When you live in the Most Beautiful Small Town in America– and you want to plan a little getaway for a few days with a group of friends- where do you go? Well- Las Vegas, of course! Need to get that heart beating? Ruffle those feathers a little bit? Lights, sounds, shows, cuisine, cocktails, gambling and pampering! Count me in!
Don’t get me wrong- I do love my sweet hometown and would never trade it for the city life, but I have to admit I was extremely excited to flip the switch on for a few loud and rowdy days in the City of Lights! Our group of friends have been saving up Total Rewards Points to be able to get complimentary rooms for the trip and we settled on one of the Total Rewards Properties- The Paris Hotel in Las Vegas. The 4 night stay in a 2 Queen bed was all complimentary! (Sounds like my annual birthday trip to the casino in Southern Indiana paid off!!) Now the search for a non-stop flight from Louisville to Vegas… Southwest was the only one we could find – so there we are ready to go!!
Travel day is here- flight delayed about an hour for repairs on the plane (uh-oh) but the guy at the service desk assured us we could make it up with the tailwinds out there! (We call bullsh** on that one- “tailwinds” going east to west??) Anyway – our flight was uneventful and we arrived to the warm breezes and Palm trees right there at the airport- it was lovely!! Thanks to the great fore-planning of one of our travel mates- there were two Limousines waiting to take us swiftly to our Hotel with no waiting and really very little traffic. Our first view of the Paris Hotel was stunning, just so grand- and colorful- and joyful- and French! Ooh –la-la from the very first sight!
Check-in was easy- walked right into the Platinum check-in room and showed our IDs and we were out of there in less than 5 minutes. Boom! Now on to the room to get our suitcases settled and out onto the “floor” to see the sights. Of course the Eiffel Tower was the framework of the Hotel, but I felt like I was in a small French Village with all the shops and cafes and bakeries and charming buildings all around. Then planted right in the middle of it all were the huge steel legs of the Eiffel Tower!
Games and Bars were everywhere! And Le Cabaret- a bandstand with live music every evening was right there among the games and tables so everyone could enjoy live music all the while. I thought the best coffee I got was the coffee I got on the casino floor! Followed shortly by the best Bloody Marys!
First I’ll tell you all about our adventures in cuisine while we were there. First – the Eiffel Tower Restaurant! La plus belle vue de tous ! (The most beautiful view of all).
One of our friends ordered one of their specialty cocktails « The Daisy » my favorite cocktail of the week !! (Cucumber infused tequila and pineapple and red pepper flakes. Mmm!) My delicious filet mignon was perfection. We tried Duck Breast, Beef Wellington, Salmon, Escargot… and all of it was putting a little tingle in our toes !! Just magical !
The best lunch I had while in Paris- -Mon AmiGABI!! I have to eat here because my oldest 2 children are named Aimee and Gabe 😉 We were led into this dark Bistro and through to this bright, sunny sun-room of white cloth tables with all the formality of fine dining, but had the casual light-hearted atmosphere of a sidewalk café. Soft brie and potatoes along with chicken and mushroom crepes, salmon, shrimp crepes, a few Bloody Marys and we were ready to strike out on another day of adventure!
Now- for the best food I put in my mouth all week- we spent our last night having dinner at the Martorano’s. I feel like we were invited there by grandma Martorano herself and the family just gathered around to make us welcome! Our host introduced us to the restaurant and their way of doing things and we rolled with it. We chose three appetizers based on his recommendations – the giant meatball with Sunday Gravy (which I can relate to because my momma made similar Sunday gravy every single week); freshly made mozzarella cheese and cherry tomatoes with balsamic; and the BEST THING I HAD ALL WEEK…. Fried Calamari with a sweet and spicy chili sauce that was cooked exactly to perfection! Now- here’s the embarrassing part- the appetizers were served to us by our servers and we gladly and respectfully ate it up to the point that we were even sopping up the last bit of gravy with our bread. At that point we realized that we were starting to feel a little stuffed and our entrees were still in the kitchen. When our servers appeared with the most perfectly browned scallops on a bed of mmm-buttery risotto, and stacked even higher by a mound of fresh lump crab meat- well- we just let out a chorus of moans that would embarrass even a bordel Madame. Needless to say this last night dinner with Mortorano’s was like visiting family and was the highlight of our dining experience while at the Paris Hotel!!
Wait- I’m not through yet- I have to tell you about our pampering while we were in “Paris”! Two of our friends took the initiative to make reservations for facials and massages for us and I’m extremely grateful that they thought to do that early in the week! The spa has an exercise room, steam room , dry sauna, whirlpool, lockers, showers, lounge area with coffee, tea, lemon water, fresh fruit…. A couple of the girls came early and used the stream room and the rest of us just lounged with our morning coffee and chatted while we waited for our appointed time for pampering! The music was a soft Asian melody just lingering in the room almost without notice. For my service- I had a Collagen Quartz facial with a hand, arm and scalp massage. It was simply wonderful! Wonderful!! I encourage every traveler to give themselves this treat!
Last- but certainly not least- if you came to Vegas to dance, listen to music and/or party – I can say there is no shortage of opportunities for that! We enjoyed the Cabaret on the main floor right next to all the games and machines. They have a good size dance floor and play all kinds of music from Motown to the 80’s and 90’s pop tunes to the latest dance hits! We enjoyed a very fun couple of nights at Napoleon’s- a piano bar and comedy nightclub that was fun- not too loud or crazy and kept our feet tapping and we laughed til we cried!
Okay- now it was time to check out- and you know how that is- something always gets mixed up or over charged or something. So here we are checking out after 4 nights of fun and it’s time to pay up! Ms. Smith- your room balance is…. $18.10. What?? So now I’m gonna let you all in on a little secret that maybe you don’t know- EVERYTHING you spend while you are staying at a Total Rewards Property- charge it to your room. You’re going to have to pay for it anyway- but this way your TR credits accumulate toward bonuses, comps and rewards! In our case- it covered our room(4 days), resort fee, spa services (not cheap), room service, about 100 Bloody Marys, a couple of snacks here and there- and we didn’t even put everything to our room!!
SUV back to the airport (very short ride), quick pass thru the security check and on to our gate. I like to ask for early boarding, because I like to try to get the seats next to the wing exit because there is a lot more leg room. But you do have to promise that in case of emergency you’ll pop the door open and push out the slide- no problem! Another quick flight (4hours, non stop, tailwinds) and we’re home! Great trip, lovely friends and memories to last a lifetime! Now back to the old grindstone so that I can save for my next adventure! Wonder where that’ll be?