Las Vegas - Visiting the neon city!Posted on: 07 February 2012 by Gareth Hargreaves
Travel journalist Claire Oliver, takes a trip to Las Vegas for 50Connect and discovers another side to this iconic destination ...
Las Vegas has long been known for its bright lights, casinos and amazing hotels, but I wanted to discover what else Vegas had to offer for couples and families. Las Vegas did not disappoint and over the next few issues I will be reviewing the best restaurants, tourist attractions and giving you my top tips for a Las Vegas holiday.
I arranged my five night break with Virgin Holidays. The flight is about 10 hours long but with the vast range of films, games and TV programmes that were on offer I had no trouble entertaining myself. For a lot of people, travelling long haul can be a daunting prospect and whilst Virgin Economy offer ample leg room seats and excellent service I decided to try Premium Economy outbound. In this class of cabin I was able to travel in luxury at a fraction of the first class price.
My accommodation in Las Vegas was in the newly renovated Tropicana Hotel. This hotel is in a fantastic position on the strip, opposite the popular MGM Grand and just 5 minutes walk from the Monorail. With its white marble floors and tropical décor, I felt that at any minute I would be walking outside on a Miami beach! The Tropicana website says that the hotel has been voted the best resort pool in the city and I could certainly see why. It would have my vote! With gorgeous white sun loungers, lush landscaping, beautiful gardens, even a waterfall, an afternoon here is definitely a perfect way to relax.
After settling into my hotel, I was eager to explore the strip and can you imagine a better way than by helicopter! I took a 5 minute taxi ride down to HeliUSA for the ultimate Las Vegas strip tour: “The Las Vegas Apollo Night Strip Helicopter Flight”. Before boarding the luxurious A-Star jet helicopter I was greeted with a glass of champagne. As the helicopter rises above the ‘City of Lights’ the view gets even more spectacular by the minute.
HeliUSA also offer unique trips to the Grand Canyon. They have developed their own exclusive Western Ranch destination on the West Rim of the Canyon and they are the only company to offer the combination of a Grand Canyon experience and an overnight getaway just a short distance from Las Vegas.
The company have numerous options available (all including helicopter flights) such as overnight stays in a Tipi, or Pine Cabin and with ranch activities such as horseback riding. This exclusive Grand Canyon Ranch incorporates the historic Diamond Bar Ranch, which is the oldest ranch in Mojave County, Arizona and located only 45 minutes away by the exclusive jet helicopter service. This is definitely a package I would book for my next trip to Vegas.
Las Vegas Monorail
As I mentioned earlier, the Tropicana Hotel is only a 5 minute walk away from the Las Vegas Monorail and an unlimited ride pass is a good option for the duration of your stay. The elevated monorail system is open every day and stops at seven stations along the strip - MGM Grand, Bally’s/Paris Las Vegas, Flamingo/Caesars Palace, Harrah’s/Imperial Palace, Convention Centre, Hilton and the Sahara.
I travelled by taxi on a number of occasions however the strip was often congested and the fares expensive, so the Monorail was a great way to get around. Next time I will be sharing more of my Vegas experiences with you, including top places to eat and more fantastic tourist attractions!
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