After my wonderful stay this summer at the MGM Grand Resort, I realized there is so much more to Las Vegas than nightclubs and gambling. You can read more about that beautiful property here. However, the other nearby MGM properties deserve to be explored as well, especially for those foodies and luxury travelers out there. Both Park MGM and the new NoMad Hotel, are breaths of fresh air on the Las Vegas Strip with their elegant decor and tranquil spots.
Park MGM is the one of the newest luxury destinations to enjoy in Sin City. You can expect an intimate resort experience, but on a grand scale that Las Vegas is known for. They offer 2,700 guest rooms and suites, as well as the Park Theater which is the resort’s 5,200-seat entertainment venue and 20,000-seat T-Mobile Arena. These venues are currently home to some of the biggest names in the music industry like Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars and Cher. While I highly recommend visiting for the entertainment, you must stay for the high-end accommodation, dining, and so much more.
A HIDDEN GEM:
Located inside the Park MGM, there is another luxury hotel to discover called the NoMad Hotel. One moment, I was walking through the elegant casinos of Park MGM, and the next, I was walking down a quiet hallway to the stylish and private hotel reception area. All of a sudden, the hustle and bustle of the casino floor felt so far away, and I was transported to a luxury boutique hotel. The contrast was impressive, it felt like discovering a hidden oasis.
Every inch of the NoMad Hotel feels ornate yet sophisticated, with a very chic 1920s feel. I was excited to take a tour of their rooms, both big and small. Whether you book a Classic King room or stylish Suite, every single room at the NoMad Hotel has hardwood floors, beautiful rugs, thoughtful artwork, and a well-stocked mini bar. The bespoke furniture blew me away, especially the Mahogany writing desks in every room.
The NoMad Hotel is certainly not your standard Las Vegas Hotel. Their rooms are luxurious and also very homey at the same time. I saw several different ones, and not one felt identical to the other. Some bigger rooms had freestanding pedestal tubs in the bedroom, creating a very romantic atmosphere. Others boasted impressive vanity areas, and include complimentary access to a 24-hour gym.
However, the most impressive space in the hotel, in my opinion, was waiting for us to visit downstairs. The NoMad Restaurant is one of the most beautiful restaurants I’ve ever seen. This soaring space is inspired by the Portuguese Cabinet of Reading, a beautifully ornate library in Rio de Janeiro. That’s right literary lovers, you can now dine in an actual library on the Las Vegas Strip! There are 20,000 books that fill this restaurant, with stunning woodwork and even a spiral staircase. As far as food, you absolutely need to order their famous roast chicken for two. This is no ordinary roast chicken, it is stuffed beneath the skin with foie gras, truffles, and presented on a cast iron skillet.
Outside of the main dining room, there are also three smaller rooms: The Cellar, The Parlor, and The Salon. The Cellar is decorated with floor-to-ceiling racks of old and new wine bottles, while The Parlour includes impressive cultural busts, with more bookshelves. And finally, The Salon takes its inspiration from old-timey martini bars with its emerald green tufted walls and cocktail carts.
For those high rollers who visit the NoMad Hotel, you will be very impressed with their intimate casino. The iconic Tiffany glass ceiling, of the former Monte Carlo property, is a highlight of this refined space where people can play high-limit Baccarat, Roulette and Blackjack. This gaming floor takes inspiration from the old-world glamor of European casinos, and also combines the playfulness of the Strip. If gambling isn’t your thing, I highly recommend some rest and relaxation in their heavenly pool area.
If you’re looking for other stellar food and drink establishments located within Park MGM, you won’t be disappointed! Before sitting down to a delicious dinner, I’d highly recommend visiting the gorgeous Juniper Cocktail Lounge.
The Gatsby-esque decor in this stylish lounge is chic, comfortable, and very Instagrammable! Don’t put your camera away before the cocktails arrive, because those are a visual treat as well. Juniper prides themselves on hand-crafted cocktails that stretch your perception of the familiar. Their specialty is gin, however, you’ll find a variety of cocktails offered here as well.
To gin or not to gin… that was the question during our visit. But it wasn’t a very difficult choice! I absolutely loved three of their most popular gin drinks on the menu. First up was the ‘Carnival’, a fun drink with Tanquerary 10 Gin, fresh lime, St. Germain, and blue cotton candy that quickly melts once the cocktail is poured over it. The gin and fresh lime certainly balance out the sweetness of the cotton candy. Next was ‘A Little Birdie’, definitely the most popular cocktail to photograph thanks to its beautifully delicate bird glass. This cocktail included Sipsmith Gin, strawberry, Dolin Dry Vermouth and fresh lemon.
Last but not least was my favorite, the ‘No Judging’ cocktail. It came in another stunning glass with Green Chartreuse, fresh pineapple, fresh lime, and flaming mint! Yes, they actually light the mint on fire before you drink it. The presentation is just as amazing as the taste, trust me. Juniper Cocktail Lounge is warm, welcoming, delicious, and the perfect place to start your evening off in style.
Located only a few minutes walk through the Park MGM casino floor is Best Friend. This is famed Chef Roy Choi’s first restaurant in Las Vegas, and an exciting new addition to Park MGM! He wanted this to be like Los Angeles’ Koreatown in a capsule. The restaurant front looks more like a bodega storefront, with neon signs promising liquor, beer, wine, BBQ and snacks inside.
Once you’re inside, you feel as if you entered a vibrant, hipster-like liquor store. You can order boozy slushies, and Best Friend-branded apparel. Roy Choi has talked about his vision behind this unique entrance, “It also acts as a reverse speakeasy where everyone is welcome and the bar is a fun zone, like an arcade for all.” Once you enter the actual restaurant, you’ll discover a large, colorful space with hanging plants, and an open kitchen.
When it comes to the food, you can expect the insanely good Korean BBQ flavors that Choi is known for, but with new and exciting twists. My absolute favorites are the sweet bread buns to start, along with their delicate dumplings. The Spicy Pork is an absolute must, as well as the Chili Cheese Spaghetti, and Kimchi Fried Rice. I would recommend ending with the colorful and uniquely shaped Strawberry Cheesecake. I also saw a very fun ice cream sundae dish that was presented in a miniature bathtub. From the decor to the creative dishes, Best Friend is colorful, fun, and of course, delicious!
Everything about Park MGM is so well thought out and elegant. Whether you’re a guest at the NoMad Hotel, seeing a concert, or simply dining at one of the beautifully designed restaurants, you will certainly walk away with a new view of what the Las Vegas Strip has to offer.
Disclaimer: I was a guest of MGM Grand Resorts, but all opinions here are my own.