Among the neon lights and dizzying advertisements, the old classics and popular favorites grab your eye in Las Vegas. However, there's always something on the horizon in Sin City and some of the newer additions can offer a heady dose of fun. Come discover a hotel that offers luxury for less in its decked-out suites before you dine on classic and affordable burgers at a hip restaurant. And as the sun sets over the strip, watch the nightlife sizzle as you sip cocktails at a "boutique club."
Stay Palazzo Las Vegas: The first casino to be built on the strip in nearly three years, the Palazzo will wow you with its luxurious suites, upscale shopping, and over-the-top decor. This sister property to the Venetian takes the Italian theme to new heights, featuring high ceilings, marble sculptures, and stained glass windows. Each suite comes equipped with remote-controlled Roman shades, flat-screen televisions, and king-sized beds. Suites offer affordable luxury, starting at $189 per night during the low season.
Eat BLT Burger: In Vegas' sea of fine dining and high prices, sometimes you just need a good old-fashioned hamburger. BLT Burger's first Vegas location at the Mirage will satisfy your craving for classic American comfort food with top-notch burgers and a slew of milkshakes (some spiked). Plus, if you want to wander away from the mainstream, you can try one of the lamb, salmon, or turkey burgers. Burgers start at just $10.
Drink Blush at the Wynn Las Vegas: Blush has combined a lounge atmosphere with a nightclub ambience, creating an ideal place to start the evening with cocktails and end it on the dance floor. Sit under paper lanterns and enjoy one of the club's signature drinks, such as the pair-a-dice martini, a pear liqueur concoction. Please note that a cover charge may apply.
In a former job I traveled a lot. Sadly, it was a start-up company with a next-to-nothing travel budget, so my lavish accommodations consisted of an air mattress on the floor of my brother’s studio apartment in Brooklyn. Many companies though, with much loftier cash flows than my previous employer, are feeling the effects of the AIG fallout. Which means closer attention to the company-sanctioned high-roller lifestyles many higher-ups are accustomed to, and an easy target is travel budgets and expenses.
With millions of Americans losing their jobs and the economy in the toilet, it is just a tad annoying to hear about big-wigs taking private jets or getting thousand-dollar spa treatments during their last “company retreat” Seeing the backlash AIG has suffered, many other companies are erring on the side of caution and cutting back on travel budgets before they too are publicly scorned—sad news for said big-wigs and even sadder news for the travel industry. U.S companies are canceling up to $1 billion worth of corporate travel during 2009 and hotels are feeling the crunch. In Las Vegas, a hot spot for conventions and corporate events, bookings are way down. During February alone hotels in L.A. lost events that could have filled 95,000 hotel rooms, and there are only so many celebs seeking refuge in the Chateau Marmont, you know?
Even when companies do hold events, their budgets have shrunk, which means, fewer open bars, less gourmet food and less money for the service industry—which in the past few years has been on overdrive adding amenities to attract the lucrative business traveler, building spas, hot restaurants, and bars at their properties.
Extravagant lifestyles are slowly becoming a thing of the past across the board, so don’t be surprised if you see more suits on your next cheap flight.
Here’s hoping CEOs have brothers in Brooklyn with air mattresses!
Look at the calendar, my friends—it ain't April Fool's Day. A Market Metrix survey of 35,000 combined visitors to both cities shows that people prefer Atlantic City to Las Vegas, albeit by a slim margin. A.C. edged out Sin City in overall customer satisfaction, as well as "emotion scores," which measure seemingly unquantifiable attributes such as how sophisticated and hip/cool each city is. Atlantic City was considered to be a far greater value, which is probably the source of most of its appeal.
I can't help but feel a little befuddled here. I grew up in Jersey, and I've been to Atlantic City a number of times, though admittedly not in years. I recall, however, a prevailing feeling of shabbiness, and what I remember most is seeing bus after bus unloading retirees from the northern suburbs. Not exactly hip and cool, right? Vegas, on the other hand, is a nonstop circus of over-the-top debauchery and glamour, even if the latter is mostly superficial.
That said, Atlantic City has changed a great deal in the past five or seven years. New hotels such as the Borgata have classed up the place, bringing in celebrity chefs and popular acts like Sheryl Crow and Eric Clapton (and Paul Anka, but who's counting?). Conversely, Vegas is creeping toward overkill (which, for Vegas, is saying a lot), with mega-hotel after mega-hotel rising up like a bad poker player's debt.
I turn to you, my fair readers, for some insight here. Help a lost blogger make sense of this. Is Atlantic City, tucked away in stinky (but loveable) New Jersey, really preferable to the glitzy, elegant, celebrity-magnet kingdom of Las Vegas? Post your comments below!
