48 Hours in Las Vegas
Whether on a layover, for a bucks or hens party, a convention or a short divergence from Los Angeles, one can do a lot of damage in Sin City in just 48 hours. As we shall see, Las Vegas is one place that rewards brief stays. With that, discover the skinny on how to operate like a player with only two days to spare in The Entertainment Capital of the World.
Book a posh hotel room
Household name casino resort tycoons like Kerkorian, Weinberg (Wynn) and Adelson have fortunes in the billions. No big surprise, then, that Las Vegas is home to some of the best hotel rooms in the world. If, of course, best in your books is commensurate with impossibly indulgent, posh and opulent.
In the city where over-the-top is not part of the local lexicon, the most infamous hotel roooms include the Skylofts At MGM Grand, the Chairman Suite at the Bellagio, the Hugh Hefner Sky Villa at Palms Casino Resort Las Vegas and the “Prince Harry Room” – Room 2401 – at Encore At Wynn Las Vegas.
See a show
The era of the pitiful lounge lizard and sad magic act is long gone in Las Vegas. Ever since the Nevada holiday mecca hit the reset button and went all “Disney family schmaltz” and “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas” at the same time, acts have gone from amateur hour to the pros in no time. The epitome of this metamorphosis, of course, is Cirque de Soleil. The circus arts brand from Quebec is all over the Strip and duly sells more tickets than any other act in Vegas history. From O at the Bellagio to Love at The Mirage Resort and Casino, Zumanity at New York New York Las Vegas Hotel & Casino to Zarkana at ARIA Resort & Casino Las Vegas, the company that humbly began with a few jugglers in the streets of Old Montreal now rules Vegas.
Wine and dine in style
One welcome side benefit to Sin City’s seismic shift over the last two decades or so has been the overall lift in the quality of the food. Las Vegas now caters to those of us less prone to part with our dollars at the slots or craps and blackjack tables. The result is less emphasis on the “casino” part of casino resort and more diligence on which celebrity chef to hire for your flagship restaurant. So while the Michelin Red Guide for Las Vegas is on hold, when it was active the city did manage to garner a total of thirteen stars from those finicky inspectors from Clermont-Ferrand.
The best restaurants du jour in Las Vegas include Estiatorio Milos and China Poblano at The Cosmopolitan Of Las Vegas Hotel, Michael Mina at the Bellagio, Valentino at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino Las Vegas and, off the Strip, Marché Bacchus and Raku.
It is all well and good to chill by the pool at your average holiday hotel but quite another to do it at resorts that elevate the poolside experience to high art. Game changers of the genre range from Wynn Las Vegas to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas, Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino to the Flamingo Hotel Las Vegas.
Get off the Strip
Off the Strip? Sure, why not? A mere 48 hours is ample time to see the likes of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area (120 km round trip) and the Grand Canyon (900 km round trip).