Best Casinos On The Las Vegas Strip

January 24, 2011 12:30 PM

Viva Las Vegas! Gone are the days of classifying Vegas as merely a gambling destination — it’s a royal flush of world-class everything. When considering which casino to book for your next Vegas experience, keep in mind you’re really selecting a behemoth mega-resort designed for you to never leave the property. That is, your better establishments have enough spectacle to cover most every regimen you would do at home (gym, spa and salon), plus every whimsical indulgence you leave home for in the first place (show extravaganzas, trendy nightclubs, boutique lounges, tony eateries, Rodeo Drive-style shopping and, yes, gambling). Don’t be bashful about having the concierge sign you up for a one-hour gambling course. Las Vegas is home to some of the finest casino resorts (check out for more options); here are some of the more unique offerings. — Marco Medrano

Aria Resort & Casino

3730 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89158
(866) 359-7757

Aria Resort and Casino is the newest giant on the Strip and centered around CityCenter, Las Vegas’ answer to Gotham. Magnificent in design and size, this gorgeous property has the benefit of hosting some of the latest modern features that are not only visually stunning, but also include AAA Five Diamond ratings and LEEDョ Gold Certification (for you green aficionados). Aria is home to Cirque du Soleil’s “Viva ELVIS” show, and for shopaholics, one of the most elite retail experiences, Crystals, is a promenade away.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

4455 Paradise Road
Las Vegas, NV 89169
(702) 693-5000
(800) HRD-ROCK (693-7625)

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas is not only pure adult fun, it’s a trip down memory lane for many boomers. Celebrity-infused and visually exciting, eclectic and colorful, this resort has ramped up its boutique-chic factor, and even moguls and Hollywood superstars feel comfortable here. The Joint has a long-standing reputation for hosting some of the hottest and most relevant musicians anywhere, delivering a great seat from any angle and amazing sound quality in its intimate (4,000 capacity) setting. Hard Rock’s public spaces are peppered with rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia and also include some of the hottest club venues in America.

Caesar’s Palace

3570 Las Vegas Boulevard
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(866) 227-5938

Caesar’s Palace is the epitome of a grand casino resort. It is not only one of the originals, but one of the finest, living up to not resting on one’s laurels. With the Colosseum being show home to the incomparable Cher and set to embrace the return of Celine Dion, you can’t beat Caesar’s for sheer spectacle. Qua Spa and Roman Baths are beyond anything you will experience, while COLOR Salon indulges at Beverly Hills’ standards. The Forum Shops is a city of couture unto itself, stocked with many one-of-a-kind retailers and heavily patronized by local high-brow shoppers.The Cosmo

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 698-7000
(877) 551-7778

Slick elegance meets playful sophistication. Absolutely every venue we demand is here, with an upscale twist. Even the closets have festive art. Sample famed STK, Scarpetta or The Henry for amazing cuisine, or just celebrate life as a guest of the famed Tao Group for a you’ll-never-forget nightclub experience. Don’t want to party but still make a grand entrance? Cosmopolitan’s unique bars and lounges, Vesper Bar, The Chandelier or BOND promise to deliver. Sahra Spa and Hammam? Worth the trip.

MGM Grand Hotel & Casino

3799 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 891-1111

The granddddy of epic casinos, MGM Grand is just bursting at the seams with top-notch everything in all categories — gaming, resort, pools, spa, nightclubs, dayclubs, ultra lounges and celebrity chef signature restaurants. SKYLOFTS offer an even grander hotel cloud within the MGM Grand, while the MGM Grand Garden Arena hosts some of the biggest global names in show business. FIAMMA, Craftsteak and Joel Robuchon/L’ATALIER restaurants, along with post-dining Studio 54 nightclub and TABU Ultra Lounge, are destinations on their own.