As a travel destination, Las Vegas is to be treated delicately. Spend too much time there and you're sure to blow all your money, overtax your liver — or get in deeper troubles of various sorts. So the strategy is to fly in, capture that unforgettable, over-the-top experience that only Sin City can offer — and then get the hell out. Here's our advice on what to do with an overnighter in town.
Noon: Check in and Hit the Pool
Pick a centrally located casino on the Las Vegas strip, so you'll have limited time in transit. Stay at a place like Aria, just a couple of miles from McCarran airport and right in the middle of MGM's City Center complex. Open the door to the high-tech room to find your blackout shades opening automatically. (Then hit the button to close them again immediately; you'll be thankful you did come tomorrow morning.) Then spray that sunscreen and hit the pool, one of Las Vegas' pure pleasures that doesn't even come with an added cost.
3 P.M.: Get Pampered
You're about to wreck your body (more on that later), so prepare by treating it well. The spa at the Mandarin Oriental is among the most divine urban spas in the world: It's packed with high-end luxuries like digital so-called "experience showers" (touch the screen and get a tropical rain or an island storm, for instance), plus pools and illuminated loungers that overlook the Las Vegas strip. Opt for a traditional treatment in the Chinese foot spa... a way of thanking your feet for the stiletto Loubs they'll be strutting in later. Then shower in luxury and primp for a night out. Don't forget: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate from the copious water bottles on offer around the spa.
8 P.M.: Get Your Grub On
You're going to want to fill that belly to soak up the alcohol. Try the impeccable cuisine at Harvest by Roy Ellamar within the Bellagio. In addition to hearty menu items, you'll also fill up on precious little sides — in the style of dim sum — served from a so-called "snack wagon." Dessert rolls out in similar fashion. Now's also a reasonable time to start drinking: Scroll the cocktail menu on iPads brought to your table.
10 P.M.: Pre Party
The club doesn't get started until after 11, so grab a drink at a lounge like Alibi Ultra Lounge to keep your evening — and your booze — on a continuous flow. Or use the time to step onto the casino floor and let it ride on your favorite number on the roulette wheel — or try your luck at the craps table. Let's see that point, shooter!
11:30 P.M.: Get Your Club On
You're in Vegas. You need to go to a nightclub. It's a law of nature. Hit the new Jewel Nightclub at Aria — just steps from Alibi, by the way — where the illuminated backdrop behind the DJ booth makes for beyond gorgeous Instagram opps. Leave it all on the dance floor.
4 A.M.: Catch a Cat Nap
Now would be a good time to catch some rest so you can feel a little less rough for the remainder of your short stay. Or not. In a couple hours, Jean Philippe Patisserie opens anyway, so you can grab a croissant and guzzle coffee with the other party people. In Vegas, stumbling to breakfast in your LBD while holding your heels is not a walk of shame — it's a badge of honor.
9 A.M.: Find Adventure
You're in Vegas to party, of course. But the great thing about the destination is how much wild stuff you can pack into a quick overnighter — so don't miss your opportunity. Let Maverick Helicopters pick you up at the hotel and whisk you to the terminal to depart for your tour over the Grand Canyon. (Hi, baller.) When you land, you'll catch epic selfies over the Colorado River (don't get too close to the edge), and your pilot will lay out a picnic including champagne. Hair of the dog, after all.
Noon: Wrap it Up and Get the Heck out of Dodge
By noon, you'll be back at the hotel and wrapping up your epic 24 hours in time to get out of town — and even rest up before Monday. Before you go, buy something fabulous and seriously splurgy from the shops at Crystals... a tangible memory of your epic trip.
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