6 Must-See Hotels in Las Vegas

6 Must-See Hotels in Las Vegas

Las Vegas can seem extremely overwhelming, especially by night – all the lights, the colours, the sounds and especially all those crowds of people, who seem to know where they are going (when you have no clue!). One of the main attraction of the city are the hotels. Differently from other cities, in Las Vegas you do not need to stay in the hotel in order to see it on the inside. You are welcome to just come and explore the hotels, admire the architecture, the sights and the attractions they have to offer. I have prepared a short guide over the 6 must-see hotels in Las Vegas, which you can use in several ways:

  1. Read it before your trip and book a hotel from the list
  2. Take it with you and just stroll around, stopping in one or another and checking out some information about the hotel you find yourself at.

Las Vegas was our stop before the 2 week-long road trip in California. As I have written previously, we have started our visit with the main must-do in Las Vegas – getting married there (read more about that in this article). This way we ticked the biggest attraction off the list, and continued in my favourite way of travelling: strolling around in a relaxed way, absorbing and being amazed. Most of the photos in this post (as well as during the rest of our US trip) are made by my favourite photographer Emilia.

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Without further ado, here is this list.

Caesar’s Palace

Where to find it:

This hotel is located on the west side of Las Vegas strip. You can find it between the Mirage and Bellagio.

Some history:

This hotel’s history has begun in 1960s. The original idea was to show the life of the Roman Empire. We have actually missed all the fun, as the hotel had its grand opening in 1966. During the opening ceremony 50.000 champagne glasses were served and the guests were greeted by the waiters with the following: “Welcome to Caesars Palace, I am your slave.” Cheesy fun, I know!

It was less fun in the 80s, as the fire broke out in the hotel, taking lives of over 10 people. The owners were also accused of being connected to the organized crime. But it didn’t stop Caesar’s Palace from expansion, and expand it did throughout the 90s and 2000s, reaching its current size close to the actual Roman Empire. Ok, a bit smaller.

Architecture:

Greco-Roman art deco, 18 fountains, a statue of Julius Caesar hailing a taxi. What more can you want?

What to do:

Caesar’s Palace hosts many concerts, so if you are lucky with the timing, you can catch some stars performing there. In the past the halls seen perform Celine Dion, Elton John, Mariah Carey and oh, even Barack Obama.

But even if you were not lucky and there are no concert during your time at the Palace, there is still plenty to do. Check out the Cleopatra Barge, which is a lounge during the day and nightclub during the night. Grab the tickets to one of the shows. Chill in the Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis or shop in the Forum Shops.

Where to eat:

Caesar’s Palace can accommodate all tastes. Try Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill for traditional British food, or head to NobuBeijing Noodle No. 9 or Mr Chow for an Asian experience. Or try Parisian luxury without travelling to France in the Restaurant Guy Savoy and Payard Pâtisserie & Bistro

Prices:

The night at this hotel starts from 110 USD. Check the options here.

Bellagio Hotel

Where to find it:

Bellagio hotel is situated right in the centre of the Strip, between Caesar’s Palace and Cosmopolitan hotels.

Some history:

Bellagio is one of the newer hotels on the strip, only opened in 1998. Originally the place belonged to the hotel called Dune, the 10th hotel opened on the Strip. The Dune, themed after Arabian nights stories, had its fun between 1955 and 1985, hosting many performers, among them Frank Sinatra dressed as a sultan (I know, we missed the fun again). After that the affairs went downhill, the huge sultan statue burned down and the hotel filed for bankruptcy. They turned down the 100.000 USD offer placed by Donald Trump and several better ones only to be sold to Wynn’s company for 75.000 USD, knocked down, forgotten and have Bellagio placed on top of the territory.

So, Bellagio: the most expensive hotel ever build on the day of the opening. Probably this fact attracted many robbers to this hotel. Even in the film Ocean’s Eleven it is used as a target for the robbery.  My favourite real-life one is the robbery of the Rolex store by three “well-dressed” (according to the CNN) men wearing pig masks.

Architecture:

Bellagio was inspired by the city of Bellagio at the Lake Como, so unsurprisingly it is built in the traditional European architectural fashion. The building is designed by DeRuyter Butler and Atlanta Group, while the interior concept was created by Roger Thomas.

