Events, Health & Beauty, Hotels, Restaurants

2016 Las Vegas

朋友去賭城出差幾天, 邀我一起去玩 (她去工作, 我去玩).  我去賭城喜歡住在沒有賭場的飯店, 因為人口單純, 環境安靜, 室內空氣好. 但是賭城沒有賭場的飯店不多, 寫出來給大家參考.

以下資料取自Travel+Leisure, Hopper,

  1. Mandarin Oriental

    Few hotels except the most luxurious hotel-within-a-hotels (think the Mansion at MGM Grand or Paiza Club at the Venetian) manage to make their guests feel so sequestered on the Strip. The deeply serene 392 rooms—which start at 850 square feet—are sleek and Asian inspired, and accompanied by the best service on the Strip. As private as the 47-story tower feels, though, it is connected to the best shopping on the strip, at Crystals, by a sky bridge, and the glass façade is a quick walk to Aria, should you want to indulge in a bit of gaming. Don’t miss high tea in MOzen Bistro or an afternoon ensconced in the spa.

  2. Vdara at CityCenter

    Consider Vdara to be a 57-story, all-suite, LEED Gold-certified break from Vegas vices. You won’t find smoking or gaming inside the glass façade of the crescent-shaped tower, but you will find some of the most sophisticated public art from CityCenter’s massive collection, from a 32-foot-long Frank Stella piece at reception to Peter Wegner’s “Day for Night, Night for Day” series in the concierge lobby. Open floor plans have fully-equipped kitchens and media hubs.  From walls of horizontal windows, many suites look over either the Bellagio fountains or CityCenter.

  3. Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas

    Tucked away on floors 35-39 of Mandalay Bay, Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas recently renovated all its 424 guest rooms and suites. The vibrant, modern, Art Deco-inspired transformation is a little retro and a lot high-tech. From their towering perch through floor-to-ceiling windows, guestrooms have sweeping views of the Strip. Tip: If you’re over the Strip view, ask for the Sunrise/Sunset Suite, with dramatic views all the way west to Red Rock National Conservation Area.

  4. The Signature at MGM Grand

    The three towers of The Signature at MGM Grand are a gated enclave of 576 rooms (guests have their own entrances, check-ins, pools, fitness rooms and staff). Helpfully, the walkways from all three towers get you the restaurants, entertainment and gaming of the mega hotel casino, and away when you’re ready to retreat (they’re only available to Signature guests). Some of the very few guest rooms on or near the Las Vegas Strip with balconies, the rooms – all non-smoking – feel like high-end residences, with high-tech kitchens (think appliances from Sub-Zero and Miele), Jacuzzi tubs and even services like in-room massage.

  5. Delano at Mandalay Bay

    The unfortunately named THEhotel at Mandalay Bay—the boutique tower adjoining Mandalay Bay—was in real need of a refresh, so the folks at MGM Resorts did one better and made it a Delano, with all the style and breezy sophistication of the Miami original. The more than 1,000 non-smoking suite each measure at least 725 square feet, big even by Vegas standards, and the white on white décor is all very serene. When you do want to gamble, just take the dedicated hallway into Mandalay Bay.

  6. Trump InternationalOne of Las Vegas’s shimmering landmarks, the Trump hotel is composed of 64 storeys of golden glass rising above the Strip. Quiet, unobtrusive luxury is Trump’s speciality, and this can be found in its vast spa complex, its stylishly appointed guest rooms complete with kitchens, and in its heated pool lined with private air-conditioned cabanas and plasma TVs.
  7. Elara, a Hilton Grand Vacations Hotel

    Connected to more than 170 shops in the Miracle Mile and across from City Center plus a lively bar and lounge—where stars align.  Their luxurious studio, one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom suites allow guests to escape to somewhere far away—that also feels a bit like home. Retreat to comfortable luxury in airy contemporary spaces.

    Enjoy marble accented bathrooms, suites with kitchens and stainless-steel appliances, expansive living and seating areas, over-sized jet-stream tubs and showers with rain shower heads, room automation system, wireless high-speed Internet, on-demand movies, and a state-of-the-art fitness center open 24 hours a day!

