Las Vegas, the city that never sleeps, is also the city that never stops growing, changing, and evolving. As the number one destination in the United States for entertainment, relaxation, and over-the-top anything and everything, whatever your taste, whatever your style, you will surely find something that tickles your fancy in Vegas! Whether your idea of a vacation is dining on the finest food, getting pampered in a spa all day long, seeing a show, or simply partying day and night till your heart desires, Vegas is your paradise. In this ever-growing city, there are always new venues to explore, new culinary delights to discover, and new clubs and hotels popping up every single year just waiting for your arrival. Having had the pleasure of visiting this lively city, Today’s Outlook brings you first-hand experience the best of the best in Vegas. Enjoy!
Day Clubs / Pool Parties
Day clubs, also known as pool parties, are the newest partying phenomenon to take hold of Vegas visitors. The newest breed of Vegas tourists come to the city for the pool parties and the nightlife, not the casinos. One can say that the city of Las Vegas is the newest hot spot for exclusive pool parties and nightlife options, with tourists experiencing the type of non-stop partying previously only associated with college ‘Spring Break’ trips. The hottest music, the masses of bikini-clad beauties, men flashing their six-pack abs, and the cool refreshing drinks all create a party scene and atmosphere unrivaled throughout the entire United States.
Encore poolside is ideal for daytime chilling and partying with a live DJ. If you are traveling with a large group, splurge on one of the bungalows or cabanas, which are one of the most upscale in all of Vegas. Encore Beach Club has a relaxed, posh vibe to it.
Tao Beach Club at the Venetian is also happening for daytime poolside. This club always brings in great DJs, not to mention that it attracts some of the most beautiful people in Vegas. The design is sophisticated and fresh with Asian influences, outfitted cabanas, and daybeds and lounges in crisp white and orange. Tao beach will never disappoint as either a place to lounge around and soak up some sun or as a happening nightlife destination. Don’t miss Saturday night parties when the Tao pool party turns wild with a light show in the water, floating lanterns, and fire columns.
Mandalay Bay Wave and Sand Beach is a great place to spend the day whether you are with or without kids. The Mandalay Bay beach is built on 11 acres with 2,700 tons of real sand, and a wave pool, so you really feel like you are at the beach! In addition, there are three swimming pools, a lazy river you can float down, and a jogging track. If you are there any time between May and September, have a blanket handy so you can lie on the sand in comfort as you catch one of the concerts during the Mandalay Bay’s Beach Concert Series.
If you want to feel like you woke up in the heart of Italy, visit the pools at Bellagio hotel. With authentic Mediterranean décor you will be awestruck by the romantic ambiance of the most relaxing pool area in Vegas. Set amidst towering Cyprus trees and exquisite gardens, the five distinctive pool courtyards invite you to take a dip into the serene azure waters. Additionally, you may lunch at the garden café, lounge in the jacuzzis, get a poolside massage treatment or just rent a private poolside cabana and read a book on a thick white towel to unwind after a late night out.
Marquee at the Cosmopolitan Hotel is the hottest spot to party! Located on the top of the hotel, the interior is entirely modern with a large dance floor and what feels like ceilings that reach the sky. If you get too hot dancing inside, meander outside to the outdoor portion of the club which is well laid out around infinity pools and holds stunning views.
XS Club at Encore Hotel is a very happening spot. As the most expensive Las Vegas nightclub ever built, costing a whopping US$100 million, it features 5 indoor bars, 5 poolside bars, 26 two-story VIP cabanas overlooking the water, and a fantastic dance floor. The club has been designed with sleek brown and gold colors for a lush clubbing experience. At XS you can even swim in the pool up to blackjack tables during the evening hours.
Club Tryst at Wynn Hotel is sexy, stylish, and raising the bar for the nightlife scene in Vegas. Inside, the beautiful, high energy club attracts only the most stylish of crowds. Outside, the landscaping is idyllic with a 100-foot-waterfall flowing down a man-made mountain with rock cliffs, 200-year-old trees planted around it, and a meandering lagoon with lights hanging around it in the trees, glittering off the water… very romantic indeed! Get the bottle service at this Club.
