The Mansion at MGM Grand in Las Vegas

The Mansion is the best-kept secret property in Las Vegas. The Mansion is inside of the MGM Grand on the Las Vegas Strip. It is an invitation-only resort. It was originally designed for high rollers to stay free of charge. In the past few years, it has opened up to the richest people and top celebrities, but The Mansion is still strictly off-limits to the general public. Typical guests include prime ministers, heads of state, CEOs, and celebrities. There are about 30 apartment-style villas in The Mansion. Each Villa has a private butler and pool. Th property is designed to provide privileges to those people who can afford it. The prices run from $5,000 to $15,000 per night. The amenities within The Mansion include a private casino, spas, and art collection. If you have the wealth and status, it’s the ideal place on the Vegas Strip.

I was lucky to eat breakfast at The Mansion’s restaurant (it has no name) once. It was a unique, fascinating experience.

The Mansion at MGM Grand, Las Vegas-02
Image taken from the restaurant inside of The Mansion
The Mansion at MGM Grand, Las Vegas-03
The fountain inside of The Mansion
The Mansion at MGM Grand, Las Vegas
Inside of The Mansion
The Mansion at MGM Grand, Las Vegas
View of the top of The Mansion Property from Skyloft at MGM Grand
The Mansion at MGM Grand, Las Vegas_04
The hallway inside of The Mansion

Top Five Facial Serums

Facial serum is one of the essential elements of skin care regimen. It penetrates into the deeper layers of skin and provides the necessary nutrient to keep your skin healthy. It should be used right after the toner and followed by moisturizer to hydrate your skin.

After trying many serums throughout years, I have five favorite picks (see below).

L’Or de Vie Serum – Dior

This is the most expensive serum out of my favorite ones. It’s designed to use during the day to shield the skin from environment damages, especially from the sun. It keeps my skin well hydrated.

Purchase L'Or de Vie Serum-Dior from NeimanMarcus.com

Capture Totale Multi-Perfection Serum – Dior

It hydrates my skin and helps to prevent wrinkles. I love it because it keeps my skin soft!

Purchase Capture Totale Multi-Perfection Serum – Dior from NeimanMarcus.com

 Visionnaire – Lancome

Lancome’s 1st advanced skin corrector; designed to reduce wrinkles, reduce pores, and evens skin ton.

Visionnaire – Lancome

Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex – Estee Lauder

It’s designed to use at night. It helps skin to repair and rejuvenate while I sleep.

Purchase Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex – Estee Lauder

Acai Damage-Minimizing Serum – Kiehl’s

Organic damage-repairing formulations made with acal berry to help detoxify skin. It’s not as hydrating as the other four serums listed above. But I can see my skin ton brighten with daily uses.

Purchase Acai Damage-Minimizing Serum – Kiehl’s from NeimanMarcus.com

Ofresia Eau de Toilette from diptyque

The diptyque brand is a French perfume and home fragrance line of product that has been around since 1961. I didn’t know about this line until it recently became available at the Nordstrom fragrance department. The fragrance representative, Richard, stopped me when I walked by his counter and introduced me to the line. I wasn’t very impressed with this line when I first saw the bottles. It has more than 10 fragrances, but all packaged in containers with the exact same shape. It kind of reminds me of Jo Malone London. Jo Malone has many great fragrances, but I am fond of lines that make unique bottles for each scent (such as Gucci’s Floral and Guilty)-not “one container fits all”. In my opinion each fragrance should be contained in a distinctive bottle that matches its unique scent. To me, choosing a perfume is more than just buying a beauty product, such as facial toner or serum. When I finish with a beauty product I recycle the empty container. But with perfumes I like to use different scents based on my daily mood and keep all the bottles for my fragrance collection.

Although I wasn’t so impressed with the fragrance containers, I stayed because I am always interested in learning about beauty and fragrance. Richard showed me a couple of his favorite scents, including Do Son Eau de Toilette (reminds me of Michael Kors’s fragrance), Volutes (new and inspired by voyage of dreams), L’Ombre dans L’Eau Eau de Toilette (reminds me of Dolce&Gabbana-Rose the One Eau de Perfume which is one of my favorites). Then he showed me Ofresia Eau de Toilette (white freesia and black pepper; two distinct scents combined to create a pleasant and refreshing fragrnace). The moment I smelled it I knew I was going to get it. The scent is so unique; it reminds me of a flower I had when I was little. I don’t remember the name but I recognize the scent. I was so glad that I finally found a fragrance I could associate with a childhood memory.

Buy Ofresia of diptqyue from Nordstrom

Free gift from Nordstrom with $150 diptqyue purchase.

Sinatra at Encore in Las Vegas

Out of my list for top ten restaurants in Las Vegas, Sinatra at Encore property is the BEST. I am a fan of Frank Sinatra music. I love the decoration and Sinatra’s music they play in the restaurant, not to mention the delicious Italian food, cocktail drinks, and great services they have.

