Devil's Tale

RE-INVENTING VEGAS

How to maximize the Sin City experience

By Kalea Yoshida

Try to snag a private cabana for you and your closest friends to get that VIP feeling for the night.

 

By now, you’ve read it a million times over—the travel guide entitled “The Best of Las Vegas” or the ever-popular “Insider’s Tip to Sin City” and, of course, the monotonous “Secrets of the Strip.” Well, forget the old stuff from Fodor’s. Here are some of the coolest things that travel guides often miss, brought to you by a self-proclaimed native.


Courtesy of Dream Car RentalsDrive around Vegas in cool wheels from Dream Car Rentals.
Best place to get a cool car

The first thing you need to do is get a great set of wheels to ride around town in, and you won’t find any at Avis or Budget, that’s for sure. Instead, take a shuttle over to one of two Dream Car Rentals locations on the Strip. Choose from a Ferrari 348 Spider, Dodge Viper SRT/10, or Porsche 996 Cabriolet, or ride around like LeBron and go for the H2. If you feel the need to get a Harley, don’t hesitate, because they’ve even got matching helmets and jackets there too.

Best sunglasses
If you rent a cool convertible, you’ll want equally cool sunglasses. Throw away the old pair of Oakleys that have been on your face since high school and get some new shades at Dolce Due in the Venetian. The friendly staff will spend hours letting you try on every pair in the store. Gucci, Fendi, Armani, and Chanel are some of the brands they carry.

Every pair of glasses comes with the manufacturer’s case, but if you don’t like the one provided, you can get a handmade case. My favorite is the patriotic-themed case, covered in red, white, and blue rhinestones. And be sure to take the extra steps to the upstairs shop and forgo the smaller lobby location.

Best cigars
Davidoff in the Venetian carries a nice humidor that will satisfy the average cigar smoker, but cigar aficionados will tell you that the Havana Cigar Co. is the closest thing to shopping in Cuba. This shop sells nearly 50 different brands of cigars, including the Padron anniversary series. For $100, you can pick up two sticks of Opus X, a rare, finely aged tobacco. Don’t be surprised to find chubby men puffing away at the shop’s wine and beer bar, discussing politics or business.

Best pina colada
It’s one of the most popular summer drinks and a vacation favorite. Unsuspecting tourists will fall victim to buying one of those huge, foot-tall drinks because they look fun (too bad they taste like artificially flavored mix and crushed ice). Go for the real thing and head over to the race and sports book at Mandalay Bay. Place a bet, sit down to watch your team, and order a pina colada from one of the ladies wearing a multicolored, ruffled bathing suit. Not only is it the creamiest pina colada, complete with whipped cream and a cherry, but it’s also free as long as you have a current bet for a game or race.

The unisex bathrooms, completely made of white glass, will make you feel that you’re in a European version of a spa from the Matrix (really!).
Best bathroom at night
Go to China Grill inside Mandalay Bay on a Wednesday night to experience the Dragon. Once a week, this contemporary Asian eatery morphs into one of the hottest lounges in town. Once you’re in, send a friend over to get a drink from the always crowded bar (there’s only one bar), then head over to the restrooms.

The unisex bathrooms, completely made of white glass, will make you feel that you’re in a European version of a spa from the Matrix (really!). While you’re on the toilet, you can watch a popular rock video on a small television that’s built into the wall. Wash your hands in the ultra-mod silver-and-black sink, check your hair, and tell your friend what a great time you had in the loo.

Best pool at night
Since its opening in 1998, every critic in town has named the wave pool at Mandalay Bay the best, so it’s safe to assume they haven’t been to Skin at the Palms. After the sun goes down, the pool and cabana area at the Palms is transformed into Skin, a chic lounge with two bars and mystical mermaids. Scantily clothed girls and guys romp alongside the massive pool carrying exotic drinks in pink bikini-printed cups. While the deejay mixes tunes for the dancing crowd, sexy models in mermaid costumes relax by the upper water lounge and are rolled around on carts for all to see. Try to snag a private cabana for you and your closest friends to get that VIP feeling for the night.

More popular bars

Ghostbar at the Palms has a four-sided view of the city.

4321 W. FLamingo Road

702-942-7777

Tabu at MGM Grand features "a sea of sensual sophistication."

3799 Las Vegas Boulevard

702-891-7983

Coyote Ugly at New York, New York is a Vegas version of the NYC bar that inspired the movie.

702-740-6969

 



Best dessert
This yummy category was hard to narrow down, so here are two suggestions; one is hot, the other cold. Despite popular belief, Nobu in the Hard Rock Hotel isn’t good for just sushi. Try the Trio Box, which includes white chocolate spring rolls, raspberry sorbet, and a pineapple cream tart for $13. The spring rolls are delectable, and so is the tropical tart. The sorbet is a perfect way to end a great meal and clean your palate.

The N9ne Steakhouse at the Palms serves great steak for dinner, then turns over control to the customers by allowing them to make dessert. Guests roast their own dwarf s’mores on a mini hibachi at the table. Complete with roasting sticks, chocolate pieces, and mini-marshmallows, this fun dessert is a steal at $9. There’s even a little bowl of chocolate ice cream for the lazy eater.

Best souvenirs
What trip would be complete without a souvenir of your wonderful stay in Vegas? For years, the Bonanza Gift Shop has been selling souvenirs native to Sin City. Located across from the Sahara Hotel, you’ll be able to find everything from Elvis shirts to blackjack potholders in here. If you’ve gone completely broke from playing too many unsuccessful Caribbean stud games, you can still pick up some inexpensive trinkets for your friends and family. A Mardi Gras necklace made out of little plastic cards and dice costs only a buck. If you’ve got two, grab a deck of cards that were actually used on the casino floor; you can choose from almost any hotel in Vegas.

This summer, do yourself a favor. Throw away those stale tourist guides and do Vegas like you’ve never been done it before.

 


 

IF YOU GO
Las Vegas

  1. Dream Car Rentals, 3734 Las Vegas Blvd. #103, 702.895.6661 (next to the Boardwalk) or 2955 Las Vegas Blvd., 702.731.6452 (next to the Rivera Hotel)
  2. Dolce Due, 3377 Las Vegas Blvd., Suite 2040, 702.733.1355 (second floor of the Venetian, next to Brookstone)
  3. Havana Cigar Co., 3900 Paradise Rd., 702.892.9555 (off Corporate Drive, next to Ruth’s Chris)
  4. Mandalay Bay Race and Sports Book, 3950 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 702.632.7777
  5. Dragon at China Grill, 3950 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 702.632.7777 (inside Mandalay Bay, across from Aureole)
  6. Skin at the Palms, 4321 W. Flamingo Rd., 866.942.7770 (just past the Rio)
  7. Nobu, 4455 Paradise Rd., 702.693.5090 (inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino)
  8. N9ne, 4321 W. Flamingo Rd., 702.933.9900 (inside the Palms; reservations requested)
  9. Bonanza Gift Shop, 2460 Las Vegas Blvd., 702.385.7359 (across from the Sahara; open until midnight)

 

Back to top