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Vegas Escapes: Sleep in a $100K-a-night suite or at Madame Tussauds

Vegas Escapes: Sleep in a $100K-a-night suite or at Madame Tussauds
With commanding views of the Strip, the suite's curved bar features seating for 13. (Palms)

Anybody who travels has slept in some creepy places, and now Las Vegas is offering you the chance to stay in two of the creepiest — or coolest, depending on your perspective.

On the one hand, you can stay in a new suite at the Palms. It will cost you $200,000 (it’s just $100,000 a night, but there’s a two-night minimum). And if you like sharks suspended in formaldehyde, this is definitely the place for you.

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On the other hand, you can stay in pop-up rooms at Madame Tussauds in Vegas (or one of six other cities) and sleep with a bunch of waxworks celebrities. The good news: It’s only $99 a night.

My name is Catharine Hamm, and I’m the travel editor for the Los Angeles Times. I am often puzzled by what is art and what is not, but I would think if it’s a high-end suite, you’d want artwork that’s something north of poker-playing dogs on velvet and something slightly south of dead cartilaginous fishes.

But that’s just me. And maybe you want to brag about sleeping with (fill in the blank name of celebrity here), and if that’s your thing, you’ll need to make your reservations as soon as you read about it in this newsletter. (Thursday is the deadline.)

When you think about it, that’s part of the fun of being in Vegas: You just never know for sure what this town has in store for you.

Except maybe for this: We know that Bellagio will change its floral clothing for Chinese New Year, spring, summer, fall and the holidays, so we show you its new look. (Great flowers without tromping all over the desert with thousands of hot, cranky people.) OK, and this: The pools will open.

But there are other surprises in this newsletter. So take a seat and get caught up on what’s new and where the fun is. No snake eyes here.

What price, luxury? Oh, about $200K

Forget the sharks for the time being. There are other works by Damien Hirst to enjoy in the Palms’ 9,000-square-foot suite. And besides, who wouldn’t want to open the medicine cabinet and find 12,500 cubic zirconia instead of Tylenol? The dining room table seats eight, both bedrooms have king beds and the bar seats 13, Jay Jones writes. Instead of nitpicking the art, we should be picturing ourselves there, no?

Perched atop a hotel tower, a private pool and hot tub, both decorated with artist Damien Hirst's signature butterflies, overlook the Las Vegas Strip about one mile away.
Perched atop a hotel tower, a private pool and hot tub, both decorated with artist Damien Hirst's signature butterflies, overlook the Las Vegas Strip about one mile away. (Palms)

Snuggle up with your favorite celebrity

OK, maybe it’s not exactly snuggling, but you can stay at Madame Tussauds wax museum in a pop-up room. Just dream of the Instagram possibilities! Mary Forgione waxes elegant in telling you how and where (besides Vegas).

A pop-up guest room near wax figures of Adele (front right) and Beyoncé (left) at Madame Tussauds in San Francisco.
A pop-up guest room near wax figures of Adele (front right) and Beyoncé (left) at Madame Tussauds in San Francisco. (Booking.com)

Do you dig Las Vegas?

Of course you do or you would not be here. But we mean this not in the figurative sense but in the literal one. At Dig This, Jay Jones writes, you, uh, we mean, your kids can operate mechanical shovels and more at a place that’s known as the “World’s Heavy Equipment Playground.” If you need to get rid of your stress (presumably, this is for you, Mom and Dad), you can, for just $650, use a 15-ton excavator to destroy a car.

Children as young as 3 can take the controls of earth-moving equipment (with an adult holding them) at Dig This. Fifteen-minute sessions start at $20.
Children as young as 3 can take the controls of earth-moving equipment (with an adult holding them) at Dig This. Fifteen-minute sessions start at $20. (Dig This)

Play us some songs, you’re the piano men

Get four talented guys together, put in a range of music, from classical to rock written specifically for the piano, mix it all together and you have the Greatest Piano Men, performing until April 21 at the Flamingo.

