Advertisements
Middle Age Miles

Hotel Review – Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas

Craig of Middle Age Miles with Pepper the Robot in the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – yes, he has a special “take a selfie” mode!

This article is part of our Trip Report – It’s Vegas Week at Middle Age Miles!

Summary

Vegas is chock full of casino hotels, mega-hotels, vacation club properties, and off-the-Strip mid-range hotels. But Vegas is short on non-casino true luxury hotels. Enter the Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas.

If you like a traditional high-end hotel experience, free from the chaos (and smoke) of the casinos, then the Waldorf Astoria is the place for you. It’s located in the heart of the Strip, so you have easy access to all of the action. But the Waldorf Astoria is its own oasis of calm and luxury in the eye of the Vegas storm.

Background Information About the Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas

The Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas originally opened in December 2009 as the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas. It’s in a 47-story building located in the CityCenter complex (along with the Aria, the Vdara and the Crystals Shops), right in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip. The hotel has 392 rooms and suites, located on floors 4 through 22. The hotel’s sky lobby is located on the 23rd floor. Above that are expensive condominiums.

The hotel was sold in 2018 and re-branded in Fall 2018 from the Mandarin Oriental to the Waldorf Astoria. As a Waldorf property, Hilton manages the hotel, and it participates in the Hilton Honors loyalty program. The standard award redemption rate is 80,000 Hilton Honors points, although standard rooms are available for less on some nights. (For the most part, we think you’ll be able to do better here using paid rates with benefits, and saving your Hilton Honors points for higher-value redemptions.)

Booking and Rate

In general, rates at the Waldorf Astoria seem to be on the higher end of Vegas hotels, which is not surprising given that it’s a luxury hotel experience. Fortunately, we have a few tricks to help offset the cost:

  1. If you’ll be getting a spa treatment at the Waldorf, you can book through the Chase Luxury Hotels & Resorts Collection (LHRC) or Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts (FHR) to get a rate that includes a $100 spa credit per stay, plus up to $60 in breakfast credit each day. (We recently wrote an entire article devoted to How to Use the Chase LHRC Program to Score Great Deals in Vegas (and earn points & status too)!)
  2. Right now, Waldorf Astoria has a long-running promotion where you can book a rate that gives you $100 of property credit each day of your stay – the Waldorf Astoria Gives You More Reasons to Stay offer. This rate tends to be higher than other available rates, so check whether it makes sense to book a higher rate in order to get the $100 daily credits.
  3. Hilton Honors members can earn points and elite night credits for their stays at the Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas. Be sure to sign up for all of Hilton’s bonus points promotions, like the Points Unlimited promotion that’s running now through May 5, 2019.
  4. Pay with an Amex Hilton co-branded card to earn even more Hilton points. The premium Aspire card earns 14x Hilton points per dollar (return of 7% at our baseline value of 0.5 cents per Hilton point), or the mid-range Ascend card earns 12x Hilton points per dollar. (Both links are referral links.)
  5. If you hold an Aspire card, charges at the Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas, including room rates, qualify for the $250-per-cardholder-year Hilton Resort statement credit.
  6. If you have Diamond or Gold status with Hilton Honors, your breakfast benefit at the Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas is up to $50 credit for two people at the hotel’s Zen Kitchen restaurant. For us, this stacked with the Amex FHR breakfast benefit so that we had a total of $110 in breakfast credits!
  7. You may also be able to take advantage of an Amex Offer here; we often have Amex Offers of $70 statement credit if we spend $350 or more at a Waldorf Astoria property in the US.

We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas for one night as part of our hotel-hopping end-of-semester trip to celebrate the 21st birthdays of some of the Middle Age Miles kids. We came from the Delano, checking in just after lunch on Saturday (with early check-in), and when we left just after lunch on Sunday (also using late check-out), we moved to the Bellagio.