  8. Travelodge Las Vegas South StripFor budget-minded travelers who want to be in the midst of the excitement of the Strip, the Travelodge Las Vegas South Strip hotel is ideal. It’s within one block of MGM Grand, Planet Hollywood and New York, New York. The Travelodge Las Vegas South Strip features a business center, free Wi-Fi Internet access throughout, year-round outdoor pool and laundry facilities on-site. Hotel guests also enjoy complimentary continental breakfast, in-room safe, free parking and flat-screen television with cable service including HBO.

Cirque_du_Soleil_will_create_the_Toronto_2015_Opening_Ceremony去賭城我不賭博, 就愛看秀和享受美食. 頭幾名值得看的秀都是太陽劇團主導 (Cirque du Soleil).  Cirque du Soleil is a Canadian entertainment company, founded in 1984, and it’s the largest theatrical producer in the world. They offers eight shows in Vegas.

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之前去賭城看過 O, KA, Mystere, Thunder from down under (我覺得性感品質和舞蹈水準比較適合年輕人). 這次去看 Zumanity (性感和舞蹈是有水準和藝術的), Le Rêve – The Dream (整個排場道具, 舞蹈, 戲服, 讓人難以想像的棒).

這次去品嚐了二家名廚的餐廳

Gorden Ramsay’s Steak at Paris

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因為我是臨時起意去, 卡到七點的秀, 沒辦法點有名的Beef Wellington, 因為它要等四十五分鐘, 所以就點了幾個份量小一點的前菜, 除了麵包和湯的味道很特別以外, 其他幾道雖然味道都不錯, 卻未讓我驚艷.

因為前一晚連看二場秀, 今晚打算好好享用一頓, 而不看秀了, 既然如此, 就來去Nobu at Caesars Palace朝聖吧.

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Nobu晚餐是五點就開始, 我建議那時候就去, 吃完剛好去看七點的秀 (除非你點Omakase). 我這次選九道的Omakase, 外加二杯Cocktail, 吃了二個鐘頭, 每道菜都很精緻, 擺盤細緻, 道道美味的複雜, 量少多樣是我的最愛. 我五點出頭到, 餐廳裡人不是很多, 所以還蠻輕鬆悠閒, 坐在Sushi Bar 還能跟廚師聊聊天.

我覺得吃日本料理, 選擇Omakase最物超所值, 因為變化多, 又能充分品嚐到餐廳的食材和廚師的能耐, 是最有意思的吃法.  這家餐廳的Cocktail的選擇很多, 對於不太喝清酒或者紅白酒的人, 也是加分處.

在賭城, 好吃的餐廳太多, 可惜荷包不夠深, 只能偶一為之.

去飯店附近的South Outlet逛逛, 讓我逛到一家SAS鞋店, 裡面居然有好看又好穿的淑女鞋, 而且是在義大利或美國做的, 鞋寬不僅有一般的B or M, 也有Wide. 後來才發現灣區也有它的分店, 不過Stevens Creek店裡面的鞋款實在醜到爆了, 據店經理說, 她是根據她店裡的客群挑選進的鞋款, 我想我肯定不是她的客群.

Hotels, Restaurants, Trip to N. CA

[Sonoma] Applewood Inn

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朋友Anne六月份在Travel Zoo上看到這個Deal (Luxe Sonoma Escape w/Michelin-Star Dinner) for Applewood Inn, 其實我們是衝著米其林星級餐廳去的啦, 吆喝之下, 一共有三對夫妻朋友參加, 日期剛好就在我從Maine回來的那個週日. The inn is one mile from downtown Guerneville and close to several wineries in Sonoma's Russian River Valley region, 不是在比較熱門的Sonoma area, 不過我們也因此多認識一個地區.

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床墊是我最愛的Firm Memory Foam, 超舒服的, 但是枕頭就只是一般的, 舒適感就差很多 (可惜).

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我們週日中午先去Hotel拿Wine Tasting Passport, 一起用過午餐後, 先去Wine Testing, 然後回Hotel換裝吃晚飯.  我們和Anne都沒有仔細閱讀Fine Print, 所以不知道餐廳有Dress Code (Business Casual), 好在我們都有帶可以勉強過關的衣服, 不然被禁止入內吃飯就糗大了.

