Raving about Lago

I was in Las Vegas  two weeks ago for a quick couples’ getaway and I want to tell you, briefly, about one of the best meals I’ve had in recent memory.

It was our wedding anniversary and I wanted to eat at Lago (restaurant) at Bellagio (hotel).   As I love to research and to know what I’m getting into before I set foot in a restaurant,  I looked at the menu online and also read the Trip Advisor reviews.

In doing the research I estimated a dinner bill of about $300-$400US for what we would likely choose.  That being out of the budget I went ahead and made a lunch reservation instead. (This is definitely your take away tip from this blog post.  “Don’t skip the restaurant, just have lunch instead of dinner.”)  By the way, this restaurant has a wine list where bottles range between $75 and $3500.

At lunchtime this particular restaurant even offers a “prefix menu.”  Basically it is a modified menu where you choose an item from each course offered and pay one price. In this case, Lago offers a 3 course lunch menu at $28 per person. Example: choose one of 4 appetizer options,  choose one of 4 entrées and then dessert.

First, let me say that the ambiance was amazing! The view was amazing! The service was amazing! And the menu choices were amazing! Do you get the picture? Simply amazing!  Long before the food was even served I was loving Lago.

I started with a fancy gin cocktail.  So fancy that it had little flavoured blood-orange beads and an orchid in it. Fancy!!

For entrées I had Seabass and my husband had lasagna.  They were each very well crafted. Delicious! Really outstanding  flavours, perfectly cooked.

The dessert was chef’s choice and I have to say absolutely outstanding! They tasted even better than they looked,  if that was even possible. I can only describe the tiny cake as a cheesecake hugged by cherries and chocolate, glazed with more chocolate and  garnished with chocolate. And I do like chocolate!

I finished the meal with a cappuccino and lingered over the view a little while longer.

Definitely the best meal I’ve had in a long time, likely top three lifetime.

I’m very glad we went for the lunch option rather than bypassing the restaurant all together.

Our bill was just over $100, plus a generous gratuity. Excellent value, in my opinion. I would highly recommend Lago.

 

 

 

 

5 Canadian Fares under $300

Competition is a good thing and Canadians are now enjoying lower everyday fares on (at least) a few routes.

Thanks to Flair Airlines and now (Westjet’s new discount carrier) Swoop, you can typically fly to these cities, from Winnipeg for under $300, return, all taxes in. While you will find discount fares with the new airlines, Westjet and Air Canada have also lowered their typical fares on these routes.

These are sale prices, which pop up a couple times a month. I consider them “target prices” or what I would be happy to book at. These sale fares have become the norm.

However, holidays and high-demand dates will always be at a higher fare.

  1. Edmonton (Average price about $170)
  2. Abbotsford (Average price $220)
  3. Hamilton (Average price $220)
  4. Calgary (About $265)
  5. Ottawa (About $265)

The new Canadian discount airline, Swoop, can be found online at www.flyswoop.com

Gem of a deal on Grace Bay

There’s a great site called Tripcentral.ca. They have a chart that can show you the lowest prices based on dates. Using this, I often clue into the destinations in my price range. For example:

A quick summary of destinations and their starting prices.

From this point I chose the Turks and Caicos. (For me, it would be a repeat destination.) I’ve been there twice and absolutely love it. It’s first world caribbean and very safe, casual and beautiful. I wish for the Turks when I’m exhausted and just want sunshine, in a laid back and relaxed tropical paradise.

So, once you click on the destination of your choice, you will see then next chart. I quickly spy the best price in April. I see it’s at a 4 star hotel with a great reputation. In March that same hotel package will cost you twice the price.

Clicking on the $1753 it takes you to a new chart which shows you the specific dates, plus the package carrier. I see that the deal is a Wednesday to Wednesday vacation, by Westjet.

A 7 day vacation, with an oceanview room, by Westjet at the low price of $1753

So, with three clicks, you can hone in on the best price and lowest priced dates.  At 40% less than the same hotel, same airline, in March I consider this a bargain. Thank you Trip Central.

Palm Springs next weekend.

If all you need is  a direct flight to the sun, book  Westjet now.  Leaving Friday, January 26th on a direct flight from Winnipeg, to Palm Springs California, and returning (also on a nonstop flight) Friday February 2nd will cost you $373. Taxes included. If you can’t get the Friday off work, leave Saturday the 27th. The nonstop flight is exactly the same price.

To pair it with a hotel, you have a variety of choices for your budget. Here’s a sample of what Expedia has to offer. 2 adults, 2 flights, 1 room. (Priced 6 nights, Saturday to Friday.)

Expeda.ca

Splurge on your vacation with Air Miles

It might be old news to you, but I’m just learning about the new Air Miles reward certificates that can be used for package vacations with almost every popular, main stream supplier.

For each $100 certificate you will need 909 Air Miles. Frankly, in my opinion this isn’t the best redemption rate. HOWEVER, I’m going to think of it this way…. if $300 is the difference in what I what I feel is a good hotel package, and what I feel is a “splurge” package, then I would definitely use my Air Miles to pay the difference.

For example, it my budget dictates “Holiday Inn” but I’d be thrilled with “Four Seasons Resort” then why not use the Air Miles to cover what my budget would not? Be thrilled with the supplement to the vacation, rather than stress about trying to save enough Air Miles to cover the whole vacation.