There are two poles of cool in Las Vegas: the expensive and self-aware Cosmopolitan resort, at the south end of the Strip, and historic, unpretentious Downtown Las Vegas on the north end. The SLS Las Vegas, a Tribute Portfolio Resort, is carving out a desirable alternative to those stalwarts, one that feels welcoming to LGBT travelers.
The SLS, recently purchased by Starwood Hotels & Resorts, is a bit of an island onto itself, though—the only walkable resort from there is the sad Stratosphere. Though a monorail station is nearby, the SLS has struggled a bit since opening in 2014, but there’s a palpable feeling that things are turning around. With the new ownership, comes numerous advantages—most importantly, travelers can take advantage of the Starwood preferred guest program, which should help fill the resort. Also, Starwood is turning one of the SLS’s three towers into a W hotel, which will include a new spa and outdoor pool experience.
The W should debut later this year, but the SLS is worth checking out before then. Namely, the property—which previously housed the mid-century Sahara resort—invested millions in building out two beautiful performance spaces, which are hosting a curated, eclectic mix of artists. The intimate Sayers Club was the site of a recent performance by Charlie XCX, allowing folks to get up close to the British pop star, sit on lush couches only a dozen feet from the stage, or hang near an outside patio that glimmers with the lights of the Strip (albeit ones that highlight a tacky souvenir store). The Foundry though, is the star of SLS.