From left, Greg Ransom, Peter Peterkin and Donnie Kehr reprise the works of Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel and other famous artists in "The Greatest Piano Men" at Flamingo Las Vegas.
From left, Greg Ransom, Peter Peterkin and Donnie Kehr reprise the works of Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel and other famous artists in "The Greatest Piano Men" at Flamingo Las Vegas. (Denise Truscello)

A toast to this barbershop

A shave and a haircut will run you a little more than two bits at the Barbershop Cuts and Cocktails at the Cosmopolitan, but you get cocktails with your cut. It has an old-fashioned feel and bourbon and is open until midnight. Did we mention there’s lots of bourbon?

Customers can order spirits or a mixed drink at the Barbershop Cuts and Cocktails at the Cosmopolitan.
Customers can order spirits or a mixed drink at the Barbershop Cuts and Cocktails at the Cosmopolitan. (Michael Simon / startraksphoto.com)

Dressed for spring

The Bellagio Conservatory has shed its Chinese New Year theme and is all decked out for the gentlest season of all. To that end, the spring that’s depicted is not unlike what you would find in Japan, complete with cherry blossoms and a 32-foot-tall model of the Osaka Castle.

"Japanese Spring" at the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden features a replica of the landmark eight-story castle in Osaka, Japan.
"Japanese Spring" at the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden features a replica of the landmark eight-story castle in Osaka, Japan. (Mark Damon/Las Vegas News Bureau)

At the pools, it's mostly not about swimming

In other season-changing news, Las Vegas is about to move into its next one, and that’s pool season. It may be a bit chilly yet, but it doesn’t matter, because in many places, it's not about swimming but about the party. No cannonball for you, unless there’s a cocktail with that name. Read about what’s new and happening at these dayclub/waterclub spots.

"Temptation Sundays," Vegas' longest-running gay pool party, returns to Luxor on May 12.
"Temptation Sundays," Vegas' longest-running gay pool party, returns to Luxor on May 12. (MGM Resorts)

Celebrating the talents of the off-Strip chef

You can get great meals on the Strip, of course, which is part of its allure. But don’t overlook the off-Strip restaurants, either. They will be celebrated May 11 at Vegas Unstripped, which gives a nod to the many culinary wizards who started at Strip places, then went out on their own. The event, fittingly enough, will be in the Downtown Arts District. Tickets go on sale April 2.

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Brian Howard of Sparrow & Wolf will participate in the 2019 Vegas Unstripped event.
Brian Howard of Sparrow & Wolf will participate in the 2019 Vegas Unstripped event. (Daniel Clough)

Are you kidding me right now?

Well, maybe not right now, but these folks soon will be. There are a lot of funny folk set to entertain you in the coming weeks, including Craig Ferguson, Ali Wong, Chris Tucker and Kevin McDonald.

Craig Ferguson (pictured with his dog Spike) and Ali Wong are among the comedians who will entertain in Las Vegas in the coming months.
Craig Ferguson (pictured with his dog Spike) and Ali Wong are among the comedians who will entertain in Las Vegas in the coming months. (Photos by, from left, Ian Cunningham; Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)

Sports book gets a reboot

Take a sports book, add recliners and couches, add some fan caves and a lot of tech and, voilà, you have the Linq’s Book, an enclave of living rooms ideal for inviting friends and having, perhaps, a beer tasting while you’re watching the NCAA basketball tournament, Michael Hiller writes.

Fan caves are rentable living room-like pods equipped with a 98-inch TV that can be split into four screens.
Fan caves are rentable living room-like pods equipped with a 98-inch TV that can be split into four screens. (Michael Hiller)

Where to read us and reach us

If you would like to subscribe to this newsletter or many others from the Los Angeles Times for your specific interest, go to membership.latimes.com/newsletters. Here’s a bonus: They are delivered free to your inbox. We thank you for your readership and hope you will find these handy compilations of news and features rewarding. If you do not, let us know that too by writing to travel@latimes.com.

If you have comments or suggestions on this newsletter, send them to travel@latimes.com. Tell us what you like and what you don’t like — the traffic on the Strip, the scarcity of the budget shrimp cocktail, the people standing on the sidewalks handing out informational fliers to the guys, even if you’re with one, which is kind of insulting — along with anything that you’d like to see.

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We’ll be back April 25 with a whole new slew of news and information about the city that never naps. Until then, we wish you all the fun you can find and all the cash you need to make it happen.

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