Ve­gas, Baby!

A high roller's guide t o Sin Cit y.

HILuxury - - VOYAGE - by KRISTY ALPERT

LAS VE­GAS HAS PLAYED A STAR­RING ROLE IN ITS FAIR SHARE OF SEEDY CA­PERS AND DEBAUCHEROUS BACH­E­LOR PARTY MOVIES, BUT THE city's real-life per­son­al­ity proves that you can't judge a city by its film cred­its. Be­hind the city's flashy façade and cine­matic bad boy rep­u­ta­tion, Sin City is ac­tu­ally a heav­enly haven for five-star din­ing, A-list shows and the world's most lux­u­ri­ous ho­tel rooms.

The city has grown tremen­dously since it be­gan as a small rail­road town in the heart of the Mo­jave Desert cen­turies ago. To­day Las Ve­gas is a shin­ing jewel in the state, bring­ing in more than 42.3 mil­lion vis­i­tors per year to its per­fectly man­i­cured streets and side­walks. The city boasts more than 150,000 ho­tel rooms, more than 50 golf cour­ses and more than 100 casi­nos, mak­ing it the ul­ti­mate adult play­ground and eas­ily earn­ing its nick­name as the en­ter­tain­ment cap­i­tal of the world.

From scor­ing a seat at a se­cret restau­rant that takes VIP to a new level to nav­i­gat­ing the city's best tables and en­ter­tain­ment, here's where the high rollers eat, stay, and play while in Las Ve­gas.

HOT HO­TELS

In Las Ve­gas, a ho­tel is rarely just a ho­tel. In fact, some of the city's best ho­tels are ac­tu­ally bet­ter known for their gam­bling, din­ing, or en­ter­tain­ment ex­pe­ri­ences as op­posed to their qual­ity of hos­pi­tal­ity and ac­tual overnight ex­pe­ri­ence. In terms of a stand­alone ho­tel,

… HERE’S WHERE THE HIGH ROLLERS EAT, STAY AND PLAY WHILE IN LAS VE­GAS.

the Man­darin Ori­en­tal Las Ve­gas ( man­dari­nori­en­tal.com) of­fers the brand's sig­na­ture white-glove ser­vice from check-in un­til check-out with the added ben­e­fit of be­ing lo­cated at the heart of the Las Ve­gas Strip. The ho­tel is part of the greater Ci­tyCen­ter com­plex ( aria.com), and is di­rectly linked to the Aria Casino and The Shops at Crys­tals, a chic re­tail and en­ter­tain­ment district. It is also within a five-minute walk from the brand new T-Mo­bile Arena which hosts the city's big­gest concerts, UFC fights, and sport­ing events from basketball to ice hockey.

If gam­bling is more of a draw, then the Wynn Las Ve­gas ( wynnlasve­gas.com) is the clear choice. Aside from an over­whelm­ing amount of high end ta­ble games, slot ma­chines, and some of the city's best poker rooms, the casino at the Wynn of­fers a mo­bile sports fea­ture that al­lows guests to wager on horse races and sports from any­where in Nevada via the Wynn's ex­clu­sive Race & Sports Book app.

The Cromwell Ho­tel ( cae­sars.com) was Ve­gas' first stand­alone bou­tique ho­tel and casino on the Strip, and con­tin­ues to at­tract food­ies with its prox­im­ity to the big­gest names on Las Ve­gas' culi­nary scene as well as hous­ing Emmy-award win­ning celebrity chef Gi­ada De Lau­ren­tiis' only restau­rant in the world,

GI­ADA. The pe­tite ho­tel fea­tures 188 op­u­lent rooms, and of­fers a true lux­ury ex­pe­ri­ence with per­son­al­ized ser­vice and an in­ti­macy that is un­ri­valed in the city as well as VIP ac­cess into two of the city's hottest night­clubs.

But the most lux­u­ri­ous ho­tel in the city is one that few vis­i­tors even know ex­ists. The Man­sion is the MGM Grand's ( mg­m­grand.com) ho­tel-within-a-ho­tel con­cept, and it op­er­ates com­pletely off the radar. In fact, de­spite be­ing lo­cated within the na­tion's largest ho­tel, the Man­sion is com­pletely hid­den from out­side view and has an un­marked gated en­trance to its pri­vate mo­tor court that is only used by the ho­tel's fleet of Rolls Royce Phan­toms that trans­port guests any­where they wish dur­ing their stay. The ho­tel of­fers 29 over­sized vil­las, each with its own full-time but­ler to at­tend to any­thing guests may need, and fea­tures a guest-only restau­rant and pool. Rates are un­pub­lished, as only “qual­i­fied guests” are able to make reser­va­tions when call­ing the front desk.

AL­MOST EV­ERY CELEBRITY CHEF HAS COME TO THE CITY TO OF­FER SOME­THING UNIQUE FOR LAS VE­GAS DIN­ERS …

CHEFS IN THE CITY

It may seem like ev­ery city is claim­ing to be a “food city” these days, but noth­ing can com­pete with the sheer num­ber of celebrity chefs, high-end din­ing op­tions, and cre­ative culi­nary prow­ess that Las Ve­gas of­fers … in spades. Although the all-you-can-eat buf­fets are de­light­fully in­dul­gent (try the Bel­la­gio, bel­la­gio.com or the Le Vil­lage Buf­fet at Paris Las Ve­gas), of­fer­ing ex­otic and up­scale cui­sine in a wed­ding re­cep­tion style man­ner with prime rib carv­ing sta­tions, foie gras ap­pe­tiz­ers, King crab legs on the salad bar, and freshly made moz­zarella balls, the city of­fers the chance for din­ers to ex­pe­ri­ence gas­tro­nomic great­ness some of the world's most cel­e­brated chefs.

