As We See It

First impressions of Delano, the Strip’s newest resort

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A look at the eclectic lounge Franklin at the new Delano Las Vegas on Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014.
Photo: Christopher DeVargas

It rocks.

Guests entering the rebranded boutique hotel tower attached to Mandalay Bay from valet are welcomed by a boulder—a 10-foot-tall, 126,000-pound hunk of rock from the Nevada desert that’s been sliced in half, with a walkway through the middle. Run your hand along the smooth interior face; it feels fantastic.

It pours.

With a stellar beverage program (beautifully balanced craft cocktails, barrel-aged libations and 32 microbrews), Delano’s Franklin rivals other local mixology-minded spots like Vesper, Velveteen Rabbit and Herbs & Rye. But its chic, laid-back vibe is unusual for a Strip-side lobby bar, and with grooving downtempo tunes, it may be your new favorite place to grab cocktails with colleagues, kick-start a party or wind down with a nightcap.

Delano Las Vegas Grand Opening

It soars.

Near the main reception area, another rock installation begs to be Instagrammed: a hanging sculpture by Korean artist Jaehyo Lee that features hundreds of small rocks suspended in space. It looks like a freeze-frame of an explosion.

It’s a name.

Like the new SLS on the opposite end of the Strip, the Delano is a hip, name-brand hotel imported from elsewhere, and that brings certain perks—like a grand opening party with a fashion show by British designer Charlotte Ronson. Next year, the property will swap Mix restaurant for Alain Ducasse’s Rivea and will debut a South Beach-style dayclub, tapping into its Miami roots.

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