I have made my yearly pilgrimage to Las Vegas for about 10 years now and have discovered that I have the best time for the least amount of money at the Mirage Hotel and Casino. Yes, there are more lucrative hotels to stay at and of course there are many cheaper rates along the strip; however, when you consider cost per room, amenities, daily travel expenses, comfort, food, and hospitality, you can not go wrong with the Mirage.

The Mirage offers very competitive rates and you just have to check often to catch their great specials. Things get competitive at certain times of the year and the Mirage is very good about keeping even or beating most midline hotels. They offer an upscale appearance throughout the hotel with a flair of elegance on the tropical side. By no means do you feel like you are at a cheap hotel when visiting this hotel. I consider the appearance to be 4 stars on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being majestically classy. If you want a 5 star hotel in this area then I suggest the Wynn Hotel or the Bellagio just be prepared to pay double or even triple the rates.

Now that you have secured a very nice hotel with great accommodations, you can start enjoying the benefits of your selection. One of those advantages is the centralized location of the hotel. The Mirage are use to be considered the far north end of the strip, but with all the northward expansion it has now become more centered along the strip. Most of the major casino’s are now within walking distance and you will not need to come up with the extra expenses of a cab or the monorail system. You may be drawn to cheaper hotel rates such as the Luxor or Circus Circus, but they are located at extreme opposite ends of the strip. They will require extra travel expenses for a cab to be able to visit the other major casinos. Once you add in these extra travel expenses you would have been better off paying the slightly higher rates to stay at the Mirage.

Another convenient advantage of the Mirage is that it is located directly across the street from a strip of restaurants and fast food locations. There is an Outback Steakhouse, Panda Express, McDonalds, Subway, Pizza Parlor and many other places. If you eat in the hotels be prepared to spend at least $15 for breakfast, $20 for lunch and $30 for dinner. This adds up very quickly and can break the bank on a 3-4 day stay. By staying at the Mirage and being so close to these eateries you can save a great amount of money.

Another advantage is the late night gambling at the casino. Many casinos stay jam packed into the early hours of morning. However, at the Mirage, it starts to thin out around 3am. It thins out just enough to keep it fun but also enough to where you do not have to wait to sit down at a table. In addition, my experience is that after this time, the odds of winning increase greatly. The dealers seem to offer more help and advice when it is not so crowded and I have always achieved my greatest winnings at these hours and at the Mirage.

I usually start out with poker online so as to get myself a warm up and then go for a nice game of slot and then move on to blackjack and Russian roulette where I don’t rest until I lose a fortune only to come back the next day and regain what I had lost the previous night.

The pool area at the Mirage is outstanding and very tropical. The setting makes you feel like you in the Bahamas or on some tropical island. There are different areas of the pool were you are free to explore. If you seek luxury and privacy there are Bahama huts that you may rent out. There is a children’s pool that is separated from the main pool. There is also a hot tub that is situated away from the main pool area and back into some trees. It is very relaxing and quiet back in the spa area. There is also a bar and restaurant area near the pool. If you are an adult and prefer a pool area that is topless and full of attention, you may visit the “adult” pool, which is separated and very secluded. Of course, there is a fee to use this pool and the fee is much cheaper for women.

The Mirage also offers many shows and attractions during different times of the years. Currently, they have the Cirque du Soleil®, ventriloquists, and other various comedians and performers. If you are into having a few drinks and dancing the night away, there is a top notch dance club just off the main casino floor. Be prepared to stand in a long line to get into this very popular club if you are a guy. Usually women get in first, so try to group yourself with a group of women to ensure quicker entrance. Also, outside you will find the Siegfried  amp; Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. There you will find beautiful species of lions, tigers, panthers, leopards, and dolphins. Every night on the hour, the large Volcano in front of the hotel erupts with bright colors and music for spectators to enjoy. Be sure to bring the camera as you definitely want to capture those spectacular photos.

Lastly, the staff is very helpful and hospitable at all times. The hotel goes out of its way to make you feel at home. I have stayed at other hotels considered to be more “upscale” hotels but the staff at those places was just not as attentive as the Mirage. Be sure to leave enough camera space and time to check out the extra large saltwater aquarium located behind the check in counter. It is like being at the bottom of the ocean. Good luck and enjoy your stay!

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Rosalinda is a game theory analyst and an avid reader. She loves studying old casino cultural history. Her friends refer to her as an interesting nerd.