What do Lisa Vanderpump, bunk beds, a genie in a bottle, yoga at 550 feet in the sky, and cocktails that pop in your mouth have in common? They’re among some of the newest and hottest spectacles happening in Vegas right now. What sounds like a new reality show absolutely should be, and if you play your cards right, you can be in the center of it all. Here's what to check out now in Vegas.
1. Namastay 550 Feet in the Air
Yogis will be thrilled to spend 60 minutes in downward dog on the world’s tallest observation wheel topping out at 550 feet. The 28 spherical air-conditioned cabins on The High Roller offer yoga sessions for amateurs and enthusiasts alike, with a unique one-hour experience (two full rotations) and a 360-degree views of Las Vegas. Reservations must be booked 24-hours in advance; sessions are available Sunday, Wednesday and Friday at 11:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. It's $75 per person.
2. LVP in Vegas
The brand-new Vanderpump Cocktail Garden inside Caesars Palace, from none other than Lisa Vanderpump herself, is completely decadent. It's everything a sexy garden oasis should be—if you can wait out the long line.
Innovative garden-to-glass cocktails abound including those made with Vanderpump's own vodka— try the Please Her, Caesar! with notes of blackberry and elderflower and topped with bubbly rosé, and the Matcha Matcha Man, a gingery green tea cocktail. Fans of LVP will love ending the night with a Naughty Nightcap, and the infamous goat cheese balls you’ve probably watched Stassi drool over before.
3. Hit the Jackpot with these Vegas Shows
For a jaw-dropping circus variety show, don’t miss ABSINTHE, which takes place in the tent outside Caesars Palace. Las Vegas Weekly has called this intimate, adults-only show “The #1 Greatest Show in Las Vegas History,” and they’re not wrong. It's hysterical and tasteless beyond measure. It boasts wild and outlandish acts of unfathomable strength and balance, incredibly odd talents, and acrobatic sequences that are performed mere feet from the audience, all inspired by 19th century cabaret (and absinthe, of course). Plus, there isn’t a bad seat in the house for this one.
If you love adult comedy and things that are entirely inappropriate, you’ll also love OPIUM (from the same creators as ABSINTHE), a twisted and crude ode to b-list science fiction movies, set back in a tiny room on the second floor of the fancy hotel, The Cosmopolitan. It’s comprised of a bunch of side acts that serve as "in-flight space entertainment" with lots of sexual innuendo and humor. There's even a Spocktail Menu with drinks like the Kiss My Asteroid, which is a ton of flavored liquor mixed into a souvenir cup with a side of Pop Rocks.
4. Get Dirrty at Xtina's Residency
One of the staples of Las Vegas's allure are the residencies, and one of the latest and greatest to sign on is Christina Aquilera with “The Xperience.” Debuting at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood on May 31, the multi-platinum and six-time Grammy Award-winning artist will perform 16 shows where the genie in a bottle phenom promises “a mind-blowing theatrical experience” in the intimately vibrant venue. Tickets start at $60 and the show runs through September 21.
5. Eat Everything
Globally renowned celebrity chefs and television personalities have eateries all over Vegas. Take Giada De Laurentiis, for instance, who brings her extensive culinary background and TV fame to GIADA at The Cromwell. The restaurant is centrally located and has huge, retractable windows boasting breathtaking views of the Bellagio fountains. There's an extensive wine list and must-orders include the massive shrimp cocktail, mushroom crostini, vegetable bolognese rigatoni, and Italian fried chicken. Snap a before or after dinner picture in their complimentary photo booth to the left of the hostess stand.
Where to Stay
The Strip stretches four long miles where everything looks closer than it is, so staying central is usually a smarter move than betting it all on red. We booked the Flamingo Las Vegas, one of the oldest hotels in Las Vegas, a classic with staying power and a central location.
As part of the historic hotel-casino’s recent $156 million room renovations, the Flamingo debuted 515-square-foot bunk bed rooms, perfect for accommodating big families, bachelorette groups and the like. Each room has two queen beds, each equipped with its own overhead full-size bunk, to maximize on space. There's even a 1,000-square-foot bunk bed suite, which comes with the queen/full bunk bed set up, but is also connected to a 550-square-foot parlor that includes a living area, oversized furniture and a full kitchenette with refrigerator.
We lounged at the 15-acre Caribbean style playground, the Flamingo GO POOL Dayclub, which packs ambiance and entertainment—booty shaking, cold drinks, celebrity appearances—into a sunny afternoon (it's open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.). Bring sunscreen for this high octane party, but leave the banana hammocks at home (seriously, it’s on the “no” dress code list).
- Leaving McCarran Airport, Uber/Lyft is typically $5 cheaper than a taxi but slightly more hectic, as you have to go up a few levels and find your ride in a stall amongst other anxious travelers.
- Drinks while gambling are complimentary. If you’re going to a show, hit up a table with a low minimum and ask for a drink in a to-go cup first.
- Many hotels now offer early kiosk check-in for a small fee, which was well worth skipping the check-in line and getting settled into your room earlier. We did this at Flamingo and checked in at 10 a.m once we landed, instead of the standard 4 p.m., just for an extra $35.
- If you’re new to gambling, find an empty table with a low minimum and ask the dealer to teach you. Many people don’t know they are allowed and encouraged to help you learn the game; trust me.
- If you use ride-sharing apps, be sure to select and move your pin. The tall buildings make it difficult for the app to know where you are, so avoid this hassle before you get stuck with a cancellation fee.