The Best of Las Vegas: Hotels, Dining, Events, and Nightlife

Source: David McNew/Getty Images

David McNew/Getty Images

Vegas is the last place on earth to be thrifty, so when you plan your next trip to the heathen’s playground, remember one thing: 72 hours (because let’s be honest, one weekend in Vegas is plenty) will come and go. Save not on your next trip to Sin City — here are our top three picks for accommodations, pampering, dining, and imbibing.

Best Hotels

For the Course: Wynn Las Vegas

Home to renowned restaurants, exciting entertainment and nightlife, two award-winning spas, salons, and luxury shopping, the Wynn offers the ultimate in lodging on the strip. Fancy a game of golf with your buddies? The Wynn boasts an 18-hole course, and is the only golf course attached to a resort on the Las Vegas strip. Conceived with the rolling hills of South Carolina and Georgia in mind, you just might forget you’re in Vegas with the course’s sprawling greens, white-sand bunkers, and rushing streams.

For the Casino: Bellagio

Set behind its world-famous fountains, the Bellagio attracts guests with the hallmarks of their luxury hotel experience: contentment and opulence. Whether you’re anxious to try your hand at a game of blackjack or you rule the roost every time you’re near a craps table, the Bellagio is a worthy opponent. The luxury hotel’s famous casino offers unparalleled Five Diamond Award-winning action at the highest level of sophistication and class.

For the Spa: Palazzo

As the newer tower adjacent to the Italian-inspired, legendary Venetian, The Palazzo prides itself on offering only suites, which are roughly twice the size of the average Las Vegas hotel room and feature a living room, an Italian-marble bathroom, and gourmet in-suite dining. Feel like really treating yourself? Hit up the world-famous Canyon Ranch Spa for the ultimate dose of relaxation and serenity.

Best Dining


For Sushi: Nobu

Located in Caesars Palace and home to the world’s largest Nobu Restaurant space, the famous chef Nobu Matsuhisa and his team deliver a menu ranging from imported Asian and Japanese fish and seafood to sushi rolls and exotic delicacies. The 11,000-square-foot dining area and adjacent lounge feature a sushi bar, private dining area, and circular central bar.

For Cajun: Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House

Chef Emeril Lagasse brings some southern loving to the Vegas strip at his New Orleans Fish House. Located at the MGM Grand, guests will feel worlds away, as the celeb chef and his team deliver his famous “New New Orleans”-style of cooking, a twist on Louisiana’s classic Creole dishes, including market fresh fish and shellfish creations.

For Italian: Scarpetta

Residing inside The Cosmopolitan is a dining experience worthy of Italian praise. A modern Italian restaurant by award-winning chef Scott Conant, Scarpetta’s menu reflects his earthy yet sophisticated approach to Italian cuisine, delivering a satisfying and soulful menu of seasonally-inspired Italian fare.

Best Shows

For Comedy: Laugh Factory

Who wouldn’t want to sign up for a night of laughing until your stomach hurts? Bringing the best in comedy to the Vegas strip, the Tropicana Laugh Factory boasts legendary Laugh Factory talent, with three new comics every week. Recognized as “The No. 1 Comedy Club in the Country” by USA Today, the Laugh Factory originally opened in 1979 in Hollywood, paving the way for comedians such as Dave Chappelle, Jay Leno, Chris Rock, John Stewart, Jerry Seinfeld, and Adam Sandler.

For Entertainment: Blue Man Group

Showing at the Luxor, the Blue Man Group continues its stint as a Las Vegas entertainment staple. The creative forces put the crowd on the edge of their seats, as they incorporate music, innovative lighting effects, sensational technology, and the antics of three captivating blue men all on one stage.

For Fantasy: Cirque du Soleil  

A show that needs no introduction, Cirque du Soleil brings sexy seduction and provocative performances to the aptly appointed Sin City itself. Showing at New York New York, Zumanity, which is part burlesque and part cabaret, is not your parent’s idea of the performing arts.

Best Clubs

Source: Palms Casino Resort

Source: Palms Casino Resort

For the View: Ghost Bar

Though the Palms is located off the strip, a quick cab ride is certainly worth the late-night trip to Ghost Bar. Located on the 55th floor of the Ivory Tower, this hot spot’s deck boasts views of the lit-up city, and offers a more intimate setting than some other popular nightclubs. An elegant sophistication with a color scheme of white, black, and fuchsia, along with booths framing the 14-foot, floor-to-ceiling windows, make this a definite go-to.

For the Atmosphere: Tao

Since its opening in 2005, TAO Nightclub has maintained its reputation as the nighttime venue on the strip. The dark, sensual design of the multi-story, Asian-inspired club features top DJs and entertainment, and impeccable décor around every corner.

For Dancing: XS

XS Nightclub at Encore attracts not only the most discerning of late-night party-goers, but also the likes of David Guetta and Kaskade. The newly unveiled, multimillion dollar redesign includes cutting-edge technology and top-of-the-line production elements. Guests can choose from two experiences: bottle service on the dance floor or luxury cabanas surrounding the Encore pool. A golden staircase greets visitors, and once you enter, you’ll understand why the club is worthy of the name XS.

Best Pools

Source: Mandalay Bay

Source: Mandalay Bay

For the Party: Rehab

Rehab is the infamous Las Vegas pool party set in a tropical oasis at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Whether you go to party VIP style by the pool or to check out one of the many scheduled special events, as soon as you enter Rehab, you’re instantly part of the rowdy crowd.

For the Beach: Mandalay Bay

Mandalay Bay Beach is located on 11 lush acres and features 2,700 tons of real sand, a 1.6-million-gallon wave pool, cabanas, day beds, bungalows, and personalized villas. The wave pool and sand under your toes will have you fetching a cocktail, if you don’t already have one in hand.

For the Ambiance : Wynn and Encore

Both Wynn and Encore are home to lavish pools that would make any sun-worshipper envious. Surrounded by immaculate gardens and lined with private cabanas, the property also leaves nothing to the imagination, putting all temptation — in the most luxurious, serene setting possible — on a silver platter. The secluded, adults-only European pools are an ideal retreat and allow for topless sunbathing.  

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