We’ve all heard something about Vegas. Probably to do with sex, drugs or gambling, whether it’s from movies, magazines or personal experience. The very motto: “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” encourages people to go crazy and that is exactly how Vegas has gained its reputation for debauchery. Many European holiday destinations have attempted to rival the hullabaloo, but no other can top the scandalous attraction of Las Vegas.
Maybe this reputation is unfortunate. As well as being the land of partying to excess, Las Vegas is the land of luxury to excess. Certainly, there aren’t many places as multifaceted as Vegas. It has iconic city lights, luxury designer shopping, indulgent dining with cuisines from around the world, and relaxing pools and spas to drift away in. In fact, you might say that Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world. Whatever it is that you want from a vacation, you will find it there.
So I went looking for something a little different from the typical ‘Sin City’ experience you see in the movies. I wanted to see if it was more than an unforgettable night out, and I didn’t have to look far to find luxury, sophistication, culture and class.
The way I see it, to construct the perfect holiday you need to pander to human nature with two things: great food and a great place to sleep. By fulfilling two basic needs of eating and sleeping you are supplying yourself with indulgence to your core, everything else is a bonus!
With this in mind, your choice of hotel is vital. It can make or break your experience. Hotels in Vegas range from cheap to extravagant so everyone is catered for. Within the hotels you’ll find malls, fairgrounds, spas, museums, clubs, theatres and of course casinos. You could spend days just walking around the complexes to see what they have to offer. In a way the hotels are the main attraction. This is what makes Las Vegas, there is no other place quite like it. Whether it’s a canal boat ride through The Venetian, or a trip to Rome in Caesar’s Palace, you will never run out of things to admire on the famous strip. Each hotel has a theme, and this is taken really seriously – from attractions inside the hotel to the décor in the rooms. Some are family orientated, some a great choice for college students and your typical ‘Sin City sinners’ and some target adults looking for a classy Vegas getaway.
I stayed in the Bellagio, which is undeniably the most elite hotel on the strip. It boasts gorgeous architecture and class inside and out. The iconic fountains in the front attract passers-by to stand and watch the incredible water show at regular intervals during the day. Since I was lucky enough to be there on the 4th of July I got to see the fountains dance along to the American national anthem. The Bellagio has a luxurious pool area to get lost in. If you stay there all day you could forget that you were in Las Vegas and think you are in the Med. The pools are only open to guests of the hotel so they’re a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the strip.
Now, on to the next vital holiday decision: where to eat. I found two gems in Vegas, one for brunch and one for dinner.
A trip to the Aria Hotel leads you to my favourite brunch place, the Bardot Brasserie. They offer family style brunch boards with fruit and delicious French-inspired brunch dishes. They have so many options for brunch both light and more substantial all exquisite. They’ve got everything from eggs to croissants and sweet treats on the menu and the atmosphere is really quaint. You’ll feel like you’ve been taken to France for a few hours! The staff are fantastic, the manager interacts with all the diners to make sure they are feeling special. I could eat brunch here every day and never get bored. And to top it off they serve bottomless rosé, need I say more?
Luckily for me, my favourite dinner spot turned out to be right on my doorstep at the Bellagio. If you are looking for amazing food then look no further than the Lago. Location-wise it couldn’t be more perfect – it’s right at the front of the Bellagio with views over the Bellagio Lake and fountains. There is an outdoor terrace to sit over the water and watch the sun go down and the iconic Las Vegas strip lights come up, all while you enjoy luxury food and a delicious cocktail. The Lago turns eating into an experience. It is high class and high quality, without being pretentious. The Lago is the place to go for luxury to excess. Let’s face it, on vacation everyone wants to dine like a king and be treated like a queen. My friends and I were served by Jennifer who was perfect in treating us like royalty, everyone from waiters to the managers were ready and waiting to serve the guests. We had platters of sensational food, they encourage sharing larger plates so that all the family can try a bit of everything. The menu items are all reasonably priced for the quality you get. Whether it is seafood, meat or vegetarian dishes you’re looking for, you’ll be impressed. The lobster gnocchi was my favourite dish. The meats are so tender that we didn’t even need steak knives. Plus the puddings are to die for. My favourite, a refreshing Limoncello sorbet was a true Italian treat. With an extensive range of wine and spirits, this is a fabulous place to spend the evening. It is worth a trip to Vegas just to eat at the Lago!
Continuing the Italian theme at the Bellagio, I spent time expanding my appreciation for art in the gallery showcasing a Picasso exhibition. Not an ounce of sinning in sight, just the company of art lovers and enough information to sink your teeth into for hours. I was in awe of Picasso’s work; the way he captured the human form in abstract portraits over a 40-year career is an amazing thing to see.
Las Vegas is an around the world trip in one city, whether you are being taken to France for brunch or the Mediterranean for a swim, you are going to be wowed by the Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada.
As with any experience, you are in control of how things go. If you go to Vegas looking for a party, you will most definitely find one. If you go looking for luxury and chic, it’s there waiting for you. Either way, you are going to have an indulgent experience.
It doesn’t take long to see exactly why the sign says ‘Welcome to the fabulous Las Vegas Nevada’ – it’s without doubt is the most fabulous place I have ever been.