What happens when the City of Lights collides with the City of Light? Versions of Paris's greatest monuments cut down to size, all-you-can-eat crêpes at the buffet, reasonably polite waiters, ancient Rome across the street… and, of course, the lights never go out. If only the real Paris could be so accommodating. Even the French love Las Vegas.
To say that this huge resort in the heart of the Strip is one of the town's most eye-catching is to do its effervescent absurdity a rank injustice. Its reproductions of Parisian landmarks start with the 34-storey hotel tower modelled after the Hôtel de Ville, and also take in the Louvre, the Paris Opéra, the Arc de Triomphe and, of course, the half-scale replica of the Eiffel Tower, built using Gustav Eiffel's original plans, that plunges into the casino. The theming continues within, with French-themed restaurants, shops and even, though you'll need to look closely, the casino. It may seem rather sub-Disney at first glance, but it's by no means all haw-hee-haw cliché: you can also get a massage in a mock-Balinese spa, sun yourself by the rooftop pool or take in one of Broadway's biggest recent hits.
The smallish guestrooms are comfortable, prim and stately, decorated in rich Regency style; some are furnished with canopied beds and armoires. The spacious marble bathrooms are outfitted with vanities, a make-up mirror and soaking tubs.
Eating & drinking
Paris Las Vegas doesn't do too badly at living up to its theme city's culinary reputation, albeit without the breadth of styles you'll find at the Venetian or the Bellagio. Along with JJ's Boulangerie and La Creperie, serving sandwiches and delicious sweet and savoury crêpes, and the quaint Le Village Buffet, which features regional cuisine from five French provinces, the hotel has the Eiffel Tower Restaurant, located on the tower's 11th floor, and the bustling Mon Ami Gabi, a streetside brasserie serving classics such as steak frites. Les Artistes Steakhouse has a menu of rotisserie-style meats, fish and poultry, while Ah Sin is a chic place with patio dining that serves Thai and Chinese dishes along with Korean barbecue and sushi. Most ridiculous of all? Le Burger Brasserie, putatively a French take on American classics. Hmm.
If Paris Las Vegas's strolling mimes leave you unenthusiastic, there's a variety of ways to spend the night wisely (or otherwise). The major show here is Risqué, the latest in a longish line of Broadway and/or West End imports to try their luck. If we all ignore hypnotist Anthony Cools, who performs six shows a week, perhaps he'll go away. A better bet is Napoleon's, a nightclub where old-world France meets contemporary Asian-tilted lounge, complete with house music and dessert bar. Downstairs there's dance music under sparkly lights among the shady faux trees of Le Cabaret. And there are decidedly non-French duelling piano singalongs in , a champagne and cigar bar.
Three of the Eiffel Tower's four legs plunge into the casino, which is smaller, noisier and more energetically crowded than most. The 100 table games and 2,000-plus slot machines are not as budget-friendly as they used to be, though there are still plenty of 25¢ slots. The race and sports book has big TVs and 'pari-mutuel' betting on horse racing. Theming is rampant, from Monet-influenced carpets and Paris Métro-style wrought-iron canopies above the games to security guards in gendarme uniforms. Check out the LeRoy Neiman paintings in the high-limit pit.