Also, not to miss is the Moons Nightclub at top of the Palms Hotel Fantasy Tower. It is an exclusive penthouse club overlooking the city of Las Vegas with an unparalleled 360 degree view of the city. Moons offers a sexy and luxurious dance floor with a retractable ceiling so you can dance under the stars in the warm summer months.
Wynn Esplanade Shops is one of the most luxurious shopping areas in Vegas. You will feel like you are walking through a fanciful palace as you pass under the tall ceilings complete with skylights and stained-glass masterpieces. The Wynn Esplanade features some of the most high-end names in clothing, shoes, and accessories. Many of the shops are new to Las Vegas, and some are exclusive to the resort.
The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace have the largest selection of retail, dining, and entertainment destinations in all Las Vegas. Featuring more than 160 boutiques and shops as well as 13 restaurants and specialty food shops, the Forum Shops have held their position as the most successful shopping venue in the country through continual updates and renovations. The most recent expansion added 175,000 square feet and additional levels that extend the mall out to Las Vegas Boulevard, where a grand pedestrian plaza creates a signature entrance for these shops.
Where else on earth will you find a more romantic shopping experience than at the Grand Canal Shops at the Venetian? With a painted fresco overhead, spacious walkways, and a gondola-laden canal, the Venetian provides the perfect ambiance for shopping with your loved one’s hand in yours. Follow the canal for a leisurely stroll -- even if you just want to window-shop, no one will bother you. Shopkeepers are attentive and courteous, but don't hover over your shoulder. Here you can find Venetian specialties such as exquisite blown glass, masks and marionettes. Find amusement in the jugglers, human statues, and talented musicians serenading you with their music.
High style, in the form of both fashion and architectural detail, permeates the Via Bellagio. Adorn yourself in the best Las Vegas shopping has to offer from the lavish fashion promenade which includes such luxury brands as Giorgio Armani, Chanel, Dior, Fendi, Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Prada and Tiffany & Co., among others. It’s high-end shopping, without the crowds!
STK restaurant at the new Cosmopolitan Hotel has excellent food and an ambiance to match! The fourth in line after successful outposts in New York City, Miami and Los Angeles, STK is a celebrity hotspot that breaks with tradition, offering a flirty, feminine take on the classic American steakhouse. With a bustling bar taking center stage, the menu is nothing short of eclectic and flavorful, while the atmosphere is relaxed with a sexy vibe courtesy of the in-house DJ. Order the tiger prawns served with shrimp rice crispys, sriracha chili sauce, micro cilantro, shrimp bisque, fresh lime and micro cilantro.
Okada at the Wynn is pricey but delivers delicious, exquisite meals for all sushi-lovers. The chef Devin Hashimoto treats every dish like a beautiful piece of art. His modern interpretations of classic Japanese fare fuse trend with tradition. Sit either at the lively sushi bar and watch while master chefs prepare your sushi and sashimi specialties, or be seated in the tranquil main dining room that overlooks a 95-foot waterfall. When you enter Okada, you feel like you have been transplanted from glitzy Vegas and into the tranquil land of the rising sun, with the surrounding waterfalls, gardens and shimmering lagoon. If you’re still not tempted, you should know that Okada received the AAA Four Diamond Award in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011!
Alize restaurant regally reigns at the top of the Palms Casino Resort and enjoys the most dramatic view of the Strip. This is known as one of the best restaurants in the world, boasting the best martinis in town and an amazing wine selection with an astounding wine list topping 1,800 wines sure to please even the most experienced connoisseur. Dine on delectable dishes of fish, meat, or poultry that dazzle and delight through flawless execution. Located on Flamingo Boulevard, one mile north of the Las Vegas Strip from Caesar’s Palace and the Bellagio hotel, Alize is a high-end restaurant not to be missed.
