The essence of Las Vegas is trying something new and naughtier than you would back home. Sin City has things out in the neon lights that may be harder to find in Utah, and you don’t have to worry about looking over your shoulder to see a co-worker or your bishop. Here’s some of the newer naughtiness to enjoy this summer in Vegas.
New Trends in Libations
Visitors to Vegas this summer will find two new ways to enjoy spirits on The Strip at Hyde Bellagio and Public House.
Hyde Bellagio (3600 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 702-693-8700, HydeBellagio.com) opened on New Year’s Eve 2011, bringing Las Vegas the opportunity to drink liquid-nitrogen cocktails. A tableside “mixologist” combines fruit, juice and liquors and adds liquid nitrogen to blend everything together into a frozen concoction that is incredibly light, undeniably tasty and positively strong.
The club also features views of the famous Bellagio fountain show, and you can order from a menu featuring small plates with a twist, such as tuna-tartar cones topped with strawberry Pop Rocks, or Hyde’s version of cookies & cream—fresh-baked cookies with a creamy white Russian. The club opens at 5 p.m. nightly, but stays open until sunrise on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Brew lovers will find over 200 reasons to visit the Public House in the Venetian (3355 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 702-407-5310, PublicHouseLV.com), where Nevada’s only certified cicerone—like a wine sommelier, but for beer—can guide them through ale and stout pairings for the gastropub menu.
The most unique aspect of the Public House is trying the cask beers. The “purest form of beer” is taken unpasteurized and unfiltered straight out of a cask and served at room temperature. The strong, yet natural taste is like no other beer experience you’ve had before.
Absinthe has become this year’s hottest show on The Strip by being the antithesis of the mega-budget Vegas shows. It’s an “acro-cabaret” that’s equal parts thrilling stunts and irreverent humor held in an intimate, outdoor tent on the fringe of Caesars Palace (3570 S. Las Vegas Blvd.).
“There’s other shows that put a lot of money into the sets and everything. We wanted to flip that over and do the most ridiculously simple, intimate, little thing we could do,” says the “The Gazillionaire,” the filthy-rich character who hosts the show designed to “combine world-class acts with the cheapest people I could find.”
The small setting is the best thing about Absinthe (800-745-3000, AbsintheVegas.com), since no audience member is more than about 10 yards from a stage the size of the average living room. The acrobats are often flying around right above them.
“In this day and age, you know, you can compete with Avengers on the 3-D IMAX screen,” The Gazillionaire notes, “or you go the other way and just put a bunch of crap really close to everyone and you feel a part of it.”
The audience is pulled into the act when The Gazillionaire, who does not seem to have heard about political correctness, interacts with audience members in ways that are hilarious, offensive and outrageous.
Other fun shows on The Strip include Peepshow at Planet Hollywood (3667 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 800-745-3000, LasVegasPeepShow.com), starring Hugh Hefner’s former girlfriend Holly Madison; the sensual side of Cirque du Soleil in Zumanity (3790 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 866-606-7111, CirqueDuSoleil.com) at New York-New York; or Parisian import Crazy Horse (3799 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 866-740-7711, MGMGrand.com) at the MGM Grand.
Become a Vegas Showgirl
Women can “graduate into the Vegas lifestyle” by taking a 70-minute class in burlesque and pole-dancing taught by real Vegas showgirls at the Night School 4 Girls (702-617-9219, NightSchool4Girls.com). The school opened in August 2011, as the promoters of the Thunder From Down Under male dance revue wanted to give the bachelorette parties and girlfriend-getaway groups visiting the guys’ show a chance to try their own moves.
“It’s about releasing that inner bombshell,” says Courtney Bryan of NS4G, which gives each student her own burlesque name, with burlesque being the main focus of the class since “it’s something you can take home with you. Not everybody has a pole at home.”
Self-indulgent Ancient Rome
Relax in splendor at Qua Baths at Caesars Palace (3570 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 866-782-0655, Harrahs.com/Qua), which gives guests the ambiance of ancient Rome with all the modern conveniences. The Roman baths offer mineral-enriched waters in the Tepidarium followed by a soak in the hot waters of the Caldarium and a quick plunge into the cold waters of the Frigidarium to invigorate the body.
Connect as a couple with the “Twin Souls” treatment, which includes a body scrub and oil massage as you hold hands, followed by an intimate, private waterfall shower.
Gambling With a View
Gambling is an integral part of any Vegas trip, and those looking for a new twist can hit the “Pleasure Pit” at Planet Hollywood (3667 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 702-785-5555, PlanetHollywoodResort.com), where tables are set amid go-go dancers and the dealers are beautiful women dressed in a way that makes it hard to concentrate on your cards.
Those “What Happens in Vegas” ads worked so well because they were so true. The city has expanded on that theme with a new “Know the Code” promotion (VisitLasVegas.com/KnowTheCode) by getting Twitterers and Facebookers to not “out” their friends while in Sin City. So, pack your bags to head south of the (Utah) border, and make sure that what happens in Vegas stays there.