Must dos this weekend in Vegas: Feb. 13 – 15, 2015

Saturday is Valentine’s Day. Of course, you already know this. Hallmark is running nonstop ads, and every store in America has a huge display of candy, flowers and stuffed animals to remind you. Even in Vegas, you can’t escape it…so in the spirit of Cupid, embrace it. With resorts modeled on cities like Venice and Paris, love abounds. (Couples, how about a gondola ride or dinner in the Eiffel Tower?) Sin City is perfect for singles too. Thanks to all the cool bars and clubs, you might not go back to your room alone on Feb. 14.

But it won’t be just a weekend of romance. In addition to concerts and stand-up comedy, fans of rugby can cheer on their favorite country at the USA Sevens tournament in Vegas. Go red, white and blue!

Clockwise from top: Marilyn Manson, Loni Love and Hyde Bellagio

Clockwise from top: Marilyn Manson, Loni Love and Hyde Bellagio

Celebrate being single or having snagged someone special

On Feb. 13, Body English nightclub at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is hosting Girls Night Out featuring DJ Koko and a gifting suite by Heidi Klum Intimates. Doors open at 10:30 p.m. and there’ll be complimentary champagne for ladies served between 11 p.m. and midnight. Men…well, just be there. We don’t need to say anything more.

See “The Gender Defenders” on Feb. 13 – 14 at 9 p.m. at the Plaza Hotel & Casino in downtown Las Vegas. Single or partnered, this is great opportunity to have a good laugh over the differences between men and women. The show is hosted by transgender comedian Jaye McBride and stars Kelly MacFarland and Steve Caouette.

Here’s an intriguing option…spend this most romantic of holidays with shock rocker Marilyn Manson. He’s hosting the Black Heart Ball at Hyde Bellagio on Feb. 14, which begins at 10:30 p.m. Joined by DJ Crooked, Manson will transform the breathtaking nightclub overlooking the Fountains of Bellagio into an anti-house of love. Wear dark attire and be prepared for an evening of “seductive attractions.”

For those of you in an enduring relationship (ahem…the “older” crowd), the Orleans Arena is featuring the Love Affair Concert on Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m. The lineup of R&B-oriented bands – many of whom scored hits in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s – couldn’t get more old school than this: Peaches & Herb, The Manhattans, Rose Royce, Blue Magic, Deniece Williams, Ready for the World, Eddie Holman, The Persuaders and Bill Paul. Also at The Orleans in the resort’s showroom on Feb. 14 – 15 at 8 p.m., you’ll discover longtime lovebirds Marylin McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., who will perform some of the soulful songs that scored them seven Grammy Awards over the past five decades.

As part of the Lipshtick comedy series at The Venetian, Loni Love, who hosts the daytime talk show “The Real,” will be in the Sands Showroom on Feb. 14 at 9:30 p.m. Known for giving dating and relationship advice (she’s written a book entitled “Love Him or Leave Him, but Don’t Get Stuck with the Tab”), you can expect an evening filled with her hilarious insights.

Looking for something a little funkier to do? Check out our list of five truly unique ways to commemorate V-Day.

From left: The main dining room at Panevino and grilled swordfish at Hash House A Go Go

From left: The main dining room at Panevino and grilled swordfish at Hash House A Go Go

Eat to your heart’s desire

The way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. We all know that. Whether you’re interested in a lavish dinner for two or you just want to stuff yourself silly, here’s a small sampling (because every restaurant in Vegas will have a special menu on Valentine’s Day) of what you can feast on.

For a setting that’s as romantic as the food, check out Panevino. Located on Sunset Road it offers wonderful views of the Las Vegas Strip through floor-to-ceiling windows. Plus, Chef Mario Andreoni has outdone himself this year with these four special menu items: lobster bisque ($12), Alaskan king crab salad ($28), tagliatelle and lobster ($32), and grilled New York strip and Gorgonzola ($48).

Speaking of views, for a meal to remember go to the Top of World at Stratosphere Tower. This restaurant, which sits 800 feet high and rotates 360 degrees, is serving a special fixed lunch/dinner menu for two for $195. Starting with a strawberry agua fresca shooter, you and your loved one will indulge your palates with a first-course choice of vegetarian soup or heirloom salad with fried oysters, a second-course choice of seared day boat scallops with Riesling brown butter or a wild mushroom and goat cheese tartlet, an entrée choice of grilled beef tenderloin with black truffle sauce or Loch Etive salmon with tomato olive butter, and a dessert of shortcake (heart-shaped biscuits with mint mascarpone, assorted berries and Chambord) to share.

