NileGuide Expert tip:
A tram links Luxor, Excalibur, and Mandalay Bay. Luxor's budget prices will appeal to value-conscious travelers.
Kitsch-worshippers were dealt a blow when the people behind this hotel came to the inexplicable decision to eliminate anything Egypt from it, casting aside identity in favor of generic luxury. Obviously, they can't get rid of certain elements -- the main hotel is, after all, a 30-story onyx-hued pyramid, complete with a really tall 315,000-watt light beam at the top. (Luxor says that's because the Egyptians believed their souls would travel up to heaven in a beam of light. We think it's really because it gives them something to brag about: "The most powerful beam on Earth!") Replicas of Cleopatra's Needle and the Sphinx still dominate the exterior. But other than that, by some point in 2009, every other trace of the land of the Pharaohs will be gone. And some magic will be gone from Vegas. Now guests will be attracted only by the generally good prices, not by the giddy fun the theme produced. That is, unless said price rises in accordance with the place's lofty ambitions.
But they can't take away fundamentals and so staying in the pyramid part means you get to ride the 39-degree high-speed inclinators -- that's what an elevator is when it works inside a pyramid. Really, they are part conveyance, part thrill ride -- check out that jolt when they come to a halt. Rooms are scheduled for an overhaul throughout 2009, at which point all the Egypt details will be gone. You might want to grab one of the older ones while you can, unless you prefer the comfort the new rooms will doubtless provide. Rooms in the pyramid open onto the vast center that contains the casino -- indeed, ground-level rooms open more or less right into the action (though many of these have been turned into offices), so if you want only a short drunken stumble back to your room, these are for you. Otherwise, ask for a room higher up. Marvelous views are offered through the slanted windows (the higher up, the better, of course), but the bathrooms are shower-only, no tubs. Bathrooms are better in the Tower rooms, including deep tubs. Decor renovations will produce more cookie-cutter blandness, though doubtless there will be welcome upgrades to the furnishings.
MORE, The Buffet at Luxor, offers a cool archaeological-dig atmosphere. Criss Angel: Believe pairs the popular exotic magician with the spectacle of Cirque du Soliel. Comedian Carrot Top is also in residency. Enormous nightclub LAX is state of the art, and attracting a fashionable crowd. Two notable attractions here are Titanic: The Exhibit and Bodyworks.
Facilities: 7 restaurants; food court; nightclub; casino; showrooms; 5 outdoor pools; health club; spa; 18,000-sq.-ft. video-game arcade; concierge; tour desk; car-rental desk; business center; shopping arcade; 24-hr. room service; dry cleaning; executive-level rooms
- © Frommer's 2013
- Highly Recommended 2010