Luxury Gaming ResortsJuly 1, 2016

The Perfect Mix of Business and Pleasure By
July 1, 2016

Luxury Gaming Resorts

The Perfect Mix of Business and Pleasure
Caesars Palace Las Vegas celebrates its 50th anniversary. Credit: Caesars Entertainment

Caesars Palace Las Vegas celebrates its 50th anniversary. Credit: Caesars Entertainment

Planning a luxurious onsite meeting or event? Luxurious gaming resorts present a variety of venues for insurance and financial groups who like the spectacular services and amenities combined with the hustle and bustle of casino resorts. Palatial rather than staid, many of these gems offer unique accommodations and amenities aplenty. The casino resort industry abounds with not-to-be-missed locales that make for memorable meeting and event experiences.

Caesars Palace Las Vegas

Caesars Palace Las Vegas has been the epitome of luxury and excitement on the Las Vegas Strip and in 2016 is celebrating five decades of illustrious history during the “Summer of Caesars.”

The iconic property provides new and contemporary accommodations, amenities and world-class dining options. To kick off its golden year, Caesars Palace debuted the newly renovated Julius Tower, formerly the Roman Tower, which now features 587 modern guest rooms. These guest rooms include 55-inch TVs, luxurious Beauty­rest Bouvet Island Mattresses, a specially curated mini bar and English-themed Gilchrist & Soames in-room toiletries and amenities.

Caesars Palace is home to one of the world’s best nightclubs, Omnia. The multilevel venue has an expansive main room dance floor with an astounding kinetic LED chandelier that ascends, descends, morphs and transforms to the sounds of the resort’s world-famous resident DJ, Calvin Harris. Omnia is able to host various types of private events from the main club to the outdoor terrace or the private ultra-lounge.

The most recent addition to Caesars Palace is the upscale Montecristo Cigar Bar. Newly designed by the award-winning architecture firm Rockwell Group, the contemporary 4,000-sf cigar bar offers notable cigars and rare fine whiskeys. Spacious courtyard space wraps around the back portion of the cigar bar, and the 10-seat Vault allows small groups to create an exclusive experience.

Caesars Palace has an outstanding range of flexible venues with 300,000 sf of meeting space and has the capacity to hold various groups sized from small to large. The hotel’s self-check-in kiosk program was designed to streamline an attendee’s arrival to a single step, with no lines and no wait time.

Overall, Caesars Palace features 3,980 hotel guest rooms and suites, including the all-new Julius Tower, the 181-room Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace and The Laurel Collection by Caesars Palace. The 85-acre resort offers 25 diverse dining options including the award-winning Bacchanal Buffet, as well as celebrity chef-branded restaurants by Gordon Ramsay, Bobby Flay, Nobu Matsuhisa, Guy Savoy and Mr. Chow. The resort also features a five-acre Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis, the luxurious Qua Baths & Spa and the 4,300-seat Colosseum. Caesars Palace hosts world-famous headliners such as Elton John, Celine Dion and Mariah Carey.

Wynn Las Vegas

Wynn Las Vegas offers an incredible experience. Wynn Las Vegas and Encore have captured more Forbes Travel Guide Five Star Awards than any other independent hotel company in the world. Why? An exceptional attention to detail is one reason. And because Steve Wynn famously loves to tweak details in his unending quest for providing an unparalleled experience in luxury hospitality.

The design of their meeting and event spaces brings the outdoors in, with splendid terraces from each meeting room looking out to either an elegant pool or a stunning view of the resort grounds.

With more than 200,000 sf of flexible meeting space, two opulent ballrooms ranging in size from 25,000 sf to 50,000 sf and 34 meeting rooms, Wynn offers spaces for everyone. Combined, Wynn Las Vegas and Encore feature more than 260,000 sf of meeting space including opulent ballrooms and meeting rooms with stunning views. The resort also offers high-tech support, wireless communities, audio-visual capabilities and a dedicated team of catering experts and convention concierge to personally assist meeting clients.

A variety of configuration options and unconventional meeting spaces make it easy to host a unique, memorable and highly attended event. To make the experience at Wynn even more memorable, they have recently refreshed the guest rooms at both Wynn and Encore hotels, a project helmed by Architectural Digest Top 100 Designer Roger Thomas.

Wynn Las Vegas has a core belief that only people make people happy, which leads to truly luxurious guest service.

