You can spend your whole time gambling in Las Vegas and you can have a great time but your other half or your mates could end up hating you by the end of the holiday. If you mix it up to my way, everyone will love Las Vegas and want to go back time and time again.
Start by staying in a fabulous hotel. My favorite hotel in Las Vegas is the 5 Star Cosmopolitan hotel which is a really cool and contemporary hotel. The location of this hotel is brilliant as it is at the heart of the strip mid-way between all the great attractions. The rooms in the Cosmopolitan hotel are spacious, luxurious and unlike other hotels in Las Vegas, a lot of the rooms have a balcony overlooking the Bellagio Water fountain and strip. The Cosmopolitan hotel has a fabulous rooftop pool where you can relax in waterbeds in the pool, on the sun loungers or in your own personal Cabana. If you like to keep fit the gym has everything you want and why not follow that with a full body massage in the fabulous Sahra Spa.
The Cosmopolitan also offers the best breakfast in Las Vegas in their Wicked Spoon Restaurant. The breakfast starts at $27 and you can eat and drink as much as you want. You can also add the bottomless beverages for an extra $15 which includes unlimited mimosas, champagne, bloody mary or selection of wines for 2 hours.
Don’t forget to join the Identity Reward Programme after checking in and every time you gamble or spend in the hotel present your card, you could get two free nights on your next stay! You won’t be disappointed with this hotel!
So, your hotel is sorted, where should you dine in Las Vegas?
Well if you take my recommendations you won’t be disappointed, your wallet may be a little less bulky but you will be totally happy with the choices. So you know by now I love Thai food, my favorite Thai restaurants in Las Vegas are Tao in the Venetian Hotel and Lemongrass in the Aria Hotel.
TAO at the Venetian, is wow from the time you walk through the tunnel lined with stone tubs filled with water and rose petals, leading patrons into a dim space with black cobblestones, bamboo, and Buddhas (one that’s 20 feet tall is seated above a koi-filled pool). The Asian decor compliments the expertly prepared dishes. Some of my favourites are Crispy Pork BAO Buns or the Chicken wing lollipops. For mains check out Crispy Orange Chicken or Wasabi Crusted Filet Mignon (Ps I hate fish). Diners receive complimentary access to the nightclub, so ask your server for a stamp to stick around for cocktails, dancing, and celebrity-spotting. Price Range $$$.
Lemongrass at the Aria Hotel is based on the stunning silk factory-inspired installations which can be seen through. Lemongrass is more mainstream and has a great choice of starters, mains and a nice selection of wines. My favorite dishes are the chicken satay for starter (look out for the cool display), Black pepper beef or Chicken Panang Curry. The more adventurous can try the wok-tossed live Maine Lobster infused with ginger and scallion. If you are really hungry why not try the signature tasting menu for $59 pp. Price range $$
My next recommendation is the French Restaurant Mon Gabi in the Paris Hotel. This lovely French bistro is situated at the bottom of the Eiffel Tower on the strip sitting right across from the Bellagio. When booking this restaurant ask for a table outside on the balcony. If you are lucky and traffic on the strip is quiet you will get to enjoy the Bellagio fountains display across the road every 30 mins. The traditional menu here features classics such as the warm Onion Soup Au Gratin with bubbling baked gruyere, Frisée & Bacon Salad with a soft-poached egg and croutons, Roast Chicken & Frites grand-mère style with mushrooms, bacon and pearl onions, as well as the trademark Steak Frites (midwest beef) which is my favorite. There is a nice selection of French wines and again this restaurant offers good value. Price Range $$
My final recommendation for dining in Las Vegas is STK at the Cosmopolitan Hotel. The food is always amazing in STK plus you get great tunes from the DJ. The décor is very contemporary and the steaks are fab. Price Range $$$$
Dining sorted…What about entertainment?
I personally think when you go to Vegas you really need to hit a few shows at night. This is part of the experience of really enjoying Las Vegas by mixing up the Sunbathing, the Dining, the Shows and the Gambling…oh and not forgetting the visit to the Grand Canyon.
Cirque du Soleil shows are wow. Whether its “O” at the Bellagio, “Ka” at the MGM, “La Reve” at the Wynn you will enjoy them all. My two Cirque du Soleil favorites are The Beatles “Love” at the Mirage Hotel and Michael Jackson’s ‘One’ at the Mandalay Bay Hotel.
The Cirque du Soleil Beatles “LOVE” show is absolutely amazing. The creativity and imagination put into this show is incredible and trying to focus on one element of what is happening is a challenge in itself. A mix of Beatles biography and lyrical interpretation shapes this show, a most graceful and elegant marriage of movement and song that reinforces the greatness of the music created by the Beatles in the 1960s. With the Beatle’s most popular tunes playing alongside the theatrical show you will definitely want to see this show again and again. Tickets from $75.
Another favorite is Michael Jackson’s ‘One’. This show includes dance, music and awe-inspiring visuals, by Cirque du Soleil bringing alive Jackson’s creative genius in a new adventure. You are bombarded with all manner of images, from archival video to a cool cartoon in the Japanese anime style. You don’t realise until you hear the number of hit songs that Michael Jackson dominated the charts for most of the 1980’s. This show is great and I have been back to see it a number of times. Wait for the hologram image at the end, it is fab! Tickets from $75.
So apart from shows, Vegas is now also home for top artists such as Celine Dion, Elton John, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Rod Stewart, Maria Carey, Lionel Richie, Gwen Stefani and now Lady GAGA too. The good thing about all these artists is that they play in an intimate theatre so you really get to experience the artist in a close encounter. Tickets from $96.
Tip – If you purchase cheaper tickets for any of the shows and seats are empty in the more expensive seats before the show starts ask for the Duty Manager and you might be lucky enough to be moved forward!
If you are more of a clubbing person than a show person then check out Hakkisan in the MGM where you can club all night to the likes of Calvin Harris, Tiesto, Fergie and Drake who can be found hitting the decks. Other good night clubs in Vegas are Tao in the Venetian Hotel, Encore Beach Club and Marquee in the Cosmopolitan. Expect to pay a high price for drinks in these clubs!
Finally, you can’t go to Las Vegas without visiting the Grand Canyon. My favorite mode of transport to the Canyon is by Helicopter…well why not! On this occasion, we flew with Papillon Helicopters who kindly picked us up from our hotel and drove us to the heliport approx. 30 mins away. There we all got our safety instructions and boarded the brand new helicopters to take us to the canyon. The helicopters can take up to six people so a gang of friends can have the craic together. With forward-facing stadium seating and a nearly 180-degree view, you’ll enjoy unobstructed sights of the Grand Canyon, the Colorado River, and the Hoover Dam. The helicopter lands in the Canyon where you get a prepared breakfast or lunch and you can take loads of pictures and videos of this awesome place. This area is the widest and deepest of the Grand Canyon giving you the most spectacular views and experiences from the helicopter. Ask your travel agent or visit Papillon.com Price $$$
Tip – pay a little bit extra at the check in to get front seats and better views!
So there you go…If you really want to enjoy Vegas then I would say mix it up, if you do you will love it and go back time and time again.