Friday, April 20, 2012

Paris Las Vegas Hotel: La Fontaine des Mers

In one shot, a view of the Paris Las Vegas replicas of the Eiffel Tower, Paris
Opera House and Fontaine des Mers.
(photo credit: dawilson/flickr) 
La Fontaine des Mers in daylight at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel.
(photo credit: jazzone/flickr)
One of the biggest losses of a major renovation at the Paris Las Vegas was the removal of the beautiful replica La Fontaine des Mers. In its place today is the Sugar Factory restaurant and shop. For various economic reasons, it was probably a heartbreaking decision to remove one of the iconic and ornate features of the French theme hotel.

La Fontaine des Mers (The Fountain of the Seas) was located in front of hotel's replica Paris Opera House. No doubt hundreds of images of Las Vegas that included the Paris Las Vegas would (from those on calendars to postcards) would have to be updated because of this change.

The real fountain that is vastly larger is found in the French capital at the La Place de la Concorde, a square which has origins going back to 1755 under various names. It's present name has been in continuous use since 1830. The square is notorious for the location of the guillotine during the French Revolution. During the "Reign of Terror" in 1794 more than 1,300 people were executed under the death contraption.

La Fountain des Mers in the evening in Paris, France.
(photo credit: lyes92/flickr)
The real La Fontaine des Mers.
(photo credit: fromus75/flickr)
There are actually two monumental fountains that were completed in 1840 at La Place de la Concorde.  La Fontaine des Fleuves (The Fountain of the Rivers) is the other. La Fontaine des Mers represents the seas with six figures of tritons or sea nymphs holding fish spouting water and six seated allegorical figures representing the Atlantic and Mediterranean harvesting coral, fish, shells and fish. Statues above these figures represents geniuses of astronomy, navigation and commerce from where water shoots up and cascades down over the fountain.

Also lost in the renovation was Ah-Sin, the hotel's Pacific Rim themed restaurant, and Rique nightclub. Some critics and visitors to the hotel have claimed that the Parisian theme was over the top from greeters speaking French, uniforms of workers to room decor. Though the Sugar Factory has no relation to France, other than using the French word "brasserie" in descriptions of the restaurant, there seems to be a focus of "maturing" the hotel's theme to appeal to an the adult crowd that are now being attracted to sophisticated new hotels such as The Cosmopolitan. Caesars Entertainment, which operates the hotel, has made it no secret that the Paris Las Vegas has been part of more recent marketing efforts to attract to gay and lesbian travelers to the property.

Construction site along the Strip after the removal of the fountain.
(photo credit: Caesars License Company

(photo credit:

The Ah-Sin Restaurant replaced by the Sugar Factory's restaurant.
(photo credit: jerryringle/flickr)


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