New Year’s Resolutions: Vegas Style

So you’ve made a resolution to get fit, stay fit, or at least visit a gym in 2017… but then you came to Las Vegas – a city made to destroy any resolutions. Fear not. Tucked amongst the bars, the gourmet restaurants, and the world’s biggest candy shops, are some of the best hotel gyms you’ll ever find, and below we’ll tell you about three of our favorites [Pro-tip: If you go at dinner time, you may just have the place to yourself.]

CAESARS PALACE:

We’ve had some pretty great workouts at the Caesars Palace fitness center. Located in Caesars celebrated Qua Baths and Spa, the 5,500 sq ft fitness center has a $25/day fee unless you are Diamond or Seven Stars with Total Rewards so keep that in mind. Caesars Palace features state of the art cardio and weight lifting machines [including a Smith machine], as well as an array of free weights. They, like the other fitness centers on this list, also feature bikes, however, they have them arranged in a circle so that you’re facing each other which is good if you’re with others so you can chat, but bad if you’re awkwardly facing a bunch of strangers as sweat pours down your face – if you care about things like that. They also have stretching/flexibility machines which is really rare in hotel gyms. Be sure to cap off your workout with a chilled towel [!!!] and a piece of fresh fruit.

THE COSMOPOLITAN:

The Cosmopolitan boasts two fitness centers – one in each of their towers, one is 5,250 sq ft and one is 2,087 sq ft… oh, and one has a boxing ring. The sleek fitness center is very swanky, just like Cosmo itself – with dark wood floors, wall sconces illuminating dark-ish [at least for a gym] corners. They have a large selection of cardio and weight machines, as well as the aforementioned boxing ring. If you’re more of a group fitness buff, you’ll definitely want to check out Sweat 60 – it’s a 60 minute  HIIT class that they offer twice a day Tue-Sat which includes plyometrics, strength training, core stability exercises, and of course, boxing. It’s only $15 for 60 minutes. They also offer private tennis lessons if that’s more your thing. After you sweat it out, be sure to grab a piece of fresh fruit on your way out!

ARIA:

Bright, airy, spacious, and packed with nearly every machine [including a Smith machine] you could want, we’ve had some of our best workouts at the Aria fitness center. The 6,000 sq ft fitness center overlooks the pool so you have a great view and plenty of natural light. But here’s the thing, Aria’s fitness center offers more than any other hotel gym we’ve ever seen – and we’ve seen a lot.

In addition to their array of cardio and weight machines, medicine and stability balls, and free weights, Aria offers group and individual training as well as specialty workouts including combat cardio, kettlebell training, TRX, yoga, pilates, strength training and body sculpting, barre, spinning, as well as full body composition testing, and a full wellness program.

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL. If you prefer to get your sweat on while not being confined to a gym, check out their “Indoor Hike” which will get you moving and sweating while exploring some of the scenic areas of Aria. Seriously, the best hotel gym ever. If we could buy a full-time membership there we would.

[Photo cred: aria.com]

New Year, New Vegas

Happy New Year! New Years are all about optimistically looking towards the future and anticipating all the [good] changes and things to come. While people love to muse about becoming a new version of themselves, Las Vegas as a city embodies that mentality on the regular.

No other city in the world experiences as many changes as this neon paradise does every year. Hotels, restaurants, shows, nothing is safe, nothing is sacred; it could all be completely changed tomorrow – as evidenced by the pile of rubble that the iconic Riviera became in 2016 – but like the mighty phoenix, something new will swiftly rise up. With that said, let’s look to some of the new changes and additions we’re most looking forward to in 2017!

Backstreet Boys: Oh my God, they’re back again. It was music to nearly every millennial girl’s ears when Planet Hollywood announced that the original, the best, boy band of the late 90s, early 00s would be the latest stars of yesteryear to embark on a residency at The Axis at PH. The Boys join a rotating roster of 90s super powers including Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez and Lionel Richie. Backstreet Boys: Larger Than Life begins rocking your body in March.