If you're a traveler like me, your typical vacation will include a trip up to a scenic lookout where you're likely to have the best view of the place you're visiting. And if you're a big wuss like me, as soon as you get to the most scenic vantage point, your knees will start wobbling and you'll grip the handrail with vise-like intensity/strength, thinking, "I could've gotten this view from a postcard in the lobby!" For those of you who like the idea (if not necessarily the reality) of a great view, I've put together the following list of 10 attractions, each of which is extremely nosebleed-friendly.
10. The CN Tower
The CN Tower is 553 meters tall, which is a Canadian way of saying 1,815 feet off the ground. Technically, it's the "tallest free-standing structure on land," but that just means it's not a place where people live or work. Which is just fine by me, because I have absolutely no interest in living or working anyplace higher than my third-floor bedroom or fourth-floor office. The CN Tower was completed in 1973 and is used primarily for TV and radio broadcasts, as well as tourism. Fans of 1940s music will be dismayed to learn that there is no AM antenna on the Tower.
9. The Jungfraujoch Railway Station
What do you get when you cross the Swiss Alps with Europe's love of passenger trains? The Jungfraujoch railway station, which is 11,333 feet above sea level. Okay, that's not much of a joke, but the Swiss aren't known for their sense of humor (kidding!). So once you've made this hair-raising train trip to the top of the world, what can you do besides gorging on Swiss chocolate and fondue? How about checking out an Ice Palace or a ski and snowboard park that's only open in the summer?
om nom nom
8. Mt. Kilimanjaro
For number eight, let's take this a notch higher. It's true that Mt. Kilimanjaro makes the Alps look puny. But with a summit of 19,340 feet, Africa's tallest peak is actually accessible enough for real people to climb, sans oxygen tanks. Of course that's not to say it's an easy task, especially if you're the type who favors the escalator to the stairs.
Floor 5895: Neon hiking gear and ridiculous hats
7. London Eye
Coming back a little closer to earth, the London Eye is essentially a big ol' Ferris wheel. If that doesn't wow you, consider that the 443-foot-tall ride was the tallest of its kind when it opened in 2000. If you want to make your visit more upscale, you can purchase a glass of Champagne for an additional £30. I think I'll pass on the pricey drink. I'll be happy just to hold down my lunch while in one of the pods.
6. Singapore Flyer
With about 100 more vertical feet than the London Eye, The Singapore Flyer took the role of world's highest Ferris wheel when it opened this month. One of the coolest things about the Flyer is its taxi-driver promotion, which currently awards all cabbies a free ride. I guess the idea is they'll be so taken with their trip that they won't be able to stop talking up the attraction to their customers. I'm assuming they're not trying to recruit the drivers to be "pod pilots." Just one warning to those who do take the Flyer: Don't write your name in your cabin. They're not big fans of graffiti in Singapore.
Never Forget: Michael P. Fay
5. The Top of the Rock
The Empire State Building is great, but it's soooo 20th century. For the latest in Big Apple views, you gotta hit the Top of the Rock. The "Rock" in question is Rockefeller Center, and while its 850-foot-high observation deck doesn't reach the Empire State Building's height, , this deck affords a much better view of the ESB than you'll get when you're standing on the building itself. Oh, and our sister site TripAdvisor's users rank the Top of the Rock number one of 1,296 New York City attractions. 'Nuff said.
Hey, is that Tina Fey? Let's not forget her either.
4. La Paz
Just about any spot in La Paz, Bolivia, the world's highest capital city, can make the most grounded person feel as if his head is in the clouds. At 11,942 feet in elevation, La Paz is an attraction in itself. If you go, make sure you're prepared for the altitude. You can take a medicine such as Diamox, or just chew some coca leaves like the locals. La Paz's Museum of the Coca Plant is the place to learn more about the coca leaf and all its interesting uses.
im in ur bolivia sniffin ur cokez
3. The Edge
It might be in Melbourne, Australia, but there is nothing "Down Under" about The Edge, a glass cube that juts out of the Eureka Tower, which at 975 feet is the world's tallest residential building. The worst … er, best part of it all is that The Edge doesn't just sit there like all the other observation decks. No, you get in and it physically moves outward until you're hanging out with nothing between you and a long fall but some chintzy glass panel.
Hello, Hello. I'm at a place called Vertigo.
2. Taipei 101
The Taipei 101 is currently the world's tallest building at a height of 1,670 feet, though the Burj Dubai is set to overtake that record when it officially opens. At that height, I'm really not interested in which one is taller, but rather how the hell I can get down safely. What I think is coolest about the 101 is not just its height, but how big it is relative to the buildings around it. It's as if former NBA big man Manute Bol decided to show up and play pickup hoops with you and your friends. Basically, the Taipei 101 doesn't care about its neighboring skyscrapers—it's going to dunk on their asses.
