The crucial difference between "current" and "classic" has to do primarily with the amount of effort you put into it. Pay a lot of attention to what's happening in the world, learn lessons from your own past and the past of those around you, and throw a lot of time, money, and elbow grease at the issue and you can stay "current" for a long time. Anything less and you risk sliding into "classic" territory, which is not necessarily a bad thing unless you're a Las Vegas hotel. Here, "classic" can mean irrelevant.
The Palms started out as the epicenter of "current," with a line-up of hip nightclubs, celebrity chef restaurants, and a starring role on MTV's "The Real World" leading the way toward party-central and even pop-culture dominance. But that was more than a decade ago, when tweeting meant making bird noises, a smart phone was one with speed dial, and slot machines were things with reels that accepted and dispensed coins.
Not willing to slip into "classic" territory, the last owners of The Palms threw a great deal of time, money, and elbow grease into into keeping the hotel "current," with cutting edge design in the rooms, new nightclubs, a new casino, and more. Whether they were successful is debatable and mostly moot at this point since there is a new owner on board and they are throwing out the old playbook and going for something new once again.
Red Rock Resorts (owner of places like Green Valley Ranch and Sunset Station) now has the keys to the property and they are changing almost everything. A big chunk of the rooms are going to be remodeled; all of the old nightclubs are gone and will be replaced by new ones; the casino is getting a top to bottom overhaul; and almost all of the restaurants have or will be closing to be replaced by new ones from bold name chefs like Bobby Flay and Michael Symon. Oh, they're also redoing the pool, the lobby, the main entrance, and part of the parking garage. What that means to you is that you can expect some inconveniences when you visit until it is all done in late 2018.
The hotel is located just West of the Strip on Flamingo road (across the street from The Rio), meaning that you could walk to The Strip if you are a hearty type but you'll probably wind up driving, cabbing, or Uber-ing pretty much anytime you want to leave the property.
The accommodations in the Ivory Tower (formerly the Palms Tower) have all gotten an overhaul, turning what were nice but fairly forgettable rooms into ones that definitely leave an impression. A neon-colored mural dominates one wall with a set of eyes acting as the primary focal point. Some may find it disconcerting (they seem to follow you around the room) but most will be too busy taking pictures of it to Tweet to their friends to worry about it. These rooms are not slated to get an overhaul... yet.
The beds are pillow-top soft, the furnishings are plush and vividly colored (fuchsia and electric blue are common), and the amenities plentiful and modern from 46" HDTVs to ports for just about any electronic device you happened to bring with you. Other standard equipment includes a desk, high-speed Internet, iron and board, safe, and hair dryer.
Bathrooms are on the smallish side and have been renovated to only include showers (no tubs), but they are sleek and comfortable as long as you aren't intending to share it with anyone else for an extended period of time. The frosted glass and stone accents certainly make them prettier than your average commode.
Rooms in the Fantasy Tower are getting a remodel so we'll come back to those later unless you happen to be staying in one of the Fantasy Suites, epic bits of Vegas silliness that feature everything from the space where they filmed "The Real World" (stripper pole included) to an indoor basketball court.
If you're looking for the real peace and quiet(er) spot, The Palms Place tower, located on the far west end of the hotel's property, is a residential/rental complex with condos that are both owner-occupied and in rentable. They range from one bedroom suites with full kitchens, Jacuzzi tubs, and fireplaces all the way up to multi-story palaces that are bigger than your average suburban home. Leonardo DiCaprio is reportedly one of the people who owns a unit here but I doubt he puts his in the rental pool for you to crash in for a few nights. Don't steal anything if you do.
The casino dominates most of the main floor and it offers everything you need in a casino including all the latest slots, a lot of video poker machines, a sports book, keno and poker rooms, a high-limit salon, and all the table games you may want. As mentioned above, it's all in flux right now but I have found it's reputation for having good payouts to be overblown. Perhaps luck just wasn't on my side.
Prices are pretty good - as low as $129 on the weekends and as low as $99 during the week, although most of the time they are higher to much higher than that. Note that there is also a mandatory $36.27 per night resort fee that covers things like Internet and gym access.
Casino and restaurant staff members are generally friendly and willing to help. Front desk and nightclub staff often come across as brusque. Not sure why this is but it's been like that pretty much since they opened the doors.
Of course all of this is the "now" version of The Palms designed to stay current with the times. I wonder what the next version will look like.