What to do:

Get some culture! Here are the options:

  1. The Fountains of Bellagio: Light and music performance you can see every afternoon and evening until midnight. The fountain throws in the air a huge mass of water, and being in the middle of the desert, you may wonder where all this water is coming from. Remember the Dune hotel? It had a huge golf course on this spot, and for this course a special well and irrigation system was created. Fun fact: the fountain in a huge lake actually uses less water than the golf course.
  2. Bellagio Gallery Of Fine Art: If you are such a fine culture junkie that you look for it even in Las Vegas, then Bellagio Gallery is the place for you. At different times it showcased Van Gogh, Monet, Andy Warhol and Picasso. Check the current exhibitions on their website.

Where to eat:

As it is usual with those huge Vegas hotels, there are many restaurants representing the cuisines of all corners of the world. There are however two restaurants particularly worth checking. The French Le Cirque was awarded with one Michelin star and you can actually watch a movie called Le Cirque: A Table in Heaven about it by Andrew Rossi. The movie may or may not prepare you for the prices of this restaurant. Another two Michelin star restaurant is Picasso. The chef Julian Serrano creates molecular gastronomy masterpieces on the border of French and Spanish cuisines. The restaurant is decorated with Picasso’s paintings, so you get both your bread and circuses.

Prices:

The prices at Bellagio start at around 150 USD a night. Check more options here.

Luxor Hotel

Where to find it:

Luxor is located on the Southern end of the Las Vegas Strip, close to the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign.

Some history:

Being one of the newer hotels, Luxor opened in 1993. On the day of the opening it was the tallest building on the Strip, and being a pyramid-shaped building the height actually tells you a lot about its size. Not much drama happened since the opening, only some re-decorations and extra 2.000 rooms added, because the original 2,526 rooms obviously were not enough.

In 2007 two things happened. The first was an explosion of a vehicle leaving one person dead, during which the hotel continued its operations uninterrupted. The second was the decision to re-decorate hotel almost totally, removing the until-then strong ancient Egyptian theme and making it more modern.

Architecture:

At the moment Luxor is sixth biggest hotel in Las Vegas. It is built in a shape of a pyramid, and the size of this pyramid is actually similar to the pyramids of Egypt. Except it took only 1.5 years to build and no workers died during the constructions.

What to do:

Among the selection of shows and shops, Luxor hosts two permanent exhibits. One of them Bodies: The Exhibition showcases real-like human body parts and organs, and the other Titanic exhibits a selection of artifacts from the ship as well as the recreated Grand Staircase.

Also impossible to miss is Luxor’s Sky Beam – the worlds strongest beam of light in the world, using 315,000 watts of electricity per hour.

Where to eat:

Luxor does not host any Michelin-star restaurants, like some other hotels, so head here for a bit more down-to-Earth food experience. Try the Pyramid Cafe‘s American specials for breakfast and head to Tender Steak and Seafood for your steak-and-lobster dinner.

Prices:

All that luxury you can experience even for a 35 USD, if you are lucky to get a good deal. Check more options here.

Wynn and Encore

Where to find it:

Both Wynn and Encore are located right next to each other in the northern part of Las Vegas Strip.

Some history:

The story of Wynn begins in 2001 and at that time it is not called Wynn, but “La Reve” – “The Dream” in French. It opened in 2005, and in 2006 celebrated its first birthday by adding a what was though to be an expansion building. However, the expansion idea expanded and very soon became a resort in itself: the Encore. And it is big. According to the Las Vegas Times, this hotel opened 5.300 new workplaces to the city.

This dream soon became first in many things. For two years after opening it was the tallest building on the Strip. It was given Forbes awards as one of the world’s best hotel.

Architecture:

Differently from most of the other hotels on the Strip, Wynn and Encore do not have any grand attractions in front of them to attract the passing by visitors directly from the Strip. Both are stylish modern black buildings.

What to do:

First of all, walk around. Wynn and Encore are one of the classiest hotels on the Strip both inside and outside. Check the outside gardens, stylish lounges and several art exhibitions.

Apart from the beautiful interior, the hotel also has many experiences to offer. Try making bread, sushi, chocolate, dumplings or beer with the professionals from all over the world. Check La Reve show or visit the nightclub.

Where to eat:

Andrea’s restaurant at Wynn’s is one of the few places in the USA to try the Impossible Burger – a plant-based burger, which tastes like beef. For a more casual dining try Jardin – a restaurant serving classic American food.

Prices:

The prices at Wynn start from 190 USD per night and Encore from 200 USD. Check more options at Wynn here and at Encore here.

The Venetian and Palazzo

Where to find it:

Closer to the middle of the Strip, next to the Desert Inn.

