I just got back from the best girls weekend in Las Vegas! We brunched, drank, clubbed, and laughed a whole lot! But before we left, there was a lot of planning that went into this weekend. We scoured the internet and harassed our friends for the best restaurants, brunch spots, clubs, casinos, and daytime activities months before we even left. I put together a google spreadsheet of a loose itinerary, because we wanted to be as organized as possible when it came to all of our weekend activities (of course, that list only vaguely resembles what we actually did this weekend). We put so much effort into our weekend research, so I thought I would share reviews of what we did!
Where We Stayed
We stayed at the Marriott Grand Chateau, just off the Strip. When I was picking out the hotel, I was looking for something that was affordable, but would give 7 of us enough space. I didn’t want anyone to have to sleep on the floor, so I knew we would be needing at least two rooms, which was driving the price up. I found this hotel by searching the Marriott website, and it honestly could not have been more perfect. We booked a 2-bedroom villa for the 7 of us, which had 2 king beds and 2 pull out couches, 2 bathrooms, and a full kitchen. Having a kitchen saved us so much money, because we were able to cook easy dinners rather than go out to expensive restaurants for dinner. One of the things I looked at once the hotel was already booked was how far it was from the famous “Welcome to Vegas” sign… This one is 2 miles away, which ended up being a perfect Saturday morning jog. (Don’t judge me for working out on my vacation!) There was a little incident at 6am on Sunday morning, where I woke up to water dripping from the ceiling onto my nightstand… Turns out the drunkasses in the room above us turned on their bathtub and then passed out. But management was so accommodating, and gave us a new room for the rest of the night while they cleaned up the mess. Even with the water incident, I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone traveling to Vegas. It is right in the middle of the action, but just off the strip. We were able to walk just about everywhere during the day and had a great view at night. 5 out of 5 stars.
Where We Ate
Sushi Roku: We went here for lunch on Friday, by recommendation of a friend. We made a reservation, but honestly, the place was so empty that it wasn’t necessary. Each of us ordered 1-2 rolls and then shared orders of the king crab fried rice. It was all SO delicious. I had the baked crab handroll and the crunch spicy tuna, which were both delicious! It was a perfect lunch spot, but I could definitely see it getting really pricey for dinner. It’s pretty centrally located, so you can continue to explore after you finish lunch. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Deducting one star for being so pricey.
Border Grill: This was one of the places we found on a “Best Brunches in Vegas” list. And it definitely lived up to the hype. Their brunch offer is $34.99 for bottomless small plates, and 10 dollar bottomless mimosas. We made reservations for this one as well, but easily could have gotten away without making them. Our waitress told us we could do the brunch “family style”, where they bring out everything on their small plates menu for everyone to try, and then you can order more of whatever you like. This worked out perfectly, but we barely made it halfway through the menu before we were completely stuffed. Everything they brought out was so delicious. My favorites were the Churro Tots, Green Corn Tamales, and the Breakfast Fries. The pomegranate mimosa was delicious, but my only complaint was that they didn’t bring the mimosas out fast enough. They mentioned they were running out of champagne glasses, and they weren’t even that crowded, so I shudder to think of what it’s like when they’re busy. I give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Wicked Spoon: Another friend recommended we try Wicked Spoon for brunch… And we hesitated a bit because you couldn’t make reservations. But this was honestly the best food I ate the entire weekend. The brunch runs from 8-3 on the weekends, and we got there around 1:30, which IMO is the best time to go. Brunch was 38 dollars a person (I think, honestly cannot remember how much) with a $12 bottomless mimosa/bloody mary/champagne option. They had everything to eat, ranging from seafood, omelettes, mac and cheese, sushi, bagels, pasta, pizza, desserts, smoothies, YOU NAME IT. We were able to get a decent helping of the breakfast foods, and then at 3pm, they opened the dinner buffet, which included king crab legs *insert heart eye emoji here*. Our waitress was fantastic and brought out multiple bottles of champagne and glasses of orange juice so we could make our own mimosas. I give it a 5 out of 5 stars. If I ever go back to Vegas, this will be the one place I insist on going. We left here so full that we cancelled our dinner reservations for the night.
