We heard a taxi driver say, you must be rich to come to Vegas. Nope, not true. We took it that he was kidding. How could he have been serious? Despite all the glitz and glamor of Sin City, one of the most attractive things about Las Vegas is how incredibly accommodating it is to all types of budget ranging from high to low. For those wanting to live it up in luxury, plenty of options abound: Encore (our review here), Wynn, Bellagio, Venetian, etc. For those who would rather put their cash towards getting lucky in casinos, they are not left without options either. Depending on the time of year and day of the week, it is not difficult to get a $59 per night room at a respectable hotel (e.g. Bally's and Harrah's) if you don't care much about top notch and over-the-top rooms and amenities.
We always hear people ask, what's there do in Vegas besides gambling? And we'd say, heck, alot! T and I are not big gamblers and usually only spend 15% of our time in casinos. Even so our trips to Las Vegas are always never long enough. There are just so many things to do besides casinos: restaurants with award-winning chefs, bars, a myriad of shows to watch, and retail shopping. And when we are there in the summer, we set some time aside each day to lounge by the pool. It's entertainment all day long for everyone of every type. There is so much energy buzzing around everywhere that we forget time is zooming by.
Instead of saying that the hotels attempt to outdo each other, I am going to go with saying that they complement each other along the vibrant Strip. They are individually and so differently themed from one other. After all, aren't the attractions actually the hotels themselves? Bellagio has an impressive musical fountain and indoor flower garden, Encore and Wynn feature a butterfly and nature theme, Caesars Palace resembles Roman structures, Luxor boasts its Egyptian-themed pyramid building, Mirage features a man-made erupting volcano, the interior of New York New York is designed to make you feel like you are walking the streets of New York City, Paris stands tall with the Eiffel Tower lookalike at the entrance, Venetian's remake of the Grand Canal offers a taste of Venice, and many more.
One of the newer constructions named CityCenter comprises of several hotels including Aria and Cosmopolitan. CityCenter is modeled after the city concept and thus the hotels' structure are what one would come to expect in a big city: corporate-like buildings with sterile glass windows. T and I were not very impressed with CityCenter as as we found it to be lacking in character and the hotels were no different from what we would find in downtown Chicago or any other major city. In fact, we are not really sure what CityCenter is doing along The Strip. It somewhat took away the feeling of a fantasy world that other hotels along The Strip have created.
For those who want to leave Las Vegas all shopped out, if H&M, Anthropologie, Banana Republic, and French Connection, etc, don't float your boat, there are Hugo Boss, Tory Burch, Salvatore Ferragamo, Chanel, Dior, Barneys New York, etc, to keep you satisfied. Say hello to full fledge shopping malls contained within the hotel premises: Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, Shoppes at the Palazzo, Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian, Miracle Mile at Planet Hollywood.
A friend commented, you can basically go to Vegas just to eat. That is true. World-celebrated chefs are increasingly becoming entrepreneurial and Las Vegas is not a forgotten destination on their lists of restaurant openings. There are Joel Robuchon, Guy Savoy, and Thomas Keller establishments. Reknowned chefs within North America like Michael Mina, Shawn McClain, Mario Batali, and Bobby Flay also found their way to Las Vegas. Wolfgang Puck seems to be ubiquitous in Las Vegas.
The number of entertainment shows performed simultaneously every night makes it a difficult choice to choose from. Will it be a Cirque du Soleil show, a singing performance (Celine Dion, anyone?), stand up comedy, or adult revue? We are big fans of Cirque du Soleil and always try to tie each trip with one of their shows.
When not at a show, we hit one of the nightclubs. XS Nightclub is the place to be right now, reportedly the most expensive nightclub to be built at $100 million. Our other favorites are PURE, Tao, and LAX.
Or if strip clubs are part of your itinerary, there are professional and classy ones off The Strip.
This fantasy world created in Las Vegas transports everyone to nonstop entertainment and buzzing excitement. Some people may think the environment is a little too artificial but sometimes we need this temporary breakaway from what we do everyday to just, fun.