Mandalay Bay is almost across the street from the runways of McCarran Airport. This resort is a tropical paradise, accented by fountains, sculpture, marble and flora. Surrounding it on all sides is dining at its finest, from proletariat bar Red Square (It has a headless statue of Lenin!) to the elegant Aureole (wine tower.) The nightclub Rumjungle boasts a wall of fire, and the Mandalay Bay Theatre hosts the Broadway smash Mama Mia! The House of Blues holds a Sunday Gospel Brunch, an events center features sports events and musical acts and the $40 million Shark Reef attraction houses over 100 species of animals. Outside, the tropical landscaping offers an exotic retreat, and Mandalay Beach gives you the chance to float down the lazy river or bodysurf waves that can reach 6 feet high. And there's much more to see and do.
The Four Seasons is an upscale 424 room hotel that occupies the top floors of Mandalay Bay. Four Seasons is an intricate addition to the 60 acre Mandalay Bay resort property. Four Seasons does not have a casino.
The next property down the strip is Luxor. Luxor sits between Mandalay Bay and Excalibur and across the street from the Tropicana. Perhaps no other hotel in the world has as grand and mystical an air as the Luxor. Contained in a 30-story black glass pyramid and a pair of stepped-pyramid towers is all the splendor of ancient Egypt and all the technological wonders of the modern world. The attractions floor features a motion simulator, a two-story video arcade and the spectacular IMAX Theater, with its giant screen (68 feet tall by 48 feet wide.) Following the Luxor theme, there also is a re-creation of King Tuts Tomb.
The Tropicana, one of Vegas' classic (older) hotels, offers tropical landscaping, the Folies Bergere with its famous showgirls, and a beautiful pool complete with lagoons and waterfalls. The Tropicana more than earns its reputation for classic charm, high luxury and, above all, comfort.
The medieval-themed Excalibur boasts 4,008 rooms, an impressive facade and a regal air. Throughout the property, the spirit of the Middle Ages is alive and well, with majestic turrets at the entryway, iron chandeliers and a variety of flags bearing an assortment of family crests. In Merlin's Theater the knights heat up, with performances by The Thunder from Down Under. Visitors also can revel in the period-authentic jousting and swordplay of the Tournament of Kings or enjoy the midway games of the Fantasy Faire. The Excalibur caters to the child in all of us.
New York-New York Hotel & Casino allows Vegas visitors to take a bite of the Big Apple and enjoy Broadway-caliber entertainment and Coney Island fun. No detail was spared in the design of New York-New York, and a more faithful representation would be hard to imagine. The resort's facade approximates the New York skyline down to the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge. The interior features faux trees and streams lining a Central Park-themed casino and a bar in the middle of Times Square. Nightlife abounds at Coyote Ugly and on the Manhattan Express rollercoaster.
Entering the MGM Grand, visitors are immersed in the glamour and excitement of sophisticated shows, gourmet dining, hip nightlife, a relaxing pool and spa, the wonders of an African Lion Habitat and much more. Dubbed the C ity Of Entertainment " MGM incorporates so much. Standing proudly at one of the busiest intersections in the world this 5,034- room, $1 billion resort offers the maximum Vegas experience. The MGM is the largest hotel in the world.
The Aladdin Resort & Casino bears the distinction of being the only resort in Vegas history to rise from the dead: It was imploded in 1998 and then rebuilt. It's an even grander resort in its second life, practically bursting with magic. The hotel-casino soon will begin yet another phase: The Aladdin will be transformed into the Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino in 2006, a transition promising even more wonder. Other, more practical kinds of magic await Aladdin visitors. Rolling thunder signals oncoming rain that falls from the "sky" of the mammoth Desert Passage shopping mall. Themed after several stories from the "Arabian Nights," the Aladdin takes you on a mystical journey. Ebony horses stampede from the race and sports book, a giant Genies lamp smokes in the casino center and the structures over the casino table games resemble magic carpets.
Nestled comfortably between old and new Vegas, Bally's offers equal measures of convenience, class and spectacle, featuring a classic showgirl extravaganza, gourmet restaurants, a popular spa and comfortable rooms, all in a mid-Strip location. From its colorful and striking plaza -- a unique entryway lit by towering neon columns and accented by cascading fountains -- to its open and vibrant casino floor, Bally's maximizes the Vegas experience. Three showrooms host a wide scope of entertainment, from headliners to the lavish cabaret show Jubilee! Bally's gives guests a taste of classic Vegas mixed with the comforts of modern indulgences.
The City of Light is faithfully reflected in every square inch of Paris Las Vegas. Anchored by scaled-down replicas of the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, the resort feels worlds removed -- not just from Las Vegas but from time itself. The casino has a vaulted ceiling and is adorned with fountains and statuary, and the legs of the Eiffel Tower protrude into it. The shops and restaurants of Le Boulevard sit on a cobblestone "street." The dining rooms are cozy, the shops small and humble, even the buffet is broken into a series of smaller dining rooms, with fireplaces and mantels. As you walk down Le Boulevard, you will notice lifelike bronze statues along the way. Watch for a few moments, and you'll witness another bit of Paris magic -- some of those statues look lifelike for a reason, they are real people.
