The last incarnation of the Aladdin was sold in bankruptcy to a partnership of Planet Hollywood and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide in the middle of 2003.
About a year after that, the entire property began a slow transformation from the Arabian and desert theme to a more Hollywood-esque and modern theme. This included almost every part of the property, including the rooms. I visited the property continuously through this period, and it was quite interesting to see the progress from trip to trip. They remained open during the process by staging the renovations such that only part of the property or some of the rooms were being worked on at a given time.
The renovations were finally completed in 2007, and a grand re-opening was held in April of that year. The hotel rooms were completely re-done, outside of the bathrooms, with new theming. The theme for each room was a movie, and there was memorabilia from it located in multiple places in the room. There were obviously multiple rooms for a given movie, but it was actually fairly odd for me to end up getting the same one in my many trips to Planet Hollywood. One of the few that I did get twice was for the movie “A League of Their Own”. One of my previous articles, documenting the arrival at PH, shows a few images of the room I stayed in on that trip, and it contains some “A League of Their Own” memorabilia. As you can see from the image below, it is a different item which is included as part of the theme.
The rooms were swank, if a bit dark, and at the time, the movies were either classic, timely or current. The bathrooms were given a cosmetic updating, including the wallpaper, shower doors, and some of the colors. However, things like the sinks, counters, and shower handles remained the same. The hot tub was retained, and a picture related to the movie for the room was placed in each bathroom as well.
In late 2015, I was told that Caesars was in the process of renovating the rooms at PH. They were doing this because they wanted the rooms to have a much cleaner and brighter look, as well as the fact that there was no plan in place to update the memorabilia, and those elements were starting to look a bit dated. They appeared to be starting from the top down, and as the floors were finished; they were making them available to the public. They had gone through about three floors by December, and I assume the progress continues to this day. There was only one render that I could find; that was on the Caesars website. It showed a much sleeker look, with all new furniture, and a more open appearance. Now, thanks to one of our VegasBright readers, Peachiekeehn, we have some actual pictures of one of the new rooms.
Her son was placed in one of the renovated rooms during their trip over New Years and was apparently the first one to stay in the room. As one can see just by the first picture, the bathrooms got more than a superficial treatment this time around. The entire sink and counter have been replaced. There is a new large square mirror, new lighting fixtures, and a new shower door.
From this other angle, one can see that the walls have all be re-painted, with different accents in different areas, as well as all new tile around the hot tub. There also appears to be additional lighting and towel storage underneath the sinks, brightening up the area as well as making use of what was previously a pretty empty area. This has the added benefit of freeing up some counter space as well, which used to be taken up by some of the towels. It is hard to tell, but it appears that the floor has been completely replaced as well.
As for the room itself, the picture above captures a pretty comprehensive overview of what has changed. There is what appears to be a new chaise lounge, new tables holding new alarm clocks and lamps, new bed and headboard, as well as an all new floor. The movie theming has been completely removed, and the walls have been completely repainted, with some new art in some places. Overall, it is much cleaner regarding lines, gives the impression of being much more open, and clearly has a brighter look compared to before.
It appears that in the Ultra Hip rooms, they have carved out some of the space that was previously dead to make a little nook with a new table and chairs, some art, and a coffee maker. This is one of the new amenities that are being promoted as standard in the new rooms.
From the Planet Hollywood website, the list above details the amenities for the new rooms. The biggest items are the addition of a coffee maker, refrigerator, and iPod compatible alarm clock in each room. Previously these items were available, but they had to be requested and then brought to your room. Regarding what the rooms are called, the updated ones currently are being identified by having “Ultra” prepended onto their names. The current generation standard room is called a Hip Room (previously Hollywood Hip). The renovated one is termed Ultra Hip, and they are currently only limited to the standard rooms it seems. The larger Resort Room, that I detail in one of my previous articles, and the various suites, don’t seem to have any that are renovated yet.
Thanks once again to Peachiekeehn and her son, for providing us with this first, early look at the new rooms. I would say that if you get a chance, go ahead and book, or ask to be placed, in one of the new Ultra Hip rooms and cherish the experience of what is essentially a brand new room. Otherwise, take a good look at the movie memorabilia in your current generation room, as they are slowly but surely going the way that almost everything else in Vegas eventually goes.
[Images: Peachiekeehn, Gennadius, and Planet Hollywood website]