The Sunday Times Magazine: A bad girl’s guide to Vegas

01_E03lasvegas_1202578kI don’t know how much we lost playing roulette, what time we left the casino or the club, how many drinks we downed or how we found our way back to the hotel. All I know is that by the time morning came, we were circling Trump’s gold skyscraper in a chopper, looking down at Vegas as if it were a toy town, and I was still wearing last night’s make-up and fake diamonds, and was still drunk on last night’s champagne.

But we were in Vegas, baby! I’d never felt so good. Or so bad. You don’t go to Sin City to relax, you go to complete your bucket list — then compose your confessions. It is the homeland of The Hangover.

Only in Vegas can you book vodka-themed suites or rooms with a basketball court; stay out all night playing blackjack, then have an Elvis-chapel wedding. It’s a town where stretch limos are ubiquitous, grocery stores have slot machines and, for £50, you can hire exotic dancers to your room. As the saying has it: “Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go to Vegas.”

So I did.

The Strip itself is a frenetic funfair in the desert, Blackpool on steroids, a place seemingly built by a mobster so fearful of flying, he erected the wonders of the world on one street. We rolled down it, past hotels shaped like pyramids, a mini New York, a Fantasia castle, a demi-sized Eiffel Tower. Past Caesars Palace’s re-creation of Rome, with vast plaster columns and the Fountain of the Gods, to our hotel, the Venetian, complete with fake sky and gondola rides.

The whole town is supersized instant gratification: every corridor sparkles with fake-diamond chandeliers, every hotel resounds with the “ker-ching” of slot machines paying out, the calls of roulette and the rattle of craps.

Neon signs promise “Burlesque”, “Jackpot!”, “Megabucks”, “Win $1 Million”. Outside the Erotic Heritage Museum, a huge sign stretches to the sky, advertising the Déjà Vu Love Boutique. The word “penis” is written in huge letters up its considerable length.


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