In an effort to rebrand THEhotel in Las Vegas, NV, two years ago, MGM Resorts International and the Morgans Hotel Group partnered to create what is now known as Delano Las Vegas — a newly renovated boutique hotel with a more contemporary upscale design. Located adjacent to the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino, the 64-level tower features 1,117 guest suites with modern touches, a 14,000-square-foot, two-level spa and various dining options, including the soon-to-be Rivea, which will feature classic French and American dishes by James Beard Award-Winning chef Alain Ducasse.

The one-of-a-kind, non-smoking, non-gaming hotel, which is historically known for its all-suite offerings, reopened last September and has embraced a completely new design concept ever since, according to Joyce Ceryance, senior interior designer of MGM Resorts International — Design in Las Vegas, NV, who led the overall re-design of the hotel. “The goal was to transform and rebrand THEhotel to the Delano,” she said. “We wanted to bring the Delano brand and feel to Vegas, but with a desert landscape in mind.”

Delano Las Vegas

Las Vegas, NV

Designer: MGM Resorts International — Design, Las Vegas, NV

Tile Installer: Western Tile & Marble, Las Vegas, NV

Tile Supplier: Daltile, Dallas, TX

Stone Suppliers: Antolini Natural Stone (Natural Stone Wood collection), Verona, Italy; Daltile, Dallas, TX (Granite collection in “Absolute Black”); Las Vegas Rock, Jean, NV
(two large stone boulders in entry area)

Installation Products: Mapei, Deerfield Beach, FL; Custom Building Products,
Seal Beach, CA

Ceryance and her design team’s work focused mainly on 27,000 square feet of the Delano — with 18,500 square feet of work involving the valet drop off area, interior garden, relocating the coffee counter, refreshing the elevator lobbies, refreshing the lounge, reconfiguring circulation space and refreshing the registration desk areas; and 8,500 square feet of work involving just the café and transition corridor. The overall objective was to maximize transformative value while minimizing demolition and disruption, according to Ceryance.

The designer explained how the design concept is supposed to take visitors on a “journey through the Mohave Desert landscape,” while they explore the “drama and mystery” each aspect of the hotel has to offer — from the arrival statement offered in the entry area to the Grand Promenade and all the way to the intimate living rooms and social spaces. “The hotel reveals itself in a series of ‘moments,’” Ceryance explained.

The “journey” of the Delano begins with its entry walls, which are clad in different-sized pieces of natural stone in more neutral gray colors. The stone pieces are staggered and appear as if they were each hand placed for a more rugged natural effect. Continuing on, there is almost a seamless transition into the arrival area, where guests are greeted by warmer colors and two enormous natural stone boulders — each hand selected straight from the Nevada desert, cut to exact measurements to ensure they would fit through the thresholds of the buildings, trucked to the site utilizing a special 240-ton crane and then rolled into the building using special rollers.

“We have heard so many positive comments regarding the Delano lobby,” said Ceryance. “The most common question that I get is, ‘How did you get that big rock/boulder inside?’”

The boulders, which are 77,000 pounds and 49,000 pounds, respectively, and reach a peak height of 10 feet tall, were supplied by Las Vegas Rock of Jean, NV. They were each cut open to show the natural veining of the stones; and the inside of each was hand polished and sealed with Custom Building Products’ Aqua Mix® Enrich ‘N’ Seal, a premium penetrating sealer that was formulated to darken, enrich and highlight the character and beauty of unsealed natural stone.

For the flooring of the hotel’s Gallery, coffee shop (3940 Coffee + Tea) and Art Feature, natural quartz-arenite stone tiles from Antolini Natural Stone’s Woodstone collection in “Elegant Brown” were employed. Quartz-arenite is sandstone composed of more than 90% detritral quartz and is defined as the most mature sedimentary rock. Absolute Black granite, from Daltile’s Granite collection was also incorporated for some small touches, such as the bar top in the Franklin, the hotel’s eclectic lounge, and for the countertop in 3940 Coffee + Tea, a casual eatery and marketplace that serves gourmet coffee and tea from Grand Avenue Coffee and Tea. “We wanted a stone that would feel like wood flooring, but have the durability of stone,” said Ceryance.

Although stone is the focal point for many sections in the Delano, just over 34,000 square feet of tile was utilized for flooring throughout the hotel as well. In the entry and arrival areas, a little more than 8,700 square feet of 18- x 36-inch porcelain tile from Daltile’s Sandstone series in the color “Beige” was used. Additionally, the guest suites feature a combined total of nearly 17,000 square feet of porcelain tile from Daltile’s Forest Park™ collection in the color “Blackwood.” Unlike natural hardwood, the porcelain wood-look tile can withstand the high moisture and high traffic that the atmosphere of the Delano demands.

The installation, which was almost as challenging as the design process, took roughly three months to complete and required about 30 men at any given time, according to Mark Fenstermaker, vice president of Western Tile & Marble in Las Vegas, NV, who led the installation process. “The phasing of the project was very demanding,” he said, noting that making the least amount of disruption was also his main objective. “The hotel had to remain in use during the entire remodel.”

Fenstermaker and his team of installers applied all Mapei products for the installation. “We used mostly a bonded mortar bed, crack isolation and a thinset application,” Fenstermaker explained.

Since the hotel’s reopening last year, it has been “very well received,” according to Ceryance, and visitors continuously comment on all of the new upgrades — especially the natural stone used throughout the space. “The Delano lobby won a HOSPY award for the design; it won the 2014 Best Lobby/Registration,” she said. “The Delano has definitely made an impression.”