The Aladdin rubbed its magic lamp for the last time in spring 2007 and out popped Planet Hollywood, a rather hipper casino version of the restaurant chain. Amenities at the new arrival include the Planet Hollywood Spa by Mandara, which promises to ready guests for their 15 minutes of fame; the adjacent Miracle Mile Shops, a galleria of familiar shops (Urban Outfitters, H&M) and eateries (Trader Vic's, Hawaiian Tropic Zone); and a modernised theatre. At the unveiling, owner Robert Earl was joined by Bruce Willis and Carmen Electra. But if the new Planet Hollywood plans to compete for the hipsters that flock to the Palms and the Hard Rock, it's going to have to appeal to Willis's kids rather than Willis himself.
The 2,600 movie-themed rooms and suites are done out in what is called 'Hollywood Hip' decor: contemporary shades of rich chocolate and royal purple, Googie-esque carpet and techie amenities such as high-definition plasma TVs. Guests can earn and redeem Starpoints at more than 750 Westin, Sheraton, W, St Regis and Luxury Collection hotels.
Eating & drinking
The new and improved dining scene features the obligatory slew of celebrity restaurateurs, including Alfredo of Rome, famous for creating the original fettuccine Alfredo; the Japanese-Californian fusion cuisine of Koi, already a haven for Hollywood's A-list; Yolos, a Mexican eaterie complete with margarita fountain; and the Glazier family's Strip House, a sexy steakhouse that's anything but traditional. Smaller bites are served at the Earl of Sandwich, Pink's for their famous hot dogs, and Planet Dailies, a high-energy coffeeshop. Polynesian-themed Trader Vic's and David Burke's Hawaiian Tropic Zone have joined beach-themed burger joint Cheeseburger at the Oasis in the Miracle Mile Shops. And the Spice Market Buffet is still one of the best in town, serving a variety of ethnic dishes (including many vegetarian options).
The only building left from the original Aladdin, the renamed Planet Hollywood Theatre for the Performing Arts features a well-coiffed European illusionist by the name of Hans Klok in The Beauty of Magic, though touring acts will also perform here. Correspondents from TV's Extra interview celebrities from their new Vegas headquarters, the ExtraLounge. Privé and the Living Room, imports from South Beach, add a little sizzle.
The years-long transition from the Aladdin into Planet Hollywood has reconfigured the casino endlessly, and further changes may be on the way. Well-heeled players frequent the high-limit pit on the second floor: the salon features 30 high-limit tables including blackjack, roulette and baccarat and 100 high-denomination slot machines.