4. LAS VEGAS
Health and fitness travel is growing by leaps and bounds, and Las Vegas is out to get its slice of the pie, so to speak. The city is sprinting — successfully — to flaunt its healthy side.
STAY: The “hotel within a hotel” concept is nothing new, but Vegas has mastered the model. Situated within the Caesars Palace compound is stylish and serene Nobu Hotel (nobucaesarspalace.com), where the Hakone Suites come complete with yoga mat, a shower that converts to an amazing steam room, and a green-tea welcome service in lieu of a cocktail.
No smoking/no gaming is a daring and smart strategy for an increasing number of resorts on the Strip. Vdara (vdara.com), for instance, has a wonderful residential feel, boasting sophisticated suites with kitchens that make it a snap to eat and snack healthily. The lobby area has everything you could need, including the Market Café and Bar Vdara — minus the annoying smoke and overserved crowds.
PLAY: Go for an indoor hike through Aria and CityCenter and get a challenging 60-minute cardio and strength-training session (refuel with tapas at Julian Serrano restaurant or sumptuous Sage afterward). For a truly Zen connection with nature, head for Mirage and do yoga while viewing dolphins as they glide through water and peek back at you. Shows and musicals like Jersey Boys, Rod Stewart, Elton John, and Cirque du Soleil’s Zarkana are sure to quicken the pulse, and are a wonderful way to be entertained without overindulging or
PAMPER: Bellagio (bellagio.com) does it right, from their rooftop herb garden to the amenities and details in the luxurious spa. Case in point: The spa lockers contain items like a personal-size lotion, a bottle of water, even mints. Try the Aquastretch — it’s like a therapeutic massage and assisted stretching combined, all in a relaxing, private warm-water pool.
WORK OUT LIKE A LOCAL: Stefanie Van Aken, a Las Vegas native and founder of the popular blog rockstarmomlv.com, has witnessed a strong rise in community support for healthier lifestyles, including the popular and nationally recognized Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. Some local-knowledge tips from Van Aken include Shine Alternative Fitness, lululemon for Sunday yoga, Real Results, TruFusion, The Reset Project, Barefoot Sanctuary, Blue Sky Yoga, and Rachel’s Kitchen.
BEYOND THE STRIP: Many visitors never venture off the Strip — a big mistake, considering there’s a world of adventure and gorgeous scenery close by. Pink Jeep Tours (pinkjeeptours.com) can whisk you away on a variety of informative and refreshing tours, from the rugged Red Rock Canyon (just a few miles off the Strip) all the way to the Grand Canyon. If hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, or kayaking is your passion, you’ll be in heaven staying in the middle of it at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa (redrock.sclv.com), where an “adventure spa” awaits.
DINE: MGM Resorts International (mgmresorts.com) gives a thumbs-up to healthy living with the addition of Smart Plate, a new program providing tasty and nutritious menu items at 700 calories or fewer per dish, available on some in-room dining menus and at select cafés. Catch Jazz Sundays Brunch at Mozen Bistro at the hip but not flashy Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas (mandarinoriental.com/lasvegas). Impressive spreads of fruit (try lychee and dragon fruit), salads (seaweed salad, anyone?), sushi, dim sum dumplings, lobster, and more are laid out in an understated-elegance setting. Later, relax in the refined and hugely popular 23rd-floor Tea Lounge for a variety of healthy treats. BY JANET THOMAS