The Hotels of Las Vegas

The Hotels of Las Vegas

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Deciding to go to Vegas was easier than deciding which graduate school to attend. [which, by the way, has creeped up on me again, being the reason for the lack of posts recently.]  Deciding which hotel to stay at, however, was much harder than expected.  When I picture Vegas hotels in my mind [or at least the one’s I see myself staying at], I picture glamour, without all the cheesy glitzy-ness.  After reading an unnecessary amount about each option, and finding an absolute bargain online, I [err, we] ultimately decided to test out the Mirage, with it’s newly renovated rooms and gorgeous lush poolside gardens.  My parent’s had stayed there previously, and confirmed the boyfriend and I’s choice to be a good one.
HELLO, NEVADA! i absolutely love how rugged the terrain is… nothing like that in New York [or I just haven’t found it]! look how vibrant those oranges and browns are 🙂
Couldn’t resist not taking the picture… the airport was one I had never seen before.  Slot machines before you even get your baggage.  Complete and utter heaven right there.  I could have been happy at those slots for hours, but the boyfriend dragged me along…
and what a perfect hotel choice we made!
great architecture if you ask me- and I love the golden-ish tint on all the windows. our room looked directly towards the pool, which is by far, one of the nicer ones in vegas if you ask me.  [But that’s just me- I’m not too fond of looking out my window to see “lovebirds” making out on one of the hotel’s pool beds: the mirage had no such thing. thankfully.]
us enjoying the hot vegas weather (102° to be exact!)
some more pictures of our hotel for your viewing pleasure 🙂
pool was magnificent- esp. with those unbearable hot desert temps!
I could post all 300+ pictures we took at the Mirage itself, but I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t be appealing to any readers out there.  Normally the boyfriend gets annoyed at my picture-taking habits, but HE was the taking most of them! C’mon, it’s VEGAS! [which by the way, he completely fell in love after only being there for a few hours…guess I know where he wants his bachelor party to be someday!]  We unfortunately did not see the bottlenose dolphins and white tigers at Seigfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat, [one of the downfalls of being on a budget!] but we did see the little fishies swimming around in the lobby aquarium [which did not make up for missing the dolphins :/ there’s always next time].
now on to some other hotels:
The Bellagio: I expected this hotel to blow my mind; it has a reputation to keep!  And surely it did.  Beyond my expectations.  I feel like I say that a lot, but that’s better than being completely underwhelmed!  With it’s glass-flowered ceiling [or something of that nature] and colorful inside sculptured garden, we could have stayed here an entire day.
I especially loved:
  • the outside fountains [movie below- check it out!!]
  • 3D animals created entirely out of flowers
  • the garden’s crystal ball
  • the carousel holding sunflowers in each of its compartments
The indoor flower garden made me feel so cheery and lively! Now if only I could walk into this setting in my own backyard on a bad day…
and now for the ever-so-peaceful Bellagio fountains:
the pictures don’t do justice, so watch the video below 🙂  Sorry for the not-so-great quality- and blame the boyfriend for his shaky hand!
<3 this picture- but had to crop it because people were to the right of us- errrrr!!!
The Flamingo: There were live flamingo’s here [hence the name] which were rather amusing to watch for a little while.  We also saw some swans, ducks, koi, and turtles roaming around the place.  The grounds were absolutely gorgeous, and seemed appropriately authentic, maybe even a little too jazzed up for the flamingos!

Absolutely loved the scenic atmosphere! A whiiiiile back (most likely 10+ years?), my family stayed in Vegas as part of our Cali-Vegas vacation, and we stayed at the Flamingo.  

Caesars Palace: We totally got lost in Caesars!  And trust me- if you’ve ever been, you’d understand what i’m talking about!  Shops inside, shops outside.  Mall here, mall there. The Forum Shops and the Appian Way.  Its crazy.  Too bad our finances were lacking in the shopping department, or else we would have brought back numerous goodies from Caesars (hello Jimmy Choo, Valentino, and Louis!) It’s always FREE to look! We sufficed with window shopping.  

