Of all the cities in the United States, Las Vegas stands apart in its unabashed display of over-the-top attractions (like these 10 crazy things you can do there). Amidst the bustle and extravagance, however, an oasis awaits in the form of a Zen-inspired, Asian-kissed Mandarin Oriental.
Perfectly located on the Strip itself, the Las Vegas outpost of the Mandarin Oriental is the only Forbes Triple Five-Star luxury hotel in the city, meaning it earned five stars for its rooms, its restaurant, and also its spa. Forty-seven stories high, this hotel is infused with the utmost attention to detail, comfort, impeccable service, and, most importantly; a partnership with one of the best chefs in the world, Pierre Gagnaire.
Any stay at the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas is certain to propel your trip to another level. From the minute you walk in from the blistering heat, you are greeted with a cool rush of air, two refreshing hand towels, the brand’s signature iced tea blend, and gentle and calming notes that follow you through the halls as you are escorted to your room. Suddenly, the craziness of the street below is silenced out completely.
Unlike some of the other large hotels in Vegas, the Mandarin is committed to relaxation. Spend your day lounging by the water and the excellent poolside café (definitely order the fried calamari, seared tuna salad with kumquats, buratta, and, of course, gelato), pampering yourself with any of their exotic spa treatments, or simply enjoying an afternoon tea in the Tea Lounge.
Regardless of what else you do during the day, however, a reservation at Twist by Pierre Gagnaire is an absolute must. The result of a partnership between this celebrated chef and the hotel, Twist is one of the most unusual restaurants on the Strip, and the only Gagnaire restaurant in North America.
The menu at Twist is specially curated and expertly designed to reflect modern cuisine with classical French techniques, with lots of seasonal flavors. Enjoy a cocktail and amuse-bouche before settling into their Grand Tasting menu. As prepared by head chef Frédéric Don and his team, your meal will run like a performance, with subtle flourishes and elegance personified. Highlights of the current menu include white asparagus soup with mortadella, lobster soufflé, foie gras soup, and saddle of rabbit. In order to truly get the most out of this meal, place your beverage destiny in the hands of sommelier Will Costello. Whether it's a unique Italian white or a refined sherry, he will surprise you and your palate at every course.
The selection of petite desserts is a perfect way to finish off your meal and, as with the rest of the restaurant’s space, the artistry in the plating is as apparent as is it on the walls. Gagnaire is famous for his expertly executed risk-taking, as he pushes the boundaries and surprises even the most seasoned diners. The existence of such a genuine gem in Sin City is enough to please even the most ardent Vegas cynic.
A sublime oasis, the Mandarin Oriental is a safe haven as well as an exemplary destination in the midst of a city otherwise notorious for its lurid temptation.