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Las Vegas Luxury

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.

  • Aladdin
    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.

  • Bellagio
    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
    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.

  • Mandalay Bay
    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.

  • Paris
    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 Venetian
    The Mail on Sunday recently named The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino one of the world's 10 great hotels, and 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).

   --- R.M.


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