Heading to Sin City and not sure what to put on your to-do list? Here are 11 Vegas experiences every traveller should try.
Las Vegas is known for its bright lights, glitzy shows, over-the-top, themed casinos - and of course the gambling and nightlife. A relatively young town, Vegas built its reputation on being the ultimate place to party, but what happens in Vegas no longer necessarily needs to stay there.
In recent years, Sin City has emerged as a premier destination for fine dining, serious shopping, and luxury accommodation. Whether you’ve been before, or never visited, here's some activities to check off your Vegas bucket list.
1. Pick a hotel, any hotel
While you can stay off the Strip, it’s closest to all the action and a big part of the fun of staying in Las Vegas. Each resort offers its own distinctive style, so it often comes down to what experience you’re looking for. The Paris Hotel is a good choice for families, or those who like the finer things in life without breaking the budget. Meanwhile, the Linq is a relatively new contender, and perfect for the party set. The rooms are very affordable, and newly renovated with modern appliances and an ultra-sleek, minimalist look. Both have fab pools, and multiple restaurants, cafes and bars.
2. Relax with a spa day
Vegas has some world class spas, one of the most unique and decadent being the Cosmopolitan Sahra Spa & Hammam. Drawing its inspiration from the beauty of the desert, the 50,000 square foot facility features canyon-like walls and floors made with real sandstone.
The spa treatments are also influenced by the desert, incorporating minerals and plants with powerful healing properties. Both the men's and women's lounges offer a herbal steam room, sauna, cold plunge pool, a cold mist room and a wet lounge area with meditation lounge chairs, and there are a number of luxury spa suites and a spa penthouse available for small groups or couples.
The Hammam itself is available for individuals or groups of four, and offers similar benefits to a steam room, without hitting the same high temperatures. Their signature 150 minute treatment begins with you laying back in the warm comfort of the room, and enjoying a hot stone massage, followed by a rich mud and honey body mask. After a bath, then fruit and tea service, the treatment ends with a full-body massage.
Relax and unwind in the desert oasis of Sahra Spa & Hammam. A monsoon cave rains serenity while a giant stone slab, the center of our signature hammam room and treatments, is heated from within as if by an eternal sun. Indulge with a day pass or one of our signature treatments today. #Vegas #spa #spaday #massage #hammam
3. Catch a show
Seeing a show is a rite of passage in Vegas, and you will be absolutely spoilt for choice! If you’re stuck for ideas, Vegas offers not one, not two, but eight amazing Cirque du Soleil shows - each with their own unique performances. From the stunning aquatic acrobatics of "O" to thrilling dance moves of Michael Jackson ONE, there's a Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas for everyone's taste.
Choose from Criss Angel Believe, Mystère, Zarkana, KÀ, O, Zumanity, Michael Jackson ONE, or the Beatles LOVE. You can book shows online, in person or ask your hotel concierge to recommend a show or book for you.
4. Treat your hangover with a custom made Bloody Mary
Feeling a little dusty or just a Bloody Mary enthusiast? Head to Guy Fieri’s Kitchen & Bar at the LINQ Hotel & Casino and make a meal out of a Bloody Mary. You can choose your own ingredients and mix from five kinds of liquor, five levels of heat, candied bacon, chicken-apple sausage, pepperoni, shrimp, cucumbers, pepper, pineapple, pickle, olives, orange, celery, carrot sticks, pickled vegetables, lemon, lime and jalapenos.
5. Learn a little about the bright lights
Check out the Neon Museum and the nearby Mob Museum and get to know the stories behind the party town’s history. The Neon Museum runs tours through their Neon ‘Boneyard’, where their knowledgeable tour guides walk you through their collection of preserved and restored iconic Las Vegas signs, revealing some of lesser known background tales of the relatively young town. The nearby Mob Museum provides a journey through the birth of the Mob, to today’s headlines, through hundreds of artifacts and numerous interactive displays.
6. Try a world class buffet
Vegas is buffet city, and Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace has been consistently taking out the number one spot to grab a bite along the Strip. As well as a gorgeous new interior – renovated back in 2012 to the tune of 100 million dollars - there are over 500 daily dishes.
The majority of the food is cooked in front of you, and there’s nine distinct cuisine 'zones' within the restaurant. Best of all, most dishes are served in small portions that allow you room to get a taste of everything from prime rib and oak-grilled lamb chops, to chilled king crab legs, South Carolina shrimp and grits, hand-made dim sum and baked-to-order soufflés.
7. Ride the bus
The Big Bus tours enable you to hop-on and hop-off and explore the full length of the Strip and the central area of Downtown, taking you past spots of interest including the Golden Nugget, Fremont Street, the Stratosphere and the Mob Museum.
The Night Tour gives you the chance to see the Las Vegas strip in all its night time splendour. It’s a great starting place for your Las Vegas stay – you can see everything the city has to offer and decide what you most want to stop at and see.
8. Take a dip
Vegas has no shortage of glamorous pools, and there’s something to suit most tastes. The Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis at Caesars Palace (pictured) has a Roman theme, the Soleil pool at the Paris is located right underneath the hotel’s Eiffel Tower replica, while the Flamingo lets you choose between the kids and the over 21’s pools, and the Linq has an adults only pool (you can book a cabana room which opens directly onto the pool deck.) For a really glam experience, book into a party at the Encore Beach Club at the Wynn - where you can listen to world renowned guest DJs including David Guetta.
9. Shop til you drop
Shopping is a big part of the Vegas experience - from the Crystals at Aria, the Shoppes at the Palazzo to the discount outlets a ten minute drive from the strip, there’s plenty of places to get your shop on. But for dedicated shopping, try the Miracle Mile Mall at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. Combining glamorous surroundings, 170 stores and 15 restaurants, the Miracle Mile Shops have everything from designer brands, to chain stores including H&M.
10. Nab a view from the top
While a helicopter ride over the Strip or the Grand Canyon can be a bit of budget buster, there are two ways to see Las Vegas from above that are a lot more reasonably priced. The High Roller at the LINQ Promenade is the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, and at 550 feet, it’s over a 100 feet taller than the London Eye. Another option is the Eiffel Tower experience at Paris, Las Vegas, located 46 stories up. The half scale replica of the world-famous Paris, France landmark has an observation deck featuring 360 degree city views.
11. Dine out in style
With every hotel up and down the Strip covering fine dining to casual eateries, choosing a place to eat in Vegas can be overwhelming. A few current standouts? Buddy V’s Ristorante, The Venetian for their famous pork chop (which can easily be shared by two), the Hexx at Paris for its great wine list and casual food – and excellent views of the Bellagio Fountain show. PBR Rock Bar & Grill at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino offers classic American barbecue (and fab salads for those that are growing weary of the richer holiday fare!) If you enjoy French food, Mon Ami Gabi is a charming French bistro right on the Strip front. Word of warning – it is always wise to book ahead if you wish to sit outside, there can be a long wait during peak times.