Las Vegas has more hotel rooms than any other U.S. city, but unlike many other tourist destinations, it generally isn't known for trendy boutique hotels.
That isn't to say the city doesn't have niche properties. It does. A good number of them, in fact.
Ironically, Caesars Palace, the megaresort with 3,950 rooms, could play a key role in raising Las Vegas' profile as a boutique hotel city. Caesars Entertainment is in the process of opening at Caesars Palace the world's first Nobu Hotel - a luxury boutique "hotel within a hotel" branded around celebrated Chef Nobu Matsuhisa. It is anticipated to open by the end of the year.
"There is a need now to find a reason to come to Las Vegas, and we're trying to create that need by having a different experience," said Gigi Vega, general manager of the Nobu Hotel and a Caesars luxury hotel operations executive.
Getting the word out about specialty hotels can only help resort owners as occupancy rates remain low by Las Vegas standards.
Given its location just off the busy Caesars casino floor and near the Colosseum where Shania Twain begins her residency Dec. 1, the $30 million, 181-room Nobu will be among the more visible boutique hotels in Las Vegas.
"They (typically) have fewer rooms, thus a more intimate feel than large resorts or hotels, and individual design-forward décor that's anything but stuffy," said Arabella Bowen, executive editorial director at Fodor's Travel in New York. "High-tech gadgetry is often standard fare (such as free Wi-Fi and iPod docks), which appeals to the digital set. Typically, guests can also count on a buzzy on-site restaurant and/or bar frequented by locals, which helps make visitors feel immediately connected to the local scene."