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Mitch's Tips:

Best Beach / Pool

 The Travel Channel says Mandalay has the best pool/beach in Vegas. That’s right – beach. There are 11 acres of manmade tropical oasis including a sandy beach, a lazy river ride and three pools. The newest pool, called Moorea Beach Club, is for adults only (21 and up). It has 140 plush lounge chairs, chilled towel service, complimentary selection of sun care products and pool side cabanas, as well as its best feature: It’s bikini top-optional. The charge: Mondays through Thursdays, men pay $20 and women $10. From Friday through Sunday it’s $30 for men, but still only $10 for women

Best Dining

A number of celebrity chefs are cooking in Vegas, awakening us to the opinion that Vegas's rep for lackluster restaurants is no longer deserved.

Best All-Around: Always feeling free to spend your money for you, we can safely say that dropping a small fortune in either Picasso (tel. 702/693-7223), located in Bellagio, or Renoir (tel. 702/791-7223), located in The Mirage, where you can find the cuisine of heralded chefs Julian Serrano and Alex Stratta, respectively, makes a fine investment. But do not overlook Rosemary's Restaurant, a 20-minute drive off the Strip and worth twice as much effort, for some Southern-influenced cooking that may well put the work of those high-profile chefs to shame.

Best Inexpensive Meal: The beautiful, fresh, monster submarine sandwiches at Capriotti's (tel. 702/474-0229). They roast their own beef and turkey on the premises and assemble it (or cold cuts, or even vegetables) into delightful sandwiches, ranging in size from 9 to 20 inches, and none of them over $10.

Best Buffet: On the Strip, it's the Paris, Le Village Buffet (tel. 888/266-5687), where the stations break from standard form by adhering to regional French food specialties (from places such as Provence, Alsace, and Burgundy) and the results are much better than average. Though not cheap, this is a reasonable substitute for an even more costly fancy meal. Mirage Buffet (tel. 702/791-7111) is the best midrange choice. The salad bar comes loaded with countless possibilities, including a variety of cold salads (when was the last time you saw gefilte fish on a buffet?). And the gigantic mountain of shrimp is the right sort of decadent touch you want in a Vegas buffet. The Palms Festival Market Buffet (tel. 702/942-7777) offers the best of the more budget-oriented options, with an array of Middle Eastern goodies and some eccentric additions to the ubiquitous carving stations. Downtown, the Main Street Station Garden Court, 200 N. Main St. (tel. 702/387-1896), has an incredible buffet: all live-action stations (where the food is made in front of you, sometimes to order), wood-fired brick-oven pizzas, fresh lovely salsas and guacamole in the Mexican section, and better-than-average desserts.

Best Sunday Champagne Brunch: Head for Bally's, at Mid-Strip, where the lavish Sterling Sunday Brunch (tel. 702/739-4111) features tables dressed with linen and silver. The buffet itself has everything from caviar and lobster to sushi and sashimi, plus fancy entrees that include the likes of roast duckling with black-currant and blueberry sauce.

Best Group Budget Meal Deal: Split a bowl of soup at the Grand Wok (tel. 702/891-7777) in the MGM. This pan-Asian restaurant offers a variety of soups in such generous portions that four people can make a decent meal out of one serving.

Best Bistro: Actually, we just invented this category to have a way to call Mon Ami Gabi (tel. 702/944-4224), in the Paris hotel, to your attention. Offering lovely, reasonably priced bistro fare (steak and pommes frites, onion soup), it may be our new favorite Vegas restaurant (at least of the non-celebrity-chef variety).

Best Restaurant Interiors: The designers ran amok in the restaurants of Mandalay Bay. At Aureole (tel. 702/632-7401), a four-story wine tower requires that a pretty young thing be hauled up in a harness a la Peter Pan to fetch your chosen vintage. The post-Communist party decor at Red Square (tel. 702/632-7407) is topped only by the fire and water walls at neighboring rumjungle (tel. 702/632-7408).

Best Spot for a Romantic Dinner: We don't go for cliché romantic elements. At Bellagio's Picasso, you get to dine under the watchful gaze of a dozen or so works by the Grand Old Man himself, while outside, fountains dance and play in a fanciful, witty manner. Pretty inspiring ambience, if you ask us.

Best Spot for a Celebration: Let's face it, no one parties like the Red Party, so head to Red Square (tel. 702/632-7407) in Mandalay Bay, where you can have caviar and vodka in the ultimate capitalist revenge.

Best Free Show at Dinner: At Treasure Island's Buccaneer Bay Club (tel. 702/894-7223), everyone rushes to the window when the ship battle begins outside. And then there is the vista offered by the restaurants in Bellagio ( Picasso, Le Cirque, Olives, and Circo), which are grouped to take advantage of the view of the dancing water fountains.

Best Wine List: It's a competitive market in Vegas for such a title, and with sommeliers switching around, it's hard to guarantee any wine list will retain its quality. Still, you can't go wrong at Mandalay Bay's Aureole (tel. 702/632-7401),which has the largest collection of Austrian wines outside of that country, among other surprises.

Best Beer List: Rosemary's Restaurant offers "beer pairings" suggestions with most of its menu options, and includes some curious and fun brands, including fruity Belgian numbers.

Best View: See all of Vegas from the revolving Top of the World (tel. 702/380-7711), at the Stratosphere Casino Hotel & Tower, North Strip, 106 stories up.

Best Seafood: The Asian-influenced dishes at Bellagio's Aqua (tel. 702/693-7223) are the only fish dishes consistently worth eating in this desert town--fresh, light, and beautifully and expertly flavored.

Best Italian: For a Mediterranean angle, head to Todd English's Onda (tel. 702/791-7223), in The Mirage, which is quietly but swiftly heading to the top of the "locals' favorite" list. For Tuscan cuisine at slightly less dear prices, Circo (tel. 702/693-8150), in Bellagio, is terrific.

Best Deli: The Stage Deli (tel. 702/893-4045), in Caesars, will give no cause for complaints (your mouth will be too packed with out-of-this-world pastrami to say much of anything).

Best New Orleans Cuisine: Emeril's New Orleans Fish House (tel. 702/891-7374), in the MGM Grand, and his Delmonico Steakhouse (tel. 702/414-3737), in The Venetian, bring the celebrity chef's "Bam!" cuisine to the other side of the Mississippi, and we are glad.

Best Southwestern Cuisine: We still dream about the huge portions of spicy, amusing food at The Venetian's Star Canyon (tel. 702/414-3772). It's the brainchild of Stephen Pyles, the chef most often credited with inventing Southwestern cuisine.

Best Red Meat: Lawry's The Prime Rib, 4043 Howard Hughes Pkwy. (tel. 702/893-2223), has such good prime rib, it's hard to imagine ever having any better.

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These on-line Las Vegas maps are the most current guides to all there is to see and do. With the rapid development of hotels and resorts, maps of Las Vegas are updated frequently. Use the latest Las Vegas maps, and find your way to all the hotels on the strip and through downtown. Also, our maps of Las Vegas will aid you in exploration of the surrounding scenic areas and national parks.

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Fountains at Bellagio


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Fountains at Bellagio
Experience the most ambitious, commanding water feature ever conceived! Bellagio's world-famous fountains will speak to your heart with opera, classical and whimsical music while flirting with your playful nature through their carefully choreographed movements. You'll be swept away by this breathtaking union of water, music and light. View Fountain Video

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