Resort Review: The Westin Lake Las Vegas

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What an amazing escape The Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort was for my family.  It sits next to a beautiful man made lake that looks like an oasis in the desert.  Ducks and geese are swimming all day, making it a very serene get away.  I visited in the off season so it was too chilly to take advantage of a lot of the water activities available.  There’s kayaking, peddle boats, and I counted 3 different pools for you to enjoy.  There are also plenty of cabanas and lounge chairs for soaking up the famous desert sun when the weather warms up.  We got a glass of wine at the small bar inside and relaxed next to one of the outside fireplaces and just talked and listened to the sound of the waterfall.  Perfect.

The rooms are exceptional.  We had 1 suite and 1 standard room and I was really impressed with both.  Not to mention I slept like a baby!  It has everything you need and little luxuries as well.  That was nice considering I only packed 1 backpack for the trip!  This is a smoke-free hotel, which was a welcome change from hotels on The Strip.  I can sometimes be sensitive to cigarette smoke and it was nice that all of our clothes and luggage didn’t stink when we got home.

Just a few blocks up the road is The Village that’s full of restaurants and shops. It also hosts concerts on the lake!  It was pretty quiet (again probably because of the off season) but I’m told it gets much more lively in the summer months.  There is also a Casino there too in case you have an itch to gamble.  It is Vegas after all!  I believe that opens up some time in March.  The Westin offers a free shuttle up to the Village.  Just ask the guys at Valet!  They’ll also shuttle you (free again!) to The Strip.  They drop you off at The Westin located 1 block from all the fun and shenanigans The Strip as to offer.  We took advantage of the 20 minutes shuttle ride in order to do a little shopping.

Overall, I would give this hotel 5 stars.  We were talking about coming back before we even left!  I think that’s a sign of a great visit.  Don’t you think?

five-stars

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Me and my Dad looking all spiffy for dinner out on the town.

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A Different Side of Vegas

DSC06209Normally when I think of Las Vegas, I think of night clubs, the strip, and teeny tiny dresses.  But there’s a whole other side to Vegas that I had never explored before.  I recently stayed with my family at The Westin Lake Resort & Spa as a nice get away from everything that’s been going on.  It’s located about 20 minutes from the strip so it was much quieter and smoke free.  It was a great location for us to explore what’s just outside of the hustle and bustle of the typical Las Vegas scene.

We took a quick drive to explore the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead.  It’s really weird to see right now because the lake is so ridiculously low.  It’s hard to imagine the water as high as some of the ring marks on the dam show it has been.  I highly recommend doing one of the tours while you’re there.  We did the Powerplant Tour and I was mega impressed.  The ingenuity involved in making the Dam is astounding.  The strangest part about it is that when everyone was planning and drafting this, there were no computers!  It was all done by hand and brain power.

Lake Mead is also a really cool recreation spot.  You can rent jet skis, boats, or even house boats if you wanted to stay awhile.  In the summer, the water is a perfect refuge from the blazing desert heat.  I have many fond memories of lake trips with my family.  The lake is about 50 minutes from the strip so it’d make an adventurous break from all the drinking, eating, and gambling of Las Vegas.  Not that that’s not a blast too but sometimes your liver needs a break.

P.S. – We saw rams off the side of the road coming back from our Hoover Dam/Lake Mead visit.  How awesome is that?!

It was so scary to look over the edge!

It was so scary to look over the edge!

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A sneak peek of the Powerplant Tour

A sneak peek of the Powerplant Tour

 

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Shasta Lake – California

Shasta Caverns

Every year, my family goes to Lake Shasta for a week of wake boarding, air chairing, and other shenanigans.  This year, I finally figured out the air chair and had a great time doing it!  The funny part about this year is in the 5 days I was there, we had weather ranging from 95 degrees with not a cloud in the sky to 60 degress with sheets of rain so heavy we couldn’t see across the street.  So even though it was a different trip with the rain, it allowed us to branch out a little.  One afternoon we explored the Shasta Caverns (Pictures above).  I had no idea what to expect but I thought it was amazing. I highly recommend it if you end up in that area.  One thing to note is I had no cell/data service the whole time we were out there!  It’s sad that we feel so disconnected from the universe but it’s also nice to get off the grid for a little while, don’t you agree?

Shasta Lake