The Monte Carlo exemplifies a solid fusion of European refinement, American dazzle and true Vegas hospitality. From the moment one catches sight of the entrance -- remarkable in itself, with its Renaissance statues and cascading fountains -- the Monte Carlo evokes an elegance unique not only to Vegas but also to the world. The Monte Carlo Beach Club, which boasts a lazy river, cools visitors and is situated in a lush garden setting. World Champion Magician Lance Burton will be dazzling audiences with his spectacular illusions in his namesake showroom until the year 2009. Burton also has a magic shop so you can take the fun home. With a resort this fresh and exciting, one can expect all varieties of invention and be satisfied.
More than just another mega-resort, Bellagio brings a true European elegance to Las Vegas with luxurious rooms, gourmet restaurants, upscale shopping, and fine art prominently on display throughout the property. Entering Bellagio, one is immediately struck by the glass ceilings admitting natural light -- a rarity in Las Vegas. There are the fresh flowers and trees in the Conservatory, changed with holidays and seasons; the detailed tile work; the incidental sculpture. It is a feast for the senses. Bellagios most popular attraction is its 13 acre lake that hosts what has been described as a water ballet – fountains dancing to music. It can be described only in so many words; beyond that, experience has to take over.
Nothing says Vegas better than Caesars Palace. The Romans would be proud of the beautiful rooms, heavenly pools, breathtaking shops, gourmet restaurants, world-class entertainment and one of the hippest nightclubs in town. Also, the Colosseum looks better than it has in centuries. The Palace opened its doors in August 1966, and although much has changed since then, the essentials remain the same: unsurpassed service, royal surroundings and maximum entertainment. Caesars Palace's legendary casino always has been the place to be for high rollers, celebrities and everyone with some cash to spare. The nicely appointed rooms have both the classic beauty of past times and the modern technology of today. If you want to be treated like royalty, follow Caesar and Cleopatra to the Roman-style pools and get spoiled by the grape goddesses who hand out frozen grapes in the summer. Just as the ancient palace for which it was named, Caesars surpasses every expectation.
Its timeless beauty, tropical surroundings and exceptional service make the Mirage one of the most beloved hotels on the Las Vegas Strip. Upon entering the legendary property, visitors hear the soothing sounds of waterfalls, smell the exotic flora and can stand on a bridge under the 90-foot-high glass atrium while taking in the tropical surroundings. Even the carpet in the casino looks tropical.
The extraordinary hotel experience continues with the breathtaking front desk area, which features a 20,000-gallon saltwater aquarium that houses 60 species of tropical fish. The 2,763 hotel rooms are nicely appointed, while the beautifully landscaped pool area is the ideal place to spend hot summer afternoons. The tigers and dolphins in Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat feel right at home in this tropical environment. The Mirage also is home to one of the best free attractions on the Strip: the mesmerizing volcano.
With its brilliant pink facade, the Flamingo Las Vegas is as colorful as the history behind it. It seems appropriate that the Flamingo Las Vegas is a direct descendant of the hotel where modern Vegas began; even though Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel's original Flamingo is gone, the hotel that bears the name is no less glamorous. The lush gardens behind the room towers seem removed from Sin City entirely, with live African penguins, Chilean flamingos, Mandarin ducks and Koi fish frolicking in ponds and under three-story waterfalls. A number of tennis courts, swimming pools and a world-class health spa make the Flamingo seem less a casino and more of a full resort.
The spirit of Venice is alive in The Venetian resort, complete with gourmet food, canals, gondolas and strolling performers. The hotel offers spacious, beautifully appointed suites, an impressive upscale shopping center, a wide variety of gourmet restaurants and Italian-inspired eateries, attractions and more. As you enter the lobby, don't be surprised by the visitors taking pictures of the ceiling as if they were in the Sistine Chapel: A detailed, exquisite fresco covers the arched ceiling leading from registration to the casino. The Grand Canal Shoppes, true to its name, has a canal winding through it with gondolas drifting gracefully along its length.
The Big Easy meets Sin City at The Orleans. From the playful Basin Street facade to the alligator-shaped door handles, the soul of New Orleans envelops guests. Inside, you'll find bright festive colors, giant Mardi Gras masks hanging from the ceiling and watering holes with names such as the Crawfish Bar and the Alligator Bar. Of course, Vegas still is very much in evidence with a bustling 135,000-square- foot casino offering slots, a 23-table poker room and a race and sports book among its many assets. The 827-seat Orleans Showroom hosts big-name entertainment such as Debbie Reynolds, Air Supply, Frankie Avalon and Bobby Rydell. Plus, the state-of-the- art Orleans Arena features headliners and is also home to Vegas' minor league hockey team, The Wranglers. A wide choice of dining is available at the Orleans from the steaks and prime rib of Canal Street to the ice cream delights and specialty coffees of Kate's Korner. Family entertainment abounds with a youth activity center, state-of-the-art bowling center and giant movie theater complex. Above all, the Orleans offers the entertainment and distinctive charm of its namesake -- a place to trade your blues for rhythm and blues, your scowl for a grin, a bad day for a great evening. Mardi Gras has begun and will never end.