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Things tend to be larger than life in the heart of the Strip. Consider the scale replica of the Eiffel Tower—half the size of the original. Or wander into CityCenter, the $8.5-billion city-within-a-city.

This part of the Strip stretches from CityCenter and Planet Hollywood to the Mirage, including Mandarin Oriental, the Cosmopolitan, Paris, Bally’s, The Cromwell, Caesars Palace (and the Nobu Hotel), the Flamingo, and Harrah’s along the way. Taken as a group, these properties represent some of the most storied on the Strip (Caesars Palace and the Flamingo) and the newest (The Cromwell ).

The Center Strip can be characterized by shopping. Lots and lots of shopping. The highest of the high-end stores are inside Crystals, the gateway to CityCenter. At Planet Hollywood, reputable brands dominate the Miracle Mile. Stores inside the astonishing Forum Shops, next to Caesars, fall somewhere in between. Outside Bally's, the Grand Bazaar Shops replicates an open-air mall. The Center Strip even is home to one of the largest Walgreens in the world. Another commonality among hotels here: great spas. Treatment options at Mandarin Oriental, Aria, the Cosmopolitan, and Caesars Palace could keep visitors busy (or is it relaxed?) for months. Some spas also offer hammams.

Rooms themselves in this area are all over the lot; some, like standard rooms at Bally’s, are affordable and bare-bones; others, such as those inside the Cosmopolitan, make all others appear to be so yesterday. It pays to shop around.

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