Despite the stereotypes, gambling and show are just two of the biggest draws bringing people to Vegas. Of the 40 million travelers who came to Las Vegas in 2013 for instance, 59 percent of visitors—and an astounding 91 percent of international visitors—went shopping while they were here, making retail the fourth most popular activity after dining, shows and gaming. In fact, plenty of visitors come here expressly to shop. Savvy international shoppers—many taking advantage of the relatively weak dollar in recent years—have been spending so much that one handbag retailer recently imposed a shopping limit for customers, for fear of being cleaned out. Even so, with six Louis Vuitton stores and four Tiffany & Co. stores within short strolls of each other (just for starters), Las Vegas isn’t in danger of running out of luxury goods. Here are my five spots for world-class retail therapy, or just fabulous window-shopping:
Visit T+L’s Guide to Shopping in Las Vegas for more shopping inspiration.
The Shops at Crystals
This glittering mall in the 76-acre mixed-use development of City Center is chock-a-block with designer stores, and keeps adding more. Highlights include the two-level Louis Vuitton flagship (complete with a permanent James Turrell installation and private VIP lounges); the first Tom Ford women’s collection in the U.S.; a massive and recently expanded Gucci. Many have cinematic draws, too, like Fendi’s scale model of Trevi Fountain, a full fashion runway in Roberto Cavalli and an 8,000-crystal horse sculpture suspended from the ceiling at Stella McCartney. At the concierge desk, you can arrange translators, personal shoppers and in-store showings.
Forum Shops at Caesars
This over-the-top, 636,000-square-foot Roman extravaganza at Caesars contains hundreds of stores, such as Valentino, Burberry, Christian Dior, Hublot and the second Alfred Dunhill store in the U.S. You can take a break by the “Trevi Fountain” (incidentally, just one of two Trevis on the Strip—the other one is in the Fendi store in Crystals), or by the giant aquarium. Specially lit ceilings, frescoed with clouds, make you feel as if you’re walking in the natural light (and dim in the evening).
Grand Canal Shoppes at Venetian and Palazzo
Big, airy spaces in The Shoppes of the Palazzo are anchored by Barneys New York, and surrounded by show-stopping boutiques: Van Cleef & Arpels, Christian Louboutin, Charriol, Diane von Furstenberg, and a gorgeous Chopard boutique. The retail palace constitutes nearly a half-million square feet off the casino, and is filled with natural light, a stunning two-story waterfall and even fashion-hunting celebs. For the bookish, there’s the gorgeous outpost of New York’s famous Bauman Rare Books, and the jewelry- and watch-obsessed should head straight to Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Vacheron Constantin. Take a light shopping break at SushiSamba, or a more decadent break at Carlo’s Bakery, the always-crowded Vegas outpost of the Cake Boss.
Esplanades at Wynn and Encore
The natural lighting of Wynn Las Vegas certainly makes life more optimistic—and perhaps more conducive to spending. Wide walkways and bright floral décor make shopping fun, and you’ll find a variety of retail opportunities here for both men and women. Perhaps most striking is the Penske/Wynn Ferrar-Maserati showroom, right on the esplanade, which is the state’s only factory-authorized Ferrari dealership. You’ll also find diamonds at Graff, plus meticulously curated Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Oscar de la Renta, Dior and Alexander McQueen stores. Don’t miss the SWIM store, which carries wonderful pieces for the pool designed exclusively for Wynn, or Givenchy’s first U.S. flagship.
Fashion Show Mall
The two-million-square-foot mall across the street from Wynn Las Vegas is marked by its UFO-shaped canopy (which inspired Steve Wynn to erected a wall, just to hide it from view of his property). It’s the locals’ go-to for multiple department stores (like Saks, Neiman Marcus or Nordstrom), plus, yes, another Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co., as well as a Zara that will soon be 30,000 square feet, as part of a massive new expansion to the exterior plaza.