This middle-of-the-road, middle-of-the-Strip resort might not have the same cachet as most of its neighbours, Caesars Palace and the Venetian among them, but its parent company is one of the most powerful in town. The acquisition in 2005 of the Imperial Palace, which sits between Harrah's and sibling property the Flamingo, might have been the catalyst for recent change. The 35-year-old resort still plays the tired Mardi Gras theme, but fresh entertainment options, new eateries and just-renovated guestrooms have injected the property with a little spirit.
The guestrooms and suites in Harrah's three towers are comfortable and festive. Many have minibars, some have jetted tubs. The new deluxe rooms have updated decor and amenities.
Eating & drinking
There are no celeb chefs or brand-name chains here; all the restaurants are suitable for casual or smart-casual diners. If you're all dressed up, you'll feel most at home at the Range Steakhouse with its nice views of the Strip. Your next best bets are Penazzi Italian Ristorante and the Oyster Bar at Penazzi for Italian recipes, and Ming's Table, the gourmet restaurant formerly known as Asia, for crispy roast duck. Casual diners flock to remodelled buffet Flavors and the Café at Harrah's, which serves standard coffeeshop fare.
Veteran Strip headliner Rita Rudner moved here from New York New York relatively recently, and continues to draw crowds. But the best option is the family-friendly afternoon magic show delivered by the hugely likeable Mac King. Budd Friedman's famous Improv comedy club brings in fresh comedians each week. And you can listen to live country music in Toby Keith's I Love this Bar & Grill or be dazzled by the flair bartenders in the Carnaval Court.
Harrah's has a wide selection of table games, including Caribbean stud, Let it Ride and casino war. Most blackjack games are dealt from the shoe, but higher limits - at least $25 minimum - are dealt from hand-held decks. Beware the single decks, which have lower limits but pay a measly 6:5 for naturals. Occasionally, gracious pit bosses will bring out the European single-zero roulette wheel for high rollers. For lively action, take a seat in the cosily compact poker room, while the race and sports book offers booths and table seating.