LAS VEGAS SUMMER TRAVEL GUIDE — (ARCHIVES)
BY JOSE MARTINEZ
Summer is here and while some may chose to dance in the street, others may opt to pack a bag and head to Las Vegas for some fun under the blazing sun. With temperatures this time of year in the triple digits don’t let that stop you as there’s plenty to do in Sin City besides battling heat stroke.
Whether you’re flying or driving the first thing you’ll need to do is book a room. And if you are not looking to break the bank by booking a room you’ll hardly spend any time in, consider off-Strip properties, although you can find good deals if you can manage to get away midweek. But if you’re looking to stay at one of the ritzy resorts during the weekend, be prepared to shell out the big bucks.
During my June getaway I decided to stay at the Platinum Hotel and Spa, a hotel I must admit I was unfamiliar with. A non-gaming resort (meaning there’s no casino on the property), the hotel bills itself as “a comfortably hip off-Strip Las Vegas hotel, set apart from the usual crowd.”
A luxury boutique hotel, it’s located at the corner of East Flamingo Road and Las Vegas Boulevard, just a block and a half from the famed Las Vegas Strip. Sophisticated and stylish, it was a welcome relief after a night of hell raising and a day taking in the sights, sounds, and wonderful sensations that the Strip has to offer to be able to retreat back to our relaxing home away from home without all the commotion of a casino.
All suites come equipped with a full kitchen with stainless steel appliances, including microwave, coffeemaker and a granite countertop, as well as a washer and dryer. Believe me, having a refrigerator and icemaker so handy was a real treat when it came time to making our own in-room drinks before heading out to the hedonistic Strip. And the sumptuous bath includes designer amenities, marble accents and an oversized whirlpool tub. Can you say soothing?
The hotel also features its Kil@wat® Restaurant and a charming poolside chaise lounge. The pool scene is nothing to write home about as it’s all about comfort and relaxation here. But even just for a short time, it was pleasant to escape from the larger Las Vegas casinos to a personalized hotel that offers first-rate service in a setting both welcoming and fashionable.
SIGHTS AND SOUNDS OF STRIP SHOWS
A good way to stay cool is to take in a Vegas show, with so many to choose from, ranging from comedy to family-friendly fun to adult entertainment there is indeed something for everyone.
LE RÉVE…WATER WONDERLAND AT WYNN
Leaving reality at the door, welcome to the seductive wet world of Le Rêve (French for the dream) at Wynn Las Vegas. This aquatic spectacular depicts a colorful world of 85 beautiful and mystifying characters. Playing since Wynn opened in 2005, Steve Wynn had the circular 1,608-seat theater built specifically for this show. Featuring a one million-gallon (water) capacity theater and a 27-foot pool, the furthest seat is only 42 feet from the water and all the action. There really isn’t a bad seat in the house.
Featuring diving and breathtaking acrobatic feats with state-of-the-art special effects, the show was created by Franco Dragone, director behind such popular Cirque du Soleil shows as O, and Mystère. But do note this show is all Wynn’s and is not a Cirque production.
In fact, Le Rêve was the working name of the resort before it was changed to Wynn Las Vegas. It is also the name of the centerpiece painting that Steve Wynn owns by Picasso.
Although I can’t really tell you what the show’s plot is actually all about, you know you’re if for an inspiring visual treat once you learn that each member of the cast must become scuba-certified before performing in the theater. Gymnasts, aerialists and synchronized swimmers bombard the senses appearing from every possible angle, even descending from the rafters.
As rain pours from the ceiling and flames engulf the pool, and a bevy of hard-bodied men and women perform, this is a fast-paced and exciting journey where each scene is more amazing than the last.
Be aware that Splash Zone tickets may get you wet as you will find yourself up front. And the show’s Indulgence Package is luxury personified including a complimentary bottle of champagne with bottle service and an array of chocolates, as well as deluxe overstuffed seating with exclusive monitors with live glimpses behind-the-scenes during the show not to mention all the underwater action going on.
Le Rêve plays at Wynn Las Vegas Fri-Sun at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Dark Wednesday and Thursday.