IN-N-OUT: We don’t have any in Ohio, so we made it a point to hit one up before we left town. Worth the exorbitant cab fare. If you’ve ever had in-n-out, surely you understand.
What We Saw
O: Seriously, If you’re going to Vegas, you HAVE to see this. You won’t see another Cirque du Soleil show like it, I promise. We planned it on our first night, so we wouldn’t be too tired or drunk to enjoy it. Everyone that I was with enjoyed it, and we had great seats. My advice? Don’t pay more to sit on the first level, because you won’t be able to see any of the synchronized swimming. If you sit on the side of level 2, you will have the best view. We got to the Bellagio a little early and enjoyed some drinks in one of the casino bars… I also suggest going to the bathroom before the show. There is no intermission, so if you need to go mid-show, you’re going to miss something (if you have to, leave while the clowns are performing so you don’t miss any of the main acts). The clowns are funny, but I wouldn’t risk missing some of the bigger performances just to go to the bathroom. 5 out of 5 stars. A MUST see, IMO.
Chippendales: If you’re there for a bachelorette party, this is definitely a fun thing to do. As a group of
mostly single girls, we all enjoyed admiring the male body from the second row. HOWEVER, if you’re attending with your mom or the mom of anyone in the group, don’t be embarrassed when you get pulled on stage. There was a set of twins that got pulled on stage with their mother in the audience, and they were both so annoying about doing what the performers were asking of them (like demonstrating their favorite sexual position). Either don’t go on stage or don’t bring your mom. The casino where the show is located (The Rio) is a total shit-hole, and looks like a casino straight out of the 1980s, so don’t plan on spending too much time there before/after the show. 4 out of 5 stars.
High Rollers: This is a GIANT ferris wheel that overlooks the entire city (fits 40 people in one cart). We went at night, so we could see the strip all lit up, but it would also be cool to go during the day or at sunset so you could see the mountains in the distance. They have a “happy half hour”, where you can get on a cart with a bartender for $12 extra dollars and drink as much as you want. Our bartender was awesome… She made each of us a drink to start out, then made shots for us as we were reaching the top, then again right before we got off. As we were rounding the bottom half of the ride, the Bellagio fountains started going off, which was absolutely incredible. One of the best views of the entire weekend, and definitely something I recommend for a fun way to see the entire city. 5 out of 5 stars!
Get a hotel with a kitchen, especially if you are trying to save money. We didn’t eat dinner out once, because we were able to make dinner back at the hotel. I rented a cheap car and went to the grocery store to buy some essentials (velveeta mac and cheese, pizza rolls, gatorade, water, etc.) Renting a car was a lot cheaper than taking a cab from the airport to the hotel, then from the hotel to the grocery store and back. I got the car on Hotwire for less than $30. And this ended up saving each of us easily $100. The MGC was actually cheaper than most of the other hotels near the strip, so we saved even more money. You’ll definitely want bottled water and gatorade for rehydrating after long days/nights of drinking. Also, bring snacks from home if you can.
Don’t pre-buy any tickets to clubs. We made the mistake of buying tickets to see Calvin Harris at Hakkasan and Zedd at XS. We ended up getting in to both places for free by meeting promoters on the streets during the day. The promoter’s job is to get girls into the clubs, so we took advantage. It was a huge waste of money to buy the tickets beforehand, and I really wish we wouldn’t have. We still got to see the DJs the same as everyone else. And we even got 2 free drink coupons each from the XS promoter… The downside? You have to get to the club relatively early (like, 9-10pm)
Take naps. Napping during the day is the key to staying out late, and getting up relatively early (by that, I mean before noon). We slept for 5-6 hours each night, and then took 1-2 hour naps in the late afternoon. We did a lot of sightseeing during the day, so we were usually ready for a nap around 5-6pm. We were able to see all of the big casinos during the day on Friday and Saturday. There is no open container law in Vegas, so we got some drinks from Fat Tuesday and drank them as we walked around.
If you’ve been to vegas, is there any advice you’d add to this list? If you’re planning a trip, do you have any questions? Leave a comment below! :)