Vegas Girls Trip Recap: When the glitter wears off

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My Vegas girls trip has come and gone and I’m excited to finally recap our weekend.  Admittedly, I feel like I’ve been stuck in a creative funk from all the extraneous stress that’s been coming at me over the last few months. I really needed to withdraw and take some time to decompress from the outside world. Hence my title….When the Glitter Wears Off. Vegas 2.0 was much different than our first Blogger’s Girls Trip. Although our trip was a working vacation of sorts, it certainly wasn’t without it’s fair share of fun and shenanigans. Not only am I excited to share all the things we did, I also want to share some helpful tips when planning your next trip to Vegas.

Vegas Baby!

Before I get into the specifics, I’d like to thank Marrakech Restaurant for hosting us for dinner, as well as Carlos Reyes, our VIP Host at The Wynn. Now that I’ve given my sponsors their deserved props, read on to get the scoop on our accommodations, where we dined, and where we played during our stay in Vegas!!

My cohorts for this trip were Aileen, who pens the blog theballeronabudget, Momo Oikmoto, and Michelle Lee (aka Michy). All of our sponsorships would not have happened without the time, effort, and dedication of Aileen. So thank you for lining up such a fabulous itinerary, girl!

~WHERE WE DINED~

Our girls trip started with dinner at Marrakech Restaurant. Only a couple blocks from The Wynn, City Center, and The Venetian….Marrakech is located in a strip mall off Paradise Road. When you walk through the doors, you instantly feel like you’re transported thousands of miles away, to an exotic locale in Northern Africa. Folks, this is the next best thing to dining in Morocco. We were immediately greeted by Tariq (the owner) and his attentive staff.

Silverware is provided, but it’s common practice to eat Mediterranean cuisine with your hands. Therefore, we started by washing our hands. Our waiter poured rose water over an open bowl onto our hands. Adding to customary traditions, belly dancers casually whirled around from table to table. I only wish my hips could move like that. I’m also pretty sure I’d need a major chiropractic adjustment if I attempted to belly dance. Thanks to Shakira, we know hips don’t lie, right?

An appetizer of garlic shrimp with bread for dipping into the sauce.

Let’s talk about the pre-fixed six course meal we indulged in. At $49.99 per person, it’s a fantastic deal. You guys….this is where Marrakech shines. Holy smokes the food is delicious! I cannot wait to bring blogger’s husband to this hidden gem the next time we’re in Vegas. We started the first course with the garlic lemon shrimp appetizer. Served with bread, it’s the perfect accompaniment to soak up the buttery garlic sauce. Lentil soup was next, followed by a veggie sampler. Main courses were beef kabobs and the Moroccan chicken with couscous. Our final course was a desert called B’stilla. This is a light and flaky pastry stuffed with bananas, chocolate, and walnuts covered in powdered sugar and cinnamon. Mint tea was also served with our dessert.

Vegetables with hummus and tahini.

This chicken dish was unbelievable! It was so moist, it practically fell off the bone.

Needless to say, the food was outstanding and I left the restaurant wishing I was wearing my elastic pants. Our meal was superb and my palate was happy and satiated. Since I don’t typically eat meat, I didn’t try the beef kabob. I did, however, try the Mediterranean chicken, and this meat was so juicy, it was falling off the bone. The flavor profile was out of this world. For the vegetarians, Marrakech offers vegetarian options, in addition to gluten free menu items.

Last but not least….B’Stilla, a Moroccan dessert.

While Vegas boasts a roster of impressive culinary names, there are also some fantastic epicurean stand-outs minutes from the strip. For a truly unique dining experience, with bold flavors that will leave your tastebuds shaken, be sure to dine at Marrakech during your next visit to Sin City. You will not leave disappointed nor hungry. (3900 Paradise Rd. Ste. Y, Las Vegas, NV)

We had two other restaurants in our lineup; however, Vegas can waylay even the best laid plans.  (D’oh!) Am I right? We woke up from our Friday night festivities slightly hungover and worse for wear. Our next meal essentially consisted of cradling porcelain and eating a bag of Funyuns, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, and a King Sized Twix. Okay….I wasn’t that hungover, but I did shatter a king size Reeses and Twix. I may have eaten some Funyuns too.

We were scheduled to dine at Barcelona Tapas on Saturday evening. However, due to an unanticipated large party, they asked if we could push back our reservation time. Unfortunately, eating later in the evening would have lead to a conflict with our scheduling, and we were forced to decline the later reservation.

Day Two in Vegas….Saturday, 6pm. We finally made it out of our hotel room just in time to get a little glimpse of daylight. Although we didn’t know where or what we were going to eat, The Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood was our final destination. Jumping on the lobster-roll craze, LOBSTER ME won our vote for food. LOBSTER ME is not your typical fast-food restaurant. A meal for one person will still cost you around $20-30. For a generous amount of lobster, it’s actually a really great value.

Lobster ME located at The Miracle Mile Shops in Planet Hollywood

Encapsulates Vegas to the tee, does it not? LOL

Since blogger’s husband is from New England, I’ve had my fair share of east coast lobster rolls. I will say this though….as far as lobster rolls go, this is the real deal. Lobster Rolls are generally pretty basic (in a good way). They’re unadorned, nothing fancy, and aren’t a food item you generally customize. However, LOBSTER ME is done Vegas style. Bigger, fancier, and over the top. These lobster rolls are insanely good. They even have lobster ice cream. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer my ice-cream without crustaceans in it. Needless to say, I had to draw a line in the sand somewhere (still scratching my head over that menu item).

This lobster roll is garnished with a chipotle aioli sauce and it is soooo good!

A collective shot of our dinners!

