Explore Las Vegas

Melanie in the City: New Virgin Hotels Las Vegas

Explore the new Virgin Hotels Las Vegas with our Las Vegas local editor, Melanie Lee

The long-awaited Virgin Hotels Las Vegas is now open with new restaurants (and some remodeled familiar favorites), an outdoor dining and entertainment concept, and a refreshing desert-themed space. Taking over the former Hard Rock Hotel property at the corner of Harmon and Paradise, the resort has undergone a complete facelift. However, the beloved bones and structure of the property are still present- this includes numerous staff members from the Virgin Hotels’ predecessor. I was treated to a first look at the property- follow along on a walk-through of the brand new hotel and casino.

Virgin Hotels Desert Decor Las Vegas, Nevada | WhereTraveler
Virgin Hotels Desert Decor (©Melanie Lee)

Design of the New Las Vegas Resort

The look and feel of the property are Vegas-specific and designed to reflect the city and the community. Richard “Boz” Bosworth, President & CEO of JC Hospitality and Owner of Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, explained at the start of our tour how much he wanted Virgin Hotels Las Vegas to honor the city, “1600 members of the community back to work. Local restaurateurs back to work and opening up restaurants. We want to make this about the community because the community supported the Hard Rock for 25 years, and this is our way of honoring the Las Vegas community.” 

Ruby Tower Check-In Lounge Las Vegas, Nevada | WhereTraveler
Ruby Tower check-in lounge (©Melanie Lee)

The Ruby Tower, Night + Market, & One Steakhouse

Our tour started in front of the Ruby Tower, the all-suite tower of the property, with a separate check-in area and lounge. The space brought neutral tones with fun pops of color and some of the most Instagrammable furniture around. From here, we walked over to Night + Market by Chef Kris Yenbamroong. The Thai street food concept comes to Las Vegas from Los Angeles and brings various Vegas-exclusive menu items. Across the hall, we come to One Steakhouse by restaurateurs David and Michael Morton. The brand new concept takes over the former MB Steakhouse space with a new design but much of the former (and beloved) menu. 

One Steakhouse Bar Interior Las Vegas, Nevada | Where Traveler
One Steakhouse Bar Interior (©Melanie Lee)

New and Returning Dining Options

We next ventured off to the left to find additional dining options. The Kitchen at Commons Club, which takes over the former Mr. Lucky’s 24/7 space, operates as the resort’s 24-hour cafe featuring international flavors and will also have a unique beverage program with a wide selection of drink options. Past The Kitchen is Pizza Forte, a locally-based Italian street food concept. Across the way, we find Nobu. As the only returning restaurant from the Hard Rock Hotel, Nobu will be reopening with a full facelift. Many of the resort’s restaurant concepts circle the resort pool and entertainment complex, each with its own outdoor dining areas. Guests can also order food from the restaurants to be delivered to them poolside.

The Bar at Commons Club
The Bar at Commons Club (©Melanie Lee)

The Bar at Commons Club

Curving around the casino floor, we walk past retail shops like Brookstone and Swag to find The Bar at Commons Club. The colorful space provides numerous seating options (and lots of room for social distancing), a photo booth, circular bar, and the resort’s most expensive decor piece- a colorful DJ grand piano that operates as a piano and a DJ booth. Plush booths with curtains surround the interior of the bar area, and past these booths, we made our way into the Shag Room- a space within The Bar that’s designed to operate as an ultra lounge. 

The Shag Room Las Vegas, Nevada | WhereTraveler
The Shag Room (©Melanie Lee)

Hotel Lobby & Casino Floor

At this point, we are at the main entrance to the hotel. As we walk in and out of the front doors, the desert theme is immediately apparent in cacti displays throughout the lobby area leading towards the casino. The space is bright and open, rare for a casino. Typically natural light in these areas would be scarce, but that is not the case here. The resort vibes are strong and inviting, from the bright red seats, and gemstone door handles to the earth tones and foliage. The gaming area encompasses the main space but carries the same bright color palette as the rest of the property. The casino floor will be operated by Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment.

Front Entry Interior Las Vegas, Nevada | WhereTraveler
Front Entry Interior (©Melanie Lee)

A Look at the Canyon Tower Chambers

From here, we made a quick trip up to visit one of the chambers in the Canyon Tower. A walk through one of their one-bedroom suites gave us a glimpse of resort life at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. The spaces feature earth tones with pops of color, an extra vanity area, and the signature Virgin Hotel beds. Resort guests can download the Virgin Hotels’ app “Lucy” for added comfort and convenience. The unique app operates as a room key, provides guests with a portal to book dining reservations, assists guests with workouts via Fitbod, and can even control the lights and thermostat in their rooms. Lucy can also order room service and check guests in, making their stay as contactless as they would like. The resort uses many Covid health and safety precautions in addition to the Hilton CleanStay initiatives. 

Canyon Tower Chamber Interior Las Vegas, Nevada | WhereTraveler
Canyon Tower Chamber Interior (©Melanie Lee)

A Visit to Casa Calavera

We now curve back around the casino towards Brookstone before turning down the hall to the left. Here, we find the upcoming location for Afters Ice Cream. Further down the hall, we visit Casa Calavera, a restaurant concept from Hakkasan Group that takes over the former Pink Taco space. The stunning Dia De Los Muertos-themed restaurant blends Instagrammable spaces with equally photogenic cuisine like their Mayan Chocolate Bomb. 

Casa Calavera Entry Las Vegas, Nevada | WhereTraveler
Casa Calavera Entry (©Melanie Lee)

The Opal Tower & Funny Library Coffee Shop

Further down the hall, we made our way to the left, where resort guests can enter the pool and outdoor space that’s perfect for lounging, sunbathing, and later, enjoying live music and events. The Opal Tower entrance is past these doors, as is Funny Library Coffee Shop, which will be pouring beverages made with Laughing Man Coffee (co-founded by Hugh Jackman). The bright space overlooks the pool area and provides the perfect morning (or mid-day) caffeine fix.

Funny Library Coffee Shop Las Vegas, Nevada | WhereTraveler
Funny Library Coffee Shop (©Melanie Lee)

Our Tour Comes to an End

Our tour ends where it began in front of the Ruby Tower. I’ve now taken over 200 photos and marveled at the variety of dining options and beautiful spaces this brand new resort provides. I’m also even more excited to visit again once the property is fully open. “I really feel we’ve designed a resort that can be all things to all people,” Richard Bosworth told us at the start of our tour. After a thorough tour of the property, I think it’s safe to say that’s been achieved. Virgin Hotels Las Vegas is now open. 

Virgin Hotels Las Vegas Bus Las Vegas, Nevada | WhereTraveler
Virgin Hotels Las Vegas Bus (©Melanie Lee)