When in Las Vegas, there’s no avoiding the Strip! With extravagant shows and buzzing casinos, South Las Vegas Boulevard is the electric spine of a legendary town that lives on chills, thrills and a perennial buzz.
And let’s not forget the hotels – slightly tacky and undeniably wacky. From oversized replicas of famous landmarks to over-the-top themes, there’s no mistaking in spending a day or two hotel hopping on the Strip. Here are ten of the most iconic temples of entertainment — and why not stay in the heart of the action at one of the over 62,000 rooms that dot the avenue.
With a pyramid taller than the original in Egypt, the Luxor could almost feature on the modern list of Wonders of the World. It holds the world’s largest atrium at just 29 million cubic feet – reputed to fit nine jumbo jet airliners in the space above the casino floor. And to top it all off (pun intended), the peak of the pyramid emits the strongest beam of light in the world, reaching up to 275 miles up on a clear night. Not to mention that, it’s now the world’s largest bug magnet.
Named after the mythical sword of King Arthur, the Excalibur embraces everything fable and fantasy — just look at those castle spires! Medieval touches adorn the resort, including generously spacious rooms for the noble knights and maidens, lit up candles in rusty chandeliers, goblets placed on round tables, and cold stone walls throughout. The Camelot-like hotel even treats guests to a jousting tournament feast!
With columns made of solid Botticino marble imported from Italy, hand fitted marble floors modeled on the Santa Maria del Rosario in Venice and a replica Campanile Tower, there is only one way to describe this hotel – and that is, lavish. Take a walk with your significant other over the replica Rialto Bridge and then hop on a gondola and glide down the Grand Canal in the company of a striped t-shirt, red-scarf-wearing gondolier.
You want grand? Well you’ve got it. The MGM Grand is the third largest in the world with 5,043 guest rooms. More than 70,000 people enter the doors every day and the hotel even has its own floral arrangement department! Situated on the south end of the Strip and fronted by a signature 45-foot bronze lion, there’s no chance you’ll miss this mammoth.
This Big Apple-themed hotel features several towers built to resemble the New York skyline. In line with true Las Vegas architecture, a replica of the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge appear before a mismatch of city buildings. A roller-coaster also swerves in and out of the hotel and presents passers-by with a sight they don’t see every day – a Disneyfied Manhattan in the desert.
The 1,200 dancing fountains may be the star of the show, but there’s more than water to the elegant Bellagio. Let your mind escape the hectic Vegas in the hotel’s conservatory and botanical gardens, view some of Picasso’s handiwork at the Gallery of Fine Art and hop in a compressed natural gas-powered, eco-friendly limousine. For the big spenders, a $250,000 upgrade will get you the world’s largest bottle of champagne (30L Midas Ace of Spades) and a button to control the fountains. And if you can’t get enough of fountains, don’t miss the record setting 27-feet-tall fountain of melted dark, milk and white chocolate inside.
If you want to be taken back to a 1920s Parisian setting, then this is your hotel. Tread on the cobblestone sidewalks beneath the oh-so-French lamp posts, admire the romantic art pieces within the quaint cafes and get a feel for Parisian life amidst the half-scale replicas of the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe. Don’t forget to indulge in a traditional crêpe, croissant or pâtisserie.
This classic Roman-themed hotel has a fabulous and star-studded past with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Celine Dion and Elton John having once roamed the halls. You may recognize the surroundings from movies like Rain Man, Ocean’s Eleven and The Hangover, but the actual grandeur of the resort is only really apparent once you step into the backyard oasis. Modeled after the Roman baths, the pool areas are sure to have you feeling like a Roman God/Goddess in no time.
Overlooking an iconic volcano that erupts nightly, this Polynesian-themed hotel-casino is no optical illusion. Featuring iconic golden windows that supposedly got their coloring from gold dust, a Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat, an atrium filled with rainforest flora and a 53-foot-tall aquarium containing nearly 1000 specimens, boredom is not a word you will hear mentioned here.
Don’t be fooled in thinking this one’s for the kids. Rather, Treasure Island, a.k.a. TI is an adult’s playground – by day you can enjoy the features of the tropical pool area with private cabanas, a free tram to the Mirage and a foot bridge to the Fashion Show mall. By night you can enjoy the party tub that fits 25 people or watch the Cirque du Soleil show Mystère. So no matter what you plan to do, there is something for every of-age Vegas-goer at this hotel.
Photos including feature image via trivago. Original text by Cara Evans.