Viva Las Vegas! Sin City has long been regarded as America’s bacchanal, but it has become so much more than just a gambling mecca in recent years. Case in point: Vegas is hosting one of the most anticipated events of the year. Tomorrow, November 18, the Strip will transform into a world-class F1 venue, with a track that runs right past Caesars Palace, the Bellagio, and the Venetian. But, as any F1 fan knows, race day is about so much more than just the cars. Fans can expect gourmet food, exclusive concerts, and, well, because this is Vegas—lots of in-your-face glamour. Below, we highlight some must-try offerings for F1 weekend.
What to See
You may have seen TikTok videos of a giant eye keeping tabs on general happenings in Las Vegas. That eye is actually Vegas’ newest, most mind-boggling spectacle. The Sphere, as it is aptly named, is a music and entertainment arena that opened earlier this year. The exterior is the largest and highest-resolution LED screen in the world, displaying advertisements, emojis, giant pumpkins for Halloween, and, yes, giant eyeballs. During F1 weekend, the outside of the Sphere will screen F1 programming. Inside, there will be concerts by J Balvin, Major Lazer, Mark Ronson, and Kylie Minogue, among others.
The best way to see the stunning Las Vegas track—which winds its way past iconic locations like Caesars Palace, the Bellagio, and the Venetian—is by helicopter. Take a 20-minute ride on a Maverick chopper for a unique perspective.
Race Day Spa Treatments at the Waldorf Astoria
F1 fans can get a “tune up” at the Waldorf Astoria Spa, which is offering a “Final Lap Race Day” facial that includes a Vitamin D-infused facial and massage and a 24K gold eye mask. Guests of the Waldorf can also swing by the spa for champagne, herbal teas, a juice bar, light bites, and a take-home gift with skin care essentials for race day.
Where to Eat
Chef Wolfgang Puck’s famous restaurant Spago is the place to see and be seen during F1 weekend. The outdoor patio offers a view of the famed Bellagio fountain and a platform with views of the racetrack. Spago is also offering a “recovery brunch” the morning after race day, so fans can enjoy the restaurant’s signature pizza with smoked salmon, crème fraîche, and caviar.
Milos is what cooking should be: high-quality and exceptionally fresh product handled with care. The sea-forward menu is on display in its open kitchen and fish market (much of which is flown in from the Mediterranean daily). Everything is great, but you would be remiss to not start with the Milos Special (lightly fried eggplant and zucchini sliced razor-thin and paired with saganaki cheese and tzatziki) and the astonishingly tender octopus.
Giada De Laurentiis’ eponymous eatery is one of the best-kept secrets of F1 weekend. The restaurant boasts a view of the track, so you can snack on some of the celebrity chef’s famous Italian pastas (don’t skip the lemon spaghetti with shrimp), all while watching famous Italian cars whiz by. Buon appetito!
Where to Drink
Curated by AK Design Network, this tapas bar-meets-cocktail lounge is simply stunning. The warm and inviting atmosphere features animated portraits of female characters who inspire a selection of craft cocktails based on their unique storylines. We suggest sipping the Isabella, composed of ultra-premium and barrel-aged Casa Dragones tequila, aperol, lime, and a passionfruit mole spice. While the beverage program takes center stage, don’t skip chef Nicole Brisson’s savory selects, which rivals those found at her much-hyped neighboring Italian eatery Brezza.
The NoMad Bar
Tucked inside the Park MGM, you’ll find a sophisticated speakeasy that is reminiscent of Hemingway’s Bar at the Ritz in Paris (trust us). The program is helmed by Leo Robitschek, who brought his magic to Vegas after receiving the honor of “Best Bar in North America” and the #3 ranking globally in the 2017 World’s 50 Best Bars for his work in New York. Here, you’ll find classic cocktails, playful riffs such as Detox-Retox (think: a tiki-inspired old fashioned), and larger formatted adult punch bowls.
Vesta Coffee Roasters
Born out of downtown Las Vegas’ Arts District, this boutique coffee brand has garnered a cult-like following. Everything from farmer selection to on-site roasting to classic and nitro brewing is carefully watched by a team of the city’s best baristas. For those looking for something more substantial, all of Vesta’s pastries are made in-house, including a must-try savory tartine and sweet almond croissant.
Where to Stay
Bellagio Hotel & Casino
The Bellagio is the place to be on F1 weekend. In addition to hosting one of the most coveted viewing spots on the Strip, including the Bellagio Fountain Club, the hotel will have a Ferrari pop-up boutique on the property, as well as exclusive dining experiences at Le Cirque and Prime, plus a “shoey” bar where you can recreate the iconic F1 podium celebration. (For the uninitiated, that means chugging beer out of a shoe.) The Mayfair Supper Club at the Bellagio will also transform into an Ibiza-style nightclub.
One of the newest properties in town, Crockfords at Resorts World is definitely one of the buzziest. To get there, you need to pass through a gated motor court and enter into the very private lobby of Resorts World’s ultra-swank Crockfords tower. There, you will find a dedicated staff, elevators to whisk you up to the 236 penthouse accommodations, direct access to private gaming, and a VIP pool.
Why not indulge in la dolce vita when you’re in Vegas? Start race day off with a gondola ride before settling into one of the hotel’s many prime spots for once-in-a-lifetime views. The Venetian is situated on a corner turn, and faces 20 percent of the total course. There will be strip-side patio dining at Wakuda restaurant, after-parties at the Amber Lounge, and performances at the recently opened event space Voltaire, where Kylie Minogue will have a residency.
Rose is a Senior Editor at ELLE overseeing features and projects about women’s issues. She is an accomplished and compassionate storyteller and editor who excels in obtaining exclusive interviews and unearthing compelling features.