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Hello, Vegas.

Courtesy of Rhyan Kelly

When you think of Vegas, you probably think of slot machines that eat your money, smoke-filled casinos, 24-hour binge-drinking, and late-night fist bumpin’ at the club. But while Vegas is very much that, there’s actually so much more to the city, too. I recently returned from a four-day trip to the Entertainment Capital of the World, which I took as part of my marketing job here at Cosmo, and I’ve gotta say: I had a surprisingly amazing time. As someone who absolutely hates clubs and doesn’t gamble, I never had this spot on my bucket list, but when the opportunity came across my desk, I figured, why not! And now, I would 100% go back.

Here’s how to do Vegas like I did, so you come away with a genuine appreciation for one of our country’s craziest destinations. Trust me: It’s worth rolling the dice and taking your chances on this city (sorry, had to).



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As the most populous city in the state of Nevada, Las Vegas is filled with massive casino hotels, critically-acclaimed restaurants, and a renowned entertainment and nightlife scene. But most of the action happens on the 4.2 mile-long Strip, where you can easily walk from one casino hotel to the next. I stayed at the Conrad Las Vegas at Resorts World, which is on the northern end of the Strip (aka the best part of the Strip to stay on, in my opinion). The middle of the Strip can feel a bit chaotic, to put it mildly, whereas the Conrad felt *just* far enough away from all that while still being on the Strip itself. You can watch the action without necessarily being in the action…ya know what I mean? The Goldilocks of Vegas hotels!

Plus, the Conrad has incredibly luxe amenities, with 40+ restaurants and bars (most of which are Michelin-starred), an unworldly spa, a huge fitness center, upscale lounges, a nightclub, a casino, a massive theater, and 70,000 square feet of luxury shopping at The District. There’s also a massive pool deck with seven pools (!), and a hot tub, and the rooms here are also incredible. Each suite has a modern-meets-chic style, with sophisticated artwork and views of the city that ooze that Vegas energy. Easily my favorite part of this hotel, though, was Allē Lounge on 66, which features cocktails, bites, and a stunning balcony that overlooks the entire city; more on that below.



Indulge in some serious self-care at Awana Spa: Despite Vegas’ rep for being a place to turn up, it’s actually an incredible destination to go to when you’re looking to turn down. One of the most renowned spas in the city is actually right in the Conrad: Awana Spa. Designed with a modern, warm aesthetic, and complete with personalized treatments, six different vitality pools, a heated crystal laconium room, tepidarium chairs, vapor-filled steam rooms, and cool mist showers, this place is the epitome of what it means to live the *very* good life.

vitality pools at the conrad

The amazing vitality pools at Awana Spa.

Courtesy of Rhyan Kelly

If you’re new to the spa world, aka you have no idea what type of treatment to book, try the 60-minute “world of wellness” massage, or the orchid stem cell renewal facial. If you’re not into the whole treatment vibe, the vitality pools are an equally great place to unwind and plunge into some high-key R&R.


Have a solid pool day: Another thing about Vegas: It’s notoriously known for its rowdy, college-spring-break-esque pool party scene. And while that’s fun and all, you can totally pool here…without the party. In fact, the Resorts World pool deck is the perfect place for tropical vacay lovers who can’t get enough of the sun (hi, me) to grab a lounge chair, drink from the poolside bar, and spend the day across any of the seven pools. The pool deck here also has the only infinity pool on the Strip, and isn’t as wild as the pools at the Encore, The Venetian, or Mandalay Bay (all famed for their epic pool party scene).

rooftop pool conrad

Sunny times.

Courtesy of Rhyan Kelly

Snag tickets to see a show: We all know that going to a show in Vegas is a must, and while most people think doing so means going to see Cirque du Soleil or some type of other acrobatic-like performance, there’s actually so much more to the show scene than that (think: concerts, magic shows, comedy shows, to name a few). While vacationing here, I scored tickets to see Sebastian Maniscalco’s comedy show at Wynn, and tbh, it was undoubtedly one of the best shows I’ve seen yet (not to mention the fact that it took place in the *most* stunning theater). Palace vibes for daysss.


