You can't miss Luxor, the giant glass pyramid at the south end of the Strip. It's home to Criss Angel, artifacts from the Titanic and a giant sphinx statue.
King Tut at the disco, a mid-range themed hotel, family-friendly without being a circus
It's a freakin' pyramid. From the bat-attracting megawatt light on top (visible from the International Space Station) to the sphinx out front, we love the Egyptian touches -- especially now that the kitschy décor has been dialed back from what the resort opened with in 1993.
Luxor routinely offers some of the more affordable hotel rates on the Strip and the property is packed with things to do (the Titanic and Bodies exhibits are favorites). It won't break your budget, but you won't feel like you're staying in a budget hotel.
Luxor has a large pool (and we're not just talking about the massive 125,650-square-foot deck). Their 19,000 square feet of sparkling water is bigger than the postage stamp-sized vanity pools you see at some resorts. Our only sadness is that it's closed seasonally from fall to spring.
The pyramid rooms are cheaper, but older and smaller. The tradeoff is you get to ride an inclinator (a 39-degree angled elevator) to your room. Mark that off the bucket list. Pyramid rooms also open directly onto hallways that overlook the pyramid's atrium. Rooms on higher floors have a great view and also less noise. For newer rooms, try those in the Luxor tower adjacent and connected directly to the pyramid.
Keep in mind: All of the rooms are non-smoking. Guests who smoke in any room will have to pay a $300 cleaning fee upon checkout. Save yourself some money and smoke in designated areas like the casino.
Want a cup of coffee in the morning? The Luxor, like many Las Vegas hotels, has eliminated coffee pots in their rooms. So if you need a java infusion in the a.m. head to one of three Starbucks located in the hotel or any of the restaurants.
Luxor has a massive casino (even by Vegas standards) so it's easy to get turned around. Just remember that while this is a pyramid, the bottom is a square (finally high school geometry pays off). If you get lost, head to the edge and follow it around. All the restaurants, theaters and check-in desk are along the perimeter, with a few more (including the Bodies and Titanic attractions) on the second level. At the center beneath the pyramid's apex is the casino.
Although everybody takes a selfie in front of the pyramid or the sphinx, we like taking one with the quirky statue of Criss Angel levitating. It's located in the southeast corner of the main floor. Just make a left when you walk in from the main valet and head past all the rooms until you see the Mindfreak magician floating over a 10-foot pyramid.
In the summer, Luxor boasts the city's longest-running LGBT pool party -- Temptation Sundays.
Enclosed, and more importantly, air-conditioned corridors connect the Luxor to Mandalay Bay and Excalibur so you'll never need to step outdoors in 100-degree weather. There is also a tram between properties.