Las Vegas had long been fascinated with water, mainly because of the fact that the arid city doesn’t have a steady water source but instead has to pump it in from man-made Lake Mead, 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas. Casinos and hotels first erected elaborate pools and fountains, then entire indoor water features, such as the canals at the Venetian. The Mirage was one of the first to venture into the indoor waterfall fray, but other properties along the Strip have followed suit with impressive indoor waterfalls and water shows. Amid all the casinos and attractions in Las Vegas, a few indoor waterfalls stand out.
The Mirage (mirage.com) has outdoor waterfalls both by the pool and the front entrance, as well as a volcano, aquarium and dolphin habitat. The rain forest atrium in The Mirage is accessible even if you’re not staying at the hotel. It takes four full-time gardeners to maintain the more than 100 types of plants under the glass dome, which towers 100 feet in the air. Walk along the paths bordered by orchids, bromeliads and birds of paradise trees. Mist is pumped into the atrium to keep plants healthy. The centerpiece of the humid atrium is a 60-foot stone waterfall that cascades into the lagoons that meander below.
The Palazzo Hotel (palazzo.com) has a two-story waterfall in the atrium that connects its Shoppes at the Palazzo with the Grand Canal Shoppes of its sister property, the Venetian Hotel. The waterfall is surrounded by a mall esplanade and flows straight down into a shallow pool. The waterfall gets holiday dress for such days as Christmas and the Chinese New Year. A 98-foot long animated snake and even larger peach tree sat in the atrium in front of the waterfall for the 2013 Chinese New Year celebration. The tree was filled with Chinese lanterns, and decorative I Ching coins were on display in front of the tree and waterfall. The waterfall atrium is used for events throughout the year, such as the Chinese New Year lantern festival and dragon dance.
A two-story waterfall welcomes you to the lobby of PH Towers Westgate, a vacation ownership resort. The property is directly connected to the Miracle Miles Shops and adjacent to the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino (planethollywoodresort.com). You can view the waterfall, with water cascading over a mosaic tile wall that is lit from below, from the Miracle Mile Shops, which include more than 150 shops and more than a dozen restaurants. Two water features at the shopping center make it a worthwhile stop while in Las Vegas. A water show with lights, color-changing fog and surround-sound music make the fountain worth a look, and the Harbor Rainstorm lets guests experience being caught in the rain, complete with thunder, lightning and fog, besides pouring rain.
Watch the end of the mighty city of Atlantis as it is burned and flooded with water every hour in the The Fall of Atlantis Show in the Forum Shops of Caesars Palace (caesarspalace.com). While technically this isn’t a waterfall, the sheer amount of water used to tell the tale of sibling rivalry is worth seeing. The production uses animatronic figures to illustrate the story of King Atlas trying to choose his successors and how his children’s rivalry led to the downfall of the kingdom. Behind the show, a 50,000-gallon saltwater aquarium contains more than 100 species of ocean animals, including tropical puffers, flounder and sharks. Divers feed them by hand twice a day. On the other side of the Forum Shops is another water feature, this one with a fountain, laser lights and animatronic Greek gods.