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The Fountains of Bellagio still erupt with choreographed blasts of water. The Taco Bell Cantina still serves one of the best meal deals (and wedding venues) on the Strip. Most of the pool parties, Cirque du Soleil shows and clubs are open and bumping.
Though many of the activities in Las Vegas that you know and love are back and haven’t changed, other things have changed — particularly when it comes to where you stay. Here are the biggest Vegas hotel changes of late:
Resorts World marks first new hotel on the Strip
While it’s not uncommon for Strip hotels to undergo serious overhauls, Resorts World is the first completely new resort on the Strip in over a decade.
It opened this summer at the former Stardust hotel site, and it integrates three of Hilton’s hotel brands into one. Choose to stay at:
The Las Vegas Hilton: This is the largest of the three hotels, with 1,774 rooms.
Conrad Las Vegas: Hilton’s lifestyle luxury brand, where you can expect sophisticated amenities like curated art and Michelin-starred restaurants. It’s slightly smaller than The Las Vegas Hilton, with 1,496 rooms.
Crockfords: As part of LXR Hotels & Resorts, Hilton’s collection of independent luxury properties, visitors get an intimate and lavish experience. Stay at one of the 236 rooms, and you’ll whisk through an exclusive entrance, receive access to the resort’s VIP pool and have your own dedicated concierge.
The Resorts World property includes dozens of restaurants and a 5.5-acre complex of seven pools, making it the largest pool deck in Las Vegas. There’s even a 1,800-square-foot infinity pool with views of the Strip.
Resorts World is part of the Hilton Honors program, so you can take advantage of earning points and any Hilton elite status benefits. You can also use your free night certificate or redeem points for your stay.
Virgin replaces Hard Rock as part of the Curio Collection by Hilton
Adding to more Hilton options in Vegas, Virgin Hotels Las Vegas opened in March as part of the Curio Collection. It replaces the former Hard Rock Hotel located about a mile off the Strip.
The hotel was designed with outdoor entertainment at its forefront, including a five-acre pool complex with an event lawn, a 4,500-person capacity theater for live music and a dozen dining outposts.
Virgin is one of the few destination Vegas hotels with no resort fees.
Park MGM offers a smoke-free casino
Park MGM and its sister hotel, NoMad (an intimate, luxury hotel-within-a-hotel at Park MGM), offers the first smoke-free resort that still includes a casino on the Strip.
Both hotels can be booked with Hyatt points due to a partnership between Hyatt and MGM Resorts International. Because of this relationship, travelers can redeem World of Hyatt points for free night awards at participating M life Rewards destinations, including Park MGM. The Hyatt and MGM loyalty partnership also means you can match Hyatt elite status with MGM’s loyalty program, M life Rewards, and vice versa.
Located at the former Monte Carlo Resort and Casino site, the Park MGM reopened in September 2020.
Circa Resort & Casino opens downtown
If you prefer Downtown Las Vegas to the Strip, consider the Circa Resort & Casino, which opened in December 2020. Marking the area’s first ground-up resort development since 1980, the hotel is home to the longest outdoor bar on Fremont Street Experience, plus a multilevel casino and sportsbook.
There’s also a giant, multitiered aquatic amphitheater of several pools set in front of a massive, high-resolution screen designed for poolside watch parties.
Harrah’s undergoes a $200 million renovation
A $200 million investment meant Harrah’s Las Vegas got quite a face-lift. The hotel overhauled 2,542 guest rooms, remodeled the casino floor and added two new LED marquees. Renovations were completed this summer.
Harrah's Las Vegas is a Caesars property, which offers reciprocal status matches with Wyndham Rewards. Caesars has long dominated the Strip with 10 properties, including Caesars Palace, Paris Las Vegas and Planet Hollywood.
Rio is set to join Hyatt
While we don’t know when it’s going to happen exactly, we do know it’s happening: The Rio Las Vegas is set to undergo a renovation upon which it’ll become not just one, but multiple Hyatt-branded hotels. That makes one more Vegas destination for World of Hyatt members to earn and redeem points.
The more than 2,510-room Rio Las Vegas will see a massive redevelopment of its existing gaming, retail, spa and fitness areas; dining establishments; and pool deck. One of the towers will become a 1,501-room Hyatt Regency hotel, while the other towers will be branded or affiliated with different Hyatt brands, still to be announced.
If you’re planning a trip to Las Vegas
Several new hotels have popped up in Vegas recently, and many of them provide opportunities to flex your hotel elite status or even stay for free by way of travel points or free night certificates from credit cards.
If you’re ready to mix up your stay-at-home routine with a new experience, consider a getaway to Vegas. Given the number of new hotels, even the most frequent Las Vegas visitors might find it an entirely new experience themselves.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card