Las Vegas can be a great divider of opinion, but if there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that there’s nowhere else quite like it.
An oasis of excitement in the vast Nevada desert, Las Vegas ably competes with the world capitals for sheer entertainment value per square mile. Where else could you catch a show from Celine Dion, marvel at Penn and Teller, dine at Gordon Ramsey’s table, and still have time to hit the roulette table?
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With a sparkling centre catering to everyone from young families to fun-seeking stag parties, and with close proximity to the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon thrown in for good measure, it has to be experienced to be believed.
Where to stay in Las Vegas
Choosing a base for your Vegas stay typically amounts to plumping for one of two options: staying on the Strip, the city’s famous main drag, or just off it.
A trip to Sin City is always going to set you back a few quid, so if you don’t mind where you lay your head, or if OTT luxury just ain’t your bag, we’ve found a cute boutique motel that is possibly the cheapest hotel you’ll find in New York - El Cortez Hotel & Casino offers a modest but characterful place to call home while you discover all that Vegas has to offer.
Those seeking some respite from the rowdiness should look for something that, by Las Vegas standards, is a little more secluded. The luxurious Wynn Hotel, set in its own lush gardens, sits relatively separate from the rest of the resorts at the Northern end of the Strip, resulting in some spectacular desert and mountain views, or try the Four Seasons for a beautifully-appointed spa hotel with a laid-back vibe.
If you’re looking to be at the heart of the action, within ridiculously easy reach of attractions, shows and shopping, a mid-Strip hotel like the trendy, adult-oriented Cosmopolitan or enormous and fully kitted-out MGM Grand will get you there.
Can you have it both ways? Sure, the Mandarin Oriental and Skylofts at MGM Grand both occupy prime real estate in the centre of it all, but executive touches and calm interiors mean they still manage to feel tranquil at the end of a hectic day.
The 10 best hotels in Las Vegas
Located centrally on the strip, The Waldorf Astoria is luxurious and has some of the best views of Sin City and beyond. Many rooms have views from everywhere, with floor to ceiling windows even in the bathroom, so you can relax and have a soak while taking in the epic views of the Nevada desert and the dazzling lights of the Las Vegas Strip.
This hotel is a fantastic place to unwind after a busy day in the heat, and the rooftop Skybar offers a chilled out place to have some pre-dinner drinks before you head into the carnage on the strip. And if you hit it a little too hard in the casino bar, the next day you can sweat out all those toxins in the fantastic 27,000 square metres of spa with a number of treatments available, and then chill out in your very own cabana by the pool, located on the eighth floor where the views are still as spectacular as ever.
Slightly different to the luxury of the hotels on the main strip, El Cortez Hotel & Casino is a great option for those wanting to stay slightly out of the main strip. Solo travellers, or anyone looking to do Vegas on a budget will be pleasantly surprised with this hotel, offering rooms starting from just £48 a night.
The hotel has a vintage feel to it with boutique style rooms that are the perfect place to rest. While this hotel would be ideal for anyone there to see another side to Vegas, it does still have its very own casino should you fancy a cheeky go on the roulette table, and a bar serving a selection of wine and crafted cocktails.
While some of the older rooms are certainly a little dated, El Cortez Hotel & Casino is full of character and staff are said to be incredibly friendly and willing to help with any aspect of your Las Vegas trip.
While taking advantage of the vast MGM Grand’s excellent central location, Skylofts nonetheless feels a world away from the raucous casinos and bright lights of the Strip, making it a luxurious, private oasis that’s second to none for couples looking to pull out all the stops.
Made up of individual duplex lofts, each with gorgeous, spacious bathrooms kitted out with rainfall showers and jet baths, Skylofts has its own private reception, private cardio room and individual butler service, although should you choose to join the outside world, guests can also step into the MGM fitness centre, spa and 29th floor lounge. Add in little stay-making touches like in-room check-in and Rolls-Royce airport transfers, and you have all the makings of a thoroughly romantic luxury weekend.
Finding entertainment in Las Vegas is never going to be a particularly tall order, but keeping the whole family happy is especially painless at The Mirage. From the exploding volcano out front to the lush Secret Garden, the mesmeric tropical aquarium and immaculate, enormous pool complex through to Cirque du Soleil’s spectacular all-ages show LOVE, there’s tons to keep them occupied.
