Your print-out-and-keep guide to Las Vegas
Why go? Las Vegas has been the subject of cult movies and best-selling books, appeared in numerous music videos and even has a TV show named after it. It’s clear to see why celebrities and tourists alike flock here – it certainly lives up to its reputation as the entertainment capital of the world. The city is all about overstated glitz and glamour and is a hit with people of all ages and backgrounds, from retired millionaires gambling the night away in one of the world-class casinos to cash-strapped backpackers who are happy to just watch the amazing crowds and neon lights, while soaking up the unrelenting party atmosphere.
Getting around: Vegas is compact and pedestrian-friendly so it’s easy to get around on foot, although the strip is deceptively long so it’s best to leave the heels behind during the day. There are numerous transport options, from renting a limousine, riding the modern monorail, hailing a cab or simply hopping on a city bus. If you win big and want to splash the cash, you can always take a helicopter flight down the strip instead.
What to see? If you can drag yourself away from the roulette wheel, there is plenty to see and do in Vegas. Marvel at the fountains outside The Bellagio hotel and casino, where dancing water soars 240 feet in the air above an eight-acre lake, choreographed to music. See a volcano that ‘erupts’ every 15 minutes outside The Mirage, and visit its sister property, Treasure Island, for the nightly pirate show. Watch a dazzling light and sound show at The Fremont Street Experience mall in downtown Vegas and observe an indoor lightening storm at the Desert Passage shopping arcade. Or why not take a gondola ride on a canal at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino? Thrill-seekers should head to the Stratosphere at the end of the strip: a 1,149-foot tower which has three hair-raising rides at its peak. Views from the top-floor observation deck are spectacular and you can also dine at its revolving restaurant. Finally, you can’t leave Vegas without taking in a show at one of its spectacular venues, where the world’s top performers grace the stage. For tickets, visit www.vegas.com/shows.
Where to eat? For pre-dinner drinks, head to the Beauty Bar for its martini manicure happy hour – the first cocktail lounge to offer the luxury of sipping the famous tipple while having your nails polished and preened. For details, see www.beautybar.com. You won’t struggle to find places to eat, with a plethora of food courts, restaurants and cafés catering for every budget. For a touch of sophistication, dine at Lutèce at the Venetian resort in the heart of the strip. It serves the finest in French cuisine, is exquisitely presented, and has a great selection of vintage wine. For details, see www.venetian.com.
Where to shop? You can buy practically anything in Las Vegas, from fine wine to Ferraris. There are upscale boutiques, like Giorgio Armani, Chanel, Prada and Tiffany and Co, and plenty of outlet malls for those with less cash to splash.
Where to stay? The luxurious Bellagio hotel and casino is a 3,900 room, Tuscan-themed resort on the strip, where guests are transported to the Vegas version of the famous town on Italy’s Lake Como. The deluxe guest rooms and suites have contemporary custom furniture, fine art, sunken bathtubs and high-speed internet access. The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art exhibits work by the world’s most influential artists. With abundant dining options, entertainment, shopping, gaming and a wedding chapel, you might not even want to leave the resort. For details, visit www.bellagio.com.
Need to know? For more information go to www.visitlasvegas.com.