Think Las Vegas is all party party party?? Well you couldn’t be more wrong. We LOVE Las Vegas – I’ve been many times with work and Iain on a few lads holidays but we’ve never been together. So at the end July we sent Duke (our dog) off on his holidays to my parents and braved the 100+ degree heat and headed to the desert for a few nights. We’d just been to Rome a few weeks before and are currently renovating our house so couldn’t really justify an expensive hotel so just went for a reasonably priced one on the strip (staying on The Strip is a MUST by the way), The Monte Carlo. Although an absolute bargain on Expedia, little did we realise that it was mid refurbishment, had a basic casino and no swimming pool. But when we checked in we were told we could use pools at MGM or Mandalay Bay. We really weren’t that bothered as we were only using the room to shower and sleep! Our room was a good size, clean and nice and quiet and for £250 for 4 nights you can’t complain! So if anyone is looking for a bargain base on The Strip in the next few months head to The Monte Carlo!
There really is something for everyone in Las Vegas – 5* luxury hotels and also more reasonable room prices too, fine dining, world class, award winning shows and entertainment, dancing fountains, high end shopping, golfing, aquariums, helicopter rides, casinos, the list is endless. I would recommend that everyone pays a visit to Vegas at least once in their lifetime to experience it! Unless you like a really remote, quiet holiday – then it’s probably not for you and it’s really not a place to bring small children either. However we had a lovely American family in our helicopter trip to the Grand Canyon with 2 teenage kids and they were completely wowed by the experience and learned so much! Vegas is a great holiday on its own for 4-5 nights as a couple or on a girls or boys holiday but also a great stop on a multi tour too! I know a couple who just honeymooned this summer in New York and then Las Vegas and loved it! And another honeymoon couple who did Vegas, Hawaii and San Francisco and loved Vegas so much that they are coming back next month! I love wandering around the hotels looking at all the wonderful seasonal displays they put on – look at this cute autumnal one at the Bellagio!
I’m just going to put this out there – I am not a huge party animal, but have been on many a night out in Las Vegas and it is immense, nothing compares. Many world famous DJ’s such as Calvin Harris have residences here throughout the summer and it is well worth having a look at what night they are on when your here on holiday. My top tip is for UK travellers suffering on the 8 hour time difference – have a 3 hour nap in the evening, set your alarm and wake yourself up, get ready, glam up and go out. It’s the worst feeling in the world but if you don’t, you will hit a wall of tiredness and won’t make it through the night. Girls usually get in for free and boys have to pay in most big nightclubs. Most hotels have their own signature nightclub, and day clubs too – the best being Marquee at The Cosmopolitan, Drais and Wet Republic at MGM all operating on different days of the week. But if you’re looking for a nice cocktail bar (there are ALOT on the strip by the way) head to The Chandelier Bar at The Cosmopolitan. Its beautiful inside and set across 3 floors draped in the most gorgeous, dazzling pink crystals. Ask for their own twist on The Cosmpolitan – I can’t remember what was in it but it was LUSH!
The highlight of our holiday was by far our helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon. Iain arranged it as a surprise for me and told me the night before. It’s always been on my bucket list so as you can imagine I was ridiculously excited when he told me! Little did I know what he had planned and it turned out to be a very special excursion indeed. I have no idea about prices as he arranged it but he used Sundance Helicopters and I would HIGHLY recommend them! Their whole operation is slick and impressive. He booked the earliest slot at 7am before it got too hot to be enjoyable and a stretch limo picked us up outside our hotel at 6am to take us to the aiport for our morning out. Wow! You get weighed and given a load of safety information to watch at their base before being called and greeted by your pilot and shown to your ride, our guy was called Wes and he was brilliant. The helicopters hold 6 and we shared with a lovely American family who were just as excited as us. Being in a helicopter is the strangest feeling ever – I can’t even describe it! It took around 45 minutes to get to the Canyon and you fly over the Hoover Dam and our pilot gave us loads of information about it and different areas we were flying over. But when we lifted up and went over into the Canyon it was a real “OMG” moment! It genuinely took my breath away – the sheer scale of it is unphathomable and I was in complete awe of mother nature! He landed softly and gave us 15 minutes to wander around and take some photos deep in the canyon and told us to be back for champagne breakfast whenever we were ready. I was completely in my element taking photos on my camera and turned around to find Iain on one knee holding a beautiful ring asking me to be his wife!! After a good 5 minutes of blubbering of course I said yes! He took me completely by surprise and it was a wonderful place to get engaged 🙂 We enjoyed our fruit and fresh cream cheese bagel with champagne to celebrate and headed back. The journey back to Vegas was still packed with loads of amazing facts and information too and our pilot recommended a book called Down The Great Unknown about John Wesley Powell’s famous expedition through the Grand Canyon in 1869 that I want to read one day to learn more. I have to say that of all the wonderful touristy days out I have been lucky to have over the years, all over the world, this has to be by far the best thing I have ever done and will tell our lovely story of this day for many years to come 🙂
One thing I always get lots of messages about on my social media (Instagram @kirstyspassport) is “where’s the best place to go for food??”. Now, if I were to list all the good places in Vegas we’d be here all day so I’ll narrow it down – my top tip is to go for a buffet breakfast/brunch/lunch! The buffets in Vegas are out of this world! There are loads of good ones, The Wicked Spoon in The Cosmopolitan is lovely and I’ve heard the one in the Aria is supposed to be good too. Every hotel has one but my favourite that I tell everyone to visit is up at The Wynn. It’s such a beautiful setting covered in pristine flowers and dreamy cake stands and ice cream stalls and what seems like a mile long buffet counter with everything you could ever want from fruit & granola, all the usual breakfast hots (the hash browns were Iain’s favourite and he still talks about them now!), to cut meats, sushi, chinese food and then a whole patisserie filled with yummy cakes and an ice cream counter! AMAZING! It’s open for breakfast in the week 0730-1100 and then lunch is 1100 onwards. They require ‘resort casual’ dress code for the boys – meaning no vests and covered shoes only. Its around $28 each in the week and abit more on the weekend as they offer a champagne brunch and you get 2 hours to graze on as much as you want with endless tea, coffee, juices and diet cokes etc. If the queue is quite lengthly then just wait as it is so worth it! A beautiful buffet in the most beautiful setting! I love The Wynn!
Another thing I love about Vegas is shopping – its amazing. There is a huge mall opposite The Wynn called the Fashion Show Mall filled with every shop imaginable! And most of the larger resorts have their own shops inside too but the best ones are The Forum Shops at Caesers Palace and The Miracle Mile at Planet Hollywood! Another top tip is to head to the Premium Outlet Malls. Theres north and south and are fairly easy to get to using the public buses that head up and down the strip. I’ve only been to the north one a few times, its brilliant and full of bargains!
Well, I hope I have sold Vegas to you!! It really is one of my favourite places I get to travel to with work and always feel very lucky when I’m here even though I am yet to win big! I’m sure I haven’t even touched the surface with Las Vegas but I hope my little tips are helpful if your heading here soon,
Thankyou for reading,