Your life gets busy, your schedule gets hectic, you do not see the end to this and you simply need to get away! What is a better place to have fun and relax than Las Vegas?? But the question is how to spend a memorable weekend in Las Vegas, see it all and do it all in just days?
This was my moment in December 2017. I was excited, but stressed over the new product launch, overworked a bit (let’s face it months of productive non-stop work can do that to you) and needed TO.HAVE.FUN. before 2018 was here. What makes it even a more special get-away places for me is that we got married in Vegas 7 years ago and each year we try to make it a tradition to go back and celebrate another year of life together. This was perfect timing and excuse = my parents were visiting and we had free and reliable babysitters! Tickets in hand, itinerary planned, 3 day weekend filled with fun and enticing moments lied ahead!
I packed the suitcase literally in 3 hours before the flight and was so ready to go! Upgraded seats on the plane with champagne toast, penthouse suit at the hotel - I was in for a ride! Yassss!
Destination hotel is never an easy choice when you have such a vast variety of accommodations boasting the latest trends in technology, design, food options and shows, right? The choice, however, is always easy for me - we stayed in Paris hotel when we got married in 2010, so that has been THE SPOT. Let me share a few points why:
- Let’s face it - it sits right in the middle of the Strip! Here is the view from my window
- Rooms have plenty of space (even regular hotel rooms) and always come clean!
- In my opinion Paris hotel has the LEAST amount of smoking smell for those of us, non-smokers, who are either allergic to it or simply detest it. Well, other than Mandarin hotel of course - that one prohibits smoking inside and does NOT have any casinos in it.
- For those of you who want to view Vegas Strip from above, book your Eiffel Tower viewing experience!
- Endless food options and nice restaurants along with hip cafes offering french pastries and coffees. You’ve got Gordon Ramsey’s Steakhouse here and an unforgettable dining experience awaiting at Eiffel Tour that offers the view on the famous air balloon and the Vegas Strip from its huge windows. By the way in Vegas there is this buffet deal where participating hotels (Rio, Flamingo, Paris, etc.) offer a 24 hr wrist pass to eat at their buffet restaurants and indulge to the max. So Paris would be your choice in this bargain, as it offers the BEST buffet restaurant out of all those participating - tons of french inspired dishes (yes, yes, crepes never come to an end here) + an overload of seafood, including crabs legs, endless shrimp, etc. Basically you’ve got a wide selection ranging from Italian and Chinese to French cuisine and sushi.
- When you get up in the morning and feel lazy to go anywhere before you had that caffeine charge, simply get downstairs and taste the lovely espresso shots at Cafe Belle Madeleine paired with artisan cookies and sophisticated desserts made to satisfy the most gourmet taste! You can also find yummy breakfast options at Hexx Kitchen & Bar that stays open very late by the way!
- Hotel offers a gym, a pool and a full spa salon. You know me as a fitness junkie who cannot live a day without a good amount of sweat spilled at the gym. So this is an important one for me! The gym here is not a huge state of art facility, but has main equipment and training machines you need, including cross cables, weight racks and the weight pulley cage. The way I stay in shape is no secret to a lot of you! Get.Reinvented program helps me stay in shape on the go no matter of a location!
- For those of you gamblers who love to test the luck, the hotel offers many card games and table choices along with some interesting slot machine options. Have a penny? Give it a try! One of our favorite poker game is Ultimate Texas Hold’em. This is not a very popular game to find in many casinos, but Paris offers it!
- Many souvenir boutiques will lavish you with the most exquisite gifts that are elegant and unconventional!
- It has a popular nightclub Chateau where celebrities visit and hang out. It has a roof top adjacent to it, so anytime you need fresh air from being overwhelmed, step out and breathe! Vegas… Fun… Memories...I am still there, can you feel it in my words ha ha!
- Lastly, to top it off: have you seen check-in/check-out lines in Vegas? If you have never been there, trust me, you do not want to stand in one: you will miss your show reservation, dinner and barely get to the nightclub in time LOL! My point is: self-service check in machines! Yes! I am sure the technology is going this way and soon all hotels on the Strip at least will be equipped with such machines to simplify the lives of guests, but currently even Bellagio does not offer such service. So this is a big advantage luring me to stay at Paris, to be honest!
You see, we did not just wed in Paris, our actual honeymoon was in Paris, France and everything “paris” makes me remember great romantic times and nothing can beat that.