The (marble?) painted ceiling and statues were simply glorious.  Caesars Palace always makes me think of the Hangover’s “you probably get this a lot, but this isn’t the real Caesars palace, is it?” Makes me crack up everytime.  And yes, I insisted that the boyfriend and I see the movie right before we went to Vegas.  It was spectacular. Too bad our 5 nights didn’t even come close to the monstrosity they encountered in only 2.

The Venetian: Another italian-inspired hotel infused with beautifully painted ceilings as seen below in one part of the hotel and a man made blue sky ceiling in another part.  With venetian styled buildings, grand canal, venetian gondola, plaza pier, rialto bridge, top brand indoor shops, and lots of italian restaurants, as well as Bouchon, hidden on the 13th floor if i recall correctly- we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves here. loads of major eye candy.

look at that detail! it’s like Michael Angelo painted it himself!
before our indulgent meal at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon

Bouchon, A French Bistro: A hidden gem on the 13th floor of the Venezia Tower.  Thankfully we figured out how to get here.  (Don’t quote me on the 13th floor!!)  Otherwise, it would have a been a big misstep, considering the food was amazing, Atmosphere was sweet and romantic, yet relaxed at the same time. Great attention from the staff (free wine, thanks!) & Dessert was to die for. I stuffed down a really yummy gnocci dish, and I cannot remember what the boyfriend ordered (I was too infatuated with my own food to even slightly remember his). take me back to the food- please!

Gondola Ride: I was itching to ride the gondola the moment we booked our trip to Vegas.  I’ve been wanting to get over to Italy recently ever since my 2008 Eurotrip.  This was the next best thing. Well, I guess.  The idea of the gondola ride is sweet, 2 lovers on a little boat while the gondolier is singing and hearing the soothing sound of the water beneath you.  HOWEVER, if feel your oh-so-romantic trip (HA!) to Vegas is incomplete, consider coughing up the extra dough to indulge in a private gondola ride.  Our frugality did not pay off in this instance- we were put on a gondola with honeymooners…. who insisted on making out under each and every bridge on the 14 minute ride (which if i recall correctly, seemed to be a bridge every minute or so). They were just too cutesy for me, and if you know me, I’m not ashamed of a little PDA.  It was still cute to say the least. And it made for a cute picture.

Blue Man Group: BEST SHOW OF MY LIFE. and I don’t think any show will ever top this! (hopefully Avenue Q does- we’re planning on buying tickets for my birthday!) The entire production was so planned out, from it’s unique comedy to it’s creatively designed light-shows and music.  I can’t even begin to explain. I don’t want to give any part of it away. Just go see it for yourself.  You’ll be so ecstatic you did.  You’ll thank me. Trust me.

Paris: Oh, take me back please! The architects did a rather measly job replicating the eiffel tower, since it’s only about 1/2 the size and height of the original in France (debbie downer, I know!) But c’mon, after you’ve seen the REAL tower de eiffel in paris, nothing can even compare.  We still had a great time taking the elevator to the top and experiencing the views from the observation deck (wasn’t anything like walking up the real thing). And the drinks- nothing can compare to those. 🙂
on the observation deck of the eiffel tower!
look at those views- with the magnificent mountains in the distance
look at our monstrous sized eiffel tower drink! it was just as yummy as it looks!
New York, New York: Since I’m from the big apple (well to be more precise, a town about 30 min away), I can accurately say that the creators and architects did a great job replicating NY’s sights.  From the Brooklyn Bridge to the meat-packing district, it was a hit to see all-things NY.  We unfortunately decided not to ride on the rollercoaster, (due to the extremely long line, and of course our lack of finances) but we can always go to Coney Island and ride one there. Take a look 🙂
Can you guess which one is real?
The second one of course! Did our beads in the first picture give you a clue? It was a good attempt in Vegas, but nothing can ever compare to the stunning architecture of the actual bridge in Brooklyn.
a small dose of “nyc”‘s skyline
and no trip can be complete without getting $1 margaritas every morning after breakfast at Casino Royale.. the $5 blackjack tables weren’t bad either

One Comment

  • Emily Ray says:

    Wow! Las Vegas is certainly on my list for next year! I always worry that it's a bit too tacky for my liking, but I reckon it would be a fab experience 🙂 Plus, I never got to go on a gondola ride in Venice so I can make up for that in LV 😉

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