travel

Attitude city guide: Las Vegas

2013-12-20
MGM Grand - exterior 4.13 Ben Kelly finds out how Sin City is opening its door to the gay traveller... HOTELS Las Vegas is a city of hotels, where practically everything is available under whichever roof you choose. Our pick is the MGM Grand, the third largest hotel in the world, with nearly 7,000 rooms and the largest casino floor in Vegas. Acts like Beyoncé and Calvin Harris have tour dates at the adjoining arena. The striking emerald glass exterior is due to its original Wizard Of Oz theme, which was later ditched for themes of Classic Hollywood and Africa instead. mgmgrand.com RELAX AND UNWIND Thermometers in Vegas reached 46 degrees this summer. Escape the heat at one of the many spas peppered throughout the hotels. BATHHOUSE is a luxury spa with a dark stone and chrome interior, with separate pools and saunas for men and women. Clothing is optional, and attendants are on hand to make smoothies. mandalaybay.com The Reliquary at the Hard Rock Hotel features a Roman bath, and you can have a hot stone massage from a former U.S. marine (if he’s on duty). When you recover from that, a whole afternoon could be spent touring the very best of rock & roll memorabilia displayed around the hotel and casino – including Madonna’s cone bra and Britney's schoolgirl outfit. hardrockhotel.com OpeningDress_CreditDeniseTruscelloSHOW TIME Spurning gasps of delight across the strip every night, Cirque Du Soleil is now as integral to the Vegas experience as card shuffling and strippers. With eight productions across the city’s major hotels, you can treat yourself to the water themed O show, the magical Zarkana, or the new Michael Jackson themed One. cirquedusoleil.com/lasvegas If music is more your thing, Celine Dion has just extended her residency at The Colosseum in Caesar’s Palace until 2019. For around 70 nights a year, the Canadian chanteuse packs the 4,000 capacity theatre for a show full of power ballads and suitably corny monologues. Springing to your feet on the Titanic key change is compulsory camp. celineinvegas.com

WINING AND DINING Vegas is famous for its fine dining, with almost every cuisine imaginable available in its most exquisite form. Breakfast’s not much of a thing, since you’re only awake at that time of the day if you’re still going from the night before, so you’ll want to get started with brunch at Simon Restaurant and Lounge. Here, an all you can eat fee covers fresh crepes and French toast, a sushi bar, anything you like from the pastry chef, plus personally tailored Bloody Marys. palms.com The perfect lunch can be found at the Mexican Border Grill at Mandalay Bay, where you can enjoy margaritas and quesadillas, overlooking the hotel’s lazy river. bordergrill.com For dinner, Nobu is a classic experience, with platters of seafood and sushi to share with friends around their revolving tables. Andrea’s at Wynn is the hottest new dining spot in Vegas however, with Asian cuisine, lobster and NY strip steak. An elegant interior is altered slightly when a DJ sets up later in the night. wynnlasvegas.com If you want a classy way to round off your meal, The Chandelier bar at The Cosmopolitan is the place to go. The on-site mixologist creates unthinkable concoctions, including the Verbena: a tequila based cocktail with an edible flower garnish which numbs your mouth and intensifies every flavour in the drink. Amazing, but one is probably enough.

Luxor2GAY VEGAS Though traditionally a mecca for misbehaving heterosexuals, there’s now a growing gay scene to explore as well. The ultimate gay pool party experience is the aptly named Temptation Sundays. Here you can book your own private canopy area to relax and order your drinks from, before making friends with ripped hunks and hairy daddies in the spacious pool at the foot of the impressive pyramid shaped Luxor hotel. luxor.com/lgbt There’s no shortage of gay nightclubs across the city. Share is a trendy hotspot with go-go boys and private booths. Drink and Drag is a more carefree bar, which mixes bowling and drag queens, (finally!) Krave Massive however, is the jewel in the crown. Newly opened, it’s the biggest gay club in the world. It’s vast, but not seedy; if you don’t manage to hook up here, you may never. Nowhere is far from the strip, which thrives all night with readily available cabs… should you ever need a rest. kravemassive.com Perhaps most impressive of all is The Center – a brand new building which serves the LGBTQ community of Nevada, largely funded for by the main hotels and businesses on the strip. It’s a gay support centre, with a cafe, library, youth centre, and health clinic. Just a mile or two down the road from the madness of the bright lights, young gay people in the Vegas community have a safe place to meet, socialise and seek guidance. thecenterlv.com For more information on visiting Las Vegas, go to lasvegas.com and lvcva.com