Las Vegas Journals

Las Vegas - the Return

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An August 2008 trip to Las Vegas by svearvaldyr

Bellagio Fountains Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada More Photos
Quote: We took a trip to Vegas six years ago and decided to come back for another go round to see what's changed, what's stayed the same and where the dice would fall...

Bellagio Fountains

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Every Bit As Good As I Remembered"

Bellagio Fountains Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
The Bellagio is one of my favourite hotels - from the outside anyway. Don't get me wrong, it's very nice inside too, but whoever designed the exterior really knew what they were doing. The Strip has always felt a little unreal, but recently, with all the construction works going on, it's lost that a little bit. Some of the Old Style Vegas has gone and it's all being replaced by shiny new shops and hotels that don't have that old character that the Frontier style places used to have. Thankfully though, the Bellagio offers something of an oasis in the middle of all this. The Hotel stands in relatively simple splendour above a sparkling, tree lined driveway and its own rather impressive ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 22, 2008

Bellagio Fountains
3600 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, Nevada
(702) 693-7111

The MGM Grand Conglomerate

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Story/Tip

Quote:
I'm not a fan of government meddling, but one thing they've always been supposed to do which I do agree with, and that's keeping an eye on monopolies. Unfortunately, somebody has dropped the ball in that regard with Las Vegas. The company that owns MGM Grand, who also own Disney and a bunch of other stuff, have bought out pretty much the entire west side of the Strip. This includes the MGM Grand, the Excalibur, the Luxor, the Monte Carlo, the Bellagio, the Treasure Island and several others besides. They also own the big food court next to the MGM grand, which means that if you're down that end of the Strip then just about anything you do will have to go through this same company. This means no c...Read More

Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular

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Attraction | "Spectacular Indeed"

Venetian Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
The Venetian is a spectacular location - as a hotel, as an attraction, as a wedding venue - whatever you use the place for, it has been beautifully put together and equally well maintained. As a location for Las Vegas' No.1 show - the Phantom of the Opera - it is perfect. Walking through frescoes and marble hallways and indoor shopping precincts crisscrossed by canals, classically trained opera singing gondoliers with their beautifully painted ceilings, you are in a truly palatial setting. The entrance to the theatre itself leads you to a darkly lit, wide open space with broken chandelier parts hanging from teh ceiling and dark drapes covering the walls. The lights come down and the su...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 22, 2008

Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular
3355 Las Vegas Blvd. S.
Las Vegas, Nevada

Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower

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Hotel | "Towering Value at the North End of the Strip"

Quote:
This is the cheapest hotel to stay at on the Strip. For the money you pay, it is excellent value. The tower is one of the tallest structures west of the Mississippi and up top they have an array of things to attract your attention, from a revolving gourmet restaurant and bar to a viewing deck to thrill rides on the top of the tower itself. They add to this list of rides all the time and at present have three options, including a set of seats attached to the spire which shoot you straight up in the air, a spinning contraption that holds out over the edge while whirling you around and a roller-coaster cart that wheels you out over the edge and dangles you precariously. You can get an all day pass fo...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 22, 2008

Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower
2000 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89104
(702) 380-7777

Excalibur Hotel & Casino

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Hotel | "The Castle Has Seen Better Days"

Excalibur Hotel & Casino Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
To get a good view of how things had changed we stayed in the same two hotels we stayed at before. That started with the Exclibur Hotel & Casino at the southern end of the Strip. It's a 4000+ room hotel with four swimming pools, over 20,000 square feet of gaming space, a shopping arcade, food court, underground jousting arena(!) and all of it based around a medieval castle theme. They've just recently refurbished a number of their rooms, fitting them out with big widescreen TVs, plush new furniture, MUCH better soundproofing and marble bathroom fixtures. The price for these rooms is quite a bit more, but they are very nice and the older rooms are still in pretty good shape, so either option ha...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on December 22, 2008

Excalibur Hotel & Casino
3850 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
(702) 597-7777

Coming Back Is Always a Little Strange

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Story/Tip

NY NY in Vegas Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
I visited Las Vegas 6 years ago with my then-girlfriend, now-wife. It was an eye-opening place. You hear accounts and stories about Sin City from those who love it, those who hate it and those who've never even seen it, but you really can't understand it until you've been there and experienced it for yourself. Our first visit was magical. We stayed for a week, didn't gamble, and spent the whole time wandering around, taking pictures, checking out the shows and enjoying the over-the-top splendour of it all. This time around a lot had changed. The Strip isn't what it once was. At the moment there's a whole lot of construction going on for starters, which means that it's ve...Read More