For starter, I recommend Polpettina (housemade meatball and polenta fries). For entrée, I recommend Lasagna Bolognese (fresh pasta layered with veal, pork and beef). It’s served in a little hot metal pan. I always wondered how they keep the handle so cool while the pan itself was hot. I finally asked them on my most recent visit. It turned out that the lasagna is baked in the little pan in the oven and they cooled the handle with ice before they serve the dish. If you like rib eye, try Tagliata (bone-in rib eye grilled with cherry tomatoes, capers, and basil). I am usually a filet mignon person, but the Tagliata I had in Sinatra last time was so juicy and tender; I really like it.

If you drink cocktails, try Sinatra Smash; it’s mixed of whiskey and blackberries. It’s fruity and refreshing. If you have room for dessert, try the tiramisu. The tiramisu is made of mascarpone cream and espresso soaked ladyfinger biscuits, served in a martini glass. The texture is so smooth; it melts in the mouth with every bite.

I’ve been going to Sinatra every year since they opened (near the end of year 2007). I love the restaurant so much because of their food and the atmosphere. Frank Sinatra played an important part in the history of fabulous Vegas. What can be more classic than a restaurant tribute to his music and achievements!

Sina at Wynn, Las Vegas
Sinatra interior with special chandelier
Sinatra at Wynn, Las Vegas
Polpettina-house made meatball and polenta fries
Sinatra at Wynn, Las Vegas
Lasagna Bolognese-fresh pasta layered with veal, pork and beef
Sinatra at Wynn, Las Vegas
Agnello-lamb chops, goat cheese mashed potato, fagiolini
Sinatra at Wynn, Las Vegas
Tiramisu-mascarpone cream and espresso soaked ladyfinger biscuits

Five of My Favorite Places for Breakfast in Vegas

I love Las Vegas. When I am in Vegas I often eat breakfast, which is something I don’t normally do at home. Here are five of my favorite places to eat breakfast in Las Vegas.

1. The Mansion at MGM Grand

The Mansion is a semi-secret, very exclusive invitation-only restaurant. I was offered the chance to eat breakfast at The Mansion when I stayed at the Skylofts at MGM Grand. The Mansion was unbelievable!

2. Tableau at Wynn Hotel

Tableau is a fantastic restaurant at the Wynn hotel. The breakfast menu is incredible and I love some of their unique items including White Chocolate and Orange French Toast.

3. Society Café at Encore Hotel

Society Café at the Encore Hotel is not as fancy as some restaurants but it is a place I could eat breakfast every day.

4. Mozen Bistro at Mandarin Oriental

The Mozen Bistro at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel was an unexpected surprise. One morning when I was at the Mandarin Oriental I wasn’t feeling like going out and so I ate there and I was pleased. The restaurant was casual but elegant and everything on the breakfast menu was great!

5.  Bouchon at Venetian

The Bouchon at the Venetian was a bit hard to find, at the fourth floor overlooking the pool area. The restaurant is mostly French inspired but the breakfast items are all fantastic!

Fiave Favorite Breakfast Places in VegasFiave Favorite Breakfast Places in Vegas

Louis Vuitton Spring 2013 Handbags

I watched Louis Vuitton Spring 2013 runway show a few days ago. I was very excited to see what LV offers for the upcoming spring and summer 2013. Damier (LV’s classic check print) was definitely the main theme of the show; you can see it on the handbags, clothes and even on the runway stage. I am sure any Damier lovers would love this collection very much.

A few minutes into the show I was a bit disappointed. I saw too much of Damier and wanted to see something else in the rest of the show. I do like Damier and have them in both Damier Azur Canvas and Ebene Canvas, but I was hoping this collection to be as sophisticated as the Cub from Louis Vuitton Spring 2011, or Kalahari from Louis Vuitton Spring 2009. Those collections definitely offered eye-catching handbags that I always love! Also, the color and shapes of some Spring 2013 bags reminds me of Spring 2012 bags. I wish there were more differences between them.

However, as I continued to watch the rest of Spring 2013 show I saw many nice handbags that I would love to have (see below images from Purseblog.com). Now, I am looking forward to see what will be available from the runway show next March.

