Gabe Ginsberg / Vegas Kool
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 | 9 p.m.
As Robin Leach settles into a northern Italian lake district lifestyle before his traditional summer vacation under the Tuscan sun in Italy — plus Lake Como and Lake Maggiore this year — many of our Strip personalities have again stepped forward in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom. We continue today with comedian George Wallace, who recently wrapped a decadelong run starring at the Flamingo.
Las Vegas is waiting for you. If you haven’t experienced Las Vegas in the last six months, you need to do it again. What a change!
New things to do are waiting for you — some new and somewhat new establishments to enjoy. Let’s talk about a few.
The Linq is the brand-new open-air shopping and dining plaza located directly between the Flamingo and the Quad. There’s even a live entertainment venue. Brooklyn Bowl features concerts and 32 lanes of bowling. At 80,000 square feet, they say it’s one of the biggest music venues in America. Rolling Stone says it’s one of the most incredible places on Earth. You might catch me there rockin’ out with The Roots and knockin’ down some pins. Let’s not forget about the centerpiece of the Linq: the High Roller.
The High Roller
After years of waiting, the High Roller is finally here. Didn’t join the mile-high club on your way to Las Vegas? Now you can join the half-mile-high club with a 360-degree view of the Strip at 550 feet high, 28 cabins holding as many as 40 people each. Sounds like a tight fit to me. Nine months from now, expect some baby rollers. LOL! The High Roller is the perfect place for a private party. Keep the party limited to 30 minutes, though; that’s how long it takes to ride. After your ride, take a walk over to the Cromwell.
The Cromwell is the newest boutique hotel on the Strip. Formerly Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon, the property received a $185 million renovation to make it this fabulous Parisian-inspired property. You may remember that Bill’s was formerly Barbary Coast. From Barbary Coast to Bill’s, now the Cromwell, you never know which hotel-casino is going to be reinvented next for a whole new experience.
The Cromwell is home to Giada. You might recognize the name. Giada De Laurentiis from the Food Network. This Emmy Award-winning chef has now opened her first restaurant. Go to Giada for some great pasta. Tell her George Wallace sent you!
Drai’s Beach Club + Nightclub
For daylife or nightlife, Drai’s is above and beyond any club in the world, and I’ve been to them all! All of these nightclubs are based on the Ibiza experience. Ibiza is a small island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea where the super-club experience started. Clubs that don’t even open until 1 a.m., and then the super-clubs open at 4 and 6 a.m. There’s nothing but music and fun for everyone. That’s the Ibiza sound.
Ibiza has swimming pools in their clubs with more than 5,000 guests. Remove your clothes and splash around in the pool naked with class — well 80 percent naked and 90 percent class. It’s all class and @$$. Drai’s is a rooftop beach club during the day, a 65,000-square-foot club at night. The cabanas have baths and showers. A few have pools. If you do anything, you must do Drai’s. I was there recently. We didn’t raise the roof, though, because there is no roof!
Hakkasan at MGM Grand is definitely a AA+ experience, though it did take me 15 minutes to figure out how to pronounce the name. This five-level restaurant and nightclub, opened about a year ago, is a world of its own. The luxurious restaurant, which is on the first two levels, serves authentic Cantonese fine dining. The award-winning design creates the perfect dining experience. Level three houses the Ling Ling Lounge and Ling Ling Club. Question is, where’s Ling Ling the panda?
On the fourth and fifth floors, you can find the main nightclub and the mezzanine. There’s also an outdoor pavilion. Hakkasan is an experience never to be forgotten. I was there recently doing the mashed potato across the dance floor. That’s right, I still do the twist. The crowd went wild!
SLS Las Vegas
The new SLS Las Vegas will be taking the place of the old Sahara. SLS is under construction and is planned for opening in August after a $415 million renovation. This will be the third SLS hotel, the others being in Beverly Hills and Miami Beach. SLS Las Vegas is said to include a music venue, nightclub, several restaurants (including a buffet) and 1,600 guest rooms. What does SLS stand for anyway?
Speaking of buffets, everyone has to enjoy a buffet when they come to Las Vegas. Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace, while no longer new, is still No. 1. You won’t find large portions that sit under heat lamps like some other places. You can watch the chefs preparing each and every dish at this gourmet-style buffet. And the desserts, you can try all 250 if you stayed all day. Trust me: I made the attempt! When I was done, they had to roll me out in a wheelbarrow. USA Today has voted Bacchanal Buffet the Best Buffet in Las Vegas, but I say it’s the best in the country!
Do yourself a favor. Take a good look at this great city. Vega$ is truly the Entertainment Capital of the World.
I’m George Wallace, I love you, and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it!
Check out our other guest column today from Australian producer Belinda Chapple, who has just opened her new topless-burlesque show “Sydney After Dark” at Planet Hollywood, and on Thursday get ready for Bally’s headliner Veronic DiCaire, Celine Dion’s singing-sensation discovery and her 50 voice impressions, plus hair guru to the stars Michael Boychuck.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.
Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.