For a luxurious and fun visit to Sin City, here are some of the venues, restaurants, and activities that recommend in Las Vegas. My friends and I spent 4 days in the city and here are some of the places we visited:
We decided to stay at the 4-star Platinum Hotel, located off-strip. This was a great choice, as the boutique hotel allowed us intimacy, without the overwhelming hustle and bustle of the big casino hotels. Our room was luxurious, complete with a full kitchen (including a dishwasher), washer and dryer, whirlpool Jacuzzi and state-of-the-art fixtures. The 255-room hotel contains one or two bedroom suites that range from 950 to 2,200 square feet, and contain an outdoor swimming pool, on-site fitness center, day spa, business center, and dry cleaning services. The property hosts many weddings as it is one of the only hotels with a large patio featuring outdoor views of the Strip. For food options, you can choose between the Kilowat Restaurant, which is open from 6am to 2pm for breakfast and lunch, and Stir lounge, which is open for dinner from 4pm to 2am. A unique feature to this lounge is their extensive wine selection (50-100 classic and vintage wines), with an added treat of 50% off special on their classic wines on the weekend. The Platinum Hotel is constantly in the Top 10 rating on TripAdvisor (out of 280 Las Vegas hotels).
After checking into our hotel and unpacking, we took a 15 minute walk to Central Michel Richard for lunch, located at Caesars Palace. This was a great start to our weekend, as the restaurant was bright and airy with both outdoor and indoor seating, as well as great views of the Strip. We started off with an appetizer of crab cakes with leeks tartare and ginger aioli. For my main course, I chose the pan seared salmon, which was cooked well done to my preference, and had an awesome burst of flavor through a medley of seasonings. My companion chose the fried chicken and mac ‘n’ cheese. Two of their cocktails, “Blueberry Blitz” and “Granada Sangria” are excellent choices for those who like fruity drinks. This is a great spot for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. For those who enjoy breakfast mid or late-day and like to party late into the night, the restaurant offers a “Late Risers Menu” from 11:30AM to 6AM.
Our first evening in Vegas was a blast, and probably the best night of our vacation. We spent the evening at the Bellagio hotel, and dined and played at three of their venues: Fix, Lily, and The Bank. We started off at Fix for dinner, which was loungy with architectural, earth-toned décor. We were offset from the middle of the casino, which gave us nice views of the players, but still felt like we were in a restaurant. We started off with the “Ultimate Shell Fix”, which is a perfect appetizer for shellfish lovers. The seafood sampler contained marine lobster, tiger prawns, seasonal crab, market oysters, and clams. The lobster tacos and seabass were two of our favorite menu items. For drinks, we favored the “Raspberry Sin”, followed by the Cucumber Martini and Pineapple Mojito.
From Fix, we migrated a few steps over to Lily, an upscale lounge and perfect venue for pre-gaming for a late night. The décor at Lily contained glass paneling, white lilies in vases, boudoir furniture, and see-through drapes to give a sensual aura about the place. Music selections were diverse, and contained a nice variety of Old School R&B, Country Rock, and Reggae. The best part of the experience was sampling 10 different cocktails on their menu, all created by bartender/mixologist, Emilio Tiburicio. Some of the specialty cocktails include, “Lily” (their signature drink, which is a mixture of lime, vanilla, pear, and blood orange vodka) and the “Hibiscus Margarita” which is similar to Triple Sec, but better quality. My favorite cocktail was the “Sgroppino”, which was a combination of lemon sorbet and Grey Goose Le Citron vodka. Emilio described his creations as having “20 or 30 different flavors in one cocktail”. I recommend this venue for those that love creative and one-of-a-kind drinks.
After getting our fill of cocktails at Lily, we went to The Bank, a two level nightclub with 8,000 square feet of dance and lounge space. They have VIP rooms available that accommodate up to 75 people, and we experienced having bottle service in their VIP area, which was a blast. The music selection ranged from House to Hip Hop and featured an elegant décor of black, gold, and Cristal adorned walls. The club is open Friday through Sunday starting at 10:30 p.m. and always attracts a large number of partygoers.
Friday morning, we decided to experience something adventurous; we went zip lining at Bootleg Canyon, hosted by FlightlineZ. This was an adrenaline pumping activity, and it was also great to see another area of Nevada outside of the strip. The excursion departs from Excalibur hotel located on the Strip, and takes around 30 minutes to get to the zip lining destination. The activity was a one-of-a-kind experience, where you zip line from four different levels at speeds of around 65 miles per hour, for a total of 1.56 miles and a total elevation drop of 1200 feet. The view is breathtaking; overlooking orange mountains and arid terrain. The length of the zip lines are 1852ft, 1864ft, 2546ft, and 1150ft, consecutively. This is unique because the 3rd zip line at 2546ft is the longest in Nevada and the 3rd longest in the country. The hosts were extremely gregarious and experts at making you feel comfortable throughout the excursion.