M Resort Spa Casino

Impeccable service combined with thoughtfully designed facilities are the cornerstone of M Resort Spa Casino in Las Vegas. Featuring more than 92,000 sf of flexible meeting and event space, M Resort offers a luxurious option for events of all sizes.

Customization is key at M Resort, whereby their spaces can be modified to enhance the layout, connectivity and technology of any meeting or event.

Boasting an upscale, yet casual décor amid world-class service and amenities, M Resort is a luxurious experience that meeting attendees will love. Residential-esque, generously proportioned guest rooms make visitors to M Resort feel right at home. For executive and C-suite level attendees, M Resort offers some preeminent guest suites that offer separate living areas as well as suites with one- or two-bedroom options.

When the meetings are finished for the day, attendees can enjoy M Resort’s 23,000-sf world-class spa, complete with six treatment rooms, sauna, steam and hot tub wet areas, full-service salon, luxury locker rooms and a state-of-the-art fitness center.

Aria Resort & Casino

Every luxury resort has beautiful hotel rooms and upscale restaurants, but Las Vegas’ Aria Resort & Casino defines luxury in meetings by offering meeting rooms with natural light and an atmosphere that invigorates learning.

“Aria makes every group from 10 to 3,500 feel like a VIP with our customized service,” says Tony Yousfi, vice president of sales for Aria. “The technology starts when you enter your guest room from the Crave tablet that controls your room to the state-of-the-art technology in the meeting space. Aria is known as the capital for tech groups.”

Aria has recently collaborated with Crave Interactive, a cutting-edge guest service software company, to create the largest-ever installation of the provider’s in-room hotel tablets. Enhancing the resort’s AAA Five Diamond service, the tablets offer a hyper-tailored guest experience with new amenities such as digital in-room dining orders, one-touch spa service requests and an endless stream of news in multiple languages. The new tablets provide the intuitive functionality that Aria guests are accustomed to, offering a user interface that is approachable and accessible to all. Installing this tablet, with its breadth and depth of capability, in all guest rooms and suites exemplifies the resort’s commitment to green and technology innovations.

Encompassing a collection of 258 suites, Aria Tower Suites offers exceptional amenities including the new Tower Suites Lounge, curbside greeting, priority taxi line access, turndown service and more. The Aria Tower Suites experience begins the moment a stay is booked with individual contact from the Aria Concierge team who will confirm all travel details and help make any additional arrangements, such as show tickets or dinner reservations. Upon arrival, guests are invited to check in at the private Tower Suites Lounge, located via a separate entrance in the Aria lobby. This exclusive area provides personalized service and amenities such as light snacks and beverages.

Setting a new standard for poolside pampering, Sky Suites at Aria Resort & Casino unveils Sky Pool, an upscale exclusive pool specially designed for discerning guests. After entering via a dedicated walkway, guests are immersed in the secluded area surrounded by serene palm trees and lush landscaping. The lavish hideaway, washed in splashes of periwinkle and soft yellow, offers sun worshippers 125 single and 15 double chaise lounge chairs as well as five daybeds for those looking for a more spacious area to relax. The oasis elevates the luxury pool experience with personalized services such as the private guest entrance, and luxurious amenities including unexpected indulgences every 90 minutes such as complimentary signature iced teas, chilled towels, smoothie shots and more

“We have so much to offer all under one roof from 13 outstanding dining options, our new luxurious nightclub to inviting lounges and our award-winning spa. Aria offers options to all,” Yousfi says.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas

At first, one may not consider the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino as a luxury property. However, the Hard Rock Las Vegas All Suite Tower is a luxurious amenity and feature of the property. Not only are the individual units each 700 sf to 750 sf in size but the amenities per accommodation are what discerning meeting attendees search out when looking for luxurious and palatial treatments whether on business related travel or holiday.

Couple that with more than 17 other very high-end suites that range in size from 1,500 sf to 5,000 sf, and the choices are limitless when looking for a tailored and themed suite experience in Las Vegas.

“What’s more, we offer butler service available on a 24-hour-a-day basis for those guests that require just a bit more in making their visit to our hotel that much more memorable,” says Drew Varga, vice president of group sales and operations at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. “Our European-trained and world-class team of butlers differentiate us from the rest of the offerings here in Las Vegas. Many group customers and individual guests make the conscious decision to return to the hotel for their multiple annual meetings and events just to enjoy that intimate service experience alone.”

