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The Very Heart Of Vegas

Las Vegas, NV

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One of the most popular vacation destinations in the world is hundreds of miles from the coast. Las Vegas, Nevada, continues to draw vacationers in their thousands, all of them drawn by the lure of excellent service, great hotels, legendary casinos, and above all the incredible of atmosphere of the self-styled world capital of enjoyment.

The typical Vegas vacationer doesn’t have to move more than a couple of hundred yards from his or her hotel room to have fun in this city. All of the major resorts have everything (and that means everything) you could possibly want on site – from pool halls and casinos to barber shops and swimming pools. And you don’t always have to pay as much as you might think for service and amenities at this level.

The Riviera Hotel and Casino is a case in point. The Riviera is one of the grand old ladies of the Strip. Founded right at the end of WWII, she’s been entertaining guests – some of them famous, many of them notorious – for fifty years now. She’s four or five times as old as some of the bigger and newer resorts in Vegas that charge twice as much for a service that could hardly be twice as good.

Despite the fact that the Riviera has over 2000 guest rooms, including more than 150 suites, it’s a very good idea to book in advance, as this remains one of the most popular places to stay in town. The rooms range from standard to deluxe, and all enjoy a range of amenities. Some even have large bay windows to enjoy the spectacular views that the tower-block hotel affords.

You won’t have to stray far from your room to find the means of entertaining yourself. The Riviera’s Mardi Gras entertainment complex plays host to a range of acts – from the sexy gyrations of the Crazy Girls Revue (adults only, please…) to the Riviera Comedy Club. The latter has a well-deserved reputation as being one of the hottest comedy venues in the western world, and regularly plays host to some of the biggest names in standup.

Also within the complex is the SynCity nightclub. SynCity pulls off the feat of being all things to all people. It features some of the very best of contemporary DJs while at the same time managing to retain some aspects of the classic Vegas club atmosphere. You can get down on the dancefloor and work up a sweat, or – if you want to invest a little cash in a little extra class – relax with your friends in a private booth. The days when Marilyn Monroe might have dropped by to say hello to you and your cronies are, sadly, gone. But the glitzy atmosphere remains.

And talking of glitz, what would a Vegas resort be without the thrill of gambling? The Riveria has over 100,000 square feet of floor space dedicated to gambling activities. And although this isn’t exactly Monte Carlo – the facilities are aimed at mid-range, part-time gamblers rather than princes and professionals – there are still days’ worth of shirt-losing fun to be had. The Riviera’s gaming floor has facilities for many traditional games, including blackjack and craps, as well as some rather more recent introductions such as Pai-Gow Poker and mini baccarat. The Casino also includes some of the most up-to-date and exciting slot machines in the world. If gambling is your thing, the Riviera will cater for almost your every need – unless you simply want a change of scene, you’ll probably find no good reason to visit any of the other establishments on the Strip. Everything you need is right here.

Gambling may be good for the soul, but you need to look after the stomach too. Dining options at the Riviera might best be described as lavish; the food is diverse and excellent, and the amount you are given is extravagant even by the standards of this city and its devotion to excess. The Ristorante Italiano takes the rich, peasant cooking of northern Italy and gives it a touch of Vegas swank. Continuing the Mediterranean atmosphere, the hotel’s steakhouse offers prime cuts of meat in rich Spanish, French and Italian sauces. These are only the two most ‘upmarket’ of the hotel’s eateries. If you want something more distinctively in tune with the tacky atmosphere of the city, there are plenty of fast food joints on the hotel’s very own food court – so a mid-game snack should never be a problem for the most ardent gamblers!

If you want to experience the ‘real’ Vegas – the city as it was before the multinational hospitality companies moved in – the Riviera Hotel is the place for you. Dump your stuff, buy your chips, and have a great time!

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