The Elara was formally the Planet Hollywood Towers, a condo building attached to the Planet Hollywood Resort and the Miracle Mile Shops. The resort opens into the Miracle Mile Shops (a large 170-store shopping centre attached to the Planet Hollywood Resort). It doesn’t feel part of the resort though, it’s just tucked away in a corner at the back of the mall with little or no signage to let you know its there.
The design of the place also seems to lack an identity or theme and doesn’t look as polished as some of the other resort hotels on the strip. I do think that the building is in a bit of a transition from the old management to the Hilton brand and they do seem to be carrying out some renovations in the lobby, so it will be interesting to see what improvements they carry out.
I was expecting the Elara to be very hip and modern, especially since it was built as part of the PH brand, a very youth-orientated destination. The corridor on the way to the room looked and felt very average and didn’t fit in with the young and funky feel of the rest of the resort.
The room itself was big, with a massive floor-to-ceiling window that had electronic blinds (it took me a minute to find the switch though, its stupidly located half way between the bed and the door).
There’s no desk in the room, which I thought was a bit odd. Also, plugs for charging laptop and phone are in awkward places like under the window and none beside the bed, a table or the sofa. I had to leave my phone on the floor while it was charging.
I also had problems with the noise levels that carried between rooms. The guests in the room next door came back from a night out at 6am and woke me up. They weren’t particularly loud but there didn’t appear to be a proper seal around the connecting door between the rooms.
I did like the pen that they leave by the phone though.
The room itself was clean but the bed looked a bit messy around the base, which isn’t an issue as such, but it does spoil the look of the room a bit. The bathroom towels had a strong smell of chlorine/bleach.
I didn’t have many dealings with staff at the Elara other than at check-in. The lady who checked me in was very pleasant and helpful. I cannot fault the staff.
The Elara doesn’t charge a resort fee but doesn’t offer free Internet to guests. Connecting costs $10 per device for 24 hours. If you want to connect more than one device you have to pay for each separately. It’s a total pain in the arse that you can’t connect a phone, laptop or iPad without paying for each device. Speeds were ok.
Overall I was a bit disappointed with the Elara. Don’t get me wrong, the room was nice but when you have a look at what else is available in Vegas the Elara falls down on several fronts. The building itself seems to lack an identity, there’s very little branding to let you know where you are, the décor seems mismatched and the hotel doesn’t take advantage of the fact that it’s smack bang in the centre of the Miracle Mile Mall. Would I return? Probably not, there’s better on offer in Vegas for the same price. Look at the Planet Hollywood Hotel, Palms, Caesars or Bellagio – all were around the same price when I was booking.
Total Score: 64%