Las Vegas Jan 2011

submitted by Audrey Pegasus Travel Omaha
Let me start with, I haven't been to Las Vegas since 2002 - so there's been a whole lot of shakin goin on in the real estate and ownership of the resorts since then. One needs a scorecard to keep track of who owns what. That said, I was looking at resorts from the perspective of what people would find enticing (as well as personal preference)...

The new City Center complex - Aria, Vdara, Mandarin Oriental and retail shops â€" is spectacular.

Aria - loved it
Cosmopolitan - very interesting. Unusual registration desk - a veritable light show going on. Restaurants - think upscale food court ..ate at Comme Ca (comme ci comme ca)- French (surprise) - and very good. Ate at American Fish (Michael Mina) at Aria - very good. There must be every celebrity chef represented somewhere in Las Vegas and some more than one place. Not sure I really embrace that â€" the exclusivity is somewhat compromised. But you can eat very well and very expensively at any of the resorts.
The days of the 50cent shrimp cocktail are probably gone.

I stayed at my favorite hotel chain - Hyatt Place - LOVE LOVE LOVE this chain...parking right outside the door, checkin right inside the door, all suite rooms, refrigerator, coffee maker, big couch, desk, huge TV, GREAT lighting, GREAT breakfast, and food available to purchase is very tasty, small bar, free wi-fi. Las Vegas location is across the street from Hard Rock and UNLV...

Visited - Venetian/Palazzo (saw Jersey Boys..excellent even the second time)Also had lunch at the fabulous Canyon Ranch Spa facility. Looks like everything is moving to the Palazzo side treatment wise. - Wynn/Encor (could have shot a cannon off in Encor and not hit a thing, plus the blood red chandeliers are a bit overwhelming) - Wynn looks good. Bellagio - (still my favorite, the gardens were full of a China exhibit Year of the Rabbit, Terra Cotta warriors and more) The Chihuly ceiling is probably one of his best works and there were lots of people there. Caesars - still very dark and looks a little tired. Saw Elvis Cirque du Soleil at Aria - enjoyed it but my favorite Cirque is still Mystere.

Also - visited Hoover Dam and the new spectacular bridge (opened oct 2010) - drove across it - but to get the proper perspective, you need to drive down to the dam and look from that angle - quite a structure.

Rented a car from Enterprise - i do like them most of the time (course I like whoever has the best rate really) ...had a gps that wasn't programmed with new builds and they graciously deducted the cost when I returned the car. The car rental center is wonderful, no matter who you're renting all go to the same place.