Zen City: Las Vegas Like You’ve Never Experienced

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Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

Last spring a girls’ trip was in order. One of my dear friends lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, and suggested we all meet there. She recommended the Mandarin Oriental hotel, as it would be a more holistic approach to Vegas and in tune with our mood. First of all, let me state that this is a non-smoking, non-gambling hotel—obviously contrary to what Vegas exemplifies. The Mandarin lives up to its “stunningly designed and beautifully appointed” reputation. Without the smoke and loud noise of slot machines, you begin to view this extraordinary desert lifestyle very differently. It becomes a healthier, more wholesome life with plenty of fresh air, hiking and fine dining. This is the Vegas the locals know, and that I would come to.

The hotel consists of both residences and hotel guests, explaining why we felt more at home there. Upon entering, we immediately noticed the high ceilings and wide-open spaces. Much attention to detail went into the gym, spa and yoga studio with touches like kimono robes and selections of Chinese teas. As one might imagine, we gals spent a lot of time in the spa, frolicking in the vitality pool while

solving the world’s problems and absorbing Mandarin’s Asian philosophy of calmness, peace and serenity. After a day or night on the town, it was refreshing to return to the tranquility of our hotel. Experiencing Vegas in its entirety was electric (I recommend Rod Stewart’s concert at Ceasers Palace and Cirque de Soleil “LOVE” at Mirage Hotel) but the ability to escape the hustle and bustle was much appreciated.

While the atmosphere embodies a boutique vibe, the property was actually quite generous. We found endless cuisine options throughout the premises, so we rarely dined outside the hotel. Instead, we indulged in the fresh sushi bar, afternoon high tea or gourmet burgers by the pool. We especially enjoyed the mixology bar where most nights we ended up enjoying the breathtaking views, live music and ingeniously creative cocktails with ingredients like cucumber and rosemary.

If you are interested in a different take on Vegas instead of an over-energized and booze-filled weekend, this is the place. We experienced a well-rested, healthy vacation, departing Vegas feeling Zen, relaxed and centered, instead of depleted. What a pleasant surprise.

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