March Madness in Las Vegas: 6 Places to Avoid NCAA Basketball After Your Team Craps Out

Posted Mar 20th 2014 04:34 PMUpdated Mar 20th 2014 04:57 PM

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Gondoliers at Venetian Hotel and Casino Las Vegas
Alamy
More than the host arenas, Las Vegas has become the go-to spot for the first weekend of March Madness. But what happens when your team gets bounced out by an underdog in the NCAA men's basketball tournament's first round and you can't stomach another game, let alone a weekend full of them? These six places offer a respite from the sports books, where you can refresh, rejuvenate and rest up for next season.

1. A gondola ride at The Venetian

There's a time and a place for a solo trip through a canal with a gondolier in a stripped shirt serenading you in Italian. And after a devastating loss might just be that time. Don't be bashful, opt for an outdoor ride over the indoor one through the Venetian's canals. And buy the commemorative photo at the ride's end so you can show your friends. Once they see it, they'll totally forget to rib you about your team being eliminated.
The Venetian

2. El Loco

During this 72-second, 45 MPH roller coaster ride at Circus Circus's Adventuredome, which gives riders a 1.5-vertical G thrill, college basketball will be the last thing on your mind -- unless the thought of your decapitated head flying through the air evokes a rainbow jumper.

Riding El Loco Roller Coaster at Circus Circus's Adventuredome in Las Vegas



3.The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art

Still looking for something to celebrate, even if it's not your hoops team? Head to the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art's current exhibit, Painting Women: Works from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, which celebrates women not as "objects of beauty," but rather for "their ability to create it."

The 34-work, three-room exhibit spans 100 years and includes an audio tour so thorough you'll feel bad for the artworks that were omitted. Highlights include Ellen Day Hale's self-assured self-portrait; My Childhood Trees by Polly Thayer, the "first truly modern piece in MFA's collection" (seen below); and a Georgia O'Keeffe painting of a flower-blossom and we all know that represents.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


4. Fizz Las Vegas

Caesar's new champagne lounge is kind of like a man cave -- when the men in question are Elton John and his partner David Furnish.

Furnish, Fizz Las Vegas's creative director, said the chic yet relaxing lounge reflects the couple's personal style. So rather than staring at hoops on TV, you'll be gazing at a two-story display of Sir Elton and Furnish's splashy photography collection (like a portrait of a PJ-clad Elton cuddling in bed with Elizabeth Taylor, who's sporting a peacock print something-or-other).

Drown your misery in $18 cocktails -- may I recommend the Jamaica Jerk Off (if for no reason other than its name?). Or, if your gambling bets performed better than your favorite team, down a $2,500 Fizz Deluxe. In case you're wondering, it combines Grand Marnier Quintessence, Hennessy Richard Cognac, Fee Brothers lemon bitters and Monin rose syrup along with egg whites and a Dom Perignon Rose Champagne, rose petal and 24-karat gold flake sprinkle finish.

That drink aside, Fizz is surprisingly not stuffy. A few weeks ago on a Saturday night, outside there was no rope line. Inside at a table (bottle service required to score one of those), two women catfished a Canadian DJ/producer via text. One table over, a fully clothed woman gave an aggressive lap dance to a man who seemed like her husband (he looked bored), but Vegas being Vegas, who knows. Sorry though. Fizz has a no-cameras policy, so you'll have to take my word for it.

Fizz Las Vegas


5. Caesars Palace's Hangover suite

Yes Caesars's four-bedroom suite that inspired the one in The Hangover has plenty of TVs. But you'll be so busy quoting the movie ("Did, umm... did Caesar live here?"), you won't have time to think about March Madness.


Not a high roller or don't have the thousands it costs to book the room for an evening? To mark the new partnership between Caesar's Total Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) programs, SPG members can use their points to for a Wolf Pack Weekend: two nights in the hangover suite, VIP table for eight at PURE Nightclub, dinner at Nobu Restaurant and more. Did someone say "March Madness?" See, you already forgot.




6. Yoga at Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage

Our "Las Vegas Spring Break Crawl: Things to Do Beyond the Casinos," singles out this spot where you can "do yoga while the dolphins swim behind you in the glass-enclosed underwater viewing area." If that serene scene doesn't have you saying, "Namaste," just return to the sport book and chant, "Duke sucks." That always relaxes.

Siegfried and Roy
Associated Press

Read more

Warren Buffett Offers $1 Billion for Perfect March Madness Bracket


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