Category Archive: Hotel Suites
Yesterday I shared some tips and thoughts on hosting a wedding reception in a sweet Las Vegas hotel suite. Following up on that post, here are some suite options for hosting your wedding reception.
These rooms were chosen based on their price point, ease of access and the amount of success brides and grooms have had pulling off their own receptions in them. There are a multitude of choices around town though, so be sure to share your favorite suite in the comments!
Mandalay Bay – Vista or Media Suite
These are, arguably, the most popular suites for couples to use for DIY reception parties. And well they should be! They’re well priced, it’s fairly easy to cater yourself and the views can be spectacular. The Vista Suite has a slightly better layout the the Media Suite and a larger bar area, but the Media seems to have better sound proofing if you think things will get rowdy. You may be tempted to get the Hospitality Suite, but it’s not recommended. The hotel will almost certainly know you are ONLY hosting a party and will need food and beverage. It could be very difficult to cater this event with anyone but Mandalay Bay’s planners
# of People: Media Suite with 1035 square foot living room area, with seating for 22 people, will hold up to 40 people. Vista Suite with 949 square foot living area: seating for 21 people, will hold around 40 comfortably
Special features: Expansive views of the Strip, pool or south Las Vegas/airport. The Media Suite has a mini theatre room with a huge TV and sound system, plus a bar area. Vista Suite has three huge TVs, a large dining table and bar.
Cost: $480 – 780+
Be aware: Hotel security shows up around 9pm, make sure you have escorts with keycards to get straggler guests up.
MGM Skyline Terrace Suite
These are newly renovated two-story suites with a nearly 800 square foot open air patio (hence the “terrace” part of the name) showing off the Las Vegas Strip in all its glory. Lots of seating both indoors and out, there are limited amounts of these suites available, making them unbookable online.
Best for: 30 people in a 2086 square foot room, including terrace. The wedding chapel staff told me in March 2013 that they were best for 25 people, though…
Special features: That magnificent outdoor patio! Those views!
Be aware: Only 14 of these suites available, and they must be booked via phone.
Cosmopolitan Wraparound Terrace Suite
Cosmopolitan is the Strip’s hipster darling hotel at the moment (April 2013), with their Wraparound Terrace Suites featuring panoramic 480 square foot verandahs sporting views of the Bellagio fountain and Strip, making them an attractive option for wedding ceremonies and proposals. They are a little pricey, but they are beautiful rooms with lots of high tech upgrades.
Best for: 40 people in this 1680 square foot room (including terrace) Seating for 17
Special features: The huge balcony with coveted Bellagio fountain views. Wine fridge.
Be aware: The floors the suites are on are keycard access only, so you will need someone to bring guests up to the room. The fairly small casino has quite a bit of security, you might get questioned if you are seen carrying large amounts of booze and party goods up to the room. On the upside, wraparound suites in the east tower might be easy to access with party supplies – it’s a straight shot up from the parking garage to the room
Mirage Hospitality Suite
At 1105 square feet and on a special floor, the Mirage Hospitality Suite is the perfect setting for guests planning a small gathering. With entertainment in the form of a sound system and DVD player, a dining table for 8 well as a wet bar, these rooms are stylish and open.
Best for: 1105 sq ft, 20-30 people, seating for 15
Special features: Sound bar with USB port and DVD/CD feed with surround sound set up for being your own DJ, 2 large TVs, wet bar and personal fridges. Available in 1 or 2 bedroom versions
Be aware: This is another hotel with security after 9pm. The suites are on the top two floors of Mirage and require keycard access as well. Only one bedroom Hospitality Suites are available for online booking, to book two bedroom Hospitality Suites you must do so over the phone
The D Suite
The D hotel was renovated and reopened in 2012 on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas. For those who choose to have a ceremony at the Golden Nugget or at another nearby downtown location like Neon Museum, The Smith Center or World Market Center, this would make a great choice for a small post-wedding party. The hotel has a retro Vegas vibe, and the suites reflect this.
Best for: 15-20 people, seating for 10
Special features: A wet bar with 2 fridges, three TVs, and a well located central downtown location
Be aware: Again, the lobby is quite small so be aware when you are bringing supplies up to the room. The elevators are kind of small and slow, too.
Things to keep in mind: these suites are not just for wedding ceremonies or receptions, they would be great for bachelorette or bachelor parties, meet and greets for your guests, post-rehearsal parties, dessert receptions and cake cuttings. I’ve even seen day after wedding brunch spreads!
Be sure to read tips and tricks on hosting your own wedding reception. Or perhaps you prefer to host your wedding at a mansion or private home.