Friday evening we attended Holly Madison’s Peepshow. The burlesque show is described as being “tantalizing fun, taking audiences through a glamorous enchanted adult playground”. The show was created by Tony Award-winning director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell, who directed bothLegally Blonde and Hairspray. The name, “Peepshow” is a clever play on words and a fitting description of the program in that there were characters called “Bo Peep”, “Peep Diva”, as well as the obvious reference to the sexy burlesque show. The theme of the show is childhood fairytales with a sexy, adult twist. The element that was the most enjoyable was the wide range of diverse women performing, from black, white, to Hispanic, with different body types and personalities. These were not your stereotypical Vegas Showgirls, however, each woman had a unique sexiness to them, and the choreography and performances were top notch. This is a performance to go see immediately, as the last show takes place December, 2012.
Friday night we went to Palms hotel to experience their nightlife scene. We started at Ghost Bar, a rooftop lounge situated on the sweeping 55th floor of the hotel. The 360-degree view of Vegas from this level was awe-inspiring. Compared to the many massive-sized clubs and lounges in Vegas, this venue was intimate and sexy, and thus frequently attracts the celebrity clientele. The lounge contained indoor and outdoor partitions, with plush, white furniture. After visiting Ghost Bar, we went next door to Rain, a popular club for House music, and contains 25,000 square feet of dance space with an upscale interior.
After a night of partying, we slept in until lunchtime, and decided to dine at Slice of Vegas located at Mandalay Place (a shopping area located in between Mandalay Bay hotel and Luxor and contains affordable boutique shopping and dining choices). Slice of Vegas is an Italian eatery described by the manager, Tony Cordovana, as being “fresh casual Italian”. We started with an appetizer of calamari, which is cut fresh in-house. For the table, we ordered the “Four Cheese Truffle” pizza, a white pizza with mozzarella, ricotta, Parmigiano-Reggiano and fontina cheeses over a roasted garlic Alfredo sauce. The restaurant makes both their pizzas and sauces in house. Slice of Vegas is also popular for their alcoholic beverages, which include their 60 different types of beers and specialty cocktails. One of their favorites is the “You Dirty Tomato” cocktail, a bacon-flavored vodka with Bloody Mary and a pepperoni straw: not for the faint of heart (or vegetarians).
After leaving Slice of Vegas, we stopped next door at Fat Tuesday (comparable to Wet Willie’s in Miami) and had jello shots along with a 190 Octane drink, which contains 3 shots of EverClear grain alcohol. By the time we arrived at our next destination, we had a nice buzz going. Our destination was Liquid, a pool party at Aria hotel located on the Strip. The venue contains two luxury VIP pools, 8 grand private cabanas, each of which is equipped with a 40” flat screen TV and mini fridge. The entire property is internet-ready, so you can relax on one of the chaise lounges or day beds that line the 1,200 square-foot pool. There is also a restaurant that offers pool side dining with a menu prepared by Chef Brian Massie.
That evening, we dined at Strip House, located at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. Strip House is a fine dining experience that offers an innovative menu with sultry interior designs by David Rockwell. For appetizers we had thelobster bisque, mac ‘n’ cheese, and truffle spinach. Each was flavorsome and expertly baked. I chose the 2 pound shelled lobster with butter sauce as my entrée, which needed no help from side dishes. My companion chose the “Crisp Skin Scottish Salmon” entree, adorned withartichokes, pancetta, fingerling Potatoes and basil sauce. Perhaps the icing on the cake was literally their famous 24-layerchocolate layer cake, which we had for desert. According to the manager, they’ve sold 10 tons of the cake since its opening 5 years ago. The ambiance of the restaurant is perfect for a romantic date, with original 1900’s black and white nude photos adorning the sexy blood-red interior.
Our last day in Vegas (Sunday) was an explosive culmination to our vacation. We spent the day at Rehab, a pool party located at the Hard Rock Hotel. I nicknamed the event, “the Coachella of pool parties” because of its immense popularity, including it being featured as its own reality show. Rehab takes place during the summer months, and features an A-list performer (Nelly performed at our weekend’s event) every Sunday and packs around 3,200 patrons each event. Chris Brown performed during the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, and the property usually gets around 4,700 patrons during the holidays. Resident DJ’s, Wellman and Shift play a range of music from house to R&B and Hip Hop.
Platinum Hotel & Spa