Also high up, the Foundation Room atop Mandalay Bay offers another jaw-dropping view of the Strip and surrounding valley. A special five-course prix fixe menu costs $175 per couple. You’ll begin with a roasted beet salad, followed by a bowl of lobster bisque. Then comes poached Chilean sea bass and a coffee and cocoa crusted prime filet with sweet potato and spinach. Dessert is a decadent chocolate mousse tart.

For a meal on the ground floor of Mandalay Bay that’s sure to impress, head to Fleur by Hubert Keller. There’s a special Valentine’s tasting menu ($85 per person) that features salmon tartare, warm Kushi oysters, brioche crusted diver scallops, seared prime ribeye and tiramisu.

Or for a casual home-style option, there’s Hash House A Go Go with locations at The LINQ Hotel & Casino and the Plaza as well as on West Sahara Avenue. Among the restaurant’s Feb. 14th specials are raspberry and white chocolate flapjacks ($9.99), grilled swordfish ($24.99), New York steak and grilled shrimp ($36.99), and strawberry cheesecake ($9.99).

Calling all singles! At db Brasserie in The Venetian, there’s a special event on Feb. 14 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. A mixer-meets-dinner called Eat, Drink and Flirt! will take place at the communal dining tables in the bar. You’ll get to meet new people while chowing down on a three-course menu ($55 per person) consisting of Maine lobster bisque, black truffle and wild mushroom agnolotti, and either tropical passion fruit or chocolate framboise. You’ll also receive a complimentary glass of champagne as well as an oyster upon arrival. Reservations are required. Call  (702) 430-1235.

For more wonderful dining options, see our Valentine’s Day 2015 page.

USA Sevens International Rugby Tournament

USA Sevens International Rugby Tournament

Get into the action during USA Sevens

If you’re a rugby fan, you’ll be as excited as we are that the USA Sevens International Rugby Tournament is taking over Vegas. The event is returning for its sixth consecutive year on Feb. 13 – 15. Fifteen teams – from places like Australia, Brazil, England, France, Japan, Kenya and, of course, good ol’ U.S.A. – will go head to head in 45 14-minute matches at Sam Boyd Stadium. (For a schedule of game times, go to

In addition to the action-packed tournament, a lot of fun activities – from an international food fair to rugby clinics for kids – are planned for the USA Sevens International Fan Festival (held just outside the stadium during and after each day’s games). You can also attend bashes at host bars. For example, PBR Rock Bar & Grill at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino and Rockhouse at The Venetian are serving as the official party headquarters from Feb. 11 – 15. Matches will be broadcast live on the HD TVs, and you can take advantage of a $50 all-day open bar along with $5 Coors specials. At PBR Rock Bar & Grill, a kickoff party will be held on Feb. 12 as well as a wrap-up party with the official champions on Feb. 14. And swing by Monte Carlo to see some of your favorite players. Named the 2015 official team hotel, it will throw a wrap-up party on Feb. 15.

From left: Eddie Money and Ron White

From left: Eddie Money and Ron White

Rock out or laugh it up

American rocker Eddie Money, beloved for his hit “Two Tickets to Paradise,” is appearing at the Golden Nugget on Feb. 13 at 8 p.m. as part of the downtown resort’s 52 Fridays Concert Series. He’s sure to play that song along with other hits like “Baby Hold On” and “Walk on Water.” Or if you’d rather guffaw like a redneck, blue collar comedian Ron White will take the stage in the Terry Fator Theatre at The Mirage on Feb. 13 – 14 at 10 p.m. nightly. In between smoking cigars and drinking scotch, he’ll bowl you over with his quick wit.


I’m a Las Vegas native. By profession, I write at Mostly about the city’s hotels, but on other topics – gaming and transportation – too. I really love staying at hotels. And the ones here are among the biggest and best in the world. Some key things I’ve learned: Resort fees are inescapable (frustrating but true), a friendly attitude at the front desk may score you a great view and over-the-top room amenities – bath butlers, Japanese tea service, menus with “intimate” items – do exist. What else should you know about me? Well, I’m comfortable at a blackjack table. And I like eating late-night pancakes in hotel coffee shops. A lot. Follow Renee on Google+.