Las Vegas City Guide

December 24, 2018

My husband and I were asked if we wanted to spend a few days in Vegas with a couple photographer friends. Was that, like, seriously even a question? As with most impromptu trips, it was a no brainer. I wasn't that interested in gambling or watching women take their clothes off - I get that show for free in the bathroom mirror every day - but Vegas is so much more than casinos and strip clubs. I'm going to show you another side, beneath the neon lights, wide glassy eyes and silicone brassieres. This is the Ristretto in Stilettos guide to Las Vegas, and here to help show you around are our friends  Bel & Nic

 

Of course, whatever happened to us in Vegas will be in my video. Click HERE to watch.

 

photo by Bel Peterson

 

Las Vegas is a glammed up, sexed up, 'best of' version of the real world. You've got the Eiffel Tower, Venetian gondolas, celebrity chefs and some of the best entertainment in the world. I'm sure you've already heard a thing or two. So let's get into it, here's my list of where you should eat, drink, play and get your glam on in the City of Lights.

 

 

 

EAT ME

 

MON AMI GABI

A gorgeous cafe that sits at the bottom of the faux Eiffel Tower, directly across from the dancing Bellagio fountains for ideal viewing. They've got smooth espresso, rich French food and great cocktails. The perfect place to people watch and it photographs very well. Located in the Paris Hotel.

 

EIFFEL TOWER RESTAURANT

It's pricey, but I highly recommend it for an unforgettable night with incredible food and stunning views of the Strip. The endless array of complimentary breads is also something you have to experience, unless you're getting photographed by the pool the next day. On second thought, no regrets. Located at the top of the Eiffel Tower in the Paris Hotel.

 

NOBU

Swanky, splurge worthy, world famous sushi in a gorgeous setting. Located in Caesar’s Palace.

 

 

photos from 7th & Carson 

 

7TH & CARSON

If the weather's nice, and you can bet on it, brunch on their outdoor patio. Avocado toast on sourdough, grilled peach and burrata with basil pesto and crab Benedict are some of the things you'll find on their menu in addition to the bottomless mimosa. Located on 7th & Carson. 

 

VESTA COFFEE ROASTERS

Quality roasts, traceable bean origins and a quick pick me up if you're willing to go out of your way for a great cup of coffee. Located a few blocks north of the Stratosphere. 

 

PINCHES TACOS

If tacos, napales, elote and margaritas are your love language, check out this food truck situated inside a whimsically decorated restaurant. High quality Mexican street food. Two locations

 

 photo from Beijing Noodle No.9

 

BEIJING NOODLE NO.9

Omg this place is beautiful. Enter through tall glass aquariums. Open the 14 page menu starring fresh hand pulled noodles and bask in the brilliant white light surrounding you from every side. Excellent place to take photos. Located in Caesar’s Palace.

 

BRUNO’S TACO BAR

What’s better than churros and coffee? How about seeing your face printed in the latte foam? Custom designed latte art has never looked better. And you’ll love the white marble tables and cheeky wall slogans on your instagram feed. 

 

 

 photos from Bruno's Taco Bar

 

BLOCK 16 URBAN FOOD HALL

An upscale food court perfect for large groups or indecisive individuals. Craving chicken wings? Sliders? Sushi? How about a Vietnamese iced coffee glazed donut or creative craft cocktail? Open until 2am on weekends. Located on Level Two of the Cosmopolitan Hotel.

 

HERRINGBONE

Famous for their always changing ocean to table weekend brunch. Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-3pm. $59 per person. Definitely make your reservations in advance, preferably in their outdoor terrace. Located in the Aria Hotel.

 

LAGUNA POOL HOUSE & KITCHEN

The food here is flavorful and beautifully plated. It’s open from morning til night. The coffee is smooth, the cocktails inspired. It’s got a gorgeous pool side view. Located on the 6th floor of the Palms Place Resort.

 

 

 

LUCKY PENNY

My husband and I were strolling through town looking for food one late night after dancing when it seemed like every kitchen in the city had shut down. Surprisingly, even though bars and nightclubs stay open late, most of their kitchens close before midnight. Long story short we got lucky when we found this restaurant. It cost us more than a penny, but everything we ordered here was incredible, and we left feeling like a million bucks. It’s updated classic comfort food that ranges from an ultra healthy drinks like cucumber kale juice, to dramatically indulgent desserts such as their Cherry Bomb milkshake with Bourbon. Located in the Palms Resort Casino.

 

 

DRINK ME

 

COMMONWEALTH

Prohibition era decadence with crystal chandeliers and a truly vintage feel. They’ve got a rooftop bar and a secret bar called the ‘laundry room’ where you need a private number to call and get in. The DJ plays a mix of old school and contemporary. 

