The Perfect Long Weekend in Vegas
by andy wang
The casinos and hotels surrounding the Las Vegas Strip come to life at dusk.
Traveling to Las Vegas is like taking a trip all over the world: You can gamble in settings that resemble Monaco and Macao, eat fish that swam in the Adriatic Sea 48 hours earlier, and debauch in a nightlife scene so hot it makes Ibiza and St-Tropez feel dated. This mélange makes it a spot unlike any other. It’s easy to overindulge, which, of course, is the whole point—and why many people visit several times each year. But relaxation is also attainable. A perfect long weekend means doing both.
|The Country Club at Wynn overlooks a pond and waterfall|
Checking into Wynn Las Vegas, the most luxurious and grown-up casino, is a good start. (The ultra-lavish tower suites bring in the biggest players; don’t be surprised to see people counting bricks of cash in the elevators.) After dinner, walk through the upscale mall that connects Wynn to its sister resort, Encore. That’s where you’ll find XS, a majestic nightclub where star DJs like Afrojack and Avicii hold court. This is a true mega-club: 13,000 square feet inside, 27,000 square feet outside, 95 VIP tables, and 26 cabanas. In a city known for ample excess, there’s still only one XS.
But that doesn’t mean you need to spend all night in one spot. Many VIPs bounce from club to club, so it’s worth befriending (or eavesdropping on) those with tables around the dance floor. They might be headed to Tao at The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino or to the Drai’s afterhours spot at Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon.
And if you’re hungry after a long night of partying, Tacos El Gordo, an outpost of a Tijuana mainstay, is just north of Encore and open until 4 am on weekends. The $2 tacos include many excellent spicy pork and ground beef options, but you’ll be fine grabbing a juicy steak taco, too.
Even after just one night in Vegas, you might be ready to chill. Start Saturday with the jazz brunch at The Country Club restaurant at Wynn; gaze at the stunning golf course while sampling chef Carlos Guía’s Cajun dishes, then have a spa detox afternoon at The Venetian’s Canyon Ranch SpaClub, home of what I think is the city’s most transporting Thai massage, which will stretch you into submission and then into a state of complete bliss.
Retail therapy can come next. The hip new Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas resort includes AllSaints Spitalfields and CRSVR, DJ Vice and Nick Sakai’s fantastic sneaker shop. And you can easily spend hours weaving your way through the 85,000-square-foot Barneys New York at The Shoppes at the Palazzo.
Cover shoot: Behind the scenes with Pitbull for the October 2014 issue of Ocean Drive magazine.