Our night had kicked off in the most epic of ways, with a helicopter ride over the Las Vegas Strip. It wouldn’t be easy to top that, but this group of over-achievers was sure going to try. Our next stop? Back to our glam bachelorette pad at The Cosmopolitan to glam it up and get ready for round two of taking Las Vegas by storm. Best of all, we weren’t going to step foot outside the hotel to do it.
We kicked things off with a cocktail tasting at the visually stunning Chandelier Bar, the three-story centerpiece of the Cosmopolitan Casino. To sit in this bar is to quite literally sit within an intricate, shimmering chandelier.
When we were totally overwhelmed by the extensive menu, our waitress made things easy for us by sending over a few rounds of her personal favorites. The head mixologist came out to explain the flavors and inspirations behind each and I admit my mind was blown — I had no idea so much thought and creativity could go into one little cocktail! You guys remember that fancy drinks are one of my favorite little pleasures in life, right? So this was pretty much pure bliss for me.
Each level of the Chandelier has a different menu, and the bartenders and mixologists are encouraged to be inventive, so the drinks on offer are pretty fluid — pun fun! But I can’t imagine a better experience than we had at Level 1.5.
One of the most popular drinks was an homage to my favorite country, the Fit to Be Thai’ed, featuring Kai Coconut Pandan Vodka, Thai chili syrup, peanut butter, lemongrass, chili kaffir lime leaves, coconut cream, and sweet ginger puree. As delicious as the drinks themselves were the different presentation, each tailored to the drink itself.
I loved our bubbly waitress for many reasons. What I loved most, though, was that she intrinsically knew that the way to this girl’s heart is through photo opportunities! The drink above features freeze-dried raspberries, which when popped into your mouth look a little something like this:
With the night now in full swing, we walked the entire half a staircase to our dinner reservations at STK. Hands down, this meal was the part of our Las Vegas trip that I was most excited for. While I’m normally a pretty frugal gal happy to eat at a dive restaurant in the bad part of town, every once in a while I love to splurge on a trendy, buzzed-about kind of place. And nothing fits that bill better than STK. This place is so popular I had to use every contact I had in Vegas to get us a table on a Saturday night!
Even with our reservation, it took us quite some time to get to our table. But we didn’t mind a bit — STK is like a nightclub and with great music playing, beautiful people in every direction, and drinks being sent our way by bachelor parties across the bar, there was nowhere I would rather have been.
Our meal was moan-embarrassingly-at-the-table-level good — I didn’t eat steak for a month or so after this because I didn’t want to replace the memory of my amazing filet. Every side we tried was equally mouth-watering, and lets just say I could have made a meal out of the bread and pesto-butter that was placed so temptingly on our table.
I didn’t think I could possible eat another thing when a round of birthday shots and a birthday desserts appeared at the table. Surprise! I could in fact, eat another thing.
When our bill arrived I quite simply did not want to leave! Between our delicious meals, our endless surprise drinks, the lively atmosphere and chatting to our friendly waiter David — did you know waiters at STK have business cards? — it was one of the best meals of my life. I think my sister summed it up pretty well with her enthusiastic, chocolate smeared and slightly alcohol influenced note on the receipt.
The night wasn’t over yet — we still had VIP admission at top Vegas nightclub Marquee to take advantage of! While I loved the layout and the theatrics of this club, I am a confessed house-music hater, and so I wasn’t in love with the vibe in the main hall of the club. I did love that it was just steps away from STK — and a few minutes from our room! It’s definitely convenient to stay in a hotel housing one of the hottest clubs on the strip. However, I was on such a high after our helicopter ride, cocktail tasting and amazing meal that nothing could get me down.
My Las Vegas birthday weekend was a hit. I know Vegas isn’t for everyone, and I’m glad it’s just one of the many places I travel to and not the only one, but…. Damn, I love this town! I love the glamour, the hedonism, the excess, and the everyone’s-just-here-to-have-fun feel.
While Olivia and Kirsten bid adieu on Sunday, I got to stick around for a few days to complete a few freelancing assignments, visit the Grand Canyon, and hang out with Abby, who was so incredible in helping me plan my birthday weekend.
What about you, readers? Are you Vegas lovers like me?
Many thanks to The Cosmopolitan for their generous hospitality.