Preview Of The Fontainebleau, Newest Las Vegas Mega Casino Resort


Every year is a big year in Las Vegas, with tourism records being broken regularly. But by any standards this is really big year–we just saw the debut of the super high-profile F1 race, the Las Vegas Grand Prix, and just before that, the opening of the world’s most technologically advanced music and performance venue, the Sphere, kicking off with a run of U2 concerts that has already been extended twice. The first ever Sin City Super Bowl is coming in February, but before that there’s one other huge happening–the December 13th grand opening of the Fontainebleau Las Vegas, an entirely new mega resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

(Read much more about the Sphere, Las Vegas’ new performance space, here).

Every August Virtuoso Travel Week is held in Las Vegas, and this is the biggest luxury travel industry convention in the country. Virtuoso is a consumer facing consortium of the top travel advisors (agents), and a Who’s Who of the world’s best hotels, cruise lines, airlines, tourism boards and tour operators. I attended this year, and the Fontainebleau offered a hard hat preview of the nearly finished property, and more details have since been released.

The Fontainebleau brand comes from Miami Beach, where the original hotel of the same name has been a luxury travel icon for nearly 70 years. It was famously the setting for key scenes in the James Bond movie Goldfinger, and has also been used to shoot Al Pacino’s Scarface, Whiteny Houston’s The Bodyguard, three lesser-known Frank Sinatra movies and television’s The Sopranos and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

When the Vegas Fontainebleau opens in two weeks, here’s what you can expect.

3000-plus room new casino hotels are rarer in Vegas than you might think, and when Resorts World Las Vegas debuted in 2021, it was the first new build of this scope on the Strip in a decade (I reviewed it in detail here at Forbes). The Fontainebleau is the biggest thing since then and occupies nearly 25-acres on a site that has previously been home to historic casinos including the El Rancho and Algiers. It continues a recent trend of expanding the Strip, the busy touristy section of Las Vegas Boulevard, to the North. Resorts World is the northernmost major property on the West side of the Strip, and the Fontainebleau sits nearby on the East side, north of the twin Forbes 5-Star Wynn and Encore resorts, and south of the Sahara, most notable for housing what may be Las Vegas’ best steakhouse, Bazaar Meats by Chef Jose Andrés. I recently did in-depth profiles of both Wynn/Encore and Bazaar Meats for Forbes.

At 67 stories, the hotel is the tallest occupiable building in the state of Nevada, and contains 3,644 rooms and suites. The parent company has its own in-house design team, and echoing South Beach, rooms have a tropical flair in blue and silver water tones, with coral pink accents. Given its height, rooms fittingly have floor to ceiling windows to showcase the views.

While many (most) top Las Vegas casino resorts have opted for deluxe hotel-within-the-hotel offerings, often several, such as the Four Seasons in Mandalay Bay or SkyLofts in MGM Grand, the Fontainebleau went with the Fleur de Lis collection of suites, a high-roller experience spanning the top five floors. Extras include things such as butler service, in-suite check-in and private car transfers.

The Miami property is known for its spa, and in keeping with this theme, there is the 55,000-square-foot Lapis Spa, with 44 treatment rooms,11 luxury suites, salt cave, infrared sauna, men’s and women’s hydrotherapy lounges, an additional co-ed space with healing waters, and a separate 14,000-square-foot fitness center. This will feature the ultra-popular Peloton bikes, as well as state-of-the-art rowers, climbers, and advanced strength equipment. Personal training will be available and classes such as Pilates and yoga slated daily.

In keeping up with its luxury strip peers, there is a large luxury retail boutique area and six acres of outdoor pools, including seven pools, five bars, two restaurants and a poolside casino. Every Vegas resort need a performance venue for shows and live music, and the Fontainebleau has a three-level, 3,800-seat theater.

Nightlife will be anchored by LIV, a spinoff of the famed nightclub that opened at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach in 2008, and claims to be one of the five highest-grossing clubs in the country. LIV will be coming for the opening, to be followed by sister day club LIV Beach in spring 2024, kicking off the start of the city’s very popular pool season.

There is of course, a large main casino.

The biggest area of emphasis is on food and beverage, and even by Las Vegas’ lofty standards the offerings are impressive. There will be three dozen choices, many available upon opening but some still to come in 2024. A few are imported from Miami or Los Angeles, but all claim to be first-to-market concepts in Vegas and include Michelin-starred chefs and operators such as Masa Ito and Alan Yau of Hakkasan and Wagamama fame. Given the connection to South Florida, it’s not surprising that the Latin influence is more pronounced than at any other major casino resort in the city.

The list includes everything from grab and go and coffee shop to a prerequisite Vegas high-end steakhouse, Don’s Prime, with domestic beef and Japanese wagyu. Another regent Vegas must-have feature is a “speakeasy,” and the offering here is Nowhere, with live music, jazz and craft cocktails. There are half a dozen notable bars and cocktail lounges, in addition to the usual readily available drinks Vegas is famous for.

Other major highlights include Ito, a deluxe sushi spot with just a dozen seats on the hotel’s top floor, Contina Contramar, a fancy Mexican spot with a Tequila Dragones tasting room, La Fontaine, a French “daytime fine dining” spot, an outpost of Los Angeles’ beloved Italian eatery Mother Wolf, Washing Potato, a dim sum eatery from acclaimed restaurateur Alan Yau, and “American bistro” Vida, a modern take on the Miami hotel’s original restaurant.

To me, the most interesting of all the culinary offerings is Kyu, a mash up of southern barbecue and Japanese yakiniku wood fired grilling, a concept that originated in Miami. That will likely be my first stop when I visit after opening.

Viva Las Vegas!



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