Canaletto in Venetian: If you want to feel like you have died and gone to Venice, this is the place to go. As a Gondola goes by and sweet music fills the air, lean over and think of something sweet to say. It always works! Canaletto is quite simply the quintessential Venetian dining experience.
Le Cirque at the Bellagio is, to say the least, very classy. You will feel the romantic atmosphere envelop you in the hushed tones of the room and you can’t but give in! As long as you are not concerned about the price tag, this restaurant delivers the goods. Its cuisine is extraordinary and received the 2008 One Star Michelin Rating.
Mix at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Resort: The views are incredible and the vibe is very hip and modern. It can be considered romantic if you're going for that new-era James Bond thing. This place is the complete package as it doubles as an after-dinner spot as well. Mix also received the 2008 One Star Michelin Rating.
Mon Ami Gabi at Paris Las Vegas: If you are out on the patio or in the dining room, Mon Ami Gabi has that much sought-after French influence; it has a ‘love is in the air’ kind of atmosphere. Watch the Las Vegas Strip as you whisper your succulent thoughts into your neighbor's ear.
Nobu Las Vegas, located in the legendary Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, is easily one of the best restaurants in Las Vegas. World-renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa has created his own blend of classical Japanese cuisine infused with flavors from South America and the American West to the delight of palates worldwide. With its chic atmosphere, choose from one of the private dining areas behind slim, green stocks of live bamboo, to make it a special night that you will remember forever. As the clock ticks by, the vibe of the restaurant turns more upbeat with chic DJs spinning nightly.
Top of the World Restaurant: Sure, it is at the Stratosphere, but with a bird’s-eye view of Las Vegas and some really delicious food, you can fall in love with your date, celebrate a special occasion, or just impress the person you met the night before. Rising 800-feet above the Las Vegas Strip, this award-winning restaurant offers an unparalleled dining experience. Enjoy culinary delights served in an elegant atmosphere with breathtaking views as the restaurant revolves 360 degrees every 80 minutes.
If you are trying to decide which Cirque du Soleil production to see, I would recommend either O or Mystère, or both. O is named after the French “Eau” and is the first acrobatic production to incorporate a pool on the stage. This production is simply magical and will, at minimum, leave you breathless. There is so much going on that your eyes won’t be able to catch every little detail. With acrobats, contortionists, divers, and mermaids, this show is a fantasy-filled surrealistic dream come true.
Mystère is classic Cirque du Soleil, combining powerful athleticism, high-energy acrobatics, and inspiring imagery that has become the company's hallmark. Deemed a theatrical "flower in the desert," Mystère has thrilled generations of audiences with its exhilarating blend of whimsy, drama, and the unimaginable brought to life on stage. Mystère provides the ultimate discovery that life itself is a mystery.
Don’t miss a Celine Dion concert at the Coliseum at Caesars Palace. In the press, it has been touted as “The Show of Shows,” a “Magnificent Masterpiece,” and this year, it was awarded the ‘Number 1 Show of 2011’ in the United States!
For those who take a more active approach to their relaxation, explore an oasis of tree-lined fairways, cascading waterfalls, and meandering streams at the Golf Courses at Wynn. This is the second golf course collaboration designed by Tom Fazio and overseen by Steve Wynn in Las Vegas. The result is a posh, beautifully-landscaped, unforgettable 18 holes right outside the back door of the hotel.
Other Must-See Sights
The lobby of the Bellagio is a grand display of artistry, both in scale and design. As you walk into the hotel, above the 18-foot ceiling, is a cornucopia filled with the most extraordinary glass sculptures, created by world-renowned glass sculptor Dale Chihuly. Educated in the United States and Italy, his work is absolutely breathtaking and has been exhibited in every major museum in the world. The stunning piece hanging from the ceiling of the Bellagio is a chandelier called Fiori di Como comprised of 2,000 vibrantly-colored, hand-blown glass blossoms. Chihuly glass art sculptures also adorn the Bellagio Baccarat Lounge with the Clusters Persians as centerpiece. His Blue Spears also outline areas of the Conservatory Botanical Gardens and Conservatory.
