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Don’t just lay by the pool! Get up and move!

Lifetime Pool

So there’s shows, food, gaming, food, shopping, food, resting by the pool with few fabulous drinks…. more shows and shopping and food.

Vegas! It’ll fill you up!

So don’t let all that good food and the amazing drinks get you down!

Take a break and hit the gym. But not just any gym – do it VEGAS STYLE!

Head to LIFE TIME ATHLETIC GREEN VALLEY!

Daily rates at $35 for adults and $15 a day for children under 12 (who will love the waterslides).
Not sure what to do there? Take a look at the list of programs:

Besides running and swimming, you can play tennis, train, take group classes, enjoy LifePowerYoga, pilates, weight loss programs, complete a health check, relax at the spa and enjoy some healthy snacks at the cafe.

It is one amazing place to visit while in town and you’ll feel better for it!

Why your family vacation will not crash and burn if you head to Vegas

Family vacations.
Normally this is followed by a face. You know the face. Ugh.

Sure family vacation can be great — but that takes work. And really, it is not all that often …

So, where do you go that is guaranteed fun for all?

Why you cannot crash and burn when you stay at our place!

The house will make you feel warm and loved. The kitchen will help you produce amazing meals.
The pool and spa will take the kids to a happy place and I promise, a dip in the spa (summer or winter) with a glass of wine and some good music will leave you quite happy too.

And then you read a few things on our blog (take a moment and check out Giada’s new place for a home cooked meal) giada

And you are well on your way to designing a trip for everyone. You will find things for the “older crowd” (google search Rose.Rabbit.Lie. at Caesars) as well as great kid places. Even those that are a bit on the wild side can try flying with the Combat Aces – like driving a Ferrari in the sky!

After a lovely family vacation exploring all Vegas has to offer and all the while having a beautiful villa to return to — everyone will be in shock at what a great family vacation they had and beg you to start planning the next one!!!

Let’s do it!

How to get around the Las Vegas Strip for free!

2014 free

Should you rent a car?

How much is a taxi?

Is there a bus?

These are questions we get a lot and it is mainly all about how to get to the Strip… well, we found a great way to travel around, see the sights and for free!

First – you just have to get yourself to Mandalay Bay (a short bus, a quick taxi or the car you rented are all good options for this) …. from there, follow our trail —> 2014 Mandalay B

While at your starting point, please take a moment to enjoy the beautiful Mandalay Bay, even if it is only to walk around it a bit (the new mall is wonderful!)

Then we hope on the free tram to Excalibur – which is also a crazy, fun place to stroll around!

When you have finished with the Excalibur, cross over the bridge to the NY NY (the bridge itself is a bit wild – with vendors a2014 Ex to NYnd those with a “great CD” just published standing around trying to meet you…). Once at the NY NY, spend some cash on the rollercoaster – it is such a fun ride and a great way to see the Strip (upside down and all).

Once at the NY NY, the Strip is all around you! Walk to MGM and the “M” n “M” store, or the Coca-Cola Store. Head to Paris, the Bellagio and Caesar’s … all easy to walk to and walking is the best way to see the Strip and the people! We always find ourselves ending at Caesar’s and stopping at the mall for some food before heading back. This is a full day trip and sure to give you a wonderful experience!! 2014 C Mall

We never tire of this trip – it is the perfect way to enjoy the Strip, the people and all that Vegas has to offer (for free).

Too many choices!

Heading to Vegas? Do a little research and you’ll soon discover, there are a lot of shows to see!

Which ones do you pick!???

We have some ideas!

(1) Family Adventure – GO to the BLUE MAN GROUP at the Monte Carlo!
2014 Blue Man
(2) Traveling with mom?
GO to “Donny & Marie” at the Flamingo

(3) Love BROADWAY?
HEAD off to the “Million Dollar Quartet” at Harrah’s Showroom

(4) Have to see a VEGAS SHOW?
TRY Frank Marino’s “Divas Las Vegas” at the Quad.

(5) Have a weakness for reality shows?
Buy tickets to “Terry Fator” at the Mirage

(6) In town with THE BOYS?
You’ll want to take that group of crazies to “Fantasy” at the Luxor

(7) Love the Cirque Shows?
We recommenf “O” or “Le Reve” 2014 O

(8) Enjoy the music of the Beatles?
“LOVE” is a wonderful show as well!

Hitting the shows that appeal to you and your companions is the best way to enjoy all Vegas has to offer!

We hope this list is a good starting place for you as you plan!
Enjoy!

FOOD !!

