By Nila do Simon
With more than $3.6 billion of new investment into attractions, experiences and amenities, it’s no surprise that nearly 40 million people visited Las Vegas last year alone. And for South Florida residents, it’s getting easier to make the cross-country trek to Sin City with JetBlue’s recently added nonstop flights from Fort Lauderdale to Las Vegas.
Las Vegas has no shortage of luxury hotels. The newest member of the club, the stylish 1,117-suite Delano hotel, opened in September within the Mandalay Bay Resort Complex on the south end of the Strip. South Floridians will recognize this indelible brand from its Miami Beach location, which carries over its playfully elegant, discerning touch to its Las Vegas branch.
Much like its South Beach property, the Delano Las Vegas embraces and artfully incorporates its surroundings; in this case, the desert valley of Nevada. The raw, terrestrial beauty of the Mojave Desert is expressed through design touches, starting with the multi-ton rock sculpture in the foyer. The amenities are also a whimsical twist on the local environment. Della’s Kitchen serves comfort food with a sophisticated touch, sourcing much of its ingredients from local farmers. The luxurious spa, BATHHOUSE, even offers a unique desert-stone massage to soothe tired muscles after a night of revelry or adventure.
Much like its Miami Beach property, the newly opened Delano Las Vegas highlights design excellence.
Whoever dubbed Las Vegas as “Sin City” might as well have been referring to its over-the-top, world-class dining scene. Renowned restaurants on the Strip have foodies flocking year-round. For an authentic taste of Spain, check out celebrated Chef José Andrés’ restaurant, Jaleo, in the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas. Spanish for “revelry,” Jaleo pairs classical and contemporary tapas and paellas. Its centerpiece is a paella grill, making it the first specialized paella kitchen in the United States.
Another dining hotspot is La Cave Wine & Food Hideaway, whose contemporary small-plates menu is served in a low-lit, intimate ambience that overlooks the Wynn hotel’s pool and its surrounding enchanted garden. But perhaps the star of the restaurant is its wine list, a 250-bottle selection curated by the restaurant’s resident sommelier.
As a destination known for its adult entertainment, there are still plenty of family-friendly spots. One of the newest venues is the open-air Downtown Container Park, so named because each of its stores is housed inside repurposed shipping containers. The stroller-friendly venue features 39 shops, restaurants and bars, and even has an interactive play area, which features a 33-foot-tall slide.
For late-night play, go to LiFE nightclub, found inside the new SLS Las Vegas. Placating to all the senses, LiFE is a combination club, light show and blank canvas for debauchery. With music from the world’s most renowned DJs and 70 VIP tables, clubgoers can sit back and enjoy the lively atmosphere, which includes aerial performances.
Just a short flight from the Strip is the Grand Canyon, one of world’s most prolific geological formations. One of the best ways to see the natural site is by helicopter, a trip made memorable by outfits like Sundance Helicopters. Its fleet includes a craft that offers 180-degree views and in-flight narration through Bose headphones.
For those seeking cultural enrichment away from the Strip, The Smith Center for the Performing Arts is a world-class complex celebrating artistic excellence. Considered a go-to cultural hotspot among locals, The Smith Center adds Tony Award-winning Broadway shows, theatrical performances and music concerts, truly defining Las Vegas as the Entertainment Capital of the World.
Originally appeared in the Winter 2014 issue.