The new year is quickly approaching and when newfound friend and travel maven Erica Dublin and I were discussing some of the fun trips we took in 2011, the idea of a "healthy weekend" in Las Vegas came up. Erica swears it's possible to visit the city otherwise known as "Sin City" and not let all of our healthy habits fly out the window through temptation to overeat and drink as many of us do when we're anywhere on vacation. For those of you looking for last minute ideas to ring in the new year or for anyone already planning a visit to Las Vegas this New Year's Eve, below is Erica's take on how to plan your weekend so you will experience the best of what Las Vegas has to offer without sacrificing the body you've worked so hard for all year.
A TOAST TO A HEALTHY 2012
by Erica Dublin
Did you know that starting off the new year with health in mind would help good habits stick a little easier?
New Year's Eve is supposed to be all about fun, and the last thing you want to do is put on workout pants instead of that sparkly dress. I get it. On the other hand, my job running a travel website for women provides me with the best excuse for hunting down the perfect New Year's Eve spots that manage to weave together health and glam with plenty of over-the-top fun.
Many come to Las Vegas for an indulgent escape, and staying healthy isn’t always considered part of the fun – until now. Give me 48 hours and you can leave Vegas healthier than when you came with an itinerary that includes fun workouts, healthy meals, rejuvenating spa time and the perfect party options for New Year's Eve.
Stay: Vdara Hotel & Spa is a sleek, eco-friendly condo-hotel part of the new CityCenter, a 67-acre shopping, dining, and entertainment destination smack in the middle of the Strip. Connected to the Bellagio, the 1,495-suite property is centrally located, but removed from the action, so you can stay zen in the midst of Sin City. There’s even yoga on the sundeck (weather permitting), and no smoking or a casino nearby.
Workout: Book a class at JUKARI Fit to Flex at the Bellagio. This high-energy cardio incorporates the flexibility and performance elements Cirque du Soleil is famous for. Want something a little more relaxing? Try yoga at The Mirage, where classes are held in an underwater viewing area at the Dolphin Habitat.
Fun for couples: Try an indoor hike at ARIA. This hike is an exhilarating, heart-pumping workout that focuses on the whole body and stimulates the mind while utilizing their very own indoor climate-controlled environment.
Make an afternoon out of it: Take to the road with Day Dreamin' Exotics, a tour company that gives you three hours to test drive five of the coolest cars around. Zoom through the desert in a Porche 911, an Aston Martin Vantage and a Lamborghini Gallardo Coupe (among others.)
Relax: Located in Ceasers Palace, QUA Baths & Spa was one of the first in Vegas to offer snow caves and co-ed plunge pools, in addition to the standard steam room, sauna, and hot tub. It has continued to stay ahead of the curve with its Hourglass treatment (you book an hour and decide on the spot what you want—massage, facial or some combination of the two), and its therapy sessions are designed to help you relax. Can’t decide? Just tell the good doctor what’s on your mind.
Drink To Good Health: Saunter down to The Wine Cellar (remember wine is good for your health!), located downstairs from the bustling Rio Casino. The Wine Cellar is an oasis of calm in the world's rowdiest city. Wine aficionados will be in heaven, with more than 100 wines by the glass and a staggering 50,000 bottles of wine on display.
Dine: Don’t forget to reserve a table at Sage. This place books up fast and with good reason. While the dress code in Las Vegas is fairly flexible, you’ll want to pull out all the stops for this fancy contemporary American restaurant, which oozes “special occasion.” Each dish uses farm-to-table produce, so you can feel good about your choices. My favorites included the Jerusalem Artichoke Soup, the slow-poached Organic Farm Egg, followed by the Kobe Skirt Steak (amazing). Yum!
Bring in 2012: Head to XS, where this sprawling indoor-outdoor club spills out onto the pool deck at Encore. Thanks to your workout, you can wear that short little mini that’s been hanging in your closet. Go early to avoid long lines. If you’re going with a group, consider booking a table—it’s pricey, but no more expensive than elsewhere and the service is top-notch.
Signing Off Celebrating A New Year in Good Health,
Renee and Erica
Pictures compliments of Sage Restaurant, Vdara Hotel & Spa and Adidas Group
Erica Dublin is the founder of See Jane Fly, an online magazine dedicated to making travel a fun and accessible part of everyday life. Touted as "edgy, yet simple" by Travel + Leisure, See Jane Fly separates the hip from the hype to highlight the coolest themed getaways, gear, guides, and clever destination party ideas. With the growing popularity of the site, Erica has become the new face of travel -- appearing in numerous magazines and on local TV channels, including Fitness, Brides, Real Simple, Martha Stewart, FOX, CBS, and Lifetime Television. Still constantly on the go, even with a toddler in tow, Erica lives with her husband just outside of San Francisco.