A closer look at Las Vegas, city of bright lights and infinite indulgence, reveals its softer side. We asked local Four Seasons experts where to unwind. Here, eight relaxing experiences to round out your next trip.
Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas
“Our Hotel in itself is an oasis,” says Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas’ Chef Concierge Patrick Ritschard. “We share a building with Mandalay Bay, so the casino experience is right there, but you can easily return to the sanctuary of the Hotel at any time.” The well-appointed poolside cabanas, complete with ceiling fans, sofas, chilled towels and dedicated servers, are a favourite hideaway for guests. “We don’t have loud music at the pool, so it’s a haven of quiet,” Ritschard says. “Lots of people spend the day there.”
For a good stretch with a lofty view, try yoga in the High Roller Observation Wheel. This futuristic Ferris wheel sends you soaring 550 feet (168 metres) above ground in a glass-walled pod with room for a small group to follow the peaceful poses of a local instructor. “We recommend doing it right before dusk,” Ritschard says. “Las Vegas has some amazing sunsets.”
What better way to wind down the day and recharge for the evening than with a proper tea? Afternoon tea at the Hotel’s poolside Veranda restaurant is an hour-long escape from hubbub, with finger sandwiches, scones and pastries prepared by French chef Jean-Luc Daul and his team. Every weekday in December, guests clad in holiday sweaters can sip a complimentary glass of Champagne paired with seasonal sweets like eggnog crème brûlée.
Vast canyons, vermilion sandstone peaks and spiny desert flora fill the Mojave Desert surrounding Las Vegas. Two spots to stretch your legs and breathe in some fresh air: Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, a 15-minute drive west of the city, and Valley of Fire State Park, an hour to the east. At Red Rock, take in the scenery on horseback, a bicycle or your own two feet – or with the top down on a 13-mile scenic roadway. Ancient trees, petroglyphs and otherworldly arches are among the treasures at Valley of Fire. Enhance either trip with a picnic lunch courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas.
“You can really get lost in the beautiful art experiences in Las Vegas,” Ritschard says. “James Turrell’s experiential exhibit, Akhob, inside the Louis Vuitton store, is all about light and space, and it’s by reservation only so it’s never overly crowded.” Another compelling installation: Ugo Rondinone’s Seven Magic Mountains, a series of three-storey towers composed of vibrantly painted boulders, set among desert scrubland in a clearing just 10 miles (16 kilometres) south of the Strip.
“A lot of people don’t realize there’s a ski resort here,” Ritschard says. In fact, Lee Canyon, 50 miles (80 km) from Vegas, offers 24 downhill skiing trails, plus a snow-tubing course and snowshoeing trails. “There are some beautiful hikes you can do there, year-round. And mountain-biking trails, too.”
Photos courtesy Lee Canyon
Set smack in the middle of Las Vegas, the non-profit Springs Preserve nature centre traces the city’s history while serving up sustainable ideas for its future – all via interactive exhibits fit for all ages. Stroll through the serene butterfly garden as the sprightly creatures fly freely around you, or wander the meandering botanical garden trail alongside hundreds of varieties of native plants.
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