Melinda Sheckells, Las Vegas lifestyle and entertainment expert and editor of OffTheStrip.com, shares recommendations on local and regional travel deals, extraordinary experiences and amazingly “Wanderful” dream trips to far away destinations.
The Local Deal
In need of a staycation? Try the Foodie Fixe from MGM Resorts, available at Bellagio and Aria. This inclusive dining add-on showcases curated menus at various resort restaurants.
Guests start by visiting Book My Foodie Fixe and reserving a minimum two-night stay, then for $130, brunch and dinner are both included for two guests every day of the stay. Enjoy prix fixe menus at restaurants, including Bardot, Catch, Salt & Ivy, Jean Georges Steakhouse, PRIME Steakhouse, Mayfair Supper Club, Spago, Lago or Sadelle’s Café.
At each restaurant, multi-course menus highlight guest favorites, signature dishes and more. Wine pairings are also available.
The Regional Check In
There’s always so much to explore in Austin, a city that never sleeps, just like Las Vegas. Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt is located in the heart of Rainey Street and features music inspired art work, industrial details and a stellar restaurant and bar called Geraldine’s.
Booking a stay here isn’t just the average hotel night, it is an experience to remember and a fun way to get away.
This year, they are doing a Friends-Giving specialty holiday cocktail menu inspired by the television show Friends. Each of the six drinks is themed after a character. One dollar from each drink purchased is donated to No Kid Hungry.
This year’s drinks include the How You Doin’ (Joey), A Sarcastic Comment (Chandler) and the I’m Breezy (Monica), among others. They also are renting socially distanced igloos at their South Pole holiday pop-up bar where you can toast your own marshmallows, drink hot and frosty holiday libations and request classic Christmas albums.
A Sweet Dream Trip
The Shangri-La Bosphorus Istanbul recently revealed an unrivaled amenity, the world’s first Baklava Butler–serving the pistachio treat in an incredibly unique way.
Guests can experience the exclusive Baklava Butler upon arrival with an ornate key, which they will receive upon check in.
Dressed in traditional and stylish Turkish uniform, the Baklava Butler serves the decadent dessert tableside with Maraş ice cream made of clotted cream.
Dating back to the Ottoman Empire, the dessert was served to royalty.
The baklava from Shangri-La Bosphorus, Istanbul is baked to order from a specialty shop in Gaziantep, known as the birthplace of baklava and Turkey’s Pistachio Capital.
While other types of baklava use rosewater and cinnamon to enhance the taste, bakers in Gaziantep use a simple blend of honey, phyllo pastry, butter and crushed pistachio. It costs about $33 per box.
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