Glitz, glamour and everything that is larger than life. Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas, says the famous sign, and boy is it fabulous! The excitement sets in as soon as you glide onto the runway at Vegas’s McCarren Airport, catching your first glimpse of the strip with the pyramid of The Luxor starting off the famous chain of hotels along this renown strip.
The ping pinging of slot machines as you walk through the airport is a sound that you will be familiar with throughout your sojourn in Vegas, and will stay with you long after you leave.
Getting from the airport to the strip is so easy, there are a tonne of taxis at the airport that take you to the strip which is a few minutes drive away. Life couldn’t get any better, as we checked in to The Bellagio and settled in to our fountain view room on the 26th floor, with a fabulous view – we had Paris and the Eiffel Tower right outside our window and a perfect view of the famous dancing fountains that come on every 15 minutes.
I was gob smacked by the grandeur of The Bellagio, from the glass blown chandeliers at the entrance to the garden exhibit in the conservatory, where I honestly felt like what I would imagine Alice felt like when she went down the rabbit hole. Huge flowers, ladybirds, bees and garden tools – we simply loved it!
The Bellagio is also home to the world’s largest chocolate fountain. It is a pity this fountain doesn’t turn into a chocolate river and run through the garden in the conservatory – I could really imagine myself turning into Augustus Gloop and sticking my head right into the river to drink up all its chocolatey goodness!
Right across the street from The Bellagio is a mall, with an al fresco café called Cabo Wabo right outside, the perfect spot from which to enjoy an ice cold mojito and people and car watch. It is always party time in Vegas – the sheer number of people walking the strip at any given time is phenomenal, with their large brightly coloured bottles of various shapes and sizes, containing all manner of iced drinks and cocktails, very necessary for the walk up and down the strip!
Did we walk the length of the strip – yes! I was really curious to see the inside of the Luxor, so we started off the walk at the Luxor, making our way through to New York New York, the MGM (with its very bored looking lions), back to The Bellagio and next door to Caesers Palace, across the road to The Venetian to check out the gondolas, getting lost in the hotel because I was insistent on finding a restaurant next to the gondola area.
All these hotels are so different from one another, all decorated in true vegas fashion, everything is larger than life – except the casino floor which looks the same in all the hotels! Traversing the strip took a whole day, with frequent breaks in exciting places for drinks, lunch and pick me ups, and many coins thrown in various wishing fountains scattered across the strip. Just make sure you wear comfortable shoes and treat yourself to a foot massage after!
If Vegas is party town during the day, the atmosphere at night is even more electric and charged. Hen nights, stag nights, newly weds, and people just having fun. It is easy to get caught up in the vibe and let your naughty side loose – the saying “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” couldn’t be more apt!
And, in true Vegas style you have to watch a Cirque du Soleil show. These shows can get booked out months in advance and cost a fortune if you want to sit in a good place, so booking and planning in advance is recommended. We didn’t have the foresight to book in advance and missed out on seeing “O” but thanks to our concierge at The Bellagio we did manage to get some last minute seats for Zumanity playing in New York New York, which was fabulous. This was an adult/risque production with some very graphic scenes, one of which involves two beautiful women swimming in a large fish bowl amongst other risqué scenes, but then again it wouldn’t have been Vegas without watching such a show!