If your clients are asking for the ultimate bachelor and bachelorette party, a mancation, a spa getaway, and the like, complemented by a few sinful delights, it’s a no brainer—recommend Las Vegas. This city, with its pool parties, restaurant hotspots, sleek malls, over-the-top suites, casinos, extravagant shows, and indulgent spa treatments, creates the perfect framework for a girls and guys getaway.
The options are endless, but Babs Daitch, a certified Las Vegas tour guide and president of Thanks Babs The Day Tripper, says, “When it comes to booking Las Vegas, pay attention to that one person in the group who is confident about Vegas and has done their homework and knows what they want to do. As a travel agent, it’s important to listen to what the group is looking for and go from there.” Or you can take it from here with these options:
his & hers accommodations
Ladies: Rising 57 stories above the Las Vegas skyline is the chic Vdara Hotel & Spa. This eco-friendly resort with 1,495 suites is designed for those who prefer to soak up the excitement of Vegas in a non-gaming, non-smoking and sustainable environment. What makes this resort ideal for a girls’ getaway is its spa and close proximity to some of Vegas’ high-end shopping spots and a few other trendy properties: Vdara is adjacent to ARIA Resort & Casino and connected to the Bellagio via a pedestrian walkway.
The Spa & Salon Vdara is an 18,000-sq.-ft., 2-level spa with 11 treatment rooms, three relaxation lounges and a coed meditation room. Treatments like the Naturopathica French Lavender Soothing Massage ($150, 50 min.; $270, 110 min.) are holistic-focused with organic ingredients, while the more racy Snakeskin Pedicure is a fun option for girls who like to “run a little wild.”
When it comes to accommodations, Vdara offers deluxe suites, 1- and 2-bedroom penthouses with 2-story options, and 250 corner-end suites with panoramic views of the cityscape. Suites range from 500 to 1,650 sq. ft. and also include spa-style bathrooms. Look into the Vdara VIP Nightlife package, which includes two nights in a Deluxe Suite and two, 2-for-1 cocktail certificates for The Deuce Lounge, Gold Boutique Nightclub and Lounge, and Bar Vdara. Rates start at $338.
Gents: At the Palms Casino Resort guys have access to a 95,000-sq.-ft. casino, a lively pool scene, lounges, bars, nightclubs, and stylish accommodations. The Palms features three towers with distinct guestrooms and suites: Palms Place, Palms Ivory and Palms Fantasy with its Hardwood Suite—the ultimate bachelor pad (for bachelors with loads of disposable income who want to live like LeBron James). Covering 10,000 sq. ft. over two floors, it features an indoor basketball court, a locker room, scoreboard, and NBA-sized Murphy beds all price tagged at $25,000 a night.
Room rates vary depending on category, but each tower can accommodate a large group, such as the Two Bedroom Suite for up to eight guests in Palms Place with two queen- and king-size beds, a living room, and full kitchen; the Fantasy Penthouse sleeps four in the Palms Fantasy tower and the 1,500-sq.-ft. poolside Bungalow suites sleep up to six in the Palms Ivory tower, where rates begin at $79 for the newly renovated guestrooms.
Recommend the All-Access Nightlife Pass package, which allows them to enjoy a night out for a fraction of the price. For only $40 pp, the guys can experience all three of the Palms’ nightlife venues—Moon, The View and the newly renovated ghostbar on the 55th floor of the Palms Ivory.
excursions & pool parties
Ladies: If the gals want to escape the non-stop party scene and experience Vegas’ natural side, Pink Jeep Tours offers custom-designed, air-conditioned Tour Trekkers, carrying up to 10 passengers, that are equipped for off-road voyages.
“Any of our tours are going to be an excellent option for a ladies getaway, and we have many, ranging from Red Rock Canyon and Las Vegas half-day tours, to full-day Grand Canyon excursions in our luxurious custom Tour Trekker,” says John Beeler with Pink Jeep Tours. The 9-hour Grand Canyon West Rim Classic jeep trek ($245 pp) travels through the Mojave Desert to the West Rim viewpoint in the Canyon. It includes a light breakfast and lunch. Pink Jeep Tours offers 15 percent travel agent commission.
After a day of sightseeing it’s time for some guy-scoping at ARIA’s LIQUID dayclub. Your clients can dance under the desert sun or lounge in one of eight private cabanas by the 1,200-sq.-ft. main pool. This adults-only poolside club venue also includes a restaurant and poolside waiter service.
Gents: The boys can shed their day clothes for some adults-only pool experiences in spots like WET REPUBLIC at MGM Grand where the dress code is described as, “fashionable swim wear,” or the new DAYLIGHT beach club at Mandalay Bay with dipping pools, cushioned chaise longues, relaxing day beds and a private pavilion. Both bring a twist to the typical Las Vegas pool offering with ultra-VIP service, frequent celebrity sightings, comfy lounges, custom sound systems, plasma TVs and complimentary treats. DAYLIGHT is open seasonally from March to October.
