How Do YOU Celebrate in Las Vegas?
I was heading to Las Vegas to help celebrate my friend’s daughter turning 21. We were all excited that she finally made it and we can “teach” her how to really party and how to gamble.
I think when these things occur in life, it’s a reminder that though our minds tell us we are 21, our bodies are quick to remind us that we are not. Really it’s an excuse to for us to celebrate our glory days. We left the hard partying to the younger partygoers and spent our time exploring the finer points of Las Vegas.
Las Vegas has grown exponentially over the last 10 years, and the need for higher-end luxury is more and more in demand as the city becomes more popular with international tourism. However, the classic feel of “old” Las Vegas is still alive and well.
So where do you choose to celebrate in Las Vegas? Do you choose classic Las Vegas or the new, more modern luxury feel that Sin City is offering? Here are my experiences at two Las Vegas properties that are sure to help you make that decision.
Luxury upon luxury, the Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas has it. The hotel is only a few years old and holds the AAA Five-Diamond Award rating as well as the coveted Forbes Five-Star Award for their spa. Upon arrival, each guest is welcomed and shown to the 23rd floor for check-in.
It is a pretty special, almost heavenly, experience when the elevator doors open up to a bespoke “gold bullion” wall representative of prosperity and good fortune in the Chinese culture. Each guest is greeted with an incredible view of Las Vegas through the 20-foot windows. Adjacent to the check-in area is the Sky Lobby, where cocktails can be enjoyed later in the evening.
Every detail at the Mandarin Oriental is designed to make your stay comfortable. My favorite feature is the valet closet that can be accessed from both the inside and outside of the room. Want your shoes polished or your clothes pressed? Simply place your things in the closet, and they will be picked up and returned ready to wear.
The entire hotel is fragranced with the most beautiful floral aroma from Shanghai Tang. The standard rooms are as impressive as the suites in the hotel. The other thing that I most enjoyed about this property is the fact that they do not have a casino.
I love to gamble in Vegas, but I also love that there weren’t loud crowds of people, cigarette smoke, and the ringing of machines everywhere. When I leave the casino, I like to have some peace. There is serenity at the Mandarin Oriental that allows me to relax and reflex on the amount of money I just left at the blackjack tables.
I spent close to four hours in the spa at Mandarin Oriental, and it was transcendent. The signature treatment I was receiving was called Lady Luck. New to the spa menu, this treatment is designed to help balance your energy and restore the body’s natural harmony. Before my treatment I had about an hour to relax, so I spent a little time in their dry sauna and then on the relaxation lounges that overlook the Las Vegas strip.
Before the treatment began, spa director Jennifer Lynn performed a chakra reading and explanation about which of my chakras were blocked and how to correct any energy issues I may have been having (no wonder I wasn’t winning).
The Lady Luck treatment also included a fabulous custom facial and reflexology foot massage. I love a foot massage, and my therapist did a fabulous job. When my treatment was completed I felt amazing. My chakras were in full gear and I was feeling lucky. Off to the tables!
When thinking classic Las Vegas, the hotel that comes to mind is Caesars Palace. The epitome of Las Vegas, Caesars has hosted almost every big name in entertainment and has quite a history with in the city. They have a casino where you can gamble and drink and party to your heart’s content and up-and-coming restaurants like Nobu, which is launching an innovative hotel concept within Caesars’ original hotel tower. Caesars also features the Octavius tower of newer rooms, and of course the Forum Shops.
If you are in the mood for a show, they have those too—Celine Dion, Rod Stewart, and the super-hot Matt Goss are headliners at the property. Restaurants on the property are Central by the James Beard-award-winning chef Michael Richard and Old Homestead Steakhouse, the historic NYC restaurant. I’ve yet to have a bad meal at Caesars.
During the daytime we hit the pool deck at Caesars. Spanning five acres and offering eight swimming pools, the Garden of the Gods at Caesars Palace offers guests a variety of engaging daytime experiences in an unparalleled setting.
We chose to lounge by the Garden pool with our cocktails. The atmosphere was fun and entertaining, with a mid-afternoon DJ and go-go dancers. We had a great time. Did I mention the swim-up gaming table and bar? Yes, of course, Caesars Palace would not be complete without it!
So, what’s your choice—classic Vegas or modern luxury? Either way, you are sure to have a great time.