Las Vegas: Top Attractions
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The grand dame of Las Vegas resorts, the Bellagio dazzles the senses and transports the visitor to a lakeside Italian village without leaving the Strip. No expense was spared on this opulent, elegant haunt. Graceful Tuscan architecture, a blue-green lake bedecked with dancing fountains, a world-class art gallery, top-notch restaurants, and a shi-shi shopping concourse comprise just the tip of the luxurious iceberg. The casino's crown jewel is its soaring 18-foot ceiling adorned with a sculpture made from 2,000 hand-blown flowers in brilliant colors, a sight fit for a king.
Italy's most romantic city inspired this grand casino, and even in a city jammed full of eye-catching architecture, the Venetian manages to stand out. Experience Venetian magic while drifting lazily down the Grand Canal on a private gondola, the highlight of a visit. Then wander through vibrant piazzas and cobbled walkways, under hand-painted ceiling frescos and past full-scale reproductions of Venetian landmarks to experience a little Italia in South Nevada.
Filled with high ceilings, loads of marble, and a vast aquarium, there's an air of real class about this luxe place. The multi-level Shark Reef aquarium complex, home to thousands of marine species, is one of M-Bay's highlights. Another is the 11-acre pool complex. In summer hard-body surfers compete on six-foot waves at the sand-and-surf beach, decadent debutants sip frosty drinks in cabanas at the clothing-optional Moorea Beach Club, and children giggle with glee as they float down the lazy river.
Palms Resort Casino
This swanky joint is a celeb favorite, attracting the likes of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. And you can act like one by reserving the 2,900-square-foot Real World Suite (from $7,500), where the gang lived while shooting the popular MTV reality show. Hip to the max, the Palms' lounges and clubs are some of the town's hottest tickets. They're so hot that Britney Spears once gave an impromptu concert while partying at one.
Promoted as "another side of Cirque du Soleil," Zumanity is the hottest ticket in town and offers the exotic connoisseur an erotic headrush. Like other Cirque du Soleil shows, Zumanity exudes pulsating electricity and contorted acrobatics, but takes the risqué to another level entirely. More than slightly naughty and altogether romantically edgy, the show offers the excitement of a classy strip club minus the raunchy stigma.
Zumanity: 702.740.6815, www.nynyhotelcasino.com/pages/ent.asp
Caesars Palace's imaginative re-creation of an ancient Roman marketplace plays host to 150 designer shops, serving the discriminating shopper the crème de la crème. Under a cerulean blue sky and amid Greco-Roman sculptures, the hottest designers display their hottest wares. Drop a thousand Benjamins on a fabulous Fendi, run a manicured hand over the new Dior. Look for everything from Armani and Escada to Louis Vuitton and Chanel.
Forum Shops: 702.893.4800, www.caesars.com/Caesars/LasVegas/Shopping/TheForumShops
Fred Leighton Rare Collectible Jewels
Unlike its snobby New York City branch, Vegas' Fred Leighton will let almost anyone try on jewels that once graced the skin of royalty. Catering to the rich and famous, the shop boasts the world's most prestigious collection of antique jewelry. If money's no object, you can pick up a vintage 18-carat Tiffany cigarette case bedecked with gold playing cards or a diamond bracelet that spells out "jackpot."
Fred Leighton Rare Collectible Jewels: 702.693.7050, www.fredleighton.com
Dress to kill at the Palms' 55th floor watering hole and sip swanky cocktails amid dramatic 360-degree panoramas and funky sci-fi decor. The hottest of hot spots, Ghost Bar attracts celebs and fashionistas alike, and is the place to show off your latest bling. DJs spin the latest grooves while you peer through an acrylic floor that looks down onto the skin pool lounge 55 stories below, or take in breathtaking Strip views from the glam "ghostdeck."
Ghost Bar: 702.942.7777, www.palms.com
Helicopters Tours of the Grand Canyon
Why bother driving when you can greet the grandest canyon in America on a quick helicopter jaunt from Vegas. Papillon offers four-hour trips to the Grand Canyon, descending 4,000 feet into its depths, and include a picnic on the banks of the Colorado River. Papillon also offers a Neon Nights jetcopter tour over Sin City, complete with dinner, for a fun night out.
Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters: 702.736.7243, www.papillon.com
The Spa at Four Seasons
One of Las Vegas' most luxurious spas exudes a peaceful elegance and offers JAMU Asian spa and massage rituals (combining Hindu, Chinese, and European techniques). Treatments take place in ornate Asian-inspired rooms and feature exotic ingredients. Try the Bali Spice Ritual, which begins with a 60-minute JAMU massage and concludes with a body mask made from clove, ginger, and other Asian spices believed to increase circulation and relieve pain.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication