Fontainebleau Las Vegas’ Wait Worth It

Fontainebleau Las Vegas Worth it the Wait
Fontainebleau Las Vegas Worth it the Wait | Image Credit:

The 67-story, 3,644-room Fontainebleau Las Vegas opened its doors in December, marking the end of an extraordinarily lengthy and convoluted financial journey that started in February 2007 and ended two years later when the Great Recession forced the project’s completion to a standstill.  The property’s original investment group, Fontainebleau Development, retook possession, finished construction, and opened the doors with great fanfare on December 13, 2023, further revitalizing the once-moribund north Strip. However, over the course of the following 16 years, there were numerous ownership changes and development cycles.

Fortunately, the patience paid off.  The property is breathtakingly beautiful, with an opulent style that Las Vegas hasn’t seen in a long time.  Essentially, Fontainebleau Las Vegas has revived a bygone era of refined elegance and a certain swagger, transporting guests back to a period when they used to dress up for dinner and cocktails.  While fashion trends may have evolved, what I saw during a recent trip was quite different from the carefree, casual vibe that has been the standard in Las Vegas for the previous twenty years.  Rather, a clientele that comes ready to turn heads and make an impression gives the property a sophisticated vibe that suggests great things are ahead for the glitzy casino resort.

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The resort’s Miami Beach namesake, which was founded in 1954 and is now likely the most well-known hotel in Florida, is responsible for the resort’s signature bowtie iconography and combination of traditional and modern luxury design. There are bowties everywhere: on the flooring, walls, light fixtures, dealer uniforms, hotel keycards, and in other unanticipated locations that aren’t always obvious.  Big, striking sculptures and other elegant, large works of art compliment each other in the public areas, grabbing attention without overpowering the allure of their particular locations.

With luxurious amenities including plush bedding, plush towels, a marble bathroom with two sinks and a separate tub and shower cubicle, and high-end products, the accommodation definitely leans toward luxury.  The already spacious 488 square foot basic Bleau King, with its ocean-inspired color palette of blue and gray, gains more room with floor to ceiling windows.

Fontainebleau Las Vegas
Fontainebleau Las Vegas | Image Credit:

It was well known in the community that Fontainebleau recruited seasoned hospitality professionals from all sectors of the Las Vegas casino-resort industry to fill its almost 6,000 open staff positions.  And from what I saw, the elite talent was the one that moved.  The resort’s service is sophisticated, effective, kind, and exceedingly competent in every area.

Novel ideas for food and beverages

Guests at Fontainebleau are faced with a difficult decision when choosing between 36 food and beverage establishments, particularly when it comes to gourmet dining.  Furthermore, none of the stores here are replicas of Las Vegas; instead, they are imports or first-to-market ideas.  The pan-Asian restaurant Komodo astonished me with its ambitious menu, which features both innovative and classic dishes like Wagyu dumplings and Peking Duck.  Additionally, the establishment offers a social media-worthy presentation of their Banana Pagoda dessert.  

Italian food enthusiasts swarm to Mother Wolf, an L.A. import restaurant featuring chef Evan Funke’s homage to traditional Roman fare, which includes menu items like Veal Saltimbocca, Rigatoni Alla Carbonara, and Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe.  Choose the intriguing and delectable Fiori di Zucca as your first course, which are tempura-styled, ricotta-filled squash blossoms.  Additionally, the chef’s unconventional focaccia, Sfincione, is divine.

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Considered a modern take of a steakhouse are Miami-born Papi Steak and Vegas-born Don’s Prime, whereas Washing Potato, a dim-sum specialty, stands out for its audacious and unconventional construction.  The Mexican-inspired Cantina Contramar and Hakkasan creator Alan Yau’s Chyna Club are still closed for business this year.  And La Fontaine, a classy brunch-only spot offering a sophisticated feast from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Wed. – Mon., is probably a first for Las Vegas.    

The Promenade, which carries on the city’s premium food hall tradition with a variety of ideas that suit most palates, is the main destination for casual eating.  Convenience, affordability, and flavor are all combined at the Promenade’s eateries, whether customers want to eat at Miami Slice or stop by El Bagel for bacon, egg, and cheese on a bagel.

Public spaces and casinos are impressive

James Bond would feel right at home in the gorgeous and roomy 150,000 sq. ft. casino with its dramatic architecture and high ceilings, especially when sipping a classic martini at the centrally located Bleau Bar, which features a massive, dramatic crystal chandelier that pays homage to its Miami Beach counterpart.

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As may be anticipated for a facility in Las Vegas, the Fitness Center is spacious and extremely well-equipped, with several rooms housing every type of equipment imaginable. Lapis Spa is a full-service operation that provides numerous treatments for a range of pricing ranges.  When the weather warms up, the six-acre, raised pool deck with its seven different pool experiences, five bars, two restaurants, and a gaming section will surely become a popular destination.  The BleauLive Theater, the property’s main entertainment area, can hold 3,800 people across three floors.

However, Fontainebleau’s general ambience and style are what really make it stand out from other opulent Strip establishments.  There’s a motif that runs throughout the vast casino resort, with modern luxury accents in the rooms and suites and various architectural and design allusions to the Miami Beach original.  The property’s theme song, a catchy Paul Anka song that sounds like Sinatra, and the oversized black-and-white photos of elegantly dressed, beautiful people (in celebratory moods) that adorn the walls all heavily evoke nostalgia for the mid-century glamour that once defined Las Vegas, a nostalgia that Fontainebleau management has skillfully positioned the property to recapture.


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