My 29th Birthday in Las Vegas! (1st Time On The West Coast)
It's Monday, May 15th & It's been a few days since leaving Vegas and a few more days since celebrating my 29th Birthday. Right after I turned 28, I knew, for sure, that I wanted to go to Vegas for one of my Birthdays. I figured what better way to enter into my last year of my 20s than being in Las Vegas for the 1st time.
So, My Wife & I booked the flights early as well as the Hotel. After searching many traveling apps, I decided to book both the flight and hotel with the APP Orbitz. I have to say one of the best things about this App compared to Booking.com and Kayak is the promo codes they sporadically send you that takes off a cool 15% to 20%.
Fast Forward to May 6th, My Birthday...
We had an 11:30am flight with Sun Country Airlines. I know what you're thinking! What Airlines? LOL. Well, at least that's what I was thinking when searching for flights. Unfortunately, One of the best ones I found that was affordable were 2 connecting Sun Country flights from NY to Minnesota then Minnesota to Las Vegas. Definitely not ideal but whatever... We were going to LAS VEGAS! WHOOOO! LOL. I didn't like that there was no APP for Sun Country Airlines. I also didn't like that I wasn't able to choose my seats or check in via their website which they say you can. I had to call for the seats and check-in in-person. The positives of Sun Country Airlines is that Checking In & TSA was a smooth and quick process. The planes were clean, the attendants were very friendly, the food menu was reasonable (we had a cheeseburger for $4 that was DELICIOUS.... we were in awe!) and the flights were seamless. There's no complaints for Sun Country Airlines besides not having an APP or able to modify via the website.
During our time at MSP between flights, we decided to eat and at some drinks at Cocina Del Barrio in the Airport. Conveniently, it was right in front of the gate of departing flight in a few hours so it was a no brainer. Who doesn't like Salsa, Chips and Margaritas. This was the first drink on my Birthday so I was quite excited. Unfortunately, My excitement was met with the worst service ever. The bartender was a short, stubby little guy with a bad attitude and NO eye contact. He was short with his questions and answers. I recommend if you see anyone like that at the bar, you're better off getting better service from the servers. Besides that, the drinks were tasty but I wasn't a fan of the chips and that seasoning that was on.
So, a few hours later, we finally landed to the beautiful city of Las Vegas! Yay!
So, Our hotel of choice was The Stratosphere Hotel. I wasn't aware it was closer to the Fremont Experience than it is the Strip which, we learned further into the trip, wasn't ideal because the Uber service didn't work so we were forced to take the $25 cab rides everywhere we went, every time we went somewhere, which was multiple times a day. First Impressions were not welcoming or comfortable, the surrounding neighborhood the hotel is in looks very unsafe. The people walking around looked like drug dealers or drug addicts, the houses, the blocks, etc. all looked like ran down. I felt very unsafe driving nearby the hotel leaving or returning. It also seem as though these people in the neighborhood were able to just walk into the casinos & the hotel lobbies, made me very uneasy.
Besides the appearance, Check In took longer than desired. Being that it was Saturday Evening, there should've been more receptionists to check in guests quickly and efficiently but that wasn't the case. After checking in, we walked our way to our designated room which was revealed to be a totally different room from the photo'd one through Orbitz. The room looked like belong to a motel instead of the Stratosphere. I was outraged with a Dinner Reservation in 2 hours. My Wife tried to fix the situation going downstairs to stand on that long "Check-In" again to get a ridiculous quote to change rooms & how we'd be better off staying overnight & changing rooms the next day. Well, the night we checked in was the night that mattered the most (My Birthday) so we decided to stay as we wouldn't be staying in there most of the trip anyway. Everything about the room was outdated and I couldn't stand it. The hotel's amenities were great, the restaurants and late check-out fees were reasonable. The best parts of our hotel stay was the Hotel Rooftop Pool, the WiFi, the convenient Text Messaging directly to Guest Services & the many Food Options. Unfortunately, I probably wouldn't stay here again.
