Tour the Las Vegas Strip




Tropicana

3801 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
Phone 1-888-826-TROP (8767)

Tropicana is one of the old original (built in 1957, just 11 years after the Flamingo) strip megaresorts and is considered a mid-level to budget property. Tropicana has a tropical theme similar to Mandalay Bay. Tropicana was the first casino to offer "swim up" blackjack tables with currency dryers. While playing blackjack while lounging in the pool may sound unusual, the idea appears to be based on the concept of combining two forms of entertainment. The Tropicana's owners, Tropicana Entertainment, announced in November 2006 that they intended to renovate the existing property (instead of imploding or demolishing it) and add four more room towers. Their intended completion date of 2010 was put on hold, however, and Tropicana Entertainment filed bankruptcy in May 2009. They now have a new business partner, Onex Corporation, who will take control of the Las Vegas Tropicana.





Excalibur
3850 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas, NV 89109.
Phone 702-597-7279

Excalibur resembles the Disney Magic Castle. The theme is medieval (brave knights, dragons & fair maidens) but it's a family-oriented property. Like Circus Circus, you can expect to find kids running around and tired babies sleeping in their strollers being wheeled across the casino floor. There are some carnival midway games and a video arcade on the second level. The buffet is usually crowded and has a long line, but this is normally true for all properties on the strip. One thing I find annoying about Las Vegas buffets is they won't let you get your own beverages. Which I think is a strategy designed to encourage tipping... but I would pay extra if I could get my own drinks. The desert makes me very thirsty. Excalibur is a budget property and along with Tropicana and Luxor will normally offer the lowest rates in the mid / south strip area. (The north strip area budget properties are Circus Circus and Stratosphere.)








New York, New York

3790 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas Nevada 89109
1-800-NY-FOR-ME

A downsized reproduction of the Statue of Liberty and some miniature skyscrapers welcome you outside. Inside, it doesn't look much like New York except for an area of shops near the guest room elevators. I guess it's difficult to fully incorporate casino games into a theme (back alley craps tables, cardboard box street hustler three card monte, etc.); or maybe there is some kind of legal issue which prevents it. NY NY is a mid level property. The casino is large and dimly lit with a nice overall atmosphere. They also have a roller coaster.





MGM Grand
3799 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas Nevada 89109.
877-880-0880

MGM Grand glows emerald green like the City of Oz at night. MGM also has one of the best photo taking spots in the city. Go up to the roof (seventh floor) of their parking garage on a clear night with your camera and a tripod. The casino is HUGE, one of the few casinos where you can truly get lost looking for a way out. One of the casino themes is "Hollywood"; with movie posters and references to film stars. I've been in the MGM many times and usually find it relaxing, as the huge size offers a quieter atmosphere than most casinos. This is a mid-level to upscale property depending on which room type you choose... from the $100 "west wing" and "grand" rooms, to the $600 Skyline Marquee suite (rates will vary wildly with time of year, however, and day of the week. Friday & Saturday nights are always the most expensive of the week.)





      

Showcase Mall is in between MGM Grand and Planet Hollywood. Showcase Mall includes a multiplex cinema, M&M World, the Coke museum, a food court on the second level, and 24 hour Internet terminals. Showcase Mall appears to be the ONLY strip property that charges for parking.



Vector graphic of the Welcome to Las Vegas sign in vivid neon colors






Planet Hollywood
3667 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, NV 89109
702-785-5555

Formerly the Aladdin; the property was demolished and rebuilt in 2002 but retained the Aladdin name and theme. It was remodeled again in 2007 and is now Planet Hollywood, which was "a Sheraton resort" for about 5 years and is now another Harrah's / Caesars Entertainment property. This is a mid-level property. We stayed here in December 2003 and were pleasantly surprised; it was nicer than we expected it to be. We visited Planet Hollywood in December 2008, it's now like a futuristic science fiction party. Planet Hollywood has the Miracle Mile shops, which is mall similar to Caesars Forum Shops and Fashion Show Mall.

   

Bally's
3645 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas NV 89109
1-800-7-BALLYS

Bally's is in between the Paris and Flamingo. Bally's was extremely photogenic at night with its colorful lettering and neon rings around the pedestrian conveyor belt that leads to the casino. When we visited in December 2014, we were very disappointed to see that the neon rings and conveyor belt were gone; being replaced by "World Market." It seems like the casino was an afterthought; very small and laid out in a rectangle. At least you won't get lost. Bally's is a mid-level to budget property and was formerly the MGM Grand. In 1974 it was actually the largest hotel in the world. "Honeymoon in Vegas" was partially filmed here in the casino and one of the expensive suites. We stayed at Bally's in March 2005, the room was bigger than average and we have no complaints about this property. Bally's and Luxor are two of the best choices for singles or couples looking for a low priced property on the strip. If you're traveling with kids under age 12 then you might prefer Excalibur or Circus Circus. Here's what the front of Bally's looked like in December 2014:









Paris
3655 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
877-796-2096

with its big balloon and miniature Eiffel Tower and Arch de Triomphe reproductions is in between Planet Hollywood and Bally's. The cocktail waitresses here used to enjoy posing for photos (this is now uncertain as there have been two changes in ownership since I last shot photos there) and have cute Gendarme (French police) themed outfits. (Take a look at our cocktail waitress page.) The theme is, of course, based on Paris, France. The casino feels a bit antiseptic and sterile, but is pleasant and just about the ideal size for a casino. Paris also includes a fairly long corridor modeled after an 1800's era Paris street, with small shops and bistros. The corridor connects Paris with Bally's. Paris is an upper mid-level property. It's very relaxing to sit at their casino bar in the early morning and drink coffee while watching the all-night gamblers finishing up. We were guests at Paris in August 2007 and enjoyed it very much. One of the main reasons we enjoyed our stay so much was that we had requested a "quiet room" when we booked online, and we were given a room on the 33rd floor in a hallway that appeared to have no other occupants. Such a high level of peacefulness is rare in any hotel. Like the old Aladdin, Paris exceeded our expectations.





Monte Carlo
3770 S. Las Vegas Blvd. Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
888-529-4828

We chose to stay here in March 2003 based on a low price of $59 per night for what looks like an upscale property. It's kind of a baby Bellagio. It has a similar atmosphere without the extreme opulence and frills. It's named and modeled somewhat after the famous Monte Carlo casino in Europe. We think of it as understated elegance... although the rooms are small and somewhat dull and plain. Everything about it is simple and to the point; clean and appealing in a "suit and tie" kind of way. It's a good choice if you want to avoid the frantic pace and noisy atmosphere of most Las Vegas casinos. Monte Carlo had a small fire in late 2007, nobody was injured.





Polo Towers, a "timeshare resort" which sells timeshares (which means you own the rights to reside in one of the units for a certain length of time per year) and is often confused with the Jockey Club. Click the link to their web site for more information, we've never been inside Polo Towers.



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