Checking In: Green Valley Ranch Resort & Spa


Green Valley Ranch Resort & Spa

This was my 10th visit to Las Vegas and I did something different. I stayed off the strip at Green Valley Ranch Resort & Spa… and guess what? It felt like Paradise! Now don’t get me wrong, I love Las Vegas and the strip. If I didn’t, I would not have gone back 9 additional times. Green Valley Ranch is bringing something different to Vegas visitors – the property is providing that luxury resort component while still being in the Las Vegas area. Located just 8 miles from McCarran International Airport, Green Valley Ranch Resort is going to blow you away with their amenities, activities and gaming space while also giving privacy to you while staying at the hotel.


The property is Mediterranean inspired and the architecture exudes those qualities. From the moment you pull into the circle drive, you are greeted with gorgeous landscaping, warm smiles and perfect customer service. Walking into the lobby you’ll find chic colors of black and white with arched columns throughout. The presentation of the lobby and staff upon arrival sets the mood for the rest of your stay – and guess what? It is going to be fabulous!

The Rooms:


Green Valley Ranch Resort and Spa

During my stay I checked into a Deluxe King Room that offered a generous amount of space at 495 sq. feet. The room itself was adorned in modern contemporary decor throughout offering a plush king size bed, 42 inch TV, desk area, sitting area, vanity, minibar, spacious closet, robes, and a separate bathroom with a soaking tub and shower.


Green Valley Ranch Resort and Spa


Green Valley Ranch Resort and Spa


Green Valley Ranch Resort and Spa


Green Valley Ranch Resort and Spa


  • Concierge service
  • Shuttle service to and from airport & Strip
  • 24-hour in-room dining
  • Private bar
  • Iron and ironing boards
  • Down comforters
  • Separate bathtub and showers
  • High-speed internet access/web TV
  • In-room safe
  • Multi-line speaker telephone with data port
  • Access to more than 7,300 digital daily newspapers and magazines powered by PressReader
  • Plush terry robes
  • Shoe shine service
  • Fitness facility entrance
  • iPod dock


Green Valley has a plethora of dining to offer its guests on property. With 8 sit down restaurants including a steak house, Italian, a buffet, and more. In addition, there are some quick stop fast food options and a Starbucks on the gaming floor.

During my stay I ordered room service breakfast one morning – and I have to admit, the food was incredible. I ordered a yogurt parfait and it was not overly sweet and everything worked well together on flavors.


Room Service 

I also dined at Borracha the Mexican Cantina. I want to point out that the service here was above and beyond! I went off menu and asked for a passion fruit margarita and they delivered. The food was scrumptious as well.









I did not get a chance to dine at Bottiglia but the restaurant is stunning. It looks like they took a page out of a dream sequence and brought it to life.










The hotel has a lot to offer its guests from pools, spa, gaming, bars, concerts, and movies. You could stay on site during your entire trip and never get bored – the property is that big and has that much to offer its guests.

The “Backyard” at Green Valley Ranch is an 8 acre area for guests to enjoy with cabanas, an adult only pool (The Pond) and a sand bottom swimming pool – giving you that true beach feel right in the desert.

Green Valley Ranch Resort and Spa

Green Valley Ranch Resort


The Pond


Green Valley Ranch Resort


Green Valley Ranch Resort


Green Valley Ranch Resort


The Pond


The Pond 


The Pond


Green Valley Ranch Resort – Sunset 

Tip: If you are not staying at the hotel, you can purchase a pool pass Monday-Friday $20 adults/$10 children.

The casino is one of the prettiest I have ever been to and they offer over 2,000 games around the clock. I highly recommend hitting the sports bar for $2 margaritas – I was skeptical because $2 drinks anywhere usually means “watered down” but alas, I was wrong. Two of those drinks and you are good to go.


LOVED my stay at Green Valley Ranch Resort & Spa. I had been wanting to stay here for about two years to try something off the strip and I absolutely recommend it to anyone visiting the Las Vegas area. The property is very spacious and really has it all – you could spend your entire trip here and never leave. If that inclusive resort feeling is important to you, this is your next Vegas stop.

Additional Information:

  • Address: 2300 Paseo Verde Pkwy, Henderson, NV 89052
  • Phone: (702) 617-7777
  • Distance from McCarran International airport: 8 miles ~13 minutes
  • Casino hours: open 24 hours a day
  • For Cabana and Ca-bed rentals: (702) 617-7744
  • Dining: options


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Green Valley Ranch Resort and Spa

Disclaimer: I was hosted by Green Valley Ranch and Resort but as always, opinions are entirely my own. 