On this trip, we booked the Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas through the Amex FHR program. Our nightly rate for a standard room was $226, which became about $307 all-in, including the resort fee and taxes. Booking through FHR gave us a room upgrade subject to availability, a breakfast credit of up to $60 per room per night, and a spa credit of up to $125 per room per stay. (Note: As of January 2019, the Amex FHR spa credit at the Waldorf is now only $100 per room per stay.)

Normally, spa credit is not useful to us; however, we booked this stay in part to treat 2 of the girls to an afternoon massage at the Waldorf spa. Sadly, there’s not much on the “spa menu” for $125 or less, so they ended up getting one-hour massages for $175, plus $30 tip for a total of $205 each. After the credits were applied, we had net spa charges of $80 on each room.

Let’s look at our total spend and points-earning on 2 rooms:

  • Cost charged to our Aspire card:
    • Room rate + tax + resort fee + tax on fee = $614
    • Plus net spa charges = $160
    • Total amount charged to card = $774
  • Breakfast cost $172, including tax and tip. We had $170 in credits, but the hotel charged off all $172, so breakfast cost us nothing. This was actually breakfast for 6 people, not 4, as we had the 2 other MAM kids who were staying at the Bellagio come over and join us.
  • Credits on our Aspire card related to this stay:
    • Aspire annual Hilton Resort credit = $250 credit
    • Amex Offer $70 off $350+ spend = $70 credit
    • Thus, our net charges on the Aspire card were $454
  • Hilton Honors points earning (note that this was during last Fall’s promotion that gave triple points on Hilton Resort stays):
    • Base points for 2 rooms combined = 11,142
    • Diamond elite 100% bonus = 11,142
    • Diamond My Way bonus = 2,000
    • Hilton Honors 3x points promo = 22,284
    • Total Hilton points earning from the stay = 46,568
    • PLUS Hilton points from paying with Aspire card = 10,626
      • Just trust me on this calculation; it’s very complicated
    • TOTAL HILTON POINTS (STAY + ASPIRE CARD) = 57,194
    • Hilton points value at 0.5 cents per point = $286
Here’s our electronic card statement showing the application of our $250 Hilton Resort property credit from the Aspire card and $70 credit from the Amex Offer, each credit posting only 1 day after the hotel charged us 1 night’s room rate plus tax on each room as a deposit.

So, we got 2 hotel rooms at a luxury hotel, 2 one-hour massages, and breakfast for 6, and $286 worth of Hilton Honors points, all for net out-of-pocket money of $454. And if you back out the net spa costs of $160, we basically paid $294 for $286 worth of Hilton points, plus got the 2 hotel room nights plus breakfast for 6 for free. (Yes, I recognize that we paid a $450 annual fee on the Aspire card in order to get the $250 property credit (plus a bunch of other benefits), and that impacts the accounting … but still!)

Location

As we mentioned earlier, the Waldorf Astoria is in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip. It’s right next to the Aria, Vdara, Cosmopolitan, Park MGM and Crystals Shops. Just past those on either side are the Bellagio then Caesars Palace to the north, and New York-New York and the new T-Mobile Arena to the south. You can’t possibly be much better located than that in Vegas!

Here’s a map showing the location of the Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas with respect to other hotels and casinos along the Strip:

Arrival, Check-In and Service

As we mentioned, the Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas is much more of a luxury hotel experience than you receive at the Vegas mega-hotels, and by and large the service reflected this.

When you arrive at the Waldorf, you’re greeted by a doorman and bellmen who can take care of your luggage if you need it. We didn’t, but that’s a nice service to arrive to.

You enter the building on the ground floor and take the elevators to your right up to the 23rd floor Sky Lobby. When you exit the elevator, the check-in desk is to your left, and you’ll immediately appreciate the great view looking north up the Strip. You might also meet Pepper the Robot when you exit the elevator. It’s a little weird, but it’s fun to interact with him – you might want to wait until after you check in, though.

