7 Great Escapes in Spring 2021

Ready to celebrate Spring now that you are vaccinated? Here’s some of the best So Cal and Vegas escapes.

Santa Monica

1. Casa del Mar Beachside Bliss Picnic
The iconic Hotel Casa del Mar in Santa Monica and its sister property, Shutters on the Beach, are offering an oceanfront picnic experience to hotel guests. Wiggle your toes in the sand during this new culinary services. Beach setup by the picnic concierge team comes complete with a chic low table, comfy plush pillows, linens, blankets, and sun umbrellas. The delicious picnic menu includes lobster rolls; Thai lettuce wraps; and charcuterie. Just in time for Spring, the hotel is offering a new Beachside Bliss Package that includes a 2-night stay in an luxurious ocean-view room, welcome amenity, daily valet parking, and the new oceanfront picnic experience. The package starts at $875+ per night with a two-night minimum stay. Hotel guests are also able to purchase the beach picnic offering a la carte during their stay. Go to: www.hotelcasadelmar.com, 1910 Ocean Way (310)581-5533.

2. Newport Coast

The Resort at Pelican Hill – For a true Mediterranean experience, stay overnight at The Resort at Pelican Hill. Enjoy sitting outside overlooking the largest round swimming pool at the Coliseum Pool & Grill. The chefs prepare fresh, seasonal ingredients in their culinary specials and have them served in one of the most magnificent settings. Fun Fact: There are over one million glass mosaic tiles, each of them meticulously laid by hand inside the pool. The views beyond the pool is the Pelican Hill Golf Course and sparkling Pacific coast. This luxury resort offers a truly relaxing, vacation experience. Self Parking is available at the Main Estate. Coliseum Pool & Grill menus: BREAKFAST LUNCH DINNER POOL KIDS

3. Palos Verdes

Terranea Resort – Fresh air, fire pits, culinary delights with craft beers and cocktails while taking in the scenic views of the Pacific are available at multiple dining venues at Terranea this Spring. Indoor and al fresco experiences are available at each restaurant. Fine dining at mar’sel is open for a coastal Easter Brunch on April 4 starting at 10am to 3 pm. A four-course menu showcases traditional Easter specialties with a twist, including lamb omelet, rack of lamb, halibut, brisket as well as vegetarian options. Pair with Champagne and accompanying fresh juices. Other dining venues: bashi, catalina kitchen and Nelson’s offer seasonal specials. Right now Terranea is offering guests an extra savings with the third night free. Restrictions may apply. Promotional code: 3FREE. https://www.terranea.com/offers/third-night-free. For more information call (866) 261-5873.

4. Laguna

The Ranch Laguna Beach – Those looking to play golf, take beach walks, practice morning yoga, listen to live music in one of the most beautiful canyons while dining al fresco will enjoy their stay at The Ranch Laguna Beach. Take a road trip with one of the resort’s specials that include

  • $25 Chevron gift card
  • Waived resort fee
  • Farewell snack box, choice healthy or “kind of healthy” assortment
  • Laguna Beach road trip playlist

Valid for select Sunday – Thursday nights through May 27, 2021.

5. Laguna Beach

Montage Laguna Beach – When guests reserve a stay at least 21 days in advance they receive a 15% savings on the best available rate at this luxury resort on the bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Other special offers include Montage Memories with deluxe accommodations, complimentary nightly valet parking and a daily $60 breakfast credit. For those seeking to Linger Longer arrive early and stay late. It’s a special weekday stay offering the opportunity for more pool time and extra hours to enjoy breathtaking ocean views with an early check-in and late check-out, along with complimentary valet parking. Read more about The Montage Laguna Beach

6. Dana Point

Blue Lantern Inn in Dana Point offers a cozy bed and breakfast vacation, The Blue Lantern Inn is one of the best So Cal destinations. Sitting up on a bluff overlooking the Dana Point Harbor and Pacific coastline, the staff present guests with a wine, cheese, crackers and fruit picnic bag. Guest can enjoy this on their patio, balcony or Inn’s viewing terrace. Also at check-in guests are presented a menu to check off what items they desire for breakfast. The next morning a multi-course hot and cold breakfast tray arrives at your guest room door. After breakfast, take one of their cruiser bikes for a spin around Dana Point or go for a nature hike above the Inn. Read about specials here.

7. Las Vegas – See a show!

The Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino excitedly announced that on Thursday, April 22 Penn & Teller will perform a new content and magic show, plus a selection from Penn & Teller’s extensive catalog of fan favorites. “We are so excited to go back to doing what we do, where we do it, for the people we do it for,” said Penn Jillette. “Teller and I are both more than two weeks out of our second shots, and in the same bubble, so we can stand unmasked on our stage. We will give up seeing what we hope are smiling faces so our audience can stay masked and safe.” Additionally, Penn shared, “We haven’t been on stage in over a year, so we don’t know whether the audience will be coming to see us do miracles, or just to see if we remember which way to face on stage. But no matter what, we’re excited to return to our home at the Rio!” Deals are amazing at this hotel right now with suites starting at $29 on certain dates when available. Click here to read more.

Penn & Teller at Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino with suites starting at $29+

Now that people are getting their Covid vaccinations, they are ready to travel, and Las Vegas is opening up more hotels, casinos, and bringing entertainment back into their theaters. 

The Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino excitedly announced their semi-annual sale with suites starting at $29+ and on Thursday, April 22, Penn & Teller will perform a new content and magic show, plus a selection from Penn & Teller’s extensive catalog of fan favorites. 

“We are so excited to go back to doing what we do, where we do it, for the people we do it for,” said Penn Jillette. “Teller and I are both more than two weeks out of our second shots, and in the same bubble, so we can stand unmasked on our stage. We will give up seeing what we hope are smiling faces so our audience can stay masked and safe.” 

Additionally, Penn shared, “We haven’t been on stage in over a year, so we don’t know whether the audience will be coming to see us do miracles, or just to see if we remember which way to face on stage. But no matter what, we’re excited to return to our home at the Rio!”

Tickets will go on sale to the public starting Friday, April 2 at 10 a.m. PT. The full performance schedule is below with all shows starting at 9 p.m. 

  • April 22 – 25, 29 – 30 
  • May 1 – 2, 6 – 8, 28 – 31 
  • June 3 – 6, 10 – 13 

Edgy, provocative and hilarious, Penn & Teller have been captivating live audiences at Rio Las Vegas since 2001, with their edgy and hilarious show. “We are thrilled to welcome Penn & Teller back to live performances at the Rio,” said Jason Gastwirth, President of Entertainment at Caesars Entertainment. “After a challenging year, the demand for joy and laughter is higher than ever, and Penn & Teller will certainly supply that, as they have been doing for decades in the heart of Las Vegas.” 

Guidelines set forth by health and government authorities, as well as Caesars Entertainment’s enhanced health and safety protocols include:

1. Masks will be mandatory for guests.

2. Audiences will be socially distanced in the intimate and engaging Penn & Teller Theater.

3. There will be three-different seating options for the reopening of the show with a capacity of 257 audience members.  

4. Guests will be assigned arrival times when they purchase tickets and will be seated by theater staff. 

Caesars Rewards members, Caesars Entertainment’s loyalty program, and Ticketmaster will offer a presale running Thursday, April 1 from 10 a.m. PT to 10 p.m. PT. Tickets begin at $60 and will be available at any Las Vegas Caesars Entertainment Box Office, by calling 702-777-2782 or 855-234-7469, or online at www.caesars.com/shows

Known as the home of the World Series of Poker, Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino offers guests a unique all-suite hotel experience with floor to ceiling windows and views of Las Vegas Valley. Just one block from the Las Vegas Strip, this 2,522 all-suite hotel rooms – includes spacious rooms and the luxurious Palazzo Villas with a private entrance.

Get a great deal during the hotel’s ‘semi-annual sale’ during the month of April. Special suite promotions include room rates starting at $29 a night, on certain dates, including Opening Night of Penn & Teller’s show. Book now before April 12, 2021 for a suite discount of 25% off for travel through January 2022. Blackout days apply and guests must be 21 years and older to book a suite.

Besides headliners Penn & Teller, other entertaining attractions include the Voodoo Beach tropical pool experience with waterfalls, four different pool areas and two bars mixing specialty drinks. Day beds and cabanas must be reserved ahead of time. Lower rates are available on weekdays.

The adrenaline pumping Rio Zipline, offers guests a 360-degree panorama of the famous Strip from 490 feet above the ground. There is also KISS by Monster Mini Golf and The Wall Gaming Lounge. 

Dining and nightlife experiences include: 

The new Guy Fieri’s El Burro Borracho

Upscale dining on the 50th floor at VooDoo Steak 

Wine Cellar & Tasting Room – home to one of the most impressive wine collections in Las Vegas

Hash House A Go Go for creative and large portion “twisted farm food”.

KJ Dim Sum & Seafood for Chinese cuisine and VooDoo Rooftop Nightclub offering panoramic views of The Strip. 

Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino offers Free Parking. Make a reservation by clicking here to get a room starting at $29 while supplies last.

This review was also featured in JUSTLUXE

Circa Resort & Casino opens for ages 21+ only

Circa Resort & Casino is almost completed in historic Downtown Las Vegas. It’s the first ground-up gaming resort built since 1980, and the first adults-only resort playground with 1.25-million-square-feet and a two-story casino. This resort offers innovative entertainment and gaming, inspired by old-school Las Vegas hospitality.

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Be the first to experience the resort in time for NYE. Reservations for the highly anticipated 777 guest rooms and suites can be booked at CircaLasVegas.com with the first rooms available on December 28, 2020.

There are four different types of luxury guest rooms and suites including a really cool Bunk Bed suite offering four comfortable twin beds for a group of friends to room together. Also in this suite is a wet-bar, refrigerator, walk-in shower with a bench and in room safe.

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“From the beginning, I envisioned Circa to be a resort that pays homage to Las Vegas’ vibrant past while introducing bold, modern elements; this will certainly shine through in our room and suite collection,” said Derek Stevens, Circa’s CEO. “Vintage details are combined with high-tech amenities to create an experience that’s uniquely Circa. I also love to throw a good party, and I can promise that every room and suite will deliver maximum entertainment.”

What makes this resort unique, besides being brand new, is Circa’s uniquely tapered 71-degree tower – the tallest building north of the Strip, offering unobstructed views of either the iconic Las Vegas skyline, surrounding mountains or the resort’s pool amphitheater.

Screen Shot 2020-06-24 at 10.30.29 AMDesigned by Steelman Partners and Circa’s Director of Design and Architecture Alice O’Keefe, the resort pays tribute to Downtown Las Vegas’ thriving art scene. Curated by DAC Art Consulting, several local artists have been commissioned to display their pieces incorporating the city’s history and culture, including Jelaine Faunce, Diedra Wilson, Schinn Loong, Sarah Scherf and Adolfo Gonzalez with Yesco.

Screen Shot 2020-06-24 at 10.28.20 AMCirca’s standard rooms will range in size from 403 to 752 square feet with accents in shades of navy and sapphire, geometric-patterned carpets and deep walnut woods. Each standard room will offer a single or double king-size beds with Serta Prestige mattress, multiple seating areas, refrigerators and 55-inch flat-screen HDTVs.      

Screen Shot 2020-06-24 at 10.27.34 AM   Circa Suites are sexy and well appointed spanning 822 to 1,612 square feet, decorated in velvety midnight blues, floor-to-ceiling windows, sophisticated lounge-style furniture, a black quartz dining table and full wet bar with refrigerator. Every room has a 65-inch HDTVs.

Select suites will feature modern-day Inova beds hidden in the walls that unfold to accommodate additional guests.

There are 6 Circa’s Founders Suites, located at the resort’s top three floors, offering the best views of Las Vegas from all of Downtown. Measuring an average of 1,831 square feet, these two-bedroom suites will be ideal for group celebrations. The lavish bar has its own refrigerator in an entertaining space with ample seating, flat-screen TV and electric fireplace. The suites offer a black quartz dining room table beneath a custom chandelier.

Screen Shot 2020-06-24 at 10.27.07 AMFor those traveling with their squad, Circa’s high-style Bunk Bed accommodations range in size from 713-square-foot pads or 1,362-square-foot suites. Inside the living areas are a wet bar and refrigerator, a charger port for each bed, and couches with views of the skyline. Suites and pads will feature two plush bunk twin beds to sleep four people and large bathrooms.

Guests can enjoy meals by Chef Barry S. Dakake of Barry’s Downtown Prime or Pan-Asian fare at 8 East from Chef Dan Coughlin. The resort will have classic delicatessen cuisine at Saginaw’s Delicatessen from restaurateur Paul Saginaw, and authentic Carolina barbecue at Project BBQ. The founding family of American Coney Island will provide an all-star menu at Victory Burger & Wings Co.

For more information, visit circalasvegas.com.

This article or a similar article was also featured in Luxe Beat Magazine: https://luxebeatmag.com/las-vegas-newest-circa-resort-casino/

Caesars Paris Las Vegas Reopens

In accordance with directives from Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and the Nevada Gaming Control Board, Caesars Entertainment Corporation welcomed guests back to  Paris Las Vegas.

This reopening follows the success of Caesars Palace Las Vegas, Flamingo Las Vegas, Harrah’s Las Vegas, The LINQ Promenade and High Roller Observation Wheel, as well as the gaming floor and other amenities at The LINQ Hotel + Experience opening their doors.

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For the special French-inspired reopening can-can dancers, a Monsieur Loyal ringmaster, Caesars Entertainment Regional President Gary Selesner and Paris Las Vegas General Manager Sherri Sosa were on hand to. After the Monsieur Loyal initially welcomed guests outside with “bienvenue” and led the countdown from “trois, deux, un,” Sosa pushed the button to launch blue, white and red confetti over the entrance as the resort officially reopened its doors. Additionally, first casino guest Roy Anderson ceremoniously rolled the first dice at a craps table with Selesner and Sosa cheering him on inside Paris Las Vegas.

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“As customer interest in visiting Las Vegas continues to increase this summer, we are pleased to welcome guests back to Paris Las Vegas with the same spirit and sophistication they have come to enjoy at our French-inspired resort,” said Tony Rodio, CEO of Caesars Entertainment. “We are also committed to emphasizing our enhanced health and safety protocols while creating memorable experiences for all our guests.”

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French can-can dancers demonstrate new health and safety measures, such as the thermal scanner at hotel registration,

Paris Las Vegas offers renovated guest rooms and suites, a variety of food and beverage amenities, access to the fitness center and outdoor pool, as well as slot machines and table games on the casino floor. The Company requires everyone indoors at its properties across the Caesars network to wear masks at all times, except when eating or drinking. The updated mask policy becomes effective on June 24, 2020 at 12 p.m. Pacific Time and applies to all employees, vendors, contractors, guests and passersby in properties. Previously, all employees plus guests at table games were required to wear masks at Caesars properties.

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The Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas is displaying a new, free light show in honor of the reopening of the resort, every half hour from dusk to midnight nightly through June 30, 2020. The Eiffel Tower Restaurant now offers reservations for view dining daily from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Resort guests and visitors have access to other food and beverage venues including Gordon Ramsay Steak open on Thursday through Sunday from 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

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  • JJ’s Boulangerie (dining room) – daily, 24 hours
  • La Pizza (express window) – daily, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • La Creperie – breakfast daily, 6 a.m. to noon
  • Café Belle Madeleine – breakfast daily, 5 a.m. to noon
  • Arc Bar – daily, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Le Central Bar – daily, 24 hours
  • Gustav’s Bar – daily, 24 hours
  • Le Cabaret Bar – daily, 2 p.m. to close
  • Café Americano – daily, 6 a.m. to noon
  • BEER PARK – daily, 2 p.m. to close
  • HEXX Kitchen + Bar – daily, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Mon Ami Gabi – daily, 7 a.m. to 10:3

The Company previously announced that it has suspended fees for paid self-parking in Las Vegas. For more information on the Company’s health and safety protocols, visit: www.Caesars.com/health.

 

 

The D Las Vegas and Golden Gate Hotel & Casino Reopen

Two world-famous Fremont Street hotels and casinos, the D Las Vegas and Golden Gate Hotel & Casino reopened their doors to the public at 12:01 a.m. on June 4.

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Photo of Derek Stevens and friends by Black Raven Films

Owned by CEO and Downtown Las Vegas developer, Derek Stevens, the two Downtown Las Vegas properties are among the first casinos to resume gaming operations in Nevada. Both offer hotel accommodations, food and beverage venues, and sportsbooks.