Some history:

The Venetian was thought of with a grand ambition to make it the largest hotel on the Strip. It was opened in 1999 with Sophia Loren joining the opening ceremony. The hotel was later joined by a kind of extension: Hotel Palazzo, which is the largest building in the USA in terms of floor space. So together it is a grand combination.

A project of this scale must be very expensive. The Venetian was several times accused of money laundering, but hey, this is Las Vegas life for you.

Architecture:

Italian, as you may have guessed. Not limiting itself with the Venetian building traditions, this hotel also features an inside canals with life-sized gondolas. So if you never tried it in actual Venice, this might be the closest experience to it.

What to do:

In my humble opinion, first of all try the gondola experience. Or at least go and see it. It is as impressive, as it is weird. Then, the theatres. There are four of them in the Venetian.

It is also home to one of the most impressive shopping venues, called the Atrium. Head there for the luxury brands.

Where to eat:

The Venetian is home to Bouchon restaurant, operated by Thomas Keller, one of the USA best knowns chefs. Bouchon is a great idea for Sunday brunch. Or head to Carlo’s Bakery, which is serving great cakes since 1910 (since much later in the Venetian, obviously, but that doesn’t make the cakes less great).

Prices:

Usually starting from 200 USD for a suite, but do check the offers section. Sometimes you can catch a good deal! Check more options here.

Paris

Where to find it:

Paris is located towards the centre of the Strip, right next to Bally’s.

Some history:

Paris is a new-ish hotel, opened back in 1999. Compared to other hotels, the history of Paris is actually surprisingly uneventful. It was built, opened, sold, bought, premiered some shows and then after some downturn in visitors and revenue, it marketed itself as a LGBT-friendly place. Well, like most of the hotels in Las Vegas anyway.

Architecture:

The Paris hotel takes inspiration from Paris, France, obviously. The hotel’s landmark is a half-sized replica of the Eiffel Tower, and it also contains a two-thirds size replica of Arc de Triomphe. The façade of the building reminds of Louvre.

Somehow the architectural efforts of the developers are not really appreciated in Hollywood. This hotel seems to be target for destruction by the film-makers. It was destroyed in the films 2012, Godzilla and Resident Evil: Extinction.

What to do:

Apart from sipping a cocktail next to the Eiffel Tower, imagining that you actually are in Paris? Well, yes, there are other options (most of them still connected to the Eiffel Tower and imagining yourself in Paris, though).

  1. Eiffel Tower Experience: Basically, a lift to the top of the tower to enjoy the view of the Strip. You can either get to the very top for an unbeatable view, or come a couple of floors down for a dinner. It might be a good idea for a wedding photo or just a romantic date-night.
  2. Soleil Pool: A swimming pool at the foot of the Eiffel Tower for your surrealistic Las Vegas experience. A great lazy day option.
  3. Duelling Pianos at Napoleon’s: Napoleon’s is a cozy bar, where every night you can hear piano duelling, while enjoying pretty much any drink you could think of from their extensive dessert drink menu.

Where to eat:

As of recently, in Paris hotel you can try Steve Martorano’s Italian classics with a touch of Philadelphia (state, not cheese). Another choice could be Gordon Ramsay’s Steak place – this is because I’m very biased and in love with him. For dessert head to HEXX, where you can not only eat some great chocolate, but also learn about bean-to-bar chocolate making.

Prices:

The Paris hotel is surprisingly affordable! The prices start from 55 USD per night. Check more options here.

Summary:

Whether you prefer this kind of hotels, or some different (maybe cosier) types, they have their own place in history and can surprise you or at least leave you shaking your head in disbelieve. All in all I believe that these are the 5 must-see hotels in Las Vegas – after having seen them, you can tick the “seen it all” box for this city and continue your journey.

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26 Comments

  1. Donna
    July 24, 2017 / 5:28 pm

    Absolutely beautiful pictures! The prices can vary, a lot, depending on the time of the year and any conventions happening and anything else going on. You really have to do your research there. Great read!

    • merrygoroundslowly
      July 31, 2017 / 6:50 pm

      You are so right! After Europe I’m not used to such fluctuations in prices based on the events.

  2. July 29, 2017 / 10:39 am

    Vegas is so much fun. It’s been a few years since we’ve been there. Need to go back for another visit.

  3. July 29, 2017 / 3:58 pm

    All of these hotels look absolutely glamorous! I would love to check them all out – especially the Venetian! Thanks for sharing.

