Elegant seating area in Wynn Las Vegas
Come to think of it, selecting just seven hotels from all that Vegas has to offer is a daunting task, to be sure. But thinking of which ones we’d like to see again, these really are our top sites to see in terms of interesting architecture, artful interior decor, and unique features. But they’re also the best based simply on how they appeal to us.
If you missed Part One of this blog (Seven swanky lobbies to see: Vegas hotels), click here. (We had to separate the posts since there are so many pictures.) We hope you enjoyed the four hotels in Part One. And now, to finish the seven, our top three places to go lobbying!
Our third favorite: The Venetian
3355 Las Vegas Boulevard South; 702.414.1000; http://www.venetian.com
The towering structures surrounding the Grand Canal invite you to leave The Strip and come to Italy.
The Venetian had us — and we weren’t even inside. With exacting details like the recreation of the Rialto Bridge and the Grand Canal, we were hooked on the Venetian experience. When we went inside, however, we were struck by the beauty of the ornately painted ceilings and marble floors of the elegant interiors. The Venetian really is a don’t-miss place in Vegas.
It’s Venice replicated: from fountains, balconies, and lightposts to the Rialto Bridge!
Ceilings in The Venetian.
To say the least, the hotel is an amalgamation of luxurious accommodations and fascinating details in the architecture and artful design. Running through the complex is the canal surrounded by shops made famous for high-quality goods like Italian glass and haute couture, as well as inviting waterside restaurants. Painted ceilings are delightfully deceiving — the whole place feels like a European shopping plaza or a side street in Venice.
But there’s also a lot going on. At Christmas, we applauded traveling performers. On a more recent visit, we smiled as we watched people mistake this mime for a statue (surprise!) and then ask to take pictures to email back home. (Were you fooled a bit, too, when you saw the picture above?)
Of course, you might not want to miss one of the most popular activities of all — a gondola ride navigated by a singing boatman. You’re in Venice, right? Or is this just Vegas? Whatever or wherever – it’s fun.
The Venetian will host Carnevale 2013 from May 27 to September 8, a celebration of music, food, and culture. Wouldn’t you just love to be there? (Click here for more info.)
Coming in second: Wynn Las Vegas
3131 Las Vegas Boulevard South; 702.770.7000; http://www.wynnlasvegas.com)
Taking its cue from the shimmering copper and gold exterior, Wynn Las Vegas offers an elegant interior of warm browns paired with reds and ivories. Rich chocolate-colored walls greet you whether you enter from the front door or the free parking area between Wynn and Encore. You know you’re in a luxury hotel, but one that offers something for everyone.
We love the mosaic floors of stylized flowers that add color but keep the hotel fresh and new, not stuffy.
Even the areas reserved for serious poker players (right past Ferrari Store!!) carry out the richness of the brown interior and lead you into the casino area and its signature floral carpet.
Delighting most visitors are the two tree-lined walkways featuring tiny white lights and real-flower spheres that change with the seasons.
The Wynn offers unique dining, too. According to the web site, ”Wynn and Encore have more Forbes Four Star award-winning restaurants than any other resort in North America.”
We love coming down the escalator into Parasol just for the sheer joy of all that color. Then we head out to Lake Side to watch the free hourly show on the water and sit in one of the comfy banquettes. But, upon your request, you can dine even more privately in a tented alcove at Bartolotta’s. Ahhh, for those quiet moments in Vegas.
Entering Parasol on the way to Lake Side.
Dining beside the lake at Bartolotta’s.
To our delight, however, Wynn Las Vegas is a mixture of luxury AND affordability. During March Madness, bets came in hot and heavy at Wynn’s Race and Sports Book (You can always stand in the back free!), and we dined affordably at Zoozacrackers Deli while watching the fashion show go by!
Lining up to cash out are these now-calm participants at the Wynn Las Vegas Race and Sports Book.
Best of all, we enjoyed Le Rêve — The Dream, a Cirque du Soleil spectacular performed in, on, and over water. (Click here for ticket information.)
Although pictures aren’t allowed during the performance, we could snap this one at the end: enormous lighted flowers hovering over the circle of water.
Our favorite hotel lobby in Vegas: The Bellagio
3600 Las Vegas Boulevard South; 888.987.6667; http://www.bellagio.com
Walking through the lobby of The Bellagio is one treat we give ourselves each time we’re in Vegas. It’s just that nice — and always changing. You can stand outside the hotel and enjoy the fountains during the day and every fifteen minutes during the evening hours. As a side benefit, you can also hear several languages as people from all over the world share their love of the dancing waters and familiar music.
But the lobby, too, is overwhelmingly beautiful. Our favorite part is the ceiling sculpture of over 2,000 hand-blown flowers by glass artist Dale Chihuly. We just stand in awe — and then we have to take pictures!
There’s even Chihuly at Bellagio, a place where one-of-a-kind art is for sale to grace your home or office. (But if you’re like us, you can take really, really close looks for free!)
I’ve written before about The Bellagio as I’ve been to Vegas for work since October 2013. (See below for links to those posts.) And I have to admit, next to the Chihuly sculptures, it’s the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens that beckon me to return each time. These exciting, masterful exhibits change with the seasons, and each one has brought forth new designs and creative ways to incorporate fresh flowers into the sets. Technology, too, plays a large role in involving guests: From winding miniature trains at Christmas to the “Pupa Emergence Display” this spring, the Conservatory always offers something of interest for young and old.
The current installation, a tribute to Andy Warhol, is delightful: Dutch shoes, a house-size windmill, white-flower swans, hundreds of forced bulbs, and a miniature greenhouse where butterflies come to life — literally. (The 2013 Spring Celebration ends May 11th.)
Life-size greenhouse in center of Bellagio’s Conservatory
So, if you think Las Vegas is all casinos and cheesy wedding sites, think again.
Vegas hotels live large — beautiful surroundings, graceful interiors, and something for everyone to enjoy. Come see for yourself.
Click here to read Bellagio Conservatory and Gardens celebrate Chinese New Year in style!
Click here to read Picture Perfect: Christmas 2012 at Bellagio
Click here to read Fabulous Fall at Bellagio: It’s Vegas, Baby!
P. S. Would love to hear about your favorite hotels in Vegas. Leave us a comment!