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Zen City

1 May 2018

A sleek and stylish hotel in the biggest party city in the world, the Mandarin Oriental is a gamble that pays off handsomely

Although it’s located in a prime spot on the Las Vegas Strip, you won’t find any card tables or roulette wheels in this hotel. Not your typical Vegas establishment, the Mandarin Oriental could well be the safest bet in the city.

Perhaps it’s the symbolism of taking the elevator that does it. Lifting you from The Strip to the rarefied elegance of the lobby, it swaps packed streets and stag parties for Chinese art, marble floors and stylishly curved installations in a matter of seconds. Once checked in – a startlingly fast procedure – you’ll find 400 large rooms with a subtle contemporary Asian design.

While you might be in one of the most exciting cities on the planet, don’t be in too much of a rush to head out. Start the day with a free yoga session, hit the nicely secluded pool for a few lengths and then take high tea (literally) on the 23rd floor. For dinner, you have one of the best restaurants in Las Vegas on site. Twist is superstar chef Pierre Gagnaire’s only US restaurant, and the contemporary French menu here is something you’ll need to book well in advance for.

Of course, in this city, the party is rarely far away. For those days, we suggest you start in style – in the lobby with a mini bottle of Moët & Chandon from the brand’s only public vending machine in the US. You see this is still Vegas; it’s just the VIP edition.

Head Downtown
Downtown Las Vegas was where the action took place before The Strip even existed. Not the most desirable part of town for many years, the area has been transformed beyond all recognition and is now an essential stop-off on any visit. Use Fremont Street as your centre, but avoid the slightly grotty Fremont Street Experience. Instead try the great museums in the area – The Mob Museum is well worth a visit – hang out at the Container Park and be sure to stop off at Atomic Liquors. The oldest freestanding bar in Vegas, it once counted The Rat Pack, Clint Eastwood and Barbara Streisand as regulars.

Words: Andrew Nagy
Images: Mandarin Oriental

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