Saturday, September 28, 2013

Vegas with Baby & on a Budget -- Part 1

Planning a trip to Vegas with a baby?

My advice to you….DON’T!

It's true that a fun-loving, responsible family with an infant can absolutely prepare, provide and accommodate for their little baby regardless of where they’re traveling…but…if you leave your little one with a trusted babysitter while you and your honey go on that much needed weekend getaway to Sin City, you will be glad that you did.

That’s not to say we didn’t bump into dozens of people pushing strollers and wearing baby carriers all along Las Vegas Boulevard. Families with babies travel to the desert and take their children to one of the most drunken, adult entertainment-riddled and gambling-addicted cities in the U.S. all the time BUT …we’re just glad we made the trip without Benny this time.

And if I may, I actually lived in Las Vegas for over a year at one point in my life so I have plenty of love for the city…just no desire to go there while my baby is still, well, um...a baby, especially in the hot days of summer.

BUT…if we absolutely had to travel to Vegas and take our little Benny Boy who still drinks from a bottle, soils diapers and can’t walk…I made sure to keep my eyes open for places and things to do with baby while visiting Las Vegas. 
First, here's how we ended up in Sin City a week after returning from our vacation to the Dominican Republic: We were visiting my parents talking about what an amazing time we had, but remembering how Benny constantly kept us busy when all of a sudden, my hubby came up with a brilliant idea—we needed another vacation. I guess you could say we had the vacation itch!

But this time it was decided we would leave Benny with my mom & dad in order to enjoy a nice weekend all to ourselves…

The day Paul decided we needed another getaway...LOL

So the first thing I did was look for a nice hotel on the “Strip”. 

Expedia and Orbitz featured tons of attractive Strip hotels, but none of them were selling for less than $150 a night. So I made a deal with Paul… if he really wanted to go to Vegas, then we would be adventurous and purchase one of those secret deals where we choose the option of a guaranteed 5-star hotel in our destination city but don’t find out the location until after purchasing the non-refundable package.

He agreed and we bought a 3-night hotel stay with parking and pool access included, on the Las Vegas Strip, on a holiday weekend for only $110 a night. We entered our credit card information and boom….the purchase was made!

Much to my pleasant surprise… we learned we had scored a deal at the all-suite, non-smoking, non-gambling Vdara Hotel, located behind the Cosmopolitan (which is one of the moment's hottest Vegas destinations) and next to the Aria, which is also a brand-spanking-new, state-of-the-art casino & hotel. 


We were excited because staying at the Vdara meant the following:

1.       No temptation to gamble on our way to our room.

2.       No smoking allowed that would have otherwise made our lungs, clothes and hair suffer.

3.       No pressure to have to dine out all the time since we had a fridge, a stove and a full kitchen!


Vdara Cocktail Bar located in the smoke-free lobby!!

Upon arrival at the Vdara, we were stoked. The place is clean, fresh, modern, friendly, amazing and again, conveniently located a hallway away from the Cosmopolitan, the Aria and did I mention there's another hallway that connects to the beautiful Bellagio??

Our room was a basic, comfy, cozy suite—with all the amenities a couple might enjoy, including a stand-alone bathtub for a night of… magazine reading and a glass of Champagne..!! 
There's also the option to request a baby crib and of course, all suites are sound-proof in case things get loud in the middle of the night...with a weeping little one (of course)!


We had a relatively nice view of the Strip




Downstairs, the hotel has a trendy, designer cocktail bar and a restaurant with a convenience store that sold the coolest item I was able to find all weekend— green glitter chocolate lollipops.




I made an appointment at the Vdara salon to schedule a mani-pedi and inquired about cabana rental at the pool to give myself some time to tan. I was greeted at the salon with a delicious cup of tea and chose a hot pink shade to set the mood for the weekend…






Later by the pool, I orded the Vdara Signature drink which was so REFRESHING! I'm just going to say it contained vodka, vodka and more vodka (smiley face).
But it was reallly nice to see families with their little kids swimming and having a great time at the Vdara pool (Benny would have loved it too).




Mommy Long Legs...LOL
After the pool, Paul made snacks for us in our room and prepared a chilled glass of red wine to toast  before venturing out to lose our money. So far, we could have done everything on this day (except gamble) with Benny Bear had we brought him along so it IS possible to enjoy Vegas with baby... Stay tuned for Part 2 of this entry...

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