NOTE: The following review was written based on visits to the property when it was operated previously as the Ritz-Carlton Lake Las Vegas Resort. The factual and service information has been updated, however, since the property became the Ravella at Lake Las Vegas, which is part of the Dolce Hotel & Resort company.
Sizing up the Ravella Resort at Lake Las Vegas
Plenty of Vegas hotels dazzle, but of them do so without tapping directly into the incredible energy, but sometimes overwhelming chaos, of the Strip. Set about a 30-minute drive away from downtown (about 20 minutes from the airport) at Henderson's oasis-like Lake Las Vegas resort, the Ravella, which opened in February 2011 in what had been the a Ritz-Carlton, straddles serene desert lake and is styled after a secluded Tuscan palace. It's intimate (349 rooms) by Las Vegas standards, and the crowd you see here differs a bit from the norm in these parts - think discerning, low-keyed, professionals who enjoy jumping into the Vegas Strip scene here and there but ultimately prefer to sleep in a peaceful, less-hurried property. This particular resort feels posh but unpretentious - you can walk through the lobby in neat jeans or tennis shorts without feeling out of the place. The hotel has a superb spa and very good dining options, and it adjoins a lively retail-restaurant village with just enough diversions to keep you entertained. It's a good bet for a luxurious but relaxing Vegas getaway.
- Posh and beautifully designed and furnished.
- A 30-minute drive from Vegas lights is calming and translates to fabulous star-gazing at night.
- Home to a stunning spa.
- There's a cool shopping/dining plaza next door with a nice range of retail and restaurant diversions.
- The staff is highly professional but low-keyed and fun - there's a nice balance here between soliticous and friendly.
- There's a relatively small casino next door to the hotel, but this is otherwise a nongaming facility, so fans of gambling action may be disappointed.
- On the same note, the Ravella is 20-minute drive from the Strip - if you want to be right in the center of the action, this isn't your best bet (and the drive back and forth is easy but not especially scenic).
- The Ravella is marketed heavily to meetings and conventions, so you may encounter throngs of conventioneers if you happen to visit during a big event (of course, this is true throughout Las Vegas).
The hotel is part of the Lake Las Vegas Resort (along with another property, the Loews Lake Las Vegas, which is just down the road). This upscale desert community on the edge of Henderson is a 30-minute drive from the Vegas Strip (that's factoring in traffic - you can sometimes make it a little faster at less busy times), and along a route that passes by some rather uninspired scenery (think dowdy old shopping centers). But once you turn into this sprawling community with its perfectly manicured green lawns, three championship golf courses, and central lake, you feel as though you've been airlifted to the poshest enclaves of Palm Springs or Maui - in some ways, Lake Las Vegas feels completely removed from Sin City.
Yet, you can see the jaunty, pulsing Strip skyline in the distance, and drive there easily. This makes the Ritz a popular draw for non-gaming visitors who nevertheless want to hop into Vegas to shop, dine, and soak up the vibe.
Rooms are done in soft, earthy palettes, with spacious marble bathrooms. If you want to go all out, book one of the Club Level rooms are suites - these are located on the bridge, inspired by the Pontevecchio Bridge in Florence, and come with access to the hotel's club lounge, with its several meal presentations throughout the day. Here you can, for instance, enjoy a light breakfast on a balcony overlooking the lake - a pretty wonderful way to start the morning.
Medici Cafe and Terrace is the hotel's estimable restaurant, serving very good, upscale regional Italian cuisine.
The resort's impressive spa and fitness center is adjacent to the property, seeming very much in its own wonderful little world, yet just a short stroll from the lobby. It's a two-level space with a tranquil garden, a cafe serving light and healthful food, and access to a stately pool area.
Address, phone, and web: 1610 Lake Las Vegas Pkwy., Henderson, NV, 888-810-0440). It's about a 30-minute drive to the Strip in the heart of Las Vegas.
Rooms and notable in-amenities: 349 rooms and suites with plush linens and goose-down comforters, in-room safes, Wi-Fi, stocked minibars, clock radio/CD players, and large writing desks.
Noteworthy hotel amenities: Exceptional full-service restaurant, some of the swankiest ballrooms in Vegas, an outstanding spa and fitness center, and two highly regarded golf courses; adjacent is MonteLago Village, a faux Italian hamlet with upscale shops and restaurants and a full casino (there's no gaming on-site at the Ravella itself).