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Mirage

The tropical-themed Mirage is a mid-range property with a wide range of restaurants, bars, and shops. Plus, it’s home to an erupting volcano and a Cirque du Soleil production as well as dolphins, white tigers and leopards… oh my! The vibe: Lush setting, multigenerational, something for everyone What we love: We like that The Mirage’s roster of restaurants spans multiple genres and multiple price points from CPK to Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steak. So when you sit down to peruse the menus, your response could be everything from “Wow, that’s affordable” to “We’re definitely not ordering wine with that.” The Mirage’s pool area has a lot more greenery than the newer resort pools in Vegas. Comprised of a series of lagoons with waterfalls, inlets and even little palm-tree lined islands, you’ll feel like you’ve been marooned with Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins (oh, and a couple hundred sunbathers) in “The Blue Lagoon.” A hottie of an attraction since the property opened in 1989, The Mirage’s volcano is still a sight to be seen and felt. It sits right in front of the property in another tranquil lagoon…at least this lagoon is tranquil until the volcano erupts, which happens several times a night. Steam rises. Water shoots up. Lava spews. Flames dance. And a blast of heat will burn off your alcohol fatigue. Insider tips: To claim the best spot for viewing The Mirage’s erupting volcano, arrive early and stake out a place up front. We have just one caveat: By standing up close, things may get a bit toasty. The volcano isn’t the only free attraction at The Mirage. There are two mermaid statues just inside the front entrance. Rumor has it you should rub their — what shall we say — er, “chest area” for good luck. Also, a bronze statue dedicated to legendary magicians Siegfried & Roy is nestled among the lush greenery on the Strip. A photo here is a must. Save yourself a little walking by hopping on the free tram (just outside The Mirage’s front entrance) that links the hotel to Treasure Island. It runs between 7 a.m. – 2 a.m. daily, arriving and departing approximately every 15 minutes. Good to know: The base-level resort rooms at The Mirage are stylish and comfortable. They were last remodeled in 2009 and some are in better shape than others. Though not exactly voluminous, these rooms aren’t cramped either, except in the bathrooms. So if you want a little more space to spread out in, as well as a bathroom with a separate tub and shower, then book a suite. All the rooms at The Mirage have minibars (you know, those little mini fridges stuffed with refreshments). Warning: This is not the kind of fridge you can use for storing your leftovers or snacks. There’s no room in it to put anything and if you move items around, the sensors will charge you. That means you’ll get a not-so-pleasant surprise when you see your bill at checkout. All rooms are non-smoking; if you light up, you’ll be charged a smoking fee of $500 for rooms and $1000 for suites. Save yourself the trouble and light up in permitted areas, like the casino and bars.

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