“As with the rest of the world, the past few months have presented our city with an unprecedented challenge, and our team has worked around the clock to bring back the Vegas experience our visitors know and love,” said Stevens. “We are excited to get our employees back to work and to welcome guests to the entertainment capital of the world.”

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According to the D Las Vegas website, the hotel and casino team have been in constant COVID-19 observation with the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Occupational Safety and Health Origination (OSHA) websites. In preparation for the reopening, they have been learning the best practices from these expert organizations. They have always taken pride in the level of cleanliness and will maintain over the top standards when welcoming team members and guests back to Downtown Las Vegas.

Both hotels adopted improved sanitation practices early on, including a varied list of cleaning solutions that kill Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Influenza, Human Coronavirus, Rotavirus, Norovirus, Rhinovirus, Aspergillus and Trichophyton Mentagrophytes on all surfaces that guests or team members touch. Staff have placed
alcohol-based hand sanitizing fluid dispensers at entrances, public areas of the casino and back of the house. There is a strict, time-based sanitation schedule to clean all touched items on property.

Team members have learned new practices to wear the proper use of PPE and hand washing techniques. There is a communication chain developed and practiced, in the event of a confirmed case. All necessary protocols have been developed to promote the safety of all involved when managing the situation.

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Since 2012, the D Las Vegas helped bring visitors back to the historic Downtown Las Vegas area by offering a modern-day casino, and a hotel experience with 629 comfortable guest rooms and suites.

After months of anticipation, D Las Vegas is reopening and ready for some summer fun. Decorated with vintage touches of Las Vegas, the two-story casino offers blackjack tables, old and new slot machines, and some exclusive games you can’t find anywhere else.

The bars are open providing beer, wine and specialty drinks among live entertainment, including LONGBAR, a sports hub and the longest bar in Nevada.

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Visitors can enjoy a world-famous Coney Dog at American Coney Island or splurge at Andiamo Italian Steakhouse for premier steaks and seafood. D Las Vegas offers the only Sigma Derby horse racing game in Las Vegas, and recently debuted Circa Sports book and a new hockey-centric bar, named BarCanada. D Grill, as well as bell and valet services will remain closed until further notice.

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At One Fremont Street, the originally opened in 1906 Golden Gate Hotel & Casino is Las Vegas’ most historic hotel. It’s like a museum filled with stories and artifacts from Las Vegas’ past. Visitors can retreat to one of Golden Gate’s “Original 10” rooms – which have been maintained for 114 years – or opt for a more updated suite, located in its luxury tower with Art Deco accents, iconic tributes to famous celebrities, and Swing-era inspired interior design.

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The “Original 10” rooms welcomed ranchers, railroad men, singers, mobsters, vacationers. Now Golden Gate houses CEO Derek Stevens’ sports betting venture, Circa Sportsbook, two luxurious penthouses, an expanded 14-suite tower, two bars – OneBar and Bar Prohibition! This original Golden Gate bar was a watering hole during the Wild West, the roaring 20s and a whiskey hangout frequented by Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and Dean Martin during the Rat Pack era.

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The reopenings of the D and Golden Gate come a week after Stevens launched his “Keep America Flying” promotion, which offered 2,000 free Las Vegas-bound flights to travelers across the country. After the first 1,000 flights were booked in less than two hours, Stevens launched phase two of the nationwide giveaway by adding an additional 1,000 flights. The initiative was created to reignite tourism to Las Vegas and support the airline industry.

To make up for lost time, guests who may have missed their birthday celebrations due to the shutdown can request a free bottle of Tito’s Handmade Vodka with a room reservation at the D Las Vegas or Golden Gate through the month of June.

Part of this review was featured on Luxe Beat Magazine on June 5, 2020.

 

A Foodie’s guide in Las Vegas

Las Vegas caters to millions of tourists a year, offering some of the most incredible culinary opportunities by the world’s top chefs. From casual to fine dining, Las Vegas is a foodie paradise. Here are some of the city’s favorites to visit:

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Best City View Dining – Inside the all-suite, non-smoking boutique Delano Las Vegas take an elevator up to the 64th floor to Rivea. Perched high in the sky for diners to have one of the best views of Las Vegas, while enjoying French and Italian influenced cuisine from internationally celebrated Chef Alain Ducasse.

What to order: Executive chef Bruno Riou makes an ethereal lobster risotto; savory Angus filet mignon; and decadent chocolate souffle’.

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Best Fountain View DiningThe Mayfair Supper Club at Bellagio Las Vegas is a new elegant lakeside dining and entertainment venue, “Supper clubs of the mid-1900s were the foundation for our country’s best artists and cuisine,” said MGM Resorts International President of Events and Nightlife Sean Christie. “The Mayfair celebrates and modernizes for the 20s of today, combined with spectacular entertainment overlooking the Bellagio Fountains.” The Mayfair delivers an experience that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Guests can request the ‘Table of Heaven’ next to the window overlooking the spectacular aquatic ballet choreographed to music every 30 minutes.

What to order: Lemon Drop cocktail;Wagyu handrails with caviar and a glittering gold leaf; and edible chocolate and hazelnut cigar under a hickory-smoke glass cloche.

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Eat. Drink. Shop Eataly Las Vegas at Park MGM is comprised of more than a dozen authentic Italian eateries and hundreds of high-quality Italian products. Visitors have the opportunity to eat, shop and learn their way through one of the greatest cuisines in the world under a single roof.

What to order: Knights Up! Every game day Eataly offers a two-course prix fixe for $28 at La Pizza e La Pasta. Enjoy a fresh salad or housemade mozzarella for a starter followed by your choice of authentic Neapolitan-style pizza or fresh pasta. This special is available all day. Enjoy with a “Knight Shandy cocktail made with Ketel One Botanical Grapefruit & Rose Vodka, Antica Carpano Vermouth, bitters, lemon juice, and topped with Dogfish Head “Seaquench” Ale. Normally priced at $16, this cocktail is only $13 on home game nights and available at all three bars inside Eataly Las Vegas.

