Delano Las Vegas: Where South Beach meets Mohave Desert By Howard Stutz, Las Vegas Review-Journal September 2, 2014 at 6:00 am The Delano Las Vegas is best described as South Beach meets the Mohave Desert. MGM Resorts International completed the summer-long $80 million renovation of The Hotel, an 1,100-room nongaming property on the south Strip attached to Mandalay Bay. The remake resulted in redesigned entry and lobby areas with new restaurants and public spaces. Floor access was increased for improved traffic flow, and all the rooms and suites have been given a fresh look. The rebranding was a partnership between MGM Resorts and Morgans Hotel Group, which operates the Delano brand. “Delano is well-known in the East Coast, and we think the name will help expand our customer base,” Delano General Manager Matthew Chilton said last week while giving a tour of the property. Many of the design features inside the Delano Las Vegas hotel rooms are reminiscent of the 190-room Delano in Miami’s South Beach, including window and bedding treatments and artsy underwater photographs inside the rooms and along the hotel hallways. But Southern Nevada is not forgotten. In the hotel lobby, carpeting that leads from the entry to the front desk contains a design feature based on the path followed by the Colorado River. An art piece composed of hundreds of small rocks was designed by Korean artist Jaehyo Lee and is suspended from the ceiling. Stone features and desert artwork are also displayed throughout lobby and public area. DRAMATIC ENTRANCE Guests entering the Delano from the parking garage pass between the two sections of what had been a 126,000-pound boulder that was excavated from a desert rock quarry in Jean. The sections — one weighing 77,000 pounds and the other weighing 49,000 pounds — stand 10 feet tall and are composed of metaquartzite with desert colors of yellow, orange and gray. The size and weight of the boulder required a 240-ton hydraulic crane to lift it onto a truck for transport and delivery to the Delano. “We wanted to create a striking entry to the property,” Chilton said. The Delano doesn’t have a slot machine or a blackjack table. That is the attractiveness of the hotel, Chilton said. Built in 2003 as an add-on to the 3,300-room Mandalay Bay, The Hotel was marketed to convention business brought in by the hotel-casino’s 1.7 million square-foot convention complex. The property has its own entrance from the parking garage and is connected to the Mandalay Bay by a corridor. Chilton said the Delano offers a guest experience found in smaller boutique and lifestyle hotel properties, such as personalized customer treatment and service. The transformation of the Delano was done to “detach the property somewhat” from Mandalay Bay. Still, Delano customers have access to Mandalay Bay amenities. “We’ve given the property its own voice and brand message,” Chilton said. The rooms in the all-suite Delano start at 725 square feet and include business suites, panoramic suites offering views of the Strip, and two penthouse suites. Renovation began in April with the hotel tower. All the rooms have been remodeled, except for the penthouse units that will be completed in October. “We were prepared for a much larger business disruption,” Chilton said. “The room renovation was planned out several floors at a time. The new room styles have been well-received.” PUSHING FOR A NEW VIBE The lobby area includes a new restaurant — Della’s Kitchen — the Franklin lobby bar and the 3940 Coffee + Tea. The 140-seat Della’s Kitchen is touted as a “farmhouse meets urban eatery.” One change on hold is the transformation of the property’s rooftop Mix nightclub, restaurant and lounge into Rivea. Chilton said the construction will take place next year. As Rivea, the location will serve French and Italian cuisine by Chef Alain Ducasse. In the meantime, the Delano is working to create a new vibe, Chilton said. Union Gaming Group analyst Robert Shore said the property will be able to offer a higher room rate than normally seen on the Strip — averaging around $200 a night — because the Delano brand “signifies a certain quality level and price point to consumers.” Shore said guests willing to spend more for a hotel room at the Delano would also be willing to spend more at the adjoining Mandalay Bay. “In our view, The Hotel brand never really resonated strongly, so having an established brand coming to the tower will be a clear positive,” Shore said. MGM Resorts operates more than 40,000 hotel rooms on the Strip. Shore said an increase in demand brought by the Delano could benefit other company properties in addition to Mandalay Bay. He cited the nearby New York New York, Luxor, and Monte Carlo. “Overall, MGM continues to make market shares gains from re-programming properties with smartly invested (capital expenditure) dollars,” Shore said. Contact reporter Howard Stutz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.