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重頭戲 Chef's Tasting 5-course Dinner

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Heirloom tomatoe

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Gazpacho of Galia Melon & Armenian Cucumber with Merchant and Miller's EVOO, Orchid Watermelon. (cold soup)

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Butter Lettuce Salad with Garden Apple, Pistachios, Chevre, Honey-Chive Vinaigrette.

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Tempira Squash Blossom, Ratatouille with Sungold Cherry Tomatoes, Romano Beans, Spring Onion, and Fresh Basil.

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清味蕾的氣泡酒

接下來的主食(羊排或牛排)和甜點(甜點或起司盤)是二選一

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Cocoa Nib Crusted Rack of California Lamb with Sherry Braised Chorizo, Grilled Romano Beans, Mint Chimichurri. 四個人點這道羊排, 我本來也是點這一道, 但是覺得羊排有點鹹, 就跟老公交換, 我改吃牛排.

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Grilled Filet of Beef Tenderloin with Potato Fourchette, Morel Mushroom Conserva, Roasted Summer Squash, Bone Marrow Bordelaise. 牛排嫩又多汁, 配上三種小菜, 比較對我的胃口.

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因為Anne不吃牛或羊, 所以餐廳特別幫她準備海鮮餐.

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Trio of Desserts – 左起泡芙夾冰淇淋, 昆佈雷, 蛋捲夾鮮奶油, 外加幾小塊油桃.

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Fromage

我喜歡圓桌, 而且六個人剛剛好, 大家可以暢所欲言. 這六個人裡除了Linda的老公Greg是上班族, 其他五人都是Self-employee, 所以我們多半時間聊的都是生意經, 彼此分享近況和一些撇步, 受益良多.

隔天早上的早餐也很豐富喔.

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水果優格

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蛋的做法隨客人選擇, 另外還可以點義式咖啡, Oatmeal等等, 看你多能吃啦.

吃過早餐我們就退房, 先去一個紅木公園走走, 然後繼續Wine Testing, 最後就說再見, 各自回家, 約好下此要再找個地方一起聚聚.  很慶幸在灣區生活十幾年來有認識幾對談得來的夫妻朋友, 大家平時工作忙, 但是有機會像這樣一起外出度過二天一夜的團體活動是非常讚的.

 

Hotels, Restaurants, Trip to N. CA

[Mendocino] The Inn at Schoolhouse Creek, Wild Fish

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我發現Mendocino的酒莊都養很多羊, 他們利用羊吃草和解糞施肥.

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去年我和朋友住過The Inn at Schoolhouse Creek就覺得不怎麼樣, 但是因為這是Livingsocial上第一家Mendocino Hotel的活動, 我買了二張, 沒想到後來還有更多也更好的Mendocino Hotel. 不過買了就得用掉啊, 所以這次和老公就去住, 我還苦笑說這三晚的住宿品質是每況愈下, 吃早餐的時候才知道去年暑假這家旅館換老闆了, 據說新老闆做了很多Upgrade, 不過我沒感覺, 連老公的評價也是-不-會-再-來-住.

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過去幾年Mendocino可能受景氣影響, 觀光業受創很深, 因為我們這次去碰上很多旅館和餐廳都是去年換過老闆經營, 而且都是做過Livingsocial or Groupon這類活動之後. 原本我買了一張餐廳活動卷, 到了地點才發現餐廳去年就關門大吉, 換了新餐廳.

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新餐廳叫Wild Fish, 由一對英國夫妻經營, 餐廳內部不大, 但很溫馨, 老闆夫婦也是非常友善.

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Fresh Clam Chowder – 不是舊金山那種很濃稠的, 但是我反而喜歡這種偏水的, 吃起來比較沒負擔.

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Winter Salad – 老公覺得 Too Raw.

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North Coast Bouillabaisse – 我們覺得和我們吃過其它地方比較起來, 這個湯頭偏酸, 但是老闆說這是非常正統的南法普羅望斯的口味, 我沒吃過所謂的正統南法普羅望斯的Bouillabaisse, 所以無法評論.

相關閱讀: The Inn at Schoolhouse Creek from May 2011; Mendocino from July 2011.

Hotels, Restaurants, Trip to N. CA

[Mendocino] Stevenswood Resort

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Hwy 128的沿路風景

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Hwy 128上有許多品酒區

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中午在這家General Store吃, 薄披薩出乎意外的好吃.

