The Gift of Vegas?

Posted December 11, 2008 in Feature Story

Traditionally, when people think Vegas, they think about doing things uncharacteristic of themselves in an otherwise usual existence. It’s a liberating enough idea that a whole ad campaign—what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas—succeeds by uninhibiting the pursuit. That’s smart marketing, especially when campaigning for the overpopulated Strip, but ain’t none of it for the man of absolute leisure. 


The Fertitta hotelier family knows a thing or two about complex human nature and the importance of American autonomy—and for those reasons the off-Strip Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa is a miraculous Vegas antidote. This one-billion dollar resort is actually the perfect getaway for anyone seeking ease, excitement and quietude—even anonymity. They slug it appropriately “an effortless existence,” which would seem like more market-driven wordplay—until you get there, pan the sweeping Red Rock Mountains that form its backdrop, stand take in the coruscating Strip from a pensive man’s proximity, and unwind at its state-of-the-art holistic spa. It’s everything from the Strip, and none of it—an all-inclusive premises that has a 16-screen movie theater, a 72-lane bowling alley, a four-acre sandbar pool area (with 19 cabanas and nine wading pools), vermilion and rust-hued accents (including red patent crocodile leather) on everything, and an unparalleled, unhurried pace. 


In a word, tranquility. Everything at Red Rock is visually tranquil, from the onyx-infused walls, the works of art (check out Takashi Murakami’s piece at Hachi restaurant) or the burl wood that adorns the Lucky Bar—the same burl wood that you’ll find in Rolls-Royce cars.


Walking in the cascading 32-foot-chandelier, dangling Swiss-cut Swarovski crystals for optimum refraction, are like the fingers of heaven. These are dwarfed only by the 60-foot long chandelier in the high-limit gaming area, which inspires as much awe as the stacks of purple and yellow chips exchanging hands beneath them. And just as simply, there’s the Salt Lick—a Texas-import that has pulled pork, hot links, brisket, and people sucking their fingers. If you’ve never been to the BYOB original outside of Austin, this is a must-visit. To authenticate the experience, there’s Shiner Bock and Lone Star beers available. 


But when you’re talking about seclusion, it starts with them “chic, ultra-modern” rooms themselves. This description, which includes the word “sanctuary,” only lightly touches on the whole. The room this writer got when visiting was a standard of the more than 800 in the hotel; 42-inch plasma screen television and accompanying 15-inch LCD TV in the bathrooms; robes & slippers, a safe (which I unfortunately didn’t need to use), newspaper at the door in the morning, self-serve martini bar, and plenty of roominess to go about your business of chocolate croissants and lattes. Not kidding, they use 320-thread-count Egyptian cotton linens with feather down duvets and down pillows. Unbelievably, this is the worst you’ll get—a personally-customized suite with every amenity and warmth. High-rollers can spring for one of the 80 penthouse suites, which have finger-twiddling views of Vegas, Jacuzzis, pool tables and 100-inch plasmas. There are better suites still, including the Cherry Penthouse Suite, which transcends most earthly pleasure and won’t be gone into here (suffice to say, if you give the gift of the Cherry Penthouse Suite at Red Rock, there will be bowed heads at your altar). 


Oh, and one of the absolute highlights at Red Rock is the Sandbar Backyard Pool Area with interactive fountain. Topless ventures like you find at Wynn, maybe (not in evidence while this scribe was there), but six gaming tables and poolside beverage service can spoil the ego. In fact, there are enough sunbathing and lounge chairs to comfortably accommodate thousands without ever having to brush an elbow. 


Want to be “that guy” who gives the most thoughtful gift this holiday season? Book your loved one a room at Red Rock.


Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa, 11011 Charleston, Las Vegas, (702) 797-7777; 816 rooms, doubles ranging from $189-$309; Cherry Suite (recommended), $10,000



Good Times to Visit Red Rock


Any weekend: Stimulus Weekends at Cherry Nightclub on Friday & Saturday Nights all month; 1/2 off drinks and $100 bottles. Also: Broke Down Clothing giveaways every Saturday night


Dec. 19—Bad Sweater Party. The worst holiday sweater receives $500 cash.


Dec. 26—Official UFC Pre-Party. Red Rock Hotel packages with UFC 92 tickets offered. On Rampage, on Ax Murderer and Sugar and Griffin! 


Dec. 31—Biggest New Year’s Eve Party West Side of the Strip. All you can drink, all you can dance, all you can neck—$150, unlimited.




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