Award-win­ning chef Michael Mina op­er­ates four restau­rants in the city, but his most re­cent ad­di­tion to the Las Ve­gas din­ing scene is a lively bistro called Bar­dot Brasserie. Although his French cre­ations fea­ture his sig­na­ture sweet fi­nesse, the ic­ing on the cake at his brasserie is not an ac­tual dessert, but is in­stead an el­e­gantly cu­rated Cham­pagne cart.

Al­most ev­ery celebrity chef has come to the city to of­fer some­thing unique for Las Ve­gas din­ers ei­ther on or off the strip, like Mario Batali and Joe Bas­tianich's de­li­cious Ital­ian steak­house Carnevino ( carnevino. com), Guy Savoy's ex­quis­ite tast­ing menus that re­main his only Amer­i­can of­fer­ings to date, and Iron Chef Mo­ri­moto's new­est lo­ca­tion in the MGM Grand Las Ve­gas. Even the grand­fa­ther of gas­tron­omy him­self, ac­claimed

French chef Joël Robu­chon, opened a restau­rant in the city, where he of­fers a stun­ningly so­phis­ti­cated sea­sonal menu with a wine list of more than 1,700 hand-se­lected bot­tles.

José An­drés made his­tory in the city when he opened Ja­leo ( ja­leo.com) the best Span­ish tapas in the city pre­pared around an im­pres­sive mil­lion-dol­lar grill, but it's his se­cret ven­ture restau­rant é ( ebyjose­an­dres.com) that has the Ve­gas in­sid­ers buzzing. Lo­cated through a dis­creet side door of the main restau­rant, this ex­clu­sive restau­rant is set­ting new stan­dards in molec­u­lar gas­tron­omy. The restau­rant is minis­cule for Ve­gas stan­dards, and al­lows only 10 peo­ple in­side to wit­ness this culi­nary mas­ter­piece. Din­ers need to make a reser­va­tion at least three months out, where they will be given a “golden ticket” once they are se­lected for the din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

UP ALL NIGHT, PLAY ALL DAY

It'd be a sin to talk about Las Ve­gas with­out men­tion­ing its gam­ing scene. Cae­sar's Palace has long been the best bet for an op­u­lent gam­bling ex­pe­ri­ence with its Ro­man façade and high-limit games, but the MGM Grand has re­cently taken over with its im­pres­sive 170,000 square feet of gam­ing space and ex­clu­sive sky­box ex­pe­ri­ence for bet­ting on sports and races. While poker and black­jack may seem like the ob­vi­ous choices for ta­ble games, true high rollers stick to bac­carat, and there's no bet­ter place for the game than The Wynn Las Ve­gas, where ta­ble min­i­mums hit $100 in the low-limit ar­eas.

Beyond gam­bling, Las Ve­gas is a play­ground for adults, with sexy lounge pools, award-win­ning golf cour­ses, and high-end bars and clubs. Spend the morn­ing ex­plor­ing the essence of golf 's ori­gins at the Royal Links Golf Club ( roy­allinks­golf­club.com), where eleven dif­fer­ent Open Cham­pi­onship ro­ta­tion cour­ses await with some of the most chal­leng­ing and stun­ning greens in the city, be­fore head­ing to the Wet Repub­lic pool ( we­tre­pub­lic.com) at the MGM Grand to soak in some rays. The pool fea­tures a DJ booth, six VIP pri­vate dip­ping pools, and ex­clu­sive lounges where pro­fes­sional mod­els hand out tow­els and serve icy cold re­fresh­ments.

For more tips on plan­ning your Ve­gas va­ca­tion, head to lasve­gas. com.

FROM TOP: Aria Las Ve­gas Re­sort & Casino's high-end gam­ing room, called Carta Pri­vada, is on the ground level of the casino floor; the dessert of fer­ings at The Buf­fet at Bel­la­gio ( pho­tos cour­tesy Aria Las Ve­gas Re­sort & Casino’s, Ken Mat­suda). OP­PO­SITE PAGE, CLOCK­WISE FROM TOP LEFT: the open-air din­ing room at GI­ADA in­side Cae­sar's Palace; the “Col­ors of Caviar” dish at Guy Savoy's name­sake French restau­rant in­side Cae­sar's Palace; steak frites from Michael Mina's Bar­dot Brasserie ( pho­tos cour­tesy 2015 Cae­sars Li­cense Com­pany, LLC, © 2017 MGM Resorts In­ter­na­tional).

CLOCK­WISE, FROM TOP LEFT: ARIA Re­sort & Casino di­rectly leads into The Shops at Crys­tals, where you can shop de­sign­ers brands and more; party with live DJ mu­sic at MGM Grand's Wet Repub­lic Ul­tra Pool; the suites at Man­darin Ori­en­tal Las Ve­gas of fer ul­ti­mate re­lax­ation with a view; ex­pe­ri­ence French cui­sine, shop­ping and ar­chi­tec­ture at Paris Las Ve­gas Ho­tel & Casino ( pho­tos cour­tesy The Shops at Crys­tals, © 2017 MGM Resorts In­ter­na­tional, Man­darin Ori­en­tal Ho­tel Group; Paris Las Ve­gas Ho­tel & Casino).

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