Vegas Their Way
Sin City in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s was the stuff of legend … Frank, Sammy, Dean, Elvis … the talent, the fashion, the panache. These were classy times, when Vegas was more than a quick romp of high-rolling, themed resorts and frozen cocktail drinks. We summon the ghosts of Vegas past and create our own modern weekend itinerary, filled with shows, style and sophistication.
- Written byDarren Elms
If Sinatra could pick a place to hang his hat in contemporary Vegas, we like to think it would be at The Palazzo. Unlike some of the other “Italian” themed casino-resorts on The Strip, The Palazzo goes easy on the kitsch and instead relishes in grand classical style: sky-high columns, fountains, top designer fashion. It’s like an abbreviated grand tour of Italy, from stylish Milan to dramatic Rome.
Where: 3325 Las Vegas Boulevard South Reservations: 866-263-3001, palazzo.com
Digs: The Prestige Luxury Suite features a champagne check-in, access to the Canyon Ranch SpaClub fitness center, three HD flat screens, a roman tub with separate shower and plenty of room to roam.
Eats: Plenty of fine options here, but Bouchon, LAVO and CUT top our list for food and service. Be sure to check out Lagasse’s Stadium for casual bar fare with sports gaming galore.
Bonus: The Canyon Ranch SpaClub is one of the BEST in Vegas. Great treatments, amazing fitness options. Did I mention the in-house rock climbing wall? Not as easy as it looks.
On Stage: Jersey Boys is the top show in town, hands down. Don’t miss this first-class Broadway blockbuster with all your Four Seasons favorites. Guarantee you’ll leave the theater humming “Sherry.”
Winter in Venice: Looking for a little holiday spirit? The Palazzo Las Vegas introduces the first true celebration of the winter season on the Las Vegas Strip, with 49 days of holiday festivities. Highlights include an outdoor skating rink, special tasting menus, seasonal spa treatments and hand-designed snowflakes suspended midair in the three-floor-high atrium over 20-foot glittering trees. Cue the Sinatra holiday medley.
The Sammy & Dean
This duo would certainly get a kick out of The Cosmopolitan, one of the newer properties to hit The Strip. Once slated to be private condos, the towers sandwiched between City Center and Bellagio took the upscale boutique hotel route, and aren’t we glad. Like The Palazzo, the décor goes light on the theme and decks its halls with swinging curves, massive crystal chandeliers and plenty of bar and gathering space. A modern take on that old school Vegas lounge culture. Grab a sidekick and throw a few down in style.
Where: 3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South. Reservations: 855-435-0005; cosmopolitanlasvegas.com
Digs: Sleek and urban with a mid-century sensibility, the accommodations at The Cosmopolitan offer some of the best views of The Strip. It’s one of the few hotels to feature a balcony. Nice touches like Jonathan Adler accents and Phaidon art books scattered about the spacious suites make for a hip home base.
Eats: Variety is the spice of life here, from the strange-yet-tasty Chinese and Mexican fusion of China Poblano to the fishy delicacies at Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar and Grill. For the real Vegas steakhouse experience, make a reservation at STK. A crowded, attractive crowd mingles amid tables filled with empty martini glasses and excellent steaks and sides. Sway that way.
Shop: A few cool, hard-to-find storefronts here, but the standout is Retrospecs & Co., purveyor of early modern eyewear manufactured during the 1870s through 1970s. The store’s design is pretty darn swank itself. Pick up some vintage shades before hitting the town, Mr. (or Ms.) Wonderful.
Another new-ish addition, ARIA Resort and Casino is the shining star of the City Center complex. The King surely would have been treated as one at ARIA, where VIP isn’t a privilege, it’s a guarantee.
Where: 3730 Industrial Road. Reservations: 866-359-7757, arialasvegas.com
Digs: The Sky Suites up the ante on the luxury experience, starting with an alternative-fuel limousine pick-up at the airport and private porte-cochère arrival. After enjoying a drink and hors d’oeuvres in the exclusive lounge, a private elevator takes you to one-of-a-kind accommodations with custom furnishings, unparalleled amenities and soaring floor-to-ceiling windows providing dramatic views. We can’t help falling in love.
Eats: Fine dining abounds, from Jean Georges Steakhouse to Barmasa, but we have a feeling sweet-toothed Elvis would frequent the counter at Jean Philippe Patisserie, where the world pastry champion’s signature chocolates are on display and exquisitely packaged.
On Stage: We wonder what Elvis would think of Cirque du Soleil’s Viva Elvis, currently drawing big crowds at ARIA. Dance, acrobatics and live music, and the sight of a dozen or so colorfully clad Elvis impersonators certainly creates a spectacle. But then again, is there anyone more quintessentially Vegas than the King? Just don’t tell Wayne Newton.
Ryan Choura is a competitive slalom water-skier, family man, writer and speaker who just so happens to be the CEO of one of LA’s largest event agencies.
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