A new look for Atlantis

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RENO, Nev. -- The morning after my arrival, Antonio Lopez, Atlantis' director of hotel operations, gave me the grand tour of the additions, which were still being completed: the additional 20,000 square feet of convention space with its private entrance; the Xanadu bar, where a fountain will feature a dancing water light show, and a new entrance that can accommodate group bus arrivals.

"The layout of our resort is very friendly," said Lopez. "It will keep congestion to a minimum at the front desk."

Next, Lopez showed off the soon-to-be opened Jacuzzi suites and their aquatic decor. A collage of bright tropical fish swam across the comforter, over the curtains and onto the chairs' upholstery. Blanketing the floor was a custom-made carpet that appeared to ripple across the room, resembling sand under water.

Lopez pointed out that all hotel rooms in the new tower boast nine-foot ceilings, a foot higher than standard. Atlantis had to sacrifice three floors to accommodate the extra height.

We ascended to the concierge rooms on the 21st to the 27th floor. Here, guests will enjoy private check-in, a glass elevator exclusively for their use and a lounge featuring continental breakfast, afternoon tea, evening hors d'oeuvres and an honor bar.

As we stepped into a concierge suite, Lopez explained that these rooms not only feature additional amenities; at 700 square feet, they're also more spacious than regular suites.

I admired the panoramic views through the floor-to-ceiling windows and the elegant tropical decor with muted colors, bamboo furniture, and marble and granite bathrooms.

Safes and minibars are located in all the new hotel rooms. A full-service business center with faxing, copying and administrative services and a health spa with indoor and outdoor pools, a waterfall, sauna, spa and styling salon were scheduled to open this month.

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