Last week, I was struck by a lucky streak when I was flown from Milan to Las Vegas on an all-complimentary basis thanks to a competition I won with Inglot Malta, the make up brand that gave the opportunity to a hand-picked of number of leading influencers in Malta, inviting them to produce and share content in September using their new J Lo make up Collection products. This international campaign was called #girlsontheglow and I was the winner for Malta!
I never expected it and I was soo happy, for not just the fact that I would be going to Las Vegas, a place I had not yet travelled to in my life, but I was given a ticket to watch one of Jennifer Lopez’s last shows, the penultimate one to be precise, AND my heart stopped beating when I was told I would also have a Meet & Greet opportunity with queen J Lo after her show! I mean … how lucky was I right? I had been (literally) dreaming of this moment quite a few times as I admire everything about Jennifer Lopez, as an entertainer and entrepreneur, as a human being following her dreams, so I did accept the prize and immediately ROCS Group rolled up their sleeves to organise my flight tickets, accommodation, transfers and all the required VISAS for Canada and the US in just one day – for me to able to catch the right flights to make it to the show on Tuesday 25th September! Whoaa… My heart skips a beat just at the memories!
This was the video announcement I had made on Facebook; You can tell that I was still under a pleasant shock from my voice.
OK! So I flew from Milan to Toronto to Las Vegas and was booked to stay at Planet Hollywood the same hotel and casino where J Lo’s show ALL I HAVE was to be held. I had a huge beautiful room with two double beds in it, free WiFi, a huge bath tub and shower and loads of wardrobe space for all my clothes and shoes, great lighting in the bathroom for make up and selfies! Perfecto!
Bachelor parties, celebrity performances, and 24-hour casinos bring millions of visitors to LAS VEGAS each year. And yes, Sin City may be known for raging clubs these chapel weddings and stories that stay in Vegas, but what I noticed is that the affordable rates, excellent food scene, and consistent presence of high-profile performers like Celine Dion, Elton John and J Lo make it a solid getaway destination despite the reputation in the movies. I felt it is also a family-friendly destination because during the day, I didn’t see party revellers or drunk people as I expected to see. My story was not gonna stay in Vegas but it was gonna be all over Instagram and Facebook haha.
So back to my story with the competition win. I was in a cab in Milan with my bestie Denis Aljush, we were on our way to watch our first fashion show, when a phone call by Rachel Vella known by all Maltese persons as the host of the very popular TV programme TISTA TKUN INT a decade ago (It could be you!) came in. I grabbed Denis’s hand and squeezed it tight as I was attentively listening to her words. She asked me if I would accept to go to Las Vegas for a couple of days – I of course accepted! It was this time – I was the luckiest person on the planet!
When I announced on social media to my family, friends and followers on Insta and Facebook that I am on the way to Vegas, I was inundated with not only a gazillion of congratulations and warm love and wishes, but also a myriad of suggestions of casinos, eateries and shows to visit in the few days, so as the organised nerd that I am, I printed a list of top 10 casinos, food places and shows and made sure to plan the best I could since I had only 2 days available for sightseeing in this awesome looking destination!
These were the hotels I checked out and here are some pics for those who have not been yet, just to see the contrast of themes and architecture between each hotel. So cool and flamboyant, an exaggeration of people’s creations and wildest dreams you could say.
• The Mirage Hotel & Casino
• MGM Grand Hotel & Casino
• The Palms Casino Resort
• Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino
• Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino
• Caesar’s Palace Hotel & Casino
• Encore at Wynn Las Vegas
• Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
• New York New York Hotel and Casino
With regards to shows, apart from J Lo’s show I also watched a show by the Cirque de Soleil entitled Zumanity. It was a beautifully performed exploration of hidden passions, sensuality and ultimate seduction, I was not really aware that it is Las Vegas’ reigning fantasy event and I was quite blown away and left inspired.
It is a seductive twist on reality, making the provocative playful and the forbidden electrifying! Part burlesque and part cabaret, Zumanity is one full night I will never forget! It reminded me about the beauty of feeling confident in your own skin, in your own body, to embrace what you are as you are and reminded me how blessed I have been to be a dancer for many years and therefore totally appreciate the hours of training and rehearsals by all dancers to be able to perform acts like these with such effortless grace and passion.
Food – What did I eat in Las Vegas
Well apart from the donuts at the Donut Bar on 6th Avenueand the ice creams to cool down in the heat, I can highlight four eateries I enjoyed, all different in their cuisine offerings.
Burger at Gordon Ramsay
Gordon Ramsay certainly packs a punch with his Hell’s Kitchen Burger at Gordon Ramsay Burger at Planet Hollywood Resort. Named after Ramsay’s reality show, the Hell’s Kitchen Burger features a three-meat burger with asadero cheese, roasted jalapeño peppers, avocado and oven-roasted tomatoes. Amazing.
Tacos at Cabo Wabo
Street tacos come in a few varieties, such as Baja shrimp or pork carnitas, but the carne asada tacos could be the best fuel for a long night of prowling on the Strip. I had one on Monday when I stopped to announce the sunglasses competition remember? It was delicious and not too heavy to continue sightseeing afterwards.
Best Sushi at Mizumi
Not only does Mizumi offer sushi and sashimi, but the restaurant has a robatayaki bar and a teppanyaki room. See if you can sit at the pagoda next to the waterfall. I enjoyed dinner here before attending the show on Monday night. Great service too by the young alert waiters.
During the day, I just bought fresh fruit and water from the huge supermarket next door to the Planet Hollywood and the new Aria Hotel and Crystals Mall. If you were following my Instagram stories, this area is where I stopped to do the 3 morning fitness exercises you all love so much 😉 Yepp, no fitness break, especially on vacation.
Visit the Old Part of Las Vegas
I sought out one of the afternoons to explore the older part of Las Vegas known as Downtown Las Vegas where the feel is completely different to the main Strip of Las Vegas. Apart from the iconic hotels and casinos including the Golden Nugget, 4 Queens Hotel and the Fremont, in this area you will find a much chiller atmosphere, a much more soulful experience with entertainers in the street; I felt like it was a place in the past and that moment I was there, I stopped to listen to this soul singer and I was touched by his talent and incredible charisma. He was not be dazzled with costumes or incredible lights but he drew the crowd with his heart. It reminded me how important it is to show our true colours from deep within. That is where our beauty lies as humans, as creators of our own reality and experience on Earth.
Another wonderful experience I will not forget as I walked through the streets absorbing everything I could and taking some photos to cherish and share with you.
With regards to the meeting with Jennifer Lopez, I will have to dedicate an entire blog to that, so stay tuned to my blog for part 2 of my Las Vegas dream experience courtesy of Inglot Malta, Inglot Cosmetics International and ROCS Group.
Love and light