When I came to Las Vegas for the first time more than 30 years ago, it was still a wind-blown dot on the desert landscape. You'd fly out for a convention or company meeting and schlep through some casino where old biddies pulled on one-armed bandit handles and the cocktail waitresses spilled out of their uniforms. You had to walk 1,000 yards to your room, and it was a challenge to find a decent place to eat. If you wanted morning room service, you needed to order it two months in advance.
Nothing happened in Vegas because no one wanted to stay there for very long.
Then, quietly, something did happen. In 1989, Steve Wynn, now chairman and chief executive of Wynn Resorts (nasdaq: WYNN - news - people ), opened the Mirage Hotel, with its flaming volcano, plush rooms, good restaurants and shopping that gave visitors something to do besides gambling or seeing boozy, Rat Pack-style shows. Caesars Forum followed, with high-end shopping in an area that looked and felt like the outdoors. Artificial clouds shifted across the ceiling, foretelling the winds of change that would blow across the Strip over the next few years: Treasure Island, Paris Las Vegas, New York-New York, Luxor, Excalibur, the MGM Grand, the haughty Bellagio and the Epcot-like Venetian, where gondolas glide along canals flanking an indoor replica of the Piazza San Marco.
All of this has served to broaden Vegas' appeal. Today, Las Vegas is a destination for "high rollers" who never even set foot in a casino. In fact, a 2004 survey conducted by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority found that only 4% of the city's tourists went to the city solely to gamble.
But they do spend money--lots of it--which means they increasingly expect to be treated as royalty, particularly as Las Vegas faces competition from other worldwide gaming destinations like Macau and Australia, and from Native American casinos at home. Currently, you'll find a building boom underway in all-suite towers, many of which feature private entrances that bypass the casinos and main check-in desks. Some suites even have "bath butlers" who will prepare your favorite soak for you and a partner. Also look for electronic "blackout" drapes, toiletries from Bulgari and flat-screen TVs on every possible surface, including the bathroom mirror.
The following are a few of our personal preferences following a recent ten-day visit: the best of the best of Sin City right now. If you're looking for a sweet suite, try The Mansion at MGM Grand, part of MGM MIRAGE (nyse: MGM - news - people ). It features antique and custom-made furnishings and pampers guests with Frette Egyptian cotton sheets. For entertainment, skip Avenue Q and head up the alphabet to Cirque du Soleil's O at Bellagio. And there are few places we'd prefer to drop our cash than the Ferrari Maserati auto showroom at Wynn Las Vegas. But if you don't care for our picks, remember that there's always something just as grand--and maybe even grander--right across the street.