So, it was time for My Birthday Dinner Date where I made reservations for at Lavo Las Vegas! I'm a NYC Model & Blogger who is VERY familiar with Lavo's reputation, it's basically a big deal. So, what better place to eat at other than Lavo in Las Vegas. Upon arrival, I was checked in under my reservation & given a beeper as there was a 15 minute wait. I didn't mind at all because the ambiance & music playing inside made me feel fight at home. I loved restaurants with dim lighting, candlelit tables & a good tune to snap your fingers to. Not so long after, we were escorted to a beautiful table on the terrace overlooking the blvd. Wow! Dreamy, right? The menu options were great as there was a little bit of everything from Pasta to American dishes, as well great beverage options. I had a glass of wine and my Wife had her usual, Corona. Our Server, DJ, was so friendly and went above and beyond with his customer service. The the night took a turn: It begin to rain! Yes! Can you believe how perfect the evening and the setting was then POOF! Rain! But, this is where Lavo became my favorite place. My Wife & I made our way inside & stood on the side until we found our server. He then escorted us to a cozy table that was just as perfect as the one outdoors. We got our Pasta Dishes & DJ & a fresh glass of Wine (which was basically a complimentary 2nd glass because I almost finished the first). The food came in filling proportions and was delicious. I can't stress enough how good the DJ was, made me feel like finding a dance floor. Then, the Manager On Duty personally greeted us, introduced himself & thanked us for our patient with relocating inside before inviting us to TAO Nightclub afterward. WOW! Right? Talk about CUSTOMER SERVICE & Making Guests Feel Special! To top off the night, I received Dessert for my Birthday that said "Happy Birthday" along with 2 glasses of champagne! *drop jaws* Lavo, You are my new favorite place to eat & I'll become a regular in New York and Vegas. Thanks so much for your hospitality & if you don't eat here & experience magic, you're missing out! :) The bill wasn't too bad, either. ;)
Afterward, We made our way to TAO Nightclub where we took shots and danced the nights away before we headed back to our Hotel some time late in the Evening.
Sunday Afternoon was my Birthday Brunch at Sugar Factory. We had no clue there was even a Sugar Factory in Las Vegas so we were excited to experience how the Vegas one was because we love the NYC One. Upon late arrival (we had to walk through a hotel lobby to reach the entrance), we told the Hostess that we called a few minutes that we were going to be running late and that we also had a reservation. She told us it would be a 20 minute wait & we can sit at the bar outside. Unfortunately, it started to rain outside so we had to wait by the wall (the inside bar was full) during our wait. After about 15 Minutes, we were seated & given menus. We couldn't but notice the manager looked familiar to us. We later asked her if she was from the Meatpacking location & she confirmed she was the General Manager that followed with a warm conversation between us 3, she was very nice. We ordered our Steak & Eggs with Bottomless Mimosas which were all delicious, service amazing & can't beat the music and ambiance of the place. They also did a very good job with surprising me with Dessert for my Birthday! If you've never been to Sugar Factory, what are ya waiting for?
The next day we made our way to the rooftop pool at The Stratosphere Hotel and spent most of the Morning and Afternoon there before heading over to the famous Las Vegas Sign. Our $30 cab ride and 20 minute wait in line was so worth the photo below...
After strolling the infamous Las Vegas Strip from the Sign to the Paris Hotel, we were ready to sit down & eat. Being that we are huge fans of the Original SEA Restaurant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY, we were excited to experience the same in Vegas. Right? Wrong! SEA in Brooklyn is NOTHING like the SEA in Las Vegas. When we entered, the ambiance was the same. Oh! It's also located inside of a hotel lobby. So, we sat down near the indoor water & the server greeted us with a kind attitude explaining to us the menu. So, the first difference is the food, Brooklyn's SEA definitely tastes better than Las Vegas' SEA. The prices in Brooklyn are also more affordable (which makes SEA in Brooklyn so popular). I hate to have to compare but how can you not when the SEA in Brooklyn is Famous? So famous that they made one in Las Vegas to mirror the original. Therefore, I'll be sticking to the original SEA.
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