Checking In: Mandarin Oriental Penthouse Las Vegas

Las Vegas and Penthouse Suites are nearly synonymous. Vegas is the city of indulgence and one of my favorites in the United States.

The Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas is not like any other hotel in the city that I have stayed with. What sets this hotel apart from other 5 star luxury properties is that it does not have a casino. That is the exact reason I was drawn to this hotel. You don’t have to walk through a smoke filled casino to get to your room or have people gambling around the clock below you. It was rather peaceful and I enjoyed the calmness that the hotel offered.

Awarded by Forbes as a triple 5-star luxury hotel. But don’t take their word for it – Book yourself a room at this amazing hotel and experience it for yourself.

The Hotel:

When you arrive at the hotel, you walk in to a gorgeous lobby and take the elevator up to registration. There is something private that I liked about not walking into a crowd of people. When you do get off the elevator, the lobby opens to elevated ceilings and wall length glass, giving you an unparalleled view of the Las Vegas Strip.


Views of the Las Vegas Strip



Offering 392 well appointed rooms, with subtle Asian touches, true luxury shines at every turn of the corner.


Hotel Entrance

Penthouse Suite:

During my stay I checked into a Penthouse Suite, located on the 20th floor with 270 degree views of the Las Vegas Strip.

I love the space of the room, coming in at 1701 square feet and offering a bar, dining room, living room, powder room, bedroom with a king size bed, pantry, and full luxury bath made of marble.


Bar & Dining Room




Living Area




Dining Room






Pantry Area

My favorite features of the room were the large glass enclosed master bathroom and the living room. The bathroom is absolutely stunning and taking a bath in there made me feel like a queen!


Penthouse Tub


Master Bath


Bath Salts

The living room has a beautiful color palette of red, brown and silver that really draw out the design.


Penthouse Living Room

When I arrived in my room, the staff had left some welcome treats, macarons! I love these little treats and thought the design was cute.



Room Extras:

  • Airport transportation
  • Pressing service on arrival
  • Complimentary usage of Tian Quan Thermal and Water Experience in the spa
  • Complimentary continental buffet in MOzen Bistro

Additional Room Features:

  • 2 TV’s – one in the living room and one in the bedroom
  • Full length closet space with ample drawer and closet space
  • Full size liquor in the bar for purchase & full use glassware
  • Mini bar items for purchase
  • Nespresso Coffee Machine in the kitchen
  • Desk area and work space


Afternoon Tea:

Even if you do not stay at the hotel, I highly recommend booking afternoon tea. The food was phenomenal and the tea selections were divine. Definitely go with the unlimited mimosas as well and get their pineapple juice mimosas!


Tea Room


Afternoon Tea


Afternoon Tea


Afternoon Tea

Tea service is at 12pm/2pm/4pm.

Other Hotel Features:

The hotel also offers a pool and a spa. I loved spending time out by the pool and it is not like a lot of the other hotels that have pool parties as the pool is for guests and residents only. I enjoyed spending low key time around the pool.






One of the dining highlights of the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas is Twist by Chef Gagnaire – who has a 3 Star Michelin restaurant in Paris. I did not have the time to dine here but I hear the food is exquisite and should not be missed when visiting.

The hotel also offers:

  • Room Service
  • Poolside cafe
  • MOzen Bistro
  • Tea Lounge
  • Mandarin Bar
  • Private Dining


I only stayed one night in the hotel but loved my stay. The staff was very gracious, the hotel is stunning and comfortable, I loved that it was not overcrowded with people trying to get to a casino or shopping in the hotel, the food was delectable, I really enjoyed spending time out by the pool during the day and as the sun went down, and I slept like a baby in the comfy bed.

I highly recommend this hotel if you are visiting Vegas and are looking for a luxury stay without all the bustle that some of the other hotels have.

Additional Info:

  • Address: 3752 Las Vegas Boulevard South , 89158 Las Vegas , Nevada
  • Phone: 1 (702) 590 8888
  • Valet and Self Parking available
  • Hotel is Non-Smoking
  • Distance from McCarran International Airport: about 10-15 minutes, depending on traffic
  • Located in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip


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Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas Penthouse

*Disclaimer: some photos are property of Mandarin Oriental

Checking In: Aria Penthouse Las Vegas

Ice Cream Party

Recently when I was Las Vegas I stayed at the Aria for one night in a One Bedroom Penthouse Suite.