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino takes those elements and qualifiers of luxury to an elevated level. “Couple that, along with our ability to make your event different by choosing to use our theater for your meeting, our six-acre pool area for your evening events and our other unique venues found only at the Hard Rock, and this enables us to deliver something that remains to this day a very positive disruption to the traditional meeting box,” Vargas says. “We score very high marks in meeting guest surveys at the conclusion of the event. I cannot stress enough that you never have to leave the hotel to make that one-off event dream come true.”

Peppermill Reno

As a AAA Four Diamond winner for six consecutive years, Peppermill Reno strives to make all areas of the resort special for their meeting and event guests. Some areas of note include the all-suite Tuscany Tower, which boasts 600 suites featuring sophisticated amenities and views of Reno’s cityscape or the Sierras.

The resort’s Spa Toscana is a three-story luxury spa that houses northern Nevada’s only Caldarium, which includes an indoor pool, sun deck and secret garden. Winner of multiple awards including a Spa Finder Reader’s Choice Award, the spa, which features 24 treatment rooms, offers massage, facials, Ayurvedic wellness treatments, and full salon services.

One of the most unique features of Peppermill is the fact that its heating source is completely provided from geothermal energy produced on the property — a special bonus for energy and environmentally conscious meeting attendees. Peppermill’s two resort pools are geothermally heated, and are the perfect place to relax with private cabanas, three spas, a waterfall and poolside dining.

“Groups at Peppermill receive these luxuries at a value price,” says Katie Silva, corporate communications manager at Peppermill. “Because we are a non-union property, they have no excessive labor charges. And our food and beverage pricing also is 30 percent lower than the national average. Groups can have a luxury stay while keeping within the budget.”

Inn of the Mountain Gods

Well equipped to handle any group, Inn of the Mountain Gods, New Mexico’s premier mountain resort, presents award-winning accommodations with 273 luxuriously appointed guest rooms and suites, a convention center with theater-style seating for up to 3,000 and technological capabilities to suit almost any need.

There’s an abundance of recreation options including an award-winning, 18-hole championship golf course, an indoor pool and workout facility, horseback riding, hiking and paddle boating, kayaking and fishing on Lake Mescalero. For a truly exhilarating experience, the Apache Eagle ZipRider at Inn of the Mountain Gods and the Apache Wind Rider ZipTour at Ski Apache each offer unique and breathtaking rides year-round. Winter months bring snow to the surrounding Sierra Blanca, inviting guests up for an afternoon of skiing and snowboarding at Ski Apache.

“Other than its beautiful location, abundance of meeting space and luxury sleeping rooms, we offer gaming for those that chose this type of entertainment,” says Charles Meeks, executive sales and catering manager at Inn of the Mountain Gods. “One of the great qualities that the Inn of the Mountain Gods has is that although we do offer gaming, you would not know this by walking in the front door of the resort. Our gaming floor is located inside the resort, but patrons do not have to walk through the gaming floor to reach the front desk or their sleeping rooms. They are greeted by an exquisite lobby with a beautiful view of the Sacramento Mountains, soothing music and impeccable customer service.”

Inn of the Mountain Gods’ sumptuous selection of dining establishments include the Gathering of Nations Buffet, Big Game Sports Bar and the property’s new gastro pub-inspired restaurant, Broken Arrow Tap House. There’s also Wendell’s Steak & Seafood Restaurant, which overlooks Lake Mescalero and serves up four courses of absolute bliss. Before settling in, grab a nightcap at Wendell’s Lounge, 1852 Treaty Room, Club 49 or the Sports Bar, all entertaining crowds well into the evening.

Talking Stick Resort

Located in Scottsdale, Arizona, Talking Stick Resort accommodations are elegant and eclectic. The resort delivers the type of experience that is expected from a four-diamond property.

The ultimate accommodations experience is the 1,500-sf three-bay hotel suite, which features a dramatic entryway, large living area with hideaway Murphy bed for extra accommodations, a dining area and a corner bar. The master suite includes a spectacular bed with a motorized TV in the footboard, a spacious master bath with a separate soaking tub, glass-walled shower and dressing area, floor-to-ceiling windows and breathtaking views of Camelback Mountain.

Other aspects of the Talking Stick Resort experience include the Tower Club Lounge located on the highest guest accommodations floor. This 2,000-sf space features sleek décor, contemporary furniture plus floor-to-ceiling windows allowing visitors to take in the views of the surrounding mountains. It also offers an onsite concierge who can help with spa, dining or golf reservations.

