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We flew Norwegian Airlines on the new Dreamliner direct service from Gatwick South Terminal. Crew were lovely and legroom reasonable for a low cost carrier. They have a very high tech system for ordering your earphones, blankets and drinks/snacks via your onboard tv. You simply set up a tab using a card then order as you please, they do switch the bar ‘off’ when they are serving meals but otherwise this service works very well.
As you can see the strip when you land, an arrival in Vegas is always exciting, the runway is literally at the southern end of this iconic road. After a very speedy and unexpected efficient immigration we were through to arrivals in not time, the airport is very easy to navigate and not too big.
First stop and home for our first two night – The Encore – what a lovely hotel, situated towards the top end of the strip and sister property to the Wynn. With floor to ceiling windows the hotel has amazing views.
Second half of the trip was spent at the very modern Cosmopolitan Hotel, a very trendy hotel at the other end of the strip in a fab location. This is the only hotel in Vegas with balconies, due to the fact it was built as a condominium and then the builders ran out of money, rather than the building be left unused special authority was given for a one off hotel with balconies. No other hotel even has a window you can open so if fresh air is your thing you need to stay at this hotel.
We visit most of the hotels on the strip including New York New York, Caesars Palace, The Bellagio, Nobu, Planet Hollywood, Aria, The Venetian, Palazzo, The Paris and a few with something different to offer including The Cromwell – the strips only boutique hotel with just 188 rooms and also the Vdara – a non-gaming hotel which also means it’s completely non-smoking and quieter than other properties.
To me though, it’s all about location, the strip is 3 and half miles long and to walk from The Encore to The Cosmopolitan would take you about 40 minutes. The other big change since my last visit was the area by The Linq hotel (formerly The Imperial Palace) the hotel is right opposite Caesars Palace and they have an area of open air restaurants, shops and bars playing live music which makes for a really nice atmosphere.
Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world – with something for everyone, our group experienced a whole range of activities including;
* Helicopter ride over the strip at night
* Pool party at The Marquee Day Club
* Le Reve Cirque du Soleil show
* A trip to The Little White Chapel
* High Roller, at 550ft high it the Worlds tallest observation wheel
* Breakfast at the Bellagio and watching the dancing fountains
* Vegas Rockstar VIP nightclub tour
* Shopping at the Premium Outlet Mall, Fashion Show Mall and the Miracle Mile
* and of course a gondola ride at The Venetian
It is also still true that when you gamble you do get complimentary drinks the trick is to make sure you don’t gamble more than paying for the drinks in the first place!!