Las Vegas Off the Strip

Exotics Racing

 

Want to experience a thrill outside of the casino resorts of Las Vegas? We recently discovered Exotics Racing, which provides the chance to race premium supercars (think Ferrari, Lamborghini and Aston Martin) on a track within the Las Vegas Motor Speedway complex that is 20 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip. The track has nine challenging turns, which include hairpins, quick S-turns and even long sweepers. There are a variety of programs available, but all include a 30-minute briefing on the technical and safety aspects of racing, a spin in a Porsche Cayenne to sample the laps, as well as driving experience in a supercar with an instructor. High-end packages include a video of the drive and a certificate. Plan on two or three hours if you’re adding this to an itinerary. Contact Karim Hussain ([email protected]; 702-405-7223) to plan individual or group events.

Bellagio
Bellagio has revamped its rooms completely.

Other VIP experiences on wheels can be found with Presidential Limousine (www.pllv.com; 702-438-5466), which provides stretch limo tours of the Las Vegas Strip (think stops at the famed Las Vegas sign, Bellagio’s fountains and The Fremont Street Experience). Those who want a more far-flung experience can head to the Hoover Dam or the Grand Canyon, or even just head to Pahrump Valley Winery in the Mojave Desert, which has an upscale restaurant called Symphony’s that serves steak and fish, among other things and can be booked for private groups.

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Back on the Strip, clubbing got a bit more posh with the New Year’s Eve opening of the Hyde Lounge at the Bellagio Resort & Casino. Hyde is the brainchild of designer Philippe Starck and sbe chairman, Sam Nazarian (sbe is the lifestyle company which also has Hyde Lounges in Hollywood, the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles and Mammoth Mountain. Watch out for the opening of Hyde Beach in South Beach, Miami, this year. It also operates the SLS in Beverly Hills). Hyde’s Las Vegas version is 12,000 square feet in size, overlooks the resort’s fountains and has indoor and outdoor venues. Would you expect anything less? Have clients who want to be preferred guests? Suggest they sign up for Hyde privileges at www.sbe.com/friends. The venue operates as a lounge through 10 p.m., eventually evolving into a nightclub.

Caesars’ Octavius King Rooms
Caesars’ Octavius King Rooms are just off the Garden of the Gods pool area.

When it’s time to cool off or watch the sun come up, guests can retire to one of Bellagio’s newly refreshened rooms, whose design is meant to follow the resort’s botanical theme. The furnishings are all new as is the bedding, which includes the new “Bellagio at Home” mattress. Best Part: TVs are now of the 40-inch, mounted, flat-screen sort, and there are many more connections for electrical doodads throughout. You’ll also be breathing easier throughout; Bellagio says there’s a 180 percent improvement in air circulation from the previous room it had.

Note: MGM Mirage is also updating its rooms and expects to be done by this September. To stay in the know on the refurb, visit thegrandrenovation.com.

The Mirage Hotel & Casino, meanwhile, opened its own new nightclub on New Year’s Eve. 1 OAK is the creation of The Light Group (you’ve probably been to one of their hot spots, they own 15 in Sin City) and is the sibling to the hot, hot, hot 1 OAK in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. True to its heritage, the new club will have a New York edge to it, say executives. (P.S.: If you’re wondering where 1 OAK is located, it replaces JET Nightclub, which closed in September.)

The Marquee Nightclub and Dayclub
The Marquee Nightclub and Dayclub at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

New Year’s seems to be a popular time to debut new luxury offerings in Las Vegas, and Caesars Palace didn’t miss the opportunity to show off its new Octavius Tower, which brings 668 new rooms, 60 suites and six luxury villas to the resort. Nice Note: As Caesars’ sixth tower, Octavius provides posh offerings such as a private entrance, separate hotel lobby and direct access to the Garden of the Gods pool oasis and gardens, which is pretty nice if you’ve seen the pool haven at this resort. We love that basic rooms start at 550 square feet and have plush bedding, including Anichini linens, which are some pretty swanky offerings from Italy. TVs here are 42 inches in size. Management reports that those who have been to Caesars’ Augustus Tower will find Octavius a bit more boutique in style and that it should appeal to younger, more tech-savvy travelers. It ain’t over yet. Nobu will open its first hotel ever in Caesars’ Centurion Tower this year, as well as the Nobu Restaurant and Lounge.

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas has just turned one, but is already adding to its offerings. Most notable is a Pop-Up Wedding Chapel on the Las Vegas Strip, where guests can get married or have a faux wedding. Items for sale include wedding bands and garb; there’s also a photo booth to commemorate the event. Advisors can book packages that include the chapel’s services.

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