Cecilia Allred, the concierge supervisor and the Venetian and Palazzo, moved to Las Vegas from southern California in 1973, and then returned in 2006. Here she shares some of the top tips she offers visitors to Las Vegas when they stop by her desk.
Tell me about one of your favorite places to send first-time Vegas visitors.
Whether they are from the United States or international, I always recommend the Grand Canyon. Their length of stay will determine the best way to see it. My favorite is by helicopter to the west rim or plane to the south rim as it saves so much time. The Grand Canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and it is a must visit. The vistas and wildlife are breathtaking and you will thank yourself for taking the opportunity while you are here.
I want to update my Facebook photo. What should I have in the background of my selfie?
You need to put your selfie in context and give a reason to care about the photo. No blank walls, don’t reveal things you don’t want shown and no strange objects that will make for questionable comments.
Tell me about your favorite hidden gem in Las Vegas.
I love clothes and I find some unique, one-of-a kind styles at the gift shops in the resorts on the Strip. Seriously. And sometimes even at bargain prices. And you will avoid that dreaded moment when you see someone else wearing your outfit.
Where should I eat if I want to celebrate a special occasion?
My favorite, and my family’s favorite, for our celebrations has always been B&B Ristorante at the Venetian. The menu is fresh and not your average Italian fare. The bar is a great place to grab a quick bite before a show at theVenetian or Palazzo too. The bartenders, or more to the point, mixologists, are incredibly inventive and equally charming.
How hard is it to get a reservation while I’m in Las Vegas?
This depends on if its holiday or convention time- it can be fully committed. Always book ahead with our concierge to make sure your celebration will be noted with the manager and guaranteed to be memorable.
What’s the most unusual request you’ve had as a concierge?
Concierge always get asked this question, and in reality, every request is unusual. Mainly because you never know what the guest will ask you and what their expectations are for their visit. We have to be masters at asking open ended questions so we can tailor their itinerary for the best experience.
What about the craziest request?
The craziest requests are the ones where a concierge must respond to the guest that we are only able to arrange what is moral, legal and ethical. Yes, it happens to all of us!
Who is your favorite Las Vegas celebrity chef?
I can only pick one? I can’t! I really have to say Alain Ducasse at Rivea at the Delano and Hubert Keller at Fleur at Mandalay Bay. Not only are they phenomenal Chefs and their restaurants set standards, they are both so supportive of concierge. They understand the vital relationship we have with each other for success, and guest satisfaction.
I want to experience classic Las Vegas. Where do you recommend that I go?
Downtown Las Vegas! It is iconic in its action packed activities and old school vibe. Most guests aren’t old enough to remember classic Vegas though, but they want the feel of the Rat Pack nightclub shows and the showgirls they have seen in the movies. The lounges in town still give us the cool, hip intimacy we all want to experience with our friends. Everything old is new again.
Where do you like to do some people-watching in Las Vegas?
Everywhere. Just remember, you’re being watched too. I always have to remind myself to watch my facial expressions when I am actively people watching. Just when you think you’ve seen everything, something new presents itself.
What’s the must-see show in Las Vegas right now?
Again, this is impossible to pick one. I have to say "Baz" at the Palazzo. I have seen it four times and love it. It keeps you entertained with the action and live music and is so romantic. Speaking of love, the Cirque du Soleil show "The Beatles LOVE" is an all-time favorite followed by "Vegas! The Show."
What tips do you give first-timers?
There are several. First is to utilize your resort concierge. They are the true professionals and will guide you to your near perfect itinerary so that when you go home, you will be able to tell your friends what happened. Another tip is that distances are further than they appear. Walking might seem like a good idea, but you can really tire yourself out. If you’re into gaming be sure to sign up for a player’s club card everywhere and use it. Also take gambling lessons. It will be a lot less intimidating and you might get that extra edge and win big.
Describe your perfect evening out in Las Vegas.
This really depends on my mood and what is happening in town. I love to go to a Las Vegas 51s baseball game with my family and have junk food and beer. The National Finals Rodeo is another favorite of mine. We call it cowboy season, and it is a great time in Las Vegas. If it is a special occasion, I like to start with drinks and appetizers before a show, that way you are not too full that you feel sleepy, and then go out for a late-night bite and nightcap.