My Las Vegas City Break
About a month ago, I had the opportunity to go on a business trip to Las Vegas for 4 days (thank you work). Obviously, this post will focus on the things I did, saw and ate, rather than the business part of things.
So at about 8 a.m. on a Monday morning, I flew directly from Montreal to Vegas, arriving there at about 10 a.m. local time (that’s 1 p.m. back in MTL). I was staying at the beautiful Bellagio hotel, known for its very cool fountain shows at night. After getting upgraded to the fountain view room, I spent a good five minutes taking photos from my bedroom window. First off, I’d like to say that the rooms were beautifully decorated, very spacious and comfortable (yay for king sized beds). After taking numerous photos and Instagram videos of the strip, I changed to my bathing suit and headed for the pool (the conference didn’t start until a cocktail later on that evening).
Before hitting the pool, I opted for a pool side lunch at the pool’s café and ordered a burger #wheninamerica. The burger was great, as I was starving and hadn’t eaten since 8 a.m. my time. I spent the rest of the afternoon by the pool, getting some much needed sunlight and tanning. I ended up taking a stroll at some point in the evening, headings towards the Southern part of the strip till about the ARIA Hotel & Casino. What’s really “cool” about Vegas is that they have all these overpasses and bridges, so that pedestrians don’t walk “on the ground” on the sidewalks of the strip (apparently there were many casualties once upon a time…). So it was pretty cool to see virtually no pedestrians on the streets, only cars. However, this means that getting yourself from point A to point B can take way more time that it normally would, as you have to walk up and down and across bridges, in order to get to other parts of the strip.
Later on that evening after the work cocktails, I headed to the Yellowtail Japanese Restaurant & Bar, one of the Bellagio’s many restaurants, for a late night snack. Since I wasn’t too hungry, I opted for the salmon sashimi (3 pieces) and a roll of spicy crab sushi. Both were delicious and I definitely could have eaten many more (however it was quite pricey so I didn’t want to overdo it). Since I was eating outside by the fountains, I got to see the fountain show about 6 or 7 times, which was very cool. Each time a different song would come on and the fountain’s jets would go along with it. Because of the time difference, by 10 p.m. I was dead and headed off to bed, ready for conference day #1 the next morning.
So, turns out there wasn’t too much to do during this conference and so after lunch, I headed back to the pool for more tanning. I also took a bit of a stroll inside the Bellagio, checking out their botanical gardens, giant chocolate fountains and of course, their amazingly beautiful glass ceiling art at the reception, by Dale Chihuly.
That evening, there was a huge conference party being thrown at the nearby Jewel nightclub in the ARIA Hotel & Casino. It was pretty cool, considering how the entire club was open (I think 3 floors or so) to our group, with a bunch of different food stations including: grilled cheese and tomato soup, mini tacos, fish and chips and many more. Oh ya, and did I mention it was open bar? At around midnight, I had to call it a night, after having lost $10 USD on slots (you gotta at least try to gamble when in Vegas).
The next morning, I woke up quite early to a beautiful pink sunrise, before going back to bed. I ended up skipping the conference meals that day and so enjoyed some eggs benedict over crab cakes and homemade hash browns, at the Café Bellagio. It was pretty good, but unfortunately, kind of cold. I ended up spending the better part of this day by the pool as well, except for a lunch of kale Cesar salad with shrimps at the pool side café.
That evening, I ended up wandering all the way to The Venetian hotel and casino complex (towards the North end of the strip), passing by the replicas of: the Grand Canal, the gondolas, the Doge’s palace façade and the Venetian streets, boutiques and bridges inside the casino. It was pretty impressive and accurate, considering I’d been to Venice twice. I liked how the “sky” (the ceiling inside) seemed to change colors, as the hours went by during the day. I ended up settling for Ristorante Canaletto right in St Mark’s Square and enjoying a charcuterie and cheeses platter and then a lobster spaghetti. Although the lobster pasta was good, it was a bit bland and definitely could use some fine tuning (more seasoning, more herbs and bolder flavors). After walking back to the Bellagio, I also had an early night that night, as I was returning home the next morning.
The next morning, I grabbed a latte and a ham and cheese croissant from Jean Philippe, one of the Bellagio’s cafés, then caught a cab to the airport. I tried my luck one last time on one of the slot machines by my gate, but unfortunately, to no avail. I guess gambling isn’t for me, I’ll have to stick to poker!
Overall, it was a very relaxing business trip, which allowed me to fully appreciate many of the Bellagio’s offerings. Vegas isn’t really my kind of place but if the occasion would arise again, I definitely wouldn’t mind spending another few days like those at the Bellagio again!
UP NEXT: back to Montreal for my Tay Do restaurant review!
*All photos are my own