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  • Las Vegas: The Venetian & The Palazzo

    By Leah Sekula

    Las Vegas is iconic for its glitzy entertainment, super swanky hotels and floor plans that can keep you trapped on the gambling floor for hours. It also offers some of the most memorable meals you may ever have, the chance to buy a whole new closet in just one shopping trip and the guarantee of being pampered like a celebrity in the spa.


    LAVO Italian Restaurant
    (702.791.1800; www.lavolv.com)
    This hot spot specializes in carefully crafted Italian classics including brick-oven pizza, pasta, steaks and seafood, but the superstar is the gigantic  1-pound, ground A-5 Kobe beef meatball topped with fresh whipped ricotta. Can you say yum? This dish is created by combining fresh ingredients together in a softball-size hunk. Then it is cooked it in the oven for 2 hours, simmered in ragù sauce for 45 minutes, brought to a boil in the pizza oven and served to your table. A whole lot of love goes into this dish, and it is oh-so-good!

    (702.607.0700; www.sushisamba.com)
    Here you will find a heavenly blend of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian inspirations all rolled into the culinary spirit that is SushiSamba. Traditional dishes like the sashimi seviche and crispy yellowtail taquitos are sure to make your taste buds dance with excitement. If you enjoy non-traditional sushi rolls, order the El Topo, which is artfully packed with salmon and jalapeño then wrapped in a shiso leaf and topped with fresh melted mozzarella and crispy onion. In all honesty, you can’t go wrong with any choice; the entire menu is outstanding.

    Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery (702.414.6203; www.bouchonbakery.com)
    Bouchon Bakery has it all. The atmosphere is charming and bright, the service is magnificent, and the enthusiastic reactions to each dish will interrupt any conversation. The breakfast and brunch menu is the perfect motivation to drag yourself out of the plush bed upstairs after a long night out on the Strip. Indulge in the sourdough qaffles coupled with Tahitian vanilla bean butter, order the Bouchon pastry basket for the table (you will thank me later), and don’t forget a Bellini or mimosa. It is safe to say that the Bouchon Bakery is my new definition of brunch.

    (702.388.8338; www.taorestaurantlv.com)
    Be prepared to walk into another world when entering TAO restaurant. Center stage is a three-story bronze Buddha statue backed by an even taller red wall glowing with candles. The lights are low and the serenity is enveloping. The atmosphere alone would make this a top pick but, lucky for us, the fare is also spot-on. Start with the satay of Chilean sea bass and wok-roasted asparagus. It is by far the savoriest sea bass I have ever tasted.


    The Shoppes at The Palazzo offer more than 60 of the world’s most exclusive luxury brands, essentially making it a fashion-forward playground for all. Stop by some of my favorites to pull together the perfect outfit for a night out on the Strip.

    Barneys New York
    (702.629.4200; www.barneys.com)
    Call ahead to have a personal shopper put together a private showroom of fashion just for you. Call 702.629.4200 for an appointment.

    Bottega Veneta
    (702.369.0747; www.bottegaveneta.com)
    Premier Italian leather goods that are classic yet effortlessly modern.

    Tory Burch
    (702.369.0541; www.toryburch.com)
    Classic American sportswear with an eclectic sensibility.

    Christian Louboutin
    (702.818.1650; www.christianlouboutin.com)
    Shiny, red-lacquered-sole shoes.


    Traveling can be tough on your skin. Go ahead and round out your trip with a visit to the Canyon Ranch SpaClub, a 69,000-square-foot, two-level facility offering a fitness center, spa, salon and restaurant focused on health and wellness. With more than 100 treatments and services, the impressive menu ranges from massage and therapeutic bodywork to conditioning body scrubs and rejuvenating body cocoons. You may have trouble choosing just one, so clear your schedule and book a day’s worth of treatments.

    After your day of relaxation, stop by the Canyon Ranch retail store and pick up a few of the products recommended by Shawn Granito, the associate spa director, to keep your skin saying ahhhhh! even after you return home.


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