Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Las Vegas' Top Suites

From the Travel Channel TV show, following are the top ten suites in Las Vegas in increasing order - ie number ONE at the bottom is the top suite:

10. Penthouse Suite, Las Vegas MGM Grand. Approx $3000 per night, 19 phones, elevator to the second floor.

9. Palms Hotel, Las Vegas. Adrienne Suite, the “Coolest Suite” in town according to the Travel Channel. For $1500 per night you get a view of the mountains and city and a hotel address at one of the newest and coolest of the Las Vegas hotspots.

8. Sahara Hotel Casino. Ambassador Suite. This “Best Retro Suite offers a 1950’s style look and lots of old vegas glamor and history.

7. Turnberry Place. This “best alternative” to hotel suites is a rich and famous living hotspot. They showcase the 5.25 million dollar Suite, home to a wealthy client and will soon be home to many more Las Vegas luminaries and rich folks.

6. Elvis and Priscilla Suite at the Viva Las Vegas Hotel. This place does not look like my idea of a honeymoon place, but at $175 you even get neon lights and a Pink Cadillac bed.

5. Paris Las Vegas, Napoleon Suite. Over 4300 Square feet of opulence, primarily used by high rollers who often come in via private jet. Normally celebrities don’t stay here.

4. Mandalay Bay Four Seasons’ 180 Degree Suite is the ‘Best Escape” Suite. $2500 per night. A $10,000 hand carved bed is uniquie to the suite as is styling that is not typical Las Vegas. The Four Seasons goal is to remove you from Enjoy iced grapes at the pool where even the towels are chilled.

3. Las Vegas Hilton. Verona Suite. 15,000 Square feet of neo-renaissance opulence abounds in the Verona Suite that is generally for high rollers but unlike many of the other suites the Verona is on the market at $17,500 per night. 25 TV’s and big showers make this Las Vegas’ most expensive suite in terms of building costs according to the Las Vegas Hilton.

2. Venetian Hotel. The Presidential Suite at the Venetian. Sheldon Adelson is the Owner of the Venetian and says he likes to offer the Presidential to very high rollers - those who are gambling for 6-8 million per night and $150,000 per … .hand. Usually playing baccarat. Enjoy a Guggenheim Art Museum right in the hotel.

1. Bellagio Hotel. Villa One Suite. Take the secret tunnel into the Bellagio Villa One. This is a two bedroom, $6,000 per night masterpiece (unless you are a high roller in which case you’ll be paying nothing for the suite, but a lot more over time for the privileges).

Staff pampers guests in a private dining room, private gym, and more. There are several villas at the Bellagio and each has a secret garden. The villas have 130 staff to help make the Bellagio’s Villa One the top suite in the Travel Channel’s roundup and the “most stylish suite” in Las Vegas.

The Bellagio, a 1.6 billion dollar hotel is only one of 58 five diamond hotels in the world.

Venetian Casino and Hotel ... in Macau China?

The Las Vegas Venetian is one of the Las Vegas Strip's finest hotel and gaming, and convention venues, but it appears to have outdone itself in the larger Macau, China version of the Venetian Hotel and Casino - now the world's largest casino.

The Sands conglomerate that owns the Las Vegas Venetian and Sands properties has invested some 2.6 billion along the Cotai coast of Macau, China near Hong Kong. The high stakes corporate effort is designed to upgrade the Macau region from a gambling destination of questionable repute to a Las Vegas style mega-resort destination serving the millions who live and travel to this region - one of the world's centers of global commerce and travel.


Monday, March 24, 2008

Las Vegas Strip Map

Click here for a street view of Las Vegas Boulevard. For most, the Las Vegas Strip will be most of what they see during their visit to Las Vegas. The Downtown "Fremont Street" area is of more historical interest and has a lot of smaller casinos and the spectacular Fremont Street Experience - a huge light canopy that is several blocks long and towers over you. However it's the Las Vegas Strip where you find the mega-resorts that make Las Vegas one of the world's top tourism destinations.

Click here and drive the strip to get familiar with the area before you go!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Las Vegas Shows

Las Vegas is the show capital of the entire world, where there are dozens of international stars performing *every single night* at venues all over the city, though mostly centered in the hotels along the Las Vegas Strip.

Las Vegas.com has a great listing of shows here by genre:

Ticket prices can vary quite a bit with certain ticket specials and casino comps, so keep that in mind if you are on a budget. There are locations along the strip where you can agree to go to timeshare presentations in exchange for free show tickets. Timeshares are generally a very bad investment, so don't agree to these pitches unless you find it easy to say no to high pressure sales tactics. However if you do find it easy to say "no", then it's not a bad way to save $100 or so on a show.

For price consider Penn and Teller at the Rio - this is supposed to be a great comedy show and is only about $50. For amazement consider Cirque du Soliel's "O" at the Bellagio. For old fashioned Las Vegas showgirls consider "Jubilee" at Ballys.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Viva Las Vegas

Viva las vegas is a term coined in the song and film of the same name by Elvis Presley. Here's some fun historical detail about that movie: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viva_Las_Vegas

Before your trip to Las Vegas it's fun to view films about the city. Most will show a very differnet and far less dramatic strip landscape, now one of the world's most extravagant urban landscapes.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Venetian and Palazzo Scale Model

The Palazzo and Venetian hotels combine with the Sands Expo Center to form one of Las Vegas' largest conference venues, home to mega conferences like the annual international Computer Electronics Show "CES" which also occupies the Las Vegas Convention Center.

