And let’s not forget the hotels – slightly tacky and undeniably wacky. From oversized replicas of famous landmarks to over-the-top themes, it’s a common thing to spend a day or two hotel hopping on the Strip. So to aid your journey, we’ve put together a list of the ten most recognisable hotels in Vegas.
Hotel hopping on the Las Vegas Strip
A Las Vegas hotel with the world's largest entrance
With a pyramid taller than the original in Egypt, the Luxor Las Vegas could almost feature on the natural wonder list. It holds the world’s largest entrance at just over 82,000 cubic metres high – in fact, you could 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, visible up to 443 kilometres away. Not to mention that it’s now the world’s largest bug attractor.
A Las Vegas hotel named after King Arthur
Named after the mythical sword of King Arthur, the Excalibur embraces Arthurian themes – in other words, it’s a bloody castle! 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!
A touch of Italy in Las Vegas
With columns made of solid Botticino marble imported from Italy, hand fitted marble floors modelled on the Santa Maria del Rosario in Venice and a replica Campanile Tower (that is only two metres less in height than the original), there is only one way to describe The Venetian – 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.
The third largest hotel in the world
You want grand? Well, you’ve got it. The MGM Grand is the largest hotel in the USA and 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.
Witness 1,200 dancing fountains at the Bellagio
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 $350,000 AUD 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 two-metre-high fountain of melted dark, milk and white chocolate inside.
A Las Vegas hotel that is a celebrity haven
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 recognise the surroundings from films like Rain Man, Ocean’s Eleven and The Hangover, but the actual grandeur of the Caesars Palace is only really apparent once you step into the backyard oasis. Modelled after the Roman baths, the pool areas are sure to have you feeling like a Roman God/Goddess in no time.
A volanic eruption from your Las Vegas hotel
Overlooking an iconic volcano that erupts nightly, this Polynesian-themed hotel-casino was the most expensive hotel ever built on the Strip (at just a mere $900 million AUD). Featuring iconic golden windows that supposedly got their colouring from gold dust, a Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat, an atrium filled with rainforest flora and a 16-metre aquarium containing nearly 1000 specimens, boredom is not a word you will hear mentioned at the Mirage Resort and Spa.
An adult's playground
Don’t be fooled in thinking this one’s for the kids. Rather, Treasure Island 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.
Feature image courtesy of Sebastian Kopp