Checking in: Delano Las Vegas – Never again!

Perhaps “never” is a bit too strong a statement, but there is a very, very, very slim chance I’ll be booking a room at the brand new Delano Las Vegas any time soon. I just wrapped up eight nights in town sampling four different hotels and I had high hopes for the newly renovated property. The price was right, the location reasonable for my needs and I was keen to try out a hotel a bit removed from the casino scene. Alas, in the end the hotel failed at its most basic function and that leaves me little choice but to say “no, thanks” to future stays.

I booked the most basic room – The Delano Queen Suite – and that’s what I got upon check-in. No complaints at all there. And when I got in to the room I was reasonably impressed with the size, space and amenities. Plus views of McCarran and the Area 51 planes coming and going. I was actually very, very happy at first glance.

Living room in the Delano Las Vegas Queen Suite
Living room in the Delano Las Vegas Queen Suite
The beds at the Delano Las Vegas were fine; the pillows were awful.
The beds at the Delano Las Vegas were fine; the pillows were awful.


OK, so the shower didn’t drain so well and also didn’t seal so well, causing a bit of a mess on the bathroom floor. I can handle that, and hopefully my request at check-out to have a jug of drain-o poured in will be followed up on. But the robes were super soft and the slippers had the name of the hotel on them in addition to being ridiculously padded. And fancy amenities in the bathroom, too. That’s all good.

I wanted to not really be in the casino scene and I wasn’t, unless I wanted to use the pool. The Delano shares its pool with Mandalay Bay next door which is great from a people-watching perspective but it does require passing through the casino to get to the pool area. Not ideal, especially when the side entrance nearest the convention center was closed, but I can handle it I suppose.

The couch was comfy, the desk had all sorts of plugs and A/V inputs for the TV system in the living room and the closets in the bedroom were sufficient. The mattress was a bit soft but not too bad. So, where’s the fail? The pillows. They were awful.

I can sleep most anywhere. I spent a couple nights at the Luxor earlier in the week and slept pretty well there, all things considered. But the pillows at the Delano were really, really bad. Or maybe just strange and different. Whatever the issue, it was enough that I awoke several times each night.

They were a different shape than normal pillows, longer and not as tall. They were also very, very firm. My neck was at a strange angle no matter what I tried. So I figured I’d see what the hotel could do. I called to the front desk and asked for an alternative. They suggested I try the pillow in the closet (yup, already did that) and then offered to send up another option. I accepted those pillows with high hopes. It was for naught. They were basically the same.

On day three I went to the front desk seeking clarification and some sort of alternative. The guy basically told me there was nothing to be done. I get it. I didn’t really expect them to go over to the Luxor and snag a couple of the pillows from there when I suggested it, but I hoped he’d at least consider the option rather than dismissing it so quickly.

I mentioned my dissatisfaction at check-out as well. The woman working the front desk was the same one who checked me in and she remembered me. We talked about the pillows and a few other things. She mentioned that these are already a toned-down version of the super-firm, super-stuffed pillows. The originals were over four pounds each according to her and they barely fit in the pillow cases; that’s why the original change was made. But they’re still too big and too uncomfortable for me.

Maybe I’m alone on this one and others like those pillows. Maybe the agent at the front desk was just doing her best to empathize with me so I’d go away. But I know that I can’t book in there again. Certainly not if I plan to sleep. And, believe it or not, that’s the key factor for me in choosing a hotel room. Go figure.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. That’s really unfortunate, and I’m actually really surprised that the hotel didn’t have options. Assuming the pillows are down/feather, they should have a synthetic option for people who are allergic or otherwise prefer that; and assuming they are synthetic, they should have a down/feather option for people (like me) who can’t stand synthetic pillows.

    The one time a hotel pillow was a deal breaker for me was at the Singapore Marriott– similar story, as they were so firm that my head simply could not fall into them enough for a comfortable spine alignment. There was simply no way I could have slept on those pillows. Thankfully, the hotel DID have other, softer, pillows, and had housekeeping bring them up.

  2. Similar thing happened to me with six hotel stays in Norway this month. The top of the line luxury hotel The Thief Oslo had the firmest and most uncomfortable pillows of all the hotels.

    What I love about car travel is packing my own feather pillow from home, although I did leave one behind at a California B&B last May.

  3. Pillows you say? I must not be that picky because I think if I’m tired, I can sleep just about anywhere. You professional travel bloggers sure do seem picky about your hotel & flight experiences, but does it really matter?

    1. Yes, pillows. I can typically sleep anywhere and eventually I managed to get some sleep at the Delano, too. I fly long-haul coach more often than not and the last time I felt this strongly about a place it was because they didn’t have toilet seats.

      More surprising to me was that there was no alternative option. I expect that a higher-end property would have a backup choice for guests. Or even that they’d entertain my suggestion of calling the sister property across the way rather than dismissing me and my concerns (albeit politely).

  4. Hi Seth. It was nice seeing you in Vegas. You spent 8 days there??

    I feel your pain. I have constant pillow issues because I’m allergic to feathers. Half the time, even if I note my allergy, they don’t give me polyester pillows. Sometimes, I don’t even bother complaining – its such a pain in the butt – but sometimes I do. And then they find the oldest cruddiest poly pillows from the year of the flood and deliver them to my room. that’s when I put two more pillowcases around the feather pillow and sneeze myself to sleep.


  5. I feel the same way about the pillows from Aria. I’m not staying at the Delano until mid-October, but I recall the pillows from THEHotel were just fine. I might need to pack my own pillow for my Delano trip!

  6. I’m with you, Seth. I can’t sleep on a firm pillow, and I’m also allergic to down feathers. It’s as bad as having a terrible mattress. One hurts your neck; the other hurts your back.

  7. Buy a $6 pillow at the local Walmart. They offer medium, firm and extra firm. That is what I do when the hotel I’m in has horrible pillows. It is worth $6 for a good night’s sleep.

    1. Good in theory, but no car and no time on this trip to find a walmart and make it happen. Maybe I should have figured that out anyways instead of being sick for a week when I got home, though I’m pretty sure that was general exhaustion from 2 weeks on the road and not solely attributed just those three nights.

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