Adopting a dog makes it a little harder to travel in style. For those of us reluctant to leave little Fido at the kennel, a quick weekender to Las Vegas can seem like a daunting task or a no-go. But it doesn't have to be.
Bringing your four-legged best friend to Sin City is as simple as knowing how to travel, where to stay and where to walk your pooch. Here are a few tips and tricks for every dog lover in L.A. who wants to live it up in Vegas.
How to get there: Car
Just drive. By the time you travel to LAX, go through airport security and pre-board, you could be halfway to Vegas. My Auggie loves a long car ride and it keeps the pup from the trauma of the airport and having to get shuffled into cargo.
Where to stay: Caesar's Palace
Caesar's Palace, celebrating its 50th anniversary, has always been one of the most prestigious hotels on the Strip, so I was thrilled to discover it also accommodates our favorite friends. The hotel is more than happy to set you up on its dog-friendly floor, which you would be surprised to know is housing plenty of pooches. The only tip-off is a small sign on the wall when you exit the elevator. The hotel also has a conveniently placed fenced-in patch of artificial grass for "business."
So what's there for people? Plenty. Aside from the obvious gambling activities, the hotel is home to a number of the best dining spots on the Strip.
L.A. residents will be familiar with Mr. Chow. The Vegas extension of the famed Beverly Hills establishment is as decadent as you'd expect. Ascend to the restaurant via a secretive, private elevator a stone's throw from the casino floor. It will whisk you to a futuristic looking space situated overlooking the hotel's pool oasis. There are no words for the light show of a chandelier, you simply have to see it for yourself.
Start by splurging on the champagne cart, which has offerings ranging from a modest Perrier-Jouët "Grand Brut" to the Krug "Grande Cuvée" Brut. The Beijing-inspired cuisine is meant to be shared family style. Of course someone at the table has to order Mr. Chow's famed green prawns, which get their color from a spinach "bath." Feeling fancy? Try the Lobster Three Ways or the tender Beijing duck. Your pup may be begging for what's in the doggie bag, but you're not going to want to share. And don't skip the dessert cart: The Grand Marnier-soaked oranges are one of a kind.
Need a place to recoup from your all-nighter? Set up a reservation at the Bacchanal Buffet for brunch. The buffet has literally hundreds of items to choose from, so if you're craving it, they have it. I've done a lot of buffets in my life. There is nothing like this. I even found out that I have a limit on the amount of oysters and crab legs that I can eat. Stations range from seafood to sushi, traditional breakfast items, salads, the requisite meat-carving station and plenty of mimosas. There's an entire island devoted to desserts, ranging from dozens of gelato flavors to jars full of candy.
Where to take the pup: Desert Breeze Dog Park
My pooch isn't fond of flashing lights or big crowds, so a stroll down the strip is quite stimulating. Still, it's nice to blow your little guy's mind once in awhile. And if he decides to pee on the sidewalk, well, he'll fit right in. Just kidding, mostly.
But just on the edge of town is the delightful Desert Breeze Dog Park. There are separate spaces for smaller and larger breeds, and it will give you some time to emerge from the casino and observe that there's still a sun. If you visit during the summer, err on the side of early mornings or evenings as the desert sun can dehydrate your furry friend. And in the winter, it gets cold, so pack a pair of sweaters.