Lately I have been reading a lot about the new reason people come to VEGAS …

NOT to gamble, but to EAT.

I talk about food a lot, too.

I discovered Vegas had great food to offer long  before it became cool!

So – what is up and coming in our amazing town right now?

I have a few suggestions!

(1) A Social Club in the Cosmo … great food and an interesting social “experiment!” www.http://www.roserabbitlie.com

(2) One of my favorites — great food that is free from all that JUNK! And really amazing!!2014 Wild
www.http://www.eatdrinkwild.com

(3) The thing about Vegas is that you can travel to many different “places” while really just going from Resort to Resort … well at Crush: Eat Drink Love, they gives it all to you at one place!! Choices from all over the world ready to melt into your mouth!

www.http://www.mgmgrand.com/restaurants/crush.aspx

(4) Give me a burger? This place will make you crave them! 2014 Burger
www.http://www.bobbysburgerpalace.com/locations/9/las-vegas-strip.com

and finally … I have to include the one thing I “need” on a monthly basis:

(5) Wing Lei – at the Wynn. It does not have a website, but you can look it up on the WYNN site … which describes it as” Often hailed as the finest Chinese gourmet in the city, this Michelin-rated restaurant serves fresh, authentic dishes in a sleek dining room set inside Wynn Las Vegas. The interior is adorned with classic white tablecloths, high-backed red velvet chairs, and a large Fernando Botero statue, all illuminated by dramatic lantern-like chandeliers. Seated beside expansive windows overlooking a zen-inspired garden, patrons savor house specialties crafted by executive chef Ming Yu, who incorporates Cantonese, Shanghainese, Sichuan, and even French influences into the extensive menu. Highlights include the pan-seared potstickers, shrimp toast, and Peking duck tasting menu, featuring five preparations of duck.” I know … perfection!

So please, if you are in Vegas and thinking of heading out to eat… please try at least one of these spots. They will not disappoint!

Hungry but cannot bear the thought of cooking? We have the answer!

We have to admit … we do think our kitchen is kind of awesome … and some incredible things have come out of it! YUM!

kitchen web

After our own chef (Johnny), there is another chef who has graced our kitchen with her presence!
Some amazing things have been created by Chef Lisa right in our humble home!

She is a local chef who will gather some beautiful, healthy and delicious items, bring them into the house, make it smell like heaven and melt in your mouth.

Relaxing outside while she cooks and fills the house with an aroma like no other is a moment you will not forget.

We were lucky enough to have a local chef cook for us on a few trips we took with the family (once in Italy and once in Costa Rica) and we have to say, the meals were unlike anything we had ever had! The memory of sitting in a special place (not a restaurant) and enjoying one another is something we still cherish to this day.

We highly recommend setting up a session with her — she will work with you to create one meal, meals you can re-heat or daily spreads.

Vacationing is lovely and having a great kitchen to work in can also be fabulous…. but sometimes it makes your time so much better to have a few things taken care of and we want to have those options readily available to our guests.

Take a moment and review her website!
www.thechefandyou.com

Give her a call and discuss a meal or two … we know you will not regret it.

Supporting Local Artists – Our first!

We are so pleased to announce that we are working with up-and-coming artists to add a little extra flair to the house! We picked one amazing photographer as our first to feature.

jill pekingduck-3Final

Jill Sanders, who has spent many years in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, is expanding her portfolio to many new areas of the County and has lately found inspiration in our little piece of the Earth.

Las Vegas and the areas around are so unique .. such an inspiration to many!

But to Jill Sanders .. it is the light and the clouds that call her.
And those shots speak to us.

We will be featuring a few of her pieces in the house and cannot wait to hear how our guest react!

jill dunes-1-4

We hope our guests will love this first addition — we hope to add more!

Please take a moment and look through Jill’s amazing work!
www.jillfoto.com

15 Top-Secret Las Vegas Travel Tips

The consensus for Vegas travel is that “winging it” is a bad idea.

With so much to do and experience, plus all the flashing lights on the Strip, hoards of people who haven’t slept in three days, musical illuminated fountains, and replicas of world wonders, you might end up frozen on the street in a mild panic.

So, here at Palazzo Paradiso, we’ve compiled this list of 15 insider tips from bloggers, avid travelers, editors, small business owners and others who know Vegas.

Armed with their expert hints, you can arrive in Sin City with a confident plan and jump right into a great time.

Just don’t forget to sleep.

Gambling in Vegas

First up, the obvious. Not everyone comes to Vegas to gamble. But for those who do, keep these tips in mind.

