Old-school glamour meets modern luxury
By Shaké Ajamian
Perhaps no other destination in the world has such vivid associations tied to its image. Utter the name “Las Vegas” and it instantly brings to mind pictures of glittering lights, world-class entertainment, an exquisite array of choices for fine dining and, of course, partying into the wee hours, an endless supply of cocktails on hand. The City of Sin boasts a long and colorful past of providing revelers with unforgettable experiences, and quintessential entertainers Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop were pioneers when it came to the “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” attitude. Even though the days of the iconic Rat Pack are long gone, visitors can enjoy a modern incarnation by enjoying some of the best vintage Vegas experiences this city has to offer, ones that perhaps rival the heyday of Ol’ Blue Eyes himself.
Any modern day Rat Packer needs a home base, and where better to stay than in the Frank Sinatra Suite? Room 2902 in the Monte Carlo Tower in the Riviera (702.734.5110) boasts more than 2,000 square feet of space with a terrace that affords an absolutely breathtaking view of the city. The lavish parties that took place within those walls are legendary, and it’s even rumored to be haunted by the late singer’s ghost.
Paranormal activity too much for you? Try booking accommodations at the Flamingo (702.733.3111). Opened in late 1946 with famed mob boss Bugsy Siegel at the helm, it is now the oldest running hotel on the Strip. A stay at this resort gives you access to a 15-acre tropical paradise with pools, lush greenery and even a wildlife habitat featuring namesake Chilean flamingos. The Golden Nugget (702.385.7111) downtown will have you marveling at how the worlds of modern and vintage come together beautifully with updated comforts amid classics like Vic & Anthony’s steakhouse or Gold Diggers lounge, where you can dance the night away with a view of the Fremont Street Experience.
To experience classic Las Vegas entertainment means to watch classic showgirls perform. No other show on the Strip captures that essence quite like Jubilee! (Bally’s, 702.967.4567), the brainchild of producer Donn Arden that’s run for more than 30 years. The cast of 85 dancers performs in more than 1,000 costumes including feathers, rhinestones and barely there ensembles. Eye candy for the ladies is to be found in the form of Matt Goss (Caesars Palace, 800.745.3000 Ticketmaster). The sexy crooner from London performs in The Gossy Room, covering popular songs from yesteryear like “Luck Be a Lady” and “I’ve Got the World on a String.” Accompanied by his nine-piece band and smoldering female dancers, this is one show that will have you swearing you’ve stepped back in time. Also taking it back is Frankie Moreno (Stratosphere, 702.380.7777), who creates an intimate experience that has the talented performer interacting with fans in between sets and even sharing drinks with audience members.
A person can’t live on debauchery alone, and The Steak House at Circus Circus (702.794.3767) has been serving classic fare for more than 20 years. It’s known for its mesquite-grilled steaks, prime rib and fresh selection of seafood, and you can’t go wrong by stopping here to refuel. Other noteworthy dining spots in the city that offer a time-honored menu include Golden Steer Steakhouse (702.384.4470), where the likes of Elvis Presley, Natalie Wood and Joe DiMaggio have dined. Triple George Grill (702.384.2761) on 3rd Street is a spot where you can enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and sip on a classic martini. Adjacent is Mob Bar (702.259.9700), which evokes the feel of a supper club from the 1920s. Round out your Rat Pack experience by finishing off the night in high style, holding court with a glass of bourbon and a premium cigar in the cozy, intimate lounge at Casa Fuente in The Forum Shops at Caesars (702.731.5051).