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Celebrity Chef Restaurant Gordon Ramsay Steak is a fine dining steakhouse inside Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. It’s Ramsay’s first restaurant in Las Vegas, originally open in 2012. Walk through a red neon ‘chunnel’ entrance into the bar and fiery red and black two level dining room interior. Artwork on the walls feature the celebrity and internationally renowned chef. Cuts of prime beef that are aged to perfection are presented to each table on a rolling cart. Servers explain each cut for guests to learn about before selecting.

What to order: The menu offers caviar, decadent roasted beef Wellington, a variety of seafood and steak entrees. Table iPads display an array of wines and cocktails. The botanical antioxidant cocktail with an iced shellfish platter, Triple seared Japanese A5 Kobe and Ramsay’s legendary sticky toffee pudding.

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Fun Top Diner foodCafe Hollywood inside Planet Hollywood offers iconic extravagant candy-coated Supernova Shakes. The chocolate shake is enhanced with brownies and chocolate candies. Other flavors include vanilla, banana or a creative strawberry concoction.

What to order: Poke Nachos, Hollywood Bowl salad, Grilled Mac and Cheese sandwich and a juicy The Hollywood half pound USDA Choice beef burger topped with roasted pork belly, a fried egg & garlic aioli.

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Most Elegant Dining Room – Similar to the NoMad New York and NoMad Los Angeles, storytelling is the heart of the curated NoMad Restaurant in Las Vegas. The dining room walls are lined with over 20,000 David Rockefeller collection books in the soaring two-story room. Every meal is exciting by James Beard winning chef Daniel Humm and Will Guidara’s team. They prepare American classics in a grand way with a touch of theatricality.

What to order: Fruits de Mer tower filled with oyster and mignonette, sea urchin and caviar, lobster and tarragon, hamachi and horseradish, king crab and fennel scallop and pistachio. The NoMad roast chicken and the American Wagyu prime rib. Stay to hear Brian Newman in the reimagined Las Vegas lounge to hear an ode to “Old Las Vegas.”

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Creative Korean Fare – David Chang’s opened Majordomo Meat & Fish inside The Venetian. Guests can enjoy signature items including Chang’s smoked whole plate short ribs, famed Macaroni & Chickpea with black truffles.

What to order: a trio of Bing “fluffy flatbread” topped with spicy lamb, chickpea dip and honey butter. 

Casual & Creative dining  – David Chang just opened Moon Palace at The Venetian that locals and guests are excited to try the Tastys – a griddled patty served with grilled onions, American cheese on King’s Hawaiian rolls.

What to order: Hot Chips seasoned with salt or honey butter that are both crunchy and chewy in texture. Dip the chips is a Luna Sauce. For dessert the Half Dip is made up of two pillowy pancakes filled with marshmallow fluff and half-dipped in chocolate.

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Where the Winners GoHeritage Steak at The Mirage is another ultra cool celebrity chef restaurant by Tom Colicchio. His team of chefs work the charcoal grills and wood-burning ovens. The aromas from the open kitchen and immersive table side experience  entertains guests senses.

What to order: Lump crab cakes, lobster salad and Australian Wagyu Flat Iron with a chimichurri glaze.

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After a Show inside the MGM Grand Ambra Italain Kitchen + Bar offers a blend of classic Italian fare in a colorful setting with warm jewel tones and a soft glow of Ambra’s unique honey-golden bar and lounge shaking craft cocktails.

What to order: Crispy squash blossoms, Lobster Spaghetti Fra Diavolo, meatballs Al Forno, grilled Branzino and  Tiramisu.

Las Vegas Mayfair Supper Club Opens at Bellagio Resort & Casino

The grand opening of The Mayfair supper club inside the luxurious Bellagio Resort & Casino attracted a list of glamorous guests. Formerly HYDE, this new Continental supper club celebrated an early New Year’s party with Lady Gaga and 100 of her dancers and friends. They enjoyed the new design, ambiance, creative cocktails and culinary delights before the restaurant opened to the public on NYE.

Gaga’s band leader Brian Newman, star of “After Dark” at NoMad Restaurant at Park MGM, joined in the festivities to be one of the first inside Las Vegas’ newest dining and entertainment destination. British singer-songwriter and “X-Factor” star Leona Lewis was there showing her support for her new husband Dennis Jauch. He is a co-founder of No Ceilings Entertainment, the production powerhouse that produces The Mayfair’s incredible entertainment experience.

The Mayfair Supper Club offers guests an evening filled with fine dining, live performances and surprise acts, while overlooking the Mediterranean blue, 8 ½-acre lake. “Supper clubs of the mid-1900s were the foundation for our country’s best artists and cuisine, which The Mayfair celebrates and modernizes for the 20s of today,” said MGM Resorts International President of Events and Nightlife Sean Christie.  “Combined with spectacular entertainment overlooking the Bellagio Fountains, The Mayfair delivers an experience that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.”

Guests can request the ‘Table of Heaven’ next to the window overlooking the Bellagio Fountains to watch a spectacular aquatic ballet choreographed to music every 30 minutes. ‘Diners can look forward to tableside rolling carts through the dining room designed to accommodate 300 guests,’ said Christie.

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The menu includes elegant Wagyu handrolls with caviar and a glittering gold leaf. American entrees prepared tableside include slices of slow roasted for seven hours Mishima Farms Wagyu Prime Rib. For dessert one of the most popular dishes include The CIGAR, an edible chocolate and hazelnut cigar showpiece that arrives hickory-smoked under a glass cloche.

