I’ve been to Vegas many times, but never during the New Year’s Eve. To celebrate the New Year’s Eve for 2016, my friend and I went to Vegas! This Vegas trip is unlike most of the trips I’ve had to Vegas. There were no set plans. My friend and I wanted to take it easy and play everything by ear.
My friends and I stayed at the Aria Hotel. Aria Hotel is one of my favorite hotels in Las Vegas. (Their Sky Suite is one of my top three choices on the Strip, after Wynn/Encore Tower Suites and Skyloft at MGM Grand.) There are many nice restaurants in the Aria Hotel. I feel like I can eat different cuisines without having to step out of the hotel property. Shopping The Vegas Strip was crowded with people around the New Year’s Eve period. Most of the retail stores (such as the ones in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace) were packed every day, especially on New Year’s Eve day. One might wonder why people want to shop during the busiest season after Christmas. The answer is simple, there were sales everywhere. The discounts ranged between 30% to 60%. For example, Salvatore Ferragamo offered a 30% discount, Christian Louboutin offered 40%, and Red Valentino offered 60% discount, etc. It’s hard to say “No” when pretty things are on sale! If you don’t have the actual boutique store in your resident state, you can avoid the tax by asking them to ship to your home. Some retail stores might charge you shipping cost, but most of the time the amount you saved from paying the tax exceeds the shipping charges. Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden Bellagio is one of my favorite hotels. Their Conservatory & Botanical Garden attracts a lot of people throughout the year. For the 2015 holiday season, Bellagio displayed a Christmas theme with a huge Christmas tree, polar bears, penguins, and snow globes, etc. I noticed the Conservatory & Botanical Garden was more crowded than usual. It was hard to take a picture of the display without running into someone with a selfie stick! Eating in the Fancy Restaurants One thing I always look forward to is eating at the nice restaurants in the hotels in Vegas. I know that off the Strip there are many special restaurants that have lower prices, but the experience wouldn’t be the same as in the nice hotels. My all-time top ten restaurants on the Strip include Sinatra at Encore Hotel, Prime Steak and Michael Mina at Bellagio, Joel Robuchon at MGM Grand. A new favorite restaurant is also by Michael Mina, called Bardot Brasserie (French Cuisine), inside of the Aria Hotel. I had dinner there in September 2015 and liked it a lot. It’s the only restaurant that offers brunch in the Aria Hotel, but it only serves brunch on the weekends. On New Year’s Eve, my friends and I had dinner at Hakkasan in the MGM Grand Hotel. We had a multiple course dinner with wine paring. It was a great way to end Year 2015. To sum up, spending the New Year’s Eve in Vegas is fun, even if you are not into gambling or partying. There are plenty of things to do!