It took 10 hours to get to Las Vegas, and all that was in my mind for the entire journey was the rendition of ‘Viva Las Vegas’ – trust me, I was so excited that this didn’t even get boring.
Las Vegas has been built around one central strip and over the decades, hoteliers have competed to create the biggest and most impressive hotel in the world. You can find hotels that have been modelled on a certain city or country, for example, New York, Venice, Italy and Paris and iconic landmark replicas, such as the Statue of Liberty, The Empire State building and the Eiffel Tower.Day 1
I carefully curated an itinerary for the five days, to make sure we didn’t miss anything. On our first morning we headed to Mon Ami Gabi, located in ‘Paris’ and overlooking the famous Bellagio Hotel, to enjoy a brunch of waffles and eggs benedict. It’s worth noting that the portions here are big, to say the least; the cappuccinos are served in bowls.
Having refuelled we were ready for our trip to the Grand Canyon – one of the Seven Wonders of the world now officially ticked off my bucket list! I have been inspired to see more by this article in Conde Nast Traveller on their seven wonders of the world for 2019.
I did plenty of research into Grand Canyon tours in Las Vegas and we decided to go with Papillon Tours. We flew by helicopter over the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, crossing the border into Arizona before landing in the Canyon to enjoy a bottle of Champagne and a picnic. Spending most of the trip speechless and taking photos, it wasn’t long before we were heading back to see the sunset over both Nevada and Arizona. Simply breath-taking.
The Las Vegas strip offers plenty of activities and if you aren’t walking through a casino, you might well find yourself as we did, stopping at each hotel to watch their incredible shows, such as the fountains at the Bellagio and the Volcano at the Mirage. The Venetian, a replica of Venice, has canals flowing throughout the hotel. We took a ride on one of the gondolas while the gondolier sang opera as we sat back and enjoyed the ‘Venetian’ views.
Make sure you a take a trip to Sugar Factory. We decided to stop for a quick refuel and instead of just ordering a standard diet coke, we ended up sharing a double chocolate milkshake with Reece’s Pieces and peanut butter – extremely calorific, but worth it.
There are hundreds of bars in Las Vegas to choose from, from sophisticated roof top cocktail bars to the laid back Hooters bar. If I was to recommend one, it would have to be the Bar at Times Square, located in New York New York. Famous for its duelling piano show, you are treated to two professional pianists having a musical play-off. Members of the audience can request songs and the pianists will play whatever is requested, it could be a hit from the Beatles or a rap song by 50 Cent.Day 3
Head down to Fremont which is downtown Las Vegas. Wander along Fremont Street and see the light shows and whilst you are in the part of town you must visit The Mob Museum – a museum to help understand the effect of organised crime on American society. We learnt all about the Prohibition era, America’s unquenched thirst for alcohol and the solution they came up with; Moonshine. If you are going to visit, then make sure this is an afternoon trip as, speaking from experience, Moonshine at 11:00am is less than ideal.
Like most people who head to Las Vegas we saw a few shows whilst we were there. We opted to see Le Reve an underwater show produced by the founder of Cirque Du Soleil. The show is set in a round aqua theatre, and the gripping story, choreography and acrobats made this an unforgettable experience.
Believer or non-believer, we saw Marc Savard perform in his comedy hypnosis show, it made for a hilarious evening. Marc hypnotised six members of the audience and made them believe they were in several different scenarios. You can only imagine the consequences, when Dave from Coventry believed he was performing in an opera.
To end our time in Las Vegas we headed to Hakkasan Las Vegas for an evening of Asian cuisine and plenty of cocktails. After dinner we were offered free entry in to Hakkasan’s renowned night club which is just next door. It’s a huge space with an impressive line-up of DJ’s, however we didn’t fancy it and instead headed back to the piano duelling bar and requested Hey Jude.
Viva Las Vegas!
- Remember to purchase your ESTA (visa) well in advance You can do this here
- Be prepared to tip at least 20% of your bill
- If you want to put a few dollars in the slots or on the roulette table, you will be offered free drinks. *Please remember to gamble (and drink) responsibly*
- When booking shows, unless you are booking around three months in advance, you are best booking at the box-office for the best prices, or speaking with your hotel concierge
- Get a 24hr/48hr or 3-day bus pass – it’s a long way from one end of the strip to the other!