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Hey, Weekend: Good Bets for Las Vegas

With world-class hotels, restaurants owned by celebrity chefs, pop stars in residence and high-end shopping, Las Vegas is the place for living large. Now, Sin City has upped its game once more with the recent addition of Formula 1 Racing and the futuristic Sphere concert venue. If you’re here for gaming, Vegas is also the home of the largest prize pool in poker history—$40 million at the Wynn’s Poker Room. While 38 million people visit Las Vegas each year, it’s also a great place to spend the holidays and New Year’s Eve.  With thousands of options, we narrowed down a few must-sees for your next visit.


FBLV Panorama Suite Bedroom. Photo courtesy of DREX Agency.

Already an icon in Miami, the Fontainebleau brand opened a 67-story luxury resort on the Strip this December. The streamlined modern façade with no neon signage is certainly a game-changer. With a staggering 3,644 rooms and suites, 150,000 square feet of gaming space, world-class shops, Urs Fischer gallery, vitality-enhancing spa, concert venue, and LIV nightclub, this is the one to beat. The restaurant and bar collection features a total of 36 first-to-market concepts from acclaimed chefs and restaurateur partners including Rome-inspired Mother Wolf by Evan Funke to Japanese omakase at KYU from Masa Ito. Coming soon: Chyna Club from Hakkasan and Wagamama founder Alan Yau, along with Tequila Casa Dragones’ first tasting room outside of San Miguel de Allende, inside acclaimed chef Gabriela Cámara’s Cantina Contramar from Mexico City.   

As part of Curio Collection by Hilton, the former Hard Rock Hotel has been transformed into the modern-glam, British-born Virgin Hotels, designed by California-based Studio Collective. The 1,500 rooms and suites span over three distinct towers: The Opal and Canyon Towers or all-suite Ruby Tower. But you are here for the five-acre desert pool oasis with VIP-style cabanas, and the two-story Mykonos-themed day club with an open-air entertainment stage. Hospitality heavy-hitters are also involved with the dining venues, including the legendary Nobu, Michael and David Morton’s One Steakhouse, and Kris Yenbamroong’s Night + Market.


Vanilla Crème Brûlée at LPM Bar & Restaurant

Vegas is known for emulating and transporting lifestyles; this time, it’s the Côte d’Azur at LPM Restaurant & Bar. The acclaimed French eatery (with locations in London, Dubai, and Miami) is celebrated as one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants and can now be found at the Cosmopolitan hotel in Vegas. The French Riviera-inspired concept offers top Mediterranean fare, including snails with garlic butter, salt-baked sea bass, marinated lamb cutlets with aubergine caviar, and vanilla crème brûlée for dessert. The cocktail menu was inspired by the remarkable life of French artist Jean Cocteau, as well as an impressive list of rosé wines. 

One of the most highly acclaimed eateries off the Strip and a favorite with locals and visitors alike for 20 years, Lotus of Siam has opened its third Vegas location inside of Red Rock Resort. Known for its century-old family recipes from Northern Thailand, the menu retains signature dishes such as the crispy duck Khao Soi, garlic prawns, Thai-style stews, and curries.

If you tire of the all-you-can-eat buffet available at many of the Strip hotels, such as the multiple options at Wynn or Caesars Palace’s Bacchanal, head to the elegant La Fontaine at the Fontainebleau hotel. Must-try items include the cloud-esque souffle pancakes with lemon curd from French executive chef Laetitia Rouabah, who hails from Michelin-starred Alain Ducasse. The eggs Benedict are served on everything croissant rolls with a choice of smoked salmon, lobster, or caviar. 


Back Lounge at S Bar’s Late Affair

If you’re looking for a romantic night of elegance and entertainment, 81/82 Group’s newest addition to its Cocktail Collective at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas is the dimly lit Juliet Cocktail Room. Expect DJs and live music from pianists, singers, and drummers in a sexy and intimate room with Victorian-inspired décor, which feels like stepping back into a bygone era.

Two icons in hospitality and entertainment — singer Bruno Mars and the Bellagio Resort & Casino — have joined forces to launch The Pinky Ring, a one-of-a-kind cocktail lounge and jazz bar on the Las Vegas Strip, in early 2024. The concept was born when Mars wanted a personal place where he could throw glamorous parties when in town.

S Bar’s Late Affair offers live music, performances, and headlining DJs in an immersive experience. Talent dancers and musicians take over the entire room integrating guests into the performance. Of course, there is a selection of creative cocktails and decadent shareable dishes to add to the experience. 


Philipp Plein, Las Vegas. Photo by Vlad Shurigin.

German designer Philipp Plein has three Las Vegas stores, with his most recent opening at The Shops at Crystals. As one of the largest independent fashion and luxury brands with a celebrity-cult following, the new Philipp Plein Vegas boutique spans 2,697 square feet, with contemporary lounge couches, marble podiums, and chrome and glass tables that bring a touch of luxury living. This is the place to shop for men and women if you forgot to bring a sexy outfit to Vegas for clubbing or a high-rolling dinner at one of the casino private clubs. 

Grande Canal shops at Venetian. Photo courtesy of LVCVA.

Yes, Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian Resort is a bit kitschy with over-the-top antique stores and a mini-Madame Tussauds wax museum, but where else (besides Venice, Italy) can you stroll on cobblestone walkways past a canal with gondolas under a surreal sky-painted ceiling? Only in Vegas.


Skydiving over Vegas. Photo courtesy of Skip the Strip.

With the influx of sports, the Sphere and F1, Vegas is booming with thrilling attractions. Skydive the Strip: After Sunsetis ready to take it to new heights — as in, freefalling from 11,000 feet above the iconic Strip. This is the world’s only company authorized by the United States Parachute Association (USPA) to offer tandem skydives after sunset. And you will arrive in style, chauffeured in a limousine, followed by a private helicopter pickup from the Las Vegas Country Club, formerly frequented by legends like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. 

If flinging yourself off the 108th floor of a building at 40 mph while strapped to a retractable cord sounds like your idea of hitting the jackpot, Skyjump at The STRAT Hotel, Casino & SkyPod, actually holds the Guinness World Record as the highest commercial decelerator descent facility. This is one of the most accelerating things you can do on the strip for under $100 bucks – much less than you might lose on the casino floor.

The Neon Museum. Photo courtesy of LVCVA.

The Neon Museum is a Las Vegas’ nonprofit organization dedicated to collecting, preserving, studying, and exhibiting iconic Las Vegas signs. This Museum has an outdoor exhibition space known as the Neon Boneyard and an immersive audiovisual experience “Brilliant!” which uses technology to re-illuminate more than 40 non-operational signs. The museum collection also includes nine restored signs installed as public art in downtown Las Vegas. There are current plans to restore and relight three individual Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel & Casino signs.

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