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The Town’s Best Kept Secret: Lake Las Vegas

The village at Lake Las Vegas

Robin Roth

Readers, Lake Las Vegas is the biggest find and most amazing secret in Las Vegas. It is so fantastic, I want to be selfish and keep it to myself. However, doing so would be terrible and would give blondes everywhere a bad name, and so I will share!

A long time ago, in a far-off desert, there was NOTHING. Therefore, what an enchanting surprise it was to find such a place here, in the middle of what once was a mere desert. In Lake Las Vegas, you will find a spectacularly beautiful scenic picture of a 320-acre, privately-owned, glistening lake with a marina, Mediterranean-looking villas, green trees, hills and even greener golf courses, offering luxurious and carefree lakeside private resident living filled with a quiet hustle and bustle and charm. You will be in the heart of this village with its quaint stores, restaurants, pubs and hotels. I promise that you will SWEAR you are in an Italian village, with its maze of Italian style buildings built upon a hill surrounding this true vision of beauty. You will also find boat slips on both sides of the new yacht-for-hire, 'La Contessa,' as well as boat and gondola rides. In the winter there is ice-skating as well as romantic horse-drawn carriage rides. Lake Las Vegas is 17 miles from the (in) famous Las Vegas strip: so near to all that action, lights, and sin, and yet just far away enough.

In addition, you will find three resorts in the village: the Ritz-Carlton Lake Las Vegas, the Hyatt Regency Lake Las Vegas Resort, and the MonteLago Village at Lake Las Vegas -- all designed with Italian influence. Walking through the villages flagstone streets with its ambiance so reminiscent of Old Italy, is not only beautiful but lovely, serene, relaxing, romantic and fun. With the coming of spring and summer, it is a gorgeous place to make your next vacation or special event. (They cater to weddings, groups, and conventions etc.) In addition to the every day shopping and dining activities, there are also monthly live concerts, festivals and wine walks. MAKE YOUR PLANS NOW AND EXPERIENCE THE BLISS! You will want to thank me later!

The Ritz-Carlton:

FIRST, LET ME GET OUT MY BOOK OF AMAZING ADJETIVES! There is, without a doubt, NO place like the RITZ! It’s unparalleled elegance, divine, superior service, classy in every way, and where ALL your needs (and more) are met. This fabulous hotel, overflowing with an oasis of luxury and impeccable personal service is a Mediterranean-inspired jewel located right in the heart of Lake Las Vegas. Simply put, the Ritz-Carlton Resort, with its 349 rooms (its sweeping views of the lake and mountains), is a dream destination nestled in the Nevada desert. As you look out onto the horizon of the hotels lobby veranda, you will actually feel as though you are in Italy. Your eyes will see what your mind cannot accept. How can you be in the middle of a desert? It is a real life fantasy mirage right before you.

Adjoining the hotel is a bridge, fashioned after the 'Ponte Vecchio' of Florence. However, instead of being lined with jewelry and leather shops, it is lined with luxury suites and the private club lounge… Oh, and when I say luxury, I am down-playing it. You will feel like a king or queen your entire stay. You might be saying to yourself, “Yes, I have stayed and the Ritz and I already know it is wonderful.” Let me just add, that this is not your normal wonderful Ritz. This Ritz Carlton, is special, in that it is not only located in the amazing city of Las Vegas, but it is surrounded by an unusual setting, with stunning panoramic views where you actually feel as though you are in another country. Added to that, you can take a leisurely stroll in the village and maybe pick up a few unusual items and gifts.

There are many things to do at the Ritz. Make the world revolve around you and slow down the pace at the Ritz-Carlton spa, ranked #7 in the U.S. and reminiscent of an elegant Tuscan villa. Treat yourself to one (or more) of the MANY body treatments, facials, or salon services as well as their amazing fitness center. For you golfers (who want an alluring challenge), you have found golf paradise, as the Ritz is home to two world-class championship golf venues.

Or, perhaps you just want to take it easy and tan by the sandy beach swimming pool, whirlpool, and full-service poolside dining. You can also enjoy the very sophisticated pre-reserved cabanas with ceiling fans, refrigerators, misters, televisions and refreshments.

The Ritz also provides EXTENSIVE outdoor recreation for guests of all ages. You will find a wonderful world of excitement, adventure and fun.

If you stay in a suite, and BY THE WAY, I strongly suggest that you do, you will be able to enjoy the more than fantastic Club Lounge. The lounge provides four elaborate complimentary food and beverage presentations. Here (as well as everywhere in the hotel), you will experience the highest levels of service, comfort and beautifully presented foods and desserts. Don’t miss out on this one. It is quite sensational and the selections change daily. Say hello to the lovely Carolyn for me…

One last thing, if you are looking for the most successful convention spot in the world for your business, the Ritz-Carlton hands down is your answer!

For more information visit their web site, www.ritzcarlton.com, or call 702-567-4700.

My Favorite: Tea Time at the Ritz-Carlton
“There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea.”

How elegant and British can you get? I mean, truly, life just can’t be any better than having complete tea (after a round of golf and a message) at the Ritz! Men, you will enjoy this as well. But ladies, honestly, it is the best tea party of them all, even better than when you were a little girl. Set in the elegant Firenze Lobby Lounge overlooking the magnificent Florentine Gardens, Ponte Vecchio Park, majestic mountains and lakeside views. This is THE once-in-a-lifetime memory. My beautiful tea server, Valarie McNeace, gave me the Ritz-Carlton personal touch as she took me on the tour of the teas. One thing that is especially unique is you don’t have to stick to just one tea; you can sample many. I suggest the Orange Jasmine, the wonderful Pear Caramel, Bombay Chai if you like a cream tea, the Green Tea Passion, and the Dragon Lily that you can actually witness as it opens up into a beautiful flower. You can choose whatever you desire from their huge tea selection.

Each day, you will experience four of the chef’s selections for tea sandwiches, such as Curry Lobster Salad, Egg and Sevruga Caviar, Asparagus and Smoked Salmon and Prosciutto Cotto with Cornichons. In addition, you will be able to sample (devour) the Chef’s selection of Tea Pastries (which were to-