“Las Vegas looks the way you’d imagine the way heaven looks at night”
– Chuck Palahniuk
If you ever visit US, Las Vegas should be on your list..this is one place you can’t afford to miss. The city is alive throughout the night…a magnificent marvel right in the middle of a desert.
Just like the most of us, we were also lured to Vegas from the numerous movies that we have seen be it Dustin Hoffman in “The Rainman” or a group of students giving the casinos a run for their money in “21” or Bradley Cooper & Co running crazy in The Hangover series. We were in the US for only 2 weeks but had no doubts about squeezing Vegas in our itinerary for only weekend we had.
There are numerous options in Vegas for accommodation – Luxury to mid-sized Hotels or even Airbnb which has quite a lot of options. The best place for accommodation would be on the Las Vegas Strip irrespective of the Hotel as you can avail public transport – Use Deuce Bus which has a 24 hour pass for ~ $6-8. The premium options would be The Bellagio, Ceasar’s Palace, Paris or MGM Grand. One can also avail relatively less expensive options like Excalibur, Cosmpolitan or Circus Circus. Before booking, please check sites like groupon or priceline for the best deals.
Note: There is an additional Resort fee that is charged by every hotel and varies. At the Bellagio it is around ~$44 per night.
When you land at Las Vegas, you can opt for Shuttles from the Airport to your hotel (with an option for return transportation as well). You will have to pay upfront at the counters outside the airport and call them when you want them to pick you up from your hotel for the return flight. The other option would be be book Uber or Lyft.
On the strip you can avail Deuce Bus service for Casino/Hotel Hopping for around $6-8. Or just walk if you are into that sort of thing 🙂 . There is another Bus service which takes you directly to Airport (Route 108).
What to do inside the hotels
Each hotel is known for something unique but one thing that is common is Casinos. You can enter any hotel and start playing at any table but there is a minimum bet limit. The graveyard shift 4am-12pm is when usually the minimum bets are very low. So if you want to play small, thats the time.
Apart from Casinos, there are lots of options to do shopping – all the luxury brands are available. There are multiple restaurants in each of these hotels which you can try.
We chose Bellagio for our 2 night stay at Vegas. The fountains at Bellagio are known to be one of most watched spectacle in Vegas is one of the reasons which made us choose it in the first place. The check-in process is cumbersome with a huge queue. In every room, specially the ones facing the fountains, one can view the fountains and switch on the TV where one of channels has the music playing which is in sync with the fountains.
Although we received a credit line for $100 for food at the famous Bellagio buffet yet we decided to get it customized to get a $100 credit line across any restaurant in Bellagio and it was a pretty damn good decision. One thing to be careful about is the Mini-bar usage. All the mini-bar items are placed on pressure-sensitive plates; even if one item is dislodged from its place, the hotel charges the room for that item.
The Venetian is another attraction on the Vegas Strip which has Venice based theme. One should try the Gondola ride – you have two of them one is inside the hotel and the other one is outside the hotel. Madame Tussauds is another attraction at The Venetian.
Paris, Las Vegas has a replica of The Eiffel Tower which is visible from the fountain view rooms at Bellagio (see the title photo). One can book a ride up the Eiffel Tower and have a bird’s eye view on the entire Las Vegas Strip which is just breath-taking.
For those seeking adventure, there are adventure/roller-coaster rides in Stratosphere and New York hotels (there is a Statue of Liberty replica just outside the hotel).
Where to eat
All the hotels have many restaurants where you can indulge. Apart from that there are multiple restaurants across the entire Vegas Strip and beyond. One can use tripadvisor app to search for restaurants based on the preference of cuisine. We had searched for Indian cuisine in Vegas – many options within 20 mins from the Strip.
Just near Paris, Hotel you have a group of eating/drinking outlets including Starbucks, Subway and even Ben & Jenny’s ice cream parlor.
You will have to shell out money to get a bottle of water. It would be better to get bottles of water at Walgreens, GNC or any other retail outlet on the strip. Other option to get free alcohol drinks is to gamble at the casino – everyone is provided with unlimited drinks.
What else you can do on the Vegas strip and beyond
While every hotel has something unique to offer, there are a lot of high-profile events that happen in Vegas. Even the Mayweather-Mcgregor boxing bout was also hosted at Vegas. Every now and then there are many celebrities – Singers, magicians, musicians or stand-up comedians who come down to this paradise amidst the desert of Nevada to mesmerize the crowd.
One can purchase the tickets to these events online or even check out the deals on Groupon. The other option would be to check out the kiosks outside the hotels to get an awesome last minute deal as well.
Take the Deuce bus to Fremont Street to experience the old Vegas. It is alive even in the wee hours of the morning. A photo at the Las Vegas Boulevard – “Welcome to Las Vegas” board is something worth doing – preferably in early morning during sunrise.
A helicopter ride above the Las Vegas strip is an awesome experience one should not miss. One can do the ride during the day or even at night – Night flight would be something you can never forget.
Two of the most sought after attractions outside the Las Vegas strip are trips to the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon. A trip to the Hoover Dam would be for 2-3 hours while that to the Grand Canyon would last for around 5-6 hours. For both these attractions, helicopter rides are also available.
What happens in Vegas…stays in Vegas
This is strictly for adults. There are many Gentlemen’s & Ladies clubs (Rhino’s, Sapphire, etc.) which are open throughout the day. You can call them for a free limousine pick up from your hotel but remember you will have to tip the driver. There is an admission charge to enter the Club and alcohol would be extra. The trip back to hotel would have to arranged on your own.
Finally, the sad part…the journey back…
The Checkout.. 🙁
The 3 days spent at Vegas were not enough and the city kept tempting us …asking us not to leave..but sadly we had to but not without a promise to ourselves that we will be back to this paradise in the middle of nowhere.
There are electronic slot machines at the Las Vegas airport as well to make sure you end up losing a few more bucks just before you board the flight 🙂