MBAT March 2013 : Page 86

travel & leisure Inspecting the Strip “I’m chairman of the Forbes Travel Guide (startle.com), which originated the Five-Star rating system in 1958,” says Guest Editor Jeff Arnold , “and Vegas is one of our most important markets.” Because Forbes Travel Guide rates and reviews thousands of hotels, restaurants and spas to find the very best experiences in the world, Arnold has the chance to find out firsthand the latest and greatest happenings around the world. What happens in Vegas, thankfully, doesn’t have to always stay in Vegas. Here, Arnold worked with the Forbes incognito inspectors to put together his picks for an insider Five-Star luxury experience in Las Vegas: There’s nothing like golfing in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip. The golf course at Wynn Las Vegas was designed by Tom Fazio on the former Desert Inn course and has top-notch service. wynnlasvegas.com The Neon Museum is a unique place to get a bit of Las Vegas history— there are signs from long-gone hotels, like Stardust and Sahara, dating back to the first days of Vegas on display here. neonmuseum.org Best History Lesson Aria sky suites, which recently received the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Award, has huge (a standard suite is more than 1,000 square feet) contemporary suites with some of the best bathrooms in Las Vegas. The technology in these rooms is cutting-edge—everything is controlled via your TV, and each room has three. ariaskysuites.com Best New Restaurant Javier’s at Aria Las Vegas serves fresh, creative Mexican food and has a great list of craft tequilas. arialasvegas.com Best Local Restaurant Piero’s Italian Cuisine. Ask anyone there or just go straight to the owners—father and son Freddie and Evan Glusman—the osso buco is incredible. pieroscuisine.com Best Speakeasy Best Nightclub Best Concierge No one knows Las Vegas like Jeanne Mills, chef concierge at MGM Grand Las Vegas. She’s the USA president of Les Clefs d’Or—the global concierge association—and has insider access to the city’s most exclusive spots. mgmgrand.com Friends in Las Vegas tipped me off to Commonwealth, a downtown bar with a Prohibition-era vibe. It has an ultraexclusive speakeasy called The Laundry Room—you have to know the number and text for reservations. Once inside, ask for the bartender, June, who will make you the best drink you’ve ever had. commonwealthlv.com Marquee at Cosmopolitan is one of Las Vegas’ hottest nightclubs. By day, it’s an outdoor pool party with live DJs—rent a cabana if you prefer a more low-key experience. At night, there’s the main room with bottle service and dancing, but check out the lounge-style Library room—it has a fireplace, pool tables and craft cocktails. marqueelasvegas.com 86 | | spring 2013 neon museum photo courtesy of neon museum; commonwealth photo by anthonymair; aria skysuites photo by scott frances Best Golf Course Best Suite