VIVA ELVIS…LONG LIVE THE KING!
One of the most popular franchises in all of Vegas is Cirque du Soleil with seven, count ‘em seven, shows about town. The latest is Viva ELVIS at Aria. A fusion of dance, acrobatics and live music, the show is a tribute to the life and music of Elvis Presley. Nostalgia, modernity and raw emotion provide the backdrop for his immortal voice and the exhilaration and beauty of his music.
Created in the image of The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, words like powerful, sexy, whimsical, truly unique, and larger than life, describe both the show and the American icon who transformed popular music and whose image embodied the freedom, excitement and turbulence of his era.
Viva ELVIS focuses on the essential humanity of the one superstar whose name will forever be linked with the history of Las Vegas and the entire world of entertainment: Elvis Presley.
In grand Cirque du Soleil fashion, there are some truly impressive and jaw-dropping acrobatic feats performed, however, at times you get the feeling you’re watching a musical as there many moments with no Cirque daredevil moves and way too much dancing going on, which is fine but it’s not what you want at a Cirque show. However, by the show’s climax, featuring a classic, over-the-top review, all eyes are fixed on the giant screen showing images of the King in action. Elvis is so mesmerizing that any acrobatic attempts would simply go unnoticed.
Viva ELVIS plays at Aria. Show times 7 and 9:30 p.m. Dark Wednesday and Thursday. Beginning August 1 dark Sunday and Monday. Show will be dark July 14-28.
Viva Elvis show photography by: Julie Aucoin
Costume: Thierry Mugler — Copyright: Cirque du Soleil Inc.
Part burlesque and part cabaret, Zumanity, playing at New York-New York, unveils the sensual side of Cirque du Soleil. A mischievous production blending playful innuendo with daring eroticism, the show is a provocative cabaret-style production featuring outrageous humor and alluring acrobatics.
Billed as a “seductive twist on reality, making the provocative playful and the forbidden electrifying!” you are encouraged to leave your inhibitions behind as this adult-themed production takes you on a sexy thrill ride full of sensational acrobatics and naughty fun.
Produced in a more European cabaret style, this isn’t the family-friendly Cirque show we’ve all come to know and love. Going more for the erotic, there is some nudity involved that is a bold departure for the troupe.
Featuring a cast of performers of all shapes, sizes, colors and persuasions, the show, although entertaining, ain’t cheap so plan accordingly.
Zumanity plays at the Zumanity Theatre at New York-New York. Show times: 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. Tuesday – Wednesday & Friday – Sunday.
PEEPSHOW STARRING HOLLY MADISON
In case you want some X-rated entertainment with your Vegas fun, and you happen to have forgotten what the lovely former Playmate Holly Madison looks like topless, then you might want to checkout Peepshow Starring Holly Madison playing at Planet Hollywood.
Another show proving that not all Las Vegas attractions are kiddy friendly, this sexy and sassy production finds the lovely Madison as Bo Peep, a timid girl who is guided by her Peep Diva in a transformation into a confident, sensual being.
A good start to a naughty night out if you don’t want to shell out big bucks at a strip club (or maybe that comes later in the night), I’d say this could be bachelor party material but that would probably make for a pretty tame bachelor party and hardly the stuff of Hangover lore. But oddly enough, it can be appropriate for a couple looking for some spice in their evening.
Madison won’t be winning any acting awards but she does look good as she wanders around on a journey of sexual discovery through various dance numbers that include scantily clad schoolgirls, cheerleaders and cowgirls.
Peepshow Starring Holly Madison plays at Planet Hollywood Resort. Show is dark Wednesdays.
Top of page photo courtesy of: http://www.pinkjeep.com/
All other photos courtesy of those mentioned in our Las Vegas Summer Guide, thanks.
© 2012 LAdineNclub.com All Rights Reserved No portion of LAdineNclub.com may be duplicated, or used in any form. By visiting this site and browsing our pages you agree to abide by LAdineNclub.com copyrights. It is unlawful to copy or use any of our contributed articles and photography without permissi