Catering to high rollers who come into town to drop sometimes millions of dollars in the casinos is one reason that Las Vegas resorts offer sometimes bizarrely extravagant experiences. The other reason is that people buy them. Yes, even normally fiscally conservative people can get caught up in the heady rush that Vegas offers. And while only you can decide if Hubert Keller’s $5,000 hamburger—with Wagyu beef, foie gras and truffles—is worth your monthly mortgage, or if springing for the Ono cocktail at XS (made with Charles Heidsieck Champagne Charlie 1981 and Louis XII de Remy Martin Black Pearl cognac) is $10,000-worth of deliciousness in a glass, there is a range of once-in-a-lifetime experiences that are really worth the scratch. If, of course, you have that scratch. Whether you want to liquidate some holdings to get that cash—or just want to fantasize about spending this much money for one evening—here are my favorite fabulously most over-the-top Vegas experiences:
16 Course Tasting Menu at Joël Robuchon
Joël Robuchon, at the Mansion at MGM Grand, is the only restaurant in Vegas to boast three Michelin stars, and it doesn’t draw diners so much as it does pilgrims. They come to taste the $425, 16-course Degustation Menu. Considering the bread cart with its dozen breads, warmed personally for each guest; the massive and varied cheese cart; and a mignardises trolley with more than 30 tiny, post-dessert delights; this meal actually works out to be a straight-up bargain if you can eat this much incredible food. You’ll even see lone diners, here specifically to indulge in the hours-long experience, a once-in-a-lifetime dinner for admirers of Gault Millau’s “Chef of the Century.”
é by José Andrés
Think of “é” as a restaurant-within-a-restaurant. The eight-table space, carved from a private room adjacent to Jaleo, has only two seatings a night from Wednesday through Saturday, at 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. It’s an unhurried journey through 15-plus courses, representing Andres’ experiments with “liquid nitrogen sangria,” and single ingredients refined to their purest essence (like the whole lobe of foie gras baked in salt). You can only reserve by emailing email@example.com. Prices start at $250 per person, or the room is guaranteed yours for the evening, starting at an all-inclusive $3,000.
Hyde Bellagio’s $250,000 Bellagio Fountain Experience
If regular old overpriced bottle service doesn’t impress you, plunk down a quarter million for the front-and-center table over the Fountains of Bellagio. The deal includes a 30-liter bottle of Ace of Spades Champagne, a swag bag filled with goodies and the ability not only to choose the playlist, but also to press the button on the fountains after they normally stop for the night. If you’re not prepared to spend that kind of money, but are still willing to lay out some major cash on bottle service that’s, well, adventurous, there are other good options. The bottle menu also offers alcohol delivered by fantasy characters such as Superman—who soars across the club to your table—The Pink Pantherand the Super Mario Brothers, among others.
Nobu In-Room Dining
In-room dining at Nobu Hotel in Caesars Palace is not, in fact, priced that high compared with many other dining options on the Strip. It doesn’t even compare in price with the $688 per person, seven-course Japanese A5 Wagyu Beef Omakase downstairs in Nobu Restaurant (including Wagyu and foie gras, Gyoza A5 Miyazaki Ribeye, and truffle teriyaki-Wagyu fried rice). That is not to say you can’t get spendy; the High Roller bento box on the in-room menu costs $288 and comes with lobster wasabi, Wagyu steak and sushi. To dine in-room most extravagantly, book one of the Nobu suites with their own sushi counters for a visit from a Nobu sushi chef.
Luxury Theme Villas
The Palms Casino Resort is known for its fantasy suites—two of the most extravagant, for instance, cost $40,000 each per night. The Hardwood Suite is perfect for those with an NBA fixation: The 10,000-squarefoot, two-floor suite has its own indoor basketball court, professional locker room and a scoreboard; you can invite 350 guests over for pre-, mid- and post-game parties. If it’s just regular old excess you’re after, the two-story Sky Villa, a 9,000-square-foot playground, is a sleek symphony of marble, leather, granite and steel. The villa has three bedrooms, a fitness center, sauna, outdoor terrace, 12-person glass-enclosed Jacuzzi pool and, the pièce de résistance, a media room with a revolving bed. The space fits up to 250 party guests. Both suites include 24-hour butler service and VIP club access.