Travel & Leisure Weekender

Inspecting the Strip<br /> <br /> “I’m chairman of the Forbes Travel Guide (startle.com), which originated the Five- Star rating system in 1958,” says Guest Editor Jeff Arnold, “and Vegas is one of our most important markets.” Because Forbes Travel Guide rates and reviews thousands of hotels, restaurants and spas to find the very best experiences in the world, Arnold has the chance to find out firsthand the latest and greatest happenings around the world. What happens in Vegas, thankfully, doesn’t have to always stay in Vegas. Here, Arnold worked with the Forbes incognito inspectors to put together his picks for an insider Five-Star luxury experience in Las Vegas:<br /> <br /> Best Golf Course <br /> <br /> There’s nothing like golfing in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip. The golf course at Wynn Las Vegas was designed by Tom Fazio on the former Desert Inn course and has topnotch service. Wynnlasvegas.com<br /> <br /> Best History Lesson <br /> <br /> The Neon Museum is a unique place to get a bit of Las Vegas history— there are signs from long-gone hotels, like Stardust and Sahara, dating back to the first days of Vegas on display here. Neonmuseum.org<br /> <br /> Best Suite <br /> <br /> Aria sky suites, which recently received the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Award, has huge (a standard suite is more than 1,000 square feet) contemporary suites with some of the best bathrooms in Las Vegas. The technology in these rooms is cutting-edge—everything is controlled via your TV, and each room has three. Ariaskysuites.com<br /> <br /> Best New Restaurant <br /> <br /> Javier’s at Aria Las Vegas serves fresh, creative Mexican food and has a great list of craft tequilas. Arialasvegas.com <br /> <br /> Best Local Restaurant <br /> <br /> Piero’s Italian Cuisine. Ask anyone there or just go straight to the owners—father and son Freddie and Evan Glusman—the osso buco is incredible. Pieroscuisine.com <br /> <br /> Best Concierge <br /> <br /> No one knows Las Vegas like Jeanne Mills, chef concierge at MGM Grand Las Vegas. She’s the USA president of Les Clefs d’Or—the global concierge association—and has insider access to the city’s most exclusive spots. Mgmgrand.com<br /> <br /> Best Speakeasy <br /> <br /> Friends in Las Vegas tipped me off to Commonwealth, a downtown bar with a Prohibition-era vibe. It has an ultraexclusive speakeasy called The Laundry Room—you have to know the number and text for reservations. Once inside, ask for the bartender, June, who will make you the best drink you’ve ever had. Commonwealthlv.com<br /> <br /> Best Nightclub <br /> <br /> Marquee at Cosmopolitan is one of Las Vegas’ hottest nightclubs. By day, it’s an outdoor pool party with live Djs—rent a cabana if you prefer a more low-key experience. At night, there’s the main room with bottle service and dancing, but check out the lounge-style Library room—it has a fireplace, pool tables and craft cocktails. Marqueelasvegas.com<br /> <br /> Best Rush <br /> <br /> Take a spin around the track at Exotics Racing. Take your pick from an Aston Martin V8, Ferrari or Lamborghini and then hit the Las Vegas Motor Speedway at speeds of up to 130 mph. Exoticsracing.com<br /> <br /> Best Workout <br /> <br /> Locals go to downtown Las Vegas’ Real Results Fitness for the one-hour group training sessions with co-owner Paul Rosenberg.It’s a boot-camp-style workout for people who take fitness seriously. Realresultsfitness.com<br /> <br /> Best Bar <br /> <br /> I like the relaxed atmosphere at La Cave at Wynn Las Vegas. It has a great wine list. Wynnlasvegas.com <br /> <br /> Best View <br /> <br /> The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas. The relaxation lounges have incredible views of the Strip—especially from the infinity-edge hot pools and heated loungers. Mandarinoriental.com<br /> <br /> Best Fitness Center <br /> <br /> Canyon Ranch SpaClub at The Venetian has the most options for working out—there’s an indoor climbing wall and great classes. Canyonranch.com<br /> <br /> Best Nongaming Hotel <br /> <br /> There are two I like to check into: the Five-Star Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas and the Four-Star Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas.Mandarin has the best service in Vegas, and all the restaurants and nightlife of CityCenter, while still being a top-notch business hotel. The Four Seasons Hotel just underwent a complete renovation, so it has the newest rooms on the strip, and the soon-to-open indoor/outdoor bar Press will be a great place for drinks. Mandarinoriental.com<br /> <br /> Best Men’s Massage <br /> <br /> The High-Roller treatment at the Five-Star Spa at Mandarin Las Vegas—90 minutes of tensionrelieving back, scalp and shoulder massage. Mandarinoriental.com <br /> <br /> Best Place to Buy a Suit and Watch <br /> <br /> The Shops at Wynn Las Vegas have two brands I love—Brioni and Audemars Piguet, which have their own boutiques on-site. Brioni.Com; audemarspiguet.com <br /> <br /> Best Sports Bar <br /> <br /> There are a lot of sports bars in Vegas, but Lagasse’s Stadium at The Palazzo is the most upscale.There is stadium-style seating, billiards tables and a menu by Emeril Lagasse. Emerilsrestaurants.com<br /> <br /> Best Restaurant for Business <br /> <br /> There’s something about Las Vegas that makes everybody crave steak—one of the best is served at STK inside the Cosmopolitan.Cosmopolitanlasvegas.com<br /> <br /> Best Show <br /> <br /> I’m from Atlanta, so I have a soft spot for country music—my pick is Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s new show Soul2Soul at The Venetian. Venetian.com <br /> <br /> Next Best Thing <br /> <br /> Keep an eye out for the April opening of Hakkasan at MGM Grand. An outpost of the original London location, it promises to be one of the city’s hottest new nightclubs and restaurants. Hakkasanlv.com<br /> <br /> Best Room Service <br /> <br /> The just-opened NOBU Hotel is the first in the world from star chef Nobu Matsuhisa, and a joint venture with his business partner Robert De Niro.It’s located within Caesars Palace and has room service created by NOBU, including the famous miso black cod. The minibars are great, too—where else can you find one with blood orange juice and brown rice green tea? Nobucaesarspalace.com<br /> <br />

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