Hello, Fontainebleau Las Vegas in Winchester, Nevada

On December 13, 2023, one week after the grand opening of the Durango Casino & Resort in the Las Vegas suburbs, another luxury hotel opened—the Fontainebleau Las Vegas on the Las Vegas Strip, formally in the unincorporated town of Winchester in Clark County, Nevada.

I actually was in town for the grand opening of the Fontainebleau, but I chose not to attend on opening day because I didn’t want to deal with the chaos on the Strip. However, a week and a half later around Christmastime, I stopped by to check it out.

Fontainebleau Las Vegas has quite the history. When I used to live in a residential high-rise condo on the Las Vegas Strip, I was on the north end of the Strip, very close to the Fontainebleau. The Fontainebleau broke ground in 2007 and was topped off in 2008. No, that is not a typo—this building was erected over 15 years ago. Since then, because of financial troubles, the building remained a closed and incomplete eyesore on the Strip with broken win­dows and exposed foundation. It also caused a bit of unrest with the Turnberry Place high-rise luxury condominiums next door, as the gargantuan height of the parking garage blocked the view of residents on the lower floors at the Turnberry.

In 2018, it was announced that the building, which was called The Drew at the time, would partner with Marriott. Being a loyal user of Marriott’s hotels and as an Ambassador Elite member in their loyalty program, I was excited that Marriott would expand their presence on the Las Vegas Strip. Un­for­tu­nately, Marriott decided to withdraw from the partnership three years later, and Fontainebleau decided to self-operate.

Now, finally, construction is complete and the hotel is open to the public. About a week and a half ago, I decided to visit and walk around.

As I completed my tourist session and looped back out into the parking structure, I peeked out and snapped a photo of the building where I used to live a few years ago, about 400 feet up in the air.

The food court was interesting. I had already eaten just a couple hours prior so I didn’t get anything, but it was visually nice—it was basically like a large food court in a shopping mall, but much more upscale and luxurious. If I ever live on the northern end of the Strip again, within walking distance of the Fontainebleau, it actually wouldn’t be a bad place to head over for a quick lunch once in a while.

The decor is posh and makes you feel like you are a business professional or an otherwise classy person, as opposed to a degenerate gambler about to lose their life savings. It is fairly apparent that the hotel is catered specifically towards convention attendees, not only because of the vibe, but also be­cause of its obvious location across the street from the Las Vegas Convention Center West Hall.

There weren’t too many people around when I visited, but I imagine things will pick up massively once conventions start ramping up. The hotels on Par­a­dise Road are still going to be more convenient for conventions taking place in the North and South Halls, but it looks like Fontainebleau might end up becoming the go-to option for the West Hall for those who might have a more flexible budget.

The thing I’m looking forward to the most at the Fontainebleau is ITO, a sushi restaurant on one of the upper floors. Reservations aren’t open yet, but they’ll be offering a twelve-seat omakase experience soon, so I’ll definitely be stopping by once it becomes available.