Feb 18 2009

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Guide to celebrity-spotting at Las Vegas hotels, restaurants

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By E.C. Gladstone

N9ne Hollywood may always be the capital of celebrity, but the fact is, if you really want to run into a star, you have better odds in a Las Vegas hotel. Because, when the famous want to get out and party hearty, they do it here.

That may be no surprise to those who have heard about celebs regularly hosting events at the top Vegas nightclubs — including TAO (Venetian), LAX (Luxor), JET (Mirage), Body English (Hard Rock Hotel), the Bank (Bellagio), and Pure (including the Pussycat Dolls lounge, at Caesars Palace).

But those in the fame game are just as likely to get down at the Hard Rock’s Wasted Space (ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Jason Giambi, Katy Perry); Moon at Palms (George Clooney, Rianna, Olympian party boy Michael Phelps); both Blush and Tryst at Wynn; the new XS at Encore; VIP-only Noir bar (Luxor — ask your concierge), Prive (Planet Hollywood), Cherry (Red Rock Resort); and Lavo at Palazzo (Joaquin Phoenix, Hilary Duff — heck, I’ve partied there myself with Kelly Carlson and Emanuelle Chriqui).

Not that I want you to go crazy running all over town (leave that to the professional paparazzi!). Certain properties do attract stars more than others… and not just in their clubs.

Las-vegas-hotel At the Hard Rock, restaurants AGO (Benicio Del Toro to Bon Jovi) and hot date spot Nobu (Faith Hill & Tim McCraw, David & Victoria Beckham) are where you’ll see the fame game played most…though Kiss’ Gene Simmons and LeAnn Rimes prefer Pink Taco. If you want to see a real NFL All Star Game, hit up Rehab at the pool or the poker room. The Joint has closed, but when the New Joint opens, you can expect it to draw as many faces (from Lindsay Lohan to Adam Sandler) as the original. And if you can afford to stay in the Penthouse Suite, you’ll sleep in the same bed(s) that Axl Rose and Carmen Electra have (no, not together…I think).

At Palms, N9ne Steakhouse seems to attract them like honey does flies (Eva Longoria? Check. Leo DiCaprio? Check. Ben Roethlisberger? Check!), while Simon at Palms Place has hosted the likes of Toby Keith and T.I. (and I even hung with The Hills’ Whitney Port there myself). Don’t be surprised to see who’s dropping drawers at Drift spa (I doubt Robin Leach is a regular just for the healing hands)…and I’d be surprised if there’s ever a weekend someone famous isn’t partying in at least one of their fabulous Fantasy suites.

In the Palazzo, CUT has roped in Luke Wilson, Michael Kors, Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt; SushiSamba has drawn Usher, Amanda Bynes, David Spade and Nicolette Sheridan; Barneys New York and Christian Louboutin in the Shoppes see a steady stream, as does the renowned Canyon Ranch Spa, while the Paiza level suites have seen Adrien Brody, Angie Harmon and Molly Sims lay their heads down.

Las-vegas-hotels As for the Mirage, Cirque Du Soleil’s The Beatles LOVE show has seen a parade that would put any red carpet to shame, from Shaq to Slash, Hef to Demi Moore and of course the surviving Beatles (more than once); Britney Spears loves to take her kids to Siegfried & Roy’s Magic Garden every chance she gets, while Bare pool and Stack restaurant have probably stopped counting (and who wouldn’t want to stay in their incomparable Villa suites?)…

Want more names? Well, certain celebs never get enough of Vegas, it seems: Take… Paris & Nicky Hilton (everywhere from Joe’s Stone Crab to Color by Michael Boychuck, and  even Circus Circus’ Adventuredome!); the Kardashians (LAX, JET, SushiSamba); The Hills girls (Hard Rock, Palms, Palazzo); Jamie Foxx (Venetian/Palazzo, Hard Rock); Kid Rock (Palms, Hard Rock, Mirage, repeat); Kobe Bryant (Wynn, Palms, Mirage); Tommy Lee (Planet Hollywood and Palms); Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson (PH, Hard Rock, Palms); Mariah Carey (Wynn, Venetian, Bellagio)… the list goes on.

Resident tennis stars Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf love off-Strip Marche Bacchus; Criss Angel takes his girl Holly Madison to Giorgio Ristorante in Mandalay Place; Siegfried & Roy like celeb-magnetic Spago; My good friend Robin Leach adds Postrio (Venetian) and Nove (Palms) to his own list of loves. Bette Midler and Rita Rudner are both out and about often. Oh, and Carrot Top? That guy’s everywhere. Seriously.

The list is long already, but I would be remiss not to mention just a few more semi-hidden hot spots: Joe’s Stone Crab in the Forum Shops (Eddie Murphy, Keira Knightley, Mary J. Blige); the Country Club at Wynn (George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Denzel Washington); Koi (Avril Lavigne to John Cleese), Strip House (Simon Cowell to Kat Von D) and the sexy Pleasure Pit gambling tables (Denise Richards to David Hasselhoff) at Planet Hollywood. And have you been to Cathouse at Luxor? Well, Jermaine Dupri, Joe Pesci and Jamie King have!

Who did you see on the Strip? Leave a comment with your celeb spottings!

Insider Tip: Tickets just went on sale for Paul McCartney opening up the New Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel (bigger than the old Joint, but still tiny by Macca standards) on April 19. They start at $195, but it’s sure to be pretty historical.

Related resources:

E. C. Gladstone is a former editor for AOLVegas, and interviews top Strip entertainers, restaurateurs, moguls and behind-the-scenes players for VEGAS Magazine and other prominent publications. Like many Las Vegans, he sleeps only when absolutely necessary.

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Posted on: February 18, 2009 | Tags: | Category: Food & DrinkCategory: Gambling VacationCategory: Las Vegas VacationCategory: Travel Tips

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