Seventeen miles away from the glitz and excitement of the Las Vegas Strip, the Ritz-Carlton Lake Las Vegas exists in a timeless world of its own. Opened in 2002, the family-friendly resort is part of the Lake Las Vegas community, which consists of condos, shopping, and a casino surrounding a private, 320-acre manmade lake.
Like most Ritz-Carlton hotels, it is lush, welcoming, well-behaved. Surfaces sparkle and smiles are bright.
Unlike most others in the brand, though, this property was designed to resemble a Florentine village. Different sections are painted the ochre hues common to northern Italy. Terra cotta tiles shingle the roofs. Views from many rooms overlook the resort's manicured Florentine garden. It's all very pretty.
But one section of the hotel is more an architect's folly than a design for living: The hotel has recreated Florence's Ponte Vecchio bridge (absent the jewelry stores). It stretches from one side of the lake to the other, with rooms and an event space above its graceful arches.
The problem is, from the guest rooms at the far end of the bridge, it's a very far walk to the elevator (I counted 400 steps). And the view isn't significantly different. So ask for a room closer to the lobby, and you'll be able to get in and out of the hotel much faster.
Facilities at the Ritz-Carlton Lake Las Vegas include a swimming pool with a few private cabanas and a freestanding spa/beauty salon.
The calm, nearly somnolent setting makes the resort a good choice for those who need to be in Las Vegas but eschew the excitement of the Strip. For that reason, the Ritz-Carlton Lake Las Vegas hosts many groups whose meeting planners don't want them to be distracted by the nearby neon city.
Ritz-Carlton Lake Las Vegas is also an ideal setting for a destination wedding.