I’m in no way a hotel snob. I do, however, appreciate a comfortable hotel—the newer, the better.
That’s part of what had me select Las Vegas’ Chinese-themed Lucky Dragon hotel for my recent stay to attend a conference at the closely located Las Vegas Convention Center. The merely one-year-old boutique hotel and casino offers a refreshing take on the Las Vegas experience, with its smaller size, quiet ambiance, and Asian design.
I’d just returned from Shanghai the week before and knew what authentic China should look like. The Lucky Dragon hotel stayed consistent with the country’s feel. From red themes throughout and red-tinted windows, Lucky Dragon does a fine job of transporting guests from the arid desert to the Orient.
There’s no fourth level of the hotel as the number four translates into bad luck in the Chinese culture. Even the staff, especially those who directly deal with clients, are multilingual.
The hotel registration is separate from the casino. Small and striking meets simple and efficient in the Lucky Dragon’s lobby. It’s boutique meets modern and there are just enough checkin terminals for staff to handle a consistent flow of guests. The lobby is directly adjacent to the pool, and has a bar designed with particular attention to complimentary curves and colors.
The king sized room is cavernous. One could easily accommodate two or three cots in the given space were it necessary. The hotel’s furniture is sleek looking, albeit, made largely of fabricated materials to keep costs low. The bed, however, spares no cost and provided a well-rested experience to comfort me through long days of media interviews and long nights of networking.
The hotel’s furniture is sleek looking, albeit, made largely of fabricated materials to keep costs low. The bed, however, spares no cost and provided a well-rested experience to comfort me through long days of media interviews and long nights of networking.
This isn’t a pool designed for Spring Break partying or doing laps. It’s for wading, relaxing quietly, and lounging around in a cabana with its own flatscreen TV. I found myself thinking this would be a great place to host a 30-50 person party.
There’s nothing “imitation” about this hotels dining experience. Like something straight out of Shanghai, the Lucky Dragon does Chinese in authentic fashion: no Chinese-American eats here, just the real thing. I enjoyed the sea bass hot pot at one of the hotel’s four restaurants.
If you’re big on excitement and noise, go to the Westgate or SLS down the street. But if you prefer a fairly smokeless environment with attentive dealers the Lucky Dragon is just right. Accessible by a skywalk on the second level, this casino features uniquely Asian games like Baccarat tables. I’m admittedly not a gambler but a quick survey of those betting led me to meet folks who swear by the casino’s generous slots and affordable blackjack.
But the highlight of it all is the elaborate and elegant chandelier in the casino lobby. Gazing at it made me wonder how it was hung and how many hours or days it took to do so. Just visiting the hotel for that alone is quite worth it.
- Fabulous option for a new, clean, sleek hotel a 20-minute walk or quick cab to the convention center
- Perfect place if you’re not big on crowds and enjoy peace and quiet in between all the Vegas bustle
- Exceptional restaurants frequented by locals who enjoy authentic Asian cuisine
- Ample free parking and super quick valet service
- The hotel’s location isn’t the best, but arguably the city’s best steak house is next door
Like any establishment, particularly a new one, there are quirks to resolve. The Lucky Dragon can do a few things to more comfortably accommodate Western tastes.
- Include coffee along with tea in each room
- Include bath wash along with shampoo and conditioner
- Fix the hanging signs out front that has “hotel” and “casino” reversed. It only throws you off once, but it drove me crazy
- Resort fee seems needlessly high for a hotel that’s designed to be boutique, not boisterous and a pool that closes just after dark
All in all, I expect the Lucky Dragon hotel to be my preferred, affordable, and peaceful stay for future conferences at the convention center and look forward to providing an updated review next year.