Jacked Up Lobster Rolls! This is LOBSTER ME’S actual Menu photo…credit LOBSTER ME.

If you’re looking for a tasty libation, head over to Fat Tuesdays and grab a yard of your favorite frozen drink. You can’t go wrong. But make sure you get the extra shot of alcohol as their drinks aren’t on the high octane side. Unless you’re actually drinking their 190 high octane daiquiri, which is made with 190 proof grain alcohol. Yikes! With my tolerance level, or a lack thereof….that drink probably has the potential to kill me.

View as we walked the causeway back to ARIA

As an aside….The Earl of Sandwich at The Miracle Mile Shops is open 24 hours, which is great after a night of partying. The best part….you can have it delivered to your room. Thank you Earl of Sandwich for offering this option after a night of drinking! You saved us!

~WHERE WE STAYED~

We were extremely fortunate to get a stellar deal at ARIA through our VIP Host, Carlos Reyes. Carlos is a VIP Host at The Wynn and really went above and beyond to make our trip seamless and stress free. Granted, I don’t know if I can say we did the same for him! (Oops!) You can contact Carlos via his Instagram handle, carlosreyeslv.

Because ARIA is centrally located, it’s a great base of operations. For the avid shopaholic, The Shops at Crystals offers world class shopping at your fingertips. I love the architecture and modern sensibilities of all the luxury storefronts. They are an absolute feast for the eyes and to die for! Even if you’re not in the market for a new handbag or a pair of designer shoes, it’s well worth it to walk the shops and take in the avant-garde visual merchandising.

ARIA….

Being married, I haven’t roomed with other women since I was in my twenties.  Now….four girls in one room is a lot of fun, but it looked like a Nordstrom’s and a Beauty Supply Store detonated itself inside our room. Our hotel room floor was a scattered landmine of clothing, shoes, beauty tools, makeup, and accessories. I’m not committing to this statement, but I may have significantly overpacked. We all overpacked, but it simply means someone will inevitably have something you forgot to pack.

When four girls stay in one room, counter space definitely becomes high-value real estate.  With more girls, it means you will need more time to get ready. So ladies….here’s another piece of advice from yours truly….give yourself plenty of extra time for your beautifying process. Condense your makeup to the essentials. No need to overload your toiletry kit. Although it was a struggle trying to get out the door in a timely manner, I gotta say….I loved having access to instant fashion advice from my girls, as well as in house ego-boosting and moral support. It’s so much fun bunking up with your girlfriends because there’s never a shortage of laughter and girl talk.

~WHERE WE PLAYED~

Friday night started at Encore Beach Club’s NightSwim. Our VIP Host, Carlos Reyes came through again and hooked us up with a great table and our first few round of drinks. So here’s a game changing tip…..if you are in Vegas with a group of 8 or more girls, you can get a free table at a nightclub. The Vegas nightlife can get extraordinarily expensive. So why not get some girls together and go through a VIP Host? I cannot say enough about Carlos Reyes and his hospitality and going above and beyond to ensure us girls had a fabulous time. You can find him under his Instagram handle, “carlosreyeslv“. Don’t be shy….hit him up!

Encore Beach Club with my girls…

For those who inquired about my cover up, you can find it here, here, and here

When I went to my first Night Swim, I was skeptical about traipsing around in a bathing suit. However, it’s actually a great way to party in Vegas. You don’t have to worry about killing your feet from wearing heels and the vibe is much more relaxed. There is plenty of open space and you won’t feel claustrophobic from being crammed into a small space.

After sleeping away half the day, Intrigue at The Wynn was our Saturday night party destination. This time around, we were placed with two other groups of girls at the club’s promoter table. Bottle service included!

Here’s another helpful tip. This is where having connections to a VIP Host is invaluable. If you can’t round up eight of your girlfriends, your host can seat you at the promoters table and the alcohol will be included with the table. How stellar is that??!!

End of our evening at Intrigue…hence the jacket.

~TRAVEL TIPS~

  1. Water. If you can, bring a case of water to your hotel room! This literally saved our lives as we went through almost a full case in 48 hours. Theballeronabudget asked me to bring a case of water and thank goodness she did! Not only will you save money from swiping one from the mini-bar, you will have easy access to water. Additionally, water keeps the your skin hydrated and looking youthful. So drink lots of it!
  2. Use a VIP Host to help plan your nightlife! We went through Carlos Reyes at The Wynn. His Instagram handle is carlosreyeslv. You can direct message him via IG.
  3. If you can round up 8 girls, you can get a free table through a VIP Host. When you work with a VIP Host, you can also bypass the regular lines to get into a club. It’s pretty choice.
  4. Have a (somewhat) planned itinerary for your trip, but know that unforeseen things can happen.
  5. Save money on a table by going to the club with 8 or more girls.
  6. Remember there are other culinary gems to dine at other than what’s on the Las Vegas Strip.
  7. Use Uber! All the casinos have integrated Uber into their pick-up areas.
  8. Although we didn’t get to have a spa day, there are several spas where you can truly pamper yourself.
  9. If the traditional club scene isn’t for you, check out a Night Swim. I was beyond shocked at how much fun I had when I went to my first Night Swim. It’s a completely different vibe than your traditional night club.
  10. Bring a motley of snacks to your hotel room.  This will ensure you don’t raid the minibar during a hunger induced loss of self control.
  11. Condense your toiletries/beauty products/makeup to the only what is needed. This will streamline the process of getting ready.
  12. Plan your outfits for each day. Initially, it will take some time before your trip, however, it will save you time during your trip.

And lastly….Don’t stay too long! You want to leave room in the tank for your next trip to Sin City!!

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