Luxor Hotel

Architecturally speaking, the Luxor, with its pyramid design and Egyptian theme, is the most unique resort in Las Vegas. The entrance is marked by a sandstone obelisk etched with hieroglyphics that towers over Karnak Lake, a lagoon surrounded by reeds, palm trees, rock formations and statues of pharaohs. The hotel’s porte-cochere is a 10-story sphinx that crouches above a rock-and-stone entrance. At night, green laser beams from the sphinx’s eyes strike the obelisk and lake, causing the water to boil and rise in a water curtain, on which video holograms of ancient Egypt are projected.

Built by Circus Circus Enterprises in 1993, the 30-story (350-foot) pyramid is shrouded in dark glass, with its apex containing a 40-billion-candlepower beacon (the world’s strongest), which sends a shaft of light more than 10 miles into space at night. Inside, the pyramid’s atrium is large enough to stack nine Boeing 747s and features three levels of dining, entertainment and gambling.

Guest rooms are built into the pyramid’s sloping walls and are reached by “inclinators,” elevators that rise at a 39-degree angle, leaving passengers feeling like they’re on an enclosed ski lift. The interior of the pyramid is tastefully decorated with deep-red carpeting, sandstone walls, faux palm trees, Egyptian statues and hieroglyphic-inscribed tapestry.

For a peek into Egypt’s past, visit King Tut’s Tomb and Museum, an accurate reproduction of Howard Carter’s 1922 find, often called the most significant archaeological discovery of modern history. After you watch a five-minute video of Tutankhamen’s life, guides escort you through the tomb’s antechamber, burial chamber and treasury room, where you’ll see more than 500 replicas of mummies, Egyptian furniture, a chariot, pottery, baskets, jewelry, linens and other artifacts. The gift shop sells Egyptian antiquities and keepsakes. Secrets of the Luxor Pyramid is an hour-long adventure spread over two venues. Episode One, “In Search of the Obelisk”, uses a motion simulator to send you through a wild chase that begins with a plummeting elevator. “Luxor Live” in Episode Two takes on the format of a live TV talk show and ends up with more 3-D wizardry. See our Attractions chapter for more information.

In the main pyramid building, there are 2,526 rooms and suites that cling to the inside of the pyramid. Each room has a sloped wall and bank of windows with views of The Strip and surrounding mountains and a door that opens to overlook the pyramid’s interior atrium. There are 1,950 additional rooms in the adjacent tower just north of the pyramid. The rooms are accented with wooden furniture that’s etched with Egyptian characters.

The casino is among the largest on The Strip and one of the most attractive with its sandstone walls decorated with colorful Egyptian murals and bas-relief sculptures of ancient kings and queens. In addition to the usual mix of slots and table games, the casino features quick and friendly cocktail service from servers who all miraculously have black Cleopatra-like hair.

Hotel amenities include a pool, retail shops and seven restaurants–the Isis for continental dining (see Restaurants), Papyrus steakhouse, the Sacred Sea Room for fresh and salt-water seafood, a 24-hour coffee shop, buffet, deli and ice cream parlor.