If you are are not set on doing everything yourself, Planet Hollywood’s Apex and Panoramic suites area really fun game-centric rooms with great mid-Strip views. They are only bookable through a coordinator, though, and you must use in house catering. Palms and Hard Rock have AMAZING suites that are super pricey, but offer one of a kind amenities. You could even rent one of the fantasy suites at Caesars Palace, including the same room used in the movie “The Hangover” or the Absolut themed suite.
Another choice is Orleans, which is slightly off Strip. Their Stardust suite is huge and is “free” with the requirement of a $4,000 food and beverage minimum, and must be booked through catering. Probably not so hard to spend since it’s all inhouse catering and liquor, though.
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For couples choosing Las Vegas as a destination wedding location many factors can play a role in the location they choose for their reception. These factors include: budget restraints, a desire for a casual setting and wedding guestlist size.
As a result, many couples end up hosting part of their wedding day festivities in a hotel suite. Luckily, with so many hotel choices, Vegas has many fancy-schmancy options to accommodate small in-suite ceremonies, receptions or post-reception cocktail parties. Heck, even I hosted my post-reception cocktail party in a super-size suite at Mandalay Bay!
These rooms offer VIP views, luxurious amenities and a “high roller” experience which will surely make your event one to remember. It’s also a great option for those on a budget or with smaller groups of people looking for an intimate experience. Here are some weddings on Little Vegas Wedding featuring the reception in a hotel suite!
For those with a bigger budget and those who want it the details taken care of, using the in-hotel wedding or catering planner is probably the easiest – but most expensive – option. Consider the convenience carefully! Going with the in-house team could potentially remove a lot of your more personal touches, as you are at the whims of the in-house catering and beverage menu, and their prices!
If you prefer to go the DIY route, or with the help of an outside party planner, you can control a lot more. The costs can be significantly lower, but there can be a lot of added stress with worries over getting the room ready and getting everyone up there in time, and without attracting attention.
Today we’ll explore the different aspects to take into consideration before you hold your in-suite Vegas wedding reception.
Choosing the Hotel
How many guests do you expect? There are suites that will hold up to a hundred guests, but most will fit 20-40 comfortably.
Stand up or sit down? If you are having a cocktail party, plan on 5 to 6 square feet per person. Remember square footage for Vegas hotel rooms includes the bedroom. Look for suites with a bar to encourage mingling. Most of the suites offer a range of seating instead of tables, so casual stand up cocktail parties are the best option.
Do you have any guests with limited mobility? Vegas hotels may look near to one another on a map, but the distance can be far in fancy footwear or to elderly or young guests.
Looking for VIP amenities and entertainment? Suites vary greatly. Some are upwards of $5000 a night, but can offer your guests a once in a life time experience, from bowling in a suite used by celebrities or an incredible outdoor patio floating high above Vegas. Some suites come with games like foosball or pool tables, others with gorgeous patios and yet others focus more on media and entertainment centres. Some couples hire entertainers to make appearances or to help make their entrance to the party.
Ease of entry. Some hotels have better set ups than others for getting items up to the room without attracting attention. For example, Vdara and MGM Signature have fabulous suites, but they are valet only hotels and have very small lobbies, which might attract unwanted attention if you aren’t going the official route.
Fresh air? At this time, only a few hotels offer open air patios or balconies. If you are really set on this, your selections may be limited.
Consider getting help. Hiring a wedding or party planner will allow you and your guests to enjoy the day much more. Absolute Beverage and Culinary Pros offer hire by the hour bartenders and runners to help you get items to your room, set things up/clean up or serve up beverages during the night. Scheme Events, Green Orchid and various other Vegas wedding planners offer day-of coordination services and will help set up the party. Of course, you could always see if your Cousin Joey is up to the task, too.
Going completely DIY? Keep a careful schedule of all pick up and return times, and all of your rental receipts and such. When the going gets tough, the tough turn to a schedule. And trust me, if you’re ballsy enough to go DIY on this, you’re going to need it.
What kind of food do you need? Would you prefer post-reception dinner late night snacks only? A full dinner? Dessert or cake cutting only? Only cocktails? Remember you’ll need to keep the food cool or hot. Popular options for casual catering include Whole Foods, Costco, Jason’s Deli, Masterpiece Catering and Albertson’s.
How much booze do you need? For liquor and bar supplies, Lee’s Liquor is convenient with many locations and great prices. Don’t forget if you want a custom beverage, you might need custom bar tools, too. The Kitchn has a useful post to figure out how much you should buy to drink. Consider the people who many not want or be able to drink as well – a fresh fruity lemonade might be nicer than regular old cola
Don’t forget the ice! Hotel ice machines will not provide the amounts you need without running from floor to floor all night. Just buy it and be done with it.
Let them eat cake. Many Las Vegas bakeries, including Retro Bakery, will deliver cakes or cupcakes right to your hotel suite for a small charge. Totally worth it … that is unless you like melted buttercream. There are lots of other delicious options in Vegas too, like cookies, doughnuts and macarons.
