Tag Archives: Las Vegas

Inside the SLS Hotel in Las Vegas

Elevator Art, SLS Hotel, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
Elevator Art, SLS Hotel, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
SLS Hotel, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
SLS Hotel, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
SLS Hotel, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
SLS Hotel, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
SLS Hotel, Las Vegas, Romi Cortier Selfie
SLS Hotel, Las Vegas, Romi Cortier Selfie
SLS Hotel, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
SLS Hotel, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier

I recently spent a night at the SLS Hotel in Las Vegas. I was there in late August of 2014, just a week after it opened, and I promised  myself that I’d return. It took me three years, but I made it.

I’d never seen the rooms before, only the lobby, which I loved!! To be honest, I’m not a big fan of Vegas, where every hotel  is pumped up on steroids. So I instantly fell in love with the scale of the SLS, as well as how artfully the interiors were laid out. In fact, I previously wrote about the hotel in an earlier blog post, and I’m thrilled to be able to follow up that post with some images inside the hotel rooms.

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a big fan of all things black and white. It’s such a strong design trend right now, and includes everything from luxury auto’s, to building exteriors, as well as commercial and residential interiors.

Lamborghini
Lamborghini
Range Rover
Range Rover

It took my eyes a moment to focus as I entered the hallway leading to my room. Yes, it was disorienting, but I loved it. I forced myself to move slowly so that I could absorb every detail: the chrome door handles, the textured carpet, the ah-mazing wall paper with the organic grass vibe… it was fantastic. And then I entered the room itself.  What a great color pairing, palest pinky salmon, mixed  with black and white. It felt oddly 1940’s, in a good way. I turned on every light in the room and marveled over how brilliant it was. Soft soft soft, setting  the mood for a  perfect selfie. And that really cool chrom-ish tree stump as end table has been on my must have list for ages. Yes I left it behind when I checked out, but I did wonder if they’d notice. And to make things even more perfect, they had a large scale piece of black and white art in the bathroom. Love it!!

I hope you’ll consider the SLS Hotel the next time you visit Vegas. It’s a little off the beaten path in the north end of town on the site of the former Sahara Hotel. They also have a dedicated stop for the hotel on the Las Vegas Monorail.

And lastly, while we’re talking about Artful Living, check out the sizzle reel for my new TV Pilot Artful Living with Romi Cortier, produced by Red Carpet Recio Productions. The full 22 minute pilot can be seen for free on Go Indie TV. It’s a celebration of Art, Architecture and Interior Design… all things that are very close to my heart.

 

The Sublime Architecture of Crystals Shopping Center in Las Vegas

Aria Hotel, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
Aria Hotel, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier

 

Aria, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
Aria, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
Aria Ceiling, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
Crystals Ceiling, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
Aria, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
The Shops at Crystals, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
Aria Staircase, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
Crystals Staircase Detail, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
Aria, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
Concierge for the Shops at Crystals, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
GLACIA at Aria, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
Glacia Public Art Installation, The Shops at Crystals, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
CityCenter Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
CityCenter Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier

Crystals Shopping Center in Las Vegas has the most sublime architecture of any Shopping Mall I’ve ever seen. With over half a million square feet of high end retail space and clean breathable smoke free air with the subtlest scent of fragrance, Crystals sets the bar for high end shopping at a ‘mall’.

Known as CityCenter, or CityCenter Las Vegas, it’s makes me think of what Frank Gehry might  have designed if he were ever enticed to create a shopping center, hotel and casino all in one.  The conceptual master plan was actually designed by Ehrenkrantz, Eckstut & Kuhn Architects, with almost 17 million square feet covering 76 acres. At a cost of over 9.2 billion, it took roughly 5 years to construct.

I first discovered this remarkable complex on 11.11.11 when I joined my sister in Las Vegas for her wedding (along with about 20 thousand others couples).  I’d heard about this ‘modern’ shopping center from a client of mine whose husband is an architect. Obviously it would have been impossible to miss this extraordinary presence on the Las Vegas Strip. It tantalizes everyone of your sense, from its stunning silhouettes, to its contrasting textures and tonal values. There’s even 5 water features with sounds to sooth your ears, including the remarkable ice sculpture Glacia.  With thirteen Ice Pillars rising 15 vertical feet, the core of each Pillar is maintained at a constant minus 5 degrees fahrenheit to keep them  frozen. It also takes up to 36 hours for the columns to re-freeze, which is no small feat when you considered it’s located just 50 feet from the entrance.  We all know how hot and crowded Vegas can be, and when you step from the strip into this slice of heaven, you never want to leave. My senses are booth soothed and invigorated from the moment I walk in. It’s a reprieve from the riff-raff and re-defines modern luxury. You don’t need to have deep pockets to walk into this mall and chill out, but it sure helps  if you do. Tom Ford, Valentino, Prada, Van Cleef & Arpels, Lalique, Gucci, Miu Miu, Cartier, Balenciaga… names, names names darling.  I feel like Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous as those lovely words roll off my tongue. Pack your Black Amex and meet me in Las Vegas at Crystals, it’s time for some retail therapy.

