Vegas, Baby, Vegas!
I decided to escape the grey foggy weather for a few days and head on down to Las Vegas. It was my first time to Sin City and let’s face it, there are a ton of things to do in Vegas and sometimes you just don’t know where to start. From ultimate pool parties to concerts to some of the world’s best cuisine, Las Vegas has certainly redefined entertainment. But what I realized is that to do Vegas right all you really need is a relentless determination to have fun!
No gaming. No smoke, No dinging bells. No parking lot mess. No shopping center to navigate.
Centrally located on the strip between the Aria and New York the Mandarin Oriental is a calm serene high-rise hotel that offers respite from the madness of the loud gaudy Las Vegas Strip - a unique feature among the hotels of Vegas. One of the reasons for this is that there is no casino connected to the hotel, which means you’re not subjected to the constant sound of the slot machines or have to walk through a smoke-filled casino to get to your room. And since I’m not much of a gambler this hotel was the perfect place to stay.
The hotel itself was nicely designed and appointed with a sleek décor and subtle Asian-inspired touches. The Sky Lobby was a unique touch along with the Mandarin Bar, which has great cocktails and the most amazing views of the Strip – the best lounge in the city. The service was also great and all the staff were very friendly and helpful.
Bouchon, The Venetian
Bouchon is the vision of world-renowned chef Thomas Keller, who was named “America’s Best Chef” by Time magazine. Located in the Venetian, Bouchon brings to Las Vegas the top cuisine and service that have made it a Napa Valley institution. Drawn from Chef Keller’s memories of traveling through France. Bouchon serves an award-winning menu of bistro classics and daily specials. Delicious desserts, an extensive selection of raw seafood, a full bar and superb wine service. Loved this restaurant, definitely a favourite!
Nobu, Caesars Palace
Located in Caesars Palace this is the world's largest Nobu restaurant. With 327 seats, the restaurant offers a sophisticated experience and features a sushi bar and impressive selection of dishes. This was my second time to Nobu but it had been awhile since my last visit so we relied on our server to make suggestions and recommendations. We stuck with some of the signature items such as black cod with miso, yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno, all of which were delicious. We also tried a few other great plates such as the sashimi and waygu beef gyoza which was definitely a table favourite. We managed to wash it all down with a tasty bottle of sake!
CUT by Wolfgang Puck, Palazzo
Wolfgang Puck knows how to do fine dining well. The atmosphere is elegant and the perfect place for celebrations or date night. All the meats are served a la carte with lots of variety such as 21 – 35 day aged cuts and some Wagyu steaks as well. If you’re a steak lover and visiting Las Vegas you must give this place a try. You will be paying a lot for your meat but it’s worth it all the way. The service was great. Our server was very knowledgeable and professional but not snobby. She kept us smiling all night.
Just soak it all up, as there certainly is something for everyone, man, woman and child. The buzz and the atmosphere is non stop, people spotting is the thing to do from loads of good vantage points. It’s a must do in Vegas…walk, shop, drink, people watch… it’s all an important part of any trip to Vegas.
Shows - O by Cirque du Soleil and Rod Stewart.
It’s easy to see why Las Vegas has been dubbed the Entertainment Capital of the World. With countless live shows, concerts and performances every night. Just about every big hotel boasts their own venue from arenas, amphitheaters and yes, the occasional cocktail lounge.
For our first night in Vegas we headed over to the Bellagio to watch the amazing O by Cirque du Soleil. I was completely astonished by the great feats in and on the giant pool in the center of the theater. “O” is a thrilling aquatic adventure that encompasses a theatrical romance within the surrealistic world of water. With synchronized swimmers, acrobatic divers and a pyromaniac who takes a calm stroll while combusting into flames, the sights in “O” are imagination on overdrive!
For our second night we opted for Rod Stewart at Caesars Palace. Yup, Rod is back, and he brought with him a catalog of songs from throughout his career that had the crowd singing and clapping along in the aisles. Given the fact that he’s 70 years old I was pretty impressed with the way he moved around the stage and interacted with the audience.
Golf - Paiute Golf Resort
Paiute Golf Resort has three world-class Pete Dye designed 18-hole courses. We played the Sun Mountain course on a Sunday afternoon. Paiute is a pretty easy 25-30 minute drive from the strip and totally worth it. The course conditions were excellent, the green were quick and the fairways were lush. In fact I was very impressed they can keep everything in such great shape in the hot desert. Beautiful place, great views, great course and great service. Unfortunately I played horribly, but still enjoyed it.