With morphing digital art-wrapped columns in the lobby, nouveau Baroque chandeliers and marble flooring, and blue alligator side tables and Pop Art wallpaper in the 2,995 guest rooms. This is the swankiest hotel on the Strip. From the three-level casino floor bar housed inside a gigantic crystal chandelier to the Marquee Nightclub & (poolside) Dayclub that keeps the atmosphere pumping at all hours to experimental performance Rose.Rabbit.Lie, every location here is designed to make a statement. You have to see it to believe it. The tranquil Sahra Spa provides 30 treatment rooms and its own hammam for anyone wishing to escape the madness.
The Bellagio, widely renowned for its spectacular dancing fountains that perform a choreographed show over. The eight-acre lake in front of the property is one of the few locations that nail that first impression. Inside, a Chihuly hand-blown glass sculpture dominates. The entryway, 400 main tower suites have just undergone a $165 million makeover. A high-stakes poker room on the casino floor is still the stuff of legends. And Cirque du Soleil’s water-themed production, O—the resident show since its debut in 1998—is as enticing as ever.
Sahara Las Vegas
After a brief stint as an SLS, the Sahara Las Vegas is already reborn. The result is a futuristic spin on high fashion, courtesy of stunning revamps by Philippe Starck. Digital displays and color-changing floor tiles lead to various areas of interest in the lobby. While the rooms are everything you’d expect from the brand with mirrored ceilings, white-lacquered chandeliers, and peekaboo showers. The pool and nightclub, as well as the upscale Casbar Lounge, attract a see-and-be-seen crowd downstairs. There will also be relics of SLS gastronomy, such as José Andrés’ Bazaar Meat.
Encore at Wynn Las Vegas
Encore is far smaller and less glamorous than Wynn, its sibling casino, focusing on hospitality rather than gimmicks. To make room for 2,034 massive, 700-square-foot guest rooms (all suites). The property chose a more luxurious take on desert digs and a more intimate—but sunny—casino space. Each room features remote-controlled blinds, spinning televisions, and do-not-disturb door lights that can be turned on while you’re still sleeping.
Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas
The Four Seasons, a classy sanctuary on the Strip’s southern end, was the first facility to demonstrate that Las Vegas isn’t only about casinos. Guests enter a hushed marble foyer and go by a manicured private pool before being transported to their exquisite, opulent chambers via express elevator (think silk and velvet ottomans and dark wood furnishings). A Charlie Palmer steakhouse, one of the best brunch restaurants in town (Veranda), and special tee times at the next-door golf club are among the other prominent advantages.
Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace
Star chef Nobu Matsuhisa has imprinted his name in the hotel sector, with two more properties pending in Chicago and Malibu. In 2013, the property that started it all debuted off Caesars Palace’s casino floor, centered by none other than Matsuhisa’s own restaurant. Upstairs, 181 rooms offer a mix of Japanese inspirations, from Umi tiles and grass fabric to ink brushwork on the walls, and provide Nobu in-room dining at any hour of the day or night, which is arguably our favorite amenity.
ARIA Resort & Casino
When it first opened in 2009, ARIA was a show-stopper with its never-before-seen curved glass tower in the middle of the Strip. And the hotel is still making waves: it’s currently the world’s largest LEED Gold-certified structure. There are a lush foyer and plenty of natural light in all 4,004 rooms. Of course, there’s no end to what this city has to offer, yet you can get by without ever leaving this mega-resort, which boasts 16 restaurants, eight bars, three pools, and its own Cirque du Soleil show, Zarkana.
The Venetian Resort Hotel & Casino
The thought of a themed casino resort may put some people off. But the Venetian which is based on the famous Italian city defies expectations with its meticulous attention to detail. The 4,000-suite palace has its own shop-lined canals and gondola rides. As well as a grand entryway à la Piazza San Marco, gilded interiors with beautiful ceiling frescoes. Even its own shop-lined waterways. The clean-lined suites are also spacious and modern, yet nothing is overdone. The sunken living spaces and large bathrooms, and the Canyon Ranch SpaClub is some of North America’s largest—and best-rated—day spas.
The Palazzo Resort Hotel & Casino
The Venetian’s sibling hotel and next-door neighbor is just as impressive—if a tad more understated—and we’re not just talking about the five-acre roof deck with its Roman pools. Sunken living areas, large baths, and beautifully stocked minibars (think champagne and artisan chocolates—for those special occasions) are standard in the palatial suites. While eateries by Emeril Lagasse and Wolfgang Puck keep the luxury factor in check.
Mirage Resort & Casino
The Mirage—original Vegas’s megaresort—stays true (rightly) to its roots to attract a multi-generational crowd with amenities everyone will appreciate, from an expansive (and party-free) heated pool and comfortably spacious rooms to stellar service, tropical décor, including an exotic wildlife sanctuary, and Cirque du Soleil’s Beatles-themed hit show, The Beatles. Plus, the property’s famed artificial volcano’s nightly eruption. The main entrance never gets old—a sure sign that this place is here to stay.
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