Part 3: Vegas

To continue the discussion of my recent trip to Vegas, I’m going to continue talking about the various hotels. If you have never been to Vegas, the hotels are the central experience. Each hotel has its own feel and version of spectacle. They’re kinda ridiculous and fun. The next three hotels that I’ll talk about are Paris, Caesar’s Palace, and the Venetian.

The first hotel was Paris that has a French theme. It has a small Eiffel tower and a giant hot air balloon (not a real one) outside. You can take an elevator up the Eiffel tower but I’ve never done it (it’s a bit pricey). I also think there is a night club on the second level of the Eiffel Tower. It was hoping with lights and whatnot on Friday night. The hotel is neat inside. It’s a bit older than other hotels so it’s not quite as sleek as the others. But it’s still a nice place to visit. Inside, the legs of the Eiffel tower appear to come through the casino. The general feel of the casino area is a French park. In the past, the bathrooms had overhead language instructions to say racy things in French, like “Will you come up in my room?” I didn’t hear it this time but I was there at a busy, nosy time.

There’s a nice café with decent pastries (both savory and sweet). And there are dancing girls in two pieces. Now, you might find it odd that I am focusing on the dancing girls since dancing girls and Vegas seem synonymous. But they were new to me on this trip. I’ve been to Vegas three times before, and I’ve been to Paris each time. But I don’t recall any dancing girls at all. So either I missed them before or something has changed. There is also Napoleon’s, a dueling piano bar. I’ve never been but it seems like it could be a lot of fun. The entrance has a wonderfully ornate plaque.

Paris and Planet Hollywood
Paris and Planet Hollywood

Then there is Caesar’s Palace. From the title, you can guess that it is Roman themed. And it does feel imperial; it sprawls over an immense area of land. It seems like it is the largest of the hotels in terms of space but I’m not sure if that is true. The casino area goes on and on. And then there is the attached mall, appropriately called “the Forum.” I think I spent a fair amount of time based on the many options for food.

Throughout the grounds, there are giant Roman statues of G-ds and many large breasted women. There are several magnificent fountains; many were replicas of fountains in Rome like the famous Trevi fountain. Overhead, there are wonderfully painted ceilings. One of the mall areas has these incredible slow moving curved escalators. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

Forum
Forum

In the Forum, it’s filled with a mix of fancy and mid-level shops. The ceiling is painted like the sky. At one end on the hour, there is a living statue show involving automatons. The show talks about the destruction of Atlantis, but it takes many liberties with the story. It’s a bit cheesy; the automatons are bit jerky and limited in motions. But there are lights and a fire sword. FIRE SWORD. It’s not a bad thing to see if you happen to be in the area. There is also a giant fish tank in the same area too.

In the casino area, there are three interesting bars. One is the seahorse bar with a giant tank filled with seahorses. Another bar that looked cool was Cleopatra’s bar. There is a “replica” of the barge in water. Sadly, it was not open when we were there but it looked delightfully cheese. As for the dancing girls, there was the Shadow bar or lounge. You can see woman dancing in shadow. Oh Vegas.

My favorite theme hotel is the Venetian. The theme is evident from the title. I’ve stayed there twice. The façade of the hotel is a recreation of St. Mark’s Square with the bell tower and a canal or two. The inside shopping area reminds me of a cleaner version of Venice. There is an actual canal that runs through the heart of the mall. (But the water is chlorinated and not stinky like Venice. Did I mention I love Venice?) You can even hire a singing gondolier to take you up and down it. I remember as a child coming up with a drawing of a restaurant that had this as a concept. It’s nice to see it actually being played out. All around the canal are shops, just like parts of Venice. Like the Forum, the ceiling is painted like the sky. The mall is also a bit labyrinthine like actual Venice. The main plaza has a space for performers. During the summer, you may be able to find opera singers or other musicians. When I was there, there was a trio of musicians playing Italian and Mexican classics. It was quite wonderful. Also, the security guards are dressed like Italian police officers, which is a nice touch.

The Venetian
The Venetian

That’s all for now!

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