As I was scrolling through my Twitter feed earlier, I found a tweet by Travel & Leisure naming the most popular Las Vegas Casinos, and it brought me back to my trip there last June.
I had never been to Las Vegas before, and jumped on the chance when there was a Volkswagen New Car Show being held there (my father owns a Volkswagen franchise.) I went with friends and family and had a great time, and can see why so many people go here: it’s fabulously fun and pretty cheap!
We stayed at the Wynn in Las Vegas, which is just absolutely breathtaking. Steve Wynn is actually from my hometown, so whenever anyone from around here goes to Vegas, you stay at the Wynn just out of loyalty. Rumor has it he and his wife were extremely involved in every single detail. You can tell they did an amazing job because every nook and cranny in that hotel is decadent and stunning. To me, it feels like you are in Alice in Wonderland with the unique topiaries and floral arrangements, intricately tiled floors, and sparkle and glitz everywhere.
Of course, since it was my first trip to Vegas, we hit the Strip. I found this video that gives you a great glimpse of the excitement and craziness that is the strip.
Through StubHub (great resource for finding cheap tickets,) we were able to buy a few tickets to the famed “LOVE” by Cirque du Soleil at the Mirage Hotel. I don’t even have words for it other than the fact that it blew my MIND! If you are ever in Vegas, or are planning a trip there, try as soon as possible to find tickets to this! It’s amazing. And I naturally downloaded 25 songs by the Beatles afterwords.
We continued to tour the strip, going into different shops, seeing different costumed people and street acts, and lounge by the pool during the days we were there. Just a word to the wise: you are in the desert, s0 bring water when you’re walking places because the Walgreens that seems like it’s down the street definitely ISN’T.
In addition to sight-seeing, we went to the Bodies exhibit in the Luxor Hotel. If you have a weak stomach, or do not agree with bodies being tested and used for exhibitions like this, definitely stay away from this. For me, I found it fascinating. I was never interested in science, but being able to see things like arteries, muscles, and ligaments up close and personal was so interesting. I tore my ACL in my right knee a few years ago, so being able to see what one actually looked like was very cool.
If you’re looking for a fun night out, go to the Venetian for a gondola ride and stroll through the many shops in their hotel. The gondoliers will actually sing sweet nothings to you and your other gondola riders, and, like in Disney, you’ll get your pictures taken as your gliding through the Italian-er-Vegas waters! They have something for everyone in their Grand Canal Shoppes, from fine cigars, to swimwear, to designer, or just regular clothing stores, you’re bound to find something you like!
Another great show we saw was David Copperfield’s magic show in the MGM Grand Hotel. Seeing all of these shows was a great way to scope out the different hotels and compare and contrast them. The magic show was like any (good) magic show that leaves you wondering how did he just get my wallet out of my back pocket as I’m sitting in the top row and he’s down on the stage?!
Finally, another recommendation I would urge anyone who loves to shop to do would be to check out Fashion Show Mall. The mall itself is a beautiful piece of architecture, and houses everything from Nordstrom, to Forever 21, giving you a great break from the heat, or a reason to find something sparkly to wear on another night out! Overall, any of the hotels and casinos are great to gamble or party in, but my favorites would be the Mirage and the Wynn for cleanliness and appearance, but that’s only MY personal opinion 🙂
Overall, I was surprised at how inexpensive hotels were to stay in. If you want to stay somewhere and not spend a lot of money because you plan on gambling, I would suggest staying off of the Strip, but if you are like me, who will gamble very little, then I would suggest staying on the Strip for the overall experience, easy access to other hotels, casinos, and shops, and, not to mention, it’s relatively inexpensive to stay somewhere nice. Currently, the Wynn is holding a fabulous deal on hotel rooms: during the Winter, you can stay at the Wynn from Sunday-Thursday (great deal because booking flights for these days will also be incredibly cheap) for only $116 per night. My hotel room was enormous and can easily fit 4 people very comfortably. Normally, hotel rooms at the Wynn are $170 per night, which, again, is probably one of the most expensive hotels on the strip and is still cheap!
Cheers of Las Vegas: The cleanliness of the Mirage and Wynn hotels and casinos. Smoking is allowed all throughout Vegas in and out of the hotels and casinos, yet somehow these two hotels have fantastic ventilation systems since I barely smelled any cigar or cigarette smoke.
These two hotels were also spotless. For the amount of traffic they each get, I swear I think they have elves running around with tiny vacuums and dusters picking up after everyone!
Another great aspect of all hotels and casinos on the Strip is that they are relatively inexpensive. Here are some of the most popular hotels and their rates:
The Wynn: $115-$170 per night
The Mirage: $84-$137 per night
The Luxor: $55-$75 per night
MGM Grand: $99-$104 per night
The Venetian: $229-$269 per night
The Cosmopolitan: $140-$170 per night
The Palms: $89-$139 per night
Jeers of Las Vegas: the lack of cleanliness in the City of Las Vegas. Of course, it’s a major city, and of course, it’s VEGAS, but at the same time, I was a little disappointed in the litter and lack of cleanliness around the city. I saw a lot of homeless people in the streets around the Strip, which made me incredibly sad since a lot of them were young. Wouldn’t it be a great way to create some jobs and get the homeless off of the streets and into a warm home and clean up the city a bit?
Overall, I had a great time in Vegas and would definitely go back when I could! It also gave me a great reason to wear an extremely sparkly dress and flashy makeup without looking out of place!