What can you say about this place? It is larger than life and the capitol of glitter. Every new hotel competes to be the biggest, finest and most extensively themed establishment on the Strip. They most often end up being ridiculous.
|Not Lego land, the Excalibur Hotel|
Click to enlarge all pictures
|Some wild architecture|
|A typical casino|
|These trucks were driving up and down all day and night|
The glories of Rome and ancient Egypt, took the combined wealth of their entire nations to build their emperor’s and pharaoh’s palaces and temples, whilst in Las Vegas, a property developer can come along and build a complete imitation of their works on a whim and the speculation of making even more money from the resulting work.
|The glory that was Rome, duplicated in Vegas at wholesale|
|The rear of the Luxor with one of the two towers|
|The balcony outside our room|
|Looking over the balcony you can see all the lower balconies|
|Looking further over the balcony you can see all the way down, all twenty six floors|
|The Luxor front, complete with obelisk and sphinx|
|The cityscape in the background is all one hotel, the New York New York. In the foreground, the grass is astro turf and the hedge on the left plastic but the flowers and palm trees are real|
|New York New York has a roller-coaster around the outside|
|We noticed that all the major stores and malls had nothing but up market designer goods|
|Two contrasting shows|
Whilst a lot better accommodation than our first overnight stop, the Luxor is beginning to show signs of age having been open for about eighteen years. They have recently refurbished the towers but the pyramid is due for an upgrade. We were offered an upgrade to the towers but we wanted to be in the pyramid and it is certainly a strange and interesting experience. I had idly wondered when we first booked a room in the pyramid if we would find ourselves in the centre with no outside view, but as I had mentioned earlier, all the accommodation is in the outer wall. The lifts (‘elevators’ according to Americans) were labelled ‘Inclinators’ because due to the shape of the building, they went up at an angle.
This meant that every time the inclinator started you got an unexpected lurch to one side, which took me by surprise nearly every time I rode up to or down from our room. We were on the 26th floor and when you leave the inclinator, there is a corridor that forms a square running around the whole floor, connecting all the bedrooms to the lifts. In places this turns into a balcony with just a low wall between you and a 25 story drop straight down to the centre of the hotel mezzanine floor! My first thought was ‘nice, if you have just made a disastrous loss on the tables, what a good place to end it all,’ and decided to keep an eye out for falling bodies whenever I was on the mezzanine floor.
|The Egyptian décor was universal throughout the hotel|
|An Egyptian wardrobe|
We managed to visit most of our priority places, Caesar’s Palace, Mandalay Bay bay’s Shark Reef Aquarium, The Venetian, the Mirage volcano, The Secret Garden Zoo and the Bellagio fountains.
|The interior of Caesar's Palace was sumptuous, complete with moving staircases|
In the aquarium at Mandalay Bay, we saw the usual display of sharks gliding above and below us, which was one of TG's choices.
|I am sure there is some appropriate movie theme music to accompany this picture, but I can't quite remember it...|
|A contented looking leopard|
|So who is king of the jungle?|
(Just as an aside, a good book that, The White Tiger)
The Venetian impressed me as an engineering feat too, because on the second floor (first floor to us perverse English) there is a canal system complete with Gondolas with Gondoliers and some pseudo Italian singing. You could take a ride in one and have a well-known Italian song blasted at you if you really wanted. O sole Mio seemed to be favourite and I was expecting to hear Poppa Piccolino or Shut uppa your face, any minute but that never happened.
|Hard to remember not only are you indoors but upstairs as well. |
The sky is a projection on the ceiling
|An empty canal|
|The half size Eiffel Tower|
|The effects produced by this fountain were spectacular|
|These sprays are going up more than three stories in height|
|Good but not spectacular|
|The MGM Grand outside, complete with huge golden lion|
|The MGM inside. Here be lions|
|Desert sun, ancient Egypt and a monorail|
On the last morning, checking out of the Luxor was quite an interesting experience. A small wizened creature sat at the desk I approached and having given the room number, I was asked for my name and they could not find it so I told this possibly female creature at the desk that it was probably booked under TS’s last name. She/it did not understand what I said and then turning to someone near on another desk, (who was definitely a human female) asked her something I could not make out and when she got a reply turned back to me and snapped $390!
I wanted to make quite sure I was paying for the correct room and so asked, ‘Is that in the name of TS or M?’
‘$390!’ was the reply.
‘OK, but is it under the name of M?’
At this point two things occurred to me. It had been in the back of my mind throughout the encounter that she/it reminded me of someone or something when it spoke. I suddenly realised it was the character from Monsters inc, number one, who constantly snapped ‘You haven’t completed your paperwork!’ in exactly the same way as the creature behind the checkout was asking for the money and secondly I realised that they had been saying the TS’s, name but contracting the second syllable so much I had not recognised it. Satisfied I was paying for our room, I paid and left.
|You haven't filled in your paperwork!|