Anyone who has ever visited the desert oasis of Las Vegas knows those highly anticipated getaways rarely go exactly as planned.
Sure, there’s never a dull moment, especially on weekends when the city’s bustling nightlife is in full swing. But there’s so much going on, sticking to an actual itinerary can be an exercise in futility.
And if you’re looking to tackle the town Hangover-style with your buddies, you may prefer it that way. If you’re looking for a more memorable experience with your significant other, however, then a carefully crafted plan is essential.
With that in mind, we decided to take Cadillac up on an offer to test drive the new 2019 Escalade ESV Platinum in Los Angeles, then hit the road to construct the ultimate guide for a luxurious couple’s escape to Vegas.
Here are our top takeaways from the excursion, along with a few tips guaranteed to make her eyes sparkle like the strip itself.
1. Splash Cash on the Hotel
Remember, the goal is to treat that special someone to a memorable experience in Vegas. So you want comfort, convenience and a bit of luxury, not simply a place to crash for two or three nights. Sure, you’ll save money by staying at a spot like the Flamingo or a resort a few miles off the strip. But your life will be much easier—and the romance quotient higher—if you opt for a premium locale like the Palazzo, Venetian or Cosmopolitan, especially when it comes to navigating the wee hours.
2. Enjoy the Journey
For most, traveling to Las Vegas will likely involve booking flights, rather than driving something like a Platinum Edition Escalade ESV, which fit up to six adults comfortably. But whatever the transportation mode, plan ahead and don’t be shy to shell out a bit here, too. Premium seating will not only help to build her anticipation for the arrival, it’ll also smooth the transition out of town, which can be notoriously bumpy. Though, I gotta say, all the plush luxury amenities featured in the Escalade, which celebrates its 20th Anniversary this year, give you a renewed appreciation for the classic road trip, even when you’re making that dreaded drive from Vegas back to L.A
3. Nail Down Those Reservations
Whether it’s dinner for two or prime seats at one of the hottest shows, you’ll want to lock down those reservations early and double-check the dates and times well before the day of the event. The best dining spots get really crowded after 7, although they can be accommodating if you’re running late, especially if you give a heads up. Those glitzy Vegas shows, however, are a different story. If you’re late or happen to miss the time originally booked on your ticket, the event venues and booking agencies tend to have far less leeway to accommodate you. I know because it happened to us on this recent trip. Learn from my mistake, boys.
4. Dine at Zuma
Vegas is loaded with some of the best fine dining establishments in the world. But for a unique experience, try Zuma, a new modern Japanese steakhouse located in the Cosmopolitan. The restaurant boasts a bevy of one-a-of-kind dishes like kinoko no kama meshi (rice hot pot with wild mushrooms and Japanese vegetables), tsubu-miso gake hinadori no oven yaki (baby chicken oven roasted with barley miso on cedar wood), and ribeye no tamanegi ponzu fuumi (rib eye steak with wafu sauce and garlic chips). And with an ambience as eclectic as the menu, Zuma is sure to have her looking at you in an entirely new light.
5. Opt for a Cool Lounge Over the Club
Without question, the club scene in Vegas is one of the city’s biggest draws. But rather than dealing with the insane crowds and lines at popular places like Tao, Marquee and Hakkassan, we recommend opting for a more intimate lounge experience. Two to consider are The Chandelier, a three-level hotspot at The Cosmopolitan, and The Dorsey, a hip speakeasy-inspired lounge tucked neatly away in The Venetian.
6. Go Easy on the Drinks
For multiple reasons, getting blitzed on a couple’s trip is less than ideal. So instead of going the usual guy’s drinking route, try sampling some signature craft cocktails, like the Chandelier’s Verbena, the Dorsey’s Narrator and Zuma’s Burning History, made with Japanese whiskey and a few other special ingredients. It’ll make the entire stay more fun and memorable in the end. Trust me on that one.