Gone are the camels and the sand-colored minarets of the Sahara. In their place, sleek white towers with subdued gray accents and crystalline floor-to-ceiling windows rise from a dusty construction site. Reviving the all-but-forgotten north end of Las Vegas Boulevard, SBE’s first casino-hotel will open August 23 in the Sahara’s footprint. Old Vegas saw Dean, Frank and Sammy frolicking there, but the new SLS Las Vegas brings with it the Sayers Club and suites designed by Lenny Kravitz and Philippe Starck. Inside, there will be Hollywood favorites such as Katsuya, Cleo, the Griddle Café and a new concept by José Andrés called Bazaar Meat, complete with its own Bazaar Casino. Also, an Umami Burger Beer Garden & Sports Book will round out the six casual and three fine-dining concepts. Foxtail, a lounge and pool club, and nightclub Life will further acquaint tourists and locals with SBE’s raucous style of 24-hour partying. I was recently given a pre-opening tour of the space, and there are a few surprising nuances to note.
Art is everywhere. Guests who enter from the porte cochere off Las Vegas Boulevard will step onto an LED floor installation from Korean Technologies. The company designed seven multimedia displays around the property, including a large LED cloud over the center bar.
The buffet will have a cabin-chic design. Located on the second level, it is more intimate than the Las Vegas buffet standard, with only 300 seats—an anomaly as everything else in the SLS Las Vegas is enormous in comparison to its counterparts in SBE’s Los Angeles properties.
Bazaar Meat will be one of the largest restaurants in Las Vegas, with more than 400 seats. Bazaar Casino will have table games and lounge seating, creating a true bridge between gambling and dining. The kitchen will boast three massive wood-burning grills, two wood-fire ovens and two Josper grills. There will also be a raw-meat bar of tartar and carpaccio. The back of the restaurant will house a 44-seat dining room with a seafood bar (featuring fresh live scallops oysters, sea urchin and king crab), plus an all-silver private dining space with two long tables that will seat 11 guests each. Expect animal-head wall accents throughout.
The VIP and non-VIP queues for Life Nightclub will be on opposite sides of the venue. Adjacent to Bazaar Meat and Bazaar Casino, Life will have direct access to a pool deck on its second level. Foxtail will face the main pool deck, with three garage-style doors creating an indoor-outdoor vibe. Sayers Club will have a patio facing Las Vegas Boulevard.
SLS Las Vegas will aim to be locals friendly. President Rob Oseland promises looser slots, lower limits on table games and lower price points for restaurants and bars. “Our gaming floor, food and beverage platform and location will appeal to locals,” he says. “Tourists are also going to find great value for their gaming dollar here in comparison to [other resorts on the] Strip.”
Fred Segal is not one store but seven, and they will be positioned around the entrances. Entering from Las Vegas Boulevard, there is a men’s Fred Segal to the left and a women’s Fred Segal to the right. Guests coming in via the Paradise entrance will encounter the five additional stores specializing in other retail categories such as jeans, jewelry and shoes.