Saturday, May 25, 2013

Viva Las Vegas Vacations, Baby!

You’ve always wanted to visit Las Vegas, but weren’t sure where to stay, what to see and where to eat. Here are some top suggestions from long time locals to help make your Vegas Vacation something extra special to remember, no matter what your budget.


Best Luxury Hotel –The Cosmopolitan gets a lot of rave reviews from the younger crowd, but you can’t beat the Wynn Tower for the ultimate in luxury. Steve Wynn has transformed customer service into an art form, and the views from the tower rooms are spectacular.
Best Mid Price Hotel - Often overlooked in favor of the higher profile hotels, the Monte Carlo Hotel on the Strip is highly rated in terms of overall customer satisfaction. The grounds have beautiful statuary and fountains, quiet restaurants and lounges, a brew pub, luxurious rooms, good shops, and an extensive pool area that includes a wave pool and a lazy river ride.

Best Value Priced Hotel –
The Golden Nugget stands out from the crowd for value accommodations. Not only is it in the heart of downtown Las Vegas on Fremont Street, the buffet is great and it has a really cool pool/slide/aquarium on property.
Best El Cheapo Hotel – Circus Circus is still the least expensive of the Las Vegas Strip hotels, including an inexpensive buffet and on site RV parking. But if you have kids, the arcade may end up costing you a small fortune!

Best Extravaganza – While individual entertainers appearing in the showrooms are a personal preference, Jubilee at Bally’s is still the number one classic Las Vegas extravaganza.
Best Musical – There’s a reason why the Jersey Boys is a hit across the country and has won innumerable awards. It is definitely one of the best performances overall in Vegas, and absolutely the best musical. High energy, great music, and has you dancing and singing out the showroom.
Best Cirque du Soleil Show – All the Cirque shows are incredible, but if you like a more intimate atmosphere and the chance to see some incredible performers more closely, Mystere at the Treasure Island presents a classic Cirque venue, combining high-energy acrobatics and the inspiring imagery that is the company's hallmark. (Some of the larger shows are so ornate, you miss the true ambiance of a Cirque performance.)

Best Gourmet Dining – Every major hotel on the Strip has an outstanding gourmet room, or two or three. But if you want a true Old Vegas dining experience, make a reservation at Hugo’s Cellar in the Four Queens. A large number of the staff has been there 25+ years or more, including the grand sommelier. Not only are both the food and service superb, the lively staff is full of amazing and funny stories about celebrities they have seen over the years. Plan on three to four hours of pure entertainment along with your meal and make sure to top it off with their famous Kona Coffee.
Best Buffet – The Wynn comes up tops again for its extravagant buffet.  Alaskan King Crab legs to
Wagyu beef lasagna, the selection is stupendous and surrounded in a magnificent floral display. The dessert counter is a destination of its own – you may want to start there!
Best Champagne Brunch – Bally’s come through for a Sunday Champagne Brunch in style. This is a fancy affair - the waiters are dressed in tuxedos with white gloves, and the tables are set with fine linens and silver. Maine Lobsters, Ostrich tenderloins, the fare is totally gourmand and they serve unlimited Perrier Jou√ęt and Mumm champagne, with or without the orange juice!
Best Value Buffet – The Rio Hotel can’t be beat for value, variety and quality. You can find every variety of food imaginable, including Mexican tacos, Chinese favorites, Japanese sushi, Brazilian mixed grill, Italian and old fashioned American prime rib. For the money, you definitely get the most bang for your buck here.


Mandalay Bay Beach Resort - You can't go swimming in Las Vegas without checking out the pool, or should I say "beach," at Mandalay Bay. This 11-acre resort features a sandy beach area, complete with palm trees, lounge chairs and umbrellas, plus eight pools, including wave pool and lazy river, and the adult-only, Moorea Beach Club. For those who can't keep away from the tables, visit the beachside casino with its own restaurant and gaming, cabanas and pool.
Cosmopolitan Hotel Fun Pool - Enjoy fun in the sun at the Cosmopolitan Hotel swimming pool. Perfect for those people who can't sit still, the pool area is equipped with pool tables, ping pong tables, foosball and a huge pool area.
Bellagio Swimming Pool - Evoking the same upscale persona as the hotel, the pool at the Bellagio is perfect for the sunbather looking for a more relaxing atmosphere, free from the chaotic beach clubs found at other hotels. Elegant chaise lounges and cabanas line the pool area which allows swimmers to cool off under a mini version of their signature fountain.

Free Things You Must Do
Visit Fremont Street – DO NOT MISS FREMONT STREET! Not only is this historic Las Vegas, after dark every half hour the electronic light and music show goes on. Plus on weekend nights there are bands playing, strolling musicians, wandering showgirls in full feathered regalia, and sidewalk artists. It’s a true Vegas spectacle.
Take a photo by the Las Vegas Sign – make sure to stop by the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign and get your photo taken. Often there are Elvis impersonators on hand that will jump into the picture with you (for a small fee, of course!)
See the Bellagio Fountains and walk through the Bellagio Conservatory – the Bellagio musical water show is amazing – try to get a seat at their outdoor bar in the evening and sip your cocktail while the fountains dance for you. Then wander inside through the incredible Bellagio gardens. The botanical displays change every three months and are truly enchanting.
See the volcano at the Mirage – Shades of Mount Vesuvius. The pyrotechnics go off every night between 5 pm and 11 pm on the hour, but don’t get too close or you might singe something vital!
Visit the “Pawn Stars” pawn shop in downtown Vegas– The lines can be long, but the wait is worth it just for the experience. This has got to be THE best pawn shop in the world. It’s huge and the variety of items will have your head whirling.

Get your photo taken with $1M dollars
– Go to Binion’s Horseshoe downtown and get your picture taken with $1,000,000 dollars. They give you two 5x7 prints for free and they make a great keepsake.