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Rio Las Vegas Ipanema Tower Room Review

Rio Las Vegas is an off strip resort casino and hotel that opened in 1990. It was sold to Harrah’s (Caesars) in 1999 for $766 million. After 20 years of neglect by Caesars, the Rio was sold in 2019 for $516 million to Dreamscape Properties. As of 2024, the Rio hotel is part of Hyatt and is undergoing a $350 million renovation.

The first part of the renovations was to update all 1,500 rooms in the Ipanema Tower (the three original wings of the hotel).

I had an offer through URComped for three free nights in one of the renovated rooms and $75 in free play. I booked it for Memorial Day weekend. Saturday night would have been the most expensive of the nights at $350 paying cash. It is a Category 3 Hyatt and can booked for 9,000-15,000 points per night.


Rio Las Vegas is located on the west side of I-15 on Flamingo; opposite the highway from Caesars Palace. It is about a 15 minute unpleasant walk to the Caesars or Bellagio.

On the same intersection is also The Palms and Gold Coast properties. There is a Walgreens you can walk to. Parking is free. I would guess a core of their guest demographics are people driving in from LA looking for a relative bargain hotel.

Check In

I checked in around 9pm. The lobby is currently a construction zone and the front desk has yet to be updated.

The staff was able to pull up my reservation and added my World of Hyatt number (though it doesn’t mean much as I was booked on a casino comp). I was first assigned to a room on the 3rd floor (first guest room floor); however when I got to the room it hadn’t been fully cleaned — the bed was made but there were dirty towels in the bathroom.

I went back downstairs and was given a new room on the 4th floor.

Getting to the rooms in the Ipanema Tower is a challenge. From the front desk you currently have to go around a walled off construction area, through the casino, and down a under construction hallway.

There are two banks of elevators. The Ipanema Tower is actually three towers in a Y shape, each built at a separate time. Both sets of elevators, for now, go to every floor. Typically there was a line and a long wait to get up or down the elevators. At least three elevators were out of service.

On a Saturday morning it was such a long wait to get down in the elevator that a steady stream of people from all floors started using the emergency stairs. Unfortunately the stairs and hallway lead all the way to the back dumpster area of the hotel. Oops.


The first room I had was Room 372. I then was moved to Room 402. The rooms very similar, though room 402 was a slightly different shape due to being next to the elevators.

I am not sure if the halls have been renovated yet; unfortunately I believe they have as the wall paper is the same as what is used in the renovated rooms. You can see that the number for my room is already missing part of the 4.

The rooms have been decently updated. New carpet, new wall paper, new furniture and fixtures. But it is clear it was not a full gut of the property. The doors, tile, and much of the bathroom has not been changed.

The rooms are large — 500+ square feet. I would say that the furniture is comparable to a Hyatt Regency but with a bit more character to match the Rio vibe.

The couch folds out to a queen bed if you need the extra space. The seating area faces the TV and has two “steak” shaped tables.

There is a high top table with two chairs along the window.

The bed is fine but the sheets are very basic and not luxurious. I am guessing they are using the old Rio linens still.

The lamps on either side of the bed have outlets and USB-A and USB-C power ports, but they didn’t work. I also found that the air conditioning, even at the coldest setting, failed to keep the room chilled.

There is an empty fridge that you can stock with your own goods.

The floor to ceiling windows do feel luxurious considering the property was built in 1990. Unfortunately the curtains allow for light to bleed into the room. My view from both rooms was of the casino roof. At least from the 4th floor (below) I wasn’t looking directly at the electrical boxes and vents.


My two rooms had different bathrooms. Neither had received much of an update except the shower.

The first room had the bathroom just off the entry.

There is a long counter with a single sink. This portion of the bathroom is open to the rest of the room.

Opposite the counter is a large closet.

The toilet, shower, and second sink are in a separated room.

The shower has been updated with a fun tile surround and glass sliding door. There is a single handheld shower head.

The bath products are all Nest branded; I believe the same that Hyatt uses at Destination brand properties.

My second room had the bathroom directly off the bed area of the room. The outer area of the bathroom is smaller but similar amenities.

The closet and counter space is smaller.

Built into the dresser is a safe that someone had added a 3M hook to help with opening.

The shower and toilet area has a pedestal sink but is otherwise similar.

The towels are threadbare and weren’t replenished during housekeeping.


The pool area at Rio is quite large. There are four pools, including one that is adults only. It seems that they have refreshed the rental loungers and cabanas.

The Nautilus Pool, closest to the pool area entry, is arguably the nicest. It has in pool lounge chairs and a working water feature. Unfortunately, I was told that it was closed for the season; though I’ve read that it is actually going to be open this summer.

There are two main pools, the Fish Pool and Shell Pool, for all ages.

There is also the Lagoon Pool which is adults only. It looks like it should have waterfalls but they weren’t running during my visit.


Currently the complimentary breakfast for Hyatt Globalists is at Hash House A Go Go located across from the swimming pools.

I didn’t visit during my visit but I have been to other Hash House A Go Go locations and really enjoy it. There has been some controversy over what is included for Globalists online; check out this thread for up to date info.

The other restaurants on the property are pretty sad; though I imagine they will be replaced over the next two years.

The first new dining option is the Canteen Food Hall. I ate there twice and thought it is a really good concept with good quality food.

A new bar and additional restaurant are currently under construction.


This being Vegas, there are a lot of entertainment options.

The casino needs some serious updates. Currently it is disjointed. The area near the Kiss Mini Golf attraction (yes, as in the band) has high ceilings (which is a good thing) but with empty retail fronts surrounding it and a track on the ceiling for the former Parade in the Sky free show. It’s a mess.

There are still some shows on at Rio. The most popular show that still draws crowds is Penn & Teller. There is also WOW, a low budget cirque-type show, the Comedy Cellar, and Chippendales.


I would strongly encourage you to avoid Rio until at least mid-2025 when (hopefully) renovations will be completed. Even then, unless they go all out with their upgrades, I worry it will be lipstick on a pig. Sadly I don’t think the new owners have deep enough pockets to make Rio work. My prediction is that it won’t stay a Hyatt for very long. An off-strip resort has to be REALLY good to draw people. I don’t see that happening.

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