Friday, May 7, 2010

Vegas Uncork'd: From Mandalay Pool to Chef Photo Op... WHAT??!!

No really, you wouldn't believe what just happened. After I submitted my first entry to Hunter, I decided to do some real(ly fun!) "investigative journalism" and head over to Mandalay Bay's famed beach. Now remember that this is my first time staying at the Mandalay complex, so I hadn't seen the pools before.


Now there may be hipper pool scenes here in Vegas and there may be sleeker and sexier pool areas... But I don't think I've ever seen a pool area as fun and enjoyable overall as Mandalay's. The wave pool is quite BIG, and quite nice. The lazy river is also something else, and I'm determined to take some time tomorrow to rent an intertube so I can really ride it the way it was meant to be experienced.

Another interesting thing I was noticing was the vibe and the design of Mandalay's beach. When it first opened, Mandalay was supposedly meant to evoke some exotic South Seas locale. But other than a few Southeast Asian style reliefs sprinkled here and there, the design of the beach area (or should I say 2007 redesign?) gave me more of the feeling that I was back home in "The OC". No really, the beach today looks much more "California Modern" than "Ancient Burmese Treasure", and the crowds and the overall size of the complex also gave much more of a "summer day in Surf City" vibe than "hideaway in Fiji".

And honestly, I have no problem with it. Perhaps some might decry the infestation of "Modern Generic Moderne" into just about every MGM Mirage casino these days, but I can actually see how the "Californication" of Mandalay Bay works. It markets itself these days as "Untamed Luxury", and its lineup of hotel offerings, restaurants, clubs, and other entertainment options pretty much does this trick.

So once I was done at the pool, I headed back up to my THEhotel suite to prepare for the big night tonight and...


Much to my surprise, I didn't even have to go to the Vegas Uncork'd opening press event... It actually came to me!

No really, I was walking into THEhotel's lobby and immediately came upon Guy Savoy. And Cat Cora. And Joel Robuchon. And Carlos Guia. My goodness, what did I walk into?!

Sadly, I couldn't take too many good photos due to the poor lighting and massive crowds. However, I did snap a good shot at Guy Savoy and a couple other salvageable pics that you can find at my Twitpic.

So after about 150 seconds of just being "starstruck", I figured out that the chefs were all here for a special media event at Mix. So what did I do? Oh, I just looked like a fool in my still-somewhat-wet "pool couture" and snapped some pics. Just for you. Since Hunter and I love you so much. :-p

As always, stay tuned @atdleft on Twitter for the latest Uncork'd news. I'll soon be on my way to the Bradley Ogden dinner, and I'll spill all the beans to you when I check in tomorrow morning. So until then, eat well and enjoy!

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