The property features functional and elegant indoor and outdoor meeting space totaling 113,000 sf. The hotel conference center’s 21 meeting rooms can be configured into several setups fulfilling every aspect of a meeting — creating highly productive settings.

Talking Stick Resort also is skilled at fulfilling after-hours experiences for meeting participants, including live entertainment in the 650-seat Showroom, Degree 270, Players Sports Bar, and Shadows, an elegant martini and cigar bar. And of course The Spa is the ultimate space to relax and unwind.

French Lick Resort

Nestled in the Indiana countryside, the French Lick Resort includes both French Lick Springs Hotel and West Baden Springs Hotel. When you mention luxury, the first thing that comes to mind is the exquisite West Baden Springs Hotel. The world-famous domed hotel was once the largest free-span dome in the world and serves as an incredible setting for meetings and events.

With 55,000 sf of event space, 11 meeting rooms and dedicated conference planners, the impressive surroundings and exquisite service combine to make West Baden Springs Hotel an unforgettable venue.

For a truly luxurious dining experience, planners can choose Table One, an intimate setting located right in the kitchen. Guests can watch as the chef prepares their meal for groups of up to 10 guests. Glass walls make observing every move possible, and with the flip of a switch the walls are frosted to provide the utmost in seclusion. Private parties dine from custom menus served on elegant one-of-a-kind Versace dinnerware.

World-class spas are located in both West Baden Springs Hotel and French Lick Springs Hotel. Planners can even host after-hours events in the spa. For golf aficionados, the French Lick resort is a golf lover’s paradise with courses designed by hall-of-fame designers Donald Ross and Pete Dye. The championship Pete Dye course, which has hosted the Senior PGA Championship, is the epitome of luxury.

“French Lick Resort is a great choice for meeting planners looking to offer their attendees a seamless opportunity to mix business with pleasure,” says Dyan Duncan, PR manager at French Lick. “Our 105,000-sf Meeting and Event Center can accommodate any occasion with a variety of meeting and event spaces with full resort amenities.”

With more than a dozen different dining venues, three golf courses, a pair of spas and endless activities, attendees rarely need to leave the property. Meeting at a resort allows all guests to stay in the same hotel, meet on property and partake in additional activities on or off the clock. It also serves as a cost savings to the planner since they do not need to contract third-party venues and transportation.

New & Noteworthy

Aria Resort & Casino announced a major expansion of its award-winning LEED Gold-certified convention center. The $154 million project will deliver an additional 200,000 sf of technologically advanced, flexible meeting space across four stories, highlighted by stunning indoor/open-air spaces and a glass-enclosed venue with dramatic views of The Park and spectacular new T-Mobile Arena. With the completion of the expansion, Aria will feature more than 500,000 sf of meeting space for its luxury clientele.

Tropicana Atlantic City recently completed $40 million in enhancements and renovations including the redesigned Havana Tower hotel rooms, a new high-limit slot area, the addition of a property entrance on Pacific Avenue, Luxe Hair Salon, Corner Market, Ivan Kane’s Kiss Kiss a Go-Go, Trop Advantage Rewards Center and five all-new Multimedia Light and Sound Shows on The Boardwalk.

Wynn Resorts recently announced expansion plans for their Las Vegas locale. Called Wynn Paradise Park, the expansion will be constructed on approximately 130 acres of real estate that currently houses the Wynn Golf Club. Wynn Paradise Park will add 260,000 sf of premium meetings space.

MGM Resorts International and New York-based Sydell Group announced a partnership to reimagine and rebrand Las Vegas’ Monte Carlo Resort and Casino. The approximately $450 million transformation, which will touch every element of the property, will include two distinct hotel experiences: a Las Vegas version of Sydell’s widely acclaimed NoMad Hotel, and the launch of a new luxury hotel named Park MGM. In addition to fully redesigned and renovated hotel guest rooms, each hotel will feature innovative and exciting food and beverage experiences unique to the Las Vegas market, including the award-winning NoMad restaurant by chef Daniel Humm and restaurateur Will Guidara and Eataly’s vibrant Italian marketplace with cafés, to-go counters and full-service restaurants interspersed with high-quality products from sustainable Italian and local producers.

Park MGM and The NoMad Las Vegas become the final pieces of MGM Resorts’ complete neighborhood redesign of the central Las Vegas Strip neighborhood. I&FMM

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