As a resident of Phoenix, Arizona, Las Vegas is only a five hour road trip away – which makes it very easy for me to get away for a weekend and enjoy the fabulous place known as Sin City. While I enjoy watching cards on Party Poker TV, nothing beats heading to Vegas and doing the real thing (except if I’m losing, then maybe watching the TV is more enjoyable, lol). Over a number of trips I’ve done a lot, and always make a point of checking out new hotels & restaurants everytime I go. Here are my favorite spots in Vegas:
The Cosmopolitan : the Cosmopolitan is one of the newest and swankiest hotels on the strip (a distinction that never lasts long). However, I just love the swagger of this place – really cool chandeliers, a retro-chic style, and the kind of vibe that makes you want to put on a three piece suit and smoke out of a pipe. As their tagline goes – just the right amount of wrong.
Oddly enough, the hotel I’ve enjoyed the least is the Wynn. While it’s a big name, I found it over-promised and under-delivered. I don’t understand the appeal of the place as its fairly dull, extremely overpriced, and has no real unique features or qualities worth checking out.
Eiffel Tower Restaurant – I was skeptical of visiting as I thought it was too gimmicky to be even remotely decent, but I left impressed. The views are incredible as you have floor to ceiling windows overlooking the strip as you dine from about the 30th floor of the fake Eiffel Tower.
Enoteca Otto in the Venetian – it’s a Mario Batali restaurant featuring homemade pastas, delicious pizzas and other Italian delights. It’s nothing over-the-top fancy in terms of price or decor, but it’s a great meal and a great time.
Personally – I’ll gamble wherever I can find tables in my budget (I tend to favor $5/hand blackjack or low-buy in poker tournaments) but I have no allegiances other than I will never gamble at the Palms. I don’t know what it is about that place, but I always lose and lose big there. Never again!
Ghost Bar at the Palms – you take a dedicated elevator up to the roof and have a ridiculously awesome view of the strip (the hotel is off-strip so you have unobstructed views). It’s pricey but worth it.
Rhum Bar – this is a great place for a mid-day drink as you watch people stroll along the strip. They have tons of great rum drinks and a great location in the middle of the strip where you can sit outside and take it all in.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway – you can rent an exotic car such as a Ferrari for about $300+ and do a few laps around the track – for a car junkie like me, it’s hard to beat that!
Shopping – the Venetian has tons of shopping, and I usually make it a point to buy something while I’m in Vegas – usually when I’m up, with my winnings, so that even if I lose everything at least I’ll come back with a new pair of paints/shoes/etc.
All You Can Eat Buffets – man versus food. I’m always leery of the cheap ones, so if you’re going to be indulgent, go big or go home and belly up to one of the nicer ones such as the Bellagio or Caesars Palace.