A classic, Dan Tanna-esque Vega$ experience can still be had at the grande dame of the Strip's Famous Four Corners. Though now owned by Harrah's, Bally's has stayed true to its Hollywood roots, albeit probably because management simply hasn't got around to renovating yet. The garish 8 miles of ostentatious looping neon, part of a multi-million-dollar 'grand entry' that delivers tourists to the hotel's elegant porte cochère, is pretty ugly, but Bally's retains its classic appeal inside. Amenities include an oversized, heated pool with private cabañas; eight floodlit tennis courts next to a pro shop where you can sign up for lessons (it's one of the last hotels on the Strip with tennis courts); a full-service health club; and access to the Caesars-owned Cascata golf course. The Bally Avenue Shoppes house one-off boutiques.
The good-sized standard rooms are decorated with a West Coast casual elegance of bright velvet couches offset by muted earth tones. Of the 2,814 rooms, 265 are suites: the one- and two-bedroom Grand Suites, each with a huge jetted tub and wet bar, are slightly more contemporary. The 22nd Club offers access to private concierge services, free breakfast and evening cocktails with gorgeous Strip views.
Eating & drinking
The restaurant selection is like the rest of the resort: a throwback to old-school subtlety. It's no surprise that the best place to eat is an all-you-can-scoff affair: Sunday's Sterling Brunch, a spectacular linen-and-champers buffet for which booking is necessary. Al Dente offers contemporary Italian food, and the New England-style Steakhouse does grilled beef and seafood right. The only new addition: Yuk Sing Wong's Asia, serving regional specialities such as Hong Kong won ton soup and Szechwan shrimp. Along with the Jubilee!, there's a host of casual spots for sushi, ice-cream, sandwiches and Italian fast food, plus cocktails at the sport-and-slots bar Sully's and the Mexican-slanted Tequila Bar.
For an old-school Vegas show experience, Indigo Lounge is just the ticket: beautiful showgirls reprising world-famous production numbers with lavish sets and spectacular choreography (topless on the late run). A rotating line-up of local acts plays the .
The casino is a large, rectangular space, an inviting atmosphere of soft lighting and art deco accents with 65 table games and 2,100 slot machines. Among them are 'champagne' $1,000 slots, with a top payout of a cool mil. Not surprisingly, you'll find all the latest creations from machine-maker Bally, including laserdisc versions of craps, roulette and blackjack; all are excellent practice tools before heading to the actual tables. The buy-ins at the tables start at $10 with an occasional $5 single-deck 6:5 21 game, though many players wager far more than the minimum. The video poker is pretty pitiful, but the sports book, on the lower level, is as classy and technically advanced as those at the Bellagio and the Hilton, and it's only crowded on big-game days.