Las Vegas – I had seen it in films & TV series yet I was in no way prepared for what to expect! They call it Sin City, the place where everything is possible and you have the time of your life. But when I sat in the car from the airport to the hotel I was overcome by a very strange and all-consuming feeling that I couldn’t place. I could see hotels, each one bigger, better and more elaborate than the previous. Masses of people on the sidewalks hungry for entertainment. I was overwhelmed.
Once I entered the hotel room, the huge window revealed the city right in front of me and in the distance I could just about make out the beginning of the desert! I struggled to take it all in. I had just arrived in this man made paradise that promised to make dreams come true and I wanted to be excited about it, I really did. Yet all I could think is how greedy we are. Without the continuous greed this place wouldn’t have blossomed like it has over the past decades. It took a few hours to adjust. I wanted to make the most out of my time in Vegas and just experience it for what it is.
I stayed in the Flamingo hotel, which is well known not only for its central location on the strip, but because it was the first hotel on the strip. It’s a fairly large complex and like in every hotel on the strip you can find a casino, various restaurants, bars and shops inside. The décor in some parts is a little out-dated, which is why many of the floors are currently in the process of being refurbished. When you step outside into the pool area you greeted by real flamingos in a tropical setting. The hotel offers a family pool for those that travel with kids, although I really don’t think Las Vegas is the ideal destination for families with young children.
My favourite hotel is the Bellagio. The impressive eight acre artificial lake at the front of the hotel turns into a spectacular water show accompanied by music and light every 15 to 30 minutes. The Bellagio is based on the beauty and luxury of Italy’s Lake District. Inside the hotel lobby left me stunned with admiration and amazement at the 2000 hand-blown glass flowers that are hanging on the ceiling.
Follow the signs to the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens of the hotel.
The gardens are a beautiful arrangement of flowers, fountains and even a miniature Mount Fuji in the midst of all the colourful blossoms.
This part of the Bellagio was heavily crowded, so blend out the masses and make your way past the crowd to see the carefully positioned seasonal displays of flowers.
If you like the Italian theme of the Bellagio, make sure to check out the Venetian which is just a little further up the strip. Wander past the canals to watch the gondolas go past.
You can hear the opera-like voices of the gondoliers from a distance and while some of the guests might find it a little awkward to be sang to in front of a crowd, it certainly is enjoyable as an observer! Don’t miss out on the delicious Italian-style gelato at the Piazza San Marco.
Day or night – in Vegas you never run out of entertainment options. But if like me, you enjoy sitting outside to relax and listen to music with a glass of wine in the evenings, the Linq might just be your kind of place. The Linq connects the main strip to the Highroller, which is the world’s largest observation wheel and a popular tourist attraction in Las Vegas. The atmosphere here is a little different to the rest of Vegas. Besides the Polaroid Museum & Fotobar, you can also find some pretty cool live music venues around here. Grab yourself some tickets for an Indie or Electro music gig at the Brooklyn Bowl or dance to some classic Evergreens mashed up together into a catchy piano medley at the BLVD Cocktail Company! Honestly, dancing the night away under the Las Vegas sky at a gig of the locally based Cornwall Project was the best time I had in the city!