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CRYSTALS AT CITYCENTER

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CityCenter

3720 Las Vegas Blvd. S.

Las Vegas, NV 89109

702-590-9299

website

Store hours vary

Mall

B+

AT A GLANCE

What is it?

A very expensive, very dramatically designed mall featuring lots of high-end stores that most people can't afford to shop at.

Where is it?

At CityCenter on the South Strip.

What do they sell?

All sorts of luxury merchandise from brand names like Bally, Bulgari, Cartier, Christian Dior, Donna Karan, Fendi, Gucci, Harry Winston, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Nanette Lepore, Porsche (no, not cars, just the clothes and accessories for them), Prada, Tiffany & Co., Tom Ford, Versace, and Yves St. Laurent to name a few.

What are the prices like?

Oh, it's like shopping at K-mart. Nothing but blue light specials. If the blue lights were made out of real sapphires.

What should I be sure to check out?

The water features are kinda cool and they're free.

Why should I shop here?

You have heard the maxim "if you need to ask you can't afford it" and you have never asked.

What else do I need to know?

There are several restaurants in case you need a refueling during your shopping binge.

What's the bottom line?

Only for discerning tastes and budgets.

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FULL REVIEW

Here's a quiz: What do you think Crystals, a shopping center at the heart of a multi-billion dollar casino and hotel development on The Las Vegas Strip is like:

  • A standard-variety mall, pretty much like any other you'll find in suburban Your Town, USA.
  • A dramatic, almost avant garde structure with high-end luxury stores offering goods that 99% of the public can't afford.

If you chose B, you're smarter than you look.

The building itself is surprising in a lot of ways. Evoking the shape of its namesake, the jutting angles and soaring rooflines create a sense of drama on the outside but once you get inside it is a much more pedestrian affair. Perhaps its the overuse of plain white walls, but with the exception of the colorful storefronts and a few eye-catching details it is a pretty bland affair. The big wooden "treehouse" in the center contains a restaurant and certainly is worth appreciating and the beautiful wood and stained glass staircase is lovely, but other than that it's a sea of white.

The angles of the structure also create some strange traffic patterns as well, where walkways seem to end for no good reason and getting from point a to point b requires some trial and error. Wait... how did I get here?

The stores are a mix of expensive and really, really expensive: rare and limited edition books at Assouline, high-end leather goods at Bottega Veneta, pricey jewelry and watches at de Grisogno and H. Stern, and such brand names at Louis Vuitton, Porsche Design, Prada, Roberto Cavalli, Van Cleef and Arpels, Versace, Hermes Paris, Cartier, and Bulgari to name a few. They are all notable in their own way but perhaps especially notable is the first freestanding Tom Ford on the West Coast and the massive 10,000 square-foot Tiffany & Company.

Restaurants include Todd English P.U.B., serving up pub grub style selections from master chef Todd English. Mastro's Ocean Club serves up the steak and seafood, while Wolfgang Puck has two outlets including a bistro and a grab-and-go café. The mall also houses the return of the very popular Social House, once located at Treasure Island.

Also of note are the two water features done by the same company that built the Bellagio Fountains. You can read more about those here.

Crystals is worth seeing if for no other reason than its architecture is completely original and interesting. Whether you do any actual shopping there - other than the window variety - is a whole other question best left to you and your bank account.

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