In all the excess of Las Vegas, the thing that is furthest from being in short supply is great hotels. The last two decades have seen the ultimate game of one upmanship play out in Sin City, with one mega-resort popping up right after another. As I planned our trip to Vegas, I found myself hypnotized by all the five diamond plaques on The Strip, but in the end I steered clear of all the shiny newcomers in favor of what some call the original mega-resort...The Mirage Las Vegas.
|The View From Our Room at The Mirage|
The primary reason for choosing The Mirage was simple...price. When I compared all of the options I simply could not justify spending twice as much for a standard no-view room at Bellagio or Wynn, than I would spend for a deluxe room with a view of The Strip at The Mirage. Still, I was a bit concerned that the old adage "you get what you pay for" would prove true, but as soon as I entered our room I knew I'd made the right decision.
The technical name for our room was a "Deluxe Tower King, " and a few the added amenities that sold me on this category were bathrobes and jacuzzi tub for my wife, and upper floor locations with a view of The Strip (upon request) for me. Our room looked north down The Strip towards Treasure Island and the Wynn, and offered a great view of The Mirage's signature volcano show in front of the resort. The only downside to a strip view....It is important to shut your curtains at night, because the lights of Vegas will make you think the sun is up at 3am.
|The Mirage Volcano Show|
Another reason I chose The Mirage was their location. I knew we would be spending most of our time exploring the other resorts on The Strip, so having a central base was important. The Mirage proved to be the perfect choice, with City Center, Bellagio, Caesars Palace, Venetian, and Wynn all within a short walk. Granted, it was a bit cold for all that walking, but I was looking for an excuse to sport a new jacket.
|The Mirage's Solarium|
While all of the dinners I planned in Vegas were at other resorts, The Mirage had plenty of great options for lighter bites during the day. I hit the Starbucks and another coffee shop every morning for breakfast, and we snagged lunch at California Pizza Kitchen and BLT Burger as well. My wallet was thankful for these options given the assault it would take at dinner each evening.
|Bistro Laurent Tourondel - Fancy Name For "Awesome Burger Joint"|
The main reason for coming to Vegas in the first place was so I could finally see Love by Cirque du Soliel, which is the marquee show at Mirage. The show combines the spectacle of any Cirque show with a soundtrack by The Beatles. Our visit was 5 years in the making, and it was well worth the wait. It is a must see for any lover of the Fab Four.
|The Beatles Revolution Bar|
As for the casino...well I'll just say that I made a deposit and leave it at that, although it seemed I was lucky for others. One evening as we made our way to the elevators a guy approached and asked me to say the number 8. I was a bit puzzled by the request, but I obliged and continued walking. He turned back to the roulette table just as the ball landed on 8 for a $700 win. I asked for a commission, but he politely declined...
|The Original Mega-Resort|
As we explored the other resorts on The Strip, I got the impression there were essentially two types of hotels in Vegas. Either really nice resorts where everything is glitz and glamor, or places that should be torn down that give their rooms away to those brave enough to enter. What I loved about The Mirage is it seemed to fall nicely in the middle. Sure, I wanted the glitzy Vegas experience, but I also didn't want to be stuck signing $100 breakfasts to my room either. At The Mirage, I seemed to find the best of both worlds.
~Insert Dude-like Closing Here~