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What does a traveller do when he or she needs a break from hostels, backpacking and riding on chicken busses? Go to Las Vegas of course for a weekend of pure luxury and aspire to get pampered as much as possible.
As a travel photographer and writer, I more often than not belong to the former category of loyal chicken bus customers, but I grabbed the chance when I was invited to a wonderful stay in one of Sin City’s best hotels, the ARIA Resort & Casino. After all, I really needed a bit of a vacation to get away from the usual work routine.
Here’s your step by step guide to a weekend of getting pampered in Las Vegas:
Step 1: Check into the ARIA Resort and Freak out over the Awesome Room
The ARIA Resort’s rooms are famous for being very comfortable and very technologically advanced. Where else are you being greeted when you walk in the door and can control everything, from the curtains and lights to the room temperature and service requests, via a touch-screen tablet? Exactly.
The rooms are very spacious and offer beautiful views of the Las Vegas strip, high-rise buildings and the mountains beyond. And while the bed is so comfy that I had trouble leaving it every morning, my favourite feature was actually the toilets. Let’s just say they are very Japanese and take care of everything, from spritzing and drying to flushing with the push of a button.
Step 2: Sip a Cocktail, or Two, or Three at Sage
Sage at the ARIA Resort is best known for the exclusive cuisine by famous chef Shawn McCain, but before you dig into what will be the best steak of your life, head to the bar. The mixologists at Sage offer 17 seasonal, historical and signature cocktails that aren’t only a marvel for the tastebuds and are blended to perfection, but are also really fun to watch being prepared. You can also ask the bartender to explain a bit more about the techniques and the pouring process – the nuances and skills that go into the cocktails are incredible.
- Pink Cashmere: It’s Grey Goose Cherry Noir Vodka, fresh lime juice and white cranberry juice mixed with friggin cotton candy!
- A Change in Foliage: Made with Elijah Craig Burbon, maple sirup, fresh lemon juice, Peche Lambic and Angostura Bitter ice cubes.
Step 3: Go Gambling!
If you’re still standing after the attentions at Sage, spend the rest of the evening gambling at the ARIA Casino. Whether you prefer to put dollars into slot machines or want to hit it big at one of the high stakes games, you’ll definitely find something that fits your needs.
Step 4: After a Good Nights Sleep, Head out for a Relaxing Spa-Treatment at ESPA
ESPA at Vdara Hotel and Spa is perfect for spending some quality time getting very thoroughly pampered. I recommend a personalized massage that is tailored specifically to your needs. You tell the massage therapist what hurts, tweaks or is sore and they adjust your treatment accordingly.
The great thing about this spa is, that once your massage is over, you can hang out in the saunas, hot tub, heating chairs or relax in the meditation room for as long as you want. And lets not forget the fluffy robes, the delicious juices and teas and the showers stocked with every beauty and styling related product you could ever wish for. You can leave your hair straightener at home, because they seriously got you covered in every aspect.
Step 5: Grab Lunch at Five50
According to this iconic Las Vegas location, 550 degrees is the ideal temperature to cook a pizza to absolute perfection. To find out if they are right, head there for lunch. Pizza is perfect for a casual lunch and Five50 gives that classic East Coast style pizza an international twist.
- The classic Gotham Pizza with pepperoni, sausage, salami, mozzarella and grana padano.
- The Beef Carpaccio made with Piedmontese beef.
- The Elvis Shake made with banana and chocolate ice cream, peanut butter, candied bacon and whipped cream.
Step 6: Head to the Bellagio Fountains
If you got the cash, you can actually purchase the Bellagio Fountains experience. For a meagre 250,000 dollars, you get the best table at HYDE Bellagio, a huge bottle of champagne brought out by stunning women and a golden box with a red button you get to push as many times as you like. But lets be serious, if you’re like me and don’t belong to the top 1% of the world, the water and music show is great to watch from the strip as well. The water rockets of the Bellagio Fountains go off between 3pm and midnight every 15 to 30 minutes.
Step 7: Be Lazy and Order Room Service for Dinner
You might as well enjoy the room you paid for. To spend some extra time lounging around in one of those plush robes, order room service for dinner. The service at the ARIA is super quick and the food is as always fantastic.
- Huevos Rancheros with eggs, tortillas, chorizo, beans and of course pepperjack cheese.
- The Breakfast Burrito with scrambled eggs, pepperjack cheese, onions, chorizo, green peppers and beans.
- Steel-Cut Irish Oatmeal.
Don’t judge me, breakfast for dinner is awesome.
Step 8: Hop in a Helicopter to see the Strip from the Air
To take your fabulous weekend in Las Vegas to new heights, head out on a helicopter flight over the strip with Maverick. They have great safety records and have been named as one of the best tour companies in Vegas.
The City of Lights, as the name might already suggest, is especially captivating at night when the shimmering casinos are bathed in a display of flashing lights. The flights depart from the Las Vegas terminal on the Vegas Strip and the duration of the flight is 15 minutes. Cost: $124.
Step 9: Go for Brunch at Bardot
Every Saturday and Sunday, Bardot Brasserie offers brunch from 10am to 2.30pm. If you want to indulge in some of the best dishes and wines the French Cuisine has to offer, this is the place to be.
- Salad with warm beets and goat cheese including wild arugula, toasted hazlenuts and cassis vinaigrette.
- The GIGANTIC French Toast (or rather French Loaf) with vanilla mascarpone, candy almond and orgeat syrup. This one is so big that it is best shared with a friend or significant other.
Step 10 : Check out with a Text Message
Yup, it’s as easy as it sounds. No waiting in line while juggling all your belongings. A simple text message or email is enough to get you checked out on your way out.