An Iconic Las Vegas Hotel Gets a Makeover

THE LAS VEGAS HILTON IS ONE OF THE KINGS OF THE LAS VEGAS HOTEL SCENE. Elvis Presley in his heyday was the property's headliner, at one point performing 58 consecutive sold-out shows—which broke all Las Vegas attendance records. The property, which was at the time called the International Hotel (it changed to the Hilton name in 1971), remains a venerable institution of Las Vegas' decorated and historic past.  Remodeled guest room at the Las Vegas HIlton

That, however, doesn't mean it wants to look like its 1970's former self. Since 2004, Hilton has spent more than $100 million toward new construction and renovation projects, which have now resulted in a new lobby, remodeled porte-cochere, an enhanced casino floor and a hip lounge, Tempo.

Most recently, the 3,000-room Hilton Las Vegas, the 16th-largest hotel in the world by rooms according to Forbes, has introduced a new room product in its North and East towers, which, in the words of Ira Sternberg, vice president of communications for the property, has taken the rooms from their classic beginning to a more elegant, contemporary design. In fact, the rooms at the Las Vegas Hilton are fitting of the plethora of renovating efforts being executed throughout Las Vegas, the result of a hyper-competitive hotel market.

What's New

The renovated rooms now feature new beds and bedding packages, 37-inch plasma TVs, Wi-Fi and other high-end amenities such as MP3 ports for digital music players.

In addition to the refurbished North Tower rooms, 221 executive-level Resort Club rooms have been added, which offer other amenities, such as upgraded bathroom products and iPod docking stations, and access to the Resort Club Lounge on the 24th floor with its complimentary food and beverage selections. In total, there are now 1,523 updated rooms for 2007 and beyond.

Upping the Ante

The improvements should make the Las Vegas Hilton an even more attractive lodging option for both leisure and convention travelers. The hotel is the largest property in Las Vegas that doesn't reside directly on The Strip (it's about two blocks away); however, it is easily accessible by Las Vegas' monorail system. "Before we were at a competitive disadvantage," says Sternberg, "but now we are connected."

Entertainment Options

Great news for tourists seeking the Las Vegas Hilton's acclaimed entertainment offerings. Although Barry Manilow might perform in a different vein than the late Presley, countless fans adore his lithe melodies and poppy hooks. If you want to catch his act, you have to get a seat at the Las Vegas Hilton, where he performs his Manilow: Music and Passion show almost daily. Manilow is now under contract to perform through 2008. The Las Vegas Hilton's Resort Club lounge offers complimentary food as well as other amenities

The hotel has more than just Manilow; in fact, it is finding new ways to dole out money besides via the casino. The Las Vegas Hilton held its first "$250,000 Game Show Spectacular" on October 8, a live game show hosted by legendary game show hosts Bob Eubanks (The Newlywed Game), Chuck Woolery (Love Connection) and Jamie Farr (The Gong Show), who will have rotating responsibility for the show. Showtimes are Monday through Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased on the hotel's web site or by calling The Hilton Box Office at 800-222-5361.

Other entertainment options include Menopause The Musical. This show, which has received great international success, is a celebration of women who have gone through, or are going through, "The Change." Showtimes are Monday though Saturday in the Shimmer Cabaret. For ticket information, call the Hilton Box Office. For group sales, 15 or more, call 888-440-6662, ext. 3

Tickets to these shows sell out fast, as do rooms. The Las Vegas Hilton's room rates are quite competitive with other hotels in the Vegas vicinity, and the new renovations might prove to pump them up even more. The hotel urges travel agents to call 800-732-7117 for all booking information.