Planning a trip to Las Vegas is the start of a dream to a perfect getaway where all your senses will be triggered. The process can also become challenging as information available on the many activities is more than abundant. Thankfully, I planned my trip with the help of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority who helped me tailor a fantastic itinerary. Among activities I loved, you will find here some of our favorite Vegas experiences.
Las Vegas is directly accessible from most American cities and major international hubs like Beijing, London, etc. Approaching Vegas from the air, contemplate the vast desert and mountain landscape: the playful hues of yellows, whites, and oranges, the scattered bushes looking like leopards fur, and suddenly the world-famous skyline, emerging from the sand. Since the first gambling license granted in 1931, Las Vegas has been an incredible example of a flourishing desert oasis that continues to expand and attract record visitors.
McCarran International Airport is a modern airport with strong WIFI connectivity – like most places along the Strip, a well-appointed Amex Centurion Lounge, and slot machines all throughout the terminal to tease you for what awaits. Whatever your means of transportation, you’ll find it on the overhead signs. Most places in Vegas are now embracing rideshares – we’re talking Uber and Lyft – which means that the airport, hotels, and casinos have specific pick up and drop off points mentioned onsite and in the app.
ENTERTAINMENT – ‘O’ by Cirque du Soleil, Bellagio
Visionary hotelier Steve Wynn brought Cirque du Soleil to Las Vegas more than 2 decades ago. One of the most played shows since then, O, premiered in 1998. Embark on an elegant journey to celebrate water in all forms and cultures. Laugh with the 2 clowns and hold your breath with Olympic divers. The performance of performances, however, remains the artistry to transport you, to allow you to forget about everything, about your own space. Make sure to collect your tickets in advance and to be seated 15 minutes prior to the beginning to enjoy the pre-show.
ENTERTAINMENT – Shark Reef Aquarium and Polar Journey, Mandalay Bay
The Polar Journey exhibit is a fantastic way to start your visit of the Aquarium. In an immersive and interactive setting, learn about the Earth’s polar regions and the animals that call them home. On the other side of the main lobby is the entrance to the Shark Reef Aquarium: by far one of the most enticing I have seen. The dramatic decor and sounds create a perfect environment for discovery. Stare at oddities like the Komodo dragon and golden crocodile; gaze at giant rays and 15 different shark species in the massive shipwreck replica.
ENTERTAINMENT – Michael Jackson ONE by Cirque du Soleil, Mandalay Bay
One of the newest shows on the Strip, Michael Jackson ONE, is of course a celebration of the artist and his music, but also a celebration of urban culture, giving a new shape to Michael Jackson’s messages of hope and inclusion. The coordination of performers, dancers, and acrobats is like no other. Every show by Cirque du Soleil is a parenthesis in your life; this one might be extra special thanks to the instant chills and personal memories it brings back. In the end, the show leaves you wishing there were more songs for Cirque du Soleil to pay homage to.
ENTERTAINMENT – Vegas Indoor Skydiving
Although many skydiving options are available in town, starting with indoor skydiving is a smart choice – the choice of many professional jumpers. Located just a block off the Strip, the giant turbine will propel you at up to 20 feet above the ground. But it’s a learning process! Although private sessions are available, I chose the regular class with 4 people. Lea, our instructor, taught us postures and sensations to keep us airborne. For most people, indoor skydiving is probably a once in a lifetime experience that comes at a price: $75 for 3 minutes of flight.
DINING – Wing Lei, Wynn
Wynn prides itself on offering some of the finest and most authentic cuisines in Vegas, and a dinner at Wing Lei is a true culinary delight. While making your way through the glamorous hallways of the resort, admire original pieces of art by Jeff Koons and Gustave Eiffel. Once at Wing Lei, friendly and welcoming hostesses will show you to your table and put you in the hands of impeccable waiters – Harry did wonders for us by recommending favorite dishes and elaborating on the décor and color palette of the restaurant. We began with cocktails and a palate cleanser before continuing with a tasty assortment of dim sum and sliced beef shank. We then opted for the traditional Peking Duck, expertly prepared for us table side. The three cups fish was a very enjoyable complement of flavors and reminded me of my time in Taiwan. Dessert was a delicious, decadent chocolate cake and when presented with the bill, we were given café gourmand-style pastries. A waiter on the Strip once told me that there is no service like that of the Wynn. I feel privileged to have experienced it. Wing Lei is the first Chinese restaurant in America to be awarded a Michelin Star.
DINING – Rivea by Alain Ducasse, Delano
Michelin-starred Chef Alain Ducasse treasures his South of France roots. With Rivea, he has created a high-end eatery centered around authentic ingredients of the best quality. Occupying the 64th floor of the Delano hotel, the views from the dining room and patio are among the best in town. The music, the ambiance, and the tableware are elegant and modern. The Assistant General Manager and our waiter made sure everything was perfect at our table and around, even inquiring if we had to catch a show later that evening. After careful consideration, we followed Kevin’s advice and let the Chef craft a personalized menu. From octopus salad to Maine lobster, from duck breast to black truffle gnocchi, every single dish was a treat, more subtle than the previous. After dinner, make sure to stop next door and enjoy a cocktail at Skyfall Lounge, soaking in more unbeatable views of the Las Vegas Boulevard.