The Mayfair introduces theatricality to American paradigm cocktails. One of the most popular is the Lemon Drop topped with a citrus bubble that pops and releases scents enhancing the flavors of the drink.

Four different champagne cocktails are served with a split of Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne to keep the bubbly flowing. The Julep is made with Hennessy VSOP, apple cider syrup, burnt cinnamon and mint.

Entertainment evolves throughout the evening offering a different experience for guests at each visit. ‘Different themes, rhythm, and tempo throughout the evening include light magic, burlesque dancers, comedy and live music emanating from a full rigging system,’ said Christie.

As the sun sets, the energy soars with performances reminiscent of Sinatra and the showroom era of Las Vegas entertainment. The Mayfair’s lead vocalists transport guests back through history with a multi-piece band. Later in the evening, the supper club has every performer, bartender and waiter joining into a lively entertainment production.

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On Fridays and Saturdays from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m., Mayfair After Dark offers a fresh take on Las Vegas nightlife. Live musical acts and performances illuminate the evening during an all-night dance party.  Late-night dining menus feature steak and sushi, salads and desserts until 2 a.m.

On Sundays the Jazz Age reigns as The Mayfair’s band and vocalists serenade the dining room with original versions from the Great American Songbook, paired with the restaurant’s contemporary take on American classic cuisine.

Tour MGM Internationals $250 Million Dollar Art Collection in Vegas

MGM Resorts Art & Culture was established in 2016 to manage all of the MGM Resorts’ collections. The public and guests staying at the Park MGM Hotel and Casino can take a free concierge led art walk every Wednesday at 10 a.m. The enriching tour includes information about the artists and art pieces through the Park MGM, ARIA, Vdara and Bellagio properties.Guests staying at the resort will notice original artwork from commission artists made from mixed media paintings, glass, paper and natural products offering interesting landscapes and gardens. 

Review: Cirque du Soleil R.U.N. at Luxor Las Vegas

From the moment you enter the lobby of the 1,463-seat theater inside the Luxor Hotel and Casino, you are transformed into an underworld of bright red lights spelling out the word RUN. It’s edgy, gritty, and filled with street art on every wall. What you see are clues to Hollywood filmmaker Robert Rodriguez (Spy Kids, Machete and Alita: Battle Angel) newest live action story.

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It is one of the most immersive thrillers ever produced in Las Vegas. Before taking a seat, theater goers walk by a car crashed into a wall, visit an interactive telephone booth, witness someone getting a tattoo at an onsite tattoo shop, and stand near a red lit Wedding Chapel front door with the words “Til Death” in neon letters.

Cast members perform a choreographed acrobatic fight right before audiences eyes, setting the mood and tone that continues into the restrooms with this one-of-a-kind Cirque du Soleil show.

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It’s a bit of “Fast and Furious” meets “West Side Story” with a “Romeo and Juliet” spin and tortuous “Saw” scenes rolled into one. Montreal based Cirque and Vegas brought in a top notch Hollywood creative team with Rodriguez, including director Michael Schwandt (The Masked Singer), along with Cirque alum Stefan Miljevic, and action and horror composer Tyler Bates (Dawn of the Dead, 300, John Wick and Sucker Punch).

Taking inspiration from graphic novels, R.U.N offers precisely choreographed stunt performance, impressive technology and a multimedia stage, luring the audience to experience the underground and outskirts of Las Vegas. The enlarged projection screens enhances the action by the cast with scenes of the city.

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Rodriguez creates a love triangle of a Hero, feisty Bride-to-be, and The Groom. Two clans with “tough as nails” girlfriends perform stunt-filled chases up and down stairs, riding motorbikes down theatre aisles and onstage. A team of video camera operators follow their every move and project their actions on the large screens.

An important star in the show is the DJ who mixes the music while standing in the upper back of the theatre with a halo above her head. She sets the tone rockin’ to Tyler Bates music. The Doctor character is insane performing inhuman acts on those he captures.

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If the creators goal is to attract a younger crowd, they succeeded. Everyone loves a good romance, with chase scenes, and motorcyclists racing up a 12-foot-tall ramp, levitating off of their seat, and testing the limits of gravity, however I winced and shielded my eyes during the torture scenes. The pyrotechnics of humans on fire were very realistic and made me uncomfortable too, yet a 20-something man sitting next to me, later told me he opened his eyes even wider during these scenes.

“R.U.N” is Cirque’s first new show in Las Vegas since “Michael Jackson: One” opened in May 2013. It raises the bar of multimedia magic, jaw dropping stunts and martial arts, and death defying pyrotechnic performances. It’s one of the most titillating “see it to believe it” Las Vegas shows on The Strip.

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R.U.N official premiere was Nov. 14, 2019. Directed by Michael Schwandt, with a screenplay and opening narration by filmmaker Robert Rodriguez. Original score composed by Tyler Bates. Tickets start at $59. The theater is dark Monday and Tuesday. Show times are 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Viva Paris Las Vegas in 2020

Located right in the center of the Las Vegas Strip, Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino is celebrating 2020 on a grand scale. The moment guests arrive they will feel as if they are entering the Paris Opera House and the Louve. The entrance of the resort has Paris spelled out in bright lights on a large and colorful hot air balloon. Nearby is a half-scale replica of the Eiffel Tower and 2/3 scale replica of the famous Arc de Triomphe near the circular valet arrival area.

