Goodbye, kitsch and cigarette smoke – hello, high style. MGM Mirage's CityCenter complex is a towering, luxury playground whose spiring boutique hotels and high-minded public artwork have transformed both the skyline and the cultural landscape of the Strip. Sure, we've seen this symbiotic relationship before (think giant hotel anchored by a mall 'concept'), but the way this Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)–certified complex places a small galaxy of hyper-modern, chichi hotels in orbit around the glitzy Crystals shopping center is a first.
The uber-upscale spread includes the subdued, stylish Vdara, the hush-hush opulent Mandarin Oriental and the dramatic architectural showpiece ARIA, with a sophisticated wood and chrome casino that provides a fitting backdrop for its visually stunning restaurants. Add into the mix a Japanese-style spa, an offbeat Cirque du Soleil show, kid-friendly exhibits outside the entrance to Christian Dior, and a buzzing nightlife scene at the Cosmopolitan Hotel – and you've got the super-sleek, otherworldly CityCenter.