Sunday, September 28, 2008

Now THIS Is My Kind of Vegas

Last weekend I went to Vegas with five girls, and it was a completely different experience than any previous trip. If I had to sum it up, I would say: less sleaze (slightly less – I mean, this IS Vegas), more sophistication. And yes, I got a little seduced. Not enough to stay for a full week, and certainly not enough to move there, but more than enough to consider another weekend in the near future.

At the heart of this change is Vegas’ newest trend: the all-suite, no-casino luxury hotel. Several of the Vegas behemoths, including the MGM Grand and The Palms, have built these smaller (relatively speaking) hotels adjacent to their main properties. By getting rid of the casinos, they are able to offer suites with stellar amenities like more space (about 100 square feet more), separate bedrooms, two flat screen TVs, private balconies and full kitchens at around the same price as a regular room in the main hotel. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the way to go. Tejal, who is taking a call on our spacious balcony in the shot below, would seem to agree.

Our she-group stayed at the Signature at MGM Grand, which bills itself as a “private retreat in the heart of the Vegas action.” Usually, I would regard such a statement as hyperbole. I’m a copywriter, after all, and I get paid to write such embellishments. But the fact is, it did feel like that. I barely noticed the crowds and the chaos.

With the exception of a few claustrophobic hours on Saturday night at Tao, The Venetian’s multi-floor megaclub (see my second Vegas post for that story), all of my usual peeves about vacationing with multitudes – such as having to get to the pool by 9 a.m. to get a lounge chair – were non-factors. We had our own private cabana for crying out loud. See the photo below to check out how much poolside privacy we had, as well as a huge hot tub practically all to ourselves.

Now, part of this royal treatment stemmed from booking the “Sex in Sin City” package, which included chocolate fondue in the room (see the photo below), cozy pink robes, the poolside cabana (which came with free pitchers of Mojitos), in-room continental breakfast, massages and all-day spa access, a fantastic sushi dinner at Shibuya, three hours in a limo on Saturday night and guest listing at Tao.

The other part? Pure luck. That’s all I can figure, anyway. Most people refer to luck in Vegas, and they mean winning big at the blackjack table. But for us non-gamblers, our luck was freeness. A free fourth hour in the limo. Four free desserts at dinner. Free goodie bags. A smorgasbord of free appetizers at the pool. It felt a little too good to be true at a certain point.

Perhaps it was because we were six cute girls, or perhaps it was because Vegas is no longer recession-proof, and they really appreciated our business. Who knows. But we took it for all it was worth!

Stay tuned to hear about our escapades Friday and Saturday night at the SUSHISAMBA restaurant grand opening fete and Tao, respectively. Because you can’t come home from Vegas without a few stories.

No comments: