The International Playgirl’s Guide To Las Vegas!

Las Vegas is one of my all-time favourite places to visit. You don’t have to be a high roller or a newlywed to enjoy the city — there really is something for everyone!

It’s a fantastic place to visit. While some people think that the city is roamed exclusively by packs of bachelors looking for trouble, & not really a place women enjoy, nothing could be further from the truth! Las Vegas is what you make it, & that’s one of the most wonderful things about it.

I go to Las Vegas every year. I take a female friend & we always have an incredible time! It’s a tradition I hope to continue!

Even better than that, it’s one place where you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have an amazing holiday. Accommodation is typically inexpensive & flights aren’t extravagant either. It gets my seal of approval for sure!

This article outlines some of my experiences & has lots of tips for single girls or girlfriends who want to hit up Las Vegas! Fingers crossed that this will encourage you to round up some girlfriends & book a flight! If you do, please let me know! I’d love to hear about your travels!

Viva Las Vegas!Flying home!

To & fro!

I flew to & from Las Vegas on Virgin America. It was my first time flying with them, & it was a superbly civilised experience. The flight was $300 return, including taxes: totally reasonable. The plane had onboard wifi, power-points in the seats (so you have power ALL the way to your destination, YES!) & food on demand.

I loved flying with them! I want to fly with them all the time!

Viva Las Vegas!Nubby Twiglet & I at the Sahara in 2008.

A place to rest your head!

I’ve been to Las Vegas three times. The first time I stayed at the Sahara, after that the Hard Rock Hotel, & on this occasion I slept at Caesars Palace.

Caesars Palace was wonderful for what we wanted: somewhere in the middle of the Strip, with lots of amenities & at a great price. We paid $400 for three nights, & split between us was only $200 each. We were less interested in gambling than we were in shopping & lounging poolside, & so Caesars Palace was the perfect place for us. (There is certainly gambling to be had there, but there are also lots of other things to do, which was part of the appeal!)

There were a bunch of people queuing up to check in when I arrived, most of them with surly looks on their faces. I was just so happy to be there that I didn’t mind, & stood in line listening to my iPod & dancing in place. When I got up to the front desk, the woman who checked me in was clearly grateful to have a pleasant customer! I smiled at her & we talked about my nailpolish & I told her I was meeting my best friend from Australia. She said, “You’re really nice. I’m going to upgrade you.” The magic words!

The room she put us in — or should I say, the suite she put us in — had two bathrooms & an astronomical view of the pools below. It was fabulous. Needless to say, when Jess arrived & saw it, she was really excited!

I really loved staying at Caesars Palace, I have absolutely no complaints about the experience. We slept so well in the enormous beds & relished every moment. It was perfect & I will definitely be staying there again!

Good eatin’!

When you book your room, see if you can find a deal which includes a buffet pass. Ours came with two 24-hour buffet passes which could be used at all the Harrahs properties, & while initially we weren’t sure what to make of it, it turned out to be a brilliant godsend. We easily saved $100 each in meals, & the food was fantastic!

While you do usually have to line up to get into a buffet, & additionally, wear an ugly wristband (which probably doesn’t match your ensemble), you quickly get over it when you see the chefs preparing fresh food at each station & they’re bringing drinks to your table!

Everyone has a different idea about food. I wasn’t in Las Vegas to eat — I view food as more of a means to an end (or even an equation: Gala + food = functioning, Gala – food = disaster), & wasn’t really interested in scoping out the best chow. Regardless, the buffet meals were incredible (& Jess, who knows a thing or two about food, was in delighted agreement). Our favourites were Le Village at Paris & Lago at Caesars Palace.

On our last night, we ate at Mesa Grill, Bobby Flay’s restaurant inside Caesars Palace. We got dressed up & ate a phenomenal meal there: I thoroughly recommend it.

Viva Las Vegas!True love at Shoe In.

Let’s go shopping!

There is very good shopping in Las Vegas. Of course there is! They want you to keep your roulette winnings in the state!

Jess & I met there with the intention of shopping our socks off, & we did us proud. Every single casino is loaded with stores. There is more retail than you could possibly take in. It’s option overload, & was exactly what we were looking for.

There’s a Christian Louboutin store in The Palazzo, a Balenciaga boutique in Caesars Palace & a Ferrari dealership inside Wynn. Oh baby, is there ever shopping to be had! It’s not all super-high-end, though, thankfully for those of us with moderate bank balances!

When we arrived, Jess & I started at The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, & it turned out to be a good call. We walked into Giuseppe Zanotti — the first store we went into — & were the only customers. Except for Seal & Heidi Klum, of course. She was trying on sparkly sandals & he was singing along to his own CD, which was playing instore!