Inside European cobblestone pathways lead guests to French cafes, bars and shops. Fine dining restaurants include the Eiffel Tower Restaurant evoking a romantic atmosphere similar to the Paris, France landmark. Dine 100 feet above the Strip underneath the Eiffle Tower Experience Observation Deck. Before or after dinner, take a glass elevator up 46 floors to the top of the Eiffel Tower for 360-degree views of the Las Vegas Strip and beyond.

New to the Eiffel Tower is a holiday illuminations light show. Every 30 minutes starting at sunset is a recurring light show featuring over 300 red, green and blue lights choreographed to music, with 800 strobe white lights illuminating the tower’s exterior. The best view is outside of the Paris Hotel.

Directly across the street is the Bellagio dancing water fountain that runs every 30 minutes. The views during the day are breathtaking and at sunset and in the evening the twinkle lights of the city are spectacular. There is a slight fee to ride to the top.

World-famous television personality and celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s first Las Vegas restaurant was built in 2012 inside the Paris Las Vegas Hotel next to the casino. Gordon Ramsay Steak is another fine dining experience at the hotel. The upscale steakhouse recently received an interior and menu refresh.

Walk through a red neon ‘chunnel’ entrance into the lobby and bar of this open, two-story fine dining restaurant. The black, white and red decor displays updated artwork of Gordon Ramsay on the walls.

The refreshed menu offers Table iPads displaying an array of wine and cocktail selections. Wines are catagorized to pair perfectly with Ramsay’s various cuts of prime beef that are aged and presented tableside. The knowledgable service staff inform each guest at the table about the different cuts of meat to select.

What to order: The Antioxidant cocktail; an iced shellfish platter; baked potato flight; fried Blue Point oysters; decadent roasted beef Wellington; triple-seared Japanese A5 Kobe; and Ramsay’s legendary sticky toffee pudding.

There are a variety of 9 different rooms and suites in this 2916 room hotel. Each have a flat-screen television, safe, refrigerator, WIFI and large view window. The Burgandy King Room offers a comfortable king size bed, Parisian decor, small bathtub and separate shower. Select suites feature a separate living area, wet bar and whirlpool tub in the room.

Amenities include designer toiletries, 24 hour room service, access to the 25,000 serene Voie Spa and Salon, and Soleil rooftop pool situated directly under the replica of the Eiffel Tower.

Inside the Paris Casino is a replica of La Fontaine des Mers and a 1,200-seat theatre called Le Théâtre des Arts. The lively Paris Casino offers table games, push button and pull the handle themed slot machines, and sports betting among European-style décor, reminiscent of the City of Light.

Order a drink and place your bets on the big race, game, or match at the Paris Las Vegas Race and Sports Book. Keep track of the action on live TV and scoreboards.

Soar above the Strip in one of the Big Wheel Observation Wheel capsules. Riders rise 550 feet in the air in a slow moving 30 minute rotation. They are offering a NYE package that includes a pre-party with entertainment, premium open bar, heavy appetizers and a top-tier cabin view of the midnight fireworks show. Finish with a midnight champagne toast.

After midnight upgrade and continue partying into the early morning hours with a Happy Half Hour ticket. This includes one 30 minute rotation with an in-cabin open bar and bartender to serve up the fun. Happy Half Hour tickets are available daily from 12 p.m. to 1 a.m. Guests must be 21 and older to ride in a bar cabin.

Start 2020 with a Vegas Chocolate Tour to learn all about the history of chocolate in Las Vegas. This 4-hour guide led experience offers multiple tasting opportunities starting with samples at M&M World. See a replica of the Statue of Liberty made from 1,800 Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars at Hershey’s World at the New York-New York Hotel and Casino. Your guide will drive you to a behind the scene self-guided tour of chocolate making at Vegas’ own Ethel M Chocolate Factory, after you sip chocolate wine near the famous “Welcome to Vegas” sign.

The last stop is an over-the-top chocolate shake with brownies and chocolate candies at Cafe Hollywood inside Planet Hollywood. For those who have had enough chocolate, the Vegas Chocolate Tour guides will pre-order a vanilla and banana or strawberry creative concoction.

Multi-Platinum and Grammy Award-Winning artist Christina Aguilera rings in the New Year with her Residency – Christina Aguilera XPREIENCE at the Zappos Theater at the nearby Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. VIP Meet & Greet opportunities are available, as well as Front and Center VIP Table Experiences.

Take a drive 10 miles south of Las Vegas to see the one-of-a-kind art installation Seven Magic Mountains, by internationally renowned Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone. This large-scale piece includes 7 stacked colorful boulders that stand more than 35 feet tall. This site-specific public outdoor art is located near Jean Dry Lake and Interstate 15 and remains on view through the end of 2021.

Starting the new year in Las Vegas will have you soaring to new heights with all of the winning activities the city has to offer in 2020.

This review is also featured in JustLuxe

Flavorsome Vegas Chocolate Tour

At 9 a.m. the staff inside M&M World along the iconic Las Vegas Strip, open the double doors and enthusiastically greet fans. Uplifting music wafts out into the sidewalk as they happily wave to candy fans and hand each person a collapsable bag. This is one of the many immersive stops on the new Vegas Chocolate Tour.

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Our tour guides Joni Moss and Shaena Engle led us through the colorful four level 28,000 square foot store to the third floor. We were offered the opportunity to create our own one-of-a-kind M&M’S. The store has a printer that imprints customized messages and images on 16 different colors of M&M’S candies. Images include the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign, a deck of cards, wedding bells, and champagne.

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We typed our first name on a computer, selected up to four images and went to the candy counter to push a lit button to watch the magic begin. Afterwards, guests can receive their candies in a clear plastic bag or upgrade for a themed cylinder container.

