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Trip Report “I love the nightlife! I’ve got to boogie!” ~ 5 nights in Las Vegas, Baby!

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On a whim, DH planned a five night trip to Vegas as our Christmas gift to each other. We left early Tuesday morning flying out of Newark using FF miles on Continental and returned New Year’s Day on Jet Blue using FF miles into JFK.

Where we stayed:

DH booked 3 nights at the Cosmopolitan (a Marriott Autograph hotel) http://www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com/. As a platinum member, we were entitled to two complimentary meals each day at the Wicked Spoon (including mimosas, Bloody Marys and champagne). The WS was voted one of the best buffets on the strip. We had absolutely no complaints…although by the fourth day, I couldn’t stand to look at anymore food! The dessert buffet was a dessert lovers dream…lots of little shot glasses on heavenly sweets, lol. There was always a huge line of people waiting to be seated but as a perk we were able to be seated almost immediately. We will one day miss having that platinum status, lol. DH also booked two nights at the JW Resort...more on that later...

On Trip Advisor, the Cosmo received some mixed reviews particularly when it came to service. When DH booked, they gave him an upgrade and in addition DH paid for an additional upgrade (a corner wrap-around suite). Long story short, they decided not to honor the paid upgrade -- said the asst. mgr didn’t have the authority. That didn’t sit too well with DH, so we ended up being comped for one night. Other little things like the smoke alarm chirped which required a simple battery change…chirp, chirp, chirp…for 5 hours. We already had tickets for a show, so we headed out and expected it to be fixed when we returned later that evening. It still chirped. We were told someone was up to change the battery. Really? So it seemed to us that everyone tried to get away with not really doing their job. Otherwise, the room was fantastic – a one bedroom suite with a gigantic bathroom, kitchen (didn’t need it), and living room with a huge balcony overlooking the Bellagio fountains and Eiffel Tower. Very quiet and very nicely done!! The casino was very nice (although I hated the cigarette smoke) and I immediately found myself a lucky slot machine (near the door) and proceeded to win. :)

What we did:

Oh my goodness, this was not a restful trip…we went out each and every night! It was a great opportunity to pack that little black dress (that new little sequin dress), play dress up, and stay up way past our usual bedtime. It was also a time to discover that we are not as young as we used to be, lol, but that didn’t stop us!

Shows…

Within the Hawaiian Marketplace there is the Tix4Tonight booth where you can obtain discounted tickets for shows. Some of the more popular shows are limited and you might need to set the alarm and drag yourself there in the morning…long before your eyes are able to open. http://www.tix4tonight.com/locations.html

Cirque du Soleil Zumanity at the NewYorkNewYork Hotel – the “sensual side” of Cirque du Soleil. Don’t sit in the orchestra is you don’t want to be “cozy” with the performers, lol. We were forewarned when we selected our tickets and sat in delightful seats just far enough away from the mayhem.

Crazy Horse Paris at the MGM Grand Hotel – yes shocking, I know. The drinks are not worth the money. As an aside, the casino at the MGM is one of the worst ones around (tired and dated).

David Copperfield at the MGM Grand Hotel – we were not able to get these tickets at the discount booth…got an even better price directly at the MGM by taking a few extra minutes to become an M Life Players Club membership (free). We actually saved $18 per ticket over what the discount booth was going to charge. We figured we probably could have saved more if we had bought the Crazy Horse tickets directly at the MGM, so you might want to check MGM first before deciding where to buy.

Now about David Copperfield…I had my 10 minutes of fame on stage during one of Copperfield’s big illusions and it was absolutely WILD! I even got to give him a kiss and walked away with a souvenir of information that was locked in a box above the stage. Snirk! We loved the show but felt too much time was devoted to video montages of previous DC illusions, but still highly recommend.

Stevie Wonder at the Cosmopolitan Hotel on New Year’s Eve – we partied with 4,000 others to a lot of “old school” songs, as Stevie would call them and he was good! I wasn’t so thrilled with the “mosh pit” and my feet were killing me, not to mention it was a real PITA to get to the open bar (that did not even serve wine), but upon reflection, we really did enjoy ourselves. The opening acts around 10pm were loud (understatement) and Stevie didn’t start performing until around 11pm but kept going until 2am. We headed out around 1:30am because we had a morning flight home (we like to torture ourselves). I should have remembered ear plugs. Next time…

Where we ate…

Well, the Wicked Spoon of course…around 12:30-1:00 (they serve until 2 or even later if the crowds are huge, which they were). Many stations: Breakfast, Salads, Asian, Italian, American and Desserts – fish, meat, vegetarian. Generally I am not a fan of buffets, but for this one I have to say, “Yum”.
http://www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com/taste/restaurant-collection/wicked-spoon.aspx

Jaleo in the Cosmopolitan for tapas. The food was good but the atmosphere was noisy. It was the right choice considering we had a late meal at the WS.
http://www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com/taste/restaurant-collection/jaleo.aspx

The Eiffel Tower Restaurant located in the Paris Las Vegas’ Eiffel Tower replica. Our son and his wife gave us a gift certificate for dinner as a Christmas gift. We had a table for two overlooking the Bellagio fountains - very nice. DH and I shared the warm Maine lobster salad with fingerling potatoes and toasted caraway seeds. My entrée was the roasted rack of lamb and DH had the short ribs with a potato gratin side. For dessert we had the soufflé. DH had a glass of French wine and I had a glass from California…surprisingly the CA wine was more expensive – I guess they had to “import” that wine, snicker. http://www.eiffeltowerrestaurant.com/

One of my favorite meals was at the Ocean Club located in the Crystals.
http://www.mastrosrestaurants.com/Locations/NV/81-Las-Vegas-Main/Default.aspx

I had a fabulous wedge salad and the fillet of Arctic Char and DH had the beefsteak tomato and mozzarella and the red snapper. We shared a potato gratin and no dessert. Wine by the glass (better than the Eiffel Tower) was between an 8 to 9 ounce serving – Nice! We loved both the food and atmosphere in this restaurant and would highly recommend.

Since we had big plans for NYE, we grabbed a really casual meal at the Café Vettro located in the Aria Resort and Casino. DH had a beef burger and I had a turkey burger. By this time we were really tired of food, lol. It was just enough and tasty.

Now for those two nights at the JW Resort...

DH thought that for the last two nights we would head over to the JW Marriot Las Vegas Resort and Spa. He thought we would have enough of the Strip by then and he's always up for checking out a new resort for future get-aways. We had booked dinner and dancing for New Year’s Eve, but as you can tell, we didn’t end up there but rather with Stevie. We have stayed in quite a few JW’s in our time, but this one was one of the worst. It wasn’t a corporate JW and it was really tired…closer to dead. In fact, after DH and I checked in, we sat in our room and just stared at each other. We checked out the restaurant where NYE was going to be held and it essentially was the restaurant where they served breakfast, lol. The casino was depressing…the whole place was depressing. DH pulled out his laptop and started searching for hotels back on the Strip. The Cosmo was out – all booked. We had been eyeing the Aria (next to the Cosmo) and we scored a room at a discounted rate thanks to that M Life card we obtained while getting our Copperfield tickets at the MGM – saved $170.

Anyway, DH asked to speak to the JW manager and explained to him that the resort wasn’t at all what we expected. The manager asked if he gave us the best room in the hotel if we would stay and of course the answer was “No”, so he let us check out at no cost. Cross that JW off the list, permanently.


More on the Aria in just a bit…my new favorite hotel...
http://www.arialasvegas.com/

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