Livin' it up in Las Vegas

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LAS VEGAS --- A 10,000-square-foot suite that includes a basketball halfcourt rents for $25,000 a night at Palms Casino Resort. At MGM Grand's Skylofts, you'll find a bathtub that fizzes with tiny champagnelike massage bubbles, TVs in the mirrors and airport pickup in a $400,000 car.

If you're worried about your mortgage and your job, such luxuries might sound downright obscene. Las Vegas has always specialized in turning fantasy into reality -- for a price. Several Vegas hotels offer suites with futuristic amenities, audacious themes, enough room to hold a wedding along with the honeymoon, and pricetags to match.

There are suites with massage and film screening rooms, 24-hour butler service, pools that seem to hover above the ground, even see-through glass show showers (cue up the thumping music).

Do you like Absolut Vodka? There's a suite at Caesars Palace based on its various flavors, though Absolut Raspberri doesn't flow from the faucets. There's also a suite at The Venetian that has a gym and more than 20 televisions, another at Caesars with a golf simulator so you can work on your swing.

Palms Place Hotel and Spa, which opened in 2008, has taken the upscale concept to a new level, offering luxury penthouses in a nongambling hotel. Sure, the blackjack and pai gow poker tables are only a few steps away, down a walkway called the Skytube that connects to Palms Casino Resort. But the lobby of Palms Place is soothing and quiet in contrast to the usual bright lights and dinging slot machines.

"The idea that you can be still a part of the Palms and not be in the casino atmosphere has been a huge draw," said Palms owner George Maloof. "Palms Place has an upscale feeling and is a place where you can just stay and order room service, but you're also still close to everything."

At MGM Grand's Skylofts, you'll find high-tech crossed with high-end service.

Airport pickup is in a Maybach 62. Butlers pack and unpack your suitcase. Remote controls operate everything from music to drapes. Need a jeweler to bring some bling to your room? The concierge can arrange it.

No need to worry about missing Mad Men while brushing your teeth. There are antifog TVs in the mirrors. The tub can be filled with tiny bubbles.

Looking for themed luxury? The Palms is the place to be.

There's the Hugh Hefner Sky Villa, which is furnished about how you'd expect: sexy reds and whites, leather, artwork picked out by Hef himself and a rotating bed with mirrors on the ceiling. The Hardwood Suite, located in the Fantasy Tower at Palms Casino Resort has an NBA-size halfcourt with Murphy beds in the walls so you can wake up and start shooting right away.

You can stay in a suite with two bowling lanes, another with a DJ setup and stripper pole, or the suite where MTV's Real World was filmed in 2002 -- it looks exactly the same as when Alton, Arissa and the gang were there. There's even a suite designed to look like Ghostbar, a famous hotspot with a transparent floor atop The Palms.

HUGH HEFNER SKY VILLA

HOTEL: The Palms

RATES: $40,000 per night

SQUARE FOOTAGE: 10,000

THE LOWDOWN: The most expensive suite on the Strip has its own glass elevator to the second floor, an infinity pool -- with the Playboy logo on the bottom, of course -- that cantilevers off the balcony and, naturally, a rotating bed with mirrors overhead. There's also a massage room, a screening room, a private gym, an eight-person hot tub and a sauna.

PALMS CASINO RESORT

The 7,000-square-foot Hugh Hefner Sky Villa is named for the Playboy founder.

The 3,000-square-foot Real World Suite at The Palms goes for $10,000 a night. The suite was used to film MTV's Real World show in 2002 and includes two bowling lanes.

The 10,000-square-foot Hardwood Suite at The Palms hotel in Las Vegas, which goes for $25,000 a night, includes a pool table and basketball halfcourt (in background at right).


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