Besides just about every type of M&M logo clothing and accessories available to purchase, the store has a replica of Kyle Busch’s 18 M&M’S sponsored NASCAR, along with tons of colorful M&M’S Racing merchandise.

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Stop #2 on the Vegas Chocolate Tour is across the street from M&M World at Hershey’s Chocolate World, inside the famous New York-New York Hotel & Casino. Stepping into this unique chocolate retail store, chocolate lovers learn all about Hershey’s chocolates and candies at this multi-level West Coast flagship store. Besides exclusive Hershey’s products and gifts, they have a cafe filled with delicious treats and chocolate covered strawberries.

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Highlights at this stop include seeing a sculpture of the Statue of Liberty made out of almost 800 lbs. of HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate, and another sculpture made from Twizzlers.

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We customized our own chocolate bars, and some in the group starred in a REESE’S Peanut Butter Cup television ad.

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Stop #3 on the Vegas Chocolate Tour was the iconic Las Vegas Welcome sign. Seeing a line of 30 people waiting to take a photo, I learned Vegas Chocolate Tour guests receive front of line access and the opportunity to meet Elvis.

This 25 ft. tall Western Neon sign was erected in 1959 and is now placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interiors.

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Guests receive a variety of chocolate tastings throughout the tour, including a pour of ChocoVine, a fine red French Cabernet subtly combined with a rich dark chocolate from Holland.

With one sip this decadent, silky smooth drink is similar to an after dinner liqueur. We discussed how it would be wonderful on the rocks or as the main ingredient for a creative Sin City cocktail or poured over vanilla or chocolate ice cream.

Another unique chocolate taste is a Goufrais candy. In Germany they call this delicious German cocoa confection, “KaKao-Konfekt.”  They are not available in stores, only online. Later tastes of Celebrity chef Thomas Keller’s K+M Extravirgin Chocolates bars are sampled.

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Stop #4 on the Vegas Chocolate Tour is the famous Ethel M Chocolate Factory and Botanical Cactus Garden. Take a self-guided chocolate factory tour and watch the Ethel M candy makers on the factory floor. Descriptions are displayed at each window about how they make the famous Vegas chocolates, package and box them for online requests and their retail stores. This extensive chocolate store also has a classroom offering informative wine and chocolate classes at an additional fee.

During this stop guests have time to purchase a hot chocolate and explore the beautiful three-acre Botanical Cactus Garden featuring over 300 different varieties of cactus. During the holiday season this area is decorated with lights making it into a winter wonderland.

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The last stop #5 on the Vegas Chocolate Tour is Hollywood Cafe inside Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino for an over-the-top unique milkshake. For those looking for something other than chocolate, Joni will pre-order you a vanilla and banana or strawberry shake. This is where the quintessential chocolate shake is made. It’s enhanced with a chocolate brownie, whipped cream, M&M’s, peanut butter cups, chocolate syrup, and a crispy cookie.

The memorable Vegas Chocolate Tour is ideal for any chocolate loving couple, family, pre or post wedding outing, bachelorette party, girlfriend getaway or guys weekend.

To book an experience, click here Vegas Chocolate Tour.

Mesmerizing Jabbawockeez at MGM Grand

Las Vegas has become the entertainment capital of the world and Jabbawockeez at MGM Grand is a one of the most mesmerizing shows for all ages. Named “Best Family Show” and “Best All Ages Show” for three years in a row, Jabbawockeez was the first dance crew to headline a show in Las Vegas.

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The original group was invited to perform in Vegas, after their inspiring and winning performances on the first season on “America’s Best Dance Crew,” earning them $100,000.

Located on the casino floor in a smaller and more intimate theatre, ticket holders can purchase popcorn and a beverage to enjoy at their seat while watching one of the world’s most influential dance crews. The all male, hip-hop squad provides a foot taping, music pulsating dance show that will have you laughing out loud.

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What makes this show unique is their white masks displaying no facial emotion. The characters express their feelings through clever choreography and special effects.

The uplifting show is about a character named PJ who lives a monotonous life at home and at his office. Putting on his pajamas, he falls asleep and is guided in a ‘“dream-like” sequence to enter the Jabbawockeez lifestyle. This introduction has PJ explore his masculinity and wakes him up as he tries to participate in their gravity-defying moves.

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These dancing characters are likable, energetic and lead PJ on a new way of looking and loving life. The initial members and new dance crew work well as a team. They choreograph their performances and choose the own music. Audience members will recognize most of the funk, rap and pop songs including Michael Jackson song “Pretty Young Thing”, Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”, Sting’s “Englishman in New York” Eagles “Hotel California.”

The dancers perform handstands and flips across the stage inspiring the audience to clap and jump up on their feet. During each show, someone from the cast will come down into the audience to select a theatre patron to participate up on the stage. The humorous “proposal” scene had me clapping, and laughing so hard that tears streamed down my face.

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The lights and costumes add to the excitement of the show, especially the black light display, and the neon orange and black jumpsuits. Projections on the curtains include geometric and pyramid shapes by laser beams

Waking up from his dream, the dancers “Hit it out of the park,” with the moral of the show “I can only show you the door, you have to walk through it.”

For an extra special experience, the show offers meet and greet tickets to go backstage and meet three of the performers, see their wardrobe, props and take photos. Tickets must be purchased along with your tickets. This show is appropriate for young and old. Ages 4 and older can be admitted as a lap seat.

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Current cast: Kevin Brewer, Joe Larot, Jeff Nguyen, Phil Tayag and Rainen Paguio. The show is dark on Tuesday & Wednesday. There are two shows Thursday – Monday at 7 PM, and & 7 PM & 9:30 PM on Saturdays. Tickets start at $54.49.

My review of Jabbawockeez is also featured in OnStage.