CinemaCon: Where to Eat, Play and Sleep in Las Vegas

Courtesy of Instagram/molasvegas
Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas

Even if you don't plan on attending the annual film convention, which kicks off next Monday, we've rounded up all the new hotspots you should check out while in Sin City.

It is possible to come to Vegas several times a year and never hit the same places, squeezing in old favorites and dabbling in a few of the new hotspots. The city is constantly flooded with openings from the major to the under-the-radar. Here’s what’s buzzing right now, just in time for CinemaCon, which runs from April 11-14 at Caesars Palace.

Where to play

The marketing minds at Wynn Las Vegas answered the demands of their millennial customers with the introduction of Encore Players Club (3131 S. Las Vegas Blvd.; 702-770-7171) in December. Situated smack in the middle of Encore’s casino, the social lounge has the standard blackjack, roulette, baccarat and craps — but there are also Suzo Happ InteractivePro non-gaming tables with TV and video content, shuffleboard and a white lacquer billiard setup from Steve Wynn’s Manhattan penthouse. Two dozen HD TVs dot the space, which also offers mobile sports betting. And of course it wouldn’t be Vegas without a showy cocktail presentation. Here, the favorite is the Dom-a-Rita. A margarita punch bowl of sorts — each rita is made with Don Julio Reposado tequila, margarita mix and topped with Dom Perignon — that serves five from a crystal decanter and costs $1,200. On any given night find Charlotte McKinney, Nick Cannon, Tony Romo, Rob Gronkowski, Diplo, Skrillex, DeMarcus Ware, Holly Holm and Chord Overstreet partying here.


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According to recent reports, the reign of the EDM DJ in Vegas has finally come to an end. Leading that charge for more than a year has been Drai’s Beach Club and Night Club (3595 S Las Vegas Blvd.; 702-770-7171) with its Drai’s LIVE experience, offering full-length concerts by artists such as The Weeknd, Nas and T.I. at the opulent nightlife venue perched atop the Strip’s only boutique resort, The Cromwell. During CinemaCon, pay a visit to The Coolest Party with DJ Esco, an ongoing Thursday night residency from the burgeoning star, who is best known as rapper Future’s DJ and producer.

Where to stay

The all-suite Encore Las Vegas recently underwent a room refresh conceived by designer Roger Thomas adding black galaxy granite tops, custom-woven floor coverings, 55-inch 4K televisions, USB ports and outlets for mobile phones and tablets at bedside and desk with environment controls to every room. The star of this renovation is the bed linens, which, at 507 thread-count, 100-percent Egyptian cotton, is the highest quality ever available in a resort, costing $9 million to implement. And because it’s Wynn, Molton Brown created its first hotel bespoke collection, Coco & Tonka Bean, for the guest amenities.

For a premium hotel experience, Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas (3752 S Las Vegas Blvd.; 702-590-8888) is always a sure bet, but now it's also the place to book for an optimum sound experience as well. Destination Sound, a partnership with Bowers & Wilkins, kicked off at MO Las Vegas in early April with a private concert by Eric Church. Now find the brand’s latest audio equipment in-room at Mandarin Oriental properties around the world. Morgan Freeman and Matthew McConaughey are fans of the hotel.

Where to eat

Looking for a casual spot with fun food and a conversation-starting design twist? Try The Still in The Mirage (3400 S. Las Vegas Blvd.; 800-374-9000). Opened in March, this punched-up sports bar concept serves mini cheeseburgers, Mahi Mahi fish tacos and spicy Korean wings from the window of a real Airstream trailer named Bud Bud’s. For beer lovers there are more than 50 varieties with some available in both 64- and 169-ounce kegs, and for cocktail lovers there are hoptails that blend craft brew and spirit. Nick Swardson and Michael Cudlitz have both stopped by.

Jardin in Encore (3131 S. Las Vegas Blvd.; 702-770-3463) replaced Botero steakhouse late last year. Adjacent to mega-club XS, the space received a lightening up and now offers a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu with lots of southern twists like the buttermilk chicken or cubano sandwich, served in its conservatory-like environment, overlooking the resort’s manicured gardens and pool. Jardin has quickly become one of the hottest brunch spots in town.


A photo posted by MR CHOW (@mrchow) on

Michelin-awarded Restaurant Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace (3570 S. Las Vegas Blvd.; 702-731-7286), celebrating its 10th anniversary in May, now has a new chef at its helm, Julien Asseo. The former chef de cuisine has been with Savoy since 2011, and has previously worked with Joel Robuchon and Rick Moonen. Savoy’s Krug Chef’s Table is one of the most exclusive dining experiences in Las Vegas. Ryan Seacrest, Helen Mirren, Owen Wilson and Whoopi Goldberg have all dined here. Downstairs, Montecristo Cigar Bar (866-227-5938) joins Mr Chow (702-731-7888) as the newest kid on the block at Caesars. The lounge boasts an impressive selection of whiskeys and other rare spirits, and cigars, as well as a walk-in humidor and cigar store, and food offerings from Old Homestead, Nobu or Restaurant Guy Savoy. Football luminaries Edward DeBartolo Jr., Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott, Harris Barton, Dwight Clark and Roger Craig have all visited.

What to see

The hottest ticket in town is one for an event at the freshly opened T-Mobile Arena (3780 S. Las Vegas Blvd.; 702-692-1300) and the new Hyde Lounge, located inside. And while there won’t be a show to take in during CinemaCon week, stroll through the venue’s adjacent Park, which features Bliss Dance, a 40-foot tall illuminated sculpture of a dancing woman created by artist Marco Cochrane. The Park (3784 S. Las Vegas Blvd.; 702-693-7275) opened on April 4 alongside new restaurants such as Sake Rok, Bruxie and Beerhaus.


A photo posted by The Park (@theparkvegas) on

The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil (at The Mirage, 3400 S. Las Vegas Blvd.; 702-791-7111) celebrates its 10th anniversary this year with new acts, costumes, performers, choreography, technology and sound. The changes, which debuted in late February, are subtle, making the show still feel as fresh as the day it launched, just like The Beatles music.

How to arrive

JetSmarter, an app that allows the consumer direct access to the private jet marketplace, recently expanded its shuttle service in Las Vegas, allowing travelers the opportunity to book single-seats on flights between Las Vegas and Fort Lauderdale, New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles.