Like the ever-expanding waistline of a chowhound at a buffet, the area surrounding Las Vegas grows as much in girth as it does in density. Nowhere is this truer than of south-west Las Vegas, which over the last two decades has burst its metaphorical seams.
Fifteen years ago the southern edge was largely held in check by the I-215. Since then, Vegas has jumped its former boundaries to include areas like Enterprise and Southern Highlands, west of the I-15 and south of the I-215. The interior section of this town (to the north-east) includes the upscale residential developments of Spanish Trail and Spanish Hills, home to many of Las Vegas' notable figures. Take the I-215 Beltway out past Durango Drive, where it makes a sharp curve from an east-west axis and heads due north. Here the Beltway practically butts up against the mountains to the west.
Heading west from the Strip, Sahara Avenue yields little of interest. Chains make up most of the tenants, and continuing on, you'll pass countless car dealerships and fast food joints before reaching Rainbow Boulevard, surrounded by residential properties and heavy commercial development.
Farther west is Durango Drive, the beginning of the Lakes neighbourhood, where the waterside homes afford residents the chance to go boating and fishing. Lake East Drive features a walking trail through the surrounding parks, eventually dumping you out at Twain Avenue. At the far-western end of Sahara Avenue, nestled at the base of the mountains, lies the Red Rock Country Club (2466 Grassy Spring Place, 360 3100), a desert golf community that gives new meaning to the word "exclusive."
Things to do West Las Vegas
The Las Vegas Mini Gran Prix features an indoor arcade, a miniature rollercoaster and four go-karting tracks, where the size and speed of the vehicles match the increasing age and skill of the young drivers. Height and weather restrictions apply for many thrill rides in Las Vegas.
Restaurants and bars in West Las Vegas
Mixologists reign at the bar of this Italian/tapas restaurant, which aspires to a 1920s speakeasy feel. The bartenders focus on quality, tradition and innovation – the cocktail menu is arranged according to the history of spirits. Ask for a Bee’s Knees – a ’20s-era nectar of gin, honey and lemon.
This comfortable outpost of the Lebanese Hedary family’s Texas original offers fabulous, fresh renditions of falafel, hummus, tabouleh, kibbeh and more, along with good kebabs from the grill. For vegetarians, the tasting meze offers a never-ending supply of incredibly good small plates.
Hotels and resorts in West Las Vegas
The newest addition to the Caesars family, this center-Strip casino underwent a complete renovation and rebranding in 2014, so the rooms feel contemporary and fresh, and the whole resort still has a bit of that new hotel shine. Designed with younger visitors in mind, the Linq offers rooms for a crowd with two queen beds and an extra lofted bunk (starting around $69), affordable spa treatments (hello, Himalayan salt cave) and in-room fitness carts stocked with yoga mats and foam rollers available to guests free of charge. Best of all, the Linq Promenade, packed with restaurants, bars and shops, is just a few steps away.
Located on top of the MGM Grand, this boutique hotel is situated on the Las Vegas strip. This hotel offers concierge services that include show and restaurant reservations.The design suites at Skylofts at MGM provide 2-story windows offering amazing views. Guests can use the custom-designed remote to control the TV, DVD player, temperature, mood lighting and drapes.The master bathrooms in the MGM Skylofts feature a flat-screen television in the bathroom mirror along with a spa tub and a steam room. Luxury services include a selection of pillows, fragrant bath oils and exclusive coffees.The MGM Skylofts grants each guest personal 24-hour butler services and preferred seating at restaurants such as Craftsteak, Joel Robuchon and Shibuya. Guests will arrive via a private elevator and be escorted directly to the suites for registration.
The Las Vegas resort is located on the famous Strip near casinos, spas, and world-class shopping. It features suites with a private balcony and mountain and city views.Warmly decorated suites at Polo Towers have a flat-screen TV and an iPod docking station. They include a kitchen or a kitchenette equipped with a microwave and a refrigerator.The concierge staff at Polo Towers can arrange transportation, sightseeing and more. The hotel has an outdoor pool, a hot tub, and a fitness center. There is also an on-site spa and massages are available.The MGM Grand entertainment complex can be reached by foot in less than 10 minutes. McCarran International Airport is 2.6 miles away.
Music and nightlife in West Las Vegas
Rande Gerber's first full-on Vegas club (he also created ultralounge Whiskey) is a polished spot, smaller than those on the Strip. The red-toned, wood-and-steel interior creates a warm, intimate environment, and opens out to a gorgeous pool. Even the restrooms are a delight, with holographic projections, voyeuristic mirrors and, mouth-shaped urinals. Expect a slightly older, well-heeled locals' crowd.
Shopping in West Las Vegas
Rampart Boulevard in Summerlin, located in the north-eastern area of Las Vegas, was already rife with malls before the first phase of Tivoli Village opened in 2011: Boca Park Fashion Village lies on the other side of Alta Drive, and just up the road from that is the popular and dependable Rampart Commons. No matter to Tivoli’s developers, who painstakingly worked through the economic slump to build and open this classy and luxurious European-themed shopping center. But this open-air market has little in common with its neighbors up the road, opting, instead, for more of a "lifestyle" experience than a shopping expedition. Accessorize your home, at Ethan Allen; your wardrobe, at Republic of Couture; or your dog, at Shaggy Chic; then complete your afternoon with a meal at Poppy Den. You’re welcome.
This modern retreat is frequented by local socialites as much for its proximity to their homes as for its sleek aesthetic. Situated next to the lush pool, the treatment suites appear to float on water. After a hike, order a Champagne Pedicure and Caviar Creams: this champagne cocktail for you and your feet includes 80 minutes of deep exfoliation, soothing masques, moisturizing caviar lotion and menthol foot balm massage, plus, of course, a glass of champagne. Cheers!