Las Vegas Insider
By Jason Strauss
With something to offer everyone, Vegas is the perfect vacation playground—especially for a weekend of male-bonding time with your buddies. But bridging the gap between your idea of what should happen in Vegas and what you can actually make happen is the trick, and nothing helps more than a few recommendations from an insider.
Tao Beach at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino.
WHERE TO STAY
The Palazzo Resort-Hotel-Casino (3325 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 702-607- 7777; palazzolasvegas.com) is one of the best high-end resorts, complete with an array of great restaurants, the Canyon Ranch SpaClub (877- 220-2688), two separate shopping malls and all-around world-class service. Most importantly, both The Palazzo’s Azure pool and the pool at neighboring Venetian Resort Hotel Casino’s Tao Beach (3355 Las Vegas Boulevard S., 702-388- 8588; taolasvegas.com) are easily accessible. Azure offers a laid-back atmosphere and lots of pampering, whereas Tao Beach is more of an all-day party, starting at 10 AM, with plenty of eye candy. Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas (3960 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 702-632- 5000; fourseasons.com/lasvegas) is famous on the Strip for its exclusivity. Adjacent to Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino (3950 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 702-632- 7777; mandalaybay.com), the Four Seasons’ suites are located on five floors of that hotel—accessible by a separate entrance—which gives guests the option of choosing between its own traditional, nongaming atmosphere or the action of Mandalay’s casino floor, depending on which elevator button is pushed. Its 180-Degree Strip-View Suite takes full advantage of the Four Seasons’ altitude and location at the southernmost point of the Strip.
WHERE TO EAT
For New York-style Italian dining, check out Il Mulino (3500 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Suite T30, 702-492-6000; ilmulino.com) at The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. Ask for seating on the patio—the view of the Strip is amazing. The new Lagasse’s Stadium sports bar at The Palazzo (702-607-2665) is the only place to watch and bet on a game, and Emeril Lagasse’s menu hits it out of the park. Worked up an appetite playing the tables with the boys? You’ll find the best burger in town at BLT Burger inside The Mirage (3400 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 702-792-7888; mirage.com).
RIGHT: The veggie falafel burger from BLT Burger at The Mirage.
Fashion shoot: December 2013 issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.