Caesars Palace. Is there a name that better evokes classic Vegas than this one? It’s pretty much a standing Vegas cliché: built with mob money, dogged by corruption charges throughout the 70’s. Really all they need is Sharon Stone drunkenly plowing her Lincoln Town Car into the front lobby and the fantasy is complete. But Caesars has come a long way since its Wild West beginnings. Though it’s most recent renovation was a few years back, the rooms are nonetheless nicely appointed. They have one of the bests spas, Qua, for daytime mampering, enough casino space and fun options to make it a solid choice, and The Forum Shops are still among the better places in Vegas for your party to people-watch in air-conditioned comfort or buy clubbing shoes for the one guy who always wears sneakers. Plus, what other place boasts an animatronic laughing Bacchus fountain? Try to prevent the drunken Bachelor from jumping in (or not; it’ll be pretty funny).
Hit Cleopatra's Barge, a classic Vegas kitsch institution complete with floating stage for the house band. They’ve done some renovations lately, but no matter what it beats the Celine Dion show. (Is there any worldly activity that doesn’t beat a Celine Dion show?)
Clubs/bars on premises: PURE, Shadow Bar, Cleopatra’s Barge
Best Feature: Absinthe, a new burlesque-type live show, Caesars now has a beer garden (free to enter, pay to drink) outside with drinks, food (Baby's Badass Burgers), beer pong, shuffleboard, bean bag toss, and more. The most bachelor-pad-esque drinking experience we’ve found in Vegas; just don’t stay outside in the heat too long.
Pool scene?: Not too lively, but a huge selection of watering holes, all named after Roman gods. The Venus Pool is the most party-oriented, featuring a roving margarita and mojito cart (and a $20 cover).
Nearby Eats: BOA Steakhouse, Restaurant Guy Savoy, Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak, and Stone Crab, Bradley Ogden, Neros, Hyakumi, Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill, Rao's, Payard Patisserie, Spago