It used to bewilder me why I loved Vegas so much growing up. I don't really drink, gamble, or party. I mean, Vegas is basically Disneyland for adults. Do you feel me? And then it hit me. We all know the Las Vegas strip is dotted with hotels ranging from luxury to whimsical. Regular readers know I am a hotel aficionado. Checking into a hotel for a person like me is like Christmas day or a kid in a candy store. I go ape shit. I can't wait to check in, collapse on the bed, order room service, run the tub, put on a silky robe, pop open the champagne, stare at the decor, explore the amenities, all that jazz. Because I essentially live #thesuitelife, you can imagine that checking into a hotel is like coming "home" to me.
I chose to spend my 26th birthday with my dear friend, Britney Larson. We've known each other for 16 years but only rekindled our friendship just last year. If you're reading this Brit, thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me one of the best birthday celebrations of my life and for spoiling me rotten. Your thoughtfulness knows no bounds. I look forward to countless Vegas memories ahead!
The day we left for Vegas couldn't have come at a less opportune moment. Albuquerque was chilly with snow in the forecast. It felt exhilarating getting on the plane, knowing that an hour or so later, I would be greeted by 80 degree heat. We flew on Southwest Airlines, an airline I must applaud. I regret not flying with them more often. So efficient and friendly. As a globetrotter, SWA speaks my language with the two free checked bag business. However, you'll be proud to know that I just took a carry on for this trip. Boy was that freeing!
We opted to stay at the Venetian Hotel. Last time I stepped foot in there was when I went on a gondola ride with my family. I was in high school! We nabbed a pretty great rate, $190/night for a Luxury Suite. What's great about this hotel is that every room felt so luxurious that an upgrade wasn't necessary. There was more than enough room for the both of us. Though the actual hotel is beginning to show its age, the property is maintained exceptionally well. The bed was beautifully plush, the bathroom was old-fashioned opulence with a vanity desk in the corner and a nice little Roman tub and shower to the side and double sinks. There was even a phone in the bathroom, placed near the toilet. I enjoy stuff like that.
The living room was spacious and cozy and there was even a proper sized office desk with a strikingly unique crystal block lamp. People who know me well know that while I love to indulge in the simple pleasures of life 24/7, no matter what, you'll always catch me more than once sitting in front of the laptop working away. Britney can attest to this. So let's just say the hotel office desk got some good use :)
On the actual day of my birthday (April 29), Britney took me to a fabulous restaurant at the Aria called Herringbone, an Ocean to Table Seafood establishment. I am a die-hard foodie with a preference for seafood so going here was absolute heaven for me. We loaded up on every seafood under the sun (poke, shrimp, oyster, lobster, crab) and had a gluttonous and boozy brunch (thanks to those bottomless strawberry and peach bellinis!) We ordered chilaquiles. It was good, but this place is really known for its seafood. We were so full that we couldn't even make it to the orange ricotta, chocolate chip pancakes! The brunch at Herringbone is $59/person with all you can eat access to the seafood bar, fruit bar, dessert bar as well as the kitchen menu. Though a little steep, it was worth every penny for a serious bruncher such as myself.
After stumbling back to our hotel room (or did we take a cab?!), we both collapsed on the bed after a successful booze up brunch. About an hour later, there was a knock on the door. My dear friend and hotel extraordinaire, Holly Breuche of NYC, surprised me with a stunning, mouthwatering cake and a sparkly bottle of champagne, Swarovski edition and had the hotel staff deliver it to me. I was filled with elation and gratitude. Regular readers know that I'm a hotel ambassador of The Quin Hotel in NYC. Holly Breuche used to be the managing director of said hotel before she took over being the Vice President of Operations of the whole company that oversees a portfolio of boutique luxury hotels all over Manhattan. She's honestly my spirit animal. I would have loved to be her in another life. A huge thank you to her. Where the Venetian failed in my honest opinion is that they provided me paper cups and plasticware. Uh, no! They can't be passing themselves off as a 5 star luxury hotel with that kind of behavior. The worse part was when I called to ask for some plates and silverware (which I normally get for free in a luxury hotel), they told me it would be a $10 delivery charge and up to an hour wait. Ain't nobody got time for that! The CRM and class is definitely different (or nonexistent for that matter) in the hotel industry in Vegas and I thank Holly Breuche deeply for sending me the Quin touch - refined elegance and luxury - all the way to Vegas from NYC.
That evening, we threw on our cocktail dresses and heels, got a head start on gambling and opted for a delicious sushi dinner at Sushi Ra. I had a sumptuous shrimp tempura roll, garlic flavored edamame and water... no alcohol. I had to keep focused that night for further gambling :)
We hopped into a cab and explored downtown Vegas. I always loved Fremont Street and the light show they put on. Next time I will try zip lining. Believe it or not, it was just too damn chilly at night to be gliding through the air! The picture above is me at the Golden Nugget, my preferred casino in the downtown area. There was a rock n roll cover band playing outside; I squealed in excitement when they performed "Kashmir" by Led Zeppelin. I love how music brings people together and is a universal language. It also made me think about my husband's rock n roll dramatic tv series, The Circus. I can't wait to relive that incredible era of music.
On our last day in Vegas, we strolled along the strip and kept it pretty laid back. The Cosmopolitan had always been on my radar so it was our first new hotel visit for the day. I explored the Linq and the Aria the day before but it didn't wow me the way the Cosmopolitan did. It was sexily and opulently designed. It is centrally located and just screams luxury and cosmopolitan vibes. Look at this magical chandelier wrapped around the bar!
Other than eating to our hearts' content, gambling, hotel hopping, dressing up, cavorting around in the party that is Vegas, 3 nights was definitely NOT enough. Britney and I laugh to this day about how we never got the chance to eat our sushi burritos and go to the donut bar. However, we did enjoy Guy Fieri's trash can nachos...! It was pretty good though I would have removed the BBQ sauce and meat. It made the dish too sweet! I like my nachos simple and to the point!
This post couldn't possibly cover all my adventures but it's a good start!
Tell me about your Vegas adventures! What is your favorite hotel & what are you favorite activities?
I miss my husband dearly but happy to report we will be reunited in under a week. Off to the Cannes Film Festival we go!