The Vegas effect

Jul 06 2014, 15:26 IST
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SummaryLas Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world and there’s no better place than it to escape into pure fantasy

minutes in the evenings and also every hour on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The huge range of nightclubs are spread right across the wider metropolis, too, so you really have a huge range to choose from. Every casino is designed on a theme, so there’s Caesars Palace with its hedonistic Roman theme; Paris, shaped like the Eiffel Tower; Luxor, a pyramid structure; Circus Circus with acrobats and other acts overhead; the Venetian, modelled on Venice; and Mandalay Bay, with a beach-side theme and a special Michael Jackson tribute show. These are mega-hotel/casino complexes decorated with lavish care and attention to detail, and designed to create a fantasy-like environment. Downtown is where all the action is, starting with the ‘Fremont Street Experience’, a pedestrian mall lined with casinos, near the western end of Fremont Street. A couple miles south of downtown starts the ‘Strip’, lined with casino-hotels, shopping malls and other attractions like the world’s biggest Ferris wheel. The northern end of the Strip is marked by the tall Stratosphere tower. In most cases, hotels are connected to each other either by a bridge or underground or in the case of Excalibur, Luxor and Mandalay Bay, by a complimentary rail shuttle.

There’s more, including restaurants that have Michelin-starred chefs, from Gordon Ramsey to Nobu, Wolfgang Puck and Joel Robuchon. In fact, Vegas is home to more acclaimed celebrity chefs and Michelin star-winners than anywhere else, but also full of delicious comfort food to suit every palate. With close to 40 million annual visitors, Las Vegas is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations and its clientele is amazingly diverse and from every corner of the globe. The cuisine it offers represents this, with everything from kaiseki to tapas, Hawaiian specialities to Brazilian barbecue, rare Florida stone crabs to fish and chips and Indian curries and even dosas. Carnivorous Vegas is awash in steakhouses, with the best selection in the world—and at every price point—while it also has an amazing array of fine French dining, with the most famous Parisian masters represented here. Then there is Las Vegas’ own homegrown speciality, the all-you-can-eat buffet, offered here in more iterations and staggering variety than anywhere else.

Then there are shopping centres for those in need of retail therapy and other tourist spots nearby, including the Grand Canyon, one of the most popular tourist attractions in America. There are regular bus services from

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