We had to wait briefly to check in. Our agent was nice, and he was aware of the Amex FHR program and benefits. He also recognized our Hilton Diamond status and benefits, and he specifically told us that our breakfast benefits stacked (I wasn’t sure if this was on one room or both). For one room, anyway, we would receive up to $60 breakfast credit from FHR plus up to $50 breakfast credit as a Diamond member, for a total of $110 in breakfast credits!

Here is the letter we received at check-in, outlining our Amex FHR benefits at the Waldorf (remember that the spa credit is now only $100 as of January 2019, rather than $125):

We had arrived around 1:30-2:00 pm, but it was no problem to get early check-in. We also received upgraded rooms, per our FHR benefits and Diamond status – we had booked the base-level City View room, but we were upgraded to Vegas Strip View rooms.

We also took advantage of late check-out, leaving between 1:30 and 2:00 pm on Sunday, and this was the subject of our only service snafu of our stay. Amex FHR has guaranteed 4:00 pm late check-out (as you can see in the letter above). On Sunday morning, we specifically stopped by the front desk to let them know we’d need late check-out (as we’d been asked to do at check-in). I expected an easy “yes” from the front desk. However, I got pushback, and they ended up saying they’d “officially” give us until 1:30 pm to make sure we would be actually checked out by 2:00 pm. That was fine with us, but not a successful delivery of the guaranteed late check-out benefit.

In addition, when we were at the front desk on Sunday morning, we specifically asked them to make sure our room keys would continue to work until the 1:30 pm check-out time. They said yes. But when we returned to our rooms around 1:15 pm to pick up our bags, our keys didn’t work. This necessitated another trip to the front desk to get re-keyed before we could get our bags and check out.

One other note with respect to service and the $45/night resort fee at the Waldorf Astoria: The Daily Resort Charge includes internet access, fitness club access, fitness and yoga classes, gourmet tea and coffee on the 3rd floor, house car service (2 mile radius), notary services (2 documents daily), and local and toll-free calls. We didn’t really use any of these besides internet. But when we were checking out, we wanted to use the car service to take us to our next hotel, the nearby Bellagio. At the front desk, we were told that the house car couldn’t be reserved. We could use it if it was available, but we were given the strong impression by the front desk clerk that it wasn’t likely to be available. When we got downstairs, we were told that the car was gone and wouldn’t be back for at least 20 minutes. We grabbed a cab and went on our way. Now, we certainly understand that there are times that the house car isn’t available. But we certainly came away with the impression that no one was going to go one step out of their way to help make it available for us.

Our final note on service; Overall, service was good and the people were generally friendly. And we definitely got more personal and better service than is typical at the Vegas mega-hotels. That said, though, there just wasn’t polish on the same level as true luxury hotels – and probably not on a level with Waldorf Astoria hotels outside Las Vegas.

Room

Our upgraded Strip View King Room at the Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas was excellent. It was spacious, tastefully decorated, and furnishings were of the highest quality. We were on the 9th floor, and somehow I managed to not get a picture of the view outside our window.

When you first entered our room, there was a narrow hallway immediately to the left with a beautiful dark-wood built-in closet and drawers. This cozy space had hardwood flooring. It also had a very neat feature – a valet closet where you could leave shoes or anything else for service, and they could pick it up from outside so that they didn’t have to disturb you (and vice versa, they could leave your shoes without having to enter the room). What a nice touch.

Past that, still on the left, was the bathroom. It had a pocket sliding door. Inside was a large tub, a vanity with two sinks, a potty room enclosed with frosted glass and including a door that would close, and a separate shower room.

The bedroom furnishings were standard in the sense that there was a king bed, a work desk and chair, and a comfy corner lounger/chair – yet not standard in that everything was exceptionally high quality and tasteful. True to its Mandarin Oriental roots, the room had a taste of an Eastern theme, but nothing overwhelming or over-the-top.

