Vegas may be famous for its nickel slots and $1.99 buffets, but
visitors can rack up quite a tab at the city's more luxurious
establishments. Here's a quick peek at Vegas' high-class hotels and casinos and the
indulgences they offer.
The original Aladdin Resort & Casino dazzled Vegas visitors for more than 30
years. But when the Aladdin reopens August 17 -- the complex was completely
rebuilt after the original structure was imploded in 1998 -- it aims to compete with other top-notch
destinations on the Strip. Highlights include: 2,600 guest rooms; two
outdoor pools resting six stories above the street; a full-service health
spa and salon; Vegas' only European-style luxury
gaming salon; 21 world-class restaurants and more than 130 shops.
With its majestic fountains and botanical gardens, the Bellagio is perhaps
the most elegant hotel and casino in town. Guests are treated to first-class accommodations,
five-star dining (including Le Cirque, Circo, Olives and Aqua), six elaborate outdoor pool
and a full-service spa. While you're there, be sure to check out "O," the
newest production from Cirque du Soleil.
Caesars Palace represents traditional Vegas class.
More than 2,400 guest rooms are fit for a king, and
the penthouse and executive suites offer enough amenities to
please a Roman god (private dining rooms, in-room saunas and sophisticated
audio/visual systems to name a few). After taking in some sun in the Garden
of the Gods, Caesar's immaculately manicured swimming area, guests can shop
at the Forum, an indoor mall offering upscale clothing, jewelry and gifts.
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
A luxury resort for the young and hip. Each of the 600 rooms and 68 suites
offers a view of the city or pool area, which features sandy
beaches, ocean-like pools, underwater music and deluxe private cabanas.
Guests can take a break from gambling by dining at one of the hotel's
world-class restaurants, including Nobu, Mortoni's (an off-shoot of the
popular L.A.-based Morton's) and A.J.'s Steakhouse.
Since its March 1999 opening, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino has been showered
with praise, including being named one of the World's 36 Best New Hotels for
2000 (Conde Nast Traveler). The site's more than 3,600 rooms and suites includes 424
managed by Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, which is the first Vegas hotel to
receive AAA's Five Diamond award.
Aside from the accommodations,
Mandalay Bay offers restaurants from famous chefs like Charlie Palmer
(Aureole) and Wolfgang Puck (Trattoria del Lupo); a first-rate spa and the
best beach in town. Yes, beach.
The tropical 11-acre spread includes three pools, a lazy river ride and a
wave pool with adjustable swells.
Everyone associates Paris with elegance, and the Paris Las Vegas Casino
Resort lives up to those expectations. The complex, which celebrates its
first birthday in September,
offers more than 2,900 guest rooms (including specialty suites that run as
much as $5,000 a night) and replicas of famous Parisian landmarks like the
Arc de Triomphe and the 50-story half-scale Eiffel Tower, where visitors
can dine in a gourmet restaurant 100 feet above the Strip. Guests can also
relax at the Mandara Spa.
The Mail on Sunday recently
named The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino one of the world's 10 great hotels,
it's hard to argue. Visitors can marvel over the gondolas,
waterways and replicas of Venetian landmarks like the Rialto Bridge and the
Campanile Tower. The all-suite hotel boasts the largest rooms in the
world, the award-winning Canyon Ranch Spa and
Restaurant Row, home to celebrated chefs like Emeril Lagasse (Delmonico
Steakhouse), Wolfgang Puck (Postrio), Joachim Splichal (Pinot Brassiere) and
Eberhard Müller (Lutece).