 

Las Vegas’s Vintage Neon Signs

Vintage Neon Cowboy, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
Vintage Neon Cowboy, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
Vintage Neon Horse, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
Vintage Neon Horse, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
Vintage Neon Glitter Gulch Sign, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
Vintage Neon Glitter Gulch Sign, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
Vintage Neon Griffin Sign, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
Vintage Neon Griffin Sign, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
Vintage Neon Showgirl Sign, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
Vintage Neon Showgirl Sign, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
Vintage Martini Neon Sign, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
Vintage Martini Neon Sign, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
Vintage Neon Swimmer Sign, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
Vintage Neon Swimmer Sign, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
Vintage Neon Starburst Sign, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
Vintage Neon Starburst Sign, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier

I love Las Vegas’s Vintage Neon Signs. They’re one of my favorite attractions in old downtown Las Vegas, which is located at the north end  of the strip on Fremont Street.  If you haven’t already been there, you must add it to your ‘to do’ list next time you’re in town. The scale of this area is much more human than the strip, with it’s mega casinos and hoards of tourists 20 deep on the streets. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still packed on Friday and Saturday nights with plenty of freaky folks to rival those on LA’s  Hollywood Boulevard. But there’s something old world and nostalgic about this area that keeps me coming back.

Named for John Charles Fremont,  it  dates back to 1905 when Vegas was founded, and became the city’s first paved road in 1925. Gambling was legalized in 1931 even though it was established well before then. The western end of Fremont Street was quite literally the picture of Las Vegas that was included in virtually every tv show and movie displaying the lights of Vegas…  think Elvis Presley in Viva Las Vegas 1964, or James Bond‘s Diamonds are Forever in 1971.

The road  to Glitter Gulch was closed to traffic in 1994, and the city embarked on construction of the Fremont Street Experience,  designed exclusively for  pedestrians. Imagine a metal canopy built 90 feet above the street that’s 90 feet wide and over  1500 feet long (4 blocks). Known as the Viva Vision Screen, it’s made up of 12.5 million LED lamps with a 550,000-watt sound system and plays 6 minute shows every hour beginning at dusk till 1:00 am. Recent expansion to the east, known as Fremont Street Experience East, features more of the refurbished vintage neon I’ve posted above and leads to several urban nightclubs.

If all of this isn’t enough to get you to old downtown Las Vegas, then go for the deep fried Twinkies and Oreos served at Mermaids Bar and Casino… that’s right, I loves me some junk food! Go big or go home. Honestly, it’s the first stop I make when I head to Vegas. However, it’s quite rich, so you might want to share an order with a special someone. But get there before midnight, because as I recently found out, that’s when they quit serving it.  I was ecstatic to get the very last order when I stopped in there a couple of weeks ago… and the twenty people behind me in line were groaning pretty loudly.   And let me tell you, there was a guy hovering near my table as he ‘waited for his wife’ who was using the restroom. He was eyeing the goods… but I wasn’t sharing. No way no how.

 

 

 

SLS Hotel & Casino Opens in Las Vegas!

SLS Hotel Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
SLS Hotel & Casino,  Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
SLS Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
SLS Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
SLS Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
SLS Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
SLS Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
SLS Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
SLS Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
SLS Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
Marilyn Monroe Photo, SLS Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
Marilyn Monroe Photo, SLS Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
SLS Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
Cleo Restaurant , SLS Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Photo Romi Cortier
Pool at SLS Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Photo Rom Cortier
Foxtail Pool Club,  SLS Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Photo Rom Cortier

The SLS Hotel & Casino just opened in Las Vegas over the weekend! At $415 Million it’s a beautifully sexy and sophisticated addition to the north end of the Las Vegas Strip. There’s so much being offered here, that it makes you wonder why you’d ever want to leave… ever.

While gaming is still a major component, it’s not the only draw for visitors. The list of top notch restaurants and nightclubs will make your head spin like a roulette wheel: Katsuya, designed by Philippe Stark, Bazaar Meat by Jose Andres, also designed by Stark, Cleo a mediterranean homage to glamorous Hollywood, Ku Noodle, Umami Burger – Beer Garden & Sports Book, 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria, The Griddle Cafe, The SLS Buffet, The Perq gourmet coffee bar, Life nightclub, Foxtail nightclub, Foxtail Pool Club, The Sayers Club, Monkey Bar, Center Bar and a 10,000 square foot rooftop space and pool called Beach Life.

If you’re not familiar with the SLS Hotel, it’s because there’s only a handful of them. There’s one in Beverly Hills on La Cienega at San Vicente, and another in South Beach Florida. I was enamored by my stay at the Beverly Hills SLS, and could’t get enough of Philippe Starck’s design. His impressive resume of hotels includes: The Royalton and Paramount Hotels in New York, the Delano in Miami, the Mondrian on LA’s Sunset Strip, the St. Martin’s Lane in London, Hotel Fassano in Rio de Janeiro… and so on. In 30 years he made quite an impression around the world, not to mentioned his work as a designer for household items manufacturer Alessi (see my earlier post) or wind turbines, bathroom fittings, floor and wall coverings, lighting.. you get the picture. He’s a gift from god and has shaped so much of how we view the world. I marvel at his creative output and am so thankful that he’s helped define artful living for a newer generation. That said, there was a steady stream of 60 and 70 year olds streaming in and out of the new SLS Hotel and Casino... I guess the word is out about Starck’s design and everyone wants a piece of it. It’ll be exciting to observe the evolution of the clientele in Vegas… will it only be a hotspot for millennial  hipsters, or will the SLS revive the hipster in all of us. I choose the latter, sublime design knows no age limitation.