Las Vegas, NV 89119
When searching for out of town accommodations, especially for a romantic getaway, there are a few key attributes that can make or break a hotel, in my opinion:
- A gorgeous bathroom
- A sumptuous bed/linens
- Great attentive service from the hotel staff
Having found TheHotel via a search on LasVegas.com, I had no way of knowing, based solely on photographs, if the hotel would meet these criteria, but based on the recommendations of a few travelers (as well as friends who know my taste), we went ahead and booked it for our honeymoon. I'm pleased to say, it not only met my expectations, but far exceeded them in most every way possible.
First off, TheHotel is a non-gaming hotel; while it's adjacent to the Mandalay Bay, and can be accessed via their casino, it has a completely different atmosphere and flavor than the adjoining property.
From the moment you step out of your car at the Valet stand, and enter the first set of glass doors, your nose detects a gentle, floral scent (we learned from the Spa that it's a "proprietary scent," and they wouldn't tell us what it was made of). Pass the second set of doors, and your eye is immediately drawn upward to a huge chandelier made of dozens of blown glass tear-drop shaped globes, suspended over a huge black table, displaying huge, tall vases of meticulously arranged white blooms.
As you enter further, you come into a slightly dimmer-lit vestibule, decorated with an assortment of black abstract paintings, and cases containing HUGE, 180 million year old chunks of quartz. A soundtrack of techno-lounge music plays softly in the background (and the mood/tempo of the music changes slightly throughout the day, ramping up to a slightly more danceable pace in the late evening hours). The overall vibe here is just 'cool.' Very contemporary, very clean and elegant.
As you make your way to the check in counter, you'll pass TheCoffeeBar and TheLounge. Check in was seamless, and very pleasant. When the desk clerk learned it was our wedding/honeymoon, she made a phone call, and upgraded our suite to a larger, corner room.
The elevator vestibule is a wonder of black marble (or granite?) with more arrays of white blooms and a very cool, dark feel, accented by indirect lighting.
Upon entering the suite, we were greeted by what felt like a trendy apartment in a large downtown area. A half-bath in the foyer, tiled entryway, leading into a good-sized living room. The living room was furnished in a very contemporary fashion, dark colors, accented with bright splashes here and there. A couch, armchair, 42" plasma flat screen and a large writing desk and chair finish out the living room, as well as a mirrored wet-bar.
From the bedroom, making the way into the bedroom, we were greeted with wrap-around glass, interrupted only by the wall-mounted entertainment center and another 42" plasma. Luxurious linens and feather-down pillows made the bed, which was flanked by huge black side tables and mirrored panels, with a softly upholstered headboard.
From the bedroom into the glamour bathroom... wow. Just a beautiful, beautiful bathroom, the centerpiece of which was a huge, deep Roman tub, surrounded in black marble. The dual sinks, large shower, fluffy towels, plasma TV and in-house toiletries rounded it out to make a very pleasing place to soak at the end of a long day on the strip.
While a minor thing to note, I was amused by the gradually-brightening lights in the bath, as well as in the commode room -- in the wee hours of the a.m., this is a very well appreciated touch.
While we were very pleased with the room, we did experience some minor issues during our stay:
While there was a card in the bathroom that indicated they were on a "Green plan," and therefore only replaced towels on the 3rd day, or sooner upon request, we were miffed to find that by day 4, our bed sheets hadn't yet been changed at all (there was a small, telltale black inkspot on one of them, which made it easy to tell that they hadn't been changed). Additionally, it appeared housekeeping hadn't vacuumed our room at all over those same 4 days.
Also, we noticed periodically a rather unpleasant odor coming from the half-bathroom. At first, we didn't think much of it, and I would light a candle to mask it, by on the 4th day, it became too strong to bear.
So, on day 4, I contacted the front desk about these matters. It was late at night, so there wasn't a manager on duty, so I was assured one would contact me the following morning. When that didn't happen, I was a bit more than miffed.
The following evening, we went to speak to another manager about the issues. She was appalled at the lack of response we'd received from the other manager, and went way above and beyond to make amends for it (including crediting some spa services we'd enjoyed, giving us a food and beverage credit on our account, and moving us into a Penthouse Suite for the duration of our stay).
Needless to say, with as wonderful as we found the standard suite, the Penthouse was beyond our wildest expectations, with 180 degree views of the strip, and the mountains (it was on the end of the building, on the 43rd floor). Easily measuring upwards of 2000 square feet, it housed a large foyer, half bath, office, large living room with sectional sofa, 2 arm chairs and a 42" plasma, dining room with seating for 6, and a large walk-in wet bar with barstools.
The other end of the suite contained the bedroom, which has a small sitting area with desk, another (smaller) living room with a love seat and two arm chairs, and a large upholstered ottoman/coffee table. Round the corner to the sleeping area, with a bed and side tables identical to the small suite, but dressed in finer linens (wonderful sheets).
From there, there's a small hallway with two closets, and a full length mirror, and then the bathroom. The bath was similar to the smaller suite, with minor changes: a Jacuzzi tub, a bidet, and the shower doubles as a steam-room. Towels and bath products have also been upgraded.
Throughout the suite, there are control panels for the surround sound, and each room (including the bath) is wired with JBL speakers in the ceiling. You can tune the speakers in to the T.V. channel that is on, or radio, CD or DVD. Also, all draperies in the suite are operated by wall-mounted control panels.
Once in this suite, we found it hard to even leave, as the nighttime views of the lights along the strip were just spellbinding.
Valet and Bell staff was friendly and attentive throughout our stay, so please remember to tip them accordingly!).
My only criticisms of the hotel are the following:
Pillows - while they felt like real feather down, they were very thin, and flattened easily. We did have to request extra pillows, and even so, they were not up to par (especially considering how wonderful the bed was!)
Closet Space - The closet space in our initial suite was somewhat limited, and then further crowded by the room safe atop the dresser. Apparently the non-corner rooms have a bit more closet space (two closets flanking the entertainment center), and it was a small sacrifice to make, however a bit more space would have been nice.
However, all in all, our stay (in spite of the minor issues) was amazing. They went above and beyond to satisfy us, and it made for a wonderful and romantic honeymoon celebration.
Los Angelees, CA 90014
While we were shopping for my own engagement ring, we had also decided that we would get an engagement ring for my fiancee. He had, at this time, already picked out his wedding band, which was a fairly traditional, ornate and formal looking white gold band. He wanted something a bit more casual for his engagement ring.
He had always been very fond of Celtic knot bands, but didn't want the typical patterns found in jewelry stores, or even specialty shops. For months, we searched and searched, until we found the Celtic Heart Love Knot band from Apples of Gold.
First off, their prices are very fair, and even well below what some local shops were quoting us on similar items (this is a 7mm, 14k white gold, comfort fit band).
We ordered the ring based on being sized by a local jeweler; many of their items are made to order, so we did wait about 3 weeks for it to arrive. When it arrived, however, it was too small. I contacted their customer care people, who promply issued a call tag for the ring, and shipped the replacement ring, in the next size up, at no additional charge (via Express shipment). This was not any error of theirs, and yet they handled it so efficiently and with no additional charges or penalties to us.
We're thrilled with the ring; it's absolutely beautiful. And we were also so very pleased with their customer service. I'd highly recommend them.
Atlantic Beach, FL 32233
When we were shopping for my engagement ring, I grew tired of seeing the same rings over and over again at a lot of the mall jewelry stores, and I knew I wanted something unique.
We had decided on a sapphire center stone, rather than a diamond, and even at stores that had settings without a center stone, we were having trouble finding a jeweler that could order a loose sapphire to set for us.
We visited this store hoping to find something a little different. They have a huge selection of settings, either with or without a center stone, in most any price range. Instantly I fell in love with my setting (an 18K white gold open shank setting with two side stones, and then prong set smaller diamonds down the sides).
When we asked them about ordering a sapphire for the center stone, they said this would absolutely be no problem. They told me what size we could go up to, and actually ended up pulling a sapphire out of another setting just to let us see what the ring would look like before ordering. As it turned out, that sapphire ended up being exactly what we wanted, and fit the setting perfectly.
We waited a few days for it to be set, and the ring to be sized, and for the appraisal to be completed, and when we picked it up, it was simply perfect.
The personnel in this store give very individualized attention, in a very quiet and intimate store setting. When you're in there, you find that there's many people who have been coming back to that store over and over again, every year to buy items for birthdays, anniversaries, etc... they very much work toward building a life-long relationship with you for repeat business, rather than just focusing on getting your money now, never caring if you return.