Though it was never as grand as the ruins at Giza, the black, bold Luxor pyramid that punctuates the Strip has lost its original kitschy glory. Sure, the exterior hasn’t changed, and the 315,000-watt beam of light that shoots from the top of the Luxor is still so powerful you can see it from outer space. But inside, the dynasty has definitely fallen. Gone are the once-unavoidable faux Egyptian monuments (save for Cleopatra’s Needle and the Sphinx in the front, as well as the ominous Ramses statues still guarding the main entrance) in favor of a toned-down environment. It’s a shame, really. The little details were what made Luxor so fun to explore. Today it’s known only for its reasonable room rates and connection to Mandalay Bay.
Most believe that the Pyramid Rooms are the best to stay in, if only for the inclinator (not an elevator) ride that guests must take to get to their abode. It’s a jolting, not-smooth ride at a 39-degree angle up the side of the building, but a novel way to change floors. Beyond that elevator ride, I don’t recommend the Pyramid for stays; the angled windows make the rooms in that tower feel smaller than they are. And if you need a tub, you’re out of luck in the pyramid. Bottom line: request a room in one of the other twin, 22-story cubes,which have recently been upgraded out of the garish ancient Egypt phase with a more natural color palette and streamlined decor.
The casino feels enormous even by Las Vegas standards at 120,000 square feet, but ever since the stripping of the Egyptian kitsch, it’s pretty banal. Maybe the artifacts were too distracting from the clanging of more than 2,000 slot machines.
Luxor’s five-acre pool is divided into four sections. An oasis of faux Egyptian decor, it boasts one of the largest pool decks on the Strip. During the summer, there’s an LGBT-friendly pool party (one of the few on the Strip) Temptation Sundays, with a live DJ and lots of hot, sculpted eye candy.
What Luxor lacks in personality these days, it makes up for in entertainment options. Prop comedian Carrot Top’s long-running show is still a hit, while Blue Man Group is always a fun night out. Things can get educational as well, with visits to the popular Bodies and well-regarded Titanic exhibits.
Though the restaurant collection is more diverse at neighbor Mandalay Bay, Luxor has a few of its own gems, such as modern Tacos and Tequila, and game-meat oriented Tender Steakhouse.