In-N-Out at The Linq: In a city overflowing with amazing restaurants, the number one restaurant Lyft riders requested rides to using the service in 2016 was In-N-Out Burger. For decades travelers have either cabbed, called an Uber or a Lyft, or [gasp] made the trek to walk to the In-N-Out on Tropicana, but those days are finally over. In-N-Out is slated to open their very first Strip outpost on the Linq Promenade in January 2017. Can you say late night Animal Style everything?!

Chik-fil-A: While we’re on the subject of fast food, let’s talk about this earth-shattering news: VEGAS IS GETTING CHIK-FIL-A. The southern staple is slated to open it’s first outpost in Henderson on January 26. This may not be as exciting to travelers but Vegas locals are counting down the days until they can get those chicken tenders and waffle fries.

Pro-Sports Hit the Strip: Professional sports have long stayed far away from Las Vegas due to the perceived risks associated with legal sports betting. All that changes this year when Las Vegas gets it’s first professional sports team to rally behind with the newest NHL expansion team: the Vegas Golden Knights. The Golden Knights will train in Summerlin and play their games at the brand new T-Mobile Arena at The Park.

NoMad Las Vegas & Park MGM Grand: As hotel nerds, we love any new or renovated hotel news. 2017 will see MGM’s Monte Carlo Hotel split into two hotels, Park MGM Grand, a luxury resort which will anchor The Park, and a Las Vegas version of the Sydell Group’s New York City hotel, NoMad Hotel. The space will also house a Vegas version of the celebrated Italian food market concept, Eataly.

Blue Ribbon Brasserie: Another New York to Vegas concept, Blue Ribbon Brasserie is slated to take over the space in Cosmopolitan currently occupied by Blue Ribbon Sushi. Blue Ribbon Brasserie is a late-night (but really, anytime) industry favorite in Manhattan with the best duck club sandwich ever.

Las Vegas is constantly evolving and these are just a few of the changes 2017 will bring, they just happen to be a few that we are most looking forward to. Well these, and the re-opening of the pedestrian bridge outside of the Tropicana – seriously, how long does it take to complete a pedestrian bridge?!

SOMETHING TO TACO ‘BOUT

tacos-3Happy Taco Tuesday, y’all! In honor of my first Taco Tuesday post, I wanted to share with y’all my absolute favorite place to get an authentic, Mexican street-style taco in Las Vegas: Tacos El Gordo de Tijuana B.C. Though they have been in the food service industry since 1972, the family-owned eatery first started dishing up their mouth-watering tacos packed with Tijuana flavors in San Diego in 1998 before expanding to Las Vegas in 2010.

Today, Tacos El Gordo is a Las Vegas favorite with three locations throughout the valley. For tourists and the late night crowd, the most convenient location is located on the north end of the Strip – walking distance to the Wynn – on Las Vegas Boulevard between Desert Inn and Convention Center Dr.

When you order at Tacos El Gordo, your actual order dictates where you order – which can sometimes throw off taco newbies. My go-to order is the carne asada tacos and a cheese quesadilla – because let me tell you, nowhere makes these simple little cheese quesadillas quite like they do and they complement the spice of the taco perfectly. But back to the tacos, the meat options or vast and varied – from beef brisket to pork stomach to tongue, nestled in a warm corn tortilla and topped with spicy salsa and fresh house-made guacamole. I like to add radish slices and a squeeze of fresh lime juice, too.

The flavors and authenticity of Tacos El Gordo speak for themselves, but in case you needed a little extra incentive, you know how presidents and presidential candidates often try to find those little hole-in-the-wall places with exceptional food, and humble, great American dream style stories (a la President Obama and the amazing Ben’s Chili Bowl)? Well when presidential candidate Hillary Clinton visited Las Vegas recently, she stopped by for a taco from Tacos El Gordo before hitting up her rally in downtown Vegas.

Go forth and have tacos!

Tacos El Gordo: 3049 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109