If the guys want more than a connection with Nevada’s arid side, recommend a quick, but stomach-clenching tour of Vegas’ shimmering lights from the sky (at night) with Maverick Helicopters’ Vegas Nights tour over the Strip. Prior to departure, guests are handed a glass of champagne to toast the upcoming journey, which ranges from 12 to 15 minutes. The tour is $119 pp and Maverick offers a 10 percent travel agent commission.
Ladies: What would a trip to Vegas be without taking in a show? Recommend clients take in the new Michael Jackson ONE by Cirque du Soleil at Mandalay Bay. Music and aerial acrobatics, in true Cirque form create a performance in tribute to the King of Pop. If your clients are interested in staying at Mandalay, the four-diamond resort offers a whopping 3,211 rooms with 436 suites. Rates start at $85 a night.
Gents: If the guys are looking to be the party at Vegas, MGM Resorts’ loyalty rewards program M life has a signature moment that allows guests to co-DJ at a Vegas nightclub. Get 60 minutes of private training and co-DJ a 30-minute set at Mix. The program includes VIP access, a table and bottle service.
Ladies & Gents: Connected to ARIA is The Shops at Crystals with a collection of high-end shops like the largest Louis Vuitton in North America; Christian Dior; Tiffany & Co; Fendi; and Gucci. The 2-million-sq.-ft. Fashion Show mall on the Strip is where your clients can find a Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, and more than 250 shops and boutiques.
Fashion Show mall also features an elevated runway for fashion shows and special events, and while your clients are spending money, you’ll be making it if you book special shopping packages at Fashion Show offered by Shop America Tours. The Shop & Beauty package (20 percent commission when booked directly with Shop America or 10 percent if purchased online with promo code TravelTrade) includes beauty services, a lunch voucher, and additional shopping discounts.
“What makes Las Vegas a great destination for the gay community is the whole attitude of the ‘what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas’ motto. You can see just about anything in Vegas. It’s a very opening and welcoming community for all types of people,” says Mike King, a Travel Leaders agent in Virginia.
From nightclubs to hotels, entertainment and parades, Vegas is a playground for the LGBT community, a city without stigmas and where anything goes. New on the nightclub circuit is Krave Massive, an 84,000-sq.-ft. center that is set to be the largest gay venue in the world. With multiple dance rooms, bars, a movie theater playing LGBT films, live performances and other amenities, this new venue just completed its first phase of construction.
Celebrating its 30th anniversary is Las Vegas Pride Week, a 10-day celebration that began in 1983 as a gathering for Vegas’ local gay community—now grown to an event that welcomes about 8,000 to 10,000 visitors a year. The streets of Vegas become even brighter with the PRIDE Night Parade (scheduled for Sept. 6).
It may be safe to say that every hotel in Vegas is welcoming to the LGBT community, but exclusively for the male persuasion is the all-male, clothing optional Blue Moon Resort. Jim McMichael, diversity and cultural manager for the LVCVA, also recommends the Luxor Hotel & Casino, Paris Las Vegas or boutique properties like Alexis Park. Although Nevada does not recognize gay marriage (yet), Vegas hosts many wedding commitment ceremonies and is perfect for a bachelor party celebrating a same-sex wedding.
“Vegas’ nightlife, bars, the variety of experiences along the Strip, and outdoor activities make this a popular destination for the gay community for the same reasons it’s popular with the heterosexual community,” adds McMichael.
tools you can use
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) offers an agent-dedicated site at lasvegas.com/travel-professionals, where you can find information on FAM trips, agent tools, a listing of what’s commissionable around the destination and booking incentives. The LVCVA is offering a special reward points program for travel agents. It’s an extension to the Cash in on Vegas booking incentive and
allows retail travel agents to accrue points for every room night booked in Las Vegas. Through July 31, 2014, travel agents can submit eligible bookings online at trackmylasvegasbookings.com. Bookings must include hotel accommodations bundled with air or land only in Clark County, NV, and complete travel through Aug. 31, 2014. For each valid room night booked, each retail travel agent will accrue 100 points, which can be redeemed for hotel accommodations, show tickets or activities.
Alexis Park: (800) 582-2228; alexispark.com
ARIA Resort & Casino: (866) 359-7757; arialasvegas.com
Bellagio: (888) 987-6667; bellagio.com
Blue Moon Resort: (866) 798-9194; bluemoonlv.com
Luxor Hotel & Casino: (877) 386-4658; luxor.com
Mandalay Bay: (877) 632-7800; mandalaybay.com
Maverick Helicopters: (888) 261-4414; maverickhelicopter.com
MGM Grand: (877) 880-0880; mgmgrand.com
Palms Casino Resort: (866) 942-7770; palms.com
Paris Las Vegas: (877) 796-2096; parislasvegas.com
Pink Jeep Tours: (928) 282-5000; pinkjeep.com
Shop America Tours: firstname.lastname@example.org; shopamericatours.com
Vdara Hotel & Spa: (866) 745-7767; vdara.com