The best hotels in Las Vegas

Luxury Travel Tips

People are divided into those who love Las Vegas and those who can’t stand it. I have had to endure it one week in August for the past six years: in Las Vegas, at the Bellagio Hotel, the annual Virtuoso conference takes place, something like the Oscars, only not in the art of cinematography, but in the art of tourism. This grandiose event, which brings together the entire beau monde of the deluxe tourist business, taught me not only to be tolerant of the artificial chic of Las Vegas, but also to find a certain charm in it. Although the mechanical Venetian gondolas, the (rather artfully) painted sky, the silicone busts of the waitresses and the life-size model of the Eiffel Tower… it’s something like Disneyland for adults. I prefer real gondolas with live gondoliers and the real Eiffel Tower.

Still, Las Vegas is impressive. There is something in it … cosmic. Something reminiscent of Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element. And in case you ever think of visiting this “something” with its colossal casinos, crazy nightclubs, the highest concentration of Michelin stars in the world, luxurious hotels with thousands of rooms, papier-mâché skies and other phantasmagoric joys of life, I will tell you about some of the best hotels in this gigantic entertainment machine.

Let’s start with Bellagio, which has long been like a home to me. Bellagio (as you might guess from the name) is a very successful imitation of an Italian palazzo. Only this palazzo is inflated in the style of Las Vegas insatiable gigantomania to seven thousand rooms with all the ensuing consequences. In addition to fourteen thousand beds (very comfortable and equipped with Italian linens), the Bellagio roof houses a grandiose casino (in which, by the way, the film Ocean’s Eleven was filmed), numerous bars, restaurants, cafes, shows, nightclubs, boutiques … Since the Bellagio territory with all its pools, fountains and terraces, it significantly exceeds the area of ​​an average Italian city, for the first two or three years I managed to never leave its limits in a week, get lost many times and repeatedly curse at the conference dress code, which implies dress shoes and other show off: in a day (and night) you manage to wind kilometers in heels. Alas, Las Vegas does not favor relaxed outfits.

The Bellagio pools are really nice, although crowded. There are many of them, with different water temperatures. And I want to be photographed there. The contrast of the pseudo-Renaissance buildings of the Bellagio with the super-modern towers of the neighboring hotels is quite picturesque. For those looking for a less crowded poolside experience, there is a VIP area and private cabanas.

By the way, again for those who don’t want to be one of the fourteen thousand: the Bellagio suites cost quite sane money and impress for a lot more than you pay for them. In addition, separate elevators lead to them (the suites are on the upper floors with the most fantastic views from the huge windows), and this is something like a hotel within a hotel – for the elite.

One of the main attractions of the Bellagio is the fountains. The spectacle is grandiose and magnificent. Plan one of Prime’s patio dinners for sumptuous $50 steaks (approved by my Italian colleagues, who know how to eat) and breathtaking views of the fountains. In general, Bellagio maintains the style of a classic casino hotel with chic and well-known elegance, where you can feel like the hero of the movie Casino, walk between the roulette tables with a cigar, where silver sandals with rhinestones, cocktail dresses and elegant men are appropriate. The Bellagio is an undeniable Las Vegas classic.

Another hotel I can’t help mentioning: my European bestseller SKYLOFTS.

It is a hotel within a hotel, the most exclusive part of the MGM Grand complex and the most expensive accommodation in Las Vegas. If you want to be in the 22nd century, you are there. Guests are met at the airport in a golden limousine and escorted to the hotel’s private lounge with soft sofas, where they are waiting for a signature cocktail and private check-in. Welcome to a boutique hotel created by design genius Tony Chi. Believe me, for all my dislike for super-modern design, this is cool. It’s very, very cool. And it’s not even that the rooms are absolutely gigantic (the smallest is 140 square meters), located in two tiers, with glass walls that open up a breathtaking cosmic view of the Strip. It’s in the details. You can choose a room with a pool table or a private pool on the terrace, a bar filled with high quality drinks, an infinity bath with color therapy and champagne effect, a Jura Capresso Impressa coffee maker, all modern iPod-wi-fi technologies, a butler, a night concierge and so on and so forth…

A very chic place for a romantic retreat from the noisy world, and for an upscale party (given the size of the rooms, guests would rather get lost than step on each other’s toes). At the same time, the MGM Grand casino is at the bottom, only go down on a special private elevator. And service, service… beyond the reach of giant hotels and out of the ordinary for Las Vegas as a whole. It’s probably hard to imagine a more ideal way to feel like a Hollywood movie star traveling incognito than to settle for a couple of nights in the heavenly residences of SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand.

Las Vegas certainly has a certain explosive energy that provokes extravagant shopping, bold outfits, fleeting romances and other little folly. Here they win and lose on trifles and in a big way, they dance until the morning in nightclubs, regardless of age and marital status, and even American women brought up in the best traditions of feminism send sneakers to the bottom of their suitcases, because in Las Vegas they want to be women, and here it can be done without losing feminist pride: according to the well-known saying, what happened in Las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas.

Another very notable casino hotel is Wynn, named after billionaire Stefan Allan Veen, who owns this hotel and many others in Las Vegas. The Wynn is just as big as the Bellagio, but it’s built much later, so the style and atmosphere are completely different. In fact, this is not even one hotel, but two. Actually, Wynn is more of a classic style, and Encore is an extravagant design for a younger audience (although it’s not about age – it’s up to someone who likes it more).

Again, in order not to get lost in the large crowd and to be served in a worthy manner, I would recommend the Tower Suites – both Wynn and Encore have them. The difference in the level of service – in comparison with the rooms of the part of the hotel called the Resort – is very global. It’s the same concept of a “hotel within a hotel”.

Wynn-Encore is known for its elegant nightclubs and restaurants – here Disneyland for adults takes on such an impressive form, and the real is so mixed with the unreal that no one will remain indifferent. Las Vegas in its purest form, with all its expensive glamor and kitsch, Copperfield gimmicks, billion dollar investments, sexual vigor, is the quintessence of the American celluloid dream of a beautiful life.

On my last trip to Vegas, I checked out another hotel worth mentioning: Mandarin Oriental. One of the few large hotels in the city that – intentionally – does not have a casino. As the saying goes, feel the difference: Mandarin Oriental may not give you the feeling of total immersion in the turbulent, murky waters of the city of pleasure, but elegant, super-modern interiors, impeccable service, soaring in the sky Mandarin Oriental Bar and Restaurant Twist by Pierre Gagnaire (3 Michelin stars) – all this refined luxury is located in the center of the Strip (or rather above it), and you won’t even need a taxi to get to the nearest roulette table or nightclub.

Although the hotel is huge by European standards (400 rooms), by the standards of Las Vegas it may well be considered a boutique hotel on a par with SKYLOFTS (compare with the thousands of Bellagio and Wynn). A lot of the rich and famous stay here, and I understand them: the rooms and suites of the hotel made quite an impression on me in terms of design, and the service here is Mandarin Oriental style, not Vegas style. Accordingly, the audience here is of a different class. But, perhaps, choosing a hotel for myself (if I had not been fed up with Las Vegas and decided to experience all its chic, kitsch, bluff and fun from the very beginning), I would have chosen one of the casino hotels. Just be sure to have a suite with panoramic windows at the very top. Perhaps still Bellagio. Although, probably, in this choice there would be a share of my personal sentimentality and nostalgia for the good old films.

Links to hotel websites:

Bellagio
Wynn hotel
Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas
SKYLOFTS

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