Manute enlarged to show texture.
1. Insanity, the Ride
Which brings us to number one. Yes, Insanity, the Ride, at Las Vegas' Stratosphere, is not only the most vertigo-inducing attraction in the world, it's probably the most wetting-your-pants/barfing-your-guts-out one as well. The casino-hotel stands 1,149 feet above The Strip, which is what you'll be gaping down at as you are spun at three-Gs by a "massive mechanical arm" extended 64 feet out from the building. I can barely even look at the picture below without feeling queasy.
Serving suggestion, some assembly required, ManuteBucketTM not included.
What do Jessica Simpson, Hulk Hogan and Eminem have in common? They’re neighbors, silly! Simpson recently closed on a 1,200-square-foot condo in the posh Palms Place Las Vegas . Her new love nest (hello, Tony Romo) features a marble bath big enough to live in, the requisite hardwood floors and plasma TVs, and multiple balconies from which to observe the commoners roaming The Strip below.
And not that Tony Romo needs to be jealous of Nick Lachey, but this condo was originally purchased by the then-married couple. It ended up in Jessica’s possession in their divorce settlement. But seeing as Jessica reportedly hasn’t seen the condo yet, it’s not as if Tony has to worry about Jessica and Nick’s memories of the place.
The Drift Spa, one of the many amenities of the Palms Palace, should keep Ms. Simpson busy. It is the exclusive Vegas home of celeb-favorite Sunset Tan, after all. And if she doesn’t feel like venturing out for dinner, the Palace does offer 24-hour room service. Now if they can just figure out if Jessica prefers chicken or fish, they’ll be a step ahead of the game.
With the opening of the Trump International Hotel & Tower Las Vegas this month (reservations are available beginning March 31), Sin City has yet another behemoth property and the famously coiffed Donald Trump has one more reason to shoot his mouth off. To find out more, I decided to comb over the hotel's website.
Turns out, the "Tower" is actually two towers, or will be once the second is built. The two structures have the same number of rooms (OK, OK, Tower I has 1,282 compared to just 1,280 in Tower II, but let's not split hairs). According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, this new project is all about luxury: "floor-to-ceiling windows, kitchens with granite countertops, marble floors in entries and baths, vanities with marble countertops, spa tubs in master baths, owner's lockout closets, and mirrors with embedded TVs." And though The Donald is clearly a fan of rugs, there's no mention of carpeting.
All of this opulence seems fitting for Trump, whose mane focus seems to be convincing America what a classy guy he is. Perhaps another good way for him to get his message out would be to pump The Apprentice to the cardio machines with built-in televisions, a staple of the Technogym health club.
Scientists have long theorized that black holes may actually defy the space-time continuum by linking parallel dimensions with one another. One might even say that black holes are like high-speed train lines through space-time.
A fair number of us non-scientists have likewise long believed that Las Vegas and Disneyland are alternate dimensions, so it makes sense that a high-speed train line would one day link the two. In fact, there are now two separate plans for quick transport between these false realities. On one hand, we have a futuristic, extremely expensive (and therefore the obvious choice) MagLev train. On the other hand, there’s a far less exciting, more economical (read: bor-ing) DesertXPress train. Come on, a super-fast train that travels 300 miles per hour and runs on magnets? And it would cost $12 billion? Survey says: yes.
However, the real challenge of traveling through the fabric of space-time or between alternate realities concerns the folks on board. Those of you who've seen this season of Lost know well that time/dimension traveling is not pretty. If you haven’t been watching, I’ll sum up: You get a wicked nosebleed and die.
So how will train operators keep passengers’ brains from exploding? How will they maintain the false reality that’s sold at either end of the line?
Maybe they’ll replace windows with flat-panel TVs and display weird landscapes passing by (“Hey, we’re under the sea—oh look, now we’re on Mars!”). Maybe passengers will sleep in little pods so they don’t even realize they're traveling. Maybe they'll just have an open bar, who knows?
Whatever you do, make sure you have a constant, okay?
BookingBuddy is home to some big-time data geeks. While digging through our proprietary data and correlating it with some external studies, we’ve discovered something very interesting: Northwest Airlines appears to be profiting off misery and sin! More specifically, they’re profiting off of miserable people fleeing Detroit (not unlike Snake Pliskin fleeing the Big Apple in Escape from New York) for the temptations of Sin City, Las Vegas.
How did we come to this conclusion?
Forbes recently released a nigh-indisputable study featuring a “Misery Index” indicating Detroit was America’s most miserable city;
Detroit to Las Vegas is currently one of the most-searched routes in all of Booking Buddy land (number one in January 2008);