Good location on the Strip
ConsConfusing casino layout
Pushy about guests taking a tour of their new condominium
Full ReviewWhen visiting Las Vegas, there are many hotels to choose from. The two most popular locations are the Strip and Downtown Las Vegas.
Planet Hollywood is a hotel located in the heart of the Strip. It is surrounded by other popular hotels, such as The Bellagio, Paris Hotel, Bally's, and Vegas' newest hotel, Aria. This is an excellent location for the hotel, as most Strip attractions are within walking distance or a short cab ride.
Never heard of a hotel on the Strip called Planet Hollywood? That's because it's predecessor was the more well-known Aladdin. Aladdin, which originally opened in 1966, was torn down in 1998, was rebuilt, and reopened again in 2000. Due to financial difficulties, it finally closed in 2003 and was sold to Planet Hollywood (you know, the restaurants that the celebrities used to own) and Starwood Hotels. (It is worth mentioning that Planet Hollywood is now owned by Harrah's, which is very convenient when it comes to their Total Rewards Program.) Aladdin had an Arab-esque theme, while Planet Hollywood has a more hip and trendy vibe.
The hotel has received a complete makeover. There are only a few signs that Aladdin ever existed. One is in the shopping mall, and one is in the Spice Market Buffet, which still has a Middle Eastern/Mediterranean section, not to mention the name came from Aladdin and still has that Arab-esque flair to it.
Speaking of the shopping mall, the Miracle Mile Shops are adjacent to Planet Hollywood. Two of the casino entrances are to the shops. There are a variety of stores, from trendy to newsstands. There are also a few restaurants and bars inside the mall. It's not a bad mall; in fact it's pretty nice and you can find almost everything you are looking for, including cheesy Vegas souvenirs. However, the Bellagio shops and the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace are within walking distance, and the Fashion Show Mall is just a quick cab or bus ride down the Strip. If one of your goals in Vegas is to shop and you are limited on time, I highly recommend one of these over the Miracle Mile Shops.
When it comes to food, Planet Hollywood has one of the best buffets on the Strip. The Spice Market Buffet serves fresh food and a wide variety. The seafood is especially good; boiled shrimp and king crablegs have always been top notch. They also serve raw oysters, but I didn't try them. I could honestly write a separate article just reviewing the Buffet. The price is comparable to others on the Strip. One important noteâ€¦expect a long line, even at off-peak times. The other restaurant choices aren't really worth mentioning, although there is a Mexican restaurant called Yolo's that is reasonably priced and has a decent frozen margarita. There's a Starbucks in the casino!
The casino is definitely different from other casinos on the Strip. It has an unusual layout and it is easy to get turned around. There is an area known as The Pleasure Pit, where pretty girls deal blackjack and sometimes dance on areas above the tables. There are the usual selection of slot machines and just about every table game. They have a poker room, but it's not really a room per se. It's about 15 tables that are sectioned off from the rest of the casino, but people can still walk through it if they are lost or looking for a shortcut. I'm a fan of the poker room. The seats are comfortable, they have daily low-limit tournaments, it's non-smoking, and they have lessons every morning at 9 am. Every Tuesday night there is a Ladies Only tournament, something that is not common on the Strip.
As far as the rooms go, they are pretty standard. Planet Hollywood's signature is that in every room has a movie theme, with a picture of a movie and some kind of memorabilia from that movie (again, drawing from the theme of the restaurants). Although the rooms are nothing to write home about, the bathrooms are pretty cool. There is a separate shower and tub, and the tub is wonderfully oversized. After a long day of walking the Strip, it is so nice to soak in a warm bubble bath.
The hotel staff is exceptionally friendly and accommodating. Even during a busy check-in the line was long but moved quickly. Express check-out is also available.
A Major Complaintâ€¦
Once you check in, the staff will try to sell you on taking a tour of their new timeshare. This is something that is becoming more and more common on the Strip. After avoiding the hard sells on previous trips (not from Planet Hollywood, but other hotels), I finally gave in to see what all the fuss was about and maybe use the experience to write a review. After about 20 minutes of filling out a form, answering questions, and being asked to put down a $20 deposit, the clerk informed me there were no more openings for the tour. This was extremely aggravating, as he could have confirmed that information before going through the process. This was all before we even had a chance to go to our room, so we were still lugging around our bags and were a little tired from the plane ride, airport shuttle, checking in, etc. And this is not the only time you will be approached; as you walk in and out of the casino from the Miracle Mile Shops, the staff will ask you to take a tour every time.
To be fair, they do offer good deals in exchange for your time. Usually it's show tickets or money to play in the casino. My husband and I were offered $75 each to play at the table games. That's not too shabby to walk around a nice hotel for 90 minutes. However, I feel the hotels in general need to work on their approach, because it turns off the tourists.
I have stayed at Planet Hollywood a few times now, and will stay there again. Overall, it's in a great location, is reasonably priced, and of course there is the Buffet! Next time, however, I will go back to ignoring the folks who ask me to tour their timeshares.
In ClosingPlanet Hollywood Resort & Casino
3667 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, NV 89109