The Aria is located in a great location, about halfway down the strip and in the center of excellent shopping, ,restaurants and shows. The hotel has over 4000+ rooms and over 500+ of them are suites. The hotel offers over 150,000 square feet of gaming space and over 500,000 square feet of meeting space – you could say the hotel is quite large.

The hotel has been awarded 5 stars by Forbes Travel Guide AND five diamonds and it truly shines throughout. When staying in the Penthouse Suite you are staying in the Sky Tower which gives you access to luxury privileges, some before you even arrive at the hotel:

  • Luxury Airport transportation – I had limo service
  • Dedicated concierge
  • Sky Suites Lounge – nightly wine and cheese pairing from 400pm-1000pm
  • Poolside pampering
  • Other benefits such as priority buffet line, priority dinner & nightclub reservations, enhanced turn down service, etc.

Limo service


Sky Lounge Lobby


Sky Lounge Lobby


One Bedroom Penthouse Suite:

The room itself is one level and about 1465 square feet in size and equipped with 2 bathrooms, a bedroom, living room AND a dining room. The room is broken down into 3 sections: the bedroom and master bathroom, the dining room and bar area, and then the living room which has a bathroom and a workstation. Each section has a TV from 42″-52″ in size – bedroom, bar and living room – and the bathroom is equipped with a 20″ TV.

The bedroom is so cozy! I loved that when I laid in the bed I just sank right in to the 300 thread count linens AND had views of the strip from the bed. Personally I like to sleep in the middle because I find too often people prefer one side over the other and middle gets ignored.

My two favorite features in the master bath are the steam shower and the whirlpool tub. I am a true believer that baths are a stress reliever and can make you feel like a new person. Add whirlpool jets and I am ready to take on the world.

One of the things I really loved about this room was the use of a tablet – which gave me access to control the rooms temperature, lighting, book spa treatments and order food. I didn’t have to call anyone and it was a simple touch screen that was user friendly. I also had access to over 2,000 digital newspapers – if you think about that for just a second, how amazing is technology that you have access to worldwide news at the press of a button? Pretty spectacular.


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Living room

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Living room


Second Bathroom


Work Station


Living room

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Dining room


Bar area


Mini bar






Sitting area


In bed

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Master bathroom

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There are so many dining options at Aria from take away, room service, brunch, breakfast, lunch, and dinner – you will never go hungry. Because my stay was short, I only dined room service for breakfast during my stay. I will say that the food came very quickly and was really good. I would definitely order it again.

If you do get a chance to dine in the hotel there are several highly rated restaurants to choose from – but since I did not dine at them I cannot give them a review.


Room service breakfast


During my stay I did enjoy a 50 minute Swedish massage. I am a big fan and supporter of the spa – mostly because I like to relax and have an hour to myself uninterrupted (which is hard to come by).

The lounge/waiting area of the spa has multiple options for snacks and beverages. Accompanied with plush seating and ambient music – it was the perfect lean into my treatment. When I left my massage I was too relaxed and decided to take a dip in the outdoor plunge pool to wake up a bit.

*Out of respect for the other people in the spa – I did not take any photos of the areas where people are dressing or relaxing.






Private spa plunge pool



I would stay again for a longer period of time. I only stayed one night so I did not get to experience all the hotel has to offer – but based on the room, the service, the spa, and the dining – I would definitely stay again. It was definitely a luxury experience.

Additional Information:

  • Address: 3730 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89158
  • Phone: 866-359-7111
  • Distance from airport: about 10-15 minutes depending on traffic
  • 24 hour gaming in hotel
  • The Shops at Crystals is right next door

Checking In: Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas


One thing that I truly love about Vegas is that there are many hotel options. Of all the places I have stayed visiting this magical city, The Cosmopolitan has by far surpassed all my expectations. While it is a luxury hotel, it is not overdone or pretentious. Its the right amount of luxury and mix of modern details. The Cosmopolitan is a Ritz Carlton Partner Hotel – and I well, I do love the Ritz Carlton. This was a good fit for me.

The location of the hotel is just about in the center of the strip putting you at arms reach of everything – including the best shopping in the city!

After visiting Las Vegas 9 times over the years, I can say with certainty, this has been my favorite hotel stay in the city.

Welcome to the Cosmopolitan

When you walk into the lobby area, tall columns of visually pleasing images flow. While I was waiting to check-in I was mesmerized by the pops of color across them. A lot of hotel lobby’s tend to be quiet or offer minimal visuals, but I found this area to be one of my favorite hotel check-ins.

The check-in process went by very quickly – all the happy agents were ready to get people checked in and on their way.

