Welcome to "The Most Seen Unknown" resort in town! If you've walked the strip, you've definitely seen the building, but probably had no clue it was named Elara, or any idea how to access it.
Completed in December of 2009, standing at 52 stories high, it's blue hued glass facade is accented with a trademark large red "fin" jettisoning out of the side. The fact that it dons a large "Hilton Grand Vacations" sign at its apex only adds to the confusion of its identity. Most people assume it is in fact a Hilton hotel, which is partially true.
Originally built by the timeshare behemoth, Westgate Resorts, it was known as the "PH Westgate Towers" (a nod to the history that it was originally to be a complex with multiple towers), in a partnership with Planet Hollywood Resorts and Casinos. Unfortunately at the time the full plans fell victim to the recession of the late 00's, leading to its acquisition and subsequent transformation into the Hilton Grand Vacations portfolio. 200 of the resorts 1,200 + rooms are actually timeshare units with the remaining being used as regular hotel suites. If you've watched the HULU documentary "Queen Of Versailles", this story should be familiar.
Elara is accessible by car off Harmon avenue or foot via an entrance inside the Planet Hollywood Miracle Mile Mall, a HUGE complex with stores, night clubs, restaurants & shows (J. Lo, Britney Spears, Kelly Clarkson to name a few) that connects with the Planet Hollywood casino. These amenities are a nice compliment to Elara placing whatever you may need just steps away.
You'll be drawn into the lobby by large swaths of light via the all glass concourse. Vast and welcoming, the area is beautifully designed with enough room that even at capacity, you still feel like hardly anyone is there. Also inside the lobby is the bar and a Starbucks with the pool deck and cabanas directly outside. If you're a "people watcher", you'll love this area.
The "Suite" Life...
The reason I HIGHLY recommend Elara to EVERYONE is because it easily competes with every high end hotel in Vegas. When a commercial of Vegas comes on TV, you're shown the opulence, the lights, the high roller lifestyle and pretty much everything that's generally the polar opposite of the regular joe's life & that's the appeal, The fantasy. What you'll also realize about Vegas is that opulence cost and those high roller hotel rooms will easily run you $400 a night on up.
Elara on the other hand was built cutting no corners and it's selling point is also its price point. You can get a studio here for the low to mid $100's and go on up from there (they even have 5 bedroom suites priced as low as $700 a night, date dependent of course).
The rooms however are by no means "standard", with leather headboards, backlighting, sectional couches, kitchens with black marble countertops, full refrigerator, stainless steel appliances, dishwasher, a clothes washer and dryer (NOT common in Vegas, let alone hotel rooms anywhere), themed artwork and floor to ceiling windows to name just a few of the touches.
Speaking of windows, most strip properties will have your regular sized ones, which is fine, however, I can't overstate enough the allure of the strip when viewed thru a wall of glass. By day you'll see as far as your vision allows, while by night, there's really no way to explain all the lights illuminating the strip.
We stayed in the "1 Bedroom Jr. Suite", which is just one notch up from the still very impressive "Studio Suite", room 2222. Storage wasn't an issue with plenty of closet space and additional shelving behind the sectional sofa. I was also impressed by the number of tv's in the unit, 5 to be exact with one each in the living room, bedroom, BATHROOM & Kitchen (baller status right!?!). And for the 5th.....
That's Not Just A Window Shade...
But there's one more thing that really, I mean REALLY, sets Elara apart from the competition. Press a button to close the full length window shade, hit another button and on turns a projector, converting your shade to a 125 inch projection screen! This is what made me want to stay at Elara in the first place and will "wow" anyone that sees it! I mean how many people can say the went to Vegas and had a theater room in their suite for less than other "big name" suites with less amenities?
Elara is that cool spot that is perfect for any occasion and is an easy way to feel like a high roller on a 6 Kids Crew budget! You're located in the center of the action, "with a mall at your feet and a movie theater in your suite" (you see what I did there?). This is a great way to stay in luxury without compromise. Technology is also by design as the rooms thermostat and blinds are all connected allowing you to adjust the temperature or open/close the blinds via your remote. Oh and don't even think about bringing a roku with you, Netflix and a Chromecast are both built into the television plus you can rent DVDs for free in the lobby!
The full kitchens include all cookware and dishes which allow you to save money when traveling with a family. Or if you're looking for a place to have a couples getaway, bachelor or bachelorette party, the multi room suites are a no brainer, with many of them even featuring a balcony or additional observation room (inside the red fin, you'll receive a premium view of the strip)
Special Tip: If you can set aside 120 minutes during your trip to take a timeshare tour, I can show you how to stay in the same style suite as us, 3 nights for only $200! Also to make the deal even better, you get the $200 BACK after you complete the tour... 3 nights for FREE?? Definitely a no brainer! Ask me how!