vegas strippers sign

Vegas, baby.

“You have to be a certain type of boring if you don’t enjoy the entertainment capital of the world.”

That’s what my taxi driver told me on the surreal, technicolour-tinged drive from Las Vegas airport to the world-famous Strip. In spite of being secretly excited that my ‘taxi’ was in reality my very own white stretch limo, I had some serious reservations about ‘Sin City’ and I wasn’t about to be persuaded otherwise.

Three days, four more limousines and one helicopter ride later, Vegas had valet-parked my preconceptions. I had spent a good hour interviewing an Elvis impersonator, attempted to drop a bankroll with the high rollers, watched one of the SUITCASE team dress a Chippendale on stage and witnessed another swoon over the Bellagio dancing fountain show. The word ‘sass’ had become fully assimilated into my vocabulary, and a strict palette of candy colours and feather boas fully integrated into my wardrobe.

Known as Disneyland for adults, Las Vegas is a lost property box of outrageous personality types, encouraging you to lose yourself, find yourself and re-invent yourself 100 times over. Whichever way you spin it, the city makes no sense. Music blares from every street corner and there are no clocks or windows in the casinos; time is measured in ‘all you can eat’ buffets and bubbling neon-coloured margaritas served out of three-foot plastic ‘legs’. As much a state of mind as it is a city, Vegas is that confusing cocktail that you’ve always been reluctant to order; so take it on the rocks and prepare for the time of your life.

To Stay

Wynn Rooms from £104 per night

Steve Wynn, the architect of modern Las Vegas, has created an all-singing, all-dancing Wynnter Wonderland at his eponymous Strip resort. The curved, copper-toned hotel features maze-like marble walkways that snake between gaming tables, swimming pools, the world famous XS nightclub, an impressive buffet, a fully functioning carousel and a selection of fine art by the likes of Gustave Eiffel, Jeff Koons and Fernando Botero. Rooms in both the Wynn and Encore towers are spacious with a clean neutral colour palette, and they ‘greet’ you upon arrival by automatically drawing the curtains; if you’re lucky you’ll have a panoramic view of the Strip.

Caesar's Palace Rooms from £60 per night

“This isn’t the real Caesars Palace is it?” With an enormous fountain garnished with Roman nudes, you’d almost be forgiven for thinking so. The beast that is Caesars Palace is home to the best shopping centre and most buzzing casino in Vegas as well as over 4,000 rooms that stretch over five towers. The Roman Tower is the cheapest option; the Forum and Palace Towers are the best-positioned while the Augustus and Octavius towers offer views over the Strip and the Bellagio fountains. Caesars Nobu Hotel is the most luxurious option, but if you’re looking to recreate the ultimate Hangover experience, then the Emperor’s Suite in the Forum Tower is your best bet.

Delano Rooms from £130 per night

This South Beach-inspired hotel introduces understated elegance into a city of decadence and drama. Eschewing the ostentatious entrances typical of big resorts, the Delano welcomes you through a low, cave-like door framed by an enormous split boulder from the Mojave Desert. The hallway carpet maps the course of the Colorado River and rolls towards a hanging, sand-coloured rock installation. Minimalism also reigns supreme in the bedrooms; they are fitted in bright whites and muted greys, with accents of gold just to remind you that you’re in Vegas. Philosophical greeting cards from The School of Life and a spacious bathroom stashed with Malin + Goetz products are just some of the rooms’ thoughtful touches.

Bellagio Rooms from £100 per night

Rooms in this famous Strip hotel are comfortable but it’s in the communal areas that the Bellagio really comes to life. Upon entering, a beautiful blown-glass ceiling leads you into a conservatory, alive with installations that change with the seasons. The Jean Philippe patisserie houses the world’s largest chocolate fountain and the hotel is also home to Las Vegas’ first art gallery; Fabergé, Monet, and Georgia O’Keeffe have all been exhibited here. The famous dancing fountain show that takes place on the lake in front of the Bellagio is just as cheesy as it sounds, but can also be weirdly exciting, even moving.

Tips + Tricks

Hashtag your Instagram photos #Vegas for a stream of comments on free tables, guest lists and bottles…and also extra likes.

If you’re lacking in casino confidence then a game of roulette is the best place to start. The board looks complicated but the rules are simple and it’s relatively easy to make cash.

Photography is forbidden in casinos. Don’t get caught or a surly security guard is likely to delete the incriminating evidence.

It’s better to be dressed up than dressed down in Vegas; keep your heels high and your hemlines higher.

Large groups of boys will struggle to gain entry into some nightclubs. Make friends with girls or break up the bunch to appease bouncers on a power trip.

There is no ‘off season’ for Vegas but the best time of year to go is from March to May and September to November when days are warm and nights are cool. In the summer, the city often exceeds 40 degrees making it almost unbearable if you’re not at a pool party. For cheaper rates, visit Vegas mid-week rather than at the weekend.

Vegas rewards spontaneity. If you haven’t booked a hotel, don’t panic and get on the flight. With 15 of the world’s 25 largest hotels located on the Strip and a grand total of 62,000 rooms, Hotel Tonight will always give you a selection of the best deals available that night.

If things don’t seem to be going your way, tip generously and confidently; a strategically placed $50 could quite literally open doors. “To the bold man fortune gives her hand.”

Wynn

Caesars Palace

Delano

Bellagio

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