Incentive planners guide to…Las Vegas

Las Vegas is the ultimate ‘bucket list’ destination – it seems to have it all in terms of incentive travel.

Who wouldn’t want to experience the luxury and glamour, the casinos and the nightlife, all without the expenses that ride with it? And great weather to top it all off – up to 106⁰! So, is ‘Sin City’ really everything it’s cracked up to be?

Well, yes, for all the reasons above and more! As American comedian and TV presenter, Drew Carey, once said: “Everything and anything you want to do, you can do in Las Vegas.”

With three incentive trips for three different clients in the first half of 2014, Las Vegas has truly proven to be a popular destination for AYMTM this year, and we’d like to share our experience of this thrilling city with you.

Getting there is easy enough. Direct flights from both British Airways and Virgin from London Heathrow and Gatwick provide great access, and an unlimited choice of hotels along the strip makes for great competitive value.

Finding things to keep you busy isn’t a problem. There are endless possibilities for activities and trips that take you to a different side of Las Vegas; lesser known areas of Nevada and to Arizona, all in short transfer times.

For entertainment in the city itself, the number of bars, clubs, restaurants, sights, attractions, shows and, of course, casinos, is astounding.

And as for the service levels – they are beyond expectation. So much so that it’s almost a shock on arrival back into the UK. The staff and locals are friendly (even if it is for an extra tip!), and everything is right on your hotel door step.

As one happy delegate said: “Never to be forgotten and a once in a life time fabulous experience. The time passed too quickly. A massive wow from myself and my guest.”

Read on for our recommendations for where to stay, where to eat and what to do, along with some useful info on local laws and customs.

WHERE TO STAY IN LAS VEGAS

The Bellagio

Bellagio, Las Vegas

The Bellagio is situated right in the middle of the famous strip (a 4.2 mile stretch of South Las Vegas Boulevard), making it perfect for access to the rest of Vegas. It’s a great all-rounder, with an in-house casino, shopping mall, numerous restaurants and Cirque du Soleil theatre. And who can forget the fountains? They are a ‘must see’ when you go to Las Vegas.

Mandarin Oriental

Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

Hidden from the strip, this hotel offers a rare moment of calm within the bustle of the Las Vegas strip. Suited for the business traveller with fantastic in-room facilities and no casino within the hotel, you wouldn’t know you’re in Vegas unless you looked out the window!

The Cosmopolitan

Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

Opened in 2010, The Cosmopolitan is a modern and fresh hotel on the strip. Filled with bars, nightclubs, the casino, beach clubs, day clubs and much more, the hotel feels stylish, sexy and fun.

WHERE TO EAT IN LAS VEGAS

Foundation Room

Foundation Roomo, Las Vegas

A cool mix between exclusivity and casual, this restaurant/bar is perfect for a group dinner. Varying sizes of private dining rooms offer excellent choice. Situated in the Mandalay Bay Hotel at the end of the strip, the balcony offers spectacular views down the strip at night.

Hakkasan Nightclub and Restaurant

Hakkasan Nightclub and Restaurant, Las Vegas

Located in the MGM Grand Hotel, this restaurant is part of the famous chain, with restaurants in major cities like London, Tokyo and New York. The food doesn’t disappoint, and with one of the world’s largest clubs upstairs, your whole evening is taken care of.

Cili at Bali Hai

Cili at Bali Hai, Las Vegas

An oasis on the strip, Cili features floor to ceiling windows overlooking the Bali Hai – a golf facility, restaurant and private event venue. It is perfect for a departure brunch before the flight home, and only 10 minutes drive from the airport.

THINGS TO DO IN LAS VEGAS

Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour

Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour

This is a great way to see Nevada, from Lake Mead, the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon. The trip incorporates a picnic stop within the canyon and the best view of the strip from the air!

Horse Riding

Red Rock Mountains

Horse riding is a more relaxing way to see the sights, taking you into the Red Rock Mountains (pictured above). Fantastic views all around, with the option of a BBQ cook-out as a perfect way to end the day.

Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil

With a show in residence at most of the big hotels along the strip, there’ll be a performance to suit everyone’s taste – no two shows are the same. A great ‘wow’ for a trip – especially if guests haven’t seen one before.

Things to know before you visit Las Vegas

  • Be prepared to walk A LOT! The strip alone is over four miles long.
  • Remind your delegates to take cash or travellers cheques – unless you can use your own bank, ATMs in Vegas charge up to $5.99 per withdrawal! Travellers cheques are accepted just about everywhere.
  • Be prepared for slightly different rules in Vegas – for example, smoking is allowed in casinos and some bars.
  • If your delegates choose to indulge in a spot of gambling, remind them to make sure they don’t bet more than they can afford. It’s possible to lose $125 over 4 hours on a $0.25 machine.
  • See the Las Vegas Tourist Information website for information on DOs and DONTs in Las Vegas, tipping, what to pack and more.
  • Most important of all, remember the no. 1 rule – what goes on in Vegas, stays in Vegas!

So, should you choose Las Vegas as the destination for YOUR next incentive trip? Las Vegas is a fully packaged incentive destination that can be tailored to all briefs, for everyone to enjoy, so, yes, we can highly recommend it!

Those we have taken so far this year would agree. One such delegate said: “I wish I could go back and do the whole thing again. I actually had a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat when we had to get on the coach to leave Bali Hai to go to the airport.”

For more details, or to discuss your own requirements for incentive travel to Las Vegas (or anywhere else for that matter), contact Lauren Anthony from the Events & Travel team at AYMTM. After all, she made the recommendations made in this article, so she knows Vegas. Thanks Lauren!

 

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Incentive planners guide to...Las Vegas
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Las Vegas is the ultimate ‘bucket list’ destination - it seems to have it all in terms of incentive travel. So, is ‘Sin City’ really everything it’s cracked up to be? Read a short guide from AYMTM.