If you and your girlfriends come to Vegas to party with a Bride-to-Be, and choose the road more traveled—which leads to Chippendale’s or Thunder From Down Under—I don’t judge. But you should know something first: the packages that are more often pushed to bachelor parties sound like a lot more fun—and there’s nothing barring you from signing on yourselves. For instance, instead of taking a Stripper 101 class, you could be slipping behind the wheel of a street-illegal exotic racecar at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Compare your experience at the wedding with the bachelors who settled for 18 holes of golf. Who’s laughing now? Las Vegas is, of course, a town specifically engineered for the hi-jinks of about-to-be-marrieds and their bad influences, and there is no shortage of packages designed to make your weekend look like another sequel of The Hangover. But there are also a lot of fun ways to celebrate your friend without ending the night holding her hair, like you did in college. Here are some good places to start:
Canyon Ranch Spa
The Venetian and Palazzo hotels share the absolutely massive, 134,000-square-foot Canyon Ranch Spa, which has including fitness classes, a 40-foot climbing wall, spa packages, dining and even a bridal lounge—so you can just check yourself in to rejuvenate and beautify right up until the moment your friend walks down the aisle. You actually will feel like a million bucks if you go through the Aquavana thermal suite, which alternates hot-and-cold treatments with Spa Circuit sequences. Break for lunch together at Canyon Ranch Grill, which has healthy spa cuisine (plus, yes, alcohol), and you can all lounge in the salt grotto after your adventures. Canyon Ranch designs group days for parties of four or more, so you and your girlfriends can decide what you want to tackle together.
You don’t have to be a speed demon to appreciate Exotics Racing and its fleet of rare automobiles, like the Ferrari 430 Scuderia, McLaren MP4-12C, Lamborghini Aventador LP700 or the Corvette Stingray. And you don’t even need a brain to appreciate the charms of French racecar driver Romain Thievin, who started the business in 2009 (see, this is why this experience really is for the ladies). Everyone goes through a safety briefing, plus braking and acceleration technique training, before getting behind the wheel. Depending on how spendy you want to get, you can opt for a $99 two-lap ride-along in the Corvette, or a $3,699 70-lap package, which gets you in 14 cars for five laps each.
TAO Nightclub and Beach
When I’m here I never fail to see a Kardashian, some other reality-show celebrity, and/or a bachelorette wearing some kind of obscene headgear (you know what I’m talking about) in TAO—evidence that this place has the bachelorette thing down. Its practical advantages include a dedicated bachelorette coordinator who knows what you want: one stop between dinner at TAO Asian Bistro and TAO Nightclub (or Beach during the summer) to minimize stumbling off, getting lost or standing in line (you’ll get escorted right from your table to the club). It’s not cheap: After dinner, the best table locations start at $2,500 and include a bottle of Champagne (you’ll need to spring for the bottle service on top of that). Really open up your wallet, and TAO can arrange limo transportation, hair and makeup, a cake at your table and more. If you don’t feel like making a table reservation, book a weekend that includes entry into the nightclub, TAO Beach (summer) and LAVO Party Brunch (winter), as well as one-hour open bar in each.
Marquee Nightclub and Dayclub
This club at The Cosmopolitan is great for bachelorette parties because of the one-stop shopping nature of the venue, which has an attached day club and pool so you can hang out all day with your friends. Indeed, to streamline your party-planning, Marquee has teamed up with Rent the Runway (so you don’t even have to pack clothes); ERA by Ciara for in-room makeup; and Gimme Some Sugar (because apparently no celebration is complete anymore without cupcakes—even on your club VIP table). Buy the Runway Ready package, and you’ll get a Grand Cabana at the dayclub, an hour of open bar, a dress from nearby Rent the Runway, and VIP entry to the nightclub. Tip: Purchase one of the higher-end packages and you won’t have to wait in line.
Culinary Classroom at Bellagio
If you’d rather make sauce than get sauced on your dream bachelorette weekend, sign up for the interactive culinary classes led by Bellagio Executive Chef Edmund Wong. Each of the two-hour sessions is held in Tuscany Kitchen, the resort’s demo kitchen. You and your friends will prepare a three-course meal, paired with wines. Think: cooking the perfect risotto, creating a Valentine’s Day menu, or an entire menu devoted to chocolate. You’ll leave with a Tuscany Kitchen apron, your menus, and no doubt plenty of incriminating pictures of each other burning various dishes.