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FOUR SEASONS

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South Strip

3960 Las Vegas Blvd. S.

Las Vegas, NV 89109

877-632-5000

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424 Rooms

$200 and up double

$250-$300 per night

$39.20 per night including tax

82

AT A GLANCE

Highs

Pure luxury at its finest.

Lows

Wow, it's expensive to stay here.

Location: 9

Very close to the South Strip madness.

Price: 5

Expensive but so is everything else these days

Value: 10

You get a lot here and more at Mandalay Bay

Rooms: 10

Luxurious and comfortable

Casino: 5

The Mandalay Bay casino is very close.

Amenities: 10

If it isn't there, you don't need it.

Facilities: 7

A little slim here, but Mandalay Bay is attached.

Service: 10

Catering to your every whim.

Fun: 7

Living well is always fun.

Bonus: 9

If you can afford it, go for it

Total: 82

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FULL REVIEW

Those lucky enough to be able to afford luxury hotels usually look no further than The Four Seasons, no matter what city they are in. The Vegas version will not disappoint them. The property is stunning - even more so now with a recent remodeling - and the service is world-class but consider yourself warned: this hotel is not for the average Vegas visitor. Unless you have a lot of money and enjoy the perks and pampering that comes with it, this is probably not the place for you.

The hotel is technically part of the Mandalay Bay resort but unless you come in from that direction you'd have a hard time knowing it. There is a separate entrance, lobby, bars, restaurants, spa, pool, elevators, and rooms that are only accessible to guests of The Four Seasons. It is quite remarkable how well they have isolated themselves from the hubbub of the building in which they are located. Every square inch of the public areas is infused with a quiet opulence that only changes when you wander down the long halls and are faced with the din of casino madness.

Stay in the cocoon of the Four Seasons and you will be rewarded with two restaurants - the meat-lovers paradise of Charlie Palmer Steak and the little-something-for-everyone Verandah Cafe. A new lobby bar called Press is in the works that will have coffee and espresso during the day and a casual lounge experience in the evenings. That spills out to a trellis-covered patio with fire pits, cozy seating, and lush landscaping.

Private elevators access The Four Seasons rooms, which occupy the 35th through 39th floors of the Mandalay Bay main tower. Despite having similar layouts, these are not just nicer versions of the Mandalay Bay rooms. The dÀcor, the furnishings, and the general feel of even the elevators and hallways are completely different - much more luxurious at The Four Seasons.

The 2012/2013 remodeling project took what were already very nice rooms and turned them into stunners. Take a few moments to appreciate the small touches the soft textures and delicate patterns in the wall and furniture coverings that transform a wall or a bench into works of art. Definitely pay attention to the metal work around the room. Done at a local foundry, the gorgeous, hand-crafted light fixtures, tables, and mini-bar trays are worthy of coveting but probably won't fit in your suitcase.

Amenities include flat-panel televisions, soft linens, high-speed Internet, iPod docking stations, wet-bar, mini-fridge, comfy robes, in-room coffee makers, safes, irons and boards, and other niceties.

The up-level suites go all the way up to massive three bedroom affairs that wrap around the entire end of the hotel, offering 180-degree views of Vegas. The amenities and facilities here are too numerous to mention.

There is a very nice spa area with treatment rooms larger than my apartment, a full workout facility, and a private pool separate from the Mandalay Bay's facility. It is here that you'll really start to get the concept behind this hotel with luxurious service that borders on the ridiculous. For instance, they actually have people who will mist you with Evian water or provide chilled towels and popsicles if the desert sun gets to be too much.

It is all about service at The Four Seasons. The staff is omnipresent yet not at all intrusive, waiting to cater to your every whim and pampering you with special little touches that will mostly go unnoticed. For instance, when you arrive the bedside clock/stereo is facing toward the room but during turn-down service, the maids turn it toward the bed so you can see how late you're going to bed. Simple stuff but when every hotel in town has flat panel TVs and fine linens, you need the little things to set yourself apart.

I could go on and on but I think you probably get the idea. So where is the bad news? It'll come with your bill. To get all of this luxury you can expect to pay at least (with an emphasis on the "at least") $200 per night for a standard room and usually more than that. Sometimes a LOT more. Plus they charge an absolutely ridiculous $39.20 per night resort fee on top of the already high rates.

Is it worth it? If you need to ask that question, then probably not. The Four Seasons caters to a very specific, very wealthy, very pampered market - one that wouldn't say "Ouch" at the thought of spending at least $200 per night for a hotel room in Vegas (or anywhere else). I'm not part of that market. If you are and want to stay on The Strip, then this is one of your best options.

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