LV Spring 2013 Handbags from Purseblog.com

Allegro at Wynn in Las Vegas

Allegro at the Wynn hotel in Las Vegas used to named Stratta and was classified as a casual Italian restaurant. After Chef Enzo Febrravo joined the Wynn he changed the name to Allegro, which debuted on Monday, August 6, 2012. When I made a dinner reservation for Thursday, August 19, I expected Allegro to be a similar casual Italian restaurant like Stratta used to be. But I was surprised at how great and unique the food was at the new restaurant. My friend and I had Osso Buco D’agnello, made with a bone-in lamb shank, vegetable stew, and Pappardelle pasta (freshly made), and Baked Lasagna Napoletana, made with Sunday meat ragu sauce, meatballs, and smoked mozzarella cheese. The stew with the lamb dish was tasty and the pasta was chewy. The lasagna was the best lasagna I ever had! We told our server how much we loved the new Allegro food compared to the old restaurant. He came back with the manager and the Chef Enzo Febrravo to talk to us. The chef told us that he wants his restaurant to be unique with authentic Italian flavor. His dishes are crafted with an at-home cooking style.

I had such a great experience on my first visit to Allegro. I went back there again three days later with a different group of friends. I was surprised that the manager and the chef recognized me (given that they were packed with guests every night). The chef came to our table to greet us and offered his special sampling menu. We sat there, enjoyed our drinks, and were overwhelmed with appetizers, special dishes, and desserts. Everything was so great. My friends loved the food and the special treatment.

Although Allegro is categorized as casual dining at the Wynn hotel, it’s on my top ten best fine dining restaurant list and I will definitely go back to again. The next time you go to Vegas I encourage you to check out the Allegro restaurant at the Wynn.

Osso Buco D’agnello at Allegro, Wynn
Osso Buco D’agnello at Allegro, Wynn
Baked Lasagna Napoletana at Allegro, Wynn
Baked Lasagna Napoletana at Allegro, Wynn
Special Fish Dish by Chef at Allegro
Special Fish Dish by Chef at Allegro, Wynn
Desserts at Allegro, Wynn
Desserts at Allegro, Wynn

AquaKnox at Venetian in Las Vegas

AquaKnox locates in the hallway that connects Venetian hotel to Palazzo hotel in Las Vegas. I’ve walked by the restaurant many times, but never ate there. The design in front of the restaurant is very aquarium like decor, with blue water and bubbles. It’s easy to tell that’s a seafood restaurant, but it never appealed to me like the fine dining restaurant I would want to try. I finally went there last year. The experience was great!

For starter, I had fresh oysters. Needless to say, all the oysters I had in the great restaurants on the strip were always fresh and delicious. For main course, I had American Red Snapper and my friend had New Zealand John Dory. Both dishes were cooked just right; tender and not dry at all. The snapper was made with chive potato puree and wild mushroom with tomato vinaigrette. And the John Dory was made of lobster succotash, fava beans, and sweet corn with white truffle essence.  The sauce added flavor to the already delicious fish. Beside the great food they offer, their services was excellent. The server was personable and attentive. The manager even came over and chatted with us about their business.  Overall, I think AquaKnox is the best seafood restaurant I ever had on the strip!

New Zealand John Dory at AquaKnox, Venetian
New Zealand John Dory at AquaKnox, Venetian
AquaKnox at Venetian, Las Vegas
American Red Snapper from AquaKnox, Venetian

Top Ten Restaurants in Las Vegas

I’ve been going to Las Vegas with different groups of people, such as friends, family, and co-workers in the past years (why I like to go to Vegas). After trying so many restaurants on the strip, I came up with my top ten list of restaurants in Las Vegas. Depending on who I am going with, my top restaurant list might vary. Below is a list ideal for trips to Vegas with close girlfriends.

It is in no particular order. I will go into details in my future posts.

  1. AquaKnox at Venetian
  2. Allegro at Wynn
  3. Bouchon at Venetian
  4. Carnevino at Palazzo
  5. Le Cirque at Bellagio
  6. Picasso at Bellagio
  7. Sinatra at Encore
  8. SW Steakhouse at Wynn
  9. Twist at Mandarin Oriental
  10. Valentino at Venetian

Las Vegas has way more great restaurants than I could fit into my list. There are three more I would have considered to add to my top ten list, except that they were closed in the past few years, mainly for economic reasons. They are: Restaurant Charlie by Charlie Trotter, David Burke, and Switch. I will explain why I like them later.

LasVegas Restaurant AquaKnox
American Red Snapper from AquaKnox at Venetian
LasVegas Restaurant Allegro at Wynn
Osso Buco D’agnello from Allegro at Wynn

YSL “Dare to Glow” Illuminator

I recently purchased a Yves Saint Laurent “Dare to Glow” Illuminator. It is a light gel highlighter with shimmering in a small tube. The shimmering is so subtle; it helps to enhance the face without adding too much shine. It is versatile; can be put on eye lids, blend on cheeks, or tab on lips as lip gloss. It is available in three colors: Tempting Gold, Fatal Red, and Naughty Pink. I like Fatal Red the best, because it has a hint of natural pink that blends into skin perfectly to create a natural effect-it’s like wearing makeup without feeling or looking like you have anything on your face! Buy Yves Saint Laurent “Dare to Glow” Illuminator from Nordstrom.com

   

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