Winter in the Desert: A Holiday Guide to Las Vegas
Posted Wednesday, December 9, 2009, 02:00AM
There’s no mistaking it’s anything but a true winter wonderland in Las Vegas when speakers in the cavernous lobbies of the various grande dames of hotels and resorts sound out Sting’s “On a Winter's Night.” Decking the halls has never been more fun and fabulous than doin’ it Vegas style during the Thanksgiving-into-New Year holidays.
Las Vegas, the No. 2 destinations for lesbians, in winter is hotter than ever with many avenues for fun and frolic. Now that air fares are falling along with the North’s and West’s temperatures, the frosty holidays are a perfect time to travel. Amazing holiday offerings make Vegas an all around sexy destination to beat the cold weather blues. Hovering in the upper fifty to low sixty degrees Fahrenheit during the day, snow rarely makes an appearance. The nights might get a bit chill, all the better to cuddle and snuggle with your gal, and Vegas is a mighty fine place to find loads of new and established houses of slumber.
Everyone knows shows are truly spectaculars in Vegas. Take in the scenery over at Planet Hollywood's “Peepshow” starring former Curve cover girl Aubrey O'Day (lasvegaspeepshow.com). And hey, Cirque du Soleil’s Zumanity rejoices in the recent Nevada domestic partnerships law. Zumanity, celebrating all aspects of sensuality and sexuality, is honoring the new legislation with a special commitment ceremony package. In partnership with New York-New York Hotel & Casino, Zumanity will be offering the LGBT community the opportunity to acknowledge our unions with a special Commitment Package created to pay tribute to queer love (nynyhotelcasino.com/promotions).
The new kid on the block—CityCenter—is set to be a landmark destination, one of the largest sustainable developments in existence and bringing with it a new level of environmental consciousness to the world-famous Strip.
CityCenter offers an extraordinary collection of resorts and residences including ARIA Resort & Casino, Vdara Hotel, Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas, Veer Towers and Crystals retail and entertainment complex (citycenter.com).
The luxurious Vdara Hotel—set to open December 1st—is an all-suite hotel and spa designed for folks who love the excitement of Las Vegas, but prefer to enjoy it in a non-gaming and smoke-free setting. Vdara offers access to all entertainment, gaming, shopping, dining and nightlife in Las Vegas, while providing an exclusive place to retreat from it all (vdara.com).
Love art? You can’t beat the world-class public fine art collection set to enliven the street and engage passersby inside CityCenter. Guests will “happen upon” works by world-renowned artists such as Jenny Holzer, Maya Lin and Nancy Rubins while wandering through walkways, hotels and residences (www2.citycenter.com/vision/vision_art.aspx).
After a romantic walk through artistic masterpieces, you might want to try your hand at seducing your sweetie with sumptuous dining at Vdara’s Silk Road Restaurant. With Executive Chef Martin Heierling (the innovator behind Bellagio’s renowned Sensi) at the helm, this spicy joint was inspired by the ancient trade route spanning from Venice to the Far East. The restaurant will incorporate subtle spices and exotic ingredients to create modern trans-ethnic cuisine. Fresh and lively at daybreak to chic and sexy at nightfall, Silk Road will evolve just as your day does (vdara.com/amenities/silk-road-restaurant.aspx).
For more show spectacular, enjoy the majesty of LE RÊVE presented exclusively at Wynn Las Vegas. Highlighting performances in an intimate aqua theater-in-the-round, this show features aerial acrobatics, provocative choreography and artistic athleticism. Think LAVA livin' large—and under water (wynnlasvegas.com/#entertainment/leReve). Fancy a more traditional performance? Snag some choice tickets to the one-week-only exclusive engagement (December 18-24) of the Nevada Ballet Theatre’s “Nutcracker” for a special Christmas treat (nevadaballet.com). Squeeze your honey real tight while sugarplum fairies dance onstage and your holiday getaway progresses to more of the hundreds (thousands?) of other attractions.
Get some R&R at one of Vegas’ many opulent spas. Qua Baths & Spas (harrahs.com/qua/) Roman Baths at Caesars Palace are its signature experience. Sit with your honey (or go it alone) and get revitalized through the natural healing properties of this ancient treatment handed down through the ages. Or, try the Couples Reflection Package at the Bellagio Spa & Salon (bellagio.com/spasalon/spa.aspx), including a custom couples massage, Watsu therapy, facials, guided meditation accompanied by a spa drink and snack.
So many choices, you don’t know where to ring in the New Year? How about New Year’s Eve in Paris? The hotel that is. AAA Four Diamond Award-winning Paris Las Vegas is already lit up for the party. And, one of the most romantic spots in town to kiss your girl at midnight 2010 is atop the Eiffel Tower Experience. A breathtaking view of the panoramic Las Vegas Valley awaits from 450-plus feet above the heart of the Strip. The replica Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas is a half-scale exact reproduction of the famous French landmark (parislasvegas.com/casinos/paris-las-vegas/casino-misc/eiffel-tower-detail.html).
The shopping in Vegas is more robust than ever: CityCenter’s stunning retail district, Crystals, will feature high-end retail. Be there for the December opening of the core of CityCenter's futuristic urban metropolis and roam from Tiffany to Bulgari to Mikimoto in search of the perfect gift for your gal (crystalsatcitycenter.com).
Can’t afford Mikimoto’s black fresh water pearls? Then try a new tact: seduce your sweetie with sumpuious treats by Jean Philippe Maury (jpchocolates.com) at the Bellagio. The World Pastry Champion created, in 2005, an imaginative 25-tiered chocolate fountain that stands 27 feet tall and circulates 120 quarts of chocolate per minute. Sweet nothings indeed. Or, try a sweet of a different sort: Saturday night at the Candy Bar, the hottest girl party in Vegas, located at Krave inside Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino (kravelasvegas.com).
Warming the cockles of your heart in welcoming Las Vegas might be just the ticket to air out the ghosts of holidays past.
For more information about Las Vegas for the holidays, log onto VisitLasVegas.com/gaytravel.
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