Saturday, July 02, 2011

Viva Las Vegas

The Las Vegas StripI was back again in Las Vegas, exactly after a year. This time I spent the entire week indoors within Caesars Palace and The Bellagio. If that sounds terribly confining, you haven't seen how large these resort hotels are and the variety of entertainment and dining options available within.

Las Vegas
Las VegasIn the changing skyline of Las Vegas, Caesars Palace has existed ever since I first visited this extraordinary city in the early 90s. With its opulent faux-Roman architecture, sculptures and gilded pathways, this massive casino-hotel was always my reference point for directions in the Strip. The Bellagio right next to Caesars Palace is known by most tourists for its spectacular musical fountains, but for me it is the place for gourmet dining - having garnered much of the star ratings when Michelin decided to cover this city a few years back.

Las Vegas
Las VegasIt was radiating heat when I flight landed in Las Vegas. I checked into The Bellagio and after a quick, refreshing shower tried my luck with getting a table at one of the restaurants. Unfortunately, Picasso was closed this week and they couldn't get me a table at Le Cirque, so I walked into Jean-Georges Vongerichten's award-winning Prime Steakhouse.

Resplendent in heavy Tiffany blue drapes, chocolate brown furniture and whites of the tablecloths, the decor inside is quite breathtaking and a far cry from the usual high-end steakhouses. Tall windows look out over The Bellagio's lake and famous musical fountains.

My salad of Roasted Baby Beets with yogurt, hazelnuts and fresh herbs was refreshing. However, I was here for the meat. The dry-aged Bone-in Ribeye with Crab-Mashed Potatoes was pure awesomeness. Flavorful, perfectly served medium-rare, the steak was HUGE! The crab-mashed potatoes were fantastic too.

I was also able to catch the late-night show of O by Cirque du Soleil. Having seen Ka and Mystere before, I knew what to expect. But like always, these shows are so spellbinding in their combination of artistry, acrobatics and theater through path-breaking application of technology, one cannot adequately describe the experience in words alone.

Las Vegas
The stage is a large pool with more than 1.5 gallons on water. Solid stage areas emerge from this pool and disappear as the artists perform their acts on air, water and solid ground in one seamless act. Truly worth the $150 I had to shell out for this show. BTW, it is difficult to pick a favorite Cirque du Soleil show - Ka was completely amazing too! However, while Ka has a clear storyline, O is mostly a sensory experience.


Aathira Nair said...

The sole reason I want to go to the US of A is to visit and spend a few days in Las Vegas !

Anonymous said...

@Aathira: LOL! Really?

Aathira Nair said...

Truly... nothing fascinates me than the imaginary world of Vegas!

Virag J. Thakkar said...

You require an assistant to carry your bags ;)