Inside Vegas

Las Vegas, also known as Sin City, is the gambling capital of the world. Vegas is located in the US state of Nevada which legalised gambling back in 1931, long before it became the tourist hotspot it’s known as today. In fact, some reports suggest that around 41 million people visit Las Vegas each year and around 10,000 couples get married in the city every month. In addition, there are around 104 casinos in the city, many of them located on the strip and others located downtown and in the suburbs. In order to cater to all of these visitors, Las Vegas has constructed numerous hotels, some of which are the biggest in the world.

While in Vegas you can gamble at some of the city’s finest casinos, go for a long shopping spree, grab a bite to eat at some of the best restaurants around the city or watch a show or concert by popular musicians and performance artists. Las Vegas has been around for just over 100 years, but it’s already become one of the most fascinating cities in the world, with a long history to boot.

How To Get To Vegas

You can fly to McCarran International Airport, the main airport used to travel to Las Vegas, from London Gatwick and Heathrow airports. The airport is located in Paradise, just south of Downtown Las Vegas.

Postcard from 1941 showing Senator McCarran at the original airport field
Postcard from 1941 showing Senator McCarran at the original McCarran airport field

Flights from London to Las Vegas take around 10 hours and prices differ drastically depending on the time of year you decide to visit. Visiting in June, July and August, the hotter months where temperatures can reach around 40ºC, can cost anything up to £2,5000 for two people. However, travelling during the cooler months, January and December where temperatures generally stay between 15-20ºC, can cost as little as up to £1,000 for two people.

However, you’ll still need to book a hotel in the city which can cost up to £1,000 for a week at smaller chains and independent hotels, and over £1,000 if you decide to stay at some of the more famous and luxurious hotels on the Las Vegas Strip, but more on that later.

Travelling To Your Hotel

Once you’ve booked your plane tickets and hotel, you’ll find to make your way from the airport to your hotel. This can be done by getting a taxi from the airport. Over ten taxi companies provide services to and from the airport, making it easy for you to grab a ride but it’s important to understand that all taxis charge a $2 fee on fares originating from the airport.

You can also hire a limousine to arrive at your hotel in style or an Uber, the service only launched in Vegas in 2015 as it was initially barred from airport pick-ups and drop-offs. If you decide to hire an Uber, however, you’ll need to meet your car or get dropped off at the parking garage at McCarran International Airport as Ubers are still not allowed near airport terminals.

Other ways to reach Las Vegas include catching the Route 108 and 109 buses from Terminal 1 as well as the Westcliff Airport Express (WAX) and Centennial Express (CX) routes.

Passports And Visas

The United States has a visa waiver program which allows tourists from the UK to visit the city for up to 90 days without a visa. Before travelling, you’ll need authorisation from ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation) or you will be refused entry into the United States. Applications cost around $14 and while most applications are processed without a problem, they should be done well in advance of travelling.

In addition, there are some restrictions that may prevent you from entering the United States. This includes being arrested for certain crimes, being a dual national of Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria, and having travelled to Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen after March 2011.

Where To Stay In Vegas

There are a huge number of hotels available throughout Vegas, each vying for your attention by offering unique restaurants, gambling opportunities and entertainment. The casinos vary in size and price, so it’s important to find one that caters to your needs while also meeting your budget. Unfortunately, with the high number of hotels available in the city, it can be hard to make up your mind, which is why we’ve decided to discuss our top ten Vegas hotels.

1. ARIA Resort & Casino

ARIA Resort & Casino launched back in 2009 and is still as popular as ever. The hotel is located along the Vegas Strip and contains over 4,004 rooms, 16 restaurants, 10 bars, a large casino space as well as a pool area, salon, spa and convention centre.

Aria Hotel Las Vegas

Meanwhile, the casino space includes slot machines, poker and table games as well as sportsbooks. CNN travel described ARIA Casino as the best for slots, with machines including Anchorman, Wheel of Fortune 3D, The Simpsons and the Walking Dead.

ARIA Resort & Casino
3730 South Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, NV 89158

General inquiries call 702-590-7111
oom reservations call 866-359-7757
Price of room per night: $119 – $2,150

Entertainment: JEWEL Nightclub and ARIA Fine Art Collection
Restaurants: Jean Georges Steakhouse, Carbone, Bardot Brasserie and The Buffet at ARIA

2. Cosmopolitan

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas opened in 2010 and has become one of the most popular hotels in Vegas. The hotel consists of two highrise towers that house 3,027 hotel rooms, a huge casino space, a spa and gym, a theatre, convention centre as well as a dozen shops and restaurants.

Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas

The Cosmopolitan’s casino offers visitors a wide range of activities including over 1,300 slot machines, table games and a busy sportsbook. The casino also hosts regular slot tournaments which offer fantastic prizes.

The Cosmopolitan Of Las Vegas
3708 S. Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, NV 89109

General inquiries call 702-698-7000
oom reservations call 702-968-7575
Price of room per night: £89 – $1,110

Entertainment: Pool-side Movies and The Chelsea concert venue
Restaurants: Blue Ribbon, China Poblano, É By José Andrés and Eggslut