Dine, dance, play on the beach — it’s all there when you book a special summer room rate at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas!
This has been one hot summer! Instead of complaining, why not spend the time enjoying yourself at the cool pools of ARIA, the sumptuous restaurants of Mandalay Bay or the smoking blackjack tables and thrilling nightclubs of MGM Grand Las Vegas? Las Vegas room rates plunge as the temperatures rise so now is the time to take advantage of all this fabulous vacation destination has to offer.
New this week: (Click on the links for more information and to use the promo code!)
Every year we run some short posts giving our readers some fun ideas on gifts for the casino aficionados on their holiday giving list. Here are a few of our top picks available from Amazon.com or you can check out some of your local stores for similar items!
IGT Slots put some of our favorite games into this home version including Lobstermania and DaVinci Diamonds.
IGT strikes gaming gold with this fun in-home slots game that includes such favorites as Cats, Carnival of Mystery (love this game at Caesars in Las Vegas,) Frog Princess and Stinkin’ Rich. At less than $20, it’s a great deal for those who want to play, not pay!
Here’s the dilemma — as much as you (or the woman in your life) love toting around that jumbo purse/suit
case/carryall, it just isn’t very practical for a day at the casino. Do you keep it on that sticky shelf between machines or clutch it to your body like you’re protecting the family jewels? And, please, don’t even think of hanging it off the back of your chair!
Solution: enter the Cross Body bag which — just as the name suggests — smartly and compactly sits across the chest holding valuables and necessities in neatly and stylishly. We couldn’t believe the price on this beauty (less than half the regular price!) and it comes in a gorgeous shade of lipstick red as well. This doesn’t have to go in her stocking…it can be her stocking! Love it.
Scaredy cats need not apply.... Fright Dome in Las Vegas is ranked in the Top 5 of Haunted Houses in America.
The popular annual fright fest, Fright Dome at Circus Circus Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, opens this Saturday, October 1 with a first-ever grand opening event — the premiere Black Carpet! The hotel promises the arrival of celebs, local headliners and more to opening night of one of the scariest haunted attractions in the nation. Carpet arrivals start at 6pm and doors open at 7pm.
Created by Jason Egan, Fright Dome at Circus Circus has been horrifying visitors to Las Vegas since 2003. Ticket prices this year are hovering right around $40 for General Admission. For an extra $15,guests can buy a VIP Pass and the ability to skip to the front of the line at attractions within the Dome.
Enjoy Spring Break in Las Vegas! Now through the end of April, MGM Resorts in Las Vegas is offering a number of Spring Break specials at their hotels up and down the Strip. Each vacation package comes with a list of extras unique to the specific hotel. For instance, using the Spring Break Vegas promotion code at Mandalay Bay’s website will net you a $50 Cabana Credit, 2-for-1 Breakfast at House of Blues plus 30% off tickets to The Lion King. At Luxor, warm-weather revelers will enjoy free admission to CatHouse Ultra Lounge, $3 off a Brunch or Lunch Buffet at MORE, 2-for-1 Tecate or Tecate Light at T&T, a FREE Jell-O Shot at Dick’s Last Resort at Excalibur, 25% off Retail Purchases and $15 off a custom Airbrush Tan at Nurture Spa & Salon.
Here’s a list of the properties participating along with links and promo codes to cash in on the best Las Vegas Spring Break hotel deals. Just write down the promo code indicated and click on the hotel name to go to the website.
We love Louis! Even if it is just window-shopping the posh purses at CityCenter Las Vegas and this two-story Louis Vuitton shop, the brand's largest store in North America.
Something we read on VegasChatter today made us get off our blogging butts and write this post we’ve been meaning to do for ages. While most of our trips to Vegas are geared around couples, we do indulge in the occasional “Girls Getaway” and that agenda is a whole lot different from any we follow when the boys come along.
Here are just a few suggestions – tried and true – of what to do on your next (if you happen to be female) girls trip to Las Vegas.
