Sipping a cocktail while surveying the stunning night-time vista from the Skyfall lounge on the 64th floor of the Delano Hotel, one thought occurred.
I could get used to this!
The only issue would be laying hands on the necessary cash.
But that’s the thing about Las Vegas – it’s everywhere. From the lure of winning it on the tables or the temptingly flashing slot machines, to the bucketloads that have obviously been spent on the hotels, casinos, restaurants, bars and never-ending attractions.
I mean, where else can you cross the Brooklyn Bridge, admire the Empire State Building – and then glance down at the Eiffel Tower?
It had been some years since I’d been to Nevada’s gambling mecca and, in a city where change happens overnight, that’s a lifetime.
Take our hotel, the Park MGM. It used to be the famous Monte Carlo, but a $550 million investment has brought it bang up to date with 2,700 guest rooms and suites.
It’s a high-tech wonderland where you check in and out at computer terminals, but where staff are always on hand to stop it feeling impersonal.
The restaurants are a perfect example, with the smiley dinner service at the Italian Eataly (eataly.com) and the breakfast and lunch service outside in the tree-lined Primrose, impeccable.
The rooms are classy and spacious and the views out over the city and the desert beyond are terrific.
The famous Strip may be pretty compact but bring comfy shoes – the resorts are vast!
A wander through the casino and out to one of the many pools will put you well on the way to clocking up your Fitbit’s daily steps tally. Even if you’ve never been before, it’s all so familiar. You’ve seen it in so many movies and series.
Take the Bellagio, the hotel and casino featured in the Ocean’s movies with George Clooney, Brad Pitt and pals. It looks stunning on screen, with those majestic fountains shooting spouts of water high into the sun-drenched sky.
In reality, it’s even more so, making Versailles look like some pretty basic French B&B.
The corridors, public areas and grand reception, with tens of thousands of glorious fresh flowers changed daily, simply take the breath away.
So, too, did a trip to Downtown. That was partly to do with the exhilarating SlotZilla zipline but just as much to do with seeing the developments all around on the way.
American football team the Raiders are taking up their own Vegas residence from next year at a stadium reportedly costing $2 billion.
Once the post-zipline tummy had been settled with a light lunch at acclaimed Carson Kitchen (carsonkitchen.com), it was back to the Strip for some poolside R&R before another culinary cracker that night.
Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen, in front of Caesar’s Palace, is one of the hottest dining experiences in town. The set-up is like the TV show, with a blue and red team of chefs “competing” in the open kitchen, but it’s far from style over substance from the fiery Scots chef, with trademark dishes beef Wellington and sticky toffee pudding taken to another culinary level. The ultimate contrast to the neon and noise, bright lights and buzz came the following day.
The Grand Canyon is just a 45-minute helicopter trip away (maverickhelicopter.com). Seeing the Hoover Dam on the way was a thrill, swooping over the Colorado River and landing inside the Canyon itself was off-the-scale sensational.
With just a handful of us on a lonely ledge overlooking the river, it felt as though this slice of the 277-mile long, 18-mile wide and one-mile deep marvel was all ours.
Before the helicopter blades clattered back into life, there was time for a glass of champagne and to savour peace, perfect peace, amid the most majestic beauty.
Back in Vegas there was time for one more tasty treat with a Savours of the Strip Lip Smacking Foodie Tour (vegasfoodietour.com). In between some very fine dining experiences, our guide was a font of knowledge about so many things we’d wandered past without realising.
Vegas is that sort of place, something to see at every turn. The Park MGM had a window we’d almost missed that was filled with outrageous gowns worn by Lady Gaga, just one of the stars in residency at the Park Theatre.
The odds may always be with the house, but the one safe bet in Las Vegas is that there is simply so much you will surely want to come back.
Now, about that money I mentioned – what do you reckon, red or black?
P.S. There are big shows aplenty in Vegas but those looking for a laugh often head for the Jimmy Kimmel Comedy Club at the LINQ Promenade.