Cirque du Soleil is more your mood, O at
Bellagio remains the standard-bearer, with
the Cirque-style Le Rêve at Wynn an enticing alternative. Steve Wynn’s ShowStoppers
or Jersey Boys are smart picks for Broadway
lovers. If you’re feeling friskier, the mix of
vaudeville, burlesque and bawdy humor
that is Absinthe is the ticket. And Michael
Monge, who appears in the Eastside Lounge
at Encore, is that classic Vegas lounge singer
you’ll love to stretch out and succumb to.
Want to take in the view? There are
plenty of ways, but the newest noteworthy
escape is the adjoining lounge Skyfall and
restaurant Rivea (run by Alain Ducasse)
atop the Delano hotel at Mandalay Bay. A
refreshed version of its predecessor mIX,
a trick: it is located, unmarked, in a huge
space above the Louis Vuitton boutique.
The exhibit is free, but viewable only by
reservation (call 702.730.3150). After, you’ll
want to either explore the other art installations around Crystals and CityCenter or
sit down for another cocktail and conversation; if the latter, Maestro’s Ocean Club or
the Alibi Ultra Lounge in Aria are two of the
closest good choices.
You’ll likely want to see a show, and
Many new restaurants emphasize
options now are as varied as ever, with no
shortage of marquee value. Certainly the
first choice would be Celine Dion, who’s
back at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace,
after a yearlong break with a revived show
that’s been getting deserved praise. But if
Rivea/Skyfall puts even greater emphasis
on its outdoor patios at 64 floors above
the Strip, while offering a menu of modern
French-Italian plates and chic cocktails.
romance now — the dramatic Carbone
and flashy Lago come to mind — but for a
special adventure, take a detour to down-
town, where the festive Fremont Street
Experience casinos meet the hip new bars
of East Fremont and the Arts District.
Amid the Fremont fever, Andiamo Italian
Steakhouse at The D Hotel & Casino is a
true enclave, a throwback graced with contemporary quality, where white-jacketed
waiters offer premium Pat LaFrieda beef
and handmade pastas in semi-enclosed
circular booths that encourage cozying.
Tableside service makes the meal feel all
the more personal.
Getting outdoors has also become much
more of a “thing” recently in Vegas, whether
it’s by hiking, renting scooters or cycles or
even camping. Possibilities in town or less
than an hour from the Strip include Red
Rock Canyon (great climbing), Hemenway
Park (bighorn sheep), Mount Charleston
(snowboarding and toboggans in season,
rustic pines year round) and Valley of Fire
(incredible rock formations).
After all the fun you’ll be ready for rest,
and even if it’s where you spend the least
time, your hotel choice should actually come
first. Bellagio, Wynn/Encore and Venetian/
Palazzo remain the gold standard of elegance,
but the more modern Sky Suites at Aria have
been getting a lot of attention lately, as has the
Laurel Collection at Caesars. For the boutique
route, consider the urbane Cromwell or newly
With all these new prospects, a sojourn
in Sin City just might rekindle both your
romance and your spirit, too. m
Destinations / GO
Vegas has embraced a softer
side, a sense of culture,
elegance and a less rushed
experience that opens up the
city’s romantic flavor.
Opposite: A view of the Strip. This
page, clock wise from top left: Celine
Dion at the Colosseum at Caesars
Palace; the Maestro cocktail at The
Cromwell; Andiamo Italian Steakhouse.