After much anticipation and a $200 million renovation, the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas reopened on March 26, 2021 as the first Virgin Hotels gaming property. The rock'n'roll vibes of the Hard Rock have been traded in for a more chic, desert oasis look and their chambers (Virgin's nomenclature for rooms) convey a sense of Palm Springs Zen. While any of their rooms will offer an escape from the city's typical chaos, the suite to book is Richard's Flat—eponymously named after Virgin mogul Sir Richard Branson. The flat (which starts at $3,000 a night) will come online early this summer.
Richard's Flat is a 16th floor penthouse sprawling across 4,276 square feet and comes complete with three bedrooms, an outdoor patio, soaking tubs, a pool table, and a personal bar. Keeping in line with Virgin's full-service ethos, the not-so-mini bar in Sir Richard Branson's suite boasts street prices without the usual mark up, while the hotel has no resort fees (a rarity in the Las Vegas market). Sir Richard Branson's personal flat is one of just 1,500 luxe chambers, grand chamber suites, and penthouse suites.
Beyond the hotel's over-the-top Richard's Flat, the resort is breaking out all the culinary stops. The resort has installed executive chef David Werly who previously helmed the stoves at the Michelin-starred Le Cirque at Bellagio and Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas (now the Waldorf Astoria, Las Vegas). At Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, Werly is responsible for the all-day eatery Kitchen's at Commons Club and has elevated the city's standard for in-room dining.
If you're looking for some more convivial options, brothers David and Michael Morton have opened One Steakhouse, which exudes the energy of an ultra-lounge and serves food that would make their late grandfather and steakhouse czar Arnie Morton proud. Be sure to try the Osetra caviar-topped potato skins, table-grilled Wagyu, and King Crab.
Across the way, another hospitality consortium Hakkasan Group (known for their nightclubs and see-and-be-seen eateries) has brought their Mexican concept Casa Calavera from Los Cabos to the new Virgin Hotel. This is handedly the city's top Latin concept and their beverage program is bar none. While their menu may seem straightforward, their dishes are extremely well-executed and authentic. Think: pomegranate-topped guacamole, grilled elote, hibiscus margaritas, and the like.
Other dining options within the resort include a Nobu outpost (the only restaurant holdover from the Hard Rock days), Los Angeles' Thai stalwart Night + Market and soon-to-open Kassi Beach House, which promises coastal Italian and Greek-inspired fare. This will be shortly followed by a return of James Beard Award winner Todd English's Olives, a transplant from the Bellagio where it held a 20-year residency.
But perhaps the resort's best kept secret will be its spa. The menu focuses on restorative and hydrating treatments designed to combat the arid Las Vegas landscape, like their 80-minute signature 'Smashingly Good Spa Experience' that comes with a full body scrub followed by a hot stone massage.
This summer, the resort's pool and day club, Elia, is set to open alongside a club-esque sports book called Money, Baby! and a forthcoming concert hall, 24 Oxford.
Chambers can be booked online at virginhotelslv.com, and those looking to book Richard's Flat (from $3,000 a night) should call the hotel directly at 702-693-5000.
This story originally appeared on Departures.com.
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