Louise Speaks: Picking one fabulous hotel in a sea of fabulous hotels is like trying to pick an ace out of a deck of cards. But if you are forced to narrow it down, there are four that have come to be known as the Four Queens of Las Vegas.
The Bellagio www.bellagio.com is the indisputable “Queen of Diamonds”. An Italianate palazzo named after its storied namesake on Lake Como. Elaine and I happened to go by the Bellagio on Lake Come while in Italy, and it too is a sight to see. The Bellagio in Las Vegas floats on its own 8.5 acre man-made lake. It somehow manages to be over the top yet remain within the bounds of good taste. With more than 3,000 rooms on 36 floors, the Bellagio is one of the largest casinos in town, and contains some of the best restaurants in the city. The Bellagio was the most expensive hotel ever constructed at the time it was built with a price tag exceeding $1.6 billion dollars. The marble you see everywhere would do Medici proud. While relaxing at the Bellagio, you can marvel at the romantic lure of the pool and courtyards. A Mediterranean-infused fresco masterpiece – unquestionably Las Vegas’ most inviting pool area. Go for a relaxing dip in peerless azure waters. Five definitive pool courtyard settings invite you to splash into serenity. Spas, an exquisite garden vista café, private cabanas, and poolside massage treatments are also available to complete this outdoor oasis.
The newly remodeled resort rooms offer guests a fresh, elegant collection of newly redesigned deluxe accommodations. Each of the three distinct color palettes further enhances the AAA Five Diamond guest experience at one of the world’s most iconic resorts. Created by the talented team at MGM Resorts International Design Group, the new rooms reflect an updated, elegant feel pairing modern conveniences with the warmth of home. Three unique designs elicit a distinct sensibility based on the colors and patterns utilized throughout each concept. You will forget you are in a desert when you see the outdoor fountains using more that 1,200 water cannons choreographed to create a liquid ballet, the best free show in town.
The Wynn Las Vegas www.wynnlasvegas.com is typified as the “Queen of Clubs”. Staying here makes you feel like part of an exclusive members only society. Steve Wynn, the hotel impresario who also built the Bellagio, added another billion to his previous record, yes that means the Wynn cost $2.7 billion dollars to build. Mr. Wynn came up with the idea of this sensually curved bronze skyscraper looming large over the neighbors. Packed with every luxury imaginable, from high tech gadget embellished rooms, elegant restaurants, and it’s very own Ferrari and Maserati dealership on site, it even boasts its own man-made mountain and a fountain that empties into a 3 acre lake. The resort covers 215 acres. A highlight of the countless amenities is Wynn Golf and Country Club, boasting a golf course right on the Strip, a course that is restricted to very lucky hotel guests. The Wynn is considered to be one of the finest hotels in the world
At Wynn Las Vegas they are privileged to have an extraordinary resort full of indulgences and amenities for guests to enjoy. From fine dining, exclusive shopping and sensational shows to posh pools, serene spas and chic nightlife, guests can discover that everything you love in a vacation spot is here under one roof. Personal and intimate by design, Wynn offers an eclectic collection of nooks and neighborhoods that reveal surprises and memorable moments around every corner. Not only will you find their environments and amenities extraordinary, you will also find them comfortable and mindful of your unique interests as well.
Wynn Las Vegas prides itself on its ability to provide an exceptional guest experience. Inside the 50-story, 2,716—room resort you will find luxury and intimacy at every turn. The 614-foot high hotel has 45 floors, and the 2,716 rooms range in size from 640 sq ft to the villas at 7,000 sq ft . The resort offers award-winning accommodations, signature restaurants, exciting leisure activities and nightly entertainment. The secluded European pool at the Wynn allows for topless sunbathing, it doesn’t get more European than that.
Caesars Palace www.caesarspalace.com/is an oldie but a goodie. It has everything a Las Vegas Hotel should have. This hotel receives the title of “Queen of Spades”. Originally built-in 1966, it has had several billion dollars worth of upgrades and additions that have kept its profile high and polished enough to keep up with the newcomers. These renovations and additions have turned what was once a Roman wonderland into a gleaming palace.
