Click on a label to read posts from that part of the world.
A Different Side of Vegas
I just got back from a long weekend in Vegas with my girlfriend and saw a side of the city that I hadn't seen. A more relaxed, comfortable, and satisfying side. Here are the highlights:
The Signature at MGM
I've stayed at and enjoyed the MGM before, but this was a totally new experience.
There are no regular rooms in the Signature. Every room is a suite. What I particularly appreciated was how thoroughly the suite was appointed.
The kitchen has a large Sub Zero fridge, Miele appliances, and most important: every kitchen utensil you can imagine. Calphalon pots and pans, high quality flatware and silverware, measuring cups, baking sheets, and even a blender.
We originally planned on eating out for most of our meals, but it was so pleasant to cook in the kitchen that we ended up going to Whole Foods and cooking almost every meal ourselves. Best of all, the maid will do your dishes in the morning.
The bedroom has a large king sized bed with the high quality linens that you would expect from such a hotel. Huge windows let the sunshine in to wake you up in the morning, or you can draw the room darkening curtains if you want to sleep in. The desk facing the bed has a huge retractable plasma screen which the housekeeping staff sets to an amusing aquarium scene at night.
Our suite had two full bathrooms, which would have been convenient if we were ever in a rush to get showered and ready. The huge master bathroom has a perfectly sized Jacuzzi in it. Big enough for two people to easily sit in, and deep enough for the water to go up to your neck. The lights of the bathroom are on a dimmer, which is essential for a relaxing soak.
The living room has a comfortable couch, a second plasma screen with DVD player, a nice sized balcony, and a round dining table that also serves well as a card table.
The Signature is not "just another hotel". It does a great job of combining the comfort and convenience of home with the luxury and service of Las Vegas. It's now my first choice for Las Vegas accommodations.
Book through your favorite travel site, or directly at The Signature
I'm a huge Cirque du Soleil fan, so it's probably impossible for me to give an unbiased review of any of its shows. Then again, anyone who sees just one show will join the ranks of Cirque fans.
KA, which shows at the MGM, was different from other Cirque du Soleil shows that I had seen. It had more plotline, more special effects, but less acrobatics. It was nice to see a Cirque show that tried new things but still maintained the magic of the troupe.
The centerpiece of KA, if there is one, is the amazing stage that they've built. It's difficult to properly describe because it's difficult to understand how it works. The entire stage is suspended with giant hydraulic arms which have the ability to rotate or angle the stage in any direction imaginable. At one moment actors will be dancing on it, and in the next it has rotated 90 degrees vertically and they're climbing up arrows "shot" into it. In the photo above the actors are suspended on harnesses and are walking straight up the stage.
The show, as should be expected from Cirque du Soleil, is completely mesmerizing. I have only seen a handful of Cirque du Soleil shows, but KA broke the mold and incorporated a lot of elements that I hadn't seen before. In particular, the set was unbelievably complex and beautiful.
If you've never seen a Cirque du Soleil show, there's no way to truly understand the experience without actually going. The best description I can give is to say that it's a combination of acrobatics, design, dance, music, and immersion in a world that has the same texture as dreams.
Videos and tickets are available at KA Cirque du Soleil.
No, that's the not the name of a tawdry "topless revue" in Vegas. It's actually an exhibit at the Luxor which showcases dissected and preserved human bodies.
Sound gross? It is at first, but after fifteen minutes of getting used to seeing sliced up dead people, it's becomes the science class you always wished you had.
The exhibit does a great job of showing you how the body actually works, not as individual organs, but as one big connected system. My favorite parts were the complete circulatory system, seeing the whole digestive path together, and the counter at the end where they let you hold real human organs.
I promise it's not as gross as I made it sound. Get tickets to the Luxor exhibit here, or check the Bodies site to see if there's an exhibit in your area.