As winter starts to creep into the Pacific Northwest, I long for a quick getaway to prepare me for the months ahead of bitter cold, hours of shoveling snow, and the stresses that come along with the holiday season. I seek places where I can check out from the real world and have a few days where I can unwind, explore and mentally prepare myself for the months ahead.

With the help of MGM Resorts International, I was able to map out an itinerary for 3 days of ultimate relaxation, unparalleled entertainment and welcome adventure in the City of Lights, Las Vegas!

Where To Stay

Flashing lights, bustling clubs, clanking casinos … Vegas never stops. When it comes to selecting where to stay, you want your own relaxing personal getaway amongst all the excitement.

The MGM Grand gets this, and they’ve taken relaxation to the next level with their Stay Well accommodations. Stay Well rooms are far from your typical Vegas room; they are your own personal sanctuary. Each room features 16 amenities to focus on your health and wellness. Aromatherapy machines, vitamin-C infused shower water, warm white room lighting and a dawn simulator alarm clock just to name a few.

What’s really cool is that MGM Grand extends your experience beyond a traditional hotel stay by offering an interactive Stay Well mobile app that provides you with clinical research and advice on how to maintain your health and wellbeing while being away from home. I love how they are on the leading edge of mixing hospitality with technology.

To learn more about the Stay Well rooms at the MGM Grand, click here.

Unwind At The Spa

A majority of the properties in Vegas boast spas, but no others compare to the spa at the Bellagio. The landmark hotel is a must stop for me regardless, so scheduling a morning of spa services was a highlight of my vacation. The Bellagio exudes luxury from the moment you walk through the doors. Stunning architecture and interactive works of art are combined with unparalleled customer service, making you feel like royalty. This was perhaps a little ironic considering I opted for the Royal Shave experience in the Spa.

After I checked in at the Spa Reception, I was whisked away to a tucked away old-world barbershop within their sprawling Salon. Rich wood trim, New Orleans jazz and even a single leather upholstered barber chair provided for an extraordinary experience. Not only did I receive a crisp razor shave, but also the service included layers of scented hot and cold towel wraps along with a pore cleansing gentleman’s facial. Traveling is tough on my skin, and the Royal Shave left me relaxed, refreshed and, well, feeling like a King.

Included in most treatments is a day pass to the spa, which includes such luxuries like a eucalyptus steam room and four separate dipping baths … a perfect precursor to a day of exploring. To view all spa services click here.

Explore The Nightlife

Perched on the 64th floor of the swanky Delano Hotel sits a gem of a lounge, a must-stop in my book to complete any Vegas experience. A private glass elevator takes you to the 64th floor. If the views from the elevator weren’t enough, your mouth will drop at the 180-degree views of the city from every inch of Skyfall Lounge.

With a chill vibe, eclectic plates and crafty cocktails, Skyfall is the perfect place for the party that wants to take it easy and relax before a long night ahead, or simply wants to have a dramatic escape (and amazing cocktails) before retiring for the evening.

I started my evening with a champagne toast alongside a delightful charcuterie board, followed by their exclusive espresso martini. I usually leave the coffee for the morning, but the espresso martini turned out to be one of my best drink decisions for the weekend!

If you want to have the ultimate Vegas nightlife experience, look no further than Hyde or Hakkasan Nightclubs. Tucked away in the Bellagio, Hyde is everything I envisioned a Vegas club should be with expansive glass walls overlooking the iconic fountains, bustling dance floor, attentive service and a glamorous vibe. For more of a global vibe, Hakkasan, located inside the MGM Grand, is a maze of levels that lead to an expansive main area of lights and killer beats all in an open-air setting.

Where To Eat

If you had to pick only one restaurant to complete your Vegas experience, remember these two words—Michael Mina. Vegas is full of world class restaurants, but Michael Mina, tucked behind the Bellagio conservatory and botanical gardens, is the perfect storm of a restaurant when extraordinary cuisine collides with exceptional service.

Michael Mina boasts the finest seafood offering in Vegas, with good reason. Not only is the fish the absolute freshest, but also all ingredients are sustainably harvested. Our skilled server created a fun and educational experience, giving us the inside story on each dish … where the ingredients came from, why they were selected and what inspired Michael Mina, the award winning chef, to create each dish.

I couldn’t decide on just one item from the traditional menu, so I opted for the signature tasting menu, a six course offering which included Ahi Tuna Tartare, Phyllo-crusted Sole, Michael’s iconic Lobster Pot Pie and even American Wagyu Rib Eye Rossini. Each dish was flawless and filling, perfectly paired with selections from their impressive wine selection.

I should mention that they have a signature cocktail of gin and pineapple juice, served in a handblown glass shaped like a blowfish. The drink was tasty, but this ridiculously cool glass brought me back to my shot glass stealing college days, but I resisted the temptation of asking my wife to sneak it in her purse. I guess Vegas can really bring out the kid in you!

As word gets out about popular Vegas restaurants, they tend to expand and add tables to meet the growing demand of customers leaving you in a sea of tables. Michael Mina has maintained a relatively small dining area, giving it a very intimate setting and the perfect location for a special occasion or just someone wanting to take their dining experience to the next level. My experience was a rock solid highlight of my Vegas vacation and without a doubt a must-have stop during all of my future Vegas adventures. For reservations and to view the current menu, click here.

Las Vegas has always been my go-to place to escape reality. It’s a carefree place where you can simply let-go and forget about the stresses and responsibilities back home. The truth of the matter is that this lifestyle is the reality of Vegas. MGM Resorts International gets this and has a pure understanding of why we come to Vegas and what we expect; yet they still manage to exceed all expectations. Viva Las Vegas!

Editor’s Note: A special thanks to our friends at MGM Resorts International for sponsoring this feature. For more information about their properties, visit www.mgmresorts.com.