With the world fast reopening for international travel, perhaps nowhere else on earth screams “I’m baaack!” better, bigger and brasher than fabulous Las Vegas. Even during the dark days of pandemic the city launched five new enormous hotels, oversized properties that would dominate any other city. But in Vegas they simply look, well, right at home.
And beyond the OTT places to lay your head, the original Sin City is awash with wonderful new ways to lark about, from high-flying shenanigans to downright curious new niche attractions.
Bigger is always better
That’s long been the mantra of Las Vegas, and it's on full display at the enormous new Resorts World Las Vegas. Even in a city with a taste for huge hotels, this all-new address is a doozy, with 3,500 rooms making it one of the top 10 largest properties in the city.
In truth, it’s host to three stand-alone hotels, all under the Hilton umbrella. The Las Vegas Hilton delivers a typical full-service casino hotel; the Conrad Las Vegas ups the luxury ante, while Crockfords Las Vegas taps into the LXR brand of independent high-end properties.
Beyond the rooms, there’s a 5,000-seat theatre, the first smart-gaming casino to offer cashless gambling on the Strip, a vast pool complex, and a menu of gourmet outlets. Don’t miss the chance to shlurp your way through the first Stateside outposts of Bib Gourmand-recognised hawker stands from Singapore and Southeast Asia.
While Adele’s hyped-up “Weekends With Adele” residency at Caesars Palace crashed and burnt before it even opened, the good news for fans is that it’s due to return to the stage in the second-half of 2022. But she’s not the only show in town.
This is the city that loves to claim an artist as their own, and through 2022, travellers will be treated to long-running residencies for everyone from John Legend at Zappos Theater to Katy Perry pulling in at Resorts World Las Vegas. This new venue has also signed up the likes of Luke Bryan, Michael Bublé and Celine Dion for dates throughout the year.
Las Vegas revels in its naughty reputation, and one man is putting the city’s “anything goes” approach to good use.
With the Love Cloud air charter business, pilot and founder Andy Johnson is turning his twin-engined Cessna planes into a “magic carpet” where “you come with a smile on your face, and you leave with a bigger smile on your face,” he told the New York Times.
Are we being too coy? Basically, for $1,095 you’ll be flown around the skies above Las Vegas for 45 minutes while you have sex. For another $200 you could get married on board — Elvis Presley officiant not included — or fork out $300 extra for a limo ride to the airport and a bottle of bubbly. After landing, you’ll receive a Mile High Club VIP Certificate Card, signed by the pilot. Cute.
Grab a bite
With a procession of well-heeled travellers, Las Vegas has long been a hub for high-end chefs looking to make their mark (and some cash) Stateside. Today there are 10 Michelin-starred restaurant in the city, from Joel Robuchon’s eponymous palace of French cuisine at the MGM Grand, to Wing Lei at Wynn Las Vegas, the first Chinese eatery in the US to earn a Michelin Star.
New arrivals worth a look in 2022 include The Beast food-hall by celeb-chef Todd English, and Nellie’s Southern Kitchen, a restaurant experience by The Jonas Brothers that celebrates their southern roots.
Out of this world
While Nevada’s Area 51 may be off-limits to locals and visitors alike, the entertainment extravaganza that is AREA15 welcomes them with open arms. As with all things Vegas this new(ish) entertainment district is big, brash and filled with immersive experiences. There’s a distillery that doubles as an amusement park, a truly frightening virtual-reality zombie experience, and an axe-throwing lounge. Yes, that’s right. Of course there’s an axe-throwing lounge, with a cocktail bar attached. This is Vegas, baby!