Sarah Rara_The Pollinators_The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas_Kabik

Lobby – Photo provided by the Cosmopolitan

Terrace Suite:

The room itself is about 910 sq. feet. When you walk in there is a small hallway, a bathroom, and then you walk into an open floor plan that has a living area, kitchen and workstation with a TV – from this area you can access the balcony. Beyond this room is a separate bedroom and a large bathroom. You can also access the balcony from the bedroom.

The design elements are luxurious and modern. I loved the simplicity of the art pieces throughout the suite and the neutral tones.

I only stayed one night in this hotel, but getting out of bed was no easy task. I slept right in the middle with all the pillows and I felt like I was sleeping on a cloud ❤

The best feature of this room is the terrace – and it offers the best view of Las Vegas in my opinion. The view alone is a reason to book this room – daytime, sunset or even sunrise – the view is magnificent. You can even see the Bellagio Fountains from a new perspective.


Sunset from the Terrace Suite




Sitting Area


Living Area


Work Station


Inside the Closet


Sun rising over the city


Living Area




Sitting Area





Retrieved from: The Cosmopolitan  


Evening views from the terrace

Room Features:

  • Modern Kitchen
  • 2 Large bathrooms
  • King Size Bed
  • Private terrace – 160 sq. feet
  • Seating area
  • 2 entrances to balcony
  • 2 large flat screen TV’s
  • Work station
  • Dining nook

Views from the Terrace Suite at the Cosmopolitan

Other Hotel Features:

The hotel has a lot of exciting things going on inside of it. Below are some of its features:

  • 3 pools
  • 2 gyms
  • Business center
  • Sahra Spa and Hammam
  • Casino
  • Marquee day/night club
  • Over 25 dining & bar options

Due to my limited stay I did not get to experience everything in the hotel, but two items did stand out. They offered “Dive-In Movies” at the Boulevard Pool the night I was there. Top Gun played on their big screen and people lounged all around the pool to watch it.The other thing I loved at the hotel was the Chandelier Bar – which is 3 separate bar opportunities with one on the main level, one inside and the other on top. Its quite the artistic piece to see.

Boulevard Pool

Boulevard Pool – photo courtesy of Cosmopolitan


Chandelier Bar


Overall I loved the hotel. I cannot say enough how much I loved the views from the room – it truly felt like a special visit for me because I had never seen Vegas from that vantage point. If you are planning a trip to Las Vegas – stay at least 1 night in this hotel in the Terrace Suite and I promise you that you will not want to leave the terrace.


Additional Information:

  • Address: 3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South – Las Vegas, NV 89109
  • Phone: 702.698.7000
  • Distance from airport: about 15 minutes depending on traffic
  • Parking: Hotel offers valet & self parking for a fee

Las Vegas: A Diary of Photos

Las Vegas is my most visited city in the world, coming in at 9 trips, you could say I like the city just a tad. From the sweeping views, amazing food, gorgeous hotel suites, world class shows, amazing sunsets, and an experience like no other – Vegas does not disappoint.


Sunset from the balcony of the Terrace Suite at the Cosmopolitan


Rose Garden at the Mandarin Oriental


Outdoor spa pool at the Aria


Penthouse at the Aria


Nom Nom at Cabo Wabo


Views from the Terrace Suite at the Cosmopolitan


Afternoon Tea at the Mandarin Oriental


HEXX Bloody Mary


Pool vibes at the Mandarin Oriental




Sunrise at the Cosmopolitan




High Roller


7 Magic Mountains




Dole Whip


Sunrise from the Penthouse at the Aria


Vegas Views


Tea at the Mandarin Oriental


Penthouse at the Mandarin Oriental




The Chandelier Bar at the Cosmopolitan


18 Photos that Prove Las Vegas is more than Gambling


18-photos-1Along the way Las Vegas has become one of my favorite cities in the United States. In fact, I have been here more than any other city in a travel capacity. Las Vegas promises bright lights, late nights, pool parties, buffets, world class shows, and a non stop good time.

Here are 18 photos that prove Las Vegas is more than just a place to gamble. From National Park visits within reach and the best pools all summer – welcome to your next vacation!


Hash House a go-go – chicken and waffles


7 Magic Mountains


High Roller


Donut delivery







Dole Whip


Las Vegas at night – from the High Roller


Entrance to the Beatles Cirque du Soleil


Caricature drawing from the top of the Stratosphere


The colors of the city when the sun is going down


Red Rock Canyon


Eggs Benedict for 5


Hoover Dam


Ice bar – source


Death Valley National Park


Caesars Palace Pool – source


Sign museum