When choosing a hotel, it’s good to understand a little bit about it so you know what to expect. Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino has the goal to be Las Vegas’ first hotel and casino that was designed specifically to create an authentic Asian cultural and gaming experience. This was on my mind when I drove up to valet at Lucky Dragon Las Vegas.
For full disclosure, I’m not of Asian descent and most of what I know about the culture comes from personal experience, friends and business acquaintances. Between this background and what I’ve read about the hotel, I had an idea what to expect. I was not let down.
Lucky Dragon is a 9 story, 200 room boutique hotel that is a separate building from its casino. This is noticeable as soon as you arrive at Lucky Dragon. A small entry road separates the two buildings. The valet is located in front of the casino so you’ll have to cross the small entry road with your luggage when you check in.
The walk to the hotel lobby is only about 30 steps. This is a bit different experience that most hotels in Las Vegas where you typically valet right in front of the lobby. The parking garage is in the same building as the casino, so you’ll have about a 2-minute walk to the hotel lobby to check in. This isn’t the worst walk from a garage to a lobby, but it’s not convenient. This walk is about 20% of the time and effort as it takes to walk from the self-parking garage to the lobby to check-in at Caesars Palace Las Vegas.
I was able to use a preview discount for my hotel room since I was visiting before the grand opening. My room was $88. I wasn’t charged the $20 resort fee, which is good because the wifi wasn’t working in the hotel yet. For what it’s worth the casino had the fastest free casino wifi I’ve used. I was visiting on a Sunday and Monday so many people weren’t using it. Hopefully, the speed continues to the hotel when it’s up and running.
I was asked if I had a room preference when I checked in so I requested a room on a high floor. I didn’t have to look directly at the parking garage or not so pretty area around the freeway. The 7th-floor room was the highest available and off I went. One of the benefits of a small hotel is that the walk is never too long. Room 702 is at the end of the hallway and about 12 seconds from the elevators. My first impression of the room was HOLY RED!
The windows of the hotel tower at Lucky Dragon are all red. The red bleeds, literally, into the room and is annoying at best. There’s no avoiding the shining red when the sun is out and the curtains are open. I kept the curtains closed almost the entire visit.
Despite the east-facing view from the high room, there wasn’t much to look at besides the top of the parking garage and the Stratosphere Tower anyway. I don’t spend much time looking out hotel room windows so the view doesn’t matter much. However, I enjoy natural sunlight and I’ll never see that in the hotel room at Lucky Dragon.
You can see the red throughout the room in this walk through the room at Lucky Dragon.
Moving on from the problems with the red windows, the room was very nice for a mid-priced hotel. Understanding that this isn’t a luxury or economy hotel was important in managing expectations. The decor and amenities are what I expected in this Asian-themed hotel.
As soon as you walk into the room you notice a closet system in the foyer. In between the two closets, there’s an ice bucket with two bottles of complimentary water and a tea set instead of a coffee maker. I thought this was a nice touch for the Asian clients the hotel is targeting. Coffee drinkers like me have to walk to the casino bar for the only cup of American coffee available during the day. You can find Vietnamese coffee at Bao Now.
The Bathroom Area
The bathroom is opposite of the closets. This is exactly what I expect from a new construction. The design was modern with Asian-influenced artwork to keep with the theme. Lucky Dragon uses Sothy toiletries which is a nice departure from the casino chains.
The bathroom has a walled off the shower, which might be a bother to claustrophobic people. I thought it was spacious and comfortable. The water pressure in the shower, toilet, and bathroom sink was strong. It’s nice to wash away the Vegas after a night on the town.
There are two robes and pairs of slippers to enjoy in the hotel room. The Lucky Dragon embroidered robe could be purchased if you’re into that sort of thing.
The main area in the hotel room is exactly what I was expecting when I thought about what an Asian themed hotel room in America would be. The white accent wall with trees and blooming flowers above and around the headboard is beautiful. It’s soothing and gave a sense of calm after being stunned by the red coming through the windows.
The Living Area
The bed is about an inch away from the headboard and the pillows were sort soft and small. The combination wasn’t very comfortable, but at least my firm King bed had four pillows. The hotel is so new that I could still smell paint fumes.
My night of sleep was horrible, but I blame that on the fumes, not the bed, pillows or the gap to the headboard. The pillows filled the gap and the bedding was comfortable. Side sleepers might think the bed is a bit too firm, but overall I was comfortable sitting or sleeping in the bed. I was just a little high on paint.
One of my favorite amenities in the hotel room was the alarm clock. The clock has a display on two sides so you could see the time no matter where you stood or laid in the room. The clock also has two USB slots. One slot is for rapid charges and zapped my phone with 50% more battery life in less time than it took to drink my morning coffee.
My favorite place in any hotel room is the seating area. When I’m in a hotel room, the odds are good that you’ll see me thumbing around a mobile device while sitting in a chair and drinking something and watching TV.
This tradition continued at Lucky Dragon where the chair was comfortable and had a good angle to the giant TV on the wall. If I had a complaint here it’s that the room was too big that my feet couldn’t reach the bed. That’s probably a good thing since it’s a sign that the room was very spacious.
The work space in the room was adequate but slightly disappointing. I was hoping to see more USB slots to charge mobile devices. If I was sharing this room with a friend, there would barely be enough easy access outlets to charge every device. This isn’t that bad but a modern amenity that I would expect from new construction.
After exploring the room I took a trip downstairs to check out the pool and Cha Tea Garden. I visited Lucky Dragon on a partly cloudy and windy afternoon so there wasn’t much sun around. The pool area is small but looks great. The pool itself has a modern design that you can walk down a long runway/ramp to enter. It’s flanked by lounge chairs, cabanas, and a sweet wall. Yeah, sweet wall.
The wall of the pool is a beautiful piece of art that ties in nicely with the theme of the casino. Beyond the wall of the pool stands one of the vintage steakhouse, Golden Steer. It will be interesting to see how the scent of steak cooking mixes with the mellow vibe of the pool at Lucky Dragon.
The wind swirling around the pool sent me back inside the hotel after a few minutes. This quiet Sunday afternoon had no activity in the Cha Tea garden and I didn’t feel like exploring since I was solo for the day. The idea of having a Tea sommelier teach me about this part of Asian culture is intriguing. I’ll save that when I have a friend or two looking to explore.
I like the room at Lucky Dragon but was not a fan of the red windows at all. They had much more of an impact on my mood than I thought. That said it didn’t make me dislike the room. Frankly, if the wifi was working I would have spent much more time at the hotel.
Besides the red windows, the only downside was the faint sound of a train whistle at night. It’s not as loud as other hotels in the area but it was there.
Bottom line: I really like the mellow vibe in the Lucky Dragon hotel. The room is spacious and modern without being over the top for non-technophiles. I could feel the Asiant influence in the room without being smacked in the face with a tacky theme. The hotel at Lucky Dragon a nice contrast to the lively casino next door. The combination works well together.