1 June 2013

Viva Las Vegas!

When we booked our third girl's trip to Vegas back in July last year, it felt a lifetime away. We'd decided we wanted to go for Independence Day - surely one of the most exciting times to visit  - so we just had to grin and bear the wait...

But now it's almost a month away! How time flies!


So 'Caz Planning' is already underway. My friends Mary and Tina, who both seem to like that fact that I'm an enthusiastic organiser, are happy to sit back and let me work on my plan. I just like to make sure we know 'where it's at'. 

This will be my fifth visit.

On visit one, Alex and I got engaged - 2009


The second time was our first girl's holiday - 2010


The third was during a US roadtrip with hubby - 2011


And the fourth and last time I visited was with Mary - 2011


So I'd say I'm quite taken with the place and I know my way around it quite well.

The things I love about Vegas are

a) the great food and drink
b) the absolutely stunning hotels, bars and clubs
c) the weather
d) the customer service
f) the shows
e) how safe I feel on a night out with the girls

The nightlife is mainly hotel based and there are always numerous taxis waiting outside to take you to the next place. We don't tend to venture downtown - I have done before but I personally prefer the excitement and glamour of the Strip.

This visit is going to be HOT. Probably around 40 degrees, maybe higher. I've been in August before so I know what to expect - it's actually surprisingly bearable but shade by the swimming pool is going to be a must with my fair skin.

We'd like to do a pool party once during our visit. If we want shade, it won't be cheap but what the hell...we're on holiday! So which one to visit? I've whittled it down to...

Tao Beach (The Venetian) - one of the smaller parties but very glamorous with amazing cocktails and food.
Azure (Palazzo) - much more low-key but with all the amenities of other daytime pool clubs (DJs, chaise longues, cocktails...). And a view of the strip too!

Encore Beach Club (Wynn)- A very popular party. Described as a poolside oasis with palm trees, "lily pads" to lounge on in the pools and big name DJ's.
Liquid (Aria) - still has the DJ's and cocktails but is smaller than some of the major players and a lot less crowded - 'only' fits 800 people. This may be a positive and being in our hotel, Liquid could be a popular choice.

The Mandalay Bay pool complete with a wave machine also deserves a mention! So not really a party but it's still awesome!


There is a big choice of hotels in Vegas for all price ranges and most of the ones on The Strip are pretty amazing. I've stayed at the MGM Grand, Skylofts, The Bellagio and Aria - all impressive (especially Skylofts which were incredible!). We are returning to Aria this year as it's really good value for a rather plush double room and we had a fantastic experience with them last time.


Mary and I have already done the helicopter tour to the Grand Canyon so that's been ticked off the 'to do' list. I was quite nervous and had done lots of research into the helicopter companies that had the least accidents. 

Of course, we were fine and had a brilliant time. 

A week later, one of the helicopters from the company we used crashed into a mountain and killed five people. WHAT!!  

As for nightclubs, there are so many great ones to choose from. Jack Colton is a helpful website to use when planning. Last time we went to Vegas I got us on a few guestlists at the best nights on the Strip and we made our decisions on the day. My favourite nights out have been in Marquee at the Cosmopolitan and Tryst at the Wynn where there is a beautiful waterfall in front of the dance floor. 


There's a new boutique nightclub opened up called Hyde that overlooks the Bellagio fountains. I never tire of watching the beautiful fountain show so we will be sure to check that one out.

Usually we'll do a bar (the hotel bars are dazzling), a restaurant then a club. Perhaps then a visit to our favourite 24/7 restaurant, The Sugar Factory, at 4am! This was one such night...


The only club I've planned so far (the full schedules aren't out for all of them yet) is Will.i.am at Surrender on our first night...should be a good opener!

There are always lots of shows on at Vegas. You have your usual Celine Dion, Donny & Marie Osmond, Cirque de Soleil. Britney Spears will be a resident later this year. The two best shows I've seen were Viva Elvis (which sadly isn't on any more and has been replaced with a similar Michael Jackson show) and Absinthe


Alex and I ended up seeing Absinthe at the very last minute one night on its opening week. It's a mixture of incredible circus acts and outlandish comedy - certainly not one for the kids! But it was such a good show with ever changing acts that I ended up seeing it again the next time I visited with Mary and it was just as good.


I'm still pondering on what we should see this time - suggestions welcomed!

There are tonnes of amazing restaurants that suit all budgets. I have to give a special mention to my favourite restaurant chain, STK (but I'll save the details for my next blog post of my very recent visit to the one in London). Mon Ami Gabi, a French Bistro in the Bellagio deserves a mention. Tao at The Venetian do fantastic oriental food in a stunning setting as does Koi Lounge at Planet Hollywood (incredible views). Diablos Cantina is a very affordable Mexican with great food and it was lots of fun watching people attempt (and fail) the Diablo's Death Wing Challenge - very VERY hot chicken wings.

And of course there's the Sugar Factory as I mentioned before. A Vegas classic with a varied menu.


There's also great shopping, the Bellagio fountains, gondola rides in the Venetian, rollercoasters, museums, indoor skydiving, cinemas, shooting ranges and mini golf courses to keep you busy.

One thing I haven't mentioned and probably should touch upon is gambling. I'm not a massive fan. I'll enjoy fifteen minutes on the slot machines or a quick game of roulette post-nightclub but none of us spend much time doing it. I don't tend the be the luckiest when it comes to gambling anyway and I can definitely think of better ways to spend my pennies. Which brings me nicely on to...

Outfit planning! Probably one of the most important organisational elements! Vegas is definitely somewhere you can get dressed up to the nines and not feel out of place. I might have to buy myself a 'Vegas dress' before I go. Here are a few that caught my eye



1. Lace Feather Dress from McBerry, £225
2. Lipsy Lace dress from Asos, £50
3. Lipsy VIP feathered dress, £110
4. LK Bennett Jazz Sequin Evening Dress, £345 (ooof!)
5. Forever 21 Polka Dot Dress, £19.75
6. Lipsy Bandage Bodycon Dress from Asos, £78

And this one would have been great for Independence Day!


So planning continues. It's all very exciting. And of course the adventure will be documented on this blog!

Just a few weeks to go now...


Have you been to Vegas? What do you like to do there? 
Tips and suggestions of where to go always welcomed! :)

7 comments:

  1. I went to Vegas for the first time last year as my sister was getting married on the Bellagio terrace and of course we were all invited.

    Thought I'd hate it there... bloody loved every second!

    We had the hen night there too (I blogged about it here:

    http://lilyloveslola.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/las-vegas-part-3-hen-party.html

    We went to The Sugar Factory, Thunder from Down Under, then bars and a club. It was so much fun! I think we could easily have gone on past 5.30 which is when we eventually surfaced into the daylight!

    We loved staying at the Bellagio and the fountains were our favourite thing to watch. But we also loved the Forum shops and the volcano outside the Mirage.

    After my sisters wedding, which was brilliant, we went to the "sign" for photos and went to Mon Ami Gabi where we had our own private section.

    I'd get married in Vegas in a shot, it was ace!

    I think a trip with friends will be on the cards next year or the year after.

    Here are my Vegas posts if you fancy a nosy. I loved looking at the pics/reading your post! :)

    http://lilyloveslola.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/vegas

    x

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    1. That's the thing about Vegas isn't it? It doesn't seem to surprise a lot of people who expect to hate it. Of course it's never going to be absolutely everyone's cup of tea but as far as I'm concerned, what's not to love? :)

      The Bellagio fountains are beautiful and I NEVER tire of watching them and hearing the lovely music. There's a new nightclub that overlooks them and I'm going to make a point of visiting!

      The wedding pictures on your blog are amazing, how wonderful.

      Cxxx

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  2. This looks incredible! You HAVE to get the stars and stripes dress, it's awesome.

    The ombre dress is gorgeous too. The BF and I have been talking about going on a road trip through the U.S, I will definitely ask you for tips and places to stay when we go (probably not for a while but it WILL happen)

    Katie <3

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    1. I wish I could but I can't find it online anywhere any more, all sold out! Oh well, will have to continue the hard task of dress searching...

      The road trip Alex and I did round California was so amazing. The Route 1 drive is incredible.

      Cx

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  3. Wow sounds like you're going to have the most incredible time.
    I am now following you and your blog and can't wait to find out all about it when you get back :)
    Love Isabella x
    http://isabellabellamozzarella.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Hi Isabella! (I love that name)
      Thank you for following me, I will be sure to report all my adventures from Vegas here! I am going to check your blog out now and will follow right back :)
      Cx

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    2. Oh thank you! I can't wait :)
      Isabella x

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