Words by Carlie Tucker
Sin City has developed a bit of a reputation for kitsch thanks to her Elvis look-a-likes and feather-plumed showgirls, but don't be fooled. This desert destination still calls to high rollers looking for the chance to let loose.
The city prides itself on once-in-a-lifetime experiences of the luxury kind with truly unique opportunities to splash some cash and live it up. In fact, when it comes to the finer things, there is no other place quite like it. Come for the neon dazzle of the Strip's famous lights and stay for the cushy holiday lifestyle where any inkling of 'more' is not only possible but realised with unsurpassed decadence.
The Suite Life
Vegas is no stranger to luxury hotels. In fact, a stroll down the city's most famous boulevard reveals more star-rated stays than any other six-kilometre stretch in the world. And if you care to venture beyond the Strip, your options are even more diverse. Plush rooms are par for the course, but for luxury seekers, Vegas is all about the suites, baby!
On Strip, take your pick from the likes of The Venetian, Bellagio and Caesars Palace. The latter comes complete with the Absolut Suite featuring its own dance floor and bedroom that looks like a pool. Swanky to be sure, but it's the MGM Grand that takes the cake with its Skyline Terrace Suite. This two-story room is done up with all the trimmings – vaulted ceilings, entertainment areas and a second level master bedroom – but it's the 800 square foot terrace with panoramic views down the Strip that stops the show.
Off Strip options are no less plentiful and no less lavish. From the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and Aria to the Trump International Hotel & Tower and Rio, the city is brimming with choice. It's the Palms though that most flock to when looking for a stunning suite off the Strip. One-bedroom, two-bedroom, poolside or penthouse, this famous hotel is known for its huge selection of over-the-top stays. Maybe you'd like your room to come with a full basketball court, or you'd rather spin some vinyl in your very own DJ booth. Or maybe you're just looking for something super sleek with some of the best views in the city. You'll find it at the Palms.
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The Best Seat In The House
Before you resign yourself to an entire holiday dedicated to casinos and clubs, don't forget that Las Vegas offers up its own style of culture as well. It comes in the form of a thrillingly diverse array of stage shows. If music or comedy are your thing, choose from a rotating roster of headliners made up of some of the biggest names in the biz. Turn back the clock with a tribute show, or suspend belief (if only for a night) at a magic show. All promise a memorable experience.
Of course you can always up the luxury factor by seeking out tickets to one of the city's famous high production shows. There's all manner to choose from, but none are more famous than those offered by Cirque Du Soleil. Fusing stunning acrobatics with engaging stories, these shows are known for their astounding displays. Nearly as diverse as the Vegas stage show scene itself, choose from the likes of The Beatles Love, O, Zumanity and more. If available, spring for the VIP suites for fantastic views and the privacy of your own box seat.
Only In Vegas
If a flashy suite and VIP stage show aren't enough to satiate your appetite for excess, don't worry. Vegas has you covered with a sweep of experiences that not only well and truly over the top, but they are also completely unique to Sin City. They won't be found anywhere else, so if you're heading to the desert with mountains of cash to burn, you may just want to consider one, two or all of these incredible experiences:
The World's Most Expensive Burger
Somewhere between the world class buffets and celebrity-backed eateries, it becomes abundantly clear that foodies are well catered to in Las Vegas. And for all the industry leading chefs reinventing fine dining there are just as many greasy spoons pushing the food limits on how much is too much. Sometimes, just sometimes, those lines are blurred and you end up with the world's most expensive burger.
This culinary achievement calls Las Vegas home and can be found at chef Hubert Keller's Fleur. Costing a cool $5,000 (USD), it contains Wagyu beef, foie gras, shaved black truffles and truffle sauce. Not enough truffle for you? Good thing because it's served on a truffle brioche bun. It also comes with a bottle of $2,500 (USD) bottle of 1995 Chateau Petrus just for good measure.
High Stakes Poker in Bobby's Room
Moving up the luxury (and monetary) ladder, if you fancy yourself a bit of a card shark and are looking for the city's most exclusive tables, look no further than Bobby's Room at the Bellagio. With buy-in set at a minimum $20,000 (USD), this is the highest limit poker action in the world. The room is open 24-hours a day with two tables available, and it's been known to draw some of the world's most notable names, from celebrities to professional players.
The room is named after renowned poker champion Bobby Baldwin, who came up with the concept of a sanctuary that would host the world's biggest cash games. For those of us running a little short on the required buy-in, you can still see the action if a game is being played via windows that allow you to view who is seated at the tables.
The Bellagio Fountains
Speaking of the Bellagio, if money is no object, the ultimate Las Vegas experience has to be the seeing Bellagio Fountains. We're not talking about standing on the curb watching them go off like any average Joe. We're talking about controlling them.
For a mere $250,000 (USD) you can rent the fountains for the night. Pay the ticket price and you'll be shown to an exclusive waterfront patio at Hyde Bellagio where you will be presented with a 30-litre bottle of Ace of Spades champagne and a gold plated box with a red button. You'll feel like a VIP in the spotlight (literally, the club puts a spotlight on you as you mull over the right moment to push the button). Regardless of the time of day, once you push that button, the fountains will go off at your command.