Viva Las Vegas: 5 Must-visit Casino Hotels
No matter where you have been, visiting Las Vegas is an experience that will stay with you forever. A destination like no other in every sense, ‘Sin City’ is the undisputed entertainment capital of the world and offers something new and exciting around every corner.
Of course, the city is best known for its plethora of incredible casinos that let seasoned ‘gamers’ and rookies alike try to beat the dealer at blackjack, poker and much more in the most opulent of surroundings. You may not have known, however, that all the best local casinos are also hotels, which means you won’t have to go far on your Las Vegas holidays to enjoy both world-class tables and slots and high-quality accommodation. Here are our top five recommendations:
The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino – 5*
In a city of marvels, The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino is arguably the most unique of all Vegas’ many amazing entertainment hotspots. As its name suggests, this complex is modelled on the beautiful Italian city of Venice, and those responsible for its design have done an impressive job faithfully recreating such landmarks as the Doge’s Palace and St Mark’s Square – where guests can take to the water on a traditional gondola ride!
The Venetian was built on the former site of the iconic Sands Hotel (famed for hosting performances by the legendary Rat Pack), and this relatively new casino – it was opened in 1999 – is certainly a fitting replacement. The splendour of each of the establishment’s luxurious rooms and suites is even more striking when the Venetian’s sheer size is considered; with more than 4,000 rooms, it is officially one of the largest hotels in the world.
As for the on-site entertainment? Well, you won’t ever need to step outside! At the Venetian, you can choose from more than a dozen restaurants, four theatres, a 24-hour sportsbook, 10 swimming pools and even a hedonistic nightclub. Get ready for fun.
Flamingo Las Vegas – 3*
If you’re after a real slice of history, staying at the Flamingo Las Vegas will allow you to explore one of the city’s very first and most famous casinos. Opening in 1946, the Flamingo is the oldest remaining resort on the Las Vegas Strip and has a history worthy of a Hollywood film (in fact, it’s featured in several!).
When the hotel’s original designer ran into financial difficulties, the project was thankfully saved by an ambitious investor who saw the huge potential in the fast-developing desert metropolis that was Vegas. The Flamingo’s saviour was no ordinary businessman, however – Bugsy Siegel was a notorious gangster who was gunned down in 1947, possibly because of his alleged theft from the casino’s building budget.
Today, the atmosphere at the Flamingo is rather more relaxed, with highlights including the beautiful on-site Wildlife Habit (you can guess what the main attraction is), an extensive poker room offering non-stop action, and a massively popular headline show from Donny and Marie Osmond.
Bellagio – 5*
Whilst our previous two choices cannot be faulted in terms of the excitement they provide, the Bellagio should perhaps be the casino hotel of choice for those who like their accommodation to be truly elegant in every way. With its plush interiors, exquisite restaurants and Italian-inspired design, Bellagio could be described as the perfect option for grown-ups!
This much-loved resort is probably most famous for its incredible Fountains of Bellagio water feature. Found in front of the hotel in an eight-acre manmade lake, the fountains make use of more than 1,200 nozzles to put on a memorable, choreographed display every 15-30 minutes each afternoon and evening. Every performance is set to music, coordinated with coloured lights and is sure to be unlike anything you have seen before.
Fans of high-quality live entertainment will also be in for a treat if they stay at the Bellagio, as the casino hotel is the permanent home of ‘O’, a mesmerising stage show by the renowned Cirque du Soleil troupe that features 85 acrobats, divers and synchronised swimmers (much of the performance takes place in a 1.5-million-gallon indoor pool)!
New York-New York Hotel & Casino – 4*
If you’re currently torn between taking a holiday in Las Vegas or the equally exciting destination of New York, staying at this next resort will let you enjoy the best of both! The New York-New York Hotel & Casino pays tribute to the ‘city that never sleeps’ in many ways, with the most obvious being its architecture; the hotel is made up of several towers, each of which is closely modelled on an iconic landmark of the Big Apple’s skyline.
It may seem strange looking up at the Empire State Building and passing by the Statue of Liberty as you make your way towards the entrance but spending a night (or more) at this amazing casino is sure to impress with how it manages to combine the most magical elements of NYC and Vegas to create a memorable gaming experience.
Some of the most notable features of New York-New York include a thrilling rollercoaster (which reaches speeds of nearly 70 mph), a permanent Cirque du Soleil show called ‘Zumanity’ (the group’s only performance which is restricted to adult audiences), and a huge casino where DJs and dancers provide extra fun at weekends and the hearts are replaced with apples in every deck of cards!
Caesars Palace – 4.5*
We finish our list with probably the most iconic of all casinos in Las Vegas, if not the world – Caesars Palace.
Whilst countless other nearby establishments have come and gone over the years, Caesars is – along with the Flamingo - among the first entertainment venues to have opened on the Las Vegas Strip that is still operating, with the first dice being rolled in its hallowed gaming floor back in 1966.
Everything about this casino hotel, from its distinctive, Roman-inspired design to the legendarily long-running shows performed in its theatre by musical stars like Elton John, Cher and Bette Midler is famous the world over and – however luxurious its contemporaries may be – there is nothing that can quite match stepping foot inside Caesars Palace and soaking up its entirely unique atmosphere and charm.