The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
Now owned by the Morgans Hotel Group, the Hard Rock today is less grunge and far more rock 'n' roll glam, with an expansion that will include a 35,000-square-foot casino, a 20,000-plus-square-foot spa, and 950 guest rooms. Renovations won't be fully completed until 2009, but 63 suites have already opened. In the rooms you'll find headboards flanked by crystal lamps, posters of rock legends on the walls, and thick velvet curtains. Even though it's a couple of blocks off the Strip, the Hard Rock throws some of the best parties in Vegas, with a weekly pool party, a club, and a concert hall.
Tip: Suites have either pool or Strip views. Choose with care if you're staying over a Sunday night; the legendarily raucous Rehab pool party (revelers begin lining up at 8:30 a.m.) may not be the best view for children or those with a heart condition.
Room to Book: One of the 1,320-square-foot Celebrity Suites, which come with an Xbox 360, wet bar, and custom-made pool table.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.