I never could imagine me spending Christmas in Las Vegas and staying at the same hotel as Prince Harry and Oprah. That’s the Harry who is third in line to the British throne and was photographed prancing around naked when he was there and the picture got in all the papers. Oprah and her girlfriend Gail stayed there during their Big Adventure road trip. The place where we all stayed (not at the same time, of course) was the Wynn Las Vegas Hotel. It gets five-star ratings and is considered to be one of the finest hotels in the world.
New York City with the girls
I am not a five-star sort of person. Nor do I ordinarily travel to places like Las Vegas. As a matter of fact, as I write this I am about to leave for Sri Lanka and the places where I’ll be staying won’t rate many stars. But stepping outside the “norm” once in a while keeps life interesting. And as the saying goes, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” (unless you’re a prince). Besides, my kids were away, Vegas is a bargain at Christmas, and the “girls” were keen to go.
You don’t actually escape Christmas when you stay on the Strip. Properties are all decked out for Christmas and many of the decorations are extraordinary. So you end up walking from one casino to the next, gawking at the lights and the Christmas trees just like you would if you were at home. Even the outdoor water show at the Bellagio Hotel was choreographed to Christmas music instead of show tunes.
Thankfully not everything is like home. After all, this resort town has a reputation for gambling, shopping and fine dining. So we tried our luck at gambling (not lucky), spent what we didn’t lose at a shopping outlet (over-the-top bargains), and sampled a must-do Vegas buffet (the buffet at the Wynn is legendary). Most importantly, the Vegas climate is subtropical desert and it sure isn’t like that at home.
We did lots of other stuff too, like see a Cirque du Soleil performance (The Beatles Love), a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon (you have to be weighed first!), and a treatment at the spa (sumptuous).
What I loved the best, though, was our bathroom at the Wynn. I have never been in anything like it. It just screamed decadence. The shower was enormous and I could watch this great big flat-screen TV while I was in it. I could have stayed in there for the full three days. In fact, I called my kids and sisters from the bathroom and raved on for so long about it that the long distance charges were almost as much as the cost of the room.
Then it was over. The people with money were arriving for New Years and the almost empty casinos started to buzz. It was time to head back to our real lives, our wallets a little lighter but our faces all aglow.
By Sylvia Fanjoy
Photo credits Charlotte Fanjoy
© Riding the buses 2013