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Taking Your Girl to Vegas

Jrslm_Stylin

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Las Vegas remains a fantastic trip for the wife or a girlfriend. I'm there several times a year and list my favs for hotels, restaurants, shopping, what-to-do--feel free to comment and add others.

HOTELS:
1) The Wynn (north Strip), with its opulent halls decked out in royal purple with acres of cut flowers and glass sculptures, is, for now, THE place. It outclasses most of the other properties by several notches. The room are normal-sized but plush (and the beds are narcotic). It has its own world-class golf course out back (ya, right in back of the hotel, not "a mere 30 minutes by courtesy shuttle" but right in back on very expensive Vegas real estate--doesn't seem to make economic sense, but it's the only place in Vegas like that). They have a f-ing Ferrari dealership, and I've seen them make actual sales on site (of course it's ok to just check out the goods if, like me, you're "not presently in the market"). It's naturally a pricey joint, but well worth it. Wynn is building a sister property next door called "Encore"--which of course will try to one-up its sister on glam. Only complaints--the spa/gym, while excellent, is expensive compared to fully comparable options elsewhere--the privilege of a morning workout set me back more than breakfast/lunch together. Also, don't touch the mini-bar, water bottles. WHile this is sound advice anywhere, at the Wynn they take in-room extortion a new level ($5 snickers bar, anyone?). The pool (guests only) has the hottest women I've seen in Vegas, and that's a high bar--you have a hot girl and have fun showing off? This is currently the best bet in Vegas for that.

2) Second tier would be the Bellagio (still grand after 10 years) and Venetian, both excellent properties, and after that my pick would be Mandalay Bay (which has a "Four Seasons" on top floors in the same building--in my view, for the cost, it's a girlfriend wknd you're better off just staying at normal Mandalay (though the Four Seasons pampering is nice).

3) Other hotel options: MGM Grand is enormous and a good mid-range property, Paris is also nice. The new pool set-up at MGM grand is as good as anything in Vegas, including a Euro-style adults-only, tops optional pool, with gorgeous gals showing off their real and surgically-enhanced finery. If I was bringing kids, I'd take them to Circus Circus (wouldn't stay there otherwise) and see the lions at MGM Grand, while noting that most places in Vegas (there are a couple exceptions) are not really kid friendly. IMPERIAL PLACE with its goofy faux Asian theme, is a fantastic bargain hotel. Its big suites with full mirrors above the king-size bed and huge jacuzzi reek of Boogie Nights, and they're always clean even if the carpet/furnishings are older. Great breakfast buffet and exhibits, and it's right on the Monorail. Or, stay downtown for a change of pace, which is less Caligula and more Old West.

4) Rent a house off the strip and save the mini-bar/telephone charges and mile-long hikes through casinos, and just drive to dinners, shows, etc. and use valet parking (I wouldn't do this, however, until you're a "Vegas pro").

FOOD:
Fine dining: Most of the best places are at the top hotels. I'd try Michael Mina or Picasso at Bellagio (both are GREAT), Alex at Wynn (as good or better as anything in Vegas, prices to match), Valentino, Postrio or AquaKnox (fine seafood) at Venetian, Shibuya is great Japanese/Asian at MGM. The Palm in Caser's Palace Mall, while not exactly fine dining, is fantastic, and consistently so.
Steaks: In a city with many truly great steakhouses (tough to go wrong), the SW at the Wynn is the best I've had, though Charlie Palmer's and the Palm are consistently excellent. The complaints I've had about others (Prime, Craftsteak) are less about the steak, which is fantastic, and more about service idiosyncrasies.
Breakfast: Can't go to far wrong with all the great options, though many of these places are inconsistent. Best table service breakfasts I've had in Vegas (all a rip-off but delicious!) are Bouchon at Venetian and the Wynn's breakfast cafe. Best buffets are at Paris and Bellagio, though most of the hotels have excellent buffets. Best bargain buffet is Imperial Palace; Bally's is good also in that category, but I don't like navigating through Bally's to get there.

Stuff to Do: Fashion Show Mall across from the Wynn, with its mid-to-hi-end stores, is among the best malls in the U.S. (and is enormous) and consistently has great sales at the Department stores, which range from Macy's to Neiman-Marcus. Factory outlets south of the Strip are a shopper's paradise. The bungee at the Strat is touristy but a big rush. The pools at the Wynn and MGM Grand are incredibly HOT in the women dept. and a great place to hang out. The Gun Store is a great way to blow off steam by blasting targets with full-auto machine guns--highly recommended for a girlfriend vacation, even if your gal has never fired a weapon (all the better, actually). Pirate show outside Treasure Island is worth seeing at least once, same with the touristy but cool fountains at Bellagio and immaculate set-ups inside the Bellagio and Wynn.

SHOWS: Tough to go wrong on these, either. For Cirque de Soleil-type, see Mystere (the original--still amazing), "O" at Bellagio, and the sexy/cool Zumanity. Bally's has the best traditional showgirl performance. Caesar's routinely gets top acts in. Wynn's La Reve is also great.

CLUBS: Tryst is the best for Armani-clad millionaires and their top-model arm candy, and can be fun after midnight. Studio 54 at MGM is a very fun dance club. Pure at Caesar's also very fun. Unless you really dig that sort of thing, skip the lap dance joints--there's better stuff to see for free, and you'll be happier you didn't drop $300 on lap dances with some siliconed chick who smells of some other guy's nasty cologne.

