It's our fourth edition of Gothamist's travel content, Gothamist Getaways. A few times a year, we'll have a week of posts featuring looks at travel, food, products and tips—near and far—for making your trips more enjoyable. So sit back, dream of your next journey and let us know if you have any hints for us—email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas... right? We've all said it but it couldn't be further from the truth. You get home from your 72-hour gambling-liquor-food binge and immediately take to social media to tout your triumphs at the blackjack table or bemoan the fact that you haven't slept since you left JFK. Now you can add these five finds to your bucket list and experience Sin City like never before. Let the gloating begin.
A bit of South Beach arrives as the Delano brings a new level of luxury to the Strip. The all-suite hotel was recently revamped as a partnership between MGM Resorts International and Morgans Hotel Group. But this isn't just a copycat (as evident by the Nevada-sourced, 126,000-pound boulder that was installed as part of the new entryway).
Grab a bite at the farmhouse-style Della's Kitchen and be sure to imbibe a hangover-relieving Bloody Mary, served with a cream cheese-stuffed, bacon-wrapped jalapeño. Later this year the hotel will reveal Delano Beach Club, an exclusive outdoor venue for hotel guests, along with Rivea—the latest offering from Michelin star chef Alain Ducasse.
The imports continue with Yusho, the new outpost from Chicago chef Matthias Merges that just set up shop at Monte Carlo. A far cry from the endless buffets and other cheap eats around town, this new kid on the block has serious cred that draws inspiration from Japanese street grills.
The Omasake (to entrust) menu for $99 is a steal and the best way to sample flavor-packed dishes such as a steamed bun with charred eggplant, octopus with haricot vert and enoki mushrooms, and Hamachi kama—a chargrilled fish collar bone served with coconut slaw, peanuts, frisee and nori paper for making your own hand rolls. Draft cocktails feature sochu, sake, jasmine tea, and other Asian-inspired ingredients.
To anyone living in New York City, the idea of a mall is a novelty. Manhattan Mall still hangs on (in spite of that nasty mauling a few years back) and those in the know sequester themselves in Whole Foods at the Time Warner Center for a for a cocktail. But if you really want to go for broke, the Shops at Crystals offers American Express Centurion-worthy shopping.
While it's easy to get lost in the glitz and glamor, it's worth paying a visit to Tom Ford, which will be adding casual wear to their 7,700-square-foot space next spring. At the mall, it's hard to miss the largest Louis Vuitton store in North America and one of the first to carry the Celebrating Monogram collection, a brand new collaboration with visionaries such as Frank Gehry and Cindy Sherman.
And if you've got six figures to burn, seek out the wristwatches of Richard Mille, including the RM 52-01. Specifically made for the Las Vegas location, it features a ceramic encasement, 777 jewels, and is valued at $720,000. We'll take two.
Who goes to Vegas to unplug? Pretty much nobody, but if you need to find respite amid your breakneck bacchanalia, there is no place more serene than ESPA. While you'll find access to Las Vegas incarnations of pretty much everything in New York (really, Daniel Boulud, there's seven riffs of your cuisine in Manhattan, did you have to go west?), this is ESPA's first branded spa on the West Coast and only the third in the U.S.
Go big or go home and indulge in On the Rocks, the spa's signature 110-minute treatment that incorporates body brushing, exfoliation, body massage with volcanic stones, and scalp massage. Pick from a selection of all-natural essential oils to enhance the experience.
We may have to give up our moniker as The City That Never Sleeps because Vegas trumps us by about eight hours. Forget the 4 a.m. last call and continue on into the wee hours of the morning. When you do, head to Whiskey Down for exclusive spirits curated exclusively for MGM Grand.
You'll find five single barrel whiskeys worth seeking out, including Jack Daniel's Single Barrel with notes of Virginia tobacco and vanilla; Woodford Reserve Double Oak, featuring aromas of butterscotch and toffee; Russell's Reserve 10 Year, with hits of white pepper and orange peel; along with Four Roses Single Barrel and Angels Envy. To take the edge off, consider a barrel-aged cocktail such as Rye Kind of Town—Templeton Prohibition rye whiskey, vanilla liqueur, and fig-infused vermouth.
*ACE IN THE HOLE
We couldn't leave you without a bonus recommendation worthy of any high roller visit to Las Vegas. A few years ago we looked at the most expensive pre fixes in New York. Well... Joël Robuchon crushes those numbers by a landslide. Rest assured—it's worth every hard-earned dollar (make that $425 for a16-course tasting).
Step out of the madness on the casino floor into a serene, 42-seat cocoon of blush pink, lavender and charcoal gray. Perhaps you'll get the banquet seat next to the photo of Céline Dion with the celebrated chef. Be prepared for the three-star Michelin meal to last into the wee hours. Expect perfection in the form of house-churned butter served tableside, chicken and foie gras topped with shaved white truffles worth a month's rent, and a dessert cart toppling with more than 40 variations of chocolates, candies and miniature pastries. If you're lucky, you might have the pleasure of meeting chef Robuchon himself. If so, wish him a happy anniversary—the restaurant celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2015.
Matthew Wexler is the national travel editor for EDGE Media Network. In addition, his work has appeared in Hemispheres, Gotham, Hamptons Magazine, Private Islands, Passport and online for AAA, ShermansTravel, offMetro, among others.