El Cortez – ‘The Big Sleep’ Suite Review


“What’s the best room you can give me?” I said, not nearly as nonchalantly as I’d intended.

“Don’t worry” said my host. “We’ll take care of you”.

Walking out of the office, I wasn’t sure whether to congratulate myself on hustling up a mega-suite; or just a high floor.

Well, as this was the El Cortez my options were slim.  The initials ‘JS’ for my room type on the confirmation email made me assume I’d bagged a Cabana Junior Suite.  What a treat!  I’d not stayed in the Cabana Suites before.  (I still haven’t).

Normally I stay in the Pavilion rooms up on the fifth floor of the attached parking garage (as these are the only rooms which have a smoking option, and I am a filthy smoker).  These rooms are perfectly fine and the mere mention of them shouldn’t make you think of crack.  I will do a separate review.

Room 1000 Jacuzzi Suite (‘The Big Sleep Suite’) – 10th floor of the Tower

Located at the end of the hallway closest to the elevators – by ice/vending. Double doors.


Not having read/seen The Big Sleep, I wasn’t able to relate to the theme on that level (it’s now on my reading list for sure).

Feature wall  – a black and white photo of a ‘death valley’ style scene  you could almost walk right into.

Rest of the suite – fairly neutral, not to clash with the desert scene.  1960’s minimalism?

Lounge and dining area


Three seater metallic off-white sofa, brown swivel chair and a marble/chrome coffee table furnish this part of the room.  Not pictured is a silver painted tree stump which serves as a side table.

There is an empty refrigerator for your use in the cabinet beneath the TV.

A Keurig machine comes with 2 regular/2 decaf/2 tea k-cups – priced at $5 per pack.

Both the refrigerator and Keurig are provided in the Tower/Pavilion rooms.

Bathroom and Jacuzzi


The Jacuzzi is in the main room, just outside of the bathroom.  Presumably, as the main ‘perk’ of the room, it’s out there for all to see.  The lighting around the tub is nicely ambient and it looked clean; however, I prefer to avoid water receptacles for communal use.


The bathroom itself is small but perfectly nice.  Apart from the basin, which is next to useless.  Combination of an awkward shape and high water pressure equals wet floor and toilet seat.  No plug either.  Design over functionality.


Shower/tub combination with an opening window is the same as the Tower rooms, but in white rather than a shade I call ‘cooked salmon’.  Water pressure and temperature is always good here I’ve found.

Towels and toiletries are standard.  You just get more of them. No upgrades here.



The bedroom part of the suite is sectioned off from the living area by the sofa and silver tree stump table.

Large, low bed with glass and chrome side tables  Lamps better suited to a desk than bedside.  Cabana Suites telephone – not the classic beige model found in the rest of the hotel (the one with the big red light on top and a ring that could wake the dead).

Above the bed is a beautiful silver light feature.  Looked bespoke.


Facing the bed by the window there’s another TV, a dresser underneath with ice bucket and glasses.


Both TV’s in this room were terrible.  Many channels had ‘no signal’ and the remotes didn’t work.  CNN was the default channel, so it remained on the entire stay.

There were no usable power outlets near the bed.  I would have liked at least a USB outlet in the lamps. If you needed to work, the dining table area would be fine for sockets.

Behind a floor length curtain is a clothes rail, safe and two white cotton robes. The curtain extended across the window.  There’s also a sheer curtain, which I wish they would put in all rooms.



All suites in the Tower face north (away from Fremont Street and the Strip).  This is a benefit in my opinion; much quieter.  Even better for me, and probably no one else, is that you get a great view of the old ‘Life is Beautiful Festival’ 2015 mural for Brandon Flowers on the roof of the Cabana Suites.  I’m a big fan.


Overall impressions

This is a cool suite.  Perfectly suited to edgy photo shoots.  It just isn’t ‘luxury’ as you’d get at the Golden Nugget or the Strip.  Maybe this was why I liked it – quirky, with some of the original El Cortez-ness showing through.

If you were looking for a large, clean room with good amenities I’d recommend a Tower room over this, unless you wanted to impress someone with an gold-toothed alligator skull.


  • This suite is part of the Design-A-Suite collection at the El Cortez (other designs include ‘Vintage Vegas’ and ‘1950s Chic’) from the Las Vegas Design Center.
  • Average nightly fee – $95 – $160 per night.
  • All Vintage, Tower (rooms/suites) and Cabana Suites are non-smoking.  Pavilion rooms are mainly non-smoking.
DISCLAIMER:  This suite was provided as a comp from my host,  I was not asked to review the room or any aspect of my stay.

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