When crafting a Las Vegas itinerary, it can be overwhelming to choose from the countless activities, restaurants and clubs. For those indecisive travelers, MGM Resorts International offers curated M Life experiences within its 15 properties. Let someone else handle the planning, whether you want a private cooking class with a noted chef or a behind-the-scenes tour at a Vegas show. We’ve picked our top places to go and things to do within the MGM empire.
Get in the kitchen. Step inside the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Aureole Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay for a private cooking demonstration with French chef Vincent Pouessel. He’ll show you how to create one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes — onion soup. A melodic combination of mild Gruyère cheese, black truffles, foie gras, caramelized onions and a puff pastry shell makes this dish sing. After you’ve been given a mini-version of the soup to try, pastry chef Megan Bringas will whip up mouthwatering macaroons for the masses. This exclusive class includes a multi-course dinner with wine pairings, a tour of the restaurant’s famed four-story wine tower and a box of signature chocolates to go. $4,000, two hours for eight people
Become enlightened. Discover world-renowned photographer Jeff Mitchum’s work at his gallery inside the Four-Star Bellagio. The latest beauty from this seasoned artist is his Masada Museum Suite (18 exclusive museum prints photographed in Israel over a course of 24 years). His No. 1 portrait from this series is Return From Sea. “This image was created in a very special way. As I was walking over the ridge [near the Mediterranean Sea] looking north, I saw what appeared to be an abandoned car in the surf,” he says. “After climbing through barbwire and trekking down the shore, this amazing shipwreck awaited. Shooting a long exposure with the right amount of light gave [me and my assistant David Hernandez] both simplicity and beauty.” Nicknamed the “Ansel Adams of Color,” Mitchum has had his work displayed at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. and the J. Paul Getty Museum in L.A. His next grand opening is July 4 to 7 at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, where he will answer questions and autograph purchased photos and tomes. But if you’re looking for some one-on-one time with Mitchum, he’s offering up two exclusive experiences. For those who prefer to chat over a meal, new collectors of his work will be able to enjoy lunch at Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill with the talented photojournalist. And for those who want to have some outdoor fun, Mitchum is providing VIP photo tours of the Strip on his electric bikes (30-by-40 framed print included). Complimentary entry for gallery; $5,000 for VIP Strip photo tour
Catch Kà. This 90-minute Cirque du Soleil show at MGM Grand tells the tale of twins separated at a very young age and their quest to find one another. Expect to see lots of acrobatic moves, martial arts, the use of aerial straps, bungees and Brazilian capoeira dancing. And if you want the VIP treatment, get the behind-the-scenes package, which includes a guided backstage tour and the chance to pose for fun photos with the cast. $75 for adult tickets; $495.95 for the VIP package
Take time to unwind. Book an appointment at The Spa & Salon at ARIA and then leave the rest to the Four-Star sanctuary. We recommend the 50-minute reflexology massage within the spa’s signature series. Get comfy on a heated bed as a therapist works on your hands, feet, neck, shoulders and scalp — and since the treatment is coupled with hot stones, you’ll be left in a complete state of tranquility. Want to up the ante? Reserve a private Spa Suite, which includes a hydrotherapy tub, a steam shower, lockers and vanity area, a relaxation lounge and a personal spa host at your beck and call. Plus, having someone cater to you (think strawberries and bubbly) is a natural fit for the Red Carpet Package (50-minute hot stone massage and 80-minute face/body treatment). Reflexology massage: $160 (Sunday-Thursday), $170 (Friday and Saturday); Spa Suite: Three-hour minimum, $530 for the Red Carpet Package
Photos Courtesy of Eric Jamison, Aureole, MGM Resorts International and Jeff MitchumTags: ARIA, Aureole Las Vegas, Bellagio, Cirque du Soleil, Las Vegas, M Life, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand