Jeff’s Birthday weekend in Vegas was amazing this year… we had a wonderful weekend spent with family in Las Vegas (one of his favorite places) and I wanted to share everywhere we went, everything we did and everything we ate so you can plan a fun trip to Sin City this year.
One of the first things we noticed upon arrival was Las Vegas got rid of their mask requirement a few weeks before we arrived. It was wild to be inside everywhere (in casinos, restaurants, etc) with so many people without masks. The only place that required them was in the airport and in ubers. Everywhere else was fair game. It really did feel like everything was back to normal.. even though COVID is still definitely a risk, we were so glad that Jeff was able to have a some-what normal feeling trip for his special day.
Jeff loves to gamble (in a fun, healthy way!) and so Vegas is somewhere we typically go to at least once a year. He is a great poker player so he always tries to enter tournaments and sit in the poker rooms for hours playing. Our daughter Emma, her fiancé Zach, and my sister Betsy + husband Jon joined us for the celebratory birthday weekend so we all played blackjack, ate amazing meals together, and even caught a comedy show!
Where We Stayed
One of our favorite hotels on the strip is the Bellagio. It’s a classic, and for many reasons! Not only are the gardens and grounds so beautiful.. but also the rooms have been renovated so they are modern and spacious. One of the best things about this hotel is it’s central location. It is close to everything and sits right in the middle of all the action.
TIP: Make sure to become a member of one of the hotel groups (Bellagio is part of the MGM hotel group) so that when you spend money on restaurants, the rooms, and gamble.. you round up reward points and the hotels will invite you back/provide you discounts and also comp your rooms for free. It was completely free for Jeff and I to stay at the Bellagio because they comped our room and gave us a Bellagio Fountain room all because Jeff is a member! We hadn’t even been back in 2 years! Perfect for Jeff’s Birthday weekend.
We all stayed in Bellagio fountain rooms with a gorgeous view of the Bellagio fountains & the strip. We personally love to stay in these rooms. The one caveat to the fountain rooms however is that Drai’s Nightclub is an open-air Nightclub on the top of the Cromwell Hotel.. across the street. It is super loud (even through the windows) from 12am-4am on the weekends and sometimes weeknights. This was something that bothered Emma while she was trying to sleep. If you’re a light sleeper, opt for a pool view.
Where We Played
Throughout the weekend, we made sure to play plenty of Blackjack & Poker for Jeff because those are his favorite activities! Of course, the Bellagio has more expensive hands of blackjack and poker than the majority of the strip.. so because of this – Emma, Zach, Jon and Jeff went out to play Blackjack after dinner one night at Treasure Island & The Mirage til 2am! They had a blast. Don’t knock out the non-fancy casinos until you try them.. they were playing $5-10 hands of blackjack and loved every minute of it. :) On Jeff’s Birthday at midnight, he won $60 on the wheel of fortune at the Mirage. What a blast!
For Jeff’s birthday, the group surprised him with tickets to a comedy show at the MGM. Brad Garrett has a comedy club where a few different comedians come and perform the same night. It’s an old-school smaller space setup and it was absolutely hilarious. Worth every penny!
Where We Ate
The main focus of the weekend was eating at fabulous restaurants. Jeff is a complete foodie so Emma and Zach handpicked each place so we would all have a fun and vibrant time. Make sure to make reservations for dinner in advance, at least a couple weeks out. For the most popular places, it can be months in advance.
- Wednesday Night: Michael Mina – Delicious Michelin star American seafood restaurant located in the Bellagio. Jeff and I had never heard of the restaurant before so we were so excited to eat here. Some of our favorite dishes included the Mango Prawns.
- Thursday Night: Mon Ami Gabi – Located in the Paris Hotel, this steakhouse has our favorite views on the strip! We go every time we’re in Vegas and love it. Go early to put your name in for the patio view of the fountain seating. They don’t have reservations for the patio so it’s first come first serve. We always go early and stay long. ;) Steak & Frites are always our go-to.
- Friday Afternoon Bites & Drinks: Vanderpump Cocktail Garden – the yummiest and most adorable drinks & vibes. Situated at Caesar’s Palace, it feels like a magical oasis in the casino with beautiful trees lit up everywhere, flowers.. so cute! We ordered a bunch of bites including sliders, tuna bites & mini bao buns. Jeff ordered the Matcha Man drink and Emma and he thought it was so good.
- Friday Night: CHICA – delicious South American food with gorgeous presentation. Set inside the Venetian hotel, this restaurant has since reopened after it closed down during the Pandemic and it is absolutely beautiful and delicious! It feels like you’re in a romantic hideaway in Colombia or maybe Peru. We all felt like the main entrees were much better than the appetizers.. and large! Definitely split. Some of our favorites included the Churro Bouquet dessert (came with 16 churros and 3 different dips!), Lobster Croqueta Mac & Cheese, Braised Short Ribs, Mussels and more.
- Saturday Night: X Pot – Fancy hot pot also located in the Venetian. It was absolutely DELICIOUS. We all ordered the tasting menu ($$$$) but it was amazing to try everything that the chef thinks you should try. Everyone got an individual broth for hotpot with flavor options like hot spicy, lobster bisque, chicken, etc. Wagyu beef was amazing and the sashimi.. overall – yum! Make sure to mention if you have a special occasion and ask for the noodles so you get a show. The waiter who serves the noodles dances with them & a speaker and it’s so much fun to watch!
- Sunday Night: Morimoto – Delicious Japanese-American fusion located in the MGM. This was everyone’s favorite meal of the weekend and literally every single thing was amazing. Many of us ordered rolls, we all loved the sticky rib appetizer, and the Laksa soup was seriously incredible. Perfect place to eat if you’re going to see a show at the MGM. (they have Cirque du Soleil, David Copperfield, Comedy Club, etc!) We had to come here for Jeff’s Birthday – this is his fave!
All in all we had one of the most special weekends and I have to say celebrating Jeff made this trip one of our favorites, Jeff’s Birthday was so fun. He is such an amazing man and seeing him so happy made me smile from morning til night. Jeff turned 60 this year and right at midnight on his birthday he won $60! I tell you he’s the luckiest guy around! :) I feel so lucky to have him by my side all these years.. Cheers to celebrating another 33 years of birthdays Jeff! We love you! xoxo
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