 

Details

Open til 2am weekdays, 3am on weekends 

$3-5 happy hour drinks from 6-9pm

It’s off the strip

 

107 SKY LOUNGE

This club sets the bar REALLY high, like 107 stories high. The sweeping views of the Strip and mountains beyond make it an unforgettable experience. Expect craft cocktails, live DJ after 11pm and a small appetizer menu.

 

Details

No cover charge

Open til 3am every night

Happy hour from 4-7pm and 10:30pm-4am

Located on the 107th floor of the Stratosphere, just above the Top of the World restaurant

 

 

 

 

 

photos from Commonwealth 

 

VOODOO ROOFTOP LOUNGE

Drink delicious cocktails and dance under the stars at this 2 story indoor outdoor lounge. Spectacular views, great music for dancing and a zipline (additional charge). Order the Witch Doctor if you like attention, an large rum cocktail topped with dry ice. Located on the 51st floor of the Rio Hotel.

 

Details

Free Admission from 8-10pm

Closed Mon-Tues

Open til 2am weekdays, 3am weekends

Dress to impress

 

SKYBAR

Sip expertly crafted cocktails while enjoying views of the strip from the 23rd floor of the Waldorf Astoria. I recommend reserving a window table at sunset. If you’re feeling fancy try the Osetra Caviar & Vodka served in crystalware from Tiffanys & Co. Located in the Waldorf Astoria. 

 

Details

No cover

Menu is small and offers only appetizer portions

Open til 1am Sun-Thus, 2am Fri-Sat

 

photo by Bel Peterson 

 

TELL ME IM PRETTY

 

9037 SALON

Want that ultra glamorous “I woke up like this” beachy balayaged wave? If yes, this is your spot. If you want to stand out, they do an amazing job with color. Want extra fullness or length? Try their extensions. And if you just need a blowout, they’ve got that too. 

 

Details

Closed Sundays

Private parking lot

Good for kids

Also offer makeup and eyelash extensions

 

 photo from 9037 salon

 

ATOMIC STYLE LOUNGE

If old hollywood hairstyles are your thing, schedule an apt with Atomic. Their custom designed vintage decor will transported back to Las Vegas’ golden era. And if you’re really looking for some mid-century glamor, let them escort you and your friends to your next event in their vintage aquamarine Cadillac.

 

Details

Open 7 days a week

Street parking

Good for men & kids

Also offer vintage makeup application

Ask for the Viva Las Vegas Hair & Makeup Package for the full experience

 

photo from Atomic Style Lounge 

 

NOHEA NAILS

Nohea in the Hawaiian language means “beautiful”. Makes sense. Vegas strangely resembles a tropical island and you’ll definitely feel beautiful with the latest trends in nail art, and gel extensions. They also offer facials and waxing.

 

Details

Open 7 days a week

Free WiFi

Wide variety of gel and natural nail polish colors

Good for kids

Reservations highly recommended

 

SHIMMER NAILS & HAIR

This place does it all - trendy nail art, hair, makeup, waxing, lashes, brows and even teeth whitening! With crystal chandeliers, white shimmery decor and complimentary mimosas, it’s the perfect place to relax solo, book a party or prep for a special event. 

 

Details

Open 7 days a week

Free parking lot

Good for men & kids

$35 blowout when you check-in on yelp

 

 

 

photos by Bel Peterson

 

WHERE TO SNAP THE BEST PHOTOS

I mean, there really isn't a bad place to photograph in Vegas, but here are some of the best backdrops.

 

THE FORUM SHOPS AT CAESARS 

 

CAESARS PALACE POOL

 

EIFFEL TOWER VIEWING DECK

 

HIGH ROLLER

 

STRATOSPHERE

 

BELLAGIO FOUNTAINS

 

 photo from the Bellagio Hotel

 

BELLAGIO CONSERVATORY & BOTANICAL GARDEN

 

CHANDELIER ROOM

 

 

 photo from the Cosmopolitan Hotel

 

NEON BONEYARD

vintage vegas

 

 photo by Tiffany Campos

 

 

ENTERTAIN ME

 

Night Clubs

 

HYDE

Indoor outdoor venue with a private tuscan garden overlooking the dancing Bellagio fountains. It’s elegant and romantic. Inside you’ll find Italian marble and chandeliers, as well as a small but packed dance floor with live DJ, dancing bartenders and (as with all clubs) tables you have to reserve ahead of time. Located inside the Bellagio. 

 

Details

No cover if you’re staying at the Bellagio

Call ahead to reserve and buy tickets. Link on their website.

