The Stratosphere observation tower is easily identifiable as the tallest structure in the Las Vegas valley but take a quick glance at the Strip and it becomes far more difficult to select the tallest hotel.
For sake of argument, we'll leave off the list the incomplete Fontainebleau, which stands 735 feet off the ground but hasn't yet opened for business. That leaves us with the eight tallest occupied hotels, all of which opened between 2005 and 2010. They are separated in height by 42 feet.
1. The Palazzo -- The crown for now belongs to this 642-foot resort, which opened in December 2007 at a cost of $1.9 billion. The Las Vegas Sands property features 3,068 suites and more than 60 luxury boutiques. A highlight is the 8,000-square-foot Chairman suite with private terraces and plunge pools. "The Palazzo features modern European ambience and design reminiscent of Italian affluent living with a unique combination of premium amenities..." the company stated.
2. Encore -- Checking in at 631 feet, this $2.3 billion Wynn Resorts property opened in December 2008 with 2,034 suites and 60,000 square feet of event space. When the resort opened the company described the interior as having "sunlit corridors with flowering atria and sprawling pools visible from throughout the property. Natural light floods the resort to reveal gardens, vibrant butterflies and signature mosaics."
3. Trump International Hotel Las Vegas -- Opened in 2008 at a cost of $1.2 billion, the 622-foot gold-plated tower with 1,282 suites is the tallest in Las Vegas without a casino. Among the offerings are three-bedroom penthouses with this company description: "Experience over 3,000 square feet of living space including spacious family-friendly living and dining areas, library nook and three elegant bedrooms, each with Italian marble bathroom. The master bedroom features panoramic floor-to-ceiling views with separate seating areas and an adjoining master bathroom with his and hers water closets."
4. Wynn Las Vegas -- At 614 feet in height, the $2.7 billion Wynn Resorts property opened in April 2005. The company issued this description: "Each of the 2,700 guest rooms and suites in the elegant 50-story, bronze tower is artistically designed with floor to ceiling windows framing views of the Las Vegas Strip, the property's private mountain and lake, or the golf course. Even standard rooms are equipped with plush comforts such as large, elegant bathrooms, European linens and bedding, and flat screen televisions in both the living and bathroom areas."
5. (Tied) The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas East and West towers -- This $3.9 billion Deutsche Bank resort, opened in December 2010, sports twin 603-foot structures. "The resort's uniquely vertical multi-tower design offers spectacular views of the vibrant city," the company stated. "The new 2,995-room resort features oversized residential-style living spaces with expansive, one-of-a-kind private terraces. Resort features include 100,000 square feet of casino space, 60,000 square feet of world class shopping, 43,000 square feet of spa, health club and salon offerings, three unique pool experiences and multi-level integrated nightclubs."
7. (Tied) Aria -- The 600-foot, 4,004-room resort opened with fireworks in December 2009 as a centerpiece of the $8.5 billion CityCenter project, built as a joint venture between MGM Resorts International and a subsidiary of Dubai World. "Aria and CityCenter reflect a combination of innovation, energy and visionary design that we believe will reshape how the world views the destination resort experience and attract visitors from around the globe as a landmark of taste and style," MGM Resorts CEO and Chairman Jim Murren said at the time.
7. (Tied) Elara -- Originally known as PH Towers Westgate, what was billed as the world's largest vacation ownership building when it opened in December 2009 changed names in March and is now owned by Hilton Grand Vacations. The 1,201-room blue glass structure stands 600 feet tall and is integrated with the Planet Hollywood resort. "A grand lobby overlooking a magnificent tropical pool, private cabanas, and pool bar highlight the resort's renowned amenities," Hilton stated. "Stylish studios and spectacular one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom suites feature state of the art in-room entertainment systems and magnificent views of the Las Vegas Strip."