Picture this: You step into the room and silently gasp as you’re completely taken aback by the sheer decadence you’ve encountered. The marble tables, vaulted ceilings, luxurious baths, massive dining area and baby grand piano all make you take stock for a moment. A silently efficient butler carts your bags away in the huge master bedroom while the two of you slink out onto the patio that oversees the Garden of the Gods—an impossibly large, clear pool full of fountains and Romanesque columns. Your eyes blur a bit, adjusting to the too-hot summer sun. You smile to yourself delighted to realize this isn’t a dream and you call to one of your butlers to prepare you a gin gimlet, up. You sit down, pull your floppy sunhat over your eyes and kick off your newly purchased pair of Dior wedges. Now this, you think, is the life. Not a slot machine or drunk Spring Breaker in sight.
But this isn’t Italy or Monaco we’re talking about—it’s the Marcus Aurelius suite in the Octavius Tower at Caesars Palace in Vegas. Even though it’s on the fabled Strip, this suite couldn’t feel farther away from the crowds toting yard-long margaritas from poker table to poker table, from strip club to sports book. Appropriately enough, you find that your powder room’s sink is fashioned after a baptismal font, an all-too astute reminder that this isn’t your Vegas cliché. The attention to detail is immaculate. The suite, named for the Roman emperor, is 12,000 square feet and costs in excess of $40,000 per night. Trust—it’s worth every single penny.
During the past couple of decades, Vegas has morphed from a tawdry locale into a paradise for foodies, luxury shoppers, spa goers and concert enthusiasts. Let us take you on a tour of your very own Las Vegas. Loosen up those pocketbooks, and get ready for the time of your life.
You climb out of your custom-made bed at the Marcus Aurelius suite and toss on the gorgeous pink Gucci sundress your personal shopper picked up at the Forum Shops the evening before, only to start your day at Canyon Ranch spa, a locale likely worth a weeklong Las Vegas vacation itself.
After being greeted in the spa’s lobby, you change into a robe and lounge in a huge co-ed area sipping refreshing juice. It’s so nice to be able to lounge with your husband at the spa, you think, and you take another sip. “Should we start our treatments?” you ask, as you pull your hair back with ribbon. His answer is a resounding, “yes.” The two of you are led into a room with pots of five different muds to choose from. Each one, you’re instructed, is for a different body part. This Vegas-exclusive Canyon Ranch ceremony, called Rasul, begins. You and your husband apply mud to each other, after being instructed how to do so by a Canyon Ranch therapist. After that, you wander into the Rasul chamber, where steam infused with rose petals and lavender fills the air. Then, finally, it rains from the ceiling, cleaning you off just in time for your full-body massage. The cost of Rasul: just $195 per pair. A tad excessive? Yes. Traditional Vegas? Anything but.
After your massage you decide to wander into Canyon Ranch’s salon, where you and your husband get manicures and pedicures—and you get one fabulous blowout.
After a quick stop back in your suite at Caesars Palace—and one final dark-red lipstick touch-up in the powder room—you and your husband take a town car down to Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, where, he says, he’s planned a spectacular surprise.
You pull up the back way to Mandalay Bay and walk to The Beach, the resort’s gargantuan pool area complete with sand, a wave pool and palm trees. You notice that there’s nobody there. That’s odd, you think, for a place this large to be so empty on a summer Saturday night. Then you see it: A candle-lit dinner on the sandy beach surrounded by palm trees. Prepared by world-class chef Hubert Keller at Fleur, this unforgettable gastronomic experience is made just for the two of you.
As you begin your second course, you see a band setting up on the stage. Soon, as you’re served dessert, the truth is revealed to you: A Bruce Springsteen concert just for you two. A. Bruce. Springsteen. Concert. Only. For. You. You seriously can’t believe this one—and all this can be had for as little as $115,000 or as much as $265,000 (depends on your private singer). One thing’s certain: This is one amazing, life-altering story that that won’t be staying in Vegas.
After that ridiculously over-the-top evening, the next day you decide to indulge yourself in a little luxe shopping spree at the Forum Shops at Caesars and the Wynn. At the Wynn Esplanades, you drop the most cash, getting a personal shopper to help you pick out a Chanel bag, a Louis Vuitton steamer truck (you couldn’t believe you hadn’t bought one before) and a Cartier bracelet. For lunch you have your driver take you back to Mandalay Bay. Today, you can’t be late for a semi-private sushi-making lesson with celebrated seafood chef Rick Moonen.
For your share of $12,000, you meet up with a group of 20 people who are all ready for their sushi lesson. Chef Moonen gives you and your new sushi loving friends a two-hour lesson and a tour of RM Seafood, Chef’s Moonen’s award-winning restaurant.
After lunch, your husband decides it’s his turn to do some spending on the Strip. In a great mood from the fun morning you had, you’re happy to tag along. You have your driver take you back to the Wynn, where your husband makes a b-line for the Penske-Wynn Ferrari Maserati dealership—the only dealership of its kind on the Vegas Strip. Within moments of walking in, he’s got his eyes on the 458 Italia Spyder. The car’s price ranges from $250,000-$400,000, and he just has to have it. Without even taking it for a spin first—it’s against the dealership’s policy, and perhaps understandably so—he buys one on the spot. And even you’re impressed by how quickly he decided to pull the trigger on the beautiful machine.
You tell your driver that you won’t be needing his services any more and hop into the car for a joy ride into the Nevada desert. You drive out on Charleston Boulevard and head straight toward the gorgeous Red Rock Canyon. Whipping around corners and enjoying the view of a little nature, this is a little known aspect of any fabulous Las Vegas adventure that you truly weren’t expecting. And it’s quite a pleasant surprise.
In Las Vegas, where to go for an elegant dinner is as difficult a question as anyone is likely to face in this town. So many choices, so many world famous chefs; what’s one to do? How about dining at Le Cirque at Bellagio (after watching the oh-so beautiful fountains out front for free) and order the caviar menu, which includes Caspian Sea Russian Golden Osetra Caviar for $495 per ounce. Or, if you’re a little hungrier, you could head to Joël Rubuchon, which has three Michelin stars, at MGM Grand Hotel and Casino and dine on the chef’s 14-course menu degustation for $425 each, complete with foie gras, cheeses, caviars, beef and, yes, dessert.
Another option is dining at é by José Andrés at The Cosmopolitan, a private room for eight where a prix fixe menu is served along with a beverage (thankfully, we’re pretty sure they mean alcohol) pairing for $265 per person. The room is large enough that you can decide to invite some of your new friends from the RM sushi-making lesson you had earlier in the day. Decadent. Delicious. Delightful. These meals are totally, utterly Vegas.
After waking up in your suite you decide to spend your final day in Las Vegas at the pool at The Cosmopolitan, where you and your husband have rented a cabana, just for two. You overlook the Strip as the sun sets, enjoying the ever-changing crowds milling beneath you.
As you sip your third (or was it fourth) gin gimlet you think about how lucky you are to have experienced this ultra luxe version of Las Vegas, the Las Vegas that isn’t advertised, the Las Vegas that’s been hiding in plain sight. Yes, the Las Vegas that’s tailor-made just for you.