We all like to travel the world, but just occasionally it’s nice when the world comes to us. That’s exactly the experience you can have when you visit Las Vegas. Sure, it’s a little bit kitschy in parts, but nonetheless it’s a fascinating and impressive experience to visit some of the destination-oriented hotels along the Strip.
See Ancient Egypt at the Luxor
[Read about the real Luxor in our travel article “Visiting the Ancient City of Luxor“]
Travel down the far end of the Strip away from downtown, and you will come to an enormous shining dark bronze pyramid flanked by two ziggurat-style towers. This is the Luxor Hotel, one of the earliest mega-hotels in Las Vegas. The hotel opened all the way back in 1993 – an eternity for Las Vegas – but recent renovations have made it a modern, contemporary design classic. The Egyptian-themed hotel features an obelisk that measures 144 feet in height, as well as a replica of the Great Sphinx of Giza that reaches 110 feet into the air. The guest rooms are arranged around the walls of the pyramid, surrounding the world’s largest open atrium. If you are at the Luxor at night, make sure to check out the Luxor Sky Beam – the beam of light is so strong that it is visible to aircraft up to 275 miles away in Los Angeles.
See the romantic canals of Venice at the Venetian
Head back up the Strip past the MGM Grand, and you will see The Venetian on the right. This is designed – as far as this is possible – to mirror the opulence of the original, including having replicas of famous Venetian landmarks such as the Piazetta Di San Marco, St. Mark’s Campanile, the Rialto Bridge and the Palazzo Ducale. Take a ride on the authentic gondolas that glide gracefully down the Grand Canal or stroll around inside and watch the Doges mixed with the guests.
Explore the glamor of Lake Como at the Bellagio
[Read about the real Lake Como in our travel article “A Holiday Break to the Italian Lakes“]
If you cross over the Strip and walk back down the way you came, you will soon see the Bellagio coming into view. This is one of the grandest hotels on the Strip, and is inspired by the town of Bellagio, which lies on the banks of Lake Como. The experience starts before you ever come into the hotel itself – there is an 8-acre lake in front of the hotel, with the spectacular Fountains of Bellagio dancing in the middle. Enter into the resort, and marvel at the Fiori Di Como, a field of hand-blown glass flowers that covers the lobby ceiling. It is also worthwhile paying a visit to the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art – which features artwork that is on loan from various private collections and museums around the globe.
Continue further down, and you will come to two more travel-themed destinations. First there is the Monte Carlo, which replicates the elegance of the original, and then there is New York, New York. The latter is recognizable from its replica of the New York skyline as it was in the 1940s – which conceals a roller coaster – as well as the replica of the Statue of Liberty that stands outside.