Establishment neighborhood
The Cromwell
3595 Las Vegas Blvd S., The Strip
Until now, most boutique hotel experiences in Vegas were embedded inside the larger hotels (read: Tower Suites at the Wynn, The Four Seasons at Montecarlo), which is part of what makes the Cromwell so special. The brand-new spot only has 88 rooms, so it feels much more personal than some of the larger, more sprawling compounds. It’s also home to the first-ever restaurant from Giada De Laurentiis—if you can get past the gift shop in the front, you'll find some of best meatballs and chewiest pizza on the strip. And, if you're into that kind of thing, the reviews of their nightclub, Drai's, have been uniformly positive so far.
The Mansion at MGM
3799 S. Las Vegas Blvd., The Strip
Considering its location right in the middle of The Strip and its bustling casino, the MGM isn’t an obvious pick for the Un-Vegas Vegas guide: That said, the MGM Mansion program is really in a league of its own. The Mansion is actually physically separate from the MGM itself—the building is made up of 29 individual villas, which range from one- and two-bedrooms up to full-fledged homes. It features its own separate driveway and lobby area, making it a thoroughly private experience, despite its central location. Each villa overlooks a lush, Italian-style garden atrium that’s much more Tuscany than Vegas, and has its own private dining area. In an effort to keep the vibe quiet and civilized, there are no bachelor parties or big groups allowed.
Mandarin Oriental
3752 Las Vegas Boulevard S., The Strip
The Mandarin Oriental in Vegas has all the style and amenities you’d expect from the chain (Asian-inflected design, high-touch service, and cool flourishes like the 23rd floor lobby). That said, the real draw is the fact that this is one of the only hotels on The Strip without a casino, so it feels more like a retreat from the madness of the street than part of it. The spa is truly world-class, taking up two full floors with its sprawling pools and lounge rooms. Bonus: the 47-story building is LEED Gold certified.
Artisanal Foods
2053 Pama Lane, Paradise
All of the best chefs in Vegas go to Brett Ottolenghi to source hard-to-find luxury ingredients like truffles, foie gras, and caviar, which he sells out if his cozy gourmet food shop, Artisanal Foods. This fall, he teamed up with long-time Vegas chef Johnny Church to set up a tiny six-seat restaurant that serves a tasting menu during lunch five days a week. It's an incredibly intimate, special experience, and the combination of Church's experimental style and Ottolenghi's penchant for sourcing exotic ingredients makes each meal more unusual and innovative than the next. If you don't have time for a full meal, it's still worth stopping in to taste the rare cheeses and cured meats. Needless to say, it's a mainstay if you're doing any cooking during your stay.
Restaurant Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace
3570 S. Las Vegas Blvd., The Strip
Modeled after celebrated chef Guy Savoy's eponymous restaurant in Paris, this Vegas location—which has earned two Michelin stars itself—delivers its own high-end experience in fine French dining. Extravagant, for sure, but there is also an appreciated amount of restraint. The colors here are neutral, understated, and interestingly, Guy Savoy insists on not having flowers in the restaurant—and doesn't allow restaurant employees to wear perfume—nothing should interfere, apparently, with what's put in front of you.
Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand
3799 S. Las Vegas Blvd., The Strip
Legendary French chef, Joël Robuchon, has a namesake restaurant on the MGM Grand casino floor next to Cirque Du Soleil’s KÀ theatre—it looks like an Art Deco townhouse from the outside—but once you're inside it's entirely possible to forget where you are. The restaurant, decorated by Pierre-Yves Rochon, includes a garden terrace off the dining room. The brainchild of Robuchon, the kitchen is led by executive chef Claude Le-Tohic (accomplished in his own culinary right), and has earned three Michelin stars for its sophisticated French cuisine. The sixteen-course meal is, needless to say (but we will), out of this world.
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