Shimmering from the desert haze of Nevada like a latter-day El Dorado, Las Vegas is the most dynamic, spectacular city on Earth. At the start of the 20th century, it didn’t even exist; now it’s home to two million people.

pocket rough guide las vegas coverBemused by the options and wondering where to stay in Las Vegas? From the new Pocket Rough Guide Las Vegas, we’ve selected eleven of the best options on The Strip and beyond.

For opulence: Bellagio

In 1998, casino magnate Steve Wynn unveiled Bellagio as his attempt to build the best hotel in world history. It is undeniably a breathtaking achievement, striving to be somehow more authentic than the original town on Lake Como.

It’s perhaps not quite state-of-the-art anymore, but still at the top end of the Vegas spectrum. Plush European furnishings and marble bathrooms give the luxurious rooms a slightly retro feel; some face the fountains at the front, others the superb pool complex.

bellagio fountains, las vegas, USA.

For ambience: Paris

Paris was the 1999 handiwork of the same designers as New York–New York. With a half-size Eiffel Tower straddling the Arc de Triomphe and the Opera, it’s a little compressed, but the attention to detail is a joy.

Rooms, if not the absolute pinnacle of luxury, are still pretty good, and for location, views and ambience more than hold their own.

le village buffet, paris casino, las vegas, USA.

For pseudo-Roman splendour: Caesars Palace

Caesars Palace still encapsulates Las Vegas at its best, more than fifty years since it opened. Outside, ever more bars and restaurants fill extensive open-air patios, while the interior is a vast labyrinth of slots and green baize, peopled by strutting half-naked Roman centurions and Cleopatra-cropped waitresses.

The older rooms in this epitome of 1960s luxury still burst with atmosphere, while those in the newer towers are more conventionally elegant.

USA, Las Vegas, Caesars Palace Hotel exterior

For theming: New York–New York

This miniature Manhattan boasts a skyline featuring twelve separate skyscrapers and is fronted, of course, by the Statue of Liberty.

Unusually, the interior too is carefully realized, with some nice Art-Deco flourishes and entertaining nightlife options in its Greenwich Village area. Sheer attention to detail makes this one of the most exuberantly enjoyable places to stay on the Strip – and it’s small enough that you’re not always shuffling down endless corridors.

thrill rides, manhatten express, new york new york casino exterior, las vegas, USA.

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.

USA, Las Vegas, Luxor Casino exterior

For budget beds: Excalibur

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.

Las Vegas, Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada

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.

crystals and aria casino exterior, las vegas, USA.

For contemporary rooms: The Cosmopolitan

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.

cosmopolitan hotel and casino reception, las vegas, USA.

For extravagance: The Venetian

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.

the venetian casino interior, grand canal shoppes, las vegas, USA.

For sheer luxury: Wynn Las Vegas

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.

Las Vegas, Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada

For an off-Strip alternative: Hard Rock Hotel

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.

hard rock casino and hotel exterior, las vegas, USA.

Explore more of Las Vegas with Pocket Rough Guide Las VegasCompare flightsfind toursbook hostels and hotels for your trip, and don’t forget to purchase travel insurance before you go. This feature contains affiliate links; you can find out more about why we’ve partnered with booking.com here. All recommendations are editorially independent.

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