|photography by Getty Images|
In 2005, more conventions were hosted in Las Vegas than any other city. Why? If you work hard, you should play hard, too.
WHERE TO STAY:
If you’ve Viva-ed Las Vegas before, you already know all the old haunts from Bally’s to the Bellagio. But if it’s been a while since you visited Sin City, there are a few new kids on the block worth trying. You’ll get what you pay for at the Skylofts at MGM Grand. And with 24-hour personal concierge service, a chauffeured Maybach 62 limousine, and beautifully appointed living spaces ranging from 1,400 to 6,000 square feet, the price tag won’t be small (they fetch up to $10,000 a night). But luxury like this is hard to resist (3799 Las Vegas Blvd., 1-877-MGM-LOFT, www.skyloftsmgmgrand. com). If you crave access to the Strip but want (slightly) more reasonable prices, Wynn Las Vegas is the perfect place to call your home away from home. You can’t go wrong with any of the six styles of rooms, whether you choose the executive suite with separate his and her baths or opt for the 180-degree view of the city in a panoramic suite boasting wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows (3131 Las Vegas Blvd., 888-320-WYNN, www.wynnlasvegas.com). If you want more desert than debauchery, check out the recently opened Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa located 12 miles west of the heart of Vegas. Many of the 414 rooms provide unbelievable mountain views. Plus, with a casino, pool, and on-site movie theater, skipping the Strip doesn’t have to mean missing out on the fun (11011 W. Charleston Blvd., 866-767-7773, www.redrocklasvegas.com).
|LUCKY STREAK: At Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa, you can enjoy intimate drinks in the Cherry Suite.
photography courtesy of Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa
WHERE TO EAT:
The drama of Vegas makes a laid-back lunch seem nearly impossible. Triple George Grill is one exception, offering an upscale menu in a comfortable, casual setting. Nosh on filet mignon or fish and chips in a high booth or at the 38-seat, fully stocked bar (201 N. Third St., 702-384-2761, www.triplegeorgegrill.com). Once the sun goes down, stop into Fix at the Bellagio for appetizers and cocktails. The room is enveloped by warm, Costa Rican Padouk wood that gives an inviting feel to this restaurant and lounge, which is also a popular late-night dining stop (3600 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 877-2-DINE-LV, www.fixlas vegas.com). Next, head over to Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino for dinner at Fleur de Lys. Chef Hubert Keller opened this Vegas version of his famed San Francisco eatery in 2004, where he serves up delicious French cuisine in a stylish spot with natural stone walls and soaring ceilings (3950 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 702-632-9400, www.fleurdelyssf.com). You’ll be rewarded handsomely if you’re willing to wander off the beaten path to Rosemary’s Restaurant. Chefs Michael and Wendy Jordan refer to this hidden jewel as their “home”—and these gracious hosts certainly make diners feel like welcomed guests. Hospitable service and mouthwatering creative American cuisine make this a sweet alternative to the flash of Vegas (8125 W. Sahara, 702-869-2251, www.rosemarysrestaurant.com).
|Catch an evening with Celine Dion at Ceaser’s Palace.
photography by Newscom
WHAT TO DO:
Believe it or not, there’s plenty to do in Vegas that doesn’t involve explaining to your wife how you lost the kids’ college tuition. Nearly every casino on the Strip features a different live show, from the Blue Man Group at The Venetian to Celine Dion at Caesar’s Palace (Blue Man Group: 3355 Las Vegas Blvd., 800-258-3626, www.venetian.com; Celine: 3570 Las Vegas Blvd., 877-4-CELINE, www.harrahs.com). Check out the latest innovative offering from the Cirque du Soleil masterminds called LOVE, playing nightly at The Mirage. Inspired by the music of the Beatles, the show traces the history of the Fab Four set to imaginative, interwoven reproductions of 130 of their songs (3400 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 800-963-9634, www.mirage.com). Afterwards, people-watch at Tryst, the hip nightclub in the Wynn. The only things more gorgeous than the sexy décor and the 90-foot man-made waterfall are the people who party there (3131 Las Vegas Blvd., 702-770-3375, www.wynnlasvegas.com). When you’ve had your fill of over-the-top extravagance, escape to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area where you can hike, climb, or horseback ride across 197,000 acres of natural desert beauty. Though it’s located just 15 miles west of the Strip, you’ll feel like you’re a world away (Hwy. 159, 702-515-5361, www.redrockcanyonlv.org).