Roy's Guide to Las Vegas
7/16/2012 by: Roy Taylor
By now, just about everyone I know over the age of 21 has been to Vegas. Since Sin City made itself the home for technology shows, including the now-defunct Comdex and the current CES, I have been there a lot. By "a lot", I mean at least twice a year for over 20 years. After that many trips there, I've developed a pretty good feel for what to do and where to go.
However, a warning: The place changes constantly, meaning that this guide may not be valid for more than a year or two. This was another inspiration for my wife developing her app called parachutedIN. The app gives you advice on the best places to go (not a new idea) based on your friends recommendations (a completely new idea). The app knows where you are, what your interests are (from you Facebook profile) and then ssuggests what to do and where to go based on where your friends have been and liked. You can sign up to preregister here and find out more about the app from this video on YouTube.
In the meantime, here is my personal guide to where to find the very best places to be naughty in Vegas.
Where to Stay?
In my opinion, there is only one hotel for those who like to play and that is the Hard Rock hotel. A very close second is the Palms. I chose these for the following reason: I want a good bar to meet people at the start of an evening. It is sometimes hard to round everyone up, and having to wait for girls to get ready can be a pain. Both of these hotels have really good lobby bars where you can have a beer with the boys while the girls take their time. The Center Bar at the Hard Rock is always lively and its location by the lobby makes it easy to find your friends. The same goes for the bar at the entrance the Palms. The reason that the Hard Rock comes first is that staying there helps get you access to the pool for the day party. I have seen girls asking boys for their spare room keys at the bar just to help get them in the next day. No matter what anyone says, Hard Rock, which invented 'Rehab', still has the best day pool parties. To get a feel for what I mean, check this out:
During the summer, you absolutely will want to go to a day party at one of the pools. They season for them usually starts late April and goes on all through the summer. Getting into many day parties is an enormous drag, so much so that unless you are young and very eager - and patient - my advice is to talk to the concierge (you don't have to stay at the hotel you want to party at) and book a cabana or table/bottle service. As long as you do that, your name is on the guest list and you can walk straight in. However, this is not a cheap option. Bottle service means a $500 for a 1½ liter bottle of vodka and the cabana comes in at $400 minimum. By the way, at Bare at the Mirage girls can go topless (hence the name). As you can see from the video above, you will likely have a day you won't soon forget. Try not to get too worn out by the day parties though, as you will still have a long evening ahead.
Rehab is a little 'full on' and attracts some of those who, even after 21, shouldn't really be allowed that extra beer. If you are a little older and slightly more sophisticated, then Encore is a classier affair.
If you fancy a drink with your clothes on during the day, then there are couple of bars I have spent time in losing hours. One of the best options is the Ibar at the Rio. It is another round bar but it is raised above the casino floor and you can people watch or head into the casino with ease. If you want something different there is actually a decent English pub just off the strip called the Crown & Anchor, which shows football [Editor's Note: soccer] games on TV.
Non-Drinking Fun (Daytime Only)
There are two things to do during the day which do not involve drinking. The first option is to hire a dream car. Dreamrentalcars will rent out almost anything for the day or evening such as a Dodge Viper, Lambo, Porsche, etc at amazingly affordable prices. You can rent a supercar and drive out to the Hoover Dam. I rented a Viper one time, it was an awful car to drive but a lot of fun. By the way, be sure to also drive down to Lake Mead and check out the giant and pushy carp.
The second option, fire a fully automatic heavy machine gun. The Gun Store is just off the strip and you can rent a variety of guns that fire full auto. It's a lot of fun. [Editor's Note: I recommend against The Gun Store, especially for gun enthusiasts. The staff treats all customers like ignorant and troublesome children, and you aren't allowed to manipulate the gun in any way other than to pull the trigger (forget about loading it or clearing jams which occur pretty often considering how poorly maintained their guns are, they'll snatch it out of your hands before you can do anything). The Gun Store is also painfully overpriced and there are better options within decent driving distance. A word of warning to anyone who insists on going there anyways, do not shoot any gun that isn't full auto, they mark up the price of shotgun and pistol ammo by over 1000% in many cases, things that can be rented for very cheap at most gun ranges).]
Once you are ready to go out, these are best bars that consistently deliver on atmosphere and great people. The New York New York hotel has an excellent bar. The piano bar as it is known, is actually called the Bar at Times Square. The bar has dueling pianos and make everyone sing-a-long. Next to that is a very good Irish Pub with a live band singing folk songs, it is called Nine Fine Irishman. The hotel also has a third great bar, Coyote Ugly. This bar is wild! You will get sprayed with soda water and see wet t-shirt competitions because it is rowdy.
For a classier set of places, head to The Palms, and check out The Ghost Bar. It is located at the top of the hotel and it has an 'outside overhang' with stunning views of the strip as well as a glass floor section that looks straight down. If you have not yet been to an ice bar, the Minus 5 at the Mirage is fun too.
Nightclubs. There Is Only One
My friend Mike says XS is better but he is just wrong. The Marquee at the Cosmopolitan is the best club. No matter how hard it is to get in, no matter what humiliations must be endured, it is worth it. Even with a $5000 table prebooked it is still hard to get in. This is because it really is that good. First of all, they get the right mix of people. Secondly, they cater to both house and hip-hop crowds with different floors and dance areas. Thirdly, there is an outside chill-out area with a giant video screen of what is going on in the rest of the club. Finally, the staff are the best, the DJs play the very latest and the overall experience is exceptional.
If you want more options, for music I prefer Rain at the Palms because the VIP rooms overlook the dance floor and have a private staircase down to the dance floor. For seeing and being seen I like either Tryst at the Wynn or its sister club XS at the Encore.
CASINOS, CENTER BAR, COMDEX, COSMOPOLITAN, CRAZY, DAY PARTY, DISCO, DRINKING, ENCORE, FACEBOOK, FUN, GAMBLING, HARD ROCK, HARD ROCK HOTEL & CASINO, HOUSE MUSIC, KASKADE, LAS VEGAS NEVADA, MARQUIS, MIRAGE, NIGHTCLUB, NIGHTLIFE, PARTY, POOL PARTY, REHAB, RIO, ROY TAYLOR, SIN CITY, SINGLE, TECHHOLLYWOOD, THE PALMS, TRYST, VEGAS, WYNN, XS NIGHTCLUB, GUN STORE
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