Travel

Rekindling Our Marriage with a Romantic Vegas Weekend at Mandalay Bay

We have implemented photo sliders on our site. Make sure to click the left and right arrows to see all the great photos!

Our children can consume our lives. Between school, homework, after-school activities and all the other chaos, everyone in the family is involved with, it’s a wonder we make it through the week. And this can go on for years.

But one day it will all stop.

While your children are growing up, it’s easy to fantasize about what you and your partner will do after the children are gone. You will do all of the things you used to do together before having children. You’ll travel and regain that spontaneity you both used to enjoy. But when the last child has gone, you realize that something fundamental has changed. You’re suffering from Empty Nest Syndrome.

My wife Zanne and I got a wake-up call one night when we were out having a drink. Now, we have a good marriage. We still enjoy spending time together, but on this evening, after we finished catching up on work and the myriad of things that go along with raising two teenage daughters, we hit a lull. She asked what I wanted to talk about and I responded by asking what she wanted to talk about. And then we just sat there, looking at each other, and we had nothing to say. We resolved right then and there to take positive steps to ensure that we actively nurtured our romantic relationship and friendship.

As it so happens, our daughters had a week-long school trip coming up to New York, affording us the opportunity to plan a romantic getaway lasting more that one night for the first time in many years.

I connected with my friends at MGM Resorts International and shared with them my idea of rekindling our relationship with a long romantic weekend in Las Vegas. They were thrilled with the idea and helped us plan the amazing weekend detailed below.

Mandalay Bay Penthouse Sky View Suite

Slider

After arriving in Las Vegas in the early afternoon, we immediately headed to Mandalay Bay, our love nest for the next few days. When we went to check-in, we were told that housekeeping had been cleaning our room for 90 minutes and hadn’t finished. This set off alarm bells and I had to ask what could possibly take more than 90 minutes to clean a hotel room. The desk clerk informed me that the suites were rather large and take quite a bit of time to clean.

Well, of course, I am getting all excited at this point and when I received the text that our suite was ready we raced up to the 61st floor. To say that we were thrilled when we opened the door would be an understatement.

Mandalay Bay had provided us with a Penthouse Sky View Suite. This 1,000+ sq.ft. suite included a large living room and bedroom; a massive bathroom with a walk-in shower, a large whirlpool tub and a TV behind the mirror; a wet bar and a guest powder room.

Spa Mandalay

Slider

After a quick celebration at the generosity of our friends at MGM Resorts Intl. we headed down to the Spa Mandalay. We were provided with Spa Day Passes which allowed us full access to:

  • Redwood Sauna
  • Heated Whirlpools (warm and hot)
  • Relaxation Lounge
  • Exercise Room
  • Eucalyptus Steam Room
  • Cold Plunge
  • Shower Facility
  • Vanity Amenities

After a quick dip in the whirlpool and a few minutes it the Eucalyptus Steam Room I was called in for my custom massage with Grazia. I have had quite a few massages, but she worked her magic with aromatherapy and hot stones and I could feel all my stress leaving my body.

I am partial to spas that have a full range of amenities while feeling that I have the spa to myself. Given its size, I didn’t expect that feeling before arriving, but the truth is that the large size allows you to feel like you have your own private space (I only saw 5-6 other guys at any given time). I was also impressed with the professionalism and the responsiveness of the staff.

Dinner at Aureole

Greg Baugher for Suburban Men

Greg Baugher for Suburban Men

Greg Baugher for Suburban Men

Greg Baugher for Suburban Men

Greg Baugher for Suburban Men

Greg Baugher for Suburban Men

previous arrow
next arrow
Slider

After our spa experiences, Zanne and I met back up in our suite to prepare for dinner. We would be dining at Charlie Palmer’s Aureole in Mandalay Bay. Having previously enjoyed an amazing dinner at Libertine Social right next door, I was looking forward to seeing what magnificent dishes Chef Alexandre Grégoire had in store for us.

Before even entering Aureole, you’ll probably stop in your tracks before descending to the lower-level dining room as you gaze upon the multi-story wine tower. When the sommelier requests a bottle of wine, the Wine Angels (that’s the best job title I have heard in a long time) rappel gracefully around inside of the tower to secure your requested vintage out of the 4,500 bottles available.

For appetizers, we chose Charlie’s French Onion Soup and the Short Rib Ravioli. The soup is served with gruyére and puff pastry. It was delicious and the puff pastry is truly unique and provided a lighter more delicate experience compared to the traditional crusty baguette. The short rib ravioli with shaved pecorino and tomato sauce was easily both my wife and my favorite dish of the evening. They were flavorful and could easily stand on their own as an entree.

While waiting for the main course, we were surprised and delighted when the chef sent over a sample of their renowned Diver Sea Scallops for us to sample. The scallops are drizzled with a coconut-curry sauce and were incredibly sweet and tender, and bursting with flavor when we bit into them.

