It’s been a bit since I’ve done any pieces about travel, which is weird considering I travel every month, but let’s not talk about the past. Let’s talk about VEGAS, BABY. Vegas has been on my list for a number of years but it seemed like a place that I needed a really good reason to visit. And finally my boyfriend, Frank, gifted me (and 10 of our friends) with that reason: his 30th birthday. So we all got on like 5 different flights (even though we were all coming from NYC) and descended on Vegas for a weekend of gambling, dancing, and drinking.
Now, I already did a podcast episode on this trip which you can listen to here, but that’s not so much a travel guide as it is a reflection of our time. Including, how sick I was. I want to steer away from that just a bit because I’ve a) already covered it and b) talking about my insane head cold is really no fun at all. I did however love everything about my CVS experience so I am totally going to highlight that. You can judge me but that’s why you come to me and not other bloggers right? I’m giving you the real deal here.
Also, this is a quick and dirty rundown, I know you’re busy. 🙂
We stayed at the Wynn, because I had always heard vaguely good things about it and I found an amazing deal on Expedia. Done and done. It is toward the end of the strip, so if you’re looking to be in the thick of it, I wouldn’t stay here. But truthfully, you are going to end up taking a car to EVERYTHING. There’s a bus route that you can take, but once you put on your four inch heels, the bus just doesn’t feel right. More details on transportation later, but if you think you want to be on the center of the strip for walking purposes, I am not sure it’s worth it.
The Wynn has a casino, which means the casino floor has smoking. The rooms we had were non-smoking and you couldn’t even tell we were in a casino with that much smoke. Our room was gigantic. The bathroom was the most impressive part, it was probably the size of my first studio apartment and had a bathtub built for two, a separate shower, two sinks, a vanity area and a TV.
Since I was super sick day one there was literally nothing better than watching Friends in the tub and then ordering room service. I also won $100 that night on roulette!
The service was great and I felt very much at home. Especially since I wound up spending so much time there. It has an incredible amount of outlets (F&B, shows, clubs etc.) and super luxe stores. I cried walking by the Alexander McQueen store everyday hoping I hit it big on the tables so I could buy a beautiful bag.
The weird thing about LV is that you don’t ever feel that guilty for never leaving your hotel/resort. Sure there is plenty to see and do, but realistically all of the casinos kind of look the same, so sometimes it feels easier to stay put. We ate a good amount of meals at the Wynn and had essentially no complaints.
The Buffet @ Wynn
The hype is very real. The buffet at the Wynn is as good as they say. Picture every food you’ve ever loved and then picture it all for the taking in a single room. We ate this probably 3 times which could be embarrassing if wasn’t so amazing. They even brought me hot water and lemon to clear my sinuses at every meal. Oysters, chicken and waffles, candy apples, chia seed pudding, prime rib, mac and cheese, lox, danishes, sundaes, congee, sushi… on and on it went. My stomach actually just made a sound thinking about it. Even if you don’t stay at the Wynn, it’s worth the trip. Pro-tip: Go before 9:30am to avoid the line.
If you’re asking yourself “how do I wake up at 9:30 in Vegas?” don’t forget it’s 3 hours behind the East Coast. You’ll be awake. If you’re from LA, sorry I can’t help you. 😉
Rose. Rabbit. Lie.
What an incredible experience this was. I found it difficult to find a restaurant on the Strip that wasn’t also a restaurant in New York City. A lot of them are repeats from NYC (or Miami) and for a group traveling from there, it seemed weird to go to a place we could go to any time. (Even though we don’t, ha!) So I came across Rose. Rabbit. Lie. I was intrigued by their “supper club” vibe but was immediately sold when I found the vegetarian and gluten-free menus they offer. The restaurant is in the beautiful Cosmopolitan hotel (my second choice for our trip!) and it is an actual supper club. We saw about 6 performances throughout our meal of talented dancers, singers, and musicians who danced all over the room and on top of tables. The food was excellent, the cocktails were strong and overall while it was one of our more expensive meals, it really didn’t break the bank. Highly, highly recommend.