Surely we had to have anniversary dinner at Eiffel Tour restaurant where a generous roses arrangement was waiting for me when we first sat at the table. Thanks, hubs!
Okay, enough about Paris, let’s move on to other places and options!
Among other trendy hotels that would be my choice for a stay would be:
- Wynn, by all means. It is by far one of the prettiest hotels on the Strip and offers a lot of decor. The only thing about it it is kind of a stretch, so if you are going in winter, take a cab! Wynn is a residence to one of the most stunning Cirque Du Soleil shows La Reve! Mesmerizing, guys!
- Cosmopolitan is one of the newest additions to the strip and has very modern rooms to offer. It has large selection of stores (many clothing) to offer in its 2 ground floors. On higher end of things including high stakes tables and high poker bets.
- Bellagio has expensive rooms, but honestly I would not want to stay there, as the hotel attracts many tourists and being a guest it is not always a comfortable moment trying to squeeze through endless crowd of onlookers (the hotel has a lot of exhibits) per each season so that you can just enter/exit the hotel.
- Planet Hollywood! Yes, a very good choice. The hotel is huge and offers a Miracle Mile walk that has shows, stores, boutiques, restaurants - you name it! There you can experience a VR ride that will take you on a rocky journey through the canyons or horror maze filled with zombies. $25 per ride. Many gamble tables and show selection along with popular lounges and bars!
- Excalibur. It is a very neat, but old hotel that has some budget rooms to offer though spacious and clean.
- Caesars. The stay at this hotel is remarkable due to its setting and indoor decor. There are intermittent shows running in the hotel throughout the day. If you have never been, take a stroll through the hotel and enjoy the ambiance.
- MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and Luxor are great hotels also, just a bit to the further side of the Strip. Take some cool photos on the statues at the Luxor.
Do NOT stay at Harrah’s, Flamingo, Bally’s, Treasure Island, Mirage if smoking smell is too much for you. I think due to older ventilation systems or simply a lot of smoking gamblers the air in these hotels will make your eyes water! For real!
What to do and shows to watch
I am a show digger, hands down. I think I have seen every show out there except for a few. If you are into magic shows you need to go watch the following:
- Criss Angel MindFreak LIVE! Boy, oh, boy! This boy on stage will make you go crazy for his ways, looks and magic tricks! Epotage and ambiance are through the roof!
- Xavier Mortimer’s magical dream show offers an elegant spin to a french-inspired program on a very small stage. Good price for what it is worth.
- David Copperfield - a must watch show. Classic and worth seeing. Do not be surprised if David will end up standing next to your chair during the show! Yep, he has this trick on his program where he just shows up next to you!
Acrobatics and Cirque Du Soleil Shows that are absolutely stunning and MUST SEE are (from the most to the least):
- O! Is simply incredible and mind-blowing from the stage decorations to the acrobatics and costumes in the show
- Le Reve is romantic, spectacular and will take your breath away. Think: water!
- Zumanity will increase your senses and raise your modjo! Aha! Nudity and sexuality highly loaded in this show!
- Michael Jackson ONE will touch your heart, will make you tear, will make you remember and appreciate. This show is not an impersonator show like MJ LIVE but rather a tribute to the idol and performances done to his songs.
- Mystere honestly reminds me a lot of Le Reve just without water. So expect a lot of acrobatics and stunts that will sweep you off your feet
- V- The Ultimate Variety Show will make you laugh, participate, scream and clap! Wally Eastwood is such a charismatic and fun guy who will definitely make your money worth!
So these shows are among the top chart for me. There are also seasonal shows from world renowned singers, so before you go browse seasonal performances online. Also, do not forget to check who the resident DJs are if you are planning to hit Vegas for New Year. David Guetta, Steve Aoki and Deadmau5 are among those top DJs that frequently visit this sin city!
If you are seeking something breathtaking, do not forget about roller coaster rides that New York New York, Circus Circus, Stratosphere and other hotels offer. View the full list of the adventurous rides here. Mind the weather, some of them are closed when it is raining.
Feeling in need of something cute and adorable or travelling with a child, visit the Wild Life habitat at the Mirage. Exotic animals and dolphin shows in a garden setting right in the backyard of this hotel!
Hungry yet LOL? Let’s review some of the most hype eateries that offer mouthwatering dishes and the ones you need to visit...