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第二晚住在Stevenswood Resort, 是去年我在Livingsocial上買的 ($99含稅和早餐, 含$25 Dinner credit and $25 Spa credit), 住過之後覺得物超所值, 如果以後有再來Mendocino, 這裡會是Top Choice.

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房間超大, 很有禪味; 有Fire place, 記憶床墊超舒服.

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相較之下, 這浴室就嫌小, 而且水槽沒有地方放東西, 不過毛巾又大條又蓬鬆 而且附的盥洗瓶很可愛.

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到飯店時間已晚, 而且累了, 不想出去吃飯, 就在飯店裡的餐廳吃, 他們餐廳每天自己做麵包, 超好吃的, 又鬆又軟, 要不是晚上我盡量不吃澱粉類的話, 我會請服務生在上一盤熱麵包來.

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Duck with Apricot, Lentils, Purple Potatos.

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這道菜的主食原本是Pork Chop, 但是我想吃Lamb Chops, 但是我比較喜歡Pork Chop的Side Dishes (Lamb Chops的Side Dishes和昨天一樣 是馬鈴薯和蘆筍) 所以主廚就把Pork Chop改成Lamb Chops給我 但是其他不變Blackberry Marasala, Mushroom Ragout (太鹹), Broccolini and Petite Frites.

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隔天早上起來才有機會好好看一下這家飯店.

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它有附設Spa, 但是我們沒時間用.

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早上和晚上的餐廳看起來感覺不太一樣耶.

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早餐是現點現作, 給你整壺的咖啡, 鬆餅不錯.

早餐之後就打包離開, 去逛Mendocino Downtown, 海邊撿枯木回家做裝飾品.

 

Hotels, Restaurants, Trip to N. CA

[Santa Rosa] Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel

週日是我們的公休日, 也是Honey-Do日, 我們夫妻二人都盡量不排工作, 不約客人, 工作上算休息一天, 用來過過正常夫妻生活 – 早上去吃早餐, 逛農夫市場, 下午做家事. 但是隨著房地產越來越忙, 每個週末要Open House或是客人要看屋的情況越來越多, 我們只好改變我們的休假模式, 改成每二個月休一個四天非週末的連假, 離家去找個景點遊玩.

因為去年在Groupon & Livingsocial買了The Inn at Schoolhouse和Stevenswood Resort的住宿優惠卷, 所以三月份我們去了一趟Mendocino. Mendocino離Napa, Sonoma蠻順路的, 加上路途遙遠, 我覺得住個三晚比較合適, 所以我上Priceline.com, 用Name your own price的方式, 五十塊標到一晚Santa Rosa's Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel, 當作第一晚的住宿地方 (因為我們下午才出門).

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由於是週日, 飯店內住客不多. 房間不小, 床和枕頭都很舒適, 毛巾又白又軟, 走路就到Historic Railroad Square, 有餐廳, 咖啡廳, 商店, 很方便.

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當天晚餐選擇在Lococo's Cucina Rustica意大利餐廳 (Yelp上面寫$$, 但是我們覺得價位比較像$$$), 氣氛很好, 服務不錯.

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週日晚上耶, 但是還是坐滿喔, 那應該表示很受歡迎的餐廳吧.

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我們剛到的時候, 二樓只有我們和另外一桌客人, 但是等我們的菜上桌後, 整個二樓也是客滿.

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Sole – 魚鮮, 但是我嫌那個醬汁太多. 吃上面那片魚的時候還行, 吃到下面那片魚就覺得那個醬汁味道太濃郁.

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Veal Chop -  老公說好吃, 但是我覺得有點偏乾. 我覺得他們的Side dish的選擇太無趣, 就是馬鈴薯塊加蘆筍.

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隔天早上走路到4th St – 先到Omelette Express吃早餐, 老闆是Jaguar車迷, 所以餐廳裡面都是車頭身當裝飾.

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我的法式土司很薄, 味道一般.

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4th St上面有很多商家, 其中的Whistlestop Antiques的東西最多, 後來才知道裡面每個"攤位"的主人都不一樣, 他們付租金給店家, 所以每個攤位的古董類別都不一樣.

回飯店洗澡打包, 往Mendocino去.