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City Guide: Las Vegas


Luis García


Going big in Vegas is more fun than ever.


Las Vegas lives large during a four-month stretch that begins with a Formula 1 race this November and ends with Super Bowl LVIII at three-year-old Allegiant Stadium in February 2024. While the city prepares for these events, Downtown continues to evolve as a cultural hub with spots such as the new Beverly Theater, the city’s first indie film house, which hosts movies, live music, and literary events nearly every night of the week. Also worth a visit: The new Punk Rock Museum on the outskirts of the Arts District chronicles the genre’s rise and gives music lovers the chance to jam on guitars once played by Joan Jett and other legends. Add in the debut of the MSG Sphere, a globe-shaped concert hall enrobed with 580,000 square feet of LEDs, and Vegas is poised to shine brighter than ever.

Eat

The Rubik’s Cube era is alive and well at Retro by Voltaggio, a new restaurant inside Mandalay Bay. Celebrity chef brothers Bryan and Michael Voltaggio’s yearlong pop-up pays homage to 1980s culture and cuisine with elevated riffs on classics such as caprese (mozzarella masquerading as a whole tomato, with pesto and pan con tomate), SpaghettiOs (house-made with arrabbiata butter), and pot roast (Wagyu beef cheeks).

Head to the Area15 arts and entertainment complex for Lost Spirits Distillery’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, a 16-course, 16-seat rum-infused dinner in a surreal setting. Chef Taylor Persh creates whimsical dishes such as a whole octopus tentacle and A5 Kobe beef (billed as “whale”). Arrive early for a predinner cocktail and the distillery’s avant-garde circus show, featuring sword-swallowers, burlesque dancers, and more.

Hidden behind a bar, Wakuda’s six-seat omakase room at The Venetian’s Palazzo is well worth discovering. The three-hour meal changes every night – chefs base dishes on each diner’s preferences.

In July, Israeli chef Eyal Shani opened his latest HaSalon outpost at The Venetian, serving upscale Mediterranean such as whole turbot roasted in salt and the “Horrible Hammer” – beef carpaccio with herbs and flowers pounded into the paper-thin slices.


Advisor Tip

“Don’t miss The Lake of Dreams at the Wynn. Watch the show with one of Aft After Dark’s great cocktails, or from Lakeside, one of the Strip’s best seafood restaurants, totally hidden from the hustle and bustle.” Stephen Black



Shop


The Daniel Libeskind-designed Shops at Crystals offers the Strip’s swankiest retail with new stores from Harry Winston, Frederic Malle, and others. At the back of the Louis Vuitton store, James Turrell’s installation Akhob – a light-bathed chamber that gradually changes colors – remains one of the hottest (free) tickets in town, booking out roughly two months in advance.


Sweet scents abound at Diptyque Paris’ new boutique in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. Its colorful ceiling, handpainted by French artist Charlotte Bohn, sets a playful mood while guests browse personal fragrances and home scents.


The Smoke Show cocktail at Easy’s Cocktail Lounge.

Luis García


Drink


The latest entry on Las Vegas’ speakeasy circuit: Easy’s Cocktail Lounge, a Roaring Twenties-style cocktail lounge with live jazz tucked behind a doughnut shop in Aria’s Proper Eats Food Hall.


Rouge Room, a Paris-inspired lounge that opened in March in Summerlin, mixes classic cocktails and martini carts with live entertainment and an elevated bistro menu serving seafood towers and fresh oysters.


Atomic Liquors on Downtown’s East Fremont Street is the city’s oldest bar – it owns liquor license no. 00001 – and has been the local for stars ranging from Frank Sinatra and Hunter S. Thompson to Burt Reynolds and Barbra Streisand (who had her own seat). The dive got its name from the Nevada Test Site’s nuclear mushroom clouds, which patrons used to watch rise in the sky from lawn chairs on the roof.


Bellagio’s Conservatory.

Luis García


Stay


Lake Como and the Alps serve as inspiration for the $110 million renovation of Bellagio’s Spa Tower rooms. Also of note: the new private Garden Table in the middle of the 3,933-room resort’s conservatory – up to six guests can opt for brunch from Sadelle’s or dinner from Michael Mina. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and a $100 dining credit.


Accommodations at the 332-room Crockfords Las Vegas range from 550 square feet to the 7,000-square-foot Palaces, with private pools and gardens. Guests have their pick of more than 50 bars and restaurants in the Resorts World complex. Virtuoso travelers receive a $33 daily breakfast credit and a $100 dining credit.


Near Resorts World on the Strip’s north end, the 4,748-room Wynn and Encore Las Vegas entertains guests with two nightclubs and an expansive beach club, SoulCycle spin classes, and an 18-hole golf course. Virtuoso travelers receive a $60 daily breakfast credit and a $100 spa credit.


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