1. “Don’t play slot machines. They suck your money away hand over fist. Compare $600 lost over 16 hours on a $0.25 machine compared to just $40 lost at blackjack or craps @ $5 a hand.” – Michael Bluejay of VegasClick.com

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 12.04.22 PM2. Budget. “You don’t want to run out of money on the second day of a five day trip! So use some form of budgeting for your gaming money. Some folks put their daily allowance of gaming money in separate envelopes and anything left over at the end of the day is a ‘win’ (to keep), or added to the remaining days to make a higher limit.” – Las Vegas for Beginners

3. Get a Players Club Card at each casino. “Players club cards are now more similar to loyalty club cards at supermarkets than the slot club cards of yesteryear. Like other loyalty programs casino hotel players clubs offer various rewards and benefits based on how you spend your money… simply walk up to the players club desks when you arrive at the casino and show them your ID.

However, if you’re a neurotic planner like me you can sign up for a players club card online before your trip and just pick it up at the players club desk at the respective casino.” – Marc Meltzer of Edge Vegas, for Travel Vegas

Alcohol in Vegas

Ahhhh, the sometimes-thrilling, sometimes-tumultuous marriage between alcohol and gambling in Sin City. These tips will save you cash and hassle when it comes to indulging these two vices at once:

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 12.04.54 PM4. “Most Las Vegas sports books have gone the drink ticket route – offering up complimentary drink tickets only if you make a horse racing or sports bet for a particular amount. If you are interested in scoring a generous amount of complimentary drink tickets at the sports book, simply tip the ticket writer a dollar or two. This usually is enough motivation for the ticket writer to supply you with drink tickets every time you make a wager regardless of the amount of your bet!” – Tommy Lorenzo of TheVegasParlay.com

5. Must-be liquors. “When you’re playing at a table game inside a casino, if you order a particular brand of liquor, chances are you’ll get a cheaper, knock-off version of your favorite. To make sure you get the brand you want, make it clear to the cocktail waitress it’s a “must-be.” (It must be Captain Morgan, not Sailor Jerry or Admiral Nelson.) Tipping the waitress when you order can also help ensure you get the specific liquor you like.” – Scott of Vital Vegas

And another drink tip from expert Scott:

6. “Liquor prices vary widely, even within the same Las Vegas resort. A bottle of beer can cost dramatically different when purchased at the hotel’s lobby bar, at the pool bar or in the gift shop. Ask around and save some bucks.”

Outdoor Vegas

If you start to suffer from sensory overload or one too many cocktails—which certainly happens here!—don’t forget about the gorgeous and serene terrain that surrounds Las Vegas. A calm, desert sunrise can go a long way toward healing a hangover, if you can tumble out of bed early enough.

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 12.06.15 PM7. Famous for a reason. “With over 1 million visitors a year, it’s hardly a secret, but Red Rock Canyon is one of my favorite places to visit near Las Vegas, just 30 minutes drive from the glitz of The Strip. Incredible geological features mixed with desert landscaping and blazing red rocks at sunrise and sunset make this a fabulous place for sightseeing and a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts seeking hiking and rock climbing thrills.

But here’s my hot tip: it’s also a fabulous spot to get married! For the cost of a permit plus officiant fees, one of two sites with rustic natural charm are yours to exchange or renew your vows at while surrounded by the majestic panoramic views of the desert. Some wild burros might even wander past and be your witnesses. So be sure to rent a car and get over there! – Kelly Zenkewich, Editor at Little Vegas Wedding

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 12.07.54 PM8. “Most people know that Nevada and of course Las Vegas are land-locked…but our secret tip is to explore beautiful Lake Las Vegas and go paddle boarding! It is only a 45-minute drive east from the Strip and you end up in an oasis of palm trees and water. The paddle boarding is seasonal and a small non-descript set up on the shallowest part of the lake. It is a refreshing, fun activity and an alternative to the desert heat!” – Tiffany at Sin City Cupcakes

9. Go night golfing. In Vegas, golfers can keep out of the mid-day heat and sleep in, too. Starting at twilight, from early spring through fall, some Vegas golf venues provide lit courses for night golfing and even offer a cheaper rate than in the daytime. – Golfer’s Digest

Family-Friendly Vegas

Sin City isn’t sinful everywhere! And the glitz and lights and awe-inspiring scenery of Vegas make it a boredom-free destination for kids. They might even shock you by putting away their electronic devices for a couple minutes to take it all in.