1. We love to get our girlie on with a visit to Sephora at Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile Shops. Better yet, book a FREE make-over and you’ll leave there looking like a million bucks. And yeah, just try not to buy any of the fabuloso stuff they use to create the new you.
2. Speaking of the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, you’ll definitely want to spend some time traipsing the circular mile-plus path and hitting such fun stores as H&M, Betsey Johnson, BCBG MAXAZRIA, Urban Outfitters, kitchen specialty shop Sur La Tab and our fave shop for cheap Vegas T-shirts, ABC Stores. (There are actually two of them in the mall.) Leave time for a stop at Fat Tuesday’s Daiquiri Bar where we highly recommend the Banana Banshee and the Mojito. (Word to the wise, drink too many of the latter and you won’t be able to movito away from the bar.)
3. When we travel with the boys, we find ourselves at lots of casino buffets – big fat breakfast and lunch buffets. While that’s fine for those trips, we really appreciate relaxing with the girls over a more refined meal – one that includes servers who, well, serve us. With that in mind, check out these girlie favorites:
Serendipity 3 in front of Caesars Palace – Just look for the pink and white striped awnings and be sure to order the Cotton Candy Martini. Need we say more?
Payard Bistro inside Caesars – The tiny jewel box of a restaurant serves some of the best breakfasts in town. The one that gets our morning going in the right direction is the Eggs Benedict on Croissant. This is the real-thing: perfect Hollandaise sauce, gently poached eggs, lean salty ham and the BEST croissant on the planet.
Society Café at Encore – Yes, we know lots of guys like it but, really, take one look at all the frou-frou and fluff and it just screams gently whispers “Ladies-Who-Lunch” at you. The classic Tuna Nicoise and the fruit-and-nut laden Grilled Chicken salads are both fresh and, gulp, good for you as well.
4. No Las Vegas girls weekend is complete without this stop: Lunch or dinner on the Strip-side patio at Mon Ami Gabi restaurant which fronts Paris Las Vegas. This Vegas favorite combines the BEST people-watching opportunities with a menu sure to please the fussiest of groups (you know who you are) along with a front-row seat to the Fountain Show at Bellagio. Toss in a thoughtful wines-by-glass list, the must-have profiteroles for dessert AND superb service and you’ve got a spot to make everyone happy, happy.
5. Last stop, window-shopping at Crystals, the retail area of CityCenter, then onto ARIA Casino Hotel for our one big blow-out dinner of the trip at Sage. This funky yet sophisticated purple-and-gold outpost of Chef Shawn McClain is the most under-appreciated fine dining spot in Las Vegas. Really. The food is phenomenal and the service is excellent. The Roasted Day Boat Scallopswith braised Oxtail/Wild Mushrooms/Salted Caramel Reduction (quoted from the menu) is one of the best scallop preparations we have ever had – anywhere. Start with the Foie Gras Custard Brûlée and end with any of the chocolate-centric desserts and you’ll leave a happy camperess. By the way, Sage now features Absinthe service, something we are definitely going to try during our next visit.
Basketball may rule the month but music and the top performers appearing in Las Vegas this March promise to match or surpass anything you’ll see on the court. There’s a Las Vegas concert event for music lovers of all types starting with the much-heralded return of Celine Dion to the Caesars Palace stage.
Beginning March 15, Dion will be performing a brand-new Colosseum show featuring her most-beloved hits set to the music of a 30+ member orchestra. The show’s co-producer promises a technically-innovative sound and screen experience courtesy of celebrated Grammys director Ken Ehrlich. Although we’ve seen numerous reports of sell-outs, we found tickets available for even the debut performance through our affiliate at TicketNetwork — Las Vegas Tickets.
