Insider Tips for Luxury Vegas Travel

Trump International Hotel Las Vegas

 

 

We’re just back from Las Vegas, where we toured several hotels and casinos to get a sense of what makes them unique. While many venues have plenty of qualities to recommend them, we noted some distinct highlights of each property that make them ideal for different kinds of luxury travelers. 

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A Vegas Zipline

Good news for thrill-seekers in Vegas: The Fremont Street Experience has announced the creation of “SlotZilla”—the world’s first powered-launch zipline attraction—to be built in Downtown Las Vegas. Construction on SlotZilla is expected to begin in January, and the attraction is expected to open during the first half of 2013.

SlotZilla will be a two-level thrill ride: Riders on the upper four ziplines will take off about 100 feet above ground, and will fly a full 1,700 feet under the Fremont Street Experience canopy. Riders on the lower four ziplines will take off about 70 feet above ground and zip 800 feet to a mid-point landing platform.

 

For Fine Dining with Fine Views: The Cosmopolitan

While name-brand chefs have turned Las Vegas into the foodie Mecca of the West, the two-year-old Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas has found a simple yet effective way to set their restaurants apart...quite literally: Instead of having each eatery just off the casino floor (as at the MGM Grand, Caesars and many other venues), the establishments get their own floor of the resort, leaving the noise of the slot machines far behind and creating a vibe that is at once calming and elegant. (And the floors are not overwhelmingly large, either: Much like a New York hotel, the venue opts for height rather than sprawling out over the Strip, meaning that each floor can be distinct and offer different qualities for different needs, with much of the shopping on one, most food on another, etc.)

Tip: At the Cosmopolitan’s fine-dining Italian restaurant Scarpetta, request a seat by a window so that you can look out over the fountains at the neighboring Bellagio. Also, even carb-conscious diners should try the spaghetti, which was served perfectly al dente and with a delicate tomato sauce that tasted like the chef had simply crushed some fresh tomatoes and added a touch of garlic and basil. Simple and utterly delicious. We can’t wait to go back and try it again!

The Sahra Spa & Hammam at the Cosmopolitan is a massive (43,000+ square feet) space with 16 massage rooms, four body treatment rooms—each with private steam showers—six skincare treatment rooms, two hydrotherapy rooms and specialty suites designed for group treatments. Book at least a week in advance—Spa Director Daryl Morris ([email protected]; 702-698-6106) can answer any questions.

Guests looking for top views should request rooms facing north (which look out over the Bellagio fountains), and those looking to truly unwind will want to get a Terrace One-Bedroom suite, which has a Japanese soaking tub. The West End Penthouses have whimsical touches like crystal-encrusted wall textures and an art collection. The Penthouses, which can be as large as 3,700 square feet, can have two or three bedrooms and come with floor-to-ceiling windows, a separate wet bar and kitchenette with serving space. These rooms also include personal butler service. 

Advisor Insight:

Lia Batkin, co-founder of In the Know Experiences, has traveled to Vegas four times in the past four months. Here, she shares some of her favorite Sin City hot spots.

Tetsu opened this summer, a new concept from Masa Takayama, arguably the world’s most celebrated Japanese chef. The teppan grill menu allows you to try a variety of options at smaller portions and more reasonable prices. It’s a bit of a hidden gem and books up fast.


Absinthe at Caesars (actually in an outside tent in front of the hotel) is one of best shows I have seen all year. Combining old-world burlesque with amazing specialty acts and over-the-top uncensored comedy, the show is an adults-only, circus-style spectacular. It has a variety of unique acts that range funny and quirky to a highly inappropriate (its not for everyone).

The Act is a new nightclub that just opened on the third floor of The Palazzo. It is an opera house meets speakeasy with shows that go on throughout the night. Not being a typical Las Vegas “Mega Club” makes it easy to appeal to a broader range of clientele, which makes it entertaining in itself.

Beckley in the Cosmopolitan is one of my favorite stores with a great variety of things to wear out on the town in Las Vegas, as well as some everyday staples. I make it point to always stop by on every trip to Las Vegas.

 

Chef Concierge Angela Cooper ([email protected]; 702-698-7072) can help arrange just about any kind of over-the-top experience. (Even weddings: When a visiting couple decided to tie the knot, a member of the concierge team served as a witness and even drove the bride and groom downtown.) 

Reach out to Leisure Sales Manager Katie Ladomerszky ([email protected]; 702-698-7084) with any questions or for recommendations on what restaurants to book first.

For Peace and Quiet: Trump Hotel Las Vegas

Amid all the over-the-top opulence and excess of Las Vegas, the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas seems like an oasis of serenity. While its single tower is impressively high (commanding great views of the city and the mountains), the non-gaming hotel has a small footprint (at least by Vegas standards), making it easy to get around. And with only two restaurants (not counting the elegant lobby lounge) and one outdoor pool, the Trump hotel is a good choice for a more laid-back and (dare we say it?) grown-up experience.

The top five floors of the hotel are all one-, two- and three-bedroom Penthouses ranging from 1,500 square feet to 3,000 square feet. (We hear that they are the largest non-smoking penthouse suites in Las Vegas.) All of the Penthouses have a private main foyer entrance, a separate dining area and full kitchens with appliances by Wolf, Bosch and Sub-Zero. Families will definitely want to book the three-bedroom Penthouse, which has its own library nook. The master bedroom in the Penthouse has panoramic floor-to-ceiling views with separate seating areas and an adjoining master bathroom with his-and-hers water closets. 

If the Penthouse Suites are not available, the one-bedroom suites are also good for families, or small groups looking for plenty of room to spread out.

While the Trump has a full-size fitness club and a lovely outdoor pool, its spa is on the smaller side (nine rooms), so be sure to book treatments at least two weeks in advance. We hear the Gem Stone massage is a popular pick, but the Platinum Perfection also sounds wonderful. (It includes a Balancing Diamonds massage, a Trump Results facial, a Biopearl hand treatment and a Crystal Divine foot treatment. Sounds fantastic to us!) Bachelor, Bachelorette and Bridal Shower parties can also be arranged, and can include bottomless champagne, a range of treatments, food and gift bags with spa products. (For weddings, the spa can also take care of a bridal party’s hair and makeup, and will even provide breakfast or lunch as needed.) For reservations or requests, contact Spa Front Desk Supervisor Ashley Sandlin ([email protected]; 702-476-8000).

The main eatery at Trump is DJT, an atmospheric restaurant with plenty of private nooks that can be curtained off (great for VIPs...or couples who don’t want to be bothered). We hear the daily social hour from five to seven each evening is a popular event (a live DJ keeps the music fresh), and the sautéed shrimp and risotto is a must-try. 

Luxury travel advisors can reach out to Senior Sales Manager Dustin Personius ([email protected]; 702-476-7209) with any questions or special requests. 

For Fantastic Penthouses: Caesars Palace Octavius Tower

There are amazing suites and penthouses all throughout Las Vegas, but these new options are definitely worth checking out. Caesars Palace Las Vegas has been in a near-constant state of renovation for nearly two years now. The upcoming Nobu Hotel is due to open in February, and the Octavius Tower opened in January last year. 

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas opts for height rather than sprawling out over the Strip, so each floor can offer different qualities for different needs.

On the top three floors of the Octavius Tower, the 20 individual Penthouses range from one to four bedrooms, and many have full kitchens and dining areas. (All the better for private family gatherings or quiet business meals away from the hubbub.) There is plenty of marble in the entryways and the bathrooms, plenty of TVs (including in the bathroom mirrors) and plenty of artwork throughout the space. One notable suite had a sofa that was the size of a bed—no ottoman needed, and perfect for unwinding while watching TV. (A more traditional and formal seating area was immediately behind the more casual option.) Good to know: The Octavius Tower penthouses offer private butler service upon request.

For foodies, Caesars is home to name-brand high-end restaurants like Rao’s and Old Homestead Steakhouse, Restaurant Guy Savoy and Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill. When the Nobu tower opens, Las Vegas’ first Nobu restaurant will open with it. (Tip: Total Rewards members get a private lounge not far from the casino floor where they can sit back and watch sporting events on TV, surf the web with free Wi-Fi and enjoy complimentary snacks and drinks. The cosmos are top-notch.)

Caesars Palace Octavius Tower
Caesars Palace Octavius Tower penthouse living room is great for socializing or just relaxing.

And spa fanatics should definitely book time at the 51-room Qua Spa, and try the popular Hourglass Treatment. The glass-enclosed Arctic Ice Room has heated floors and benches to balance real falling snow for an invigorating experience (don’t worry, the room is kept at a constant 55 degrees—well above freezing), and the in-house tea sommelier can create and pair beverages, hot or cold, with spa treatments. Contact Spa Director Shannon Stringert (866-782-0655) for suggestions or reservations. 

Important: Reach out to Gigi Vega ([email protected]; 702-866-1095), vice president of luxury hotel operations at Caesars Palace (and soon-to-be general manager of the Nobu Hotel), to book the Penthouses, which are not usually available for advance reservations.

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