Daily resort fee (includes Wi-Fi, fitness center admission, and newspapers)
No celebrity-chef restaurants
At the southern end of the Strip looms this massive ancient-Egypt-themed hotel, with a main building in the shape of the Great Pyramid of Giza (the 30-story structure shoots from its peak a beam of light so powerful, it's visible from space). In terms of room count, this colossal hotel-casino is second only to the MGM Grand, with 4,406 basic, but comfortable rooms -- many of which were renovated in 2014. Two additional towers of guest rooms, four swimming pools, a 120,000-square-foot casino, the world's largest atrium, a giant sphinx, and a host of dining, entertainment, and nightlife options help the Luxor stand out even among its extravagant neighbors. The Luxor is typically a more affordable alternative to Tropicana Las Vegas across the street, which has an on-site comedy club.
In terms of sheer magnitude and spectacle, this huge ancient-Egypt-themed mega-resort shines
The 4,406-room Luxor is an enormous carnival of a resort, with a main, pyramid-shaped structure (built at about 75 percent to scale of the Great Pyramid of Giza) and two additional ziggurat-inspired black-glass towers. The entrance between the two towers is framed by stone columns that replicate those found at the ancient Karnak Temple Complex, north of Luxor, Egypt. The lobby is modeled after the Abu Simbel temples (also about 75 percent to scale), where two-story-tall statues of Pharaoh Ramesses II overlook the comings and goings of guests. Though quite prominent, the ancient Egypt theme has been dialed back somewhat in recent years in favor of a slightly cooler atmosphere (see: the addition of upscale clubs and bars). Meanwhile, the Luxor offers a fairly typical range of Vegas-style entertainments: a long-running show by illusionist Criss Angel, performance art by Blue Man Group, a topless revue by the Fantasy showgirls, and comedy by Carrot Top.
With more substantive features than lower-end theme-driven properties like Excalibur, but also a far cry from the luxurious opulence of, say, the Venetian, the Luxor falls into a middle ground on the Strip. The rooms are fairly comfortable, the architecture is striking, and the service is solid (though long check-in lines are consistently reported). Considering the range of amenities, the reasonably well-appointed (if unexciting) rooms at surprisingly low rates, decent service, and great location, the Luxor is one of the better values on the Vegas Strip.
At the south end of the Strip, connected by a free tram and indoor walkways to Excalibur and Mandalay Bay
Most Las Vegas visitors want to explore all of the big properties along the densely packed three-and-a-half mile long stretch of hotel-casinos known as the Strip, and the Luxor, at the southern end, offers easy access to several of them. An indoor walkway and a tram connect guests to the medieval castle at Excalibur, which sports kid-friendly activities like an arcade and the Tournament of Kings dinner show; and Mandalay Bay complex (which includes Delano Las Vegas and the Four Seasons), which has 30-plus restaurants and the kid-friendly Shark Reef Aquarium.
Because of the extreme heat, traveling up and down the Strip on foot can be a challenge. Cabs are easy to find at any casino's entrance virtually any time of day or night. One less expensive alternative is the Deuce, a double-decker bus that runs up and down the strip 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The monorail, which sits behind the hotels on the east side of the Strip, starts at the MGM Grand, about a 15-minute walk from the Luxor. It stops at MGM Grand, Bally's/Paris, Flamingo/Caesars Palace, Harrah's/the LINQ, the Convention Center, Westgate, and the SLS. Single-ride tickets and one-day passes are available. (If you're traveling with at least one other person, a cab is usually less expensive.)
Virtually every hotel on the Las Vegas Strip is a 10- to 15-minute cab ride from the airport.
Pyramid and Tower rooms mostly leave the hotel's kitschy theme behind
The hotel's original pyramid building holds 2,528 of its rooms and suites, while the two towers contain 1,950 rooms and 237 suites. Room decor in the Pyramid rooms hits the ancient Egypt theme harder than newer Tower rooms; Pyramid rooms feature closets with hieroglyphics on the doors and beds with headboards that resemble ancient Egyptian headdresses (though the tomb-artwork bedspreads were scrapped as part of the Pyramid rooms' 2014 refresh). At 364 square feet, Pyramid rooms are slightly below average for the Strip. (The Luxor's website claims 420 square feet, but our reporter's tape measure suggested otherwise.) Exacerbating the confined space, the outer walls slant inward, making it hard to fully appreciate the view and minimizing ceiling space above the sitting area. Several guests have wondered if the Pyramid's presumably hard-to-clean exterior is to blame for the occasionally dirty windows. The bathrooms in the Pyramid are fairly well-appointed but far from spectacular, with a decent amount of counter space, tiled floors, and clean showers -- but no tubs.
By contrast, the Tower rooms are larger (about 450 square feet, per both the hotel and our reporter's measure), and because the walls are vertical, the view through the floor-to-ceiling windows is more enjoyable and the living space more usable. Bathrooms here feature both a shower and a deep soaking tub.
Pyramid and Tower room types do share some qualities. The beds are outfitted with comfortable but not quite luxurious Spring Air mattresses. Electronics include Samsung flat-screen TVs with cable and in-room movies and radio alarm clocks, but no iPod docks. The Luxor also offers suites that can sleep four, have separate living areas, and range from 590 to 1,050 square feet.
Note that the hotel has introduced a non-smoking policy, but some guests have complained of their rooms retaining the residual smell of smoke.
A vast range of amenities and entertainment choices (at very reasonable rates) on par with several of Luxor's neighbors on the Las Vegas Strip
The Luxor's four pools sit on a 125,000-square-foot pool deck. That's a lot of real estate, but with cement decks and standard plastic lounge chairs, the pools don't distinguish themselves much from those at Excalibur or Planet Hollywood. One nice feature: The massive main pool sports cement islands, where guests sun themselves or deposit beer bottles. A team of attentive cocktail servers bring drinks from the Oasis Pool Bar. Guests have to pay for anything else that enhances the pool experience. For a daily fee, padded lounge chairs and daybeds are available; both come with towel service, a raft, and a bucket of water bottles. Cabanas are also rentable, and include a refrigerator, bottled waters and Gatorades, bowls of fruit, newspapers, 42-inch flat-screen TVs, phones, and rafts. On Sundays, the North Pool hosts a gay pool party, complete with a DJ and go-go boys. The hotel also has five bars and one nightclub, LAX.
Despite a 2014 renovation, Nurture Spa isn't Vegas-style top-of-the-line, but it's pleasant, with men's and women's steam rooms, saunas, whirlpools, and meditation lounges. As with all MGM resorts, guests have access to the private Shadow Creek Golf Course, about a 20-minute drive from the Strip. The greens are only open to resort guests, and MGM offers a personal limo from the Strip and caddie service. The gym, located next to the pool, is large, well-lit, and stocked with Cybex cardio machines (elliptical trainers, exercise bikes, treadmills), a full set of free weights, strength machines, Pilates balls, and ab exercisers.
The array of services at the Luxor mirrors that of many low- to mid-priced Strip mega-resorts. The staff fulfills small requests with speed and efficiency, but it doesn't proactively engage guests to offer help. The bell staffers stand ready to hail a taxi for departing guests, but don't run up to new arrivals to take bags, as they do at more upscale places like the Wynn or Bellagio. The high volume of guests means that check-in can take as long as 20 minutes. So many people try to get their rooms at the same time that the Luxor set up multiple rows of velvet rope running the length of the huge front desk to help handle the crowd.
The Luxor hosts more families than average Vegas properties, which isn't surprising given the huge pools, the Disney-like ancient Egypt decor and architecture, and the Bodies exhibition. The hotel advertises its own Fantasy topless revue -- but, of course, parents will be hard-pressed to find a flesh-free zone anywhere in Vegas. Crib and cot rentals cost a nightly fee, and there's a charge added for each guest over double occupancy (regardless of age) and a four-guests-per-room maximum.
Luxor renovated its 120,000-square-foot casino floor in 2014; it now contains more than 1,000 slot and video poker machines, a poker room (which offers limit and no-limit Texas Hold-'em and daily tournaments), a sports book, and 60-plus table games. The casino's overhead atrium is reportedly the largest in the world.
An unexceptional buffet, a standard-issue food court, and fancy-but-not-famous high-end dining
With several sit-down restaurants and a mall-like food court, the Luxor offers many dining options. You won't find any celebrity-chef restaurants, but there is a steakhouse, a standard Mexican joint, and a casual cafe that serves breakfast all day. More, the buffet, offers good variety and value, but is otherwise unexceptional.