LAS VEGAS The company holiday party season has arrived. If you’re still searching for entertaining ideas for corporate groups in Las Vegas—whether you're hosting an office party, after-work drinks in a bar, or a big blowout—check out these resources for food, entertainment, gifts, event decor, rentals, group activities, and more.
1. The Venetian and the Palazzo Las Vegas have introduced “Winter in Venice,” which offers 49 days of holiday festivities throughout both resorts from November 21 to January 8. The program kicked off with the opening of an ice skating rink above the Venetian’s outdoor Grand Canal. Surrounded by decorative snowflakes, holiday lights, and a 65-foot LED holiday tree sitting atop the Doge’s Palace fountain, guests are entertained by strolling candy-cane stilt walkers, puppets, jugglers, and magicians. The skating rink is available for buyout for events.
2. For a client or employee gift, wrap up a copy of Eating Las Vegas: The 50 Essential Restaurants, a new book with local picks selected by dining critics and authors John Curtas, Max Jacobson, and Al Mancini. The book, published by Huntington Press, is a budget-friendly choice at $12.95. The restaurants featured inside were kept secret until the launch party at Restaurant Guy Savoy earlier this month.
3. For a festive employee holiday celebration or client entertaining, check out the new holiday rolls at Rice & Company at the Luxor. Executive chef Danny Chen has introduced “Santa’s Roll” (made with crawfish, sliced cucumber, and carrots and topped with seared ahi fluke, shiso leaf, coconut flake, togarashi, and a savory Thai mayo sauce) and “Roll in the New Year” (made with cream cheese, smoked salmon, and mango, and topped with shrimp, avocado, caviar, spicy mango salsa, and kabayaki sauce).
4. Take a group for an indulgent and restorative holiday celebration at the Rio Spa & Salon, which offers its new “Pretty, Pampered, and Privileged” package. The full-day package begins with limo service to the Rio Spa and a Champagne welcome toast. The three-and-a-half-hours of spa services include a 50-minute signature massage, a choice of an organic facial or microdermapeel facial, and a manicure and pedicure. The group also has access to the Palazzo Suites' private pool for two hours following the treatment. The Rio butler team serves lunch, which is available poolside or in the Palazzo Suites dining room. A gift bag of spa products and return limo service completes the experience. The cost is $575 per person,with a two-person minimum booking.
5. With the highly anticipated Smith Center for the Performing Arts slated to open in the spring, holiday gift certificates are now available for performing arts fans. Certificates are available in any denomination and may be redeemed over the phone or in person at the venue's ticket office for any show presented by the Smith Center.
6. For a hard-earned holiday incentive or gift for frequent travelers, the spas at Wynn Las Vegas and Encore have introduced two new experiences. The Encore Foot Surrender combines reflexology, massage, and stretching techniques for tired feet. A 50-minute treatment is $180; an 80-minute treatment is $270. And the Spa at Wynn's aromatherapy treatment with H. Gillerman pure essential oils is meant to improve symptoms of stress, fatigue, and jet lag. A 50-minute treatment is $180; an 80-minute treatment is $265.
7. For a holiday activity that treats the group to (probably) warmer climes, Vegas 2 Hollywood offers tours that pick up groups from the Las Vegas Strip and take them to Los Angeles. Beach packages start at $165, while packages that include a Warner Brothers studio tour go for $250. Both tours include lunch, in Beverly Hills or on the studio lot.
8. Give a gift with delayed gratification: Rocker Rod Stewart returns to the Colosseum at Caesars Palace for the second year of his Las Vegas residency, “Rod Stewart: The Hits.” Give tickets as a gift that can be redeemed for March and April performances in 2012. Bonus: No seat is more than 120 feet from the stage. Is your gift recipient more of an Elton John type? John also returns to the Colosseum with his all-new show, “The Million Dollar Piano.” The show debuted this fall and marked the beginning of the performer's three-year residency as a Caesars headliner. Various dates are now available for February and April.
9. With multiple locations in Vegas, the Cupcakery offers crowd-pleasing treats for in-office holiday gatherings. Among the seasonally appropriate flavors: the “Maple Nut Goodie,” featuring maple pecan cake topped with pecan cream cheese frosting and a toasted Texas pecan.
10. The “Holiday Hot Stone Package” at the Planet Hollywood Spa by Mandara is a two-hour, $220 treatment that includes a hot stone massage followed by a “Fire and Ice” pedicure, with cooling gels and heated stones applied to your feet and lower legs.