Waking Up in Vegas – Las Vegas Trip 2014

IMG_2120I recently celebrated my 30th birthday and did so in the wonderland that is Las Vegas! What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas as they say but I don’t mind sharing some highlights from our trip.
The hubbie and I jumped across the pond for some winter celebrations as it was also his birthday – so turned out to be a joint celebration (although he isn’t 30 yet!)

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The view from our room at the Bellagio

We were lucky enough to stay in the Bellagio Hotel, famous for the large fountain outside that hosts impressive water fountain displays every 15 minutes, we know this as we had a room overlooking the fountain and the famous Las Vegas Strip.
The hotel was beautiful, as can be expected from one of Vegas’s five-star establishments and seemed to go on forever. We entered via the casino and it took us a good few minutes to trek across the casino floor and find the lobby area, which was undergoing a transformation from the Thanksgiving decorations into a sparkly Christmas winter wonderland.

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The Bellagio does Christmas

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The Bellagio Winter Wonderland

Our room was lovely and we had been given an upgrade to a higher room so we really could see Vegas sprawl out beneath us and gave us a moment to take it all in. Not wanting to miss a moment we quickly refreshed, shook off the jet lag and set out on our adventure.

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Staying in Vegas is really is like staying in a huge adult playground with so much going on around you, you can’t be bored here!

The hotels themselves are quite fun to explore as you can pop into any hotel and explore the casino and amenities. The Bellagio is a classic institution,sitting like a palace behind a huge lake that hosts the Bellagio fountain and Caesar’s Palace sits next door equally as formidable and famous for starring in the Hangover movie.

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The Bellagio hotel

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Me outside Paris hotel

The Paris hotel opposite the Bellagio is pure Vegas novelty, featuring a mini Eiffel Tower, Arte De Triumph and a huge light up Hot Air Balloon, we had breakfast there one morning and even the food is French cuisine. I had blueberry waffles at Mon Ami Gabi which were lovely although the coffee was not so great….even after asking for a fresh one.

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New York New York Hotel

….and then you have hotel New York New York, shaped like the New York skyline and at the south end of the strip Excalibur hotel which is in the shape of a medieval castle… it really feels like you are Alice in wonderland.

The Venetian hotel even has a canal running through the shopping mall area called Canal Shoppes with gondolas with the gondoliers singing in Italian as they row passengers up and down, I was tempted but the cheese factor was a tad too much for me.

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….and that isn’t a clear blue sky you see above me, that’s the ceiling of the mall, all the shopping malls in Vegas had painted ceilings to replicate the sky and changed colour depending on the time of day, which just added to the jet lag fuelled day/night confusion.

We of course made a visit to down town Las Vegas, which is a must see and also includes all the famous wedding chapels on the way.

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Fremont street in down town Las Vegas is a short taxi strip from the main strip but is definitely worth a visit. It is where Vegas all started and has the most amazing neon lit casinos that ooze old-time glamour.

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We had an amazing time there although it seems like a distant memory now but the fun definitely does not stop, and we might have got up to a few unusual activities;

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We also were able to catch the Cirque du Soleil performance KA at the MGM Grand which was amazing and made an excellent end to the trip. I wasn’t able to take a picture of the performance but I did take a snap of the super-size cocktail slushy we bought to drink during the show.

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We had a unforgetable time in Vegas and I would love to go back again.

Here are some tips if you are going to Vegas for the first time;

Weather: when we first booked we thought – hey its the desert it will be hot hot hot! but it wasn’t. We went in early December and the weather was cool during the day but temperatures drop at night so you will need a jacket and some jumpers if travelling in winter.

Fashion: I was expecting 24/7 glitz and glamour but in reality people dressed in casual wear during the day. Of course this doesn’t mean you can’t make and effort and it depends on where you are going.
The casinos are quite casual and you can wear what you like, girlies got very dressed up for the clubs in the evening so take some glitzy dresses if you plan to go partying and of course some restaurants have dress codes. We travelled in December so I mostly wore jeans or leggings with flat boots as we did a lot of sight-seeing and a nice top or glitzy jumper with my leather jacket. I dressed up more in the evening when we went out for dinner. I didn’t go swimming, although the Bellagio pool was heated there was hardly anyone in the pool as it was outdoors, I hear the pool party game starts in the summer.

Sightseeing: If you are interested in sight-seeing there is plenty to see, I’d recommend

  • Fremont street at night for old-time glamour feel but low price dining, also check the shark tank in the Golden Nugget casino
  • Stratosphere hotel, also located near down town Vegas, offers surround views of the city from the 1149 foot observation deck
  • Catch one of the many Cirque du Soleil shows that are hosted in the hotels around the strip, we saw KA at the MGM Grand
  • Go shopping in the Forum Shops attached to Caesar’s Palace – shops range from super high-end to high street affordable
  • Shoot some targets at one of the many gun ranges, the experience is mind-blowing not literally
  • Check out the novelty hotel offerings, the Venice canal at the Venetian, the erupting Volcano outside the Mirage, ride the roller-coaster at New York New York hotel

Most importantly enjoy yourself and take time to take in the wonder of Vegas, whether you are partying in a wild group or having a romantic week away. x

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