The month of March also sees some famed performers hit the stage at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. March 5 brings Eric Clapton to town for a single Saturday night show. Clapton, whose hit song “Layla” and accompanying album celebrates its 40th anniversary in March (yeah, makes me feel old, too) had a recent stop in Tokyo and you can read about the show on this special Eric Clapton website — WheresEric.com. Tickets (starting at $59) info: Eric Clapton Tickets 2011-03-05 Las Vegas, NV, MGM Grand Garden Arena.
March 19 is the date for the latest Las Vegas concert featuring Bon Jovi. This one-night show is their only Las Vegas stop during 2011 in a tour dubbed simply Bon Jovi Live in support of their newest “Greatest Hits” recording. Last year’s Circle Tour was named the highest grossing concert tour of 2010 according to Billboard’s annual Top 25 concert tours. GetBon Jovi Tickets for MGM Grand Las Vegas at TicketsNow.
The Monster Ball World Tour featuring Lady GaGa takes the Las Vegas stage on March 25. Tickets at MGM Grand’s Garden Arena to see the “Born This Way” singer are scarce and pricey but we found some starting at $200 on TicketsNow. Lady Gaga Tickets.
Home to Barry Manilow, Paris LV is hoping new nightclub Chateau attracts its own set of fans.
March in Las Vegas means much more than basketball this year. Coming in like a lion, March pretty much stays that way all month long with performances from some top names in music plus the much-anticipated opening of the new nightclub at Paris Las Vegas and the return of Celine Dion to Caesars Palace.
Let’s start with the opening of Chateau Nightclub & Gardens at Paris. Making its debut on March 4, Caesar’s hopes this newest entry into the hot Las Vegas club scene will impress guests with its phenomenal Strip-side location and outdoor dance floor and cabanas. (We’re going to miss the gorgeous fountain they removed to make way for this club but, hey, we understand — commerce is commerce.)
Two stories of club action and six bars dotting a 40,000-square-foot venue will merge such seemingly disparate features as lushly-classic French gardens and architecture with DJ’s spinning “an eclectic blend of house, dance, hip-hop and mainstream music. “
The Grand Opening on March 5 features an appearance by Drake while on March 25, Flo Rida checks in to see if this club can handle him – or not. And what club in Vegas worth its designer-vodka drinks and scantily-clad servers doesn’t have an upcoming visit from at least one or more of the Jersey Shore crowd? The Chateau doesn’t disappoint with scheduled appearances by “The Situation” plus a Sammi Sweetheart birthday bash.
We love football — especially betting on football — and no game is more fun to bet than the Super Bowl. Flat bets are great but what we really love all the crazy “prop” bets that are circulating this time of year. How long will it take Christina Aguilera to sing the National Anthem? Will Fergie show up to perform at half-time dressed as a Cowboys cheerleader? Yep, those are just a couple of the bets available at offshore betting sites like bodog.com. In Vegas, where Nevada gaming regulations restrict prop bets to those directly related to specific game statistics, there are still plenty of “off-road” opportunities. Check out this article at National Football Post on the five best prop bets for this Sunday’s big game. For more info, check out these lists on EastCoastGambler.net as well — Super Bowl Prop Bets, Steelers and Prop Bets, Packers.
Now on to part two of our headline — Mario’s balls. So we’re watching “Good Morning America” last Friday and they’re doing a special segment on what to serve at your Super Bowl party and the chef du jour is Mario Batali of New York’s Babbo and Las Vegas faves B&B and Carnevino fame. He suggests making, among other things, meatball heroes for the big day. The recipe looked so good and we were so intrigued (mix the meat for 10 minutes!) that we just had to make them ourselves. We are here to tell you that these are the BEST meatballs on the planet. Really. We made a huge batch to have with pasta or serve on sandwich rolls but honestly, we simply want a big bowl of them topped with a little homemade marinara and a sprinkling of pecorino Romano cheese. Here’s the ABC video on Mario Batali’s meatballs plus the meatball recipe. (Use panko breadcrumbs in place of the fresh ones.)
And last, here’s an appetizer we make every Super Bowl and always get back rave reviews and an empty serving dish.