Fashion Show Mall has pretty much everything you could ever need & is on the Strip. It’s an easy walk from Caesars Palace, despite the heat! The mall has multiple levels & is slightly labyrinthine, with each corner occupied by an enormous department store (Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, Nordstrom). We really enjoyed it. I bought my sparkly chandelier shoes from Chinese Laundry in the Fashion Show Mall! The mall also has shopping packages which include facials at Nordstrom, discounts & a spa lunch. Sounds like a nice treat!

Just across the road are The Shoppes at The Palazzo, for all your high-end needs. From Van Cleef & Arpels to Fendi, it’s sure to be able to cater to your every whim. They also have an 85,000 square foot Barneys New York, which contains their legendary shoe salon!

You can find all your old favourites, like H&M (Planet Hollywood), Victoria’s Secret (Caesars Palace), Forever 21 (two-storey flagship store opening soon in Fashion Show Mall) & Urban Outfitters (Planet Hollywood), too. Great for stocking up on things you may have forgotten to bring or an inexpensive dress for a night out.

The Sephora on the Strip is immense, & fantastic for makeup emergencies or when you realise that a bit of foundation & some restrained lipstick just isn’t going to cut it on a night out in Vegas. (I encourage you to go for the glitter & false eyelashes!)

There’s a shoe store inside Wynn Las Vegas called Shoe In, which has one of the most exquisitely curated collections of heels I’ve ever seen. The prices will make your eyes bulge but it’s worth going in for a sampling of eye candy alone.

Love Jones is a great little lingerie shop inside Hard Rock Hotel which has a brilliant selection of edgy, sexy underthings. They also sell whips, paddles, handcuffs, candles & jewellery. If you’re staying in the hotel, they also do sexy room service, day or night. Cute.

Town Square Las Vegas is an outdoor mall at the southern end of the Strip. I’ve never been, but I hear it is great & that they have a huge H&M!

There is Las Vegas Premium Outlets too. It’s near downtown & is about a $20 cab ride. My suggestion is to skip it. We didn’t see anything we hadn’t already seen in our extensive shopping tour of Las Vegas the days before! (Additionally, if you live in NY or CA, Woodbury Common Premium Outlets & Desert Hills Premium Outlets are vastly superior!)

Viva Las Vegas!

Things to do!

Have some sexy pinup photographs done!
I didn’t know about her before I went, but Beth Cocuzzi of Pussycat Pinups is an incredible photographer who specialises in sexy pinup style photography. (Her Flickr photostream is amazing!) Packages start at $200 for a set of photographs & would be the ULTIMATE way to commemorate your trip! She offers discounts for more than one person, too. Take your best friend, & she’ll reduce the price by $50 each! (I am totally doing this next time I am in town!)

Get pampered!
Las Vegas has opulence on lock-down. If your idea of a fabulous holiday includes massage, spas & steam, you are in so much luck! While we were there, Jess & I had incredible treatments at QUA Baths & Spa — which I’ll be writing about in great detail later this week!

Be entertained!
This city wants you to enjoy yourself, & damnit, it does its best! There is world class entertainment every night in Vegas, & you can take your pick of what you want to see & do. From Cirque du Soleil to Wayne Newton & everything in between, plant your butt in a seat & prepare to see something magnificent!

Eat cupcakes!
We didn’t make it out there ourselves, but apparently, Retro Bakery is the best in town. Who could say no to a salted caramel crunch or cotton candy cupcake?! Not me!

Check out Double Down Saloon
It’s not everybody’s cup of tea, but if the jangling noise of slot machines & the senile men wearing fanny-packs/bum-bags is starting to get to you, Double Down should remind you of your favourite dive bar. Described by the owners as “a clubhouse for the lunatic fringe”, it’s not unusual to see famous types mixed in with punks & rockabilly kids. Oh, did I mention it has a black & white photobooth machine? Worth visiting.

Other things to know…

For some relatively aggravating reason, you have to pay for wifi in pretty much every hotel along the Strip. It runs at about $15 per 24 hours, & will be charged to your room. But hey, it’s Vegas! No one’s really expecting you to get any work done. Take a load off, guy. (If you’re really desperate, there are a bunch of free wifi spots listed here, & McCarran airport also has free — & fast — wifi. So just catch up when you’re on your way home!)

Service in Las Vegas is, as a rule, incredible. The people are almost unbelievably friendly & really go out of their way to help you. Don’t be afraid to ask them for advice or assistance — you will very rarely be disappointed.

Las Vegas Dos & Don’ts coming on Wednesday! If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below & I’ll do my best to respond to them in that piece. Stay tuned!