Las Vegas can feel like a parallel universe in which it's possible to spend more money in a single evening than you might otherwise spend on a whole weekend out of town. First of all, the outsized scale of the destination plays tricks on your mind. (That casino seemed just down the strip, but you'll realize how far away it actually is... as soon as you try to walk there in heels amid desert heat.) For another thing, you could plunk down the equivalent of your car payment or rent on a single roll of the dice or the roulette wheel — and barely register the damage because that dude next to you is betting using chips with way more zeros.
Well, when in Vegas, you might as well go for it. Hit the ATM, spend that loot. But do come home the something to show for it, in the form of an indelible memory and bragging rights for a lifetime. To that end, might we suggest...
NBD, but the esteemed French restaurant guide Gault Millau named Joël Robuchon as the “Chef of the Century” — and he’s the only three-star Michelin chef working in Las Vegas — so you’ll definitely want to duck into his only two U.S. restaurants outside of New York City, which are both at the MGM Grand. Joël Robuchon’s sophisticated tasting menu is a sure-fire way to impress a date — or just chip away at that bucket list. Think reclining on plush purple velvet seating, while consuming a jaw-dropping caviar dish known as “Le Caviar Imperial,” on which an edible 24-karat gold leaf tops Oscetra caviar, and covers a crustacean gelée dotted with cauliflower puree. A multi course menu with copious alcohol pairings could set you back about $1,000 — but you might just consider it priceless.
Next door, L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon offers counter service so you can watch your dinner prepped before your eyes.
Less spendy, but ultra decadent too, try the bottomless rosé brunch at Bardot Brasserie, chef Michael Mina’s new French restaurant at Aria Resort & Casino. Peel your aching head out of bed, and come until 2:30 p.m. on the weekends for decadent dishes such as lobster croissant benedict and brioche French toast with vanilla mascarpone… all while sipping endless rosé wine and avant-garde brunch cocktails.
If you’re more into red meat than pink wine, hit Carnevino Italian Steakhouse by Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich at the Palazzo, where carnivores can feast on hand-selected cuts that are aged a minimum of 90 to 120 days. As well, you'll find of the resort’s most expensive wines within the restaurant: Burgundy Grand Cru Romanee-Conti, Domaine de la Romanee-Conti 2012 France, priced at $30,000 for the bottle.
When you want to feel as rich and important as Cleopatra, go for the gold — spa treatments, that is. The Spa at Aria offers a gold facial, which claims to hydrate, soothe, and minimize fine lines. A gold face, neck, and décolleté mask gives skin that glow. (And it really works!)
And the Canyon Ranch Spa Club at the Venetian and Palazzo offers its 24K Facial, with a 24-karat gold masque. Even bigger ballers can try the Diamond Facial, which uses diamond powder to firm up the skin.
Last, why start your night with a ho-hum blowout? No, you deserve Canyon Ranch’s “Bombshell Blowout,” an 80-minute, $235 workup that includes a shine treatment and a blowout using the Signature 7 brush for vavavoom effect.
Sure, Las Vegas’ splashy casino properties offer endless modern (and highly Instagrammable) gym options. But why work out at a gym, when you can get your fitness fix in way more unique, only-in-Vegas ways? The Mirage has unveiled its “Yoga Among the Dolphins” opportunity for guests to stretch and strengthen while bottlenose dolphins glide by at Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat.
Similarly — and yet different — Mandalay Bay offers its “Swimming With the Sharks” workout for any scuba-certified travelers willing to drive into North America’s only predator-based aquarium.
But even those over-the-top concepts are simply penny-ante ideas compared to the piece de resistance of things money can buy in Sin City: the chance to choose the song for the Bellagio fountains! For $250,000 you’ll sit center stage at Hyde’s most-coveted patio table overlooking the famous Fountains of Bellagio.
You'll get a gold box delivered to the table, containing a single red button. Push it to control 4,700 lights, 1,200 individual fountains shooting up to 460 feet high and spanning 1,000 feet, and enough world-class speakers to fill two major concert venues. Toast to the moment with a 30-liter bottle of Ace of Spades champagne, the equivalent of 40 champagne bottles.
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