Travel Thursday: Las Vegas – The City That Has It All

If you’ve ever been to Las Vegas before, you know that there’s just too much to see in one trip.  We’ve traveled to Sin City a good amount of times and each time is a different journey. Yes, we do have our favorites and some things we need to experience each time we go, or it just wouldn’t be Las Vegas. But we do pride ourselves on branching out during every trip there to find new shows, dining experiences, and even new places to stay. Here’s a recap of the great offerings we found during our most recent trip to Las Vegas.


STAY

On this visit, we chose NoMad Las Vegas, a luxurious hotel and casino located on the world-famous Vegas Strip situated on the top four floors of Park MGM.  The NoMad is a smoke-free property and offers highly personalized and holistic service paired with understated sophistication, comfort, and intimacy.

Image provided by MGM

The vibe of the hotel gives off a European home with a distinct New York sensibility. Our room had French architecture written all over it as it was adorned with beautiful Paris-based art pieces. The attention to detail was very evident as the décor of these elevated rooms is spacious with great design, warm hardwood floors, and even a beautiful tub next to your bed.

Image provided by MGM.

EAT

For our first culinary adventure, we started with the signature restaurant of The NoMad, The Library at Nomad. The restaurant ‘s name is inspired by a soaring two story interior that features more than 25,000 books, many of which came from David Rockefeller’s personal collection. The interior of the restaurant was a feast itself for book lovers like me, not to mention the classic American cuisine that they serve. The Library at NoMad is not a quite place to read or contemplate but rather a place of enjoyment, with award winning cocktails, a huge wine collection, and innovative classic American cuisine.

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Next up for eats was LAGO by Julian Serrano, located inside the Bellagio Resort & Casino. The restaurant features a bright open décor and an awesome outdoor sitting area with a view of the Fountains at the Bellagio and the Las Vegas Strip as a backdrop.  LAGO serves delicious a la carte Italian/American cuisine with flair. The food was outstanding, and service was top notch with knowledgeable and friendly servers.

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Another dining option is Nellie’s Southern Kitchen, located at MGM Grand, which is owned and operated by the Jonas Family. It offers hearty recipes passed down from Grandma Nellie, the grandmother of Kevin Jonas, Sr., including southern favorites such as Chicken and Waffles, Shrimp and Grits, and Country Fried Steak.

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For our next night, we tried Toscana Ristorante & Bar inside Eataly at Park MGM. We found the food to be absolutely amazing and will highly recommend it as it’s already become one of our favorite restaurants. It was an immersive dining experience, which featured a classic Tuscan cuisine, an expertly curated wine list, and an inventive cocktail program. Gelato for desert (pictured below) is simply amazing.  It was as if eating at the restaurant transported us to the Tuscan countryside with the combination of the food, drinks, and ambiance. The service and the staff were incredible.

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For our last night, we decided to re-visit one of our favorites, The Mayfair Supper Club located inside Bellagio. The Mayfair Supper Club offers a fresh take on dinner with a show. It’s a restaurant, bar and club with ongoing live entertainment and music. The place has a cool jazz bar vibe against the backdrop of the Bellagio fountains.

Dine while you are entertained by a variety of performers singing and dancing. The show was amazing, funny and highly enjoyable. The food is visually delightful and more importantly, delicious. The service was friendly and the food was as exceptional as the last time we tried it. This is an absolutely enjoyable and entertaining experience that we highly recommend a must-try.

Image provided by MGM.

VISIT

We decided to visit Las Vegas’ latest attraction, Princess Diana: A Tribute Exhibition, located in The Shops at Crystals, adjacent to ARIA Resort & Casino.

Princess Diana will always be remembered as “The People’s Princess”; she captured our hearts through compassion and kindness. This exhibition was really moving, especially as a gay man as Princess Diana did so much for our community during the earlier time of AIDS.  We got to know more about Princess Diana, as well as see some of her stunning gowns and dresses, including her famous wedding dress made from paper. The audio guide is a must and very educational.  There are a lot of memorabilia to enjoy and a nice section on the history of the royal family.  This exhibit created a beautiful space for us to have a personal glimpse of Princess Diana’s life.

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Next stop is a museum called Perception Las Vegas, an immersive and high-tech digital art installation.  The main feature is Leonardo: The Universal Man. It is an hour-long visual experience that is focused on the life and works of Leonardo da Vinci, considered one of history’s most celebrated thinkers. The exhibit takes you on a three part journey that aims to transport you into the mind of the renaissance master, as Leonardo Da Vinci changed the perception of humankind through his visionary ideas, science and art. This 360-degree gallery exhibit will immerse you in an evolving kaleidoscope of Da Vinci’s works as an architect, engineer, alchemist, artist, philosopher and sculptor.

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Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art. We also stopped by to see Caldonia: Concert and Film Posters from Ralph De Luca Collection at Bellagio.  The collection presents a cultural and historical view through an archive of posters from African American performances in the 20th century.  This is an important exhibit to remember a past which is slowly disappearing from public memory.  Caldonia features posters announcing performances from the likes of Otis Redding, Bessie Smith, Ruth Brown, Aretha Franklin and more.  The posters and images exhibited are rare and the historical context is priceless.

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WATCH

Las Vegas is famous for it’s live productions, so we decided to see the newest show from Cirque Du Soleil, Mad AppleShowing at the New York-New York Hotel & Casino, the Mad Apple is not your typical Cirque Du Soleil show, as it has a smaller cast and is more intimate. The acts comprise of comedy, magicians, acrobatic stunts and live music. Be forewarned, as with many Las Vegas shows, if you are sitting in the VIP section the performers may pick on you. The pre-show starts 30 minutes before the actual show as audience members can go up the stage to take pictures or order drinks from a couple of onstage bars. The performers also engage with the audience through dancing, juggling and more.  Mad Apple is a modern show and highly entertaining which we enjoyed tremendously.

Image provided by MGM.

What did you think? Good options? Some you may check out during your next visit? What recommendations do you have for us? Let us know in the comments. 

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