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Inspecting the Strip

“I’m chairman of the Forbes Travel Guide, which originated the Five-Star rating system in 1958,” says Guest Editor Jeff Arnold, “and Vegas is one of our most important markets.” Because Forbes Travel Guide rates and reviews thousands of hotels, restaurants and spas to find the very best experiences in the world, Arnold has the chance to find out firsthand the latest and greatest happenings around the world. What happens in Vegas, thankfully, doesn’t have to always stay in Vegas. Here, Arnold worked with the Forbes incognito inspectors to put together his picks for an insider Five-Star luxury experience in Las Vegas.

Aria sky suites


Best Golf Course
There’s nothing like golfing in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip. The golf course at Wynn Las Vegas was designed by Tom Fazio on the former Desert Inn course and has top-notch service.

Best History Lesson
The Neon Museum is a unique place to get a bit of Las Vegas history—there are signs from long-gone hotels, like Stardust and Sahara, dating back to the first days of Vegas on display here.

Best Suite
Aria sky suites, which recently received the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Award, has huge (a standard suite is more than 1,000 square feet) contemporary suites with some of the best bathrooms in Las Vegas. The technology in these rooms is cutting-edge—everything is controlled via your TV, and each room has three.

Best New Restaurant
Javier’s at Aria Las Vegas serves fresh, creative Mexican food and has a great list of craft tequilas.

Best Local Restaurant
Piero’s Italian Cuisine. Ask anyone there or just go straight to the owners—father and son Freddie and Evan Glusman—the osso buco is incredible.

Best Concierge
No one knows Las Vegas like Jeanne Mills, chef concierge at MGM Grand Las Vegas. She’s the USA president of Les Clefs d’Or—the global concierge association—and has insider access to the city’s most exclusive spots.

Best Speakeasy
Friends in Las Vegas tipped me off to Commonwealth, a downtown bar with a Prohibition-era vibe. It has an ultraexclusive speakeasy called The Laundry Room—you have to know the number and text for reservations. Once inside, ask for the bartender, June, who will make you the best drink you’ve ever had.

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