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 12.09.25 PM10. “Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage [is] a must see place for children who will enjoy a face-to-face encounter with some of nature’s most exotic and majestic creatures. To explore, learn and play in an enchanting world of white lions, white tigers, panthers, leopards and the family of bottlenose dolphins, the Mirage is the place to be.” – PJ of PJ Mom Blog

11. “The Cirque show Mystere allows children of all ages to attend, but most of the other shows in town do have a minimum age requirement of 5. However, once your children hit that 5 year mark they may have a blast seeing some of the various Cirque shows around town such as Ka or O. I’m partial to those shows, but there are many other shows in Vegas that children would also love like the Tournament of Kings at Excalibur, Blue Man Group at Monte Carlo (5+), or the Mac King Comedy Magic Show at Harrah’s (5+).” – Summer Hull of Mommy Points

Teenagers can have their fun, too!

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 12.11.35 PM12. A trip up the Stratosphere…for those who like dizzying heights and thrilling rides. For $16 per adult and $10 per child you can head up to the viewing platform over 1100 feet in the air. If your kids are real adrenalin junkies they will enjoy the rides though they are definitely not for the feint at heart and strictly for older kids. Ride prices are $12-13 but packages can be bought that include tower admission and multiple rides.” – Bethaney & Lee of Flashpacker Family

Vegas Beyond the Strip

A couple insiders encouraged us to tell you about the other Vegas, away from the Strip.

Downtown is great for both stretching the budget (a steak downtown is generally cheaper than a steak at the casinos) and discovering the places where locals, foodies and other cultural connoisseurs hang out.

Here’s a travel writer and Vegas local on the subject:

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 12.12.28 PM13. “Take the time to visit downtown Las Vegas beyond the Fremont Street Experience. Huge developments and initiatives in this part of town have resulted in a creative space with lots of bars frequented by locals, restaurants with outdoor dining, street art and locally owned shops.” – JoAnna Haugen of Kaleidoscopic Wandering

Vegas on a Budget

Yes—it can be done!

14. “If you plan to do a lot of the paid attractions, it might be worth investing in a Power Pass. They cost $85 for one day up to $136 for five days and cover 25 attractions, including Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden, the Mob Museum, Stratosphere observation deck, Bellagio art gallery and Madame Tussauds. It also includes trips out of Vegas to the Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon West and a Lake Mead cruise.” – Lucy from On The Luce

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 12.13.29 PM15. “Do NOT take cabs all the time. They are expensive and really add up. Try the Las Vegas Monorail that runs from MGM Grand to the Wynn. At $3 a ride, you can spend more at the slots.” – Megan from The Big Fat World

Feel more prepared to take on Vegas?

We hope so. Please get in touch if you’d like to know more, or to rent our Tuscan-inspired villa, Palazzo Paradiso, found in a peaceful location just minutes from the Strip!

Sincerely,

Amy Firmani, Owner & Host

Amy

Revitalization?

Downtown Revitalization … sounds to me like a pipe dream … but not in Vegas! Slowly but surely, Downtown Vegas is becoming quite the cool place.

I watched it change and develop here and there – but now! It is such a great place to visit, it is moving up on my list and fast.

Especially Container Park!

The entire area has building made from containers. Shopping areas and even fabulous places to play:

http://downtowncontainerpark.com/play/

To make it even better- there is even an outdoor concert venue:

http://downtowncontainerpark.com/events/

This is high on my list of places I have to visit and soon!

(I think you should add it to yours!)

Las Vegas Villa Kitchen

Our Las Vegas House YOUR Home Away From Home

You will never leave our house….

To start with, let me just tell you that there is something about our kitchen.

Turn on the oven, light the burners and the magic begins….

People start to gather, a wine bottle or two is opened, great conversations are started and before you know it, everyone if chopping food and cooking amazing things on the Viking burners and storing them in the warmer for a sit down meal with hot food ….

Soon you discover hours have passed and the afternoon turns into the evening and you all will slip from the kitchen into the spa, continuing the great conversation and laughs well into the night.


And this is just how it gets started….

Suddenly, the coffee starts to brew in the morning (someone prep’d it the night before and set the timer)… and the migration back into the kitchen begins again, this time in pajamas.

Others migrate into the pool… dipping their toes in the water and planning the day.

And then you get sucked in again… swimming in the pool with the music on or enjoying breakfast with some Good Morning America on the outdoor TV… the morning blends into the afternoon and the spa gets turned on again.

Between swimming and catching a little nap on the outdoor couch (or snuggled inside to a good movie)…