And, rather than relying on bachelor party appeal like many of its Stripside mega-resort competitors, it focuses on comfortable, stylish and spacious accommodation with high-tech touches the kids will love. For the grown-ups, there’s shopping, a great range of dining, drinking and dancing options, and of course, the casino.
The Venetian allows you to step off the fast-paced Vegas strip and almost into another world. This hotel offers relaxation and romance in luxurious suites with oversized bathtubs, marble counters and boutique lounges. The Venetian has a whopping 10 outdoor swimming pools, including an adults-only TAO beach club – the perfect place to chill out after a long night of partying. This hotel also has an in-house casino and a variety of restaurants and shops of its own. It really is like a mini break to Italy when you stay at The Venetian.
With the luxurious rooms, free access to the spa, and even its very own golf course, this hotel really is the place to escape the chaos and enjoy some luxury pampering during your Vegas trip.
If Vegas kitsch isn’t really your speed (you can have too much of a good thing, after all) you can eschew the usual neon and gilt in favour of the ultra-modern Cosmopolitan. This trendy spot right at the centre of the Strip may be characterised by its designer flair, but it does have the facilities to back it up.
The spacious, contemporary and comfortable rooms are checked into via iPad in the high-tech lobby; there are 13 dining options, including a high-end sushi bar; and there are plenty of options for relaxation too, including a pool overlooking the Strip. Realistically, the Cosmopolitan isn’t even close to a kid-friendly option (see The Mirage instead), but for those seeking more adult company this is sure to be a plus.
It’s apparent merely from spotting the elegant copper swoosh of the Wynn’s buildings rising out of beautifully landscaped gardens at the northern end of the Strip that it’s something special, and the inside doesn’t let it down either.
The public areas are impeccably polished, with impeccably helpful and friendly staff, while the plush rooms – even entry-level is an impressive cut above rooms elsewhere on the Strip for comfort and thoughtful design – benefit from floor-to-ceiling windows and cloud-like beds.
The range and quality of facilities is also excellent: a luxury spa, the Strip’s only 18-hole golf course, kids’ and adults only pools, a vast on-site nightclub, musicians and shows are sure to keep everyone entertained.
If you need a little break from the action of Vegas’ main drag, make your escape to the Four Seasons Hotel. The luxury hotel chain’s holy trinity of style, service and facilities works exquisitely well if you’re in search of a more relaxed Las Vegas holiday – take advantage of the casino-less calm in one of the 400 quiet, contemporary and ultra-comfortable rooms, or with an eco-friendly treatment in the tranquil five-star spa, assured that all is taken care of by the exceptionally friendly and attentive staff.
The range of dining options isn’t huge, but with friendly Veranda open from early breakfast through ‘til dinner, plus the excellent Charlie Palmer Steak, you’re sure to find plenty of reasons to stay in if you just can’t face another night out on the Strip.
The MGM Grand Hotel and Casino occupies prime real estate right on the infamous Strip, meaning bachelors and bachelorettes can always be where the action is. But the best part of staying at this enormous party hotel is that everything you need is already under one roof, making for painless planning for the best man – not to mention an easier route back to the suite come sunrise.
In the resort, stags and hens can enjoy not only the largest casino in Vegas, but one of the city’s wildest pool scenes in the form of Wet Republic, which features swimsuit competitions and live DJs. Post-sundown, groups can hit any of seven bars and lounges, with the main attraction being Studio 54, a vast four-floor nightclub replete with go-go dancers and reportedly even more raucous than the NYC original.
With variety being the name of the game at many of Vegas’ mega-resorts, it might seem odd to foreground the foodie offerings of the much smaller Mandarin Oriental. However, the hotel chain’s emphasis on understated elegance and eye for stay-making touches extends to its restaurants, and there’s a definite quality-over-quantity approach. Of course, the hotel’s central Strip location also means you’re never more than a stone’s throw away from a world of gastronomic options, too.
Twist, headed up by fusion cuisine impresario and triple-Michelin-starred chef Pierre Gagnaire, was named Las Vegas’ best restaurant of 2017 for its incredible flavours and execution with a side of panoramic views of the city. Can’t get enough of those vistas? Take your digestif at Mandarin Bar for even more skyline-spotting.
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