Where to eat:
1. One of the most desired restaurants is Eiffel Tower at Paris. Reservation alert: you MUST book it before going there. Do it here. However, be prepared to break a budget at this place. Exquisite dishes and exquisite price tag! We went there right after our wedding 7 years ago and we made it a tradition to go there every time we visit and relive the memories! While you are sitting by the window you can look at the Strip and even enjoy the Bellagio fountain show! Make it romantic and memorable! Money is a only a thing after all. Comes and goes! Memories stay!
Us in 2010:
Did we change much? 2017:
If you are craving something special and want a presentation, a must visit is Sushi Samba at the Palazzo. This boisterous fusion offers tastes from Peruvian, Brazilian and Japanese cuisines in a clublike setting. You will not be disappointed. Everything here from an appetizer to a dessert has a stylish touch and splendid taste. Check it out - Cheesecake for ya! Yes, glass is edible. This restaurant has international locations, so you cannot be in Vegas and not try it!
Gordon Ramsay Steakhouse in the heart of Paris hotel will fill you up with the most flavorful and generous steaks! However, I am not big red meat fan, so I was pleasantly surprised when I found a seafood plate on the menu. Yummy?
Portions are big, so you might want to share one meal and an appetizer. Book a table in advance though, this place is highly in demand during dinner hours.
Since I love to explore menus from around the world, I decided to give you a quick rundown guide on the various cuisines in Vegas, so that you have it handy when you are in the mood for some dim sum, sushi or… eggs benedict!
- Momofuku at the Cosmopolitan hotel will satisfy the most picky eater when it comes to asian gourmet dishes with a presentation twist!
- Breakfast cravings are satisfied at Eggslut, a stylish egg-centric spot at the Cosmopolitan serving classic & signature sandwiches, plus dessert & coffee.
Keep in mind that this place has out of ordinary hours! This especially applies to those of us who LOVE to have breakfast early in am, I mean like early early on - 1am - hell yeah!
- Italian anyone? Or how about the best Italian Sunday brunch on a stylish terrace while you are enjoying the Bellagio fountains? The Lago gives you one of the best Italian experience available at Bellagio. Reservations are highly recommended!
- If you want a breath of fresh air and get your pick in the garden, time to visit Harvest at Bellagio, your market-inspired eatery that delivers freshness from the farm to the table. Directly.
- Okay, that sweet and sour Cantonese cuisine you are craving? Experience elevated chinese dining with the lakeside view at Jasmine at Bellagio. The menu here will exceed your expectations by far! Authentic dishes paired with replicated Chinese art create a transcendent dining experience that will arouse all senses.
- Asian inspired cuisine does not run out in Vegas! Japanese menu with a sophisticated touch is available at Yellowtail at Bellagio...Again... Enjoy oysters, raw seafood and all kinds of rolls with a creative touch!
- Happen to crave Thai? Rest assured, Vegas has some of the tastiest options here for it also! What could be a better name… Lemongrass at Aria. Enjoy creative and artsy takes on Thai fare in a sleek setting inspired by silk installations as you are going on a culinary journey through Thailand.
- Sekushi gives you one of a few places on the Strip that serves large Sake menu with small plates and dim sum menu in an open setting. It is right in the middle of Paris hotel, casino section, and closes past midnight (for those of you, night munchkins!) I would not say that this is the best dim-sum, but at least this option is here!
- Lastly, the one to recommend would be Sage, a delicate restaurant offering farm-to-table menus, plus handcrafted cocktails, served in a modern Aria space with a night lounge option!
You are probably completely full after the culinary tour I gave you through Vegas. Tired? Excited? Ready to hit the dancefloor?? Not yet, hold up! How about hitting a bar and having a lifetime experience to keep your senses cool?
Absolute must-visit is Minus 5 Ice Lounge at the Mandalay Bay. There is also another one at the Venetian, if you happen to be closer that way. Try exquisite cocktails and chill with over 90 tons of ice while exploring a winter wonderland filled with amazing, interactive ice sculptures. Take photos, cuddle (as you will get cold) and enjoy wearing fur coats and fur hats!
Anyway, it is time to get to the end of my “little” Vegas story. Anytime you choose to visit Vegas, i can assure you that it will be memorable and you will have a blast!!! Decorations and the city vibe will not leave you indifferent!
They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Not in my case. We got married in Vegas and our life adventures continue every day.
Who else got married in Vegas??? Share your story!