1. Three nights is the best possible amount of time for a Vegas trip. Two nights is too short because the first night usually gets rushed as the crew flies into town. Four nights is too many because you’ll want be completely spent by the time the fourth day rolls around. If you’re more of a nightlife guy, make it a Friday to Monday trip so that you can get two nights in at the clubs before doing a Sunday pool party. If gambling is more of your scene, do Thursday to Sunday because you can get some good time in at the tables on Thursday when the casinos are less crowded.
2. There are plenty of nice hotels in Vegas, but you generally want to be in one on the strip. The limits are the Wynn to the north and MGM Grand to the south, but even those are pushing it a little bit. Ideally you’re at the Cosmopolitan if you wanna be a high roller, but the Bellagio, Caesars Palace, the Mirage, and the Venetian are good enough as well. Just don’t completely cut your budget on hotels. It’s much harder than you think to convince a girl to come back with you to a place like Planet Hollywood or Paris. The Palms and the Hard Rock are played out at this point and their locations off the strip just make your life a pain in the ass. Traffic along the strip sucks and the less time you waste in the back of a limo, the better.
3. When dealing with pool parties and clubs, always go through a VIP host. It helps to have someone reliable, so if you don’t know a guy, I’m sure your friend knows a guy, or your friend’s coworker knows a guy. There are plenty of those kinda “guys” in Vegas that can help you out in this situation. It’s totally worth spending an extra $50 a man with a VIP host to not spend an hour or more on line. They’re also more likely to help you out with secondary requests on other days like cutting lines if you book at least one table or daybed through them.
4. The pool parties in Vegas are second to none. (Side note: do yourself a favor and don’t make big plans on the night after going to a pool party. Don’t make dinner or club reservation. It’s better to be flexible and figure it out if anyone in the group is still standing that night.) The two best scenes in town are Wet Republic at the MGM Grand and Encore Beach Club at the Wynn, which are best on Saturdays and Sundays. Both pool parties bring in some of the world’s best DJs and the atmosphere is as good as you’re going to get for a daytime party. Just be prepared for an absolute all-day shitshow with plenty of boozing and antics. Rehab on Sunday at the Hard Rock is a little played out, but still a decent time. Places like Tao Beach at the Venetian, Marquee Dayclub at the Cosmopolitan, and the new Daylight at Mandalay Bay are a little less intense, but still provide good fun. As you’d expect, you’re best off locking down some space, so a daybed might be the best alternative if you don’t want to spring for a cabana. Otherwise you’ll have to get there early to throw your towel down on any free real estate you can find.
5. You’re not expected to do a pool party every day. You won’t make it to any nighttime fun if you do. If you want to spend the day at the regular pool, you’ll need to get your butt down there before 10 a.m. or else you won’t get a seat. You can always sleep in your chair if you’re worried about resting up for the rest of the night. If you get a late start to your morning, you can always drop some extra money and go to the more exclusive pools that each venue has. You’ll probably have to spend a $100 tab per person to get the chair, but once you eat and drink, you’re really only paying a little extra premium for the benefit.
6. At some point along the way you’re going to need to eat. Prime Steakhouse at the Bellagio is my favorite of all the Vegas steakhouses because it’s specific to Vegas, but CarneVino at the Palazzo is good as well. Of places at the Wynn, SW Steakhouse gets more press than Country Club, but Country Club delivers the better steak. Stack in the Mirage is a step down from a steakhouse, but all the waitresses make the name of the restaurant proud. Scarpetta at the Cosmopolitan gives you a taste of the best tomato sauce in New York City. Make sure to check out the secret unnamed pizza place on the second floor of the Cosmopolitan as well. Another secret of the pros is getting a burger at The Barrymore, which is just north of the Wynn. (They only make 12 a day.) In ‘N Out is reachable by taxi if you just want to stuff your face. You’ll also probably hit a buffet at some point. Caesars, Bellagio, and the Wynn have the three best. And if you didn't get a meal at the hotel’s fast food court, you probably didn't drink enough.
7. When hitting the clubs in Vegas with a group of guys, do yourself a favor and get a table. It makes the whole process easier. You’ll get into the club with ease and you have a home base for the night. Most importantly, your chances of getting laid at a table compared to hitting on girls while roaming is exponential. Get girls to come over to your table for drinks. Hook the security guys in your area up with a tip and they’ll push girls to your table as well. You came to Las Vegas to spend money, so don’t be cheap now. This is where it does the best work.
8. A new club hits Vegas every year. This summer we have two newcomers: Hakkasan (MGM Grand) and Light (Mandalay Bay). Both spots boast some of the world’s best DJs, so check who’s playing the nights you’re out there. Light also has a cool Cirque de Soleil theme in how it’s put together. The two best clubs from previous years, Marquee and XS, are also still very relevant. Tryst and Pure are my two favorites of the second tier clubs. It’s really hard to find regular bars to go out to in Vegas. The best you’re going to do is something the Chandelier Bar at the Cosmopolitan, Ghostbar at the Palms, or Foundation Room at Mandalay Bay. If you’re looking for a bar type of scene, you might actually be best served paying to skip the line at Marquee and then hanging out at the bar by the pool outside the main room.
9. The best sportsbooks on the strip are at Caesars, the MGM Grand, and the Mirage. The Wynn is nice doo if you’re looking for something a little higher end. The Las Vegas Hotel (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton) has always been known as a great sportsbook if you’re looking to travel off the strip a little. All the listed options have plenty of seating, TV screens, and tellers to make your sportsbook experience as enjoyable as possible. Just know that you’ll have to get there incredibly early for NFL Sundays and March Madness. Most places don’t allow you to sleep in the seats overnight, so make sure to check when each sportsbook opens up to guarantee your seating on big gamedays.
10. We can’t talk about Las Vegas without talking about strip clubs. Just remember that you can always get a free ride to the strip clubs in a limo provided by the club itself, so don’t pay for a taxi out there. Just call the strip club ahead of time to set it up or find the guys in the hotel parking lots. Spearmint Rhino offers some of the hottest strippers in the world. Sapphire is trying to compete with the day party scene by having an adult topless pool next to the club itself. (Just remember there’s a very good chance the topless girls there will be working and not from Kansas.)