The hottest new hotel in Vegas canceled my reservation just hours before I arrived
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I was so excited to check out Crockfords, a new luxury hotel at the just-opened Resorts World Las Vegas.
But Crockfords wasn’t as excited to see me.
To learn more about the new Resorts World Las Vegas and hear what our team of three reviewers experienced, please click here.
The hotel promises to herald in “a new standard for Las Vegas luxury overlooking the world-famous Strip.” At just 236 rooms, it’s relatively small for Vegas standards. But in reality, Crockfords is the hip cornerstone to the massive Resorts World complex, which also includes a larger Hilton and Conrad.
It’s also only the second LXR property in the U.S. and eighth in the world.
For those who don’t know (and many don’t) LXR is Hilton’s latest luxury brand, one that’s more relaxed than Waldorf Astoria. My nightly room rate was $410.97 plus a $45 daily resort fee. Most nights for the rest of the year are available for 95,000 Hilton Honors points with a few at 80,000 points per night in December. (Remember, when booking Hilton properties on points, you avoid the resort fee.)
By comparison, the Waldorf — also on the Las Vegas Strip — was asking for about half as much during the same dates.
At TPG, we often suggest that travelers avoid a hotel during the first few weeks of operations. Staff are still learning the ropes, construction is sometimes still underway and not all the amenities or venues are always fully opened or operational.
But I booked a stay at Crockfords (on what would theoretically be its sixth night open) because we wanted to get a first look at one of the most-anticipated hotel openings in Las Vegas in nearly a decade. Two other TPG staffers joined me to review the adjacent Hilton and Conrad that join Crockfords in the Resorts World complex.
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You can probably already see where this is heading.I flew into Las Vegas a day early for meetings and to report two other stories. Then, at 5:06 p.m., I got a phone call from an unknown Nevada number.
Crockfords, where I had a confirmed stay for the following night, wasn’t ready to take guests. The call arrived at the same time the Hilton app was letting me check in, request a digital key and pick my own room. I was even able to select one on the 60th floor, overlooking the Strip.
On the phone, however, I was told my reservation was no longer being accepted. But I could have a room at the Conrad instead.
I had so many questions for the front desk agent who called me, including why I was getting this call fewer than 22 hours before check-in after I had already flown into town. Because TPG typically pays our own way for reviews and goes incognito, this hotel employee likely didn’t know I was reviewing the hotel or taking notes on our conversation.
Related: Our full review of Resorts World
So, I fibbed. Wheedled. Spun a little yarn.
My wife and I, I said, were in town for a special kid-free getaway and I’d splurged on Crockfords. I was disappointed the hotel wasn’t open but could they do anything — especially as a Hilton Honors Diamond member — for me? Maybe confirm us into a high-level suite with a Strip view? And if not, surely they would let me cancel without penalty since they were really the ones canceling one me. That would let me book another hotel and get a great room.
The agent said she would look into it and get back to me.
Two hours later, I got a call back confirming my stay in a high-floor, one-bedroom suite at the normal Conrad rate: about half the cost of Crockfords. Plus, I would get any Crockfords resort benefits, such as reserved chairs at the pool. If I wasn’t happy with that, I could cancel without a penalty.
Obviously, I was disappointed, but this was not a bad outcome. The solution was as fair as I could ask for, although I did have to fight for that confirmed upgrade.
New hotels have growing pains. But it was not right to call me less than a day before check-in. If this was truly a special trip, I would have been scrambling to find another resort.
After receiving that final call from the hotel, I broke my cover and reached out to the public relations teams at Resorts World and Hilton.
I was curious if the hotel was really not ready, what that meant for guests and if TPG could get a look at a room or two, even if we couldn’t stay there.
The short answer was no, the hotel needed to have a few kinks worked out to make it ready for guests. One of the Crockfords employees I chatted with at the hotel told me some staff members were spending the night there to test out the rooms and get them ready.
But the hotel’s lobby, the lobby bar, pool and casino are open for travelers. And they look amazing.
It’s just the rooms that, unfortunately, still aren’t ready for guests.
The lesson for everyone here: Don’t book a hotel within its first few weeks unless you’re willing to be flexible and a little let down.
Featured photo by Scott Mayerowitz/The Points Guy.
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