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Springtime at Paris Las Vegas - the ultimate romance itinerary?
Last week, I spent a weekend in Las Vegas as part of a press trip organized by Harrah's Entertainment - the owners of Paris. The trip was organized to showcase how Paris is the perfect romantic destination in Las Vegas. Along with a group of fellow bloggers, we were taken on a tour of the property and introduced to the various dining choices and entertainment options at Paris - so, read on to see whether Paris lives up to its name, and whether it really is the perfect destination for some romance in Vegas.
Romance starts with the right room - and the updated Paris "Red Rooms" certainly fit the theme. The rooms are well designed, albeit without anything really over the top. As usual, all I really look for in a room is a good bed, good climate control and good WiFi. Since this was a trip focusing on romance, I ignored the WiFi for the weekend.
The room features a nice TV/minibar cabinet, which is also home to his and hers closets, a safe and several drawers. The TV channel lineup was fairly boring, and there are (easy to access) inputs or plugs.
The bathroom is spacious, with a single sink - walk in shower and separate bath tub. Amenities are brand-less, but pleasant smelling.
(A little photo trickery using the new Olympus E-PL1)
If your budget allows for it - upgrade yourself to a front-facing (fountain/Eiffel Tower) room - you really won't be disappointed. Turning the lights off in your room, and watching the Bellagio Fountains from the 29th floor is one memory I won't forget any time soon.
You can't do Vegas without entertainment - the two go hand in hand. Thankfully, Paris snagged one of the best shows on the strip - Barry Manilow. Now, I'll admit right away that I'm no die-hard "Fanilow", but boy does this man put on a show.
Helped by an 11-man orchestra, moving stage props and several amazing dancers, Mr. Manilow dazzled me in his 90 minute show. His performance includes a mix of new stuff (from his latest album) to his classics. He even spends 10 minutes introducing us to his youth - explaining who helped him get into show business. So, even if you are not "in to" Barry Manilow, a visit to this show will not disappoint.
Perhaps the most surprising show I visited was that of Anthony Cools. Anthony has a nightly show at Paris where he combines comedy with hypnosis. Personally, I usually avoid shows like this because I'm one of those people that doesn't buy the whole hypnosis thing. I came very close to hanging out on the casino floor instead of going to the show.
But since this was a work trip, I had no choice - I went to his show and listened to the warnings (Anthony Cools personally warned me that I may not want to volunteer to go up on stage!).
In a mere 5 minutes, I realized that this would not be a normal show - and by the end of the show, I had laughed so hard that it actually hurt to talk. I won't reveal too much about what he does, but I can tell you that if you are a skeptic (like me), you need to man up and visit this show. It is without a doubt one of the funniest things I have ever seen. And I've seen a lot of funny stuff in my life. Anthony Cools is a genius, and that is all you need to know. And no - I do not bark like a dog when someone mentions Snausages.
Food and drinks
Paris offers a huge variety of choices for food. There is of course a well stocked buffet, along with several other decently priced establishments, but guests looking for some more upscale choices will not be disappointed.
I had breakfast at Mon Ami Gabi - their Strip side French restaurant. And let me tell you - there is something magical about eating poached pear and caramel crepes while watching the sun come up over the Las Vegas Strip. If you want romance - this is where you'll find it.
The pastry chef at Le Provencal performs miracles with chocolate - and delivered this amazing trio to our table. The restaurant offers a very reasonably priced selection of French favorites with impeccable service and get this - singing waitstaff.
Other restaurants at Paris include the fantastic Burger Brasserie where you can order a Kobe Beef burger for under $20 - a real bargain (and absolutely delicious).
If you got lucky at the slots, or you just want to impress someone, you can order the $77 burger - another Kobe Beef creation, but topped with imported Brie, caramelized onions, Maine Lobster and 100 year old balsamic vinegar. Got really lucky? $777 gets you that burger, along with a bottle of Dom. What better way to celebrate something than with a $777 bottle of bubbly and a burger?
Fans of the more traditional dinner will love Les Artistes steakhouse. This restaurant specializes in dry aged beef - and was where I had the best steak of my life, along with service from the best waiter I've ever met (thanks Dennis!). Prices are surprisingly reasonable, though adding a decent selection of wine will obviously take care of that. Oh, and if someone suggests you try the Caesar salad - listen to them, trust me.
Other things to do
Paris is not complete without a ride up the Eiffel Tower. This applies to the 121 year old version, as well as the more recent Vegas addition. The experience is very similar - you wait in a long line for an elevator, and at the top, you are wowed by the view. Sure - Eiffel Tower purists may complain about this fake version, but as someone who fell in love with his wife on top of the real tower, this one can be just as romantic, provided you are with the right company.
Halfway up the Eiffel Tower is the Eiffel Tower restaurant - which happens to be the perfect location for desert before heading up the tower. The view is spectacular, especially if you snag a table by the window.
The best part of the Vegas Eiffel Tower is being able to relax, take a deep breath and just watch the busy strip fly past you below. This is where you get away from it all, and chill for a bit.
Make no mistake - Paris is also perfect for some gambling. The atmosphere is like most other casinos on the strip - but the Eiffel Tower legs sticking up through the roof make for a really nice effect. I also found the layout to be quite relaxing - no massive gambling hall here, but a well designed area leading into various restaurants and shops.
Other "things to do" include a spa, fitness center, large pool area and a cozy Parisian shopping street with everything from "Les Enfants" (kids products) to the obligatory jewelry stores. The shopping promenade also leads to neighboring Bally's.
All in all, this was an eye-opening trip - mainly because I was able to spend an entire weekend inside a single property and not be bored. Of course, since the trip had been arranged by the hotel, they made sure we were treated well, but by my calculations, a trip with this schedule could be planned for two people for around $600 which includes the room rate, show tickets, meals and drinks - a price in line with what I've usually spent for a good weekend of fun in Vegas. Of course, depending on how you do on the casino floor, the price could go up or down depending on your luck.
If this weekend matches your idea of a perfect romantic getaway, you can snag yourself a room with a nice 15% discount using this link. With your discount, you'll be able to find rooms at Paris for as low as $68/night!
Anthony Cools, Burger Brasserie and Les Artistes photos courtesy of Scott Roeben, Pulse of Vegas Blog
This trip was hosted by Harrah's Entertainment. The ideas and opinions expressed in this article are 100% my own.