Thursday, Oct. 09, 2008

Four Seasons Hotel

The first hotel to open in Vegas without a casino (it debuted, somewhat ironically, in a tower adjacent to Mandalay Bay in 1999), the Four Seasons is arguably still the best of this growing breed. The property's location at the south end of the Strip means it's already removed from much of the city's chaos — but the sense of sanctuary is reinforced by the hotel's hushed marble entrance, relatively painless check-in (so much quicker than at the hotel-casinos), express elevator, and gorgeous, garden-surrounded pool (if for some reason you forget your swimsuit, a disposable one can be provided for you.) Rooms are decorated with typical Four Seasons elegance: graceful dark-wood tables and desks, overstuffed chairs and ottomans upholstered in silk and velvet, marble baths. Charlie Palmer Steakhouse is just off the lobby, while Verandah, the hotel's indoor-outdoor restaurant, is a hot Sunday brunch ticket. Golfers get priority tee times at Bali Hai Golf Club next door.

Insider Tip: Bring the kids. Guests have access to the family-friendly "beach" at Mandalay Bay, as well as kiddie-sized bathrobes, PlayStations, and a coterie of great babysitters.

Room to Book: Few Strip hotels have mountain views like those of the west-facing Executive Suites.