Open til 4am every night except Mon & Thurs when it closes at 12am

Dress to impress

 

 photo from Hyde

 

FOUNDATION ROOM

I’m a sucker for a good view, and this club doesn’t disappoint. Take the private elevator to the 63rd floor to drink and dance with live DJ’s and exotic table top dancers. There’s also an intimate outdoor patio with heaters overlooking the Strip. The Foundation Room is a members club, but they allow non members to join after 10pm for a fee. Located on the 63rd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel

 

Details

Reduced cover with RSVP

Open from 6pm til 3am Mon-Sun

 

OMNIA

Im absolutely obsessed with this club. It’s HUGE and packed nightly. And when I say huge I mean it’s a three level venue with an outdoor terrace right above the Strip. Inside the club, celebrity DJ’s play beats while laser lights dance around you and a 22,000 lb chandelier spirals from the ceiling toward your head. It’s climate controlled and they shoot out streams of oxygen to keep your body awake into the wee hours of the morning. At the bar they serve liquor, beer and a couple wines, no cocktails or mixed drinks. VIP tables are expensive and unnecessary if you're there to dance. You can also save money by getting free tickets from the promoters who hand them out in hotel casinos and along the Strip. Located at Caesars Palace.

 

Details

Closed Mondays & Wednesdays

Open all other nights til about 4am

Collared shirts are required for men

No hats, shorts, ripped jeans or sandals

 

VOODOO ROOFTOP LOUNGE

Also a nightclub where you can drink delicious cocktails and dance under the stars. Spectacular views, great music for dancing and a zipline (additional charge). Order the Witch Doctor, an enormous rum cocktail topped with dry ice. The drinks are expensive so plan accordingly. Located on the 51st floor of the Rio Hotel.

 

Details

Free Admission from 8-10pm

Closed Mon-Tues

Open til 2am weekdays, 3am weekends

Dress to impress

 

 photo by Bachelor Vegas

 

ENCORE BEACH CLUB

An indoor outdoor venue with a large pool, tropical cabanas, daybeds and private bungalows. Dance and swim under the stars as the sun sets over the Strip. Located at the Wynn Hotel.

 

Details

Only open weekends

Full bar

Live performances 

 

 

photo from the rio hotel 

 

Shows

The shows are always changing but are consistently the best in the world. Anything by Cirque Du Soleil is going to be PHENOM. Britney and JLo were both performing while we were there. Click HERE to get a current list of singers and events.

 

 

 

STAY THE NIGHT

A list of my favorite hotels

 

PARIS HOTEL & CASINO

A miniature Paris in the center of the Strip. Very Moulin Rouge. Like, I kept expecting Nichole Kidman to swing down from the roof and serenade us. Much like all the other Vegas casinos I will mention, it’s got world class restaurants, spas, live entertainment and spectacular views. Especially from the top of the tower.

 

 

photos by Bel Peterson 

 

CAESARS PALACE HOTEL & CASINO

Live among the gods in the lap of luxury. Gold accents, white pillars and expertly carved statues guarding beautiful fountains inside the hotel. Even more of this outside at one of the most photogenic pools I’ve ever seen. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

photos by Bel Peterson

 

BELLAGIO HOTEL & CASINO

Home to the iconic dancing fountains and glass garden display. Its got a distinctive rich European vibe. Book a room on the fountain side for views of the Eiffel Tower and brightly lit Vegas strip.

 

THE VENETIAN HOTEL & CASINO

A river runs through it. The ceilings are painted to look like the sky with canals winding their way through the center of the hotel. Take a gondola ride or watch others float along in bliss while being serenaded by their gondolier. It's got that old world charm. I love it.

 

 

ARIA HOTEL & CASINO

While many of the other hotels play off old world charm, Aria is a modern masterpiece. Tall towers filled with steel sculptures, waterfalls, swirly carpets, and an elevated boardwalk with upscale shops and sky tram to take you to and from the Bellagio fountains. 

 

COSMOPOLITAN HOTEL & CASINO

Sexy, upscale luxury. Digital art displays, exotic dancers on swings, and swanky rooftop pools. Take the winding staircase to the Chandelier Room, a 3 tiered lounge dripping in crystals and drink among a dizzying array of purples and pinks. The spa here is an experience worth having as well. Try to get a balcony room with a view.

 

WYNN HOTEL & CASINO

Five star luxury right across from the Fashion Show Mall if you feel like putting your money into something more substantial than a slot machine. Say a pair of sparkly black swan drop earrings from Swarovski. And if you feel like crashing before 3am try to book your room away from the XS club.

 

 photo from Caesar's Palace

 

If you’re looking to save money, you can try Airbnb 

We stayed at the Palm's Place Resort in a sky rise condo for $60/night.

 

PALMS PLACE RESORT & CASINO

Our sky rise condo was immaculate, spacious and had a gorgeous view of the city. For $60 a night, it felt like an incredible find. Until we had to pay an Uber to take us back and forth to the Strip, which is where all the world class restaurants, casinos and shows are. And then we found out that some of the hotels I've listed above also have rooms for around $60 a night. And those rooms have housekeeping, airbnb doesn't. If we go again, we’ll definitely stay right on the strip, whether or not we stay at an Airbnb.

 

Comment below any places you think should be added to the list.

 

 

 

 

 

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