It’s been a while since I last visited Las Vegas and boy has it changed. I thought Vegas was crazy 15 years ago when I was last here, when the highlights were a couple of free shows along ‘The Strip.’ Meandering along the crowded pavements in the evening, standing on my tippy- toes and craning my neck I got a glimpse of the volcano explosion in front of the Mirage Hotel Casino and the pirate warfare at Treasure Island Hotel Casino.
But it’s all been ratcheted up a few notches and it seems there’s no need to travel the world to see the sights – just head to Vegas!
Not only has the number of Hotel Casinos quadrupled, but they are extravagantly themed to differentiate themselves from one another, mostly mimicking international destinations.
Here’s a thumb nail descriptions of the Hotel Casinos we visited to give you an idea.
The Luxor Hotel Casino is a 30-storied pyramid, and yes you guessed it – it’s Egyptian themed with a 315,000-watt light beam on its apex with an impressive display of sphinx and palms inside.
It’s no surprise this hotel has an Italian theme. Not only is its façade Italian but inside too. Canals of Venice run through the shopping centre with gondolas ready to take you through the water ways. I was captivated for some time watching lover in the gondolas kiss under the artificial ‘Bridge of Sighs’ hoping for eternal love.
The Bellagio also has a strong Italian theme but quite different from the Venetian. It was inspired by a town near Lake Como in Italy, called Bellagio. It’s renowned for its elegance and 6-hectare lake, home to the famous ‘Fountains of Bellagio.’ The lake comes alive with choreographed performances set to light and music.
This French-themed hotel casino is hard to miss with a half-sized Eiffel Tower in front of a Partisan looking building.
Caesers Palace is a classic, Roman-themed Hotel Casino. It’s one of the oldest and most prestigious Hotel Casinos in the world giving guests a sense of life during the Roman Empire. It has a colosseum, columns and statues including a six metre statue of Julius Caesar.
Vegas has a bigger raft of international entertainers at one time than any other place on the planet. I had one regret. I didn’t do my homework and see what was on and book in advance. As a result, I missed out on Elton John who was just finishing up a two-week stint after we arrived.
While we couldn’t take photos of any of the performances they were excellent. We managed to see three Cirque de Soleil productions, Mindfreak – Criss Angel, an American magician and illusionist as well as ‘O’ an aquatic performance and ‘LOVE’ – the Beatles. I had no idea Cirque de Soleil had so many shows with another four to choose from.
There are also a great variety of musicals, artistic productions, comedy, magicians and more, as well as specific shows in town for a few weeks including Elton John, Billy Idol, Lionel Richie, the Rolling Stones and so it goes on. They flick over all the time with Keith Urban, Kayne West, Celine Dion coming in the next few weeks.
So before you head to Vegas, check out this website to see who’s performing. Vegas.com
Like everything in Vegas the shopping is excessive too, including my three favs!
My three top picks are all within walking distance of most of the Hotel Casinos on ‘The Strip’ with the exception of the outlet store which is a $15 taxi ride from ‘The Strip.’
Forum Shops at Caesar –has a great range of 160 shops set in impressive Roman surroundings.
Fashion Show – is the largest shopping destinations in Vegas including eight department stores.
Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian – 160 specialty shops with canals meandering thought the shopping complex.
Las Vegas North Premium Outlets – village style outlet complex with saving from 25- 65%.
Enjoy this crazy city.