Vegas clearly has a bit of a love affair with Italy, as there’s a whole handful of hotels with a Mediterranean theme.
One of the most eye-catching of the bunch is the Bellagio, which is famous for its choreographed fountain show. Shift your gaze to the hotel itself, and you’ll see it’s designed like an oversized Italian villa. You can even sit down for dinner on a stone terrace beside the water, which looks like it’s been plucked straight from an Italian lakeside.
Caesar’s Palace is practically next door, and looks even more Roman. The winged statues and stone horses outside would be more at home in a café-lined piazza, and the entrance is designed like an ancient temple. A dip in the pool feels like you’re actually swimming in a city fountain, and there’s a gold statue of Julius Caesar himself in the lobby.
The Venetian stakes a claim for being the grandest of all, though, thanks to its gallery-like interiors and stunning waterways. You might forget you’re in Vegas while a stripy-shirted gondolier steers you beneath authentic-looking bridges, with balconied Gothic houses either side of you. Inside, the huge domed murals look like the work of one of the greats, and you’ll see practically everyone tipping their head back for a proper look.
For a taste of the Caribbean, the Treasure Island hotel steps up to the plate. It feels a bit like a colonial port from the outside, and there’s an old school pirate ship in the palm-lined gardens. Tropical cabanas are lined up beside the pool, with nozzles strung between the trees that simulate the ocean spray.
Once upon a time, this place had swashbuckling shows in the artificial lagoon out front, and the hotel’s sign was a skull and crossbones. Things are a little more mainstream now, but there are still remnants of its pirate-inspired past.
If you won’t accept any less than white-sand beaches and turquoise waters, then take a look at Cayo Santa Maria’s stellar beach scene.
OK, hear us out on this one. We already know what you’re thinking – why would you leave England, only to come and visit a place that looks like England?
It’s a fair point, but the Excalibur Hotel hasn’t taken inspiration from a shop-filled town centre or a two-up two-down housing estate. Instead, it’s been slightly more adventurous in its design, drawing on the fabled years of King Arthur and Robin Hood. And rather than put you up in dank chambers and gloomy candlelit halls, there’s more of a fairy tale theme to this fortress-like hotel.
The whole place looks like a colour-splashed Medieval castle, with grand blue and red turrets and pointy towers stretching into the Vegas skyline. Jousting shows are put on while you feast on night-time banquets, and the hotel’s steakhouse is named after the legendary castle of Camelot. To top things off, there’s a 150-game arcade called the Fun Dungeon, which is ideal for little ones.
You’re already in the USA, but that doesn’t mean you’ll come close to seeing it all. It’s a pretty big place, so a couple of Vegas’ hotels have cherry-picked their favourite parts and used them as a theme.
The Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino takes inspiration from the star-studded LA neighbourhood, with neon celebrity handprints on the walls and a lobby packed with glitzy memorabilia. Framed pictures of movie stars are dotted all around, as well.
One of the country’s best-loved cities is also brought to life on the Las Vegas strip, courtesy of the New York New York hotel. From the outside, it’s been crafted to look like the New York skyline – so you’ll see the Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State Building, and the Statue of Liberty. Inside, there are 17 restaurants where you can grab a bite to eat, and they’re all laid out like a New York-style street. You can ride in yellow cabs on the Big Apple rollercoaster, and among the bars are an Irish-themed place and a Coyote Ugly joint. It’s not the real thing, but it’s damn close.
Las Vegas’ bright lights and high-intensity nightlife might sound a million miles from the laid-back French culture, but the European heavyweight has clearly made an impression here.
The Hotel Monte Carlo Las Vegas has a few tricks up its sleeve that you won’t see from afar. It’s channelled all the fanciest parts of the French Riviera, like a high-end shopping mall and a massive checklist of swanky restaurants. There’s also a Mediterranean-style plaza outside, where you’ll see Baroque statues and ornate archways.
If that gets you in the mood to see the real deal, check out our Monaco day trip, which ticks off Monte Carlo’s Grand Prix circuit and the famous Casino Square.
Back in Vegas, the strip’s also home to one of the most iconic hotel fronts of all – a scaled-down version of the Eiffel Tower, at Paris Las Vegas. There’s also a replica of the famous Arc de Triomphe, and a take on the city’s iconic tethered balloon. Inside, everything’s tailored to look like you could actually be walking the cobbled streets of Paris – from the Renaissance ballroom, to the traditional patisseries.
Not many hotels have their own rainforest, but that’s where The Mirage has bragging rights. The hotel’s not Brazilian-themed through and through, but it’s got a couple of features that really sing from a South American hymn sheet.
In the gardens you’ll find a huge glass dome, which is packed with tropical plants and water features. It’s like a tiny chunk of the Amazon on American soil. Head to the Samba restaurant, and you can chow down on rodizio-style Brazilian cuisine. The staff come to your table to carve huge chunks of tender meat from a spit.
Picanha steaks, honey-brushed turkey, and lamb chamuscado are all on the menu, plus tasty sides like sweet fried plantains, and black beans with rice.
The Excalibur Hotel & Casino is shaped like a colourful castle, which makes it look like it's been picked from an old English fairy tale.
The New York New York has enough restaurants to please all the family, plus a rollercoaster which zips above the pool.
The Park MGM Las Vegas is jam-packed with Mediterranean charm, and comes with a whopping 30 bars and restaurants to its name.
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