For our main course, Zanne and I both chose the Creekstone Farms 8-oz. Center Cut Filet Mignon with piquillo purée and red wine sauce. The filet was cooked as ordered and perfectly seasoned, not too salty as some restaurants tend to do almost drowning out the flavor of the meat. For our sides, we chose the Buttered Mashed Potatoes and the Brussel Sprouts with Lemon and Ginger. Both were delicious and complimented the filet nicely.

For dessert, as we had consumed quite a bit during dinner, we elected to share the Apple Cheesecake with Granny Smith Sorbet. The tartness of the Granny Smith Apples was perfect as a palate cleanser. I then enjoyed a glass of Jameson 18 Year Limited Reserve Irish Whiskey (it was St. Patrick’s Day weekend after all) and my wife and I talked… and talked and talked. The relaxation of our time at Spa Mandalay and the delicious dinner in the spectacular setting of Aureole allowed us to reconnect again in a way we hadn’t in a long time. We missed our daughters tremendously, but we also reveled in the fact that our schedule was not dictated by school or activities, but we were free to do what we wanted when we wanted.

We finally headed up to our suite to relax and prepare for a busy St. Patrick’s Day.

Breakfast at Sadelle’s

Slider

On Sunday morning we were up early and Ubered over to Bellagio for breakfast at Sadelle’s. Three times the size of the New York City original, Sadelle’s is a 10,000-square-foot all-day restaurant and bakery overlooking the Bellagio’s famous conservatory. Renowned for their table-side pastry service, smoked-fish towers, and caviar, you’ll probably be disappointed to find out that I ordered… wait or it… oatmeal. After the amazing dinner the previous night at Aureole, and knowing that later that night I would be consuming copious amounts of Guinness to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, I elected to go for something simple. It was fulfilling and the fruit topping was fresh and delicious.

Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden

Greg Baugher for Suburban Men

Greg Baugher for Suburban Men

Greg Baugher for Suburban Men

Greg Baugher for Suburban Men

Greg Baugher for Suburban Men

Greg Baugher for Suburban Men

Greg Baugher for Suburban Men

previous arrow
next arrow
Slider

The Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden is a must-stop for Zanne and I each time we visit Las Vegas. Their massive, intricate floral displays are refreshed with each season allowing for a new experience each time we visit. We marveled at the artisanship and detail of the Japanese Spring show. From the grandeur of the 32-foot-tall Osaka Castle reproduction to the smaller details in the plumage of the red-crowned cranes, you will be amazed at this floral wonderland. The Japanese Spring is not to be missed and runs through June 15th.

Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art

Slider

After spending quite a while in the Bellagio Conservatory, we then headed to the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art to explore two installations by renowned artist Yayoi Kusama, Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity and Narcissus Garden. Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity is a mirrored infinity room filled with shimmering lights. Each visitor enters alone and initially, you almost feel a sense of vertigo as you are cut off from the outside world. After a few seconds, you adjust and almost feel as if you are floating space. Narcissus Garden is an installation of 750 mirrored globes meant to distort reality reflected in their surfaces and has been installed worldwide over the past 50 years.

St. Patrick’s Day

Greg Baugher for Suburban Men

Greg Baugher for Suburban Men

Greg Baugher for Suburban Men

Greg Baugher for Suburban Men

Greg Baugher for Suburban Men

previous arrow
next arrow
Slider

To cap off our amazing weekend, we threw on our finest Irish garb and started our St. Patrick’s Day festivities by joining the Nine Fine Irishmen pub on the Brooklyn Bridge at New York New York for Celtic Feis. The Guinness was flowing and the live music was thumping. Fun fact: Nine Fine Irishmen was completely assembled in Ireland before being disassembled, shipped to Vegas and then reassembled at New York-New York. We then headed downtown to Fremont Street and for one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the U.S. This was a big deal for me. Being half-Irish from Chicago (we dye our river green every March 17th) St. Patrick’s Day is like my birthday and Christmas rolled into one. And since moving to Southern California three years ago, let me just say that the St Paddy’s celebrations out here have been a little underwhelming. We had an amazing time, drank our share of Guinness and danced and celebrated like back when we were dating. We particularly enjoyed the show by Alter Ego. If you’re in Vegas, look them up.

Heading Home

We woke very early on Monday morning as we had a 4-1/2 drive back to LA ahead of us and our girls were flying back home from their trip to New York. We held hands but were silent for most of the drive home. Not because we had nothing to say, but we were just reflecting on the wonderful time we had together and mentally planning more of these adventures in the future. The weekend accomplished exactly what we wanted and needed and we can’t wait for the next getaway.

Many, many thanks to my dear friends at MGM Resorts International and Wendie in particular for hosting us and helping us plan this fabulous trip. If you are headed to Las Vegas, I highly recommend the MGM family of hotels. Their service and amenities are truly unmatched and always provide us with spectacular experiences. I’ll even make it easy on you, make your reservations now at https://www.mgmresorts.com/.

Tags

Greg Baugher

Bacon is always the answer. Currently working towards an MBA with an emphasis in fantasy football. I have friends in spite of myself. Probably the best meat eater in the world. Trying to change the name from Tweeting to Gregging. Recommended by 4 out of 5 people that recommend things. I’m here to avoid friends on Facebook.

Related Articles

Back to top button