Pictured: the pool at Mandalay Bay
From the conventions and events such as the Sin City Shootout Sports Festival (touted as the largest annual LGBT sporting event in the world), Jennifer Lopez's upcoming All I Have residency (at the AXIS in the Planet Hollywood) beginning this January, a new gay club opening, and new room and suites to stay in, this winter is shaping up to be an ideal time for an escape to Vegas.
The ARIA Resort & Casino has recently opened up its new Tower Suites which brings in a new level of fancy to the resort with rooms having up to 2,000 square feet and providing guests with amenities such as a private check-in experience in its own lounge, complimentary transportation to and from the airport (for those booking at the Corner Suite Level and above), personalized services, and more. The 1,000 square feet Tower Suite features floor to ceiling windows, in-room technology to control almost everything in the suite, a custom-made bed with triple-sheeted, 300-thread-count bedding, and a spacious bathroom area with an open-air whirlpool tub overlooking the Strip and a separate stone shower. Over at Caesars Palace, which celebrates its 50th Golden Anniversary in 2016, the iconic, Roman-themed casino hotel is renovating its Roman Tower to be completely reborn as the new Julius Tower (which is expecting to welcome its first guests on New Year's Day). The new 587-room tower is said to feature new design-savvy, modern rooms and suites.
Though Vegas has gone through a few several major changes the gay nightlife options (Liaison shuttering and Krave closing, reopening and closing again), there's still over a dozen gay-friendly options throughout the city. With dancing at Piranha Nightclub and Share Nightclub, cowboys over at Badlands Saloon, and Freezone for the ladies, it's exciting to see what the new player in town will bring forth. Rendezvous Nightclub, a 800-capacity club that comes from a former general manager of Share and Liaison, is joining what's being called the new "Fruit Loop west," according to Las Vegas Weekly. It will be located near Charlie's and Share and not too far from the LGBT-friendly Tropicana Resort, and the new club will include DJs on Saturdays and prime-time drag shows on Sundays.
Always on point, the Las Vegas food scene continues to shine. Michelin-decorated chef Alain Ducasse has debuted the Rivea and Skyfall Lounge on the 64th floor of the Delano Las Vegas (where the former miX Restaurant and Lounge used to be), which provides a breathtaking view of Vegas with a menu of French- and Italian-influenced cuisine in a relaxed, yet chic, environment. Over at ARIA, Carbone has made its way over across the country from New York City for its first domestic expansion. Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi, and Jeff Zalaznick's celebrated concept of reinvigorated classic Italian-American cuisine with unforgettable Captain tableside service that features world-class-sourced ingredients for an evening your belly won't forget. (Teaser: You are presented with two large white truffles in a box to smell before you order to prepare for a night of pure foodie pampering).