You’d be hard-pressed to find a more guaranteed-awesome girlfriend getaway than Las Vegas. Despite what you may feel about yard-long Technicolor drinks, the Vegas Strip packs it all in—great food, swanky stays, unbeatable weather, and of course epic parties. So, based on recent trips, we’ve put together our picks for the ultimate girlfriend getaway to Sin City.
Tip: Booze is better when it’s not watered down. Trust us, these places may be pricier than others but you’ll thank us when you see them pouring Grey Goose instead of diluted Popov in your drinks.
Where to Stay
One of the best new(ish) hotels is the ARIA Las Vegas. You can balance out the club vibe of the LIQUID pool party with more relaxed guest pools, and stick around for dinner before hitting the Strip because the hotel is home to restaurants like Bar Masa and Sage. Plus, the over-sized guest rooms are perfect for getting ready together, music blaring.
Or book at the equally sleek and swanky Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, where you need only take the elevator down to find, arguably, the best cocktails on the Strip. Mix that in with one of the hottest pool parties around, a spa and Hammam for easy recovery, and terraces on the spacious rooms.
Insider Tip: If you can avoid a Friday check-in and a Sunday check-out, do it. That is when every other guest on the Strip is checking in and out and lines get very long.
Where to Eat
Vegas has an inordinate amount of great restaurants, considering how small the Strip really is. It’s a foodie’s playground. Your first stop should be Jaleo, helmed by renowned chef and Fodor’s Travel Tastemaker Jose Andres, serving everything from paella to molecular gastronomy-inspired bites. For great French fare with an unparalleled view of the Strip, head to Comme Ca, an LA import with a raw bar and classic bistro dishes.
Where to Play by Day
Pool clubs are the name of the game in Vegas. And the new Bagatelle Beach Club (at the Tropicana) should be your top pool-party-priority. Owned by the same people behind the endlessly-packed Bagatelle nightclub in NYC, is new to the Strip but has the dayclub formula down. Cabanas and plush loungers are plentiful. The drinks are deliciously potent. And the music is better than most other pools.
Honorable Mentions: The Hard Rock’s legendary Rehab is the pool that started it all. If you’re only going to visit Vegas once, carve out time to experience this Sunday afternoon insanity. Then, the BLVD pool at The Cosmopolitan is a tried-and-true favorite offering a low-key alternative to the hotel’s Marquee madness.
Where to Play by Night
Beverages flow all the livelong day in Las Vegas. But we sought out the best of it. First up, the gin and tonic menu at Jaleo. Hinting at the gin and tonic craze sweeping Spain, Jaleo will make you a mean cocktail using high end gins, tonics, and various fresh add-ins. Then, the sleek Vesper bar at the Cosmopolitan is all about the well crafted cocktail. And if you’re planning to book bottle service at a club, make it the Hyde Lounge at the Bellagio. The club has huge windows that overlook the iconic Bellagio fountains and the whole club gets a front seat when they go off every 15-20 minutes. There’s plenty to look at inside, too, with some of the world’s best DJs spinning on the regular.
Honorable Mentions: Discover old Las Vegas at the 24-hour Peppermill Fireside Lounge. It’s a fantastically kitschy lounge in the back of a greasy spoon diner with enormous and brightly colored cocktails and fire pits. Going full kitsch? Stop at Frankie’s Tiki Room, a decked out tiki bar where most of the drinks are made with rum.
Where to Chill
You’ve sworn off drinking for at least a few hours, so why not recuperate at the spa? No need to book a service, just buy a day pass and spend a few hours switching between steam rooms, saunas, and specialty relaxation rooms. The Venetian’s Canyon Ranch spa offers “Experiential Rains” (cooling showers), Herbal steam rooms, an Igloo, and a Wave Room, among other spaces. Likewise, ARIA’s spa offers a Shio Salt Room and Ganbanyoku Beds (heated stone beds) on top of the steam room and sauna combo. But the main draw is a warm relaxation pool that overlooks the hotel’s LIQUID dayclub.
Bonus: Prime Photo Opp
A museum might not top your Vegas checklist, but make an exception for the Neon Museum, now open with more regular hours. It’s a graveyard for the fantastic neon signs that have been retired from the Strip. Pose in front of the old Horseshoe sign or next to the bright red Stardust sign.
Photo credits: ARIA guestroom courtesy of ARIA Las Vegas; Jaleo courtesy of The Cosmpolitan/Jaleo; Bagatelle Las Vegas courtesy of Bagatelle Las Vegas; Vesper Bar courtesy of The Cosmpolitan; ARIA spa courtesy of ARIA Las Vegas