This model shows the layout of the mega-complex, though I'm not sure what the structure is attached to the Palazzo - perhaps the convention center buildings?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Walking Las Vegas

I recommend the Las Vegas Strip walks listed below, though of course this list is pretty subjective. I'm stringing these together North Strip to South into a single walk you could do in one afternoon over many hours, though ideally you'll see Las Vegas at a slower pace.

Wynn: From the front huge waterfall in front to side waterfalls, exit or enter the Wynn at the side that is across from the Palazzo to see some of the most dramatic water landscaping anywhere. Roam around the Wynn a bit, and then head out and over the street on the footbridge/escalator at the south end of the building to the Palazzo.

The Palazzo and Venetian: Las Vegas' newest hotel is the luxurious Palazzo, part of the massive Venetian Hotel and Casino / Sands Convention Center empire. From the Palazzo Lobby you can walk to the pretty indoor waterfall and some halls and over to the Venetian Hotel's amazing indoor canal. Complete with Gondolas, restaurants, luxury shops, and afternoon opera and performances the Venetian has in my opinion the greatest appeal of all the Las Vegas themed hotels. In the Grand Hall sit and have a coffee and listen to the players sing. Leave the Venetian via the massive moving walkway complex at the "front" and south of the building, which takes you back down to Las Vegas Boulevard.

Next you'll walk a bit down the strip to Paris Las Vegas which is impossible to miss thanks to the half scale (which I think translates into 1/4 the volume) replica of the Eiffel tower with the massive legs literally buried in the casino floor. Stroll the charming Parisian "Street" in the hotel area and consider a trip up to the top of the Tower, which costs about $10 but offers neat views of the surrounding area. If you know the *real* Eiffel Tower this is not remotely in the same league as a travel experience, but like the hotel it's a neat replica and a tiny taste of the real France. Head back out to Las Vegas Boulevard and the Strip.

Bellagio Fountains and The Bellagio
Almost directly across from Paris Las Vegas are the magnificent Bellagio Fountains, which I think is the world's premier synchronized fountain/music displays. This is a "must see" in Las Vegas - a beautiful lake a large city block long filled with hugely powerful fountains that shoot off in synch with music from a powerful outdoor sound system. Views are good from anywhere, but I think the best view is near the middle of the block where you can realize the gigantic size of the display.

After the fountains you'll head to the Bellagio's *north* entrance. Don't try to get in from the Bellagio's South side - you'll have to walk a lot of extra distance to get in.

Once inside the Bellagio, visit the lobby area for the Glass Sculptures, the Conservatory for amazing landscaping which changes with the season, the amazing huge Chocolate fountain in the "Spa" wing, and just take in the general opulence of this magnificent venue.

Another walk that is away from the Las Vegas Strip area is the key "big" attraction in Downtown Las Vegas is the Fremont Street Experience, a huge video presentation on a canopy that stretches over the entire street for several blocks. This is worth seeing and to get there simply ride the Deuce bus for $2 from the Strip to Fremont street and back. Take a few hours to stroll the downtown area which in my opinion gives a better feel of "historic" Las Vegas than the strip where the mega casinos are much more amazing and extravagant but also are little empires unto themselves.

Bellagio's Glass

The Bellagios Sculpted, hand made glass ceiling display we posted about earlier is one of the many spectacular amenities at the world class Bellagio, which along with the Wynn and the Venetian seem to have the best reputation in Las Vegas for "splendor", though splendid and extravagant decorations are hardly lacking in Las Vegas along the strip.

Next post: For a first visit to Las Vegas I'll recommend walks in order of the "interesting" factor, though of course this is pretty subjective.

This picture really does not do the Bellagio Glass "cieling" justice. Here are several more over at Flickr: http://flickr.com/search/?q=bellagio%20glass&w=all

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Bellagio's Chocolate Fountain

Bellagio Las Vegas' Chocolate Fountain - the world's largest Chocolate Fountain. Don't miss the Bellagio's fine free attractions - some of the most elegant in the world. In addition to the Bellagio Fountains in the front of the hotel where you'll be amazed by the water and music show, inside near the main huge lobby area you'll find the world's largest *chocolate* fountains, where hundreds of gallons of liquid chocolate flow gracefully within a sculpture that is some two stories high. Be sure to take enough time here to realize the size of this choco-masterpiece, and see if you can resist buying a treat at the chocolate gift store.

The Bellagio is also home to several other amazing attractions including some of the world's most extravagant hand made colored glass sculptures in the lobby, fantastic natural landscaping creations in the Bellagio nursury area, and a superb art museum (this costs about $15 but is worth it, especially if you have never visited a great art museum). Bellagio owner Steve Wynn has one of the world's great art collections and many of his pieces are on display here at the Bellagio.