Top Sports Books
Las Vegas Hilton
3000 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, NV; 800-7732-7117.
They call it the SuperBook, and with good reason. At 30,500 square feet, it's the biggest in the world. Locals and insiders prefer it—it's won the Las Vegas Review-Journal's Readers' Choice Award three years running. The huge banks of television screens give it a mission-control feel; all those TVs, combined with all the betting options, give gamblers the best kind of sensory overload.
3570 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, NV; 800-223-7277.
One look at the sea of red betting lines splattered across the gargantuan electronic boards and you'll be screaming for Captain Kirk to split a five-team parlay with you. As elsewhere, the sports books and race books are separate, but Caesars offers the most comfortable seats in both.
As with most vacation destinations, where you stay in Vegas depends on who you're with, and the following places are among the best choices in town. All have plenty of Vegas-style showmanship built into the experience. It's possible to stay in blander accommodations, but then, this is Vegas … who wants bland?
3600 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, NV; 888-987-6667. Rooms: $159 and up; Suites: $250 and up.
A feast for the senses, from the spectral multimillion-dollar blown-glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly in the lobby to the plants and flowers in the conservatory that are changed seasonally, sometimes by Martha Stewart herself, and the 8.5-acre lake with hundreds of spouting fountains. If you hit a jackpot in the casino, you can invest in the hotel's art gallery on works by the likes of Van Gogh and Cezanne.
Four Seasons Hotel
3960 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, NV; 877-632-5000. Rooms: $200 and up; Suites: $600 and up.
The Four Seasons is the ultrarefined high-class hotel where Hollywood stays when it comes to play, and an oasis for non-gamblers as the only hotel on the Strip without a casino. (Its guest rooms are perched on the top-five floors of the Mandalay Bay hotel tower, but the lobby and restaurants are in a separate building.) You're greeted by doormen with white gloves, invited to afternoon tea and pampered in vanities and bathrooms appointed with Bulgari amenities. You're liable to bump into movie stars like Jim Belushi and Cuba Gooding Jr. in the fabulous spa.
3355 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, NV; 888-283-6423; Suites: $129-$699.
With 3,036 rooms, the Venetian is a kind of city within a city. Inside the 500,000-square-foot mall that houses the Grand Canal Shops, gondolas wind through waterways with arched bridges beneath vaulted frescoed ceilings. Shoppers can amble about a giant piazza lined with restaurants and teeming with street entertainers and portrait artists. The guest rooms are all suites that measure at least 700 square feet, and each features a sunken living room and Italian marble bathrooms.