By Patty Fantasia
The Lucky Dragon Offers a Taste of Asia Right Here in Las Vegas
Since its grand opening on December 3, 2016 The Lucky Dragon Hotel and Casino has been living up to its reputation as a boutique hotel offering unique and authentic Asian gaming, dining and lifestyle experiences. Located on the northern corridor of the Las Vegas Strip at 300 W. Sahara Avenue the property's authenticity goes beyond the cuisine and multilingual staff, featuring signage in both Chinese and English and elevated VIP areas signifying a heightened status for those who visit.
“Our design team, executives and partners aggregated a multitude of influences from around the world to create a truly world class resort,” said Lucky Dragon President and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Fonfa. “From our exclusive list of 50 Chinese teas, to our authentic Cantonese and pan-Asian culinary portfolio, there is inarguably nothing else like this in Las Vegas.”
The unique Lucky Dragon experience begins in the hotel's lobby that stretches into an area featuring a shoreline infinity-edge pool, shady oak trees, a tiled mural wall, fountains and cabanas. This is in contrast to Cha Garden, an indoor/outdoor tea garden and lounge, led by the only tea sommelier in Las Vegas, that offers several teas sourced directly from generations-old Asian tea farms. Many of these beverages are available for the first time in the United States, since they have usually been reserved for dignitaries on official Chinese state visits until now. Yum cha, light snacks similar to Chinese tapas, are also served in either a casual or formal service atmosphere and in addition, the venue has a full bar, beer, wine and cocktails available.
The property, which was the first new hotel and casino to open in Las Vegas in six years, boasts 203 rooms and 22 standard suites along with a luxurious 1300 square foot penthouse featuring a panoramic view of the Strip, a grand foyer entryway, living room, soaking tub, formal dining space suitable for catered meals and events and butler service.
The rooms are done in a stylishly Asian red and white color scheme with bright flower patterns decorating the bedroom walls. They offer items for use and/or sale including bath and beauty products from SOTHYS, the hotel's 4,500 square-foot spa, and Asian robes and slippers prominently displayed by the bathroom's roomy walk in shower. The hotel also offers a TV package with the most Chinese programming available on the Las Vegas Strip along with tea brewing equipment and a complimentary array of imported house tea selections.
Interestingly enough, the casino and restaurants are housed in different building across from each other. The 27,500 square foot casino has 37 tables and emphasizes popular Asian games such as Baccarat and Pai Gow although it does offer some "Western-Style" choices including Blackjack, Roulette and Three-Card Poker. Two high-end gaming area the ground level Emerald Room and second-story VIP Gaming Lounge serve the casino's high rollers. There are also 287 slot machines on the main casino floor and guest who sign up for a player's card are treated to free play and coupons or discounts that can be used in the property's various dining establishments.
There are several food options to choose from within the hotel. The Jewel Kitchen claims the only show kitchen in the city that extends directly onto the casino floor giving guests a close up view of the property's culinary masters at work through the encapsulated windows. Meanwhile, those looking for items on the go will enjoy Bao, the 24 hour eatery serving quick dishes such as dim sum, soups, rice, noodles, congee and Boba Tea. With its proximity to the casino floor guests have easy access to food and drink before, after or even while playing since dining at gaming tables is allowed.
One of the most popular dining options is Dragon's Alley which was designed to introduce visitors to the best street food items from China, Taiwan and other parts of Asia. Inspired by the vibrant night markets found in the streets of Taipei and landmarks like Ghost Street in Beijing, the Hutuong brick lining parts of the restaurant were sourced from Beijing's toppled government housing. Selections are ordered a la carte and include duck, beef and mushrooms, fried rice and several Asian desserts and beverages.
Dim sum enthusiasts will enjoy exploring Pearl Ocean with its large aquatic-themed dining area and live seafood room where guests can make exotic selections that can be prepared in either traditional or modern culinary styles. In order to ensure freshness the dim sum is shipped daily from renowned restaurateur Willy Ng's San Francisco facility. For those looking for something different, Pearl Ocean is also known for its BBQ dishes including duck.
For a more formal dining experience there's The Lucky Dragon's 60-seat restaurant Phoenix which offers cutting-edge culinary trends from modern China. These include Kurobuta pork, deer tendon, abalone and other rare delicacies. Aside from Phoenix's world- class service amenities include a private balcony and a sophisticated wine list.
The property also has two main bars. Pagoda, located on the lower level in the midst of the casino gaming floor, has a 1.26 ton glass and crystal dragon chandelier suspended above it and offers full bar service and a selection of teas and other non-alcoholic beverages. Upstairs the Atrium Bar offers several specialty cocktails along with traditional Asian beverage options and more contemporary menu items influenced by Asian culture and recipes. Another unique feature in the building's decor is a 23 foot dragon that was crafted in the Crystal Valley glass glowing region of The Czech Republic.
For anyone who would like to visit Asia, but can't get away and leave Las Vegas, The Lucky Dragon could provide an exciting distraction with authentic cuisine, a little gambling or a weekend getaway.