The summer’s coming to an end and the weather’s beginning to cool off, before our inevitable slide into winter. Guess what season’s just beginning? That’s right – Vegas season. The weather in Vegas is absolutely brutal in the summer months, but September, October, November and December are glorious. The streets are packed with visitors seeking an escape, and Vegas is all about escapism. For many, Vegas comes with a stack of assumptions. One assumes that you’re in for a crazy time, full of drunken shenanigans and all night gambling. Au contraire – Vegas is truly what you make it. Ladies, I’m here to tell you, you can have an ultimate girlfriends’ getaway weekend, filled with top of the line dining, cocktails, shows, shopping and spas. This is how to take a Vegas spaliday. Spacation. Whatever you call your fabulous girlfriends getaway, you definitely won’t forget it!
1. Book your stay at a hotel without a casino. Casinos can be fun, but they can also be crazy, loud, and super smoky. Believe it or not, there are a few hotels right near the strip that don’t include a casino as part of the experience, and you can feel the difference from the moment you enter the lobby. If a spa-centric hotel sounds like the one for you, reserve yourself a room at Vdara Hotel and Spa. The décor is refined and eco-centric, the accommodations are plush and the lobby is centered around the market and beautiful bar, not smoky poker rooms and loud blackjack tables. Serenity now, in Las Vegas? Sign us up.
2. Look around for the best spa deals. You may have found a sweet deal at a hotel that’s got a perfectly acceptable spa attached to it. Yet, like Smokey Robinson sang, you better shop around. Some of the chicest spas in the city have amazing deals and unique spa menu offerings that you’ll regret not investigating. This is your opportunity to surrender to something new and refreshing. I personally recommend getting a group mani/pedi party together at the Bellagio’s pamper suites – champagne and chocolate covered strawberries will enhance the experience, trust. The Bathouse at Mandalay Bay is a retreat within itself –where else can you have a spa hostess draw you the best bath ever, and soak your cares away while enjoying a tea service? And the ESPA at Vdara offers European quality spa indulgence all catered to your specific skin care and relaxation needs.
3. Indulge in grown-woman fun. Whatever happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but it’s up to you how much you decide to share. Thanks to social media, you can make the tough decision at the end of the evening – do you want to show off a photo with yourself being held by a gang of shirtless hunks, or nah? Thunder Down Under is a RIOT, the guys put on a super fun show, and women of all ages go out and get buck wild at the Excalibur. It’s a great bachelorette party place, or just a way to have that only-in-Vegas experience.
4. See a show (or two). Shows in Vegas are a must-do, but which show is worth the ticket price? Not all of ‘em, I can tell you from experience. Pretty much all of the Cirque du Soleil shows are incredible spectaculars, but “O”, “Zarkana,” “Love” and the Michael Jackson experience are amongst the best reviewed and most dynamic. The BlueMan Group at the Monte Carlo is truly fun for the whole family.
5. Make reservations for amazing dinners. Sure, you can go the all-you-can-eat buffet route, but wouldn’t you rather settle in for a truly decadent fine dining experience you can brag about to your foodie friends? See if you can score a table at one of Chef Joel Roubuchon’s restaurants, and discover why he’s been named France’s Chef of the Century, and why his two restaurants at the MGM Grand have been pronounced AAA Four Diamond, Forbes Four Star quality dining experiences. Sage is Chef Shawn McClain’s farm-to-table haven, offering incredibly fresh cuisine and cocktails. And don’t sleep on Border Grill at Mandalay Bay – the Mexican food and killer drinks are next level delicious.
6. Crystals. Nuff said. There’s shopping in Vegas (which is already over the top awesome), and then there’s The Shops at Crystals, which may cause you to re-evaluate your life choices. This is luxury to the nth degree, boasting more flagship boutiques than anywhere else in the USA. Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Gucci, Tiffany, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli, and a gorgeous Sisley store showcasing the best of the luxury French beauty brand all await you.
7. Cocktails, anyone? After all of that decadent shopping and spa-ing, be sure to stay hydrated and ready for fun at a moment’s notice. There are some truly one of a kind bars to be enjoyed in this town, some in surprising locations. The lobby bar at Aria features a rare collection of champagnes. The Petrossian Bar at the Bellagio features a unique variety of Jack Daniels that’s only served there – try it on the rocks, over their signature diamond-shaped ice cubes. The hotel bar at Vdara makes sick rum cocktails that go down so smoothly, they may just be dangerous. And the pool cocktail scene is a whole nother thing – if you love a day party that isn’t all the way turnt up but allows for lounging and chillaxing, book a cabana at the Cypress Lounge at the Bellagio pool and see how the other half is living over fresh sushi rolls served poolside, with a shoulder massage chaser.
Contributing Editor, Patrice Grell Yursik is the creator of Afrobella.com, one of the first blogs to celebrate the beauty of natural hair and ladies of all skin tones and sizes. Affectionately called the Godmother of Brown Beauty Blogging, Patrice takes her readers inside unique beauty, fashion and cultural experiences.