A Journey to the Center of the Las Vegas Strip
Las Vegas is in a constant state of flux, always striving for the newest, most elaborate and decadent activities, cuisine, and indulgences. Whether it’s enjoying the pool, reaching new heights or dancing the night away to some of the best electronic dance music acts around, Vegas is constantly striving to reinvent itself with the latest trends in hospitality and entertainment.
One of the newest hotels on the scene, The LINQ, is right in the middle of the strip. This is a clean and contemporary update of the former Imperial Palace and Quad hotels, bringing the old hotel into the 21st century. The rooms are minimal with furniture attached to the walls creating ample space for guests. They are quite basic but affordable, and the LINQ’s location in the center of the strip makes the property one of the best deals in town. It is also home to a monorail stop in the back, connecting with Harrah’s.
The shopping district right outside the hotel has a kind of downtown Long Beach/Anaheim vibe to it with Sprinkles Cupcakes, Yard House, and kitson among other bars and shops. Photographers and retro lovers will find the Polaroid Museum particularly interesting, as people can print photos from their phones in the Polaroid style, creating a real-life Instagram image. The museum upstairs features artwork inspired by the camera and printing methods throughout the 20th century, contemporary works by artists inspired by the camera, and a history of the camera and it’s creator and influence.
The hotel’s pool is 21 and over and features large cabanas with televisions, table service, and lounge chairs for a fee (full and half-day prices are available). The LINQ also has a state-of-the-art spa and two gyms, one in the spa and one from its previous incarnation. If you don’t feel like going all the way to the gym, however, you can keep up with your workout in your room with the fitness cart. It features a fitness ball, a yoga mat, free weights, fitness bands, and, well, everything you could ever need to get a quick workout in between the eating, gambling, and partying. To use, all one needs to do is call up the spa and then book it for up to four hours; when you’re finished, call the spa and they will pick it up and take it away. It was super easy, and did I mention it’s free to guests of the hotel?
Another benefit of staying at the LINQ was we received a $5 discount to ride the High Roller, the world’s tallest observation wheel. It looks and acts a lot like the London Eye, but instead of a view of one of the world’s largest metropolises, it’s pretty much a view of the desert and more desert. It was cool to see the Strip from above, and we had an excellent vantage point of Red Rock Canyon in the distance. But what really made the High Roller experience one that could only happen in Vegas is, for an extra fee of $10, guests can go into the pod with a bar inside and enjoy an open bar for the entire 30-minute ride. This ended up being cheaper than the drinks for sale on the way into the tourist attraction, and our bartender, Judith, was incredible, pouring top-notch drinks—not just cheap well cocktails. Combining that with the view and the experience in general ended up being a lot of fun. More fun than I was anticipating when I first went in.
One updated restaurant that is well worth enjoying is Hexx Kitchen & Bar at the Paris Las Vegas hotel. The contemporary dining experience features small plates and main offerings. My group and I enjoyed the several small plates, which were all fabulous, in particular the smothered fries, cocoa nibs salad, and broccolini. The restaurant also ends every meal with a piece of house-made chocolate on a spell card, its version of a fortune cookie. (Mine said I was going to be rich, but sadly I didn’t win big this time around.) The chocolate is sourced from five distinct places around the world and is then processed in the shop adjacent to the restaurant. Those interested in experiencing the chocolate can take part in a chocolate tasting, a complex journey akin to wine tasting.
And it wouldn’t be Vegas without a proper night out. For those who like electronic dance music, the new Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace is the place for you. The club is divided into three sections: the Main Club; the Heart Club, an R&B-focused area; and the Terrace, an outdoor space. The design is impeccably ultra-lux and contemporary, with glowing walls and an excellent use of new technology. Afrojack was the main act the night I was there, and when he started his set in the Main Club it felt as though I was completely immersed in the experience. I can only describe it as being in the heart of the club of the future—LED screens lit up creating an all-encompassing experience, the sound system incasing us in a wall of electronic bliss, and the chandelier and lights in the center of the multi-level room crashing down and beginning to spin above the crowd. It was impossibly cool. However, I still spent most of my time at the club outside on the Terrace, admiring the brilliant views of the Strip, the Paris and Cosmopolitan hotels, and the glowing exterior of the LINQ.
Vegas is always changing, and one of the great things about this experience for me was being centrally located on the Strip. I walked everywhere I went, and most of the sites and places we wanted to go to were very easy to access from our base at the LINQ. From this property, I was just steps away from the great Vegas experience.