How will you entertain your guests? Music is always a great choice, but some rooms come with large screen TVs, pool tables, foosball or other game options. Other couples have had photobooths and dance floors set up (in larger suites.)
Hiring entertainers. For a memorable experience you might consider having an entertainer come to the suite, in the form of an Elvis impersonator, magician, musician or showgirl. In a town of entertainment, the sky is the limit. Another Vegas bride even had Star Wars Stormtroopers and Darth Vader show up!
DIY DJing – Set up your song for your first dance, your favorite tunes and mix in a few Vegas-themed songs from the Ultimate Las Vegas In-Suite Wedding Mix Playlist to play on the in-suite iPod dock or soundsystem. (Note: many hotels are not set up to work with the brand new iPhones)
Using the media in the room. To keep guests busy, you might consider setting up a long photo slideshow of you and your spouse and guests at the party. Many of the newer TVs can be hooked up to phones, computers or even accept USB keys. Some people are just happy watching sports, though.
Staying on budget. To stay on budget, you might consider holding your event Sunday through Wednesday night, when room rates are a bit cheaper. If you find a great deal, don’t be afraid to book a room then release it later. Most rooms are refundable if you cancel them 48 hours ahead of your check-in.
Think of all your costs! Factor in rentals and additional party supplies into your budget and pick ups. Costco and Smart & Final sell disposable cups, plates and cutlery. RSVP Party Rentals and Rebel Party Rentals offer specialty glassware, plates and cutlery, tables as well as lighting, popcorn machines and chocolate fountains and more – everything you might need for a successful party.
How much? For my post-wedding reception afterparty in 2010, we ended up spending about $3500 for deli platters, cake, 2 custom cocktails, wine, beer and a few hard liquor choices (tequila, rum, vodka, whiskey) as well as a bartender for three hours and the Mandalay Bay suite for the night, for 50 people. We had boxes of beer left over that I gave to people in the lobby as we checked out, but ran out of custom cocktails. They were popular!
Do I need extra decoration? The suites often look great on their own, and the views can be fantastic. You probably will not need much more decoration! If you really want to, spend most of your decor budget on one central spot, like a guestbook table or cake display table, where a photograph of it will make a splash instead of a few sparse items around the room.
Closing Thoughts and Tips
Not every hotel is as open to hosting small parties, so your mileage may vary. Many hotels insist you go through their catering department and some have security which makes it a challenge to get many people up to the room without drawing attention. Tips for pulling off a successful suite party include:
- Getting most of the guests up to the room before 9pm. That magic time is when many hotels post security guards at elevators checking for keycards, making it difficult to get that group of 10 or more people up with you without raising eyebrows. Some other hotel suites are on keycard access only floors – be prepared for this!
- Bring up food and drinks in small batches, hire a company or planner to do it for you or just tip a porter well to bring it up
- Keep the music and noise to a reasonable level
- Make sure you have cash for tips and gratuities! Include a stash of cash to tip housekeeping staff well when you vacate the room, bellmen, or other service staff who help you, including any entertainers, runners or bartenders you hire.
- Bring garbage bags and ice – the hotel will have some, but there will not be enough
- Something not working out perfectly? Improvise – that bathtub makes a great beer cooler and people can sit on the bed if they need to
- Don’t be afraid to move furniture – but move it back after
- Be flexible – your specific room option may not be available on check-in and the room may not be ready at check-in time
- Keep the room tidy – lots of photos will be taken and it will make leaving the next day a lot easier
- These rooms also make great choices for meet and greets, day after brunches, rehearsal meeting spots as well as bachelor and bachelorette parties!
Do you have a tip for anyone planning an insuite reception? Add it in the comments!
And check back tomorrow for a list of five excellent choices for an in-suite reception in Las Vegas!
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Photos: Ryan Jackson & Personal Photos
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I’ve been going a little elopement crazy over here at LVW, as I’ve been getting so many elopement submissions. But can you blame me? Couples like Stacey and Cy today who eloped in Las Vegas at THEhotel are so likeable I want to post ALL THE ELOPEMENTS.
This Canadian couple decided to do it Vegas-style after being together a quarter century. Yes – you read correctly. They’ve been together for 25 years. I think you’ll agree they barely look that old themselves.
McKenzi of Taylored Photo Memories documented the memories of this special Vegas elopement and shared this chic little in-suite ceremony with me. You might recognize a face at the party too – that’s Angie Kelly of Peachy Keen Unions presiding. Family members unable to make the trip joined in via FaceTime and the internet. Following the ceremony there were cupcakes and candles and Canadian Club. All the good C’s to make a great wedding go down!
The wedding ceremony was modern, fun and intimate. One of the things I like best about elopements is that you really focus on the couple and you get to see the emotion in every photo. Check these photos by Taylored Photo Memories out!
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