You can criticise Vegas for being tacky, out-of-control, shallow and money-crazed, but you definitely can’t call it boring. The Strip has long been the venue of bachelor parties, drunken weddings and hijinks straight of The Hangover and this year it’s getting an update. If you’re planning on heading to Vegas, we’ve compiled a list of the city’s most exciting additions.
Leave your inhibitions and camera at home.
Yusho: Award-winning Chicago chef Matthias Merges serves up Japanese street food like yakitori at affordable prices without the often pretentious atmosphere of other celebrity chef spots around the city. The restaurant, which will open in April at the Monte Carlo, has the motto “no glamour required” so you can leave your bling and Lamborghini at home. Thank God.
800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizza: Also opening later this year at the Monte Carlo is this DIY pizza joint, the focal point of which is a special 800-degree oven that can cook your pie in one minute. After all, you didn’t come to Vegas to wait around.
Hershey’s Chocolate World: Goodbye health! The iconic chocolate retailer is opening a flagship store in May at the New York New York hotel and casino. Two-storeys of Kisses and cocoa…if you’re a non-drinker, this may be the answer to your Vegas entertainment prayers.
Some recognisable names are popping up at high-end mall, The Shops at Crystals. Iconic fashion house Valentino and luxury watchmaker Tourbillon both opened boutiques there in late 2013 and this year will see the arrival of It-girl favourite Celine. Between the three, big spenders have evening gowns and accessories covered. Or you can just window shop if your budget isn’t sky-high.
Michael Jackson ONE: In the same vein as LOVE, their hugely popular colourful production featuring songs from The Beatles, Cirque de Soleil have launched the Michael Jackson-themed ONE at Mandalay Bay. The prolific Canadian circus will surely do an incredible job of choreographing acrobatics to match Jackson’s iconic tunes and have you humming all the way home. We would also love to see what a mid-air moonwalk looks like.
Beacher’s Madhouse: Wildly inappropriate, outrageous and reminiscent of Ripley’s Believe It or Not, this Vaudeville variety show opened at the MGM Grand in December with a party hosted by Miley Cyrus. The show itself features some of Cyrus’ back-up dancers, including some dwarf impersonators of Katy Perry and Lady Gaga and a two-metre-tall woman nicknamed Amazon Ashley. If weird is your thing, this is right up your alley.
Britney: Piece of Me: The pop princess has taken up residence at Planet Hollywood with a dance-heavy show highlighting her greatest hits. You can groove along to Hit Me Baby One More Time in a club environment while celebrating the fact that Spears has clearly made a super lucrative comeback in the face of some serious challenges. Go Brit.
El Loco: Thrill seekers can get their fix on Vegas’ newest rollercoaster, El Loco, at The Adventuredome at Circus Circus. The coaster provides a 72-second ride with negative G drops and a healthy dose of twists and turns. Do yourself a favour and avoid Hershey’s Chocolate World and any alcohol before hopping aboard.
Painting Women: For those with more refined tastes, the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art will open a new exhibition called Painting Women: Works from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston featuring paintings from female artists like Georgia O’Keeffe and Mary Cassatt. The exhibition will feature 34 works spanning 90 years (1860 – 1950) aiming to celebrate female artists throughout time. Girl power!
Stay Well: The MGM Grand’s half-spa half-hotel room accomodations are expanding to an entire floor, allowing you to enjoy more than a dozen health and wellness features. Particular highlights include a Vitamin C-infused shower to up your antioxidant intake and dawn-simulated alarm clocks, gently waking you up with naturally increasing light.
Essentially, these are hotel rooms which fight hangovers. Brilliant.
The Delano Hotel: Replacing Mandalay Bay’s THEhotel, this luxury hotel will open this year. With an original branch in South Beach, Miami, the boutique company will take over the 43-storey golden tower adding some relaxed, minimalist cool previously unseen in the city’s elaborate, themed hotels.
The Cromwell: On May 21, this Parisian-themed hotel will open the doors of its 169 rooms and 19 suites. Each suite will have a different decorating theme and some fun additions like steam showers, pinball machines, fully-stocked full size fridges and Apple computers. The location, right in the middle of the strip, is also a plus if you plan on stumbling home in the early hours of the morning.