The Venetian and Palazzo Resorts

The Venetian and Palazzo Resorts are currently my favorite on the Las Vegas strip! This self-contained resort is my favorite for gambling, shopping, dining, spa, pools, and sleeping accommodations.  This visit, I tried a bit of everything.

We arrived on a non-sports event evening and immediately found a quiet table at Lagasee’s Stadium for Po’Boys and BBQ Pork sandwiches.  Delicious comfort/bar food in massive portions.  Any evening with some sort of sport event this place is jam-packed and expensive due to set spending requirements for the privilege of sitting at a table.  So we were lucky to have the place (mostly) to ourselves.

Palazzo Suite Living Room
Palazzo Suite Living Room

The rest of our group arrived for Girls’ weekend in Vegas and we checked into our adjoining suites.  Connected through the bottom few floors, the Palazzo and Venetian hotel suites are almost identical.  Palazzo Suite2They each have the slightly sunken living room area and the same bathroom layout.  We just happen to be on the Palazzo side of the resort.

Our first evening, we walked across the pedestrian bridge to Treasure Island and only stayed a few hours.  The air filters are not as efficient as some of the more upscale resorts and the smoker smell was starting to give me a headache.  It was the only time we left the Venetian/Palazzo property the entire visit.

View of the pools from our room
View of the pools from our room

The Venetain and Palazzo share everything, Grazie loyaltly program, restaurant row, and the pools – where we spent our days.  There are various options for pool depth, view, and nearby cabanas (daily rental).  Palazzo Pool3 Palazzo Pool2 Palazzo Pool1

 

venetian GCAfter the pool there is plenty of entertainment at the Grand Canal Shoppes, where the water filled streets of Venice are recreated complete with Gondolas.  There are plenty of casual and not-so casual dining options with canal views and even more “above ground” choices without leaving the property.

OpenTable is my favorite way to check availability, reviews, menus, and reserve a table.  For a table of 5 of a Friday night, OpenTable suggested Morels french steakhouse & Morels Taste1bistro.  We were seated looking at an enormous wine wall and cheese bar.  With so many scrumptious options, I went Morelsstraight for the 4 course tasting menu.  Crab appetizer, salad, steak dinner, and dessert  – plenty to share.  As expected, the steak was cooked to perfection and served in a tangy Morels Steaksauce.  My dinner finished with a proper french cream filled pastry and side of hot chocolate sauce.  However, my friend hit the dessert jackpot with the pistachio souffle!  WOW.

Table 10Table 10 offers a choose-your-own style tasting menu, of 2 or 3 options for each course.  Rather than picking one of the typical salad options, I could not resist the summer sweet pea soup with creme fraiche.  It was rich, frothy, and light all at the same time, and my favorite course of the evening.  The bar was packed during happy hour, then cleared out for an hour sweet spot before the dinner crowd started to arrive.  The kitchen view bar seating looks like a great option for solo dining.

There are new restaurants in the Venetian/Palazzo corridor opening this fall, in addition to the established dining options, it is a great excuse to try something new.  Which I think is the other motto for Las Vegas.

We rounded out our sleeping, shopping, spa retreat, pool lounging, and eating vacation with a bit of gambling. It was a fantastic little break for quality time with the girls!

Luxurious Spa Avania in Hyatt Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale, Arizona

This time of year can be stressful, we are in a rush to finish projects before year-end, family travelling or just providing the extra “drama” to the day, crowds and traffic for holiday shopping, and many other unpleasant activities.  If you are looking for a great way to relax and recoup your energy, then book an appointment at Spa Avania at Hyatt Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale!  Also a great present if you want to give the gift of relaxing.  The spa offers Arizona residents discounts on certain services, and it is a beautiful resort for our out-of-town visitors (or locals that need a staycation).

Spa Avania gift certificates were part of my Birthday present this year, and today I needed a facial!  Previously, I enjoyed the best deep tissue massage of my life here and the facial was pretty darn good, too.

Spa Avania entrance, Resort lobby to the left
Spa Avania entrance, Resort lobby to the left

Updated August 2015 – During an amazing day of group pool time, eating, and treatments here, several friends commented that it is difficult to find the spa.  Spa Avania and the mineral pool (pictured below) are located in a stand alone building, southeast from the lobby across from the front parking area. Continue reading “Luxurious Spa Avania in Hyatt Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale, Arizona”

Arizona Inn | Tucson’s Best Boutique Hotel

The idea for this blog originates while my Sister and I were lounging by the pool at Tucson’s Arizona Inn. Discussions turned to the “what are some fun activities around here?” from several Canadian families visiting, as well as the pool staff who were new to Arizona. We mentioned some of our favorite sights and activities for the area, which grew into all of the cool things “off the beaten path” in the Wild West! My Sister and I started a short list of things close by, and as we relaxed our definition of “close by” the list grew to several pages long. Several months have passed and the list just keeps growing.

It is only appropriate that I start off with Arizona Inn, where the spark began! Arizona Inn is a gem hidden away in the heart of Tucson, Arizona just minutes away from University of Arizona.

Arizona Inn interior room

The 1930’s resort has a vintage Hollywood style from the immaculate grounds for croquet to the classic swimming pool. The casita-style rooms have a simple charm for the ultimate relaxing vacation. Many of the rooms have a private patio for total seclusion.

Arizona Inn hotel room Patio
Arizona Inn hotel room Patio

This little hide-away is perfect for a mid-week break, or to celebrate that special anniversary.  Room rates are reduced in summer for a great price and tons of seclusion!  Any time of year, Arizona Inn is wonderful.

Arizona Inn Pool

 During Summer, the Inn provides an Ice Cream Sundae bar pool side. They offer a variety of flavors, hot fudge & syrups, nuts, sprinkles, and a wide assortment of toppings. There is nothing more decadent than eating a custom made Ice Cream concoction by the pool!

Lovely Summer day at the Arizona Inn Boutique Hotel of Tucson, Arizona
Arizona Inn