Explore the Strip: One of the coolest parts of the hotels on the Strip is that they each have their own theme, so you can literally stroll from the canals of Venice at The Venetian, to a golden pastry-inspired lunch in the Eiffel Tower at The Paris, to the tropical beaches at Mandalay Bay. That’s why one of my favorite parts of my whole trip was having a zero-plan afternoon to just explore the Strip and play tourist. Every hotel is literally its own world, with a bajillion restaurants, shops, and unique things to do in each. Plus, since the hotels are so close to each other, it makes it more than easy to hop from one “world” to the next, all in one afternoon. So if you’re looking to get your steps in and feel like you’re traveling the world without actually leaving a 4.2-mile radius, then this is your move.


Grab brunch at Alexxa’s Bar: If you’re a brunch person, Alexxa’s is the classic spot for a solid brunch option, with multi-flavored mimosas that go heavy on the champagne and decadently-topped bloody marys. Did I mention they have a bottomless option? Order a Farmer’s Market bloody, mixed with bacon-infused gin and embellished with cucumber, cheddar, bacon, a stuffed olive, cherry tomato, and a celery salt rim. Not only are the drinks here 100, but the food is equally as tasty. For a brunch spread that’ll leave you with *zero* disappointments, try the crispy calamari app, caesar salad with shrimp or chicken, and the cinnaroll waffle. Plus, this place is right across from the Fountains of Bellagio, so you can brunch here with a scenic water show on the side.


Sip on pre-din drinks at The NoMad Bar: We all love a solid before-dinner cocktail, am I right? Located right in the NoMad Las Vegas in Park MGM, The NoMad Bar is the literal spot for seriously epic cocktails. You really can’t go wrong with whatever you choose, but my personal fave was the Scarlet Knight (gin lovers, this one’s for you). Plus, this spot has live piano, which really adds to the vibe.

scarlet knight cocktail

The Scarlet Knight cocktail. <3

Courtesy of Rhyan Kelly


Enjoy a fancy dinner at Bavette’s Steakhouse & Bar: If you’re looking for a stylish-meets-intimate type of night, then Bavette’s is your move. Adorned with glowing chandeliers and elegant red leather banquettes, this timeless steakhouse is to dieeee for, offering epic seafood towers, richly indulgent ribeyes, decadent side dishes with a French flair, and strong cocktails (emphasis on the strong). Go for a Champagne smash cocktail, the sizzling shrimp scampi, and the dry-aged bone-in ribeye with all of the sides (think buttery mashed potatoes, and truffle mac and cheese). If you want to fall in love with one restaurant in your life, Bavette’s could be a solid contender.


Experience incredible Asian cuisine at FUHU: FUHU is a vibe all in itself, and if you love Asian cuisine as much as I do, then you *really* need to book a dinner res here. Located right in Resorts World, FUHU features a unique twist on contemporary Asian dishes and drinks, while giving you all the high-energy-meets-experiential vibes to make your dinner experience extra special. A must-get starter on this menu: the buttery mahi roll (sushi fans, do yourself a favor and pls order this). To complement, try the miso cod “taco” or French soup dumpling, then go for the king crab tempura or pan-seared scallops. And, if you’re feeling extra spicy, go for the 45-day dry age tomahawk. This is legit the best steak you’ll ever eat, kid you not.


Treat yourself to a nightcap at Allë Lounge on 66: TBH, the best way to end every night in Vegas is with a hibiscus paloma at Allë Lounge on 66. Located at the very top of Resorts World, this incredible lounge soars 66 floors above neon city lights, with an expansive balcony that boasts dazzling, 360° views of the Strip. Offering a huge assortment of v fancy cocktails and delectable eats, there’s really no better place to end the evening…and feel truly on top of the world.

view from the top vegas

View from the top.

Courtesy of Rhyan Kelly


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Associate Director of Marketing

Rhyan Kelly is an associate director of marketing based in New York City, working across Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s BAZAAR, and all other Hearst Magazine brands. Her work has also appeared in Elite Daily, InStyle, Coastal Living, Sunset, Thought Catalog, and more. When she’s not writing, you can find her watching romantic comedies or training for running races. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

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