Elvis may not have built the Hilton, but he certainly enhanced its station during the last 8 years of his life when he performed here. When the Hilton opened in 1969 as the International Hotel, Barbra Streisand christened the new showroom, but Elvis followed a month later and continued his reign until he died in 1977. Purchased by Hilton Hotels in 1971, the Las Vegas Hilton is the flagship in the chain’s fleet. Adjacent to the convention center, the hotel is favored by conventioneers and business travelers as well as tourists who seek a self-contained resort.
About a block from The Strip, the 3,174-room property includes six tennis courts, a putting green, shuffleboard and a large pool area.
The hotel’s 100-foot registration desk and lobby area are separate from the step-down casino and are decorated with tropical colors, Grecian bas-reliefs, crystal chandeliers and neon rainbows. The large guest rooms feature upholstered easy chairs, marble-top dressing tables, wood-frame mirrors and deep closets. Room colors tend toward cool blue and green pastels.
Like everything else at the Hilton, the casino is well-designed and well-appointed. It’s in the center of the hotel with restaurants and entertainment venues surrounding it. Table games are at the center, flanked by slot machines and a keno lounge. The popular race and sports SuperBook is one of the most popular in the city, catering to locals as well as tourists. Because of the upscale clientele, table limits have higher minimums, usually $5 at blackjack and craps, and most of the slots are of the $1 variety. If you’re into the big-ticket machines, tuxedo-clad change personnel dispense $100 and $500 slot tokens in a canopied slot gazebo.
When the sun sets, the Nightclub lounge–Las Vegas’ finest–rocks with regular entertainers such as Kristine W and The Sting, and the Hilton Theater showroom showcases celebrity headliners.
Dining at the Hilton is superb with an international flavor. The award-winning Bistro Le Montrachet serves classic French cuisine, and Benihana’s offers two rooms–the Village for hibachi dining and the Seafood Grille. Other excellent dining rooms include Andiamo’s for Northern Italian fare, the Hilton Steak House, Margarita Grille for Mexican and Southwest specialties, a 24-hour coffee shop and the Buffet of Champions.
The hotel’s latest addition is Star Trek: The Experience, an interactive attraction from Paramount Parks. Among the features is a motion simulator, TurboLift to the shuttlecraft launch bay and film images during the craft’s “voyage.” There’s also a museum with costumes and memorabilia and the Spacequest Casino with futuristic slot machines.