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The tale of the monstrous mattress...
Luxor Hotel (USA)
Member Name: MalibuMands
Luxor Hotel (USA)
Advantages: Affordable luxury, dining options, entertainment options, helpful staff, spacious rooms,
Disadvantages: I don't think the people who design the wheelchair accessible rooms have ever met a wheelchair user.
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Note: one of the senior staff members did inform us that the tower rooms are a bit bigger, so if you are asked if you'd prefer a tower room or a pyramid room it's worth remembering. We stayed in the East Tower, in one of the basic double rooms:
There was the main room with two double beds, a dresser between them, and a round table with two chairs in front of the rear wall - and that wall is basically one huge floor-to-ceiling window. For storing clothes and bags there were two large wardrobes, with a large plasma TV on top of an extra set of drawers in between the wardrobes.
Our room had wheelchair access, which basically sums up to sturdy railing around the toilet and a roll-in shower. The bathroom itself was the largest I've encountered in eight trips to the US. It had a sink with vanity style mirrors over it and a separate vanity top to place toiletries and cosmetics [strangely, there were no mirrors there through]. The bathroom had good lighting, a hairdryer and everyday we would receive a fresh stock of towels and face cloths.
Now - a few words of warning for disabled guests; wherever I go I have a issue with the beds being too high and these were the worst. The mattresses were so thick, that they literally reached my waist [I'm short as well]. The bathroom had rails, but the bedroom didn't, do the people who design these rooms think that we levitate onto the beds or something? Long story short, I had been ill before I travelled, hadn't slept for over 30 hours and had been seated with a drunken stag party on the plane, so couldn't face calling reception and trying to sort something out. I just kicked the monstrous mattress of the bed and slept on the wooden base [I now have a lovely collection of bruises to prove it].
Problem number two; the roll-in shower is big, big enough for half a dozen people. So the bench at the end of the stall is a considerable distance from the actual wall-mounted shower head. Actually showering was, bluntly, exhausting, not to mention that I was stretching and bending dangerously in a wet stall. Not fun.
If you need disabled facilities I'd advise clarifying the access with your travel agent before booking. If I'd got round to asking, I'm sure that they'd have provided a camp bed or changed the mattress on the bed. I'm not sure about the shower, maybe it just seemed so bad because I was sick, dizzy and constantly shaking for the duration of my stay?
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We didn't do any gambling, so my impressions are from a quick nosey around, and from passing through as we tried to find the walkway to take us to Mandalay Bay's arena. The actual pit floor is huge - the size is hard to picture unless you've been there, but trust me when I say we're talking square miles. We got lost a few times and that was just passing through.
The casino is spaced out on a tier level, where there are hundreds of tables set up for individual games of poker, roulette, craps, Texas H old 'em, Black Jack and similar card games. They have literally thousands of slot machines spread out over the entire casino level and several bars, for refreshments. The bigger money games are in a separate section, to stop you from accidentally wondering over into the wrong game.
There is an 'arena' area for placing bets on sporting events, and apparently LUXOR has a separate room for holding poker tournaments too.
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LUXOR boasts four shows:
Criss Angel's Believe - Criss is a well-known illusionist and Believe is a 90 minute show featuring both old and new illusions.
Fantasy - Dancing. Topless dancing, to be exact. Must be at least 18.
Carrot Topp - A stand up comedian. Not suitable for children. If you book tickets for the show online, you get a voucher for a free DVD.
Menopause: The Musical - "Set in a department store, where four women with seemingly nothing in common but a black lace bra meet by chance at a lingerie sale. The all-female cast makes fun of their woeful hot flashes, forgetfulness, mood swings, wrinkles, night sweats and chocolate binges. A sisterhood is created between these diverse women as they realize that menopause is no longer The Silent Passage!". The show is 90 minutes long and includes parodies from the 60s, 70s and 80s.
We were only in Vegas for three nights, and as we had tickets to see Katy Perry at the Mandalay Bay hotel, we sadly didn't find the time to see any of the shows on offer in our own hotel. We spoke with numerous guests and all of their feedback was positive, especially for Menopause: The Musical.
As well as the shows, there are two exhibitions housed in the hotel:
Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition - The title says it all. The exhibit is made from actual artifacts, recovered from two and one half miles below the surface of the North Atlantic, telling the real -life story behind the legendary Titanic's short journey from construction and destruction to eventual recovery.
BODIES... The Exhibition - has both models and real bodies and organs on show. It promises to provide a detailed, three-dimensional vision of the human form rarely seen outside of an anatomy lab. I really, really wanted to see this, but it was impossible to drag my mate out of the outlets before they closed. If I ever go to Vegas again, this will be at the top of my list of things to do/see.
However, the the main reason that the Luxor appeals to the under 30 crowd is that the hotel boosts EIGHT different clubs. These are LAX, CatHouse, Savile Row, Aurora, Liquidity, Flight, High Bar and Playbar.
