A veritable destination within a destination, the Rio, just west of the Las Vegas Strip, is an oasis of restaurants, nightclubs, shows, gaming and other great Vegas-style escapes.
Every day is Carnivale, with the party atmosphere punctuated seven times a day by a fantasy parade of overhead floats called the "Masquerade Show in the Sky." The free show (it's $12.95 to actually ride in one of the floats), filled with by music and dance, travels around the ceiling of the Masquerade Village, a wing of the hotel that offers a big taste of the Rio experience. For bowling enthusiasts, try the new Lucky Strike, which besides bowling has great food, bars and music.
Much more action surrounds the heart of the 106,000-square-foot casino, starting with a smorgasbord of restaurants, including the All-American Bar & Grille, Buzio's Seafood, the Carnival World Buffet, Gaylord's Indian and Hamada's Asiana. Café Martorano serves up Italian-American cuisine and the Wine Cellar and Tasting room showcases over 50,000 bottles of wine.
For an after-dinner treat there are two nightly performances of "Chippendales: The Show". The rest of the Rio's show bill ranges from "Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding," a theatrical performance that satires an Italian-American wedding and involves the audience, to the sharp comedy and edgy magic of Penn & Teller. At the Voodoo Café & Lounge surround yourself in ambiance and enjoy the view of the Strip from the 50th and 51st floors.
The Rio has more than 2,500 suites that go up to 1,600 square feet, and they come with a full range of services and amenities. Pets are welcome with certain conditions applying. Ready to tie the knot? A full floor of the Masquerade Tower is devoted to you, with three elaborate chapels as well as honeymoon suites. There are workout facilities, a full-service spa and Michael's Salon. Once you're feeling good about your body, take it out to the sandy beach around the tropical lagoon, which features waterfalls and four swimming pools.
And if you want to play a round on a secluded championship golf course, the Rio has one that's a short limo ride away: the Rio Secco, which includes the Butch Harmon School of Golf.