Afrobella’s Little Black Book: The Vegas Edition
Where to Stay & Spa
Aria Resort and Casino: 3730 Las Vegas Boulevard South
For a truly luxurious stay in the midst of one of the hottest resorts and casinos on the strip, you need to stay at Aria, in one of their ultra-posh Sky Suites, or the resort. The rooms are next level lavish, complete with a remote that can control everything from the television to your curtains and lights. The clubs are packed to the gills with hotties and celebrities, and the pool scene is both relaxing and a party depending on which area you’re in. Top off your visit with a trip to one of the most relaxing spas in Las Vegas, and experience what makes Aria the place to be.
Vdara Hotel and Spa: 2600 W. Harmon Avenue
Love Vegas but hate the casinos, smoking indoors, and general loutishness of the clientele? Try staying at Vdara – one of few hotels on the strip that doesn’t include a casino at all. The Vdara is intended as a respite from the sometimes maddening Vegas crowds, and the main focus of the hotel is their eco-friendly, 18,000-square-foot, two-level Spa, Salon and Fitness Center. Not a bad way to do Vegas.
Green Valley Ranch: 2300 Paseo Verde Pkwy
If you’re willing to venture off the strip for a luxury stay off the beaten path, definitely check out the Green Valley Ranch. The outdoor pool bar is expansive and glamorous, their spa is top of the line, and although the pace of things is a little less frenetic than it is on the Strip, you’ll have just as much fun at their casino.
What to Do
Check out Cirque du Soleil. The world’s most popular and famous circus arts performance group makes its home in Las Vegas. Here, you can see Cirque du Soleil shows that aren’t performed elsewhere on an ongoing basis. There’s the martial arts-inspired Ka at the MGM Grand, the incredibly acrobatic Zarkana at the Aria, and The Beatles homage Love at The Mirage. At the end of May 2013, Michael Jackson One will open as a tribute to the late, great King of Pop at the Mandalay Bay. That’s bound to be a must see.
Enjoy the art. Vegas can be as low culture or as high culture as you make it. If you want to go for the bros, booze and bikinis, you can do that. If you want to go for decadent cuisine by top chefs, vintage wines of incredible quality and artistic displays by some of the world’s most prominent artists, you can do that too. While visiting the Bellagio, make sure you look up and around to appreciate the one of a kind glasswork by Dale Chihuly. Continue through the Bellagio gallery of fine art and visit the gallery of legendary photographer Jeff Mitchum. Some of his photographs took 15 years to capture, each has an incredible story. Well worth the visit.
Where to Eat
Sensi: 3600 Las Vegas Blvd S
There are an insane number of restaurants in Las Vegas. What makes Sensi so exceptional? The sheer variety of cuisine, all prepared with skill and flavor. Into Indian food? Order up some samosas and butter chicken that will melt in your mouth. Are you a seafood lover? Don’t skip Chef Royden Ellamar’s to die for seafood platter or Sensi rolls, made with sustainably grown, naturally raised ingredients. And make sure you get dessert – with over-the-top presentations like the oversized ice sorbet orb, your dinner will be unforgettable.
Aureole: 3950 S Las Vegas Blvd
Charlie Palmer dreamed up quite a concept for this Vegas branch of his beloved New York restaurant. At the Mandalay Bay Aureole, the first thing you’re greeted with is a 14 foot, 4 story glass tower of wine. The wine tower is inspired by the film Mission: Impossible and is staffed by a team of svelte, black clad “wine fairies” who rappel quickly to fetch your bottle of choice. We recommend an early dinner by the swan pond out back – it makes for gorgeous photos together.
American Fish: 3730 S Las Vegas Blvd
If you care about high quality seafood and sustainable, healthy, delicious cuisine, you need to experience Chef Michael Mina’s American Fish at Aria. The décor is charming and elegant, and the focus is on regional, seasonal products from the USA’s waterways and woodlands. Cioppino, Maine lobster pot pie, and Hawaiian ahi tuna to die for.
Goyemon Sushi House: 5255 S Decatur Blvd #118
If you’re feeling adventurous and want to eat where Vegas locals eat, get off the strip and head to Goyemon. Getting a table can be tough at this ever-overflowing authentic sushi restaurant, but the all you can eat menu makes it absolutely worth the effort.
Where to Drink
Minus 5 Ice Bar: 770 Las Vegas Blvd
If you want to escape the Vegas heat, we know the coolest bar on the strip. The Minus 5 Ice Bar in the Monte Carlo resort is kept at a chilly twenty-three degrees Fahrenheit (that’s minus five, Celsius) and guests are given fur coats to wear while sipping on potent vodka cocktails.
The Peppermill: 2985 Las Vegas Blvd
If you’ve never done old Vegas, and have a vision of the dim lounges as seen in films like Casino and Showgirls, go to The Peppermill. With fishbowl-sized cocktails and plush banquettes for the lounge lizard in you, you are bound to have an only in Vegas experience here.
No visit to Vegas is complete without a stroll through the Venetian Resort, complete with its daytime replication of Venice complete with gondoliers and a replica of St. Mark’s Campanile. While there, keep an eye out for an unassuming bar called Very Venice. Here you’ll discover the Sorbetini, a truly delicious spin on the traditional flavored martini. You won’t be sorry. Trust us.