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Las Vegas pt 1.

I've been to Vegas a few times now and have seen through the gambling facade and prefer to visit the city for the shows, food and entertainment that can also be found here. When deciding which hotel to go for this time I took part in an offer (some might say stupid punt) where you don't know which hotel you're going to get until you've paid but are guaranteed a reduced rate when you do. As it happens this gamble paid off and I got one of the newer hotels, the Aria in the City Center complex.

Last time I stayed in Vegas I stayed in Bellagio, and next door to that construction was underway on City Center. It was great to stay in the Aria which was an amazing hotel with great views and geeky gimmicks like having everything operated from a touch screen next to the bed. They had a great welcoming trick in having he curtains automatically slide open as you enter for the first time showing the amazing view.

February is Chinese New Year month and the Chinese are very big gamblers so the hotels had all made quite an effort with their Chinese theming. This was the first time I'd been to the US in February and I was already liking the temperature here. On previous occasions I'd been welcomed to temperatures in excess of 100 degrees and was spending my time running between air-conditioned hotels. 

The City Centre Complex consists of the Aria, Cosmpolitan and Mandarin hotels, the Veer tower residential complex, Crystals shopping mall, and the Vdara hotel and Spa complex. Quite a major feat of construction that has to be set back a little way from the strip to make it all fit in.

Neon Neon everywhere. 

The Excalibur Hotel. The MGM chain owns most of the hotels at the southern end of the strip.

New York New York. They'd drained the water from the theming since my last visit sighting drought awareness as the reason. I guess there must have been a hosepipe ban in Nevada or something. 

There's a second statue inside the hotel, this one is made of jellybeans.

I found myself in Planet Hollywood more than any of the other places. It's shopping mall, Miracle Mile is more in my price range than most of the others that are all designer shops. The gambling tables also feature table top dancers, although they looked tired most of the time and were just going through the motions.

O at the Bellagio is an amazing Cirque show. I won't be seeing it this time around as I have plenty of others to see. 

One of the many bars in the area, with hawkers trying to get you in. Around this one there were also a number of smartly dressed men and hot dressed women trying to get you go to a nearby strip joint for free, with free drinks...which means you'd have to buy someone else a drink and be clipped to do so.

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