Author Archives: Kelly Roma

How to plan your summer Vegas trip

Heading to the desert this summer? Planning a Vegas trip will help you make the most out of your getaway.

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When I think of summer vacation, I picture sunning on gorgeous beaches, kayaking or rafting in oceans and lakes, and cabins in the woods, with decks leading to the water. In other words, I don’t often think of escaping to the desert.

But according to, Las Vegas is one of the top destinations for summer vacations. The glistening pools plus endless entertainment options for kids and adults make it not only a great place for singles, but also for family travel. So before you book that last-minute flight, you might want to consider putting a little effort into planning, to make sure you’re not sharing a pool with two hundred of your closest friends.

Here’s what you need to know:

Package deals are good options. If you’re booking flights through Expedia, Travelocity, or Kayak (or any of the online booking sites), be sure to check out their package deals. Many times they offer hotel and rental cars along with discounted flights. If you want to book directly with your airline or credit card company and use miles, some airlines also offer travel packages. Southwest offers discounted hotel and car rentals along with purchasing your fare online. There’s no need to make extra work for yourself when you could get a great deal by purchasing a package.

Be flexible with dates. Airlines are putting more and more restrictions on booking flights with miles. Look for those flights during the week (and not around 4th of July or Labor Day weekend). Later in the summer (think August) the airfares tend to go down. In addition to flights, there are better rates at hotels during the week than on the weekends. Plus, you won’t have to deal with the huge pool crowds or being unable to buy tickets for one of the Cirque du Soleil shows if you opt for weeknight stays. Sometimes taking a few vacation days off from work can pay off in the long run with how much you’ll save on your vacation.

Decide how you want to spend your time. Las Vegas isn’t all about the casinos, but of course, if that’s your thing, you want to take advantage while you’re there. But if you know you’d rather spend time at the pool, or shopping, or watching shows, or hopping in the car and driving out to see the sights like Hoover Dam or The Grand Canyon, it’s good to decide beforehand. Often during the summer places are crowded and seats sell out. If you know you want to spend a lot of time at the pool, check into offerings at your hotel. They might provide private pool access for an extra fee, or rent you a cabana for the afternoon (so figure that cost into your budget). If you’re planning a road trip, it’s not necessary to spend a lot of money to stay at places along the strip. Opt for downtown Vegas and drive over to the strip if you want to check it out one night. And if you don’t want the expense of renting a car, Las Vegas has an excellent public transit system between The Deuce (bus system) and the monorail. If you’re just trying to get around town, I’d recommend these.

Have a good trip!


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Looking for Happy Hour in Las Vegas?

Screen shot 2013-04-19 at 3.35.47 PMHere’s where to find some of the best in the city.

A trip to Vegas means late nights of clubbing and gambling, but what about getting the party started with some happy hour cocktails? While Vegas is known for its nightclubs, not much is shared about the best happy hours the city has to offer. But when four o’clock rolls around, people are just getting started with their evenings, and looking for a good place to go.

Check out some of these happy hours if you’re so inclined:

P.J. Clarke’s at Caesar’s Palace. If you’re looking for an oyster fix in the desert, head over to P.J. Clarke’s Oyster Riot, where you can taste an array of fresh oysters for $1 each. Seriously, $1 each. The chef chooses the oysters you’ll inhale, which have included Evening Cove, Gold Creek, Hama Hama and Penn Cove Selects from Washington, and the Nootka oyster straight from British Columbia. Oh, and don’t forget to take a friend to share their two-for-one drinks.

Level 107 Lounge in The Stratosphere. There’s nothing like enjoying a drink from the top of the city, and Level 107 promises just that. With stunning views and two-for-one martinis and half price appetizers, it’s a great way to start the evening and plan for what’s next.

Blue Martini Lounge. If you’re into martinis, you can’t beat the 50% off drinks special (along with up to half off of your appetizers). It offers a little something for everone’s taste – an outside cabana-esque space for some lounging time and an interior club-like space for those who want to get the party started. Also, happy hour prices last until 8pm.

Public House at Luxor. If you’re on a diet or trying to shed some of those Vegas cocktail pounds, Public House offers a healthier menu for happy hour than most of the Vegas bars and restaurants. Try their Hummus Plate or an Asian chopped salad, or if you’re feeling indulgent the Mac-n-Cheese squares. $3 for select beers and half price for cocktails.

Hussong’s at Mandalay Bay. This is a happy hour for those among us who always crave a margarita and some good Mexican cuisine. Hussong’s Cantina offers buy one get one free margaritas and beers, as well as a $4 grilled corn plazero (which I’m told is heaven on earth), and $6 happy hour nachos. You could make a meal of it at a great price.

Vanguard LV. If you want something a little off the beaten path, try Vanguard in downtown Las Vegas. They offer what’s called a “reverse happy hour” as well from 10pm-2am, with half off beer, wine and well drinks. They are known as a mixology venue, with specialty crafted cocktails like the Pink Pear (part ginger/pear/basil) offered for $7 during both happy hour and its later counterpart. (It’s also one of the few who offers their happy hours on Friday and Saturday nights.)




Planning a girls’ trip to Las Vegas

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Are you a single woman looking to plan a fun trip with your girlfriends? Las Vegas is a great destination, not only because there are tons of single men who flock there every week, but because the city has so much to offer. It’s a real adult playground.

When most people think of Las Vegas, they think of the strip with all of the high-end casinos and hotels and endless slot machines and opportunities to gamble. But what about the rest of Las Vegas? Depending on what you want to experience, there are plenty of things to do other than gamble or cruise the strip.

If you’re looking for a little relaxation during your stay, most of the hotels on the main strip offer deluxe spa services. The Venetian Hotel is one step above the rest however, housing the 134,000 square foot Canyon Ranch Spa, which is complete with every amenity conceivable in modern spa facilities. The European inspired “Aquavana,” which is an aqua thermal oasis, offers hydro spas with heated loungers that massage. If you want a cooler environment, the igloo room enhances the air with 3 arctic mist experiences. They even offer “Girls Night Out” packages with blow-outs and custom make-up design for your night out on the town.

If you’d rather bypass the whole spa experience and head straight for the clubs, you’re not alone. There are many to choose from, each with its own unique experience. Some of my favorites:

    • Pure at Caesar’s Palace. This club offers the 14,000-square foot “Terrace,” the largest year-round outdoor venue in Vegas with unparalleled views of the strip. Sip on a cocktail while lounging in one of their fabulous covered cabanas. The club offers four different rooms with different musical experiences, including the main room which often features celebrities doing surprise performances (DJ anyone)?
    • Minus Five at Mandalay Bay. If you’re looking for a truly unique experience, check out Minus Five, where everything from the chairs you sit in to the glasses you sip from are made of ice. They have an ice sculptor who recreates the space every 6-8 weeks, creating themes for the time of year, location, wildlife, or anything else you can imagine. They bundle you up in gloves and coats and usher you in to enjoy the space with one of their specialty vodka cocktails. Chill out and enjoy.
    • Tryst at Wynn. If you’re looking for a scene, this is the place to be. Tryst offers a 90-foot waterfall and open air dance space. Even when it’s packed, you have room to breathe. It’s a fantastic setting from one of the ritziest hotels in Vegas.
    • Tao at The Venetian. I love this place for its practicality, even though it can feel pretty claustrophobic at times. This feels more like a real club, with great music and even better food offerings (hello sushi bar)! The catwalk and moat bring you back to unreality – this is after all, Las Vegas.

Have fun!