As you walk from the lobby, be sure to visit the ever-changing Botanical Gardens. Each season, the botanical garden display is updated with new rare plants to reflect a new theme. Currently, the exhibit is Fall Harvest and features a passionate display of nature’s beauty using warm autumn tones of orange, crimson, gold and brown. Take a leisurely stroll and admire the essence of every season recreated with exceptionally gorgeous plants, flowers and trees thoughtfully arranged to inspire full splendor. Specially-designed lighting spotlights every flower to accentuate its best features. It is free for anyone to visit and is open 24-hours. A perfect photo opportunity for friends, lovers, or families.
The Fountains of Bellagio will romance your senses with their delightful, playful choreographed water display which dances to opera, classical and broadways tunes. A nice way to break-up your walk along the Strip, these performances mesmerize viewers every 15 to 30 minutes depending on the day. Impressive during the day with the backdrop of the Vegas sky, the display is even more enchanting in the evening when the sprays of water are lit up from below.
Sip champagne as you prepare for a breathtaking luxurious helicopter flight with you and 5 other passengers over the neon-lit city of Las Vegas at dusk. The millions of lights will dazzle your eyes as you cruise through the sky. Experience the spectacular aerial views of Caesars Palace, the Eiffel Tower at Paris, Venetian, Bellagio, Treasure Island, Luxor and MGM among others, each with their distinct light displays and architectural splendor. This is a wonderful way to see Vegas whether you are visiting as a family, as a bachelor or a bachelorette, or even as a romantic couple.
Las Vegas spas are the largest and most extravagant in the world, just like their hotels. In addition to exotic décor and facilities, Vegas also scours the world for the most certified massage therapists and master estheticians so that your spa experience is nothing short of divine. Below is a list of three of the best spas in Las Vegas and what they offer.
The Spa at Encore is the newest, most expensive spa on the Strip. This spa is truly stunning, combining opulence and good taste. The locker room area is hung with rich fabrics and glass chandeliers, and the walk to the treatment rooms feels like a journey into sacred space with a Zen feeling and Buddha statues placed tastefully. The best rooms are beautiful garden suites with a shower and natural light. Choose from a vast array of unique services including lomi-lomi (the ancient art of Hawaiian massage,) scalp massages, and hot stones. The facilities contain two swimming pools, jacuzzis, sauna, steam room, and waterfall showers.
Spa Bellagio was the first truly extravagant spa to open in Vegas, and it still ranks up there with the best. With 55,000-square-feet and 56 treatment rooms, you don’t just pay for a massage, you pay for an experience. The Bellagio hotel was designed and styled to evoke the feeling of visiting a Tuscan village, with its famous fountains out front. The salon is flecked with gold trim; however, upon entering the spa, one floor up you will find a much earthier, natural, relaxing space. Calm and peaceful, you will walk across jade-tiled flooring that is lit from beneath. Indulge in a soothing watsu massage in warm, waist-deep water, found nowhere else in Vegas.
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental is probably the most intimate, opulent and expensive spa in downtown Vegas. The sensual spa evokes the feeling of Shanghai in the 1930’s, an oriental dream. The 27,000-square-foot spa is spread out along two floors, combining intimacy with the latest spa technologies. Bask in the gorgeous tile locker rooms, relax in a bubbling “experience” shower, warm up in the sauna, and enjoy the intricate ice sculptures. This spa also boasts a stunning, authentic Turkish steam room, where an attendant will scrub your body and make your skin feel as smooth as a baby’s. Gaze at the tranquil ceiling that looks like a star-speckled night sky as the steam envelops you. Then, lay in the tiled chairs that keep you warm while you look out at the city below. It’s highly-recommended to visit this spa as a couple; 7 of its 17 treatment rooms are dedicated to couples!