The Best Buffalo Chicken Dip
4 boneless chicken breasts (about 2 lbs)
1-12oz. bottle of Frank’s Hot Buffalo Sauce
2- 8oz. packages of cream cheese
1 cup each of Ranch and Blue Cheese salad dressings
8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Poach chicken breasts in enough water to cover for 30 minutes or until done.
Drain and when cool enough to handle, shred chicken then combine with the hot sauce.
Spread in a 13×9 baking pan.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a sauce pan, combine cream cheese and both dressings, stirring until smooth and hot.
Pour mixture evenly over chicken.
Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.
Sprinkle cheese on top and bake uncovered for another 10 min.
Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Serve with tortilla chips, crackers, celery sticks (or just a big spoon.)
These limited-time offers for room discounts and special credits come directly from MGM Resorts and pop up fairly frequently but always on different properties. The current ones happen to be for ARIA Resort and the Vdara, the non-gaming hotel across the traffic-circle, weird entryway, courtyard from ARIA. (If you caught “The Bachelor” on ABC last night, you would have seen Brad Womack under the ARIA portico awaiting his posse of bachelorettes. What? No gaggle of desperate gorgeous women to accompany you? No problem, you can still stay there.)
We have to admit it. We are strangely attracted to ARIA and, no, it has nothing to do with Brad. We actually enjoy playing slots there (IGT’s Secrets of the Forest is a fave) and Julian Serrano has become our routine stop for yummy tapas — try the warm spinach salad with garlic and pine nuts — and white sangria.
Here are the latest deals we have as an affiliate of MGM Resorts: (Affiliate means we get a couple of bucks if you book through our site. Thanks.)
Lindeman's and Guinness Stout combine to make the Cupid's Arrow at First Food & Bar, Las Vegas.
Have we told you how much we *heart* FIRST Food and Bar at The Palazzo? No? Then let us count the ways:
FIRST feels like one of those secret out-of-the-way joints that only “insiders” know about. Really. To get there, you have to go to the second floor of the retail shopping area connecting the Venetian to the Palazzo; hang a right at Barney’s New York; and then make your way down the corridor to the barely-marked restaurant. (We had a hard time just getting past the shoe display in Barneys’ windows.)
It’s open late — ’til 1 a.m. during the week and even later on weekends.
The front-of-the-house manager stops by — more than once — to check on your food, drinks, service, etc. On our last visit, we felt like “regulars” by the end of the meal.
The food: big yummy portions of amped-up diner food. Burgers to blackened steak, pasta to pizza: this is comfort food meant to help banish your hangover (or get you poised to work on a new one.)
Hearty breakfast sammie with Tater Tots at First Food Bar at the Palazzo, Vegas.
Sunday brunch (11 a.m. – 4 p.m.) — A traveling Bloody Mary bar complete with a cute mixologist ready to make it your way. (Our way? Extra Tabasco and black pepper plus enough green olives to mimic a salad bar.) A $10 per person all-you-can-drink champagne deal. This may not be Krug or Cristal but face it, there’s something abnormally fun and decadent about washing down your corned beef hash or chicken and waffles with a glass or two — or eight — of bubbly. Try the Breakfast Mini-Burgers with cheese, bacon, Hollandaise sauce and a side of Tater Tots.
The Cupid’s Arrow — Just like drinking an alcoholic dark chocolate truffle. Take a bottle of Guinness Stout and a bottle of Lindeman’s Framboise Ale then pour them — simultaneously — into an iced schooner. Drink. Drink. Burp. Drink.
Strip view. Grab a spot near the windows and gaze out onto Treasure Island and, if the sun has set, the pirate battle show.
Dogs are welcome at eight Caesars properties where bad beat jackpots are paid in kibble and Nylabones.
