The luxury playground of Las Vegas
Cat Gray continues her tour of West Coast America by sampling some Las Vegas luxury…
After a chilled time in LA, we hit the road again heading North to Nevada towards the city that never sleeps. And Las Vegas really does live up to that name! You can leave the world behind and immerse yourself in the endless entertainment options, world-famous restaurants, beautiful resorts and more shopping than you could do in a day.
From the classic casinos of Fremont Street to the world-famous Las Vegas Strip, Las Vegas offers something to exceed your wildest expectations.
We stayed at The Palazzo, the younger sister of the Venetian, located on the Las Vegas strip. As you enter you are met by a cascading two storey waterfall surrounded with seasonal flowers and plants, which is a sure sign of the grandeur to expect from this hotel. The Palazzo has taken everything that’s great about The Venetian and turned it up a notch with luxurious rooms, upscale dining and high-end shopping.
Expect intimate Italian elegance, with huge suites (ours was bigger than our flat in London!) with spectacular views over the strip. Standard suites are a mammoth 720-square-feet, with each boasting a bedroom with a sumptuous king size bed, a sunken living room with crushed velvet sofas, and a huge bathroom with a deep soaking bath tub and beautiful finishings.
The hotel is extremely easy to get around and the facilities at The Palazzo are second to none. With dozens of fantastic and diverse restaurants and a huge selection of exclusive designer shops, you’ll never be short of things to do. The hotel is connected to The Venetian so anything you don’t find at The Palazzo is just steps away, from ‘Rock of Ages’ to more restaurants and shops, the Canyon Ranch Spa and fitness center, and the world famous Tao nightclub.
The hotel’s five-acre pool area is also merged with The Venetian’s, and in total there are seven different pools, including the adult’s only Azure Pool, four hot tubs and 41 cabanas. Many of the restaurants at The Palazzo are run by the best chefs in the culinary world. Stylish Steakhouse ‘Cut’ by renowned chef Wolfgang Puck offers cutting-edge interior design and a sophisticated menu of the finest cuts of beef. There’s also Carnevino, an Italian-themed steakhouse by Chef Mario Batali, with an international wine list from winemaker Joe Bastianich; and Morel’s French Steakhouse and Bistro, a contemporary restaurant where traditional French cuisine meets American cooking. There are also many other choices from Asian to Italian, to Seafood and classic American dining, with Table 10 by Emeril Lagasse a particular joy if you fancy an authentic taste of New Orleans.
The hotel’s 875,000-square-foot Grand Canal Shoppes flows from the indoor canal at The Venetian to the Waterfall Atrium at The Palazzo, and presents shopaholics with a lineup of 160 upscale fashion, jewellery and lifestyle stores, including shopping mecca Barneys New York.
Having only ever been in a small casino in Edinburgh, I was in complete amazement at the size and grandeur of the casino at The Palazzo. The 105,000-square-foot casino boasts 80 different table games and over 1900 slot machines. The table hosts were extremely knowledgeable and helpful to an amateur such as me, and the floor service was impeccable.
Las Vegas really is a diverse and captivating place, and you’re guaranteed to meet fascinating people from all over the world. The Las Vegas experience wouldn’t be complete without taking a walk along the strip, to soak in the atmosphere and experience street performers at their finest. Our trip along the strip culminated at Caesar’s Palace as we headed to Hakkasan for a taste of modern Cantonese cuisine. Michelin star award winning Hakkasan offers modern food, world-class mixology and dramatic design in 12 locations worldwide, including Las Vegas, Dubai, London, Shanghai and New York.
On arrival, guests are greeted by an entrance embossed with the renowned Hakkasan logo and lead in to the main dining area, which is separated by dark oak latticing, creating intimate dining spaces within the main room while still keeping the relaxed atmosphere. The kitchen is lead by Michelin-starred Chef Ho Chee Boon and his team of highly skilled wok and dim sum chefs, and the service from front of house staff is flawless. We were guided through the menu and recommended signature dishes from the extensive selection of meat, fish and vegetable dishes.
The menu is designed with sharing in mind, with diners recommended to order a variety of dishes and try a bit of everything. The Fried Soft Shell Crab with curry leaf and chilli, the Crispy Duck Rolls and Chicken Hot and Sour Soup all proved fantastic starters, with the Fried Soft Shell Crab a particularly stand out dish. Hakkasan classics such as Stir-fried black pepper rib-eye beef with Merlot, Roasted Silver Cod with Champagne and Honey, and Black Truffle Roast Duck are always winning choices, and the Chilean Sea Bass with Chinese Honey was a particular favourite of mine. Pair these mains with some signature Hakka noodles and Stir-fried green beans and you’ll be in food heaven!
With so much delicious food, it’s hard to keep room for desert, but I would recommend trying because the Gianduja Mousse, a chocolate and hazelnut mousse with hazelnut ice cream and blood orange, is absolutely worth it! Accompanying the menu is an extensive selection of internationally and locally produced wine and cocktails, carefully curated by the Hakkasan team. I’ve never been a big fan of Chinese food, but after this visit to Hakkasan I think I’ve been converted and I’ll definitely be heading to their London restaurant for another delicious Cantonese experience.
Hakkasan Las Vegas also boasts the first ever Hakkasan Nightclub, a bold evolution of the prestigious brand into an all-encompassing nightlife experience offering entertainment from top musical talent across all genres. Hakkasan regularly attracts huge DJs such as Calvin Harris, Steve Aoki and Tiesto making for one of the most vibrant and memorable nightclubs on the strip.
A trip to Vegas would also not be complete without seeing one of the many shows on offer. We had been recommended a show called Absinthe, and it did not disappoint! Absinthe has been hailed as one of the most inventive and daring shows to open on the strip in years, featuring outlandish comedy and a cast of wild and eccentric acts performing amazing feats of balance, danger and unfathomable flexibility within mere feet of the audience. Set in a large circus tent, the show has the intimate and inclusive feeling similar to the Spiegel Tent at the Edinburgh Festival but on a much grander scale.
There’s incredible acrobatics, unbelievable flexibility and burlesque cabaret, as well as incredibly dapper French twins who make me want to take up tap dancing! The talent of the performers was truly unbelievable and being so close to the action added to the drama and excitement.
The show was made by the Gazillionaire and his assistant Joy Jenkins, who compered the show and made it glide seamlessly from start to end. A highly entertaining comedy duo, they kept the audience laughing throughout with some extremely controversial humour and if you’re sitting in the front few rows, be prepared for the Gazillionaire to single you out!
I was genuinely disappointed when the spectacle ended as I wanted to see more, which is the true sign of a brilliant show! Absinthe is an absolute must see when in Vegas.
My first trip to Las Vegas was a real eye-opener. With so much going on, it’s hard not to get overwhelmed, but I really had a brilliant time. There’s something for everyone in the city that never sleeps, whether you’re after good food, fantastic shows, vibrant nightlife or grand casinos, and when it all gets too much, retreating to our beautiful suite in The Palazzo was the ultimate way to relax.
Read about Cat’s visit to LA: Hollywood glamour at the Intercontinental Los Angeles Century City
Enjoy some Las Vegas luxury when booking the Palazzo Hotel by calling +1 702.607.7777 or visiting www.palazzo.com. Reservations can be made at Hakkasan Las Vegas online at hakkasan.com/locations/hakkasan-las-vegas or by calling +1 702 891 7888. Absinthe tickets can be ordered at www.absinthevegas.com, www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 800 745 3000