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