Comments?
 

goodlife

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I will not judge anyone who enjoys Vegas, but will personally never go there. I think it is an amusement park and a cultural wasteland.

- I am not at all interested in gambeling.
- No one goes outside because it is so damn hot most of the year
- My understanding of the restaurants (from review and word of mouth) is that they pale in comparison to original/atlernate locations in other cities (like New York, Chicago ...)
- Cirque de Soleil is cool, but you can occasionally catch a thraveling production in other cities

They should have stuck to what they did best: Booze, hookers, and lounge singers. At least that was authentic.
 

thekunk07

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why? how about taking her to thailand while you're at it.
 

Piobaire

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Originally Posted by goodlife


I will not judge anyone who enjoys Vegas, but will personally never go there. I think it is an amusement park and a cultural wasteland.

- I am not at all interested in gambeling.
- No one goes outside because it is so damn hot most of the year
- My understanding of the restaurants (from review and word of mouth) is that they pale in comparison to original/atlernate locations in other cities (like New York, Chicago ...)
- Cirque de Soleil is cool, but you can occasionally catch a thraveling production in other cities

They should have stuck to what they did best: Booze, hookers, and lounge singers. At least that was authentic.


I just got back from Vegas. Did not gamble cent one. Had possibly the best meal of my life, at the Guy Savoy. It was in the 50's and 60's.

I'm going back next year.
 

romafan

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You are sooo money!
 

Jrslm_Stylin

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Thailand? wtf? I can't imagine you've spent time in Vegas (at least not this decade or last) if you think there's even a remote connection btwn Bangkok's whorehouses and anywhere in Nevada. Women LOVE Vegas these days, because the city caters to them with fantastic spas, shopping and fantastic shows.

Rio? Absolutely--That's one of the best getaways there is and my pick for at least top five in world's most gorgeous cities. & every woman I know loves Rio for many of the same reasons--great dancing, shopping and incredible scenery. But even if gamble heavily, you'll spend far more cash for a Rio trip compared to Vegas, and whatever they speak in Nevada it's not Portuguese.

Vegas is so far beyond the collection of titty bars, showgirl reviews and slot dens of the Mafia/Howard Hughes era! Fantastic vacation spot because whatrever you're into, they have it.
 

Piobaire

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Originally Posted by romafan
You are sooo money!

I'm not sure how the temperature in Vegas, when I was there, makes me "money," but you kids know best!
 

Nataku

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I agree that Vegas is a lot different than it was 10 years ago. I was skeptical at first when I went with my family last year. I was very wrong - I had a wonderful time, so great that I went back again last month. The shopping is great, but there is a lack of decent sales unless you're there around Thanksgiving or Christmas. I missed the Barney's 40% off sale by a couple days
As for the resturants, I can't speak for all, but the Craftsteak was just as good as the NYC location. The buffets are excellent and there is a great variety of resturants. My fiance still thinks it's all gambling and hookers too, but I'm trying to get her to come with me to show her how different it is. As for my gambling, I was there 5 days and didn't gamble one cent.
 

romafan

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I'm told it's a great place for bachelor parties!
Also fraternity reunions, and just plain old bustin' loose....

edit: forgot about the buffets
 

ken

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I like the fact that I can walk down the street w/ an open 40 oz. and not feel self conscious about it.

Anyways, back to Vegas...
 

goodlife

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Originally Posted by Piobaire
I just got back from Vegas. Did not gamble cent one. Had possibly the best meal of my life, at the Guy Savoy. It was in the 50's and 60's.

I'm going back next year.


Did you get lucky with the weather, my gf went for a convention for work in February one year, and it was 90. Regardless, I commend you. There are just too many places I would rather go. In fact I think I would go back to every major destination that I have been to before going to Vegas.
 

Piobaire

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Originally Posted by goodlife
Did you get lucky with the weather, my gf went for a convention for work in February one year, and it was 90. Regardless, I commend you. There are just too many places I would rather go. In fact I think I would go back to every major destination that I have been to before going to Vegas.

To each his own. And 90 is quite comfortable in the desert southwest. Even for a cold climed person like myself.

I'd not pick Vegas over Paris, but I'd certainly pick it over many places in the US. It's a relatively inexpensive weekend trip, you can get yourself treated outrageously well, there's some great shopping and restaurants, great shows, and it's easy to get to. All in all, pretty much exactly what you could ask for in a 3-4 day trip.

Before I went, many on the board here gave me some places to go. Every place suggested, was an excellent choice. From Rosemary's for a prix fixe (and 50% off bottles night!) to Primm's outlet. The members here offered fantastic advice.
 

tiecollector

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I just went to Vegas a few days ago. I stayed in a very large suite at the Venetian, which I hardly stayed in, but it was nice. I also ate at Bouchon in the Venetian, which is one of Thomas Keller's restaurants. I enjoyed it.

We saw "O" at the Bellagio and then had brunch at the Wynn the next day.

We walked into as many casinos as we could on our half of the strip and my three favorites from what I saw were: 1) Wynn 2) Venetian 3) Bellagio, in that order. The Wynn was very remarkable on the inside and I'll be staying there next time. The Venetian is also very impressive especially on the outside.

We gambled quite a bit, mostly blackjack, but we did hit the jackpot on the penny slots not once, not twice, but THREE times at separate casinos.

Vegas is cool to have access to the nice shopping, better strip, nice restaurants, and more shows, but if you are looking to gamble Reno is infinitely better IMO.
 

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