Red Rock Casino the first outdoors-focused casino in town mixes rugged style with classic Vegas glitz.
Thomas J. Story
WHERE TO STAY, OFF THE STRIP
Get a good night's sleep off the Strip ― for a calmer stay and easier access to desert parks.
Green Valley Ranch Resort, Spa, Casino. The first off-Strip luxury resort to cater to the locals. Decor is Mediterranean-style timeless as opposed to up-to-the-minute trendy, and the pool, with its private cabanas and sandy beach, is as hopping as any you'll find on the Strip. From $189; www.greenvalleyranchresort.com or 866/782-9487.
The Platinum Hotel and Spa. A new ― gasp ― nongaming hotel opened in October off the Strip, by a block and a half. 255 suites come with full kitchens, plus two pools and a 17th-floor rooftop terrace with telescopes. From $189; 211 E. Flamingo Rd.; www.theplatinumhotel.com or 877/211-9211.
Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa. Dripping in more than three million crystals and walled in mahogany, wenge wood, and splashes of real red sandstone mined from the nearby canyon, Red Rock is the first billion-dollar hotel to be built off the Strip. No crazy lines at check-in and a separate casino entrance ― one with windows, no less! ― make the place quieter, and lighter, than your typical Vegas high-rise. From $209; 11011 W. Charleston Blvd.; www.redrocklasvegas.com or 866/767-7773.
The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas. For real R&R, Vegas-style, head 17 miles east of town to Lake Las Vegas Resort ― a collection of golf courses, hotels, restaurants, shops, and gated communities centered around a 320-acre manicured lake. Of the three hotels here, the Ritz is our favorite for its lush gardens and outstanding service. From $329; 1610 Lake Las Vegas Pkwy., Henderson, NV; www.ritzcarlton.com or 702/567-4700.