My 24 hours in Vegas and all its’ shining glory are now a distant memory, albeit still a memory. I think it was because we packed so much of it into the 24 hours that I’m still on a high (some 8 weeks later). So if you’re passing through Sin City for a quickie, be sure to pack as much as you can in to keep the memories alive.
Here are my top picks/suggestions of what you can do.
After our failure with the Luxor, we upgraded and stayed at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino which is located in the middle of the strip next to Aria (very snazzy!) and the Mandarin Oriental. At around USD $70 (++) p/night, it was a bargain and much better than the Circus Circus.
Whether you wake up early or late morning, there’s always something to eat at one of the many restaurants that have real estate on the ground floor. Wherever you go, make sure you get a big breakfast in you for the day’s adventures ahead.
Psst, there’s plenty to do so opt for an early wake up. Even better, run on adrenaline from the night before (that’s what I did).
After breakfast, don’t be tempted to go straight to the slot machines or the black jack table. You’ve got to get out of the hotel and into the sunshine (remember to slip-slop-slap if it’s summer) for your stroll down the strip. It’s time to do some hotel hopping.
Start on the south side at the Shark Reef Aquarium at the Mandalay. The aquarium consists of piranhas, crocodiles, sharks and more predators. This is a family friendly activity so brace yourself for the onslaught of children. Information and tickets are available here.
Once you’ve had your fix of sea animals, head to the Luxor and see what it is like to be inside a pyramid. You haven’t been in a pyramid until you’ve been to the Luxor. I mean, does Egypt have a black gloss pyramid which shoots a light through its’ vertex at night? I think not.
After your experience in (fake) Egypt, jump continents to the New York New York Hotel. If you’ve not been to New York, this will be your teaser to how magnificent the city is and the food it has to offer. Before you hit the food court for the quintessential hot dog and (giant) pizza slices, ride the roller coaster. You know, it’s perfectly normal to ride a roller coaster in the middle of a city which resembles an amusement park. There is no admission fee to the hotel and casino but for the roller coaster, admission packages can be found here.
We could see the roller coaster from our hotel room.
There is one more stop before spending the rest of the afternoon indoors. Head to the Flamingo to see… get this… REAL FLAMINGOS. Yes, what the fuck, but they have real Chilean flamingos at the Flamingo Wildlife Habitat tucked away behind the casino floor. The hotel has turned part of the grounds into an array of lush foliage and ponds which is home to turtles, ducks, koi fish and of course, the flamingos.
Once you’re done with the heat, pop into the Fashion Show Mall or if you’re feeling a bit posh, The Shoppes at the Palazzo or The Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian (I prefer the latter because of the St. Mark’s backdrop and there’s a Kenneth Cole store), to get that party dress for the evening. Spend your time shopping or on a gondola ride down the Grand Canal.
Before you head back to the hotel to ready yourself for the night, head to a Tix4tonight booth to grab yourself discounted tickets to a show. There are plenty of performances showing and 19h30 and 21h00. We watched Cirque Du Solieil – Mystere at Treasure Island and it was spectacular like all of the Cirque Du Solieil performances. My friend recommends Thunder from Down Under at the Excalibur Hotel but I think that’s best left for a hen’s (bachelorette’s) night.
Put on the best party dress you’ve got and head down to experience the infamous Vegas buffet spread before your show. In my opinion, it’s not the best spread but the one at Treasure Island does come with fairy floss. You win some, you lose some. Take a couple of them into the upcoming show.
Once the show ends, run out and catch one of the Fountains of Bellagio show and enjoy an Ocean’s 11 moment. The music is dramatic and the swirling water is mesmerising. The water show is really something and needs to be seen to be believed.
Show times have changed since the water restrictions so best to ask a Bellagio staff for the revised show schedule. When we were there, the shows were on every 30 mins from 17h00 to midnight.
End the night at the Tryst Nightclub at Wynn or XS at Encore (both recommended by friends). I’m too old for that shit so I’ll just leave it to the young ones. With their micro-mini dresses. This old bird will take her thigh-high dress to the Bellagio bar (the quiet one near the lobby) and drink more espresso martinis.
Thanks Vegas. I will definitely be back! No matter what.
Till next time,
PS. If you’re looking for a different experience (from the normal tacky casinos and strippers), check out Stephanie’s holistic experience in Vegas. You may like doing some Ashtanga poses next to an aquarium of dolphins or a spa treatment at the Mirage.