveling. It could clean up! With a few changes to The Sayers Club and could thrive.....definitely get the party on the casino floor from those two venues and you're golden. I have yet to win their either... =deal breaker here too. I stay elsewhere now. :-)

IKEA on acid.

I had dorm rooms in college that were bigger in square footage...

Having said that, I would give this a shot, just to say I stayed there before it gets padlocked again in a few months.

Having stayed at Sahara four months before it closed, its amazing what Sam and SBE did with the place...but there is no way that two people could even begin to coexist in that limited a space; but for one person, maybe for a night, I could knock this off the list.

Isn't that "Bubbles" ( Andre Royo) from the The Wire in that elevator ad?

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