Paris was one of the few hotels that opened in the late '90s that could be described as "instant hit." While many of the other mega-resorts stumbled out of the gate and took awhile to catch on (Venetian), Paris was immediately popular with just about everyone, including myself.
The concept is nothing new: take a scenic city, country, or locale and recreate it in the Nevada desert. It's been done with Rome, New York, Venice, Egypt, New Orleans, and on and on. But from the massive Eiffel Tower replica to the cute little tins that the soap comes in, this place stands above the pack with nice touches and inspiring detail.
Of course the centerpiece of Paris is the Eiffel Tower replica, soaring some 50 stories above The Strip. As you pull in to the main drive you are greeted by a row of fountains leading to a faithful recreation of the Arc de Triomphe.
The casino area is surrounded by a Parisian village façade so you feel as though you are wasting your money in a park in the heart of the city. The ceiling is even painted to resemble the sky, lending to the feeling of openness. The turn of the century setting lends an air of romance and elegance that are probably missing from the real city at the turn of the millennium. When you come here you have to take some time to notice the little things like the ornate cherub statuettes holding up the light posts. Also notice the big things like the legs of the Eiffel Tower, which extend into the casino through the roof. They built the tower first and then built the casino around it.
Once you register in the ornate white marble lobby, it's a short walk alongside the casino to the elevators. Standard rooms are not the biggest in town and compared to more modern affairs they are starting to feel a little frumpy (floral bedspreads? Really?). But they are more than adequate with one king or two queen beds, a couple of chairs, a writing desk, alarm clocks, high-speed Internet, irons and boards, and an armoire with a big TV featuring pay-per-view movies and other online services. The bathrooms are average size with lots of marble, hair dryers, and your typical bath amenities.
The up-market Red Rooms jazz up the furnishings with lots of purple tones. No, I'm just kidding. Red is the theme from the padded oversized headboards to the throws, drapes, and accent pillows. Funky suede lip-shaped couches are a fun touch.
Back downstairs you'll find a host of entertainment and dining options scattered around the casino and through the French village themed shopping arcade plus a nightclub and a showroom. Check the related reviews below for a few of the things you can do at Paris.
There's also a pool and spa on the roof above the casino. It's a little too plain and expansive for my tastes but there is something about sipping a cocktail on a lounge chair at the base of the Eiffel Tower that is undeniably appealing.
Oh and of course there's the Eiffel Tower itself. If you can handle the stomach churning ride in the glass elevators up to the top of the thing you won't find a better close-up view of The Strip anywhere in town. It's also a great vantage point from which to watch the Bellagio Fountain show across the street.
As far as service is concerned, everyone here in my experience has been friendly, attentive, and forgiving of people who lock themselves out of their hotel rooms. Thank you Paris security.
In terms of price, this has become a medium-tier hotel - cheaper than your Venetians and Wynns but usually more than other themed places like Excalibur and Luxor. Although you may occasionally see a $59 weekday rate and a $99 weekend rate, the more common will be in the $100-$150 range weekdays and $125-$200 range on weekends. When looking at rates, don't forget about the $35 per night mandatory resort fee and $18 per day valet parking charge that are added on top.
It's hard to imagine using the word "charming" to describe a 3,000-room mega-resort on the Las Vegas Strip but I'm going to - Paris is a charming hotel and still one of my favorites in town.