There are four outdoor swimming pools [one of which is heated during winter months] and LUXOR guests also have access to the indoor pool at the Excalibur hotel (I never saw the pool when I stayed at Excalibur, but I believe it is on the forth floor).
If you want to take it easy, LUXOR also has a luxory spa and hair salon.
I only saw a small selection of the various stores inside LUXOR. They include LX Fashions, LX Fight Shop, LX Logo, Luxor Pool Store Bazaar, The Marketplace at Luxor, Essentials and 24/7 Criss Angel MINDFREAK - The Official Store and the Everything's $10 Boutique.
If you head towards the walkway that connects LUXOR with the Mandalay Bay hotel, there are lots more shops, clubs and Bars. It took us almost twenty minutes to cross over!
In addition to all of this, the LUXOR also has it's very own wedding chapel. You can have your wedding, commitment ceremony or vow renewal at the hotel. You can pick between an intimate ceremony or a more extravagant event.
Go to www.luxor.com/amenities/amenities_weddings.aspx for more information.
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There are six restaurants to choose from:
Tender steak & seafood - fine dining. The restaurant has a huge selection of wines available.
T&T - Mexican/American fare.
Rice & Company - Chinese food. Also has a sushi bar.
Pryamid Cafe - is on the casino level. Light bites.
Backstage Deli - New York-style deli goods [sandwiches, melts].
More: The Buffet - boasts a 30-foot salad bar, pizzas, desserts, two omelet stations and a carving station.
There is also a food court with a Starbucks, LA Subs, Bonanno's Pizzeria, Nathan's (re-opening in December), McDonald's, Blizz and Original Chicken Tender Company (Opening in December) .
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LUXOR is the 2nd to last hotel on the southern end of the strip [it is between Excalibur and Mandalay Bay]. This is ideal for those wanting a quieter stay as the traffic noise is much quieter - in fact most nights I didn't notice any noise at all.
If you want to shop and/or experience the nightlife along the strip, ignore the travel agents trying to push car rental services on you. There is a 24/7 double decker bus route that goes up and down the hotels and main shopping areas along the strip AND both the North and South premium outlet villages.
The first time that we went to Vegas we didn't try it, as it was a daunting prospect, but this time we did, and, yeah, it is great. So easy and cheap to do - I really recommend it. There are screens on the bus showing the route and you are told where you are at each stop, plus the buses have access for wheelchairs. The drivers were all helpful, helping me get to my 'parking' space and strapping the chair down securely. Why can't our buses be like that?
The buses on the Strip express route are known as 'The Deuce' and prices are only $5 for a 2 hour ride, $7 for a 24 hour ticket and $20 for a three day pass. I highly recommend buying a three day pass, as it doesn't matter how many times you ride during this time.
LUXOR doesn't have any bus stops, but both Excalibur and Mandalay Bay do.
Whilst I'm talking about travel agents taking extra money; DO NOT PAY FOR TRANSFERS TO YOUR HOTEL FROM THE AIRPORT with them. On our first Vegas trip we didn't know any better, so paid around £80 for a wheelchair accessible transfer, but now we now that there is a wheelchair accessible shuttle service that goes around all of the hotels.
You get on the Bell Trans shuttle at McCarran airport [ask staff and they'll point you to the pick-up point]. They are share-a-ride, so travel time depends on the number of people on board; our journey only took fifteen to twenty minutes, with four stops before ours.
The shuttles travel between the hotels, in loops of round half an hour. I think the price was $14.
Even if you want to book a taxi, if you ask at reception they'll book at reliable taxi for you. We did this on the way back and it came to $14.10, minus tips.
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Looking at pictures of LUXOR in brochures and on the internet, the hotel/casino looks small, plain and boring, as well as being in a unsuitable location. However, once you are there it is like walking through the wardrobe into Narnia. The interior is enormous, with a Egyptian theme featuring various statues, water features and marble throughout. Don't judge a book by its cover, is my point.
For most people I'd fully recommend LUXOR; I did encounter a few problems, but I'm well aware that I'm not a average traveler. If you do use a wheelchair but can stand for short periods, then I doubt the issues I've already mentioned will apply to you either.
The only people who I definitely wouldn't recommend looking into the LUXOR for their holiday is people with younger families. There is a staggering amount of stuff going on, but none of the entertainment that we encountered is developed with children in mind. Also, from that I could see, most of the people staying here are under 40 and stayed to sample the nightlife, so we were woken up by people walking/staggering up and down the corridors in the small hours of the morning.
I've previously stayed at Excalibur and found that hotel more family orientated, so you could try looking into there if you are planning a family trip.
If I did manage to clarify room accessibility, I still don't honestly know if I would stay at LUXOR again, but this is because I'd like to explore the other hotels, and has nothing negative to do with my stay here. If I ever returned to Vegas, I WOULD visit LUXOR again, to sample the entertainment on offer.
Summary: Excellent hotel for childless parties...
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