Las Vegas and marriage are inextricably linked, but not necessarily in a classy sense. For hens' or bucks' parties, it's a glorious playground of course. And for those who want to get hitched while drunk, ceremony presided over by someone dressed as Elvis, there's no better place on earth. But for a honeymoon? Well, that doesn't quite seem to fit, does it?
What sort of honeymoon?
A lot, of course, depends on what sort of honeymoon you're after.
Opulence and entertainment
All that money sloshing about in the casinos means that there is some serious opulence on offer in Vegas and that goes way beyond the ridiculous things you can find in the resorts to keep people entertained. The dancing fountains at the Bellagio and the exploding volcano at The Mirage only scratch the surface. You can spend a day barely seeing a glimpse of daylight, hopping between unquestionably cool things. You can move from lion feeding to being a CSI investigator at the MGM Grand alone, whilst other resorts have in-house roller coasters, aquariums and world class exhibitions on everything from the Titanic to the human body. You have no excuse, it's fair to say, for being bored.
One of Las Vegas' most attractive qualities is that in terms of bang for buck it is arguably the best value place to stay in the world. Hotel rooms and suites that would cost double elsewhere can often be snapped up for under $150 a night and some at extremely nice hotels can be nabbed for around $100 if you book in the right places.
You're not going to find any homely hotels here Vegas doesn't do small scale or boutique but hotels do cater to different tastes. The Vdara is a good option for honeymooners it's a non-gambling, non-smoking property that has a relative air of peace and quiet about it. But it's in the CityCenter complex right in the middle of The Strip, so you've got all the action on your doorstep. There's a big emphasis on the spa at Vdara, and if you're wanting to do the romantic pampering thing, then you can sign up for the couples' massage and lounge about in hot tubs beforehand.
You can also take the beach option in Vegas (even if it is a stonkingly fake beach). Mandalay Bay is one of the most reasonably priced of the big casino resorts, and its pool complex is the best in town. A wave machine sends big swells down the main pool, although I suspect anyone attempting to surf them wouldn't be too popular.
World class dining
The money you save on hotels can be spent on the odd splash out meal. Vegas has some seriously good restaurants, and each resort seems to have one or two celebrity chef-run eateries. Sage (inside Aria is an excellent choice the food is modern and inventive, while the décor is sleek and sexy. For something a little more classic and I struggle to think of a better meal I've eaten Picasso at the Bellagio is superb. Original Picasso paintings adorn the walls, and you can grab a window seat for the dancing fountains show in the evening.
And speaking of shows, that's another thing that Vegas does extremely well. Amongst the hackneyed comedians going through the motions and botoxed singers are some things genuinely worth stumping up for. The Cirque du Soleil shows are generally the stand-outs, and their O show is widely recognised as the best. The staging and acrobatics in this aquatic-themed production are on a scale I've never seen anywhere else it's truly extraordinary, and you leave hit by an overwhelming "wow". One of the other Cirque du Soleil shows, however, is a good warm up for a bit of, ahem, honeymoon naughtiness. Zumanity at New York New York has all the acrobatics, but it also ups the racy quotient think orgy scenes and clothing regularly going missing.
If you need a clincher, though, Las Vegas is the nearest big city to one of the natural wonders of the world. You can drive out to the Grand Canyon or approach by tour bus, but to do it in style (and beat the crowds), going in by helicopter offers the once-in-a-lifetime experience. Viator sells a four-in-one Grand Canyon package that sees you picked up by a limo and flown into the canyon by helicopter. From there you go on a boat ride along the Colorado River, then fly back up for the Skywalk and Guano Point viewpoint. Pick the early morning trip, and you pretty much have the canyon to yourself. And, on the way back, you get to fly past the strip. If that doesn't set the pulse racing, nothing will.
The combination of experience and extravagance makes Las Vegas a spectacular honeymoon destination for those who want more than a tropical island to lie about on. Just try and make sure you're not married by an Elvis impersonator first, huh?
Have you been to Vegas? Is it a honeymoon hotbed or a romance wrecker? Share your thoughts below.