We went to this little outdoor burger place for lunch when people started to land from their flights and we weren’t a complete group yet. It’s in walking distance of the Wynn and was surprisingly good. They even made me a hot toddy! So expect a full bar, and a good meal. Also when I say outdoor, I mean outdoor. There is no interior, but they have heat lamps. It was a little chilly, but great atmosphere. Awesome waiter as well.
Definitely not the highlight of our trip. The margaritas were good and the service was decent. But the tacos were really heavy and weirdly thick? I ordered them thinking they’d be light and they came out super heavy. The guac was ok, but pretty generic. I will say, we were able to get a table for TWELVE at the last minute so it’s good for that. Also it’s in the MGM, so it was in walking distance of our show at Magic Mike.
BARS, LOUNGES & CLUBS
Surprisingly, we didn’t do that much bar hopping. Like I said, it’s a bit challenging to get around as a large group. Also, they give you free drinks at the casino so…
Inside the Cosmopolitan, we went here after our dinner at Rose. Rabbit. Lie. The setting is beautiful, it’s basically a two story lounge designed to look like you are inside of a chandelier. Other than that it’s your run of the mill lounge. My friend did get a pretty interesting drink that was Alice in Wonderland themed and turned different colors, but for those of us less adventurous. It was pretty basic.
Old Vegas & Freemont street were some of my favorite highlights from the trip. It felt just much more my speed. Picture an easier going Brooklyn with neon lighting and you’ve nailed it. We saw a bar advertising habanero pickle backs so we ducked in. What we found was an incredible little bar, designed to look like an old dive but definitely brand new, good picklebacks and awesome service. Also they had a selfie room that’s worth checking out.
The biggest joy of Hakkasan is that my friend new someone who could get us in for free and with free drinks and no line. I will say though, even if you do pay to go, it’s a beautiful space and vibe, while a definite Vegas nightclub, didn’t feel like too much. I usually feel overwhelmed or skeeved out, but it was a super nice place, plenty of room to move and dance, and I felt safe. We had fun dancing here even though the hip hop floor was closed and we were forced to dance to EDM.
SHOWS & MUSEUMS
We went to one show and one show only. Magic Mike. I don’t want to spoil too much of it, because I think part of the joy of going is discovering it for yourself. (I didn’t take videos or pictures like some of the other women were, it felt super weird and also like it would take me out of what we were witnessing.) This show was 10x better than any of us could even believe. Seriously. We went in excited but left blown away. These guys are seriously talented, the host is hysterical, and the whole event was super fun, charming, and truly empowering. Pro Tip! Sit on the floor by the bar. They are cheaper than the bar seats and MUCH better. I promise you. They’re amazing. Message me if you want the exact seats. Best seats in the house BY FAR.
If you had told me I was going to go to a museum in Vegas I would have never believed you. But I did! And it was wonderful! We went to the Neon Museum. It was so fun to get outside on a nice day and to also learn about Vegas through some of its most iconic neon signs. The museum is beautifully curated (it’s not just a bunch of signs junked together) and the tour guides are knowledgeable and super kind. If you go during the day you can choose to talk to them or meander on your own. I highly recommend chatting, they know cool stuff! If you need a break from the booze and gambling, come here.
I really wasn’t much a gambler but I will say this. I loved the Wynn Casino. I won there (haha) and also everyone was pretty friendly. The Golden Nugget was terrible and I’d never go back. The El Cortez was fun in an old school way. It’s the oldest operating casino in Vegas. Go for the quarters, stay for the guy playing a piano.
I am not crazy. This was the greatest CVS ever. Not only could you buy cold medicine here, but they sold HARD LIQUOR. Sure you can get wine and beer. But you can also get gin! Fireball! Anything! I was beyond. Also just outside the door is sports betting. We went here like four times and I don’t even feel ashamed.
Is she really going to end on CVS? (Yes, she is.)