In 1962, Jay Sarno, a cabana motel owner, used US $35 million dollars that had been lent to him by the Teamsters Central States Pension Fund to begin plans for a hotel on land owned by Kirk Kerkorian. Sarno would later act as designer of the hotel he planned to construct. Building of the 14-story Caesars Palace hotel began in 1962. That first tower would have 680 rooms on the 34 acre site. Sarno struggled to decide on a name for the hotel. He finally decided to call it Caesars Palace because he thought that the name Caesar would evoke thoughts of royalty because of Roman general Julius Caesar.
Caesars has 3,960 rooms in six towers: Augustus, Centurion, Roman, Palace, Octavius, and Forum. The Forum tower features guest suites with 1,000 square feet of space. The hotel rooms in Caesars Palace’s six towers — Forum, Roman, Centurion (which is currently being transformed into the world’s first Nobu hotel, anticipated to open in fall of 2012), Palace, Augustus and Octavius — are as spacious and lavish as any palace accommodations should be, with marble bathrooms and several amenities among the top-rate offerings. The most recent one to open is the 668-room Octavius Tower, which offers guests a more boutique hotel experience with a private entrance and a separate lobby. Plus, rooms here boast an innovative technology package that allows direct communication with concierge, housekeeping, room service, transportation, valet and other hotel service providers. From the moment you walk through the doors of Caesars Palace, you know you’ve arrived at the most prestigious resort in the world. Impeccable service and luxury; all the little details that make the difference between an ordinary visit and a spectacular experience can be yours.
Finally, the “Queen of Hearts” goes to the Mirage www.mirage.com for its special place in the zeitgeist of Las Vegas. Also built by Steve Wynn and the first of the modern Vegas hotels, it’s white and gold towers soar from the desert like the oasis evoked by its name. It is an escapist property, with a lush indoor rain forest of lagoons and waterfalls and palm trees soaring 60 feet beneath a glass dome. Where else would you expect to find the house of Siegfried and Roy’s White Tiger Habitat? Even though there is no longer a white tiger show, you are still able to see the white tigers in their natural habitat. Outdoors, the hotel’s faux volcano, one of Las Vega’s signature attractions erupts every 15 minutes; a free street show you just have to see.
When the Mirage arrived on the scene in 1989 it changed everything for Las Vegas . At the time, the Mirage was the most expensive hotel-casino in history, with a construction cost of $630 million dollars. The hotel’s distinctive gold windows get their color from actual gold dust used in the tinting process. Its construction is also considered noteworthy in that Wynn had set a new standard for Vegas resorts, and is widely considered to be the father of today’s Las Vegas. The Mirage is a 3,044 room hotel and casino resort located on the Las Vegas Strip. The Mirage is connected by a free tram to Treasure Island and the marquee in front of the Mirage is the largest free-standing marquee in the world.
The Mirage’s guest rooms feature rich hues and imported fabrics in a refined atmosphere of sophisticated comfort. Many are available with breathtaking views of the tropical pool, majestic mountains or the Las Vegas Strip. This AAA Four Diamond Award-winning resort completed a fresh new makeover in August 2008 of all their guest rooms. These smartly redesigned rooms feature stylish comfort complemented with ultra-modern amenities and chic upgrades. Each room has been revamped to provide the perfect retreat for relaxation. Simple lines with an ergonomic design are detailed to give it a high-touch feel, providing you with a comfortable space to make yourself at home. Without the Mirage, none of the other queens would exist.
These four hotels truly do set the stage for Las Vegas. Just walking through them and admiring the decor, not to mention the shops, restaurants, galleries, and points of interests, turn these hotels into a Las Vegas attraction. I would rate these hotels and the experience an A. Now the plan is to stay at least one night in all of them.
AM…page 727 The Bellagio made the Int. Book on page 660