You know the look. The one you get as soon as you pull out the good suitcase and start packing it with all your Vegas finery. The guilt-inducing look that says “So I’m off to the kennel while you go have all the fun.” (Personally, we get the “We’re stuck here with Aunt Marge (who still hasn’t figured out that we like our dinner microwaved for 28 seconds not 30) while you go dine at Guy Savoy” – death stare.)
Well, fret no more: Caesars Entertainment now welcomes your canine friends at eight of their Las Vegas properties. The new PetStay program debuted in October at Caesars Palace, the Rio and Imperial Palace and now includes Paris, Bally’s, Planet Hollywood, Harrah’s and the Flamingo. The program seems to be doing quite well as we saw a number of dogs out and about during our last visit to Caesars Palace. And, yes, we mean the four-legged variety. Sort of.
In addition to the $25 (Imperial Palace) to $40 (Caesars Palace) upcharge per night, there are some rules and restrictions:
* Dogs staying at any of the participating hotels must weigh 50 pounds or less and be present at the time of check- in.
* Up to 2 dogs per room are allowed.
* Dogs are permitted to walk through designated common areas while on a leash and accompanied by the owner. (Damn, we figured we’d stick a leash on them and let ’em run wild through the sports book while we hit the spa.)
* Can only play blackjack if they know not to split 10’s.
8. The newest slot game to hit the casino floor is the “community game” based on American Idol and you can play it at any of the MGM Resorts properties. MGM has a 30-day exclusive on this new IGT game and going by what we saw of it at the gaming expo in November it is going to be a blast to play. Look for it at Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, NYNY, Luxor, Mirage, Bellagio and ARIA. (We snagged a photo of it from the gaming expo’s trade show floor.) Just think, this may be your last chance to see Simon snark his way through the competition – other than in reruns.
The coolest game to hit the casino floors this year -- American Idol -- can be found exclusively at MGM properties this weekend.
9. We dig the new Munch Bar at Caesars Palace. It’s located within ear-splitting distance of the Pussycat Dolls blackjack tables but the food is fast, fun and a good nosh when we feel like eating lunch at 3 p.m. or 3 a.m. Try the Philly Cheesesteak sliders, the sweet potato fries with a wicked garlic dip, the grilled cheese bites with tomato dipping sauce or one of the monstrous burgers.
10. PBR Rock Bar — the cowboy-themed BBQ spot that opened at Planet Hollywood is another good spot for lunch or dinner. Two people can easily share the plate-sized pulled pork sammich with the mini-vat of creamy potato salad. The place heats up at night when the mechanical bull starts bucking drunks patrons onto the floor. And you definitely don’t want to miss this: Friday, January 7, 10 p.m. — “Party with some of adult entertainment’s finest and get a chance to compete in the mechanical bull riding competition. The most impressive bull rider will win a $500 cash prize. Revelers can get down and dirty with 2-for $8 beers and two-for-one Hoedown-Throwdowns, PBR Rock Bar’s specialty cocktail.” Honest, they’re calling it the Hoe-Down Pornstar Bull Riding Contest. (Kinda’ makes that American Idol slot game look a little less exciting, huh?)
11. Check out the Strip’s first high-end Greek restaurant — ESTIATORIO MILOS — at the new Cosmopolitan. An NYC/Montreal import, the restaurant features fresh fish and other menu items done up in creative Mediterranean style. We can’t wait to try the fried zucchini and eggplant appetizer. (We heart zucchini done this way.)
12. While Las Vegas is expecting some chilly weather this weekend, it will be downright freezing if you stop by the Monte Carlo and the newest Minus5 Ice Lounge. Enjoy Vodka cocktails in this lounge made entirely of Canadian ice. (Why Canadian ice? Imported is always better. We think….)
Here’s that guarantee we talked about: Not having an enormously exciting time in Vegas? We’ll be at PBR at Planet Hollywood, sitting at the bar enjoying a giant guitar-sized frozen fruity-thing, at 11 p.m. Saturday night and will ride the bull if our promise to provide you with fun things to do in Vegas has not been met. No, really, just look for us.
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