For views: Luxor
Guarded by an impassive Sphinx, the 350-ft black-glass pyramid of Luxor remains an astonishing building. Stripped of most of its initial ancient Egyptian trappings, it’s been rebranded as the sort of “hip”, upscale casino resort that now dominates the Strip.
All two thousand rooms here have tremendous views – and they’re much larger than usual.
A mock-up of a medieval castle, complete with drawbridge, crenellated towers and a basement stuffed with fairground-style sideshows for the kids, Excalibur is usually packed with low-budget tour groups.
Some of the 4000 rooms are very ordinary, so it’s worth paying a few dollars extra to get a renovated one, which are excellent value.
Excalibur, Las Vegas © LouLouPhotos/Shutterstock
For high-end amenities: Aria
CityCenter’s centrepiece, the 4004-room Aria, flaunts a modernist aesthetic that makes its plush marble-clad predecessors seem suddenly old and tired. The chocolate-brown and gold-toned guest rooms feel subdued and somewhat anonymous by Las Vegas standards, but Aria can be a real bargain, especially if you have the time – and weather – to enjoy the fantastic pool complex.
The glittering Cosmopolitan casino, which from the Strip sidewalk appears to be the main entrance to CityCenter, is actually nothing of the sort – it’s an entirely separate, independent entity.
While far from cheap, it is on an unusually manageable scale and offers smart, modern rooms in the very thick of things, plus great restaurants and nightlife.
Even the standard rooms at this upscale Strip giant are split-level suites, with antique-style canopied beds atop raised platforms, plus spacious living rooms, marble bathrooms and a mind-blowing array of shops and restaurants at hand.
The ludicrous re-creation of Italy’s Grand Canal, complete with gondolas and singing gondoliers, is quintessential Las Vegas, and as such utterly irresistible – it’s upstairs, for God’s sake.
Since the 1980s, Steve Wynn has repeatedly redefined Las Vegas’s highest standard of luxury. In a nutshell, the Wynn is the Bellagio re-imagined for a younger, hipper and even richer crowd, with a shift away from European elegance in favour of contemporary Asian design.
The exceptionally large guest rooms boast wonderful beds with fabulous linens and super-sized tubs in the bathrooms.
More than a mile east off the Strip, “the world’s only rock’n’roll casino” can’t match Las Vegas’s showcase giants for size or splendour. Instead, it’s a relatively intimate and even chic alternative, with above-average rooms, high-class restaurants and fabulous pools.
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