Viva gay Las Vegas
I was planning on visiting Las Vegas with my partner for a Valentine's Day getaway. At the last minute, our plans changed and I'm having a solo stag weekend. At first I was afraid (I was petrified), kept thinking I could never enjoy Sin City without him by my side. But my weekend has been so stuffed with fun activities, I haven't had too much time to fret about being single this weekend.
First off, who can complain when they're staying at an Italian Palazzo next to a hotel, the Venetian, named for one of the most beautiful and beguiling cities in Europe? Like a lot of the simulacrum properties in town (New York, New York, the Paris et. al.), the Venetian's design features elements honoring the original, like very cool gondola rides (with hunky gondoliers), an impressive replica of the San Marco tower and like-they-make-in-Italy espresso coffee.
The Palazzo Concierge level where I decided to stay offers a dedicated check in, great views from the Concierge floors, 23 to 28, and presentations of meals throughout the day and a nice escape from the merry mayhem in the casino/lobby level.
Because of the change in status of my weekend from Valentine's romance to escape, I decided I needed to structure this weekend around food, pampering spa services and entertainment. With the economy as it is and those of us lucky enough to be working, toiling seemingly twice as hard as normal, I thought some R&R would help me face the week back in New York after the long weekend holiday. I'm not into gaming, and, perhaps surprisingly to some, it turns out it's easy to design a truly satisfying long weekend here without it.
I share with you the itinerary I cobbled together. I began the culinary portion of my adventure at Chef Rick Moonen's RM Seafood in Mandalay Bay, wolfing down an oyster tasting menu and several tasty sushi rolls. I didn't try the Oprah-blessed and now incredibly famous catfish sloppy Joe. Next time. I rolled out of there onto my first spa treatment, a massage at Canyon Ranch SpaClub at the Palazzo. Much kneaded.
Each night we planned a little entertainment. Friday the 13th was actually my lucky day as I scored tickets to see Elton John's Red Piano. He's winding down his Vegas appearance with only a handful of shows left in April then he's on tour with Billy Joel in a new show. Of course Cher and Bette Middler are still performing in the same venue built for Céline -- that 'skinny bitch,' as Elton described her -- the Caesar's Palace Coliseum, so you can get your gay show fix.
Dinner that night was at Bradley Ogden also in Caesar's Palace. Ogden is a pioneer in the farm-fresh and organic movements. The wine list is extensive, including wines by the glass.
We had to work off the day's calories so it was off to the 'fruit loop' of Las Vegas' fun gay bars, a number of which are clustered around a couple of blocks, making for easy bar-to-bar stumbling. Probably the most fun for people watching, dancing, lounging is 8 1/2 Ultra Lounge & Piranha Nightclub.
Be sure to come back tomorrow to discover more Las Vegas tips.