    • merrygoroundslowly
      July 31, 2017 / 6:49 pm

      Venetian is just over-the-top surreal. Those photos are made around 2 am at night INSIDE, but it looks like a sunny day outside, right?

  4. July 29, 2017 / 7:31 pm

    I’ve never thought to look at the hotels in depth. I usually skip the strip and stay on Freemont street. I love Vegas so much, I’ll probably live there someday.

    • merrygoroundslowly
      July 31, 2017 / 6:48 pm

      That’s interesting! I actually just saw the Strip (and the wedding chapels) and somehow didn’t even realise there was more to see (and love!). Thanks a lot for your comment, now I realise it is a place I should check a bit deeper.

  5. July 29, 2017 / 9:43 pm

    I went to Las Vegas for the first time last year and stayed at the Luxor. We had a great time randomly walking in hotels. I adored the garden at the Bellagio and I fell in love with Aria and the Cosmopolitan. It was actually during Chinese New Year and I didn’t realize how big of a deal it was in Vegas. It was quite the site to see!

    • merrygoroundslowly
      July 31, 2017 / 6:47 pm

      Would be interesting to see some celebration there as well – I bet it’s massive, like everything else in Vegas!

  6. July 29, 2017 / 10:01 pm

    I totally agree with you, having been to Vegas on numerous occasions myself, that these are must see hotels! They are so grand and beyond awesome!

    • merrygoroundslowly
      July 31, 2017 / 6:46 pm

      Thanks! I’ve been just once, would like to come back once again, now that I have done a proper research. 🙂

  7. July 29, 2017 / 10:25 pm

    Wow! You saw so much in Vegas! I’ve only ever been for work and the hotel was pretty massive. Then we went somewhere else for a club. EVERYTHING IS JUST SO MASSIVE haha. Love your photos too.

    • merrygoroundslowly
      July 31, 2017 / 6:46 pm

      Massive, true! I was sooooo tired by the end of this walk, and it was somewhere closer to the morning when we finally finished it.

  8. July 30, 2017 / 12:02 am

    Wow. I can’t imagine going on holiday to look at hotels but these are so over-the-top and crazy! Las Vegas sounds like such a surreal place.

    • merrygoroundslowly
      July 31, 2017 / 6:45 pm

      It is a very surreal place, and probably the only place in the world, where you actually go hotel sightseeing!

  9. Katie
    July 30, 2017 / 9:42 am

    Bellagio is my favorite hotel of all time! I’ve stayed there twice and don’t think I could stay anywhere else in Vegas. This reminded me of great memories in Vegas – thank you for sharing!

    • merrygoroundslowly
      July 31, 2017 / 6:44 pm

      Bellagio was the one I liked a lot too! But I think Wynn and Encore are really worth trying.

  10. Kelly
    July 30, 2017 / 11:46 am

    I have never been to Vegas so this is a really helpful guide. I love how Vegas hotels make you feel like yiu are traveling the world. Great info!!

    • merrygoroundslowly
      July 31, 2017 / 6:44 pm

      Thanks! They do as well. There are also many others I didn’t write about. But now those themes become less and less clear, they are getting more just the stylish hotels, many of them at least.

  11. July 30, 2017 / 6:18 pm

    Vegas hotels are crazy aren’t they! We stayed at the Venetian and I couldn’t believe how big it was…it took about 20 minutes just to walk to our room haha. It’s another world there!

    • merrygoroundslowly
      July 31, 2017 / 6:43 pm

      Huge, right?! It was such a surreal experience, and I would say that this type of trip is not my kind, but it was in a way enjoyable.

  12. July 31, 2017 / 3:41 am

    *Raises hand* also in love with Gordon Ramsay, checking in. 😛 Great guide!

    • merrygoroundslowly
      July 31, 2017 / 6:42 pm

      Ramsay lovers unite! 🙂 Thanks.

  13. July 31, 2017 / 8:22 pm

    I wish I’d had this list when I visited Vegas! I had no idea the hotels had so many activities to offer, and I loved reading about the Ceasars Palace grand opening haha. Thanks for this, have to go back asap!

    • merrygoroundslowly
      July 31, 2017 / 6:41 pm

      Thanks! Actually, I wish I had this list when I visited Vegas. I went there rather blindly, going from hotel to hotel, and only later found out more about the history.

    • merrygoroundslowly
      August 3, 2017 / 11:58 am

      Yeah, Caesar’s Palace opening was grand! I wish I could have been there 🙂

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