THEhotel at Mandalay Bay
If James Bond were staying on the Strip, something tells us he’d book a suite here. Elaborate wet bars, giant 42-inch plasma TVs, plush carpeting, dark wooden desks, floor-to-ceiling windows, mirrored wardrobes at the foot of the most comfortable beds we’ve ever tried, and even a bowl of fake cherries on the coffee tables all add up to the perfect bachelor pad. The property is connected to the rest of Mandalay Bay but also has its own lobby and check-in, stellar full-service spa and fitness center, swank coffee bar, lounge, and 24-hour restaurant. It’s all high end, but rates are competitive with other leading hotels. Be sure to ask for a room above the fifth floor; otherwise, those floor-to-ceiling windows will be wasted on views of the rooftop ventilation system.
Caesars was one of the first properties in town to create rooms so lavish that guests might actually want to spend time in them; although plenty of competitors have sprung up over the years, this expansive property with a kitschy yet sumptuous Roman theme has continued to expand and upgrade. For typically $30 to $50 more per night, you can book a Spa Deluxe Room, which has marble-and-brass bathrooms with oversize whirlpool tubs. A variety of fancier and more expensive suites are also offered, some with parlors, wet bars, and marble rotunda entryways. The expansive and opulent Augustus tower added nearly 1,000 suites in 2005, all with soaring 9-foot ceilings and a minimum of 650 square feet of space. On the tower’s second floor, famed French chef Guy Savoy opened his first restaurant outside Paris. All rooms throughout the property have high-speed Internet access. The lavish Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis — a complex of Roman-style gardens, baths, and fitness areas anchored by the Neptune lap pool — is one of the better pool spots in town.
Bellagio Las Vegas
Opened in 1998 as the city’s premier luxury resort, Bellagio remains a top getaway despite the considerable competition from upscale properties. It’s still impressive more for its refined elegance than for gimmicks. With one of the highest staff-to-guest ratios in town, service is visibly more solicitous service than you might expect at such an enormous property. Because this is an adult-oriented resort, few of its amenities are geared toward kids. If it’s pampering you’re after, stay in the Spa Tower, which has impressive rooms and suites as well as an expanded full-service spa and salon. The selection of restaurants is arguably the best on the Strip.
Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas
The Mediterranean-style Ritz is all about rest, playing outdoors, and wandering around the MonteLago Village retail center. Large rooms soothe with soft gold, honey, and cream tones and huge, cushy pillows and Frette linens atop feather beds. Plush slippers and robes are provided in the bathrooms. Club Level rooms and suites bump it up a notch with a location on the Pontevecchio, which spans Lake Las Vegas.