We’ll give you a tour of the room in photos so you can see everything for yourself:

Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – Strip View King room – looking from the entryway into the bedroom
Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – Strip View King room – better view of the bedroom, from the point just where you move from the entry way into the room itself
Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – Strip View King room – view from beside the bed, seeing the desk, artwork and TV
Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – Strip View King room – comfy corner lounger/chair, with ottoman and table
Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – Strip View King room – work desk and chair
Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – Strip View King room – looking back into the bedroom toward the bathroom, from the window side
Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – Strip View King room – right side nightstand with clock, phone and notepad (and light/shade controls behind the clock)
Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – Strip View King room – left side nightstand with decoration and light/shade controls
Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – Strip View King room – built-in closet and drawers
Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – Strip View King room – inside the closet
Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – Strip View King room – safe inside one of the built-in drawers
Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – Strip View King room – valet closet
Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – Strip View King room – controls for room lighting and curtains/shades
Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – Strip View King room – thermostat
Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – Strip View King room – looking into the bathroom from the entry hallway
Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – Strip View King room – bathroom – large tub immediately to the right upon entry
Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – Strip View King room – bathtub amenities
Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – Strip View King room – vanity with double raised sinks and storage drawers underneath
Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – Strip View King room – potty room and shower stall
Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – Strip View King room – shower
Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – Strip View King room – shower toiletries – Tuscan Soul by Salvatore Ferragamo
Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – nicely decorated hallway outside our room

Lobby/Common Area

When you exit the elevator into the 23rd-floor Sky Lobby and turn toward the check-in desk, there’s a sitting area / tea room to your right, and past that, a bar. We didn’t have tea or visit this bar, but these are very nice spaces with great views of the Las Vegas Strip. In the other direction to the left is a hallway toward a restaurant. The very nice lobby restrooms are also down that hallway. Everything looks highest-class and is very attractively decorated.

Here are a few photos:

Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – front desk in the 23rd floor Sky Lobby
Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – 23rd floor Sky Lobby holiday decorations
Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – 23rd-floor Sky Lobby tea room
Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – entry to 23rd-floor Skybar
Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – 23rd-floor Skybar
Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – view from the 23rd-floor Skybar
Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – champagne vending machine in the 23rd-floor Sky Lobby
Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – holiday decorations down the 23rd-floor hallway toward the restaurant

Spa

Maria and Alicia got one-hour massages at the spa, while Philly and I merely dropped them off and made sure the charges were handled correctly. The girls raved about the spa experience and were very happy to have had it.

We made spa reservations in advance for them. We learned that once a service is booked, you have access to the full spa area for as long as you want before and after your treatment, including the special spa pool. Although we didn’t personally experience it (and the girls didn’t get to stay as long as they might have wanted, because we had to make a dinner reservation), this seems like a great way to spend the day.

The ladies at the front desk of the spa were incredibly helpful and friendly, and they made sure our girls were comfortable. And the reception area of the spa was beautifully decorated.

Here are a few pictures of the spa area, as well as a link to the Spa’s webpage:

Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – spa front desk
Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – spa waiting area with tea and decorations
Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – Alicia & Maria waiting in the spa reception area

Breakfast

Breakfast was on the 3rd floor, in the Zen Kitchen. We didn’t get any pictures, but we found the quality of the breakfast food to be outstanding. Service inside the restaurant service was quite attentive. We ordered off the menu, and as we mentioned earlier, 6 of us ate all we cared to eat for a total of $172 including tax and tip. You could certainly exceed a $60 allotment for 2 people if you ordered the largest breakfast meals and a drink. But, any 2 people could eat well for $60 or less if you’re attentive to the menu and pricing.

We’d be quite happy to eat a lot of breakfasts at Zen Kitchen.

Other Features of the Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas

Sadly, we didn’t get to try the Waldorf Astoria fitness center, the Skybar, or any of the nice restaurants other than breakfast at Zen Kitchen. I suspect they’re all excellent.

And finally, we wanted to point out one other quirk of the Waldorf, the elevator banks. From the rooms, you can go up to the 23rd floor where the Sky Lobby is located, or down to the 3rd floor where you’ll find the Zen Kitchen restaurant. But you can’t go all the way down to the ground. You’ll have to go to 3 or 23 (usually 3) and transfer to a different elevator bank to get down to the ground floor. Depending on your point of view, this can be either amusing or annoying to keep up with which elevator you need to be riding!


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review of the Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas. We really enjoyed our stay there and would be glad to stay again. And given the right deals and promotions, you might be able to stay in this luxury hotel for very little net cost once you consider the benefits and points earning!

What are your thoughts on the Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas and your experiences there? Please share with us and other Middle Age Miles readers in the Comments!


At Middle Age Miles, we love to bring you travel, credit card and points-and-miles information that you can use to help make your travel dreams come true. To see all of our tips and insights, please Like and follow us on social media at:

Please share and re-tweet our posts and tell all of your friends about Middle Age Miles! Thank you!



Advertisements

15 thoughts on “Hotel Review – Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas

  1. Mike Saint

    GREAT post Craig. Found your blog from the comments section of Grant’s blog. Thanks for posting this great and detailed post. I don’t see the $70 stack on credit available on my Aspire card (darn) but will really learn from your post and value you can receive from stacking on promos.

    1. Craig Post author

      Hi Mike – Thanks for checking out Middle Age Miles and thanks for the compliment! There is a current Amex Offer for Waldorf Astoria & Conrad for $70 credit with $350+ spend, but it expires this week on Jan 31 and probably can’t be loaded any more. This Offer seems to come around pretty regularly, so keep your eyes open for a new WA Offer sometime on or after Feb 1.

      Great comment on not finding the WA Las Vegas on the Hilton resort page. This is a tricky one. Search for it in California instead of Nevada and I think you’ll find it (strange, I know!). And yes, I definitely received the $250 credit from spend at WA Vegas!

      I hope you continue to enjoy Middle Age Miles and Travel With Grant! ~Craig

  2. Mike Saint

    Thanks again Craig. I found it listed looking under California so thanks for that tip! I just wanted to ask, if you book it on the Amex FHR page do you still get credit to Hilton Honors (I’m also a Diamond) and just wanted to confirm I’ll still get credit? I do note they ask for loyalty # and will input it but just wanted to make sure they recognized it when you checked in.

    Thanks for this GREAT post.

    Mike

    1. Mike Saint

      Craig,

      I did read in your review that you didn’t have problems with Diamond but what I meant is if you thought that anyone as long as they input their loyalty number shouldn’t have any problems. I thought I read before of someone else on another blog that booked with Amex FHR and they said they didn’t get their Diamond benefits but it was at another property.

      1. Craig at Middle Age Miles Post author

        Hi Mike – Thanks for the compliment. You’re correct that we didn’t have any issues with receiving Diamond benefits, points or elite night credits at the WA Las Vegas booked through Amex FHR. I’m racking my brain, and I can’t recall whether I put my Hilton Honors number on the reservation through FHR, or if I got my Hilton confirmation number and then used that to add my HH number to the reservation manually on the Hilton website. Or, maybe both, for belt-and-suspenders effect to be doubly sure! I do know that my HH number was attached to the reservation before we arrived at the WA. I’m sorry I can’t recall more specifics but I hope this is of some help! Thanks again for reading Middle Age Miles and sending your great questions and comments – we really appreciate it! ~Craig

        1. Mike Saint

          Got it. Thanks Craig. To be sure, I’ll just make sure that once I make the booking, I will make sure to immediately make sure the Hilton reservation is added to my account.

          Do you have any other “gems” or places to use the Hilton $250 annual resort credit that happens to be on FHR as well? If so, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again.

          1. Craig at Middle Age Miles Post author

            Great idea for an article! I believe there are a dozen or more Waldorf Astoria hotels that participate in FHR, and the same is true for Conrad hotels. Most if not all of those should also qualify for the $250 Aspire credit. I’ll put this on my “to do” list for a future article soon 🙂

  3. Luke Vader

    Good info, Craig, thanks for the review. The room looks nice and (thankfully) not bling-y.

    The champagne vending machine looks interesting. It would be funny/hilarious if glass bottles at the top were simply pushed out of their rack for a 4-foot free fall to the bottom (and then broke)… smashing the bottle for you would be a feature, not a bug!

    If I go, will be on the lookout for pepper.

    1. Craig at Middle Age Miles Post author

      Thanks for checking out the review, Luke Vader, and appreciate the comment and compliment. Definitely not too bling-y. Still Asian stylings from when it was the Mandarin Oriental, but kind of understated.

      I like the way you think on the champagne machine! I’d pay for that feature, for sure.

      Watch out for Pepper. He seems all nice and everything. But our college-aged kids said they slept with one eye open to make sure he wasn’t coming after them at night.

      You mentioned using your free weekend night certificate in your MtM comment. Unless it’s a really high-priced weekend, you can usually get better value elsewhere. Between the Amex Offer, solid points-earning, possible FHR benefits, possibly using Aspire resort credit, etc., it might make more sense as a paid stay – especially if you can use the free night cert at WA Beverly Hills or someplace else that might be more expensive. Then again, I wouldn’t turn my nose up at a free night there!

  4. Luke Vader

    Craig, thanks for the suggestions re the (Hilton) weekend night certificate. Agree that there can be better redemption possibilities. However, for most of our planned trips this year, I’m trying to burn through Marriott points while I still have upper status (which will almost certainly end come 2020). Other than Vegas, the only possibility for the certificate is NYC, which is a possibility this Fall. But NYC is just an idea while the convention in Vegas is extremely likely (and right before certificate expiration), so thought best to reserve the Waldorf. Including resort fees and taxes, the total value at Waldorf Vegas is (only) about $325, but absent NYC, it seems like the best (least worst) option for now.

    1. Craig at Middle Age Miles Post author

      All makes perfect sense to me. It’ll be a nice redemption for sure! I’m looking forward to hearing what you think of it after your stay (sounds like that is a few months away) – and especially whether you test out the champagne machine 🙂

    2. Craig at Middle Age Miles Post author

      Hey Luke V – So, it turns out that we’re going to use a Hilton Free Weekend Night Certificate at the Waldorf Las Vegas next month, right before it expires. Thought you’d get a kick out of hearing that. It’ll be on a pretty pricey Saturday night – the best rate I could find at the WA was $332, which would come to $427 all-in including resort fee & taxes. We’re going to stay at Caesars on the 3 previous nights (matched Caesars Diamond status, so no resort fees there, plus a good rate on a 700 sq ft petite suite). Then we’ll move over to the WA for Sat night, which would have been $400+ at Caesars too (but no free breakfast there). No complaints about the value for the certificate, especially since it’s an organic night when we would have been staying somewhere fairly nice anyway. Hope you’re doing well and have some fun travel planned for the summer. ~Craig

    1. Craig at Middle Age Miles Post author

      Hi Laurie – Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Looks like you found our review of the WA Vegas. Check out our reviews of the Aria:

      https://www.middleagemiles.com/2019/01/17/hotel-review-aria-las-vegas/

      https://www.middleagemiles.com/2019/03/15/supplemental-hotel-review-aria-las-vegas-corner-suite/

      We like them both, but they’re very different – Aria is a massive 4,000-room casino hotel; WA is a normal-style modestly-sized and calm/quiet luxury hotel (or semi-luxury at least).

      If you have any more specific questions after you’ve read the reviews, please don’t hesitate to ask. Hope this means you’re about to have a very fun trip to Vegas! ~Craig

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: