In a nutshell: If you’re looking for luxury, the Palazzo Las Vegas delivers. The hotel offers spacious, comfortable rooms with nice furnishings with the amenities and bathroom one would expect of a 5-star establishment. The resort complex is extensive and includes multiple pools, a spa, and tons of shopping and dining options. It’s by far the nicest hotel I’ve stayed at in Vegas, although it’s certainly above what I’d normally pick. Ergo, it was a fun way to burn an IHG free night certificate. 

What do you get when you’re trying to burn IHG certificates in Las Vegas? A night at the Palazzo! Both the Venetian and Palazzo hotels are part of the IHG Rewards program. Often the price is out of reach for your IHG free night certificates, but I’d noticed that there are occasional nights south of the 40,000-point level. The award rate for the night I booked was 37,500 points, while the cash rate was ~$185. Not the best value I’ve gotten for an IHG free night, but there is no way I’d stay here otherwise, with all the other, cheaper options in town.

The pesky $45 resort fee almost made me reconsider. I do my best to avoid hefty fees, even when I am staying on free night certificates. It takes a lot of the fun out of free. But I broke down and booked one of my two nights here. All said and done, one night at the Palazzo Las Vegas cost me an IHG free night cert plus ~$51, as the resort fee is also taxed.

Arriving into Las Vegas

I was on a fairly late flight into Las Vegas from Sacramento. Well…late for my standards. I touched down at 9:15 PM. For many, the night is still young! Not this guy. I considered heading out and joining a couple friends already in town, but decided that discretion was needed and I better get to my hotel, eat, and go to bed. Even just doing that kept me up past 11:00 PM.

Uber has quoted only ridiculous prices that last few times I’ve been in town, so I opted for Lyft instead. This still cost ~$20. Uber wanted nearly $30 to go the 3.5 miles to the Palazzo.

I’ve walked through the Palazzo only once before, and the entrance is as grand as I remember. It’s not quite as ornate and flashy as the lobby of the Venetian, but it is impressive nonetheless. The rotunda in the middle contains a beautiful display.

The check-in counter had very few guests in the queue but also very few staff working. I was able to check-in within minutes, which is excellent. One of the things I have disliked about a couple other Las Vegas hotels is that the check-in queues can get ridiculously long during certain times of day. If you’re one of those special InterContinental Royal Ambassador guests, there is a special VIP lounge adjacent to the main lobby where you can check in. I did also notice that the counter to the left had a sign specifically for Fine Hotels & Resorts guests.

The lady at the front desk was friendly and gave me a great rundown on the hotel. She did search for a bit to offer me a different room, which was unexpected. The two queen bed room was billed as an upgrade, so I let her move me from the 40th floor assigned room to the 12th. Key in hand, upstairs I went.

Luxury Two Queen Suite

I have to conclude that the “upgrade” is the standard luxury two queen suite. My guess is that what changed was the view, as my 12th floor room faced the strip. In any case, a standard two queen room at The Palazzo Las Vegas is quite nice. The rooms are spacious, and the Palazzo designers made great use of the space. The sunk living room adds a lot of character to the room, so much that it hardly feels like a standard hotel room.

The Palazzo beds are lovely. I slept very well. The A/C was nice and quiet, and the noise and lights of Las Vegas didn’t keep me up at all, even on just the 12th floor. The curtain controls are between the beds.

The sunken living room area really makes these rooms stand apart from others in Las Vegas. I freely admit this is the nicest Vegas hotel I’ve enjoyed, so maybe there are others that are comparable. You have plenty of space. I loved the desk, my only complaint being that it faces away from the window.

Thirsty? The Palazzo Las Vegas rooms offer a well stocked minibar. Just don’t look at the prices. They are bound to give you a heart attack. I touched nothing.

The bathroom checks all the boxes for a 5-star property. You have a separate shower and bathtub, a separate room with the toilet, and even a television above the double sink. I dislike bathtubs and am always glad when a hotel offers both a tub and a separate shower. I don’t stay at luxury properties often, but the (usually) excellent shower is a primary enjoyment for me. I still remember the exquisite shower of the Park Hyatt Milan.

Of course you have the toilet phone. I’ve still never had occasion to use it. Hope I never do. This mark of a 5-star hotel is something I hope we all decide to drop.

The view from the 12th floor was okay. They need to clean their windows, as do most hotels I’ve ever stayed at in Las Vegas. You could look down on the pool or out across the strip.

If a view is a must, there are hotels with much nicer ones. If this is what you’re going for, try on the south end of the strip looking north along Las Vegas Boulevard.

I’m very glad that I get to pay $45 for all these “extra” amenities described in my key card. I did use the fitness center and WiFi, so I guess I got my money’s worth? The hotel “resort fee” is madness these days.

I am a Spire Elite with IHG Rewards, earned last year through a couple promotions and bonus rates. The lady at the front desk handed me a welcome letter explaining all the benefits at the hotel. Unfortunately, that still doesn’t get you much at the Palazzo Las Vegas. For the Royal Ambassador, you have a nice suite of perks, including guaranteed 10:00 AM check-in, a double room upgrade, and $50 of minibar credit per night. This is IHG’s other status program, specific to InterContinental Hotels. You can easily become an InterContinental Ambassador by paying the membership fee of $200 (or use IHG points). The qualification criteria for Royal Ambassador isn’t clear, and the status is only extended to a small percentage of InterContinental Ambassadors.

The Venetian/Palazzo Resort and Casino

As one of the Las Vegas mega-resorts, the combined facilities of The Venetian and Palazzo have a ton to offer. As a guest of either hotel, you can access the facilities of both (per my friend Shawn Coomer of Miles to Memories, they are technically one hotel). And you can get lost inside. I nearly did. Luckily, it’s easy to navigate the Palazzo, as it’s a straight shot past the front desk between the street entrance and the tower elevators.

The dining options are extensive. You are at a luxury hotel, so expect luxury prices. I like to stay as cheaply as possible in Las Vegas, but I do like to dine out well at least a couple times while in town. I settled on Sushisamba for dinner. The hand roll was good, but I paid way too much for it. I spent only a bit more on lunch for two people at Tekka Hand Roll in the Cosmo the next day.

I don’t gamble, so I spend as little time on the casino floor as possible. Compared to most of the casinos I’ve visited, the Venetian and Palazzo is on the nicer end. The atmosphere is tamer than others, and it doesn’t reek of smoke.

I didn’t head over to the actual canal of the Grand Canal Shoppes this trip. I’ve seen it once. It is some impressive theming. Honestly, for someone who really isn’t into Las Vegas, I’d definitely recommend the Venetian side of the Palazzo/Venetian hotel complex as worth seeing. If you’re really feeling the Venice mood, consider taking a gondola ride.

 

The Palazzo Pool and Fitness Center

The pool decks of the Venetian Resort and Palazzo Tower are joined, and you have access to both as a guest of either hotel. When I first headed down to the pool deck, it was closed and the staff were on a lightning watch. I hit the gym instead, which was good. But it meant I missed my one chance to enjoy the pool. By just 30 minutes later, there were already quite a few people outside enjoying the warm desert air, but without the sun. You can enjoy lunch at the poolside restaurant, or rent one of the cabanas, which start at $650 on weekdays.

The fitness center is nice, although it seemed a bit small for a hotel as large as the Palazzo. There were several other people present, and there was some waiting for the free weights.

Final Thoughts on The Palazzo Las Vegas

The Palazzo Las Vegas is exactly the sort of hotel I would never pick, except for the fact I have free night certificates. I enjoy luxury stays, but they must be cheap. With beautiful, spacious rooms, the Palazzo delivers on its 5-star promise. The hotel lobby is beautiful, and the theming of the connected Venetian is one the places in Vegas you don’t want to miss, even if you’re not staying there. I could still gripe at paying $50 for the stay due to the silly resort fee, but for what I got with my free night certificate, it was worth it.