See Las Vegas Like a Local With These Concierge Tips

Alan De Leon, a Tower Suite representative at Aria, moved to Las Vegas 18 years ago from Tijuana, México. Here he shares some of his favorite recommendations that he offers tourists staying in Las Vegas.

Tell me about one of your favorite places to send first-time Vegas visitors.

I think the observation deck at the Stratosphere is a must for any first-time visitors; the views are totally worth venturing to the very top of the tower to get a better perspective of the Las Vegas Strip and the Valley that you might otherwise not even realize was there if you stay in your hotel room.

The High Roller

I want to update my Facebook photo. What should I have in the background of my selfie?

The Neon Museum in Downtown Las Vegas features restored, historic Vegas neon signs and is best viewed at night, in my opinion. The High Roller Observation Wheel at the Linq also features some great "selfie" opportunities.

Tell me about your favorite hidden gem in Las Vegas.

Located about 40 minutes from the Strip, Boulder City, Nevada, was once home to the people working on the Hoover Dam. The historic downtown features great antique shops, mom and pop restaurants with al fresco seating, and even a restored movie theater from the 1930s.

Picasso restaurant

Where should I eat if I want to celebrate a special occasion? How hard is it to get a reservation while I’m in Las Vegas?

Carbone at Aria is a fantastic destination for a special occasion, however, do plan ahead of time, since reservations here are usually limited. Picasso at Bellagio by chef Julian Serrano features fantastic seating right next to the Bellagio Fountains lake. As always, it is best to make arrangements with concierge prior to your arrival, but we are usually able to secure reservations at the time of check-in.

What’s the most unusual request you’ve had as a concierge? What about the craziest request?

As far as unusual or craziest, I've yet to get a request for something that makes me stop and think: "Wait. You want what…?" But then again, this is Las Vegas, so those types of request will eventually happen and we just have to be prepared to best accommodate to each and every one of our guests and their requests.

Who is your favorite Las Vegas celebrity chef?

Chef José Andrés, for bringing Spanish cuisine to a whole new level in Las Vegas, with his restaurants Bazaar Meat by José Andrés at SLS, Jaleo at Cosmopolitan, é by José Andrés (inside Jaleo), and his involvement in developing the menu for the new Esports Arena at Luxor.

Do you have a favorite brunch you like to recommend to guests?

Park on Fremont in Downtown Las Vegas features a great brunch menu, with ham and Swiss Monte Cristo, garbage fries, avocado toast (for the Millennials) but most importantly, their mimosas. They will literally give you a whole bottle of sparkling wine with your orange juice.

I want to experience classic Las Vegas. Where do you recommend that I go?

Walking inside the El Cortez in Downtown Las Vegas is almost like traveling back in time. Antique Alley on Main Street has some very nostalgic and quirky antique shops. The Golden Steer on Sahara Avenue is one of the oldest steakhouses in town that saw the likes of Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe.

Where do you like to do some people-watching in Las Vegas?

I like having a tiramisu gelato from Trevi while sitting in the main fountain inside Forum Shops at Caesars. You can usually spot a newlywed couple in the gondola rides at the Grand Canal Shops at Venetian. The newly renovated Strip-side al fresco dining at the Fashion Show mall is another great option.

What’s the must-see show in Las Vegas right now?

Any of the Cirque du Soleil shows are a staple of Las Vegas entertainment, but "The Beatles LOVE" at The Mirage has got to be my favorite. "Opium" at Cosmopolitan is a new show for those into over-the-top comedy and science fiction, and features a great live band.

Susan Stapleton
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