Just because you’re going to Vegas doesn’t mean that you have to “do it.”
Las Vegas, to me, has always represented exactly what it’s most proud of “the city of Sin” where “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” And that’s not my thing. Not that I’m a pure “good girl.” I definitely have a bad side. I just prefer express it in other ways than hooking up with random people, being teased by cheap grinding in strip club, losing money at the slots, or partying in packed clubs until I’m so tired I feel nauseous and wake up with a massive hangover that is “best” remedied with the hair of the dog (and memories that I’d love to forget).
Problem is: my anti-Vegas pretension has prevented me from enjoying the non-sinful experiences that the city has to offer.
GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN
Spa’ing + glamour + dining + adventure + relaxation + fun = my ideal getaway. Turns out, Vegas is the ultimate destination for all 6 of my ultimate vacation ingredients. So I grabbed 4 girlfriends, including Krista Simmons- a serious foodie who was a judge on Top Chef Masters, and a food critic for magazines and newspapers like LA Times, NY Times, Grubstreet, and LAist, and we went out to explore the not-so-sinful side of Las Vegas (I said not “so” sinful… there was still PLENTY of sin in store to keep it interesting…).
The flight from LA to Vegas couldn’t be easier. Particularly flying on a Southwest flight out of Bob Hope Burbank Airport where you don’t even have to stress about parking but instead pull right up to the terminal and have your car valeted! Because we were determined (or at least I was) to infuse our entire trip with glamour, we skipped the cab line at arrivals in Vegas and instead we were whisked away in a limo to the Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas. Ok… let me first say that when you enter the Mandarin Oriental, you completely forget that you’re in Vegas. I could have sworn I was in their NYC stunner- one of my favorite hotels in the country. Unlike most other hotels on the strip, there is no loud, smoke-saturated casino or dizzying carpets and mind-numbing music. While checking-in we were handed tea service and a cool cloth to tame the nerves that can’t help but creep up to attention upon arriving to this city, then we were directed to the private elevator to the guest rooms.
STRIPPING THE BARRIERS
The 5 of us split into 2 strip view suites. Thankfully Krista and I have no problem with stripping in front of each other as the bathroom is pretty much completely exposed, with glass walls to the bedroom and frosted glass doors made the toilet room “private.” It was time to get very intimate. The champagne and snacks that arrived to our door moments later helped remove any minor barriers and set the tone for probably the most fabulous Las Vegas trip that I have ever indulged in.
SUBMITTING AT THE SPA
After enjoying our first of many glasses of bubbly on this trip, Krista and I headed to the uber-luxurious spa where we soaked in a perfectly warm tub with views of the Eifel Tower before being mindlessly led to our individual treatment suites where we would completely submit to the Diamond Magnetic Body Lift. What felt like hours (and simultaneously moments) later, I floated back to the locker rooms and, noticing the clock, snapped to attention- we had only 30 minutes to get dolled up for our first feast at STK at the Cosmopolitan Hotel. Thankfully The Mandarin has the most amazing bathroom amenities- like a flat iron! Ladies… you know that is a really fabulous thing. 30 minutes later we were dressed in our body-hugging minis and ready for whatever the night had in store.
What would you expect 5 chicks to order for dinner? Salad? Oh no. Not at STK. We were a table of ladies who love to eat! A lot. Filets, T-Bones and Strips, topped with foie gras (since it’s illegal in California), white truffles (since it’s the season), and crab! Plus a plate of raw thin cut beef. My mouth is dripping just thinking about it. May as well toss in a few bottles of champagne to really make the meal the ultimate oral indulgence.
WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS?
The food and booze were just enough lubrication to drop some of my sin-averse snobbery and we headed to Marquee Nightclub where the red velvet rope was unlatched upon our arrival. We made our way to the EDM dance floor and got ready to start pulsing with the rest of the partiers. A cordoned off group of bachelor boys looked awfully lonely in their spacious section, so we asked if they needed a little company and helped to liven up their party. Despite their bottle service, we had an early morning the next day, so instead of imbibing to the point of “what happens in Vegas…” we danced! The next thing I know, we were the girls standing on the sofas, our stilettos kicked to the side, with our arms in the air and our booties shaking from side to side. Sometimes you just have to pull the stick out of our a** (yeah, I’m talking to myself) and have some fun! At 2:30 it was time to head back to the hotel and attempt to get some high quality sleep before waking up in 5 hours to go zip-lining. Yes, you read that right.
ZIPPING ON LINES (not that kind)
I’d be lying if I said that the 8am wake up call was welcomed. It was probably the very last thing I wanted to do at that moment in time. BUT we rallied out of bed, slipped on our exercise clothes and sneakers and stumbled out to our awaiting limo. Though we were down to four… the four of us were fierce and ready to get strapped into harnesses and zip down Flightlinez Bootleg Canyon. I will admit that the hot zipline guides helped instantly elevate our spirits and I may or may not have meant to stop short on my last line so that the seriously muscled blonde had to harness himself onto the line and climb out to retrieve me. Nothing wrong with a little eye candy coming out to rescue you.
Still high from the stunning desert views and up to 45mph speeds, we headed to La Cave at The Wynn for lunch and a little hair of the dog (ok… so I did have a slight headache from the night before). The Bloody Mary was one of the most amazing. But the highlight of the light raw fish-heavy meal was the dessert- a smore’s flatbread. Yes. Feeling sedated from the hair of the dog we went back to the calm of our hotel for a bath in their most incredible soaking tub followed by a nap.
CAVIAR AND LEATHER
As if this trip couldn’t get anymore luxurious, the limo picked us up and delivered us to MGM Grand where we entered the sumptuous Hakkasan restaurant and again indulged. Peking duck crepes capped with caviar, steamed dumplings, lychee and shiso martinis, and the most beautiful assortment of dessert topped me off to the point of almost uncomfortable fullness- but it was worth every bite.
With our stomachs stuffed and satisfied, it was time for our eyes to feast. Chippendales. Enough said.
This was one girls getaway that truly did satiate my every need- spa’ing + glamour + dining + adventure + relaxation + fun (+ some skin). Yes, I did Vegas my way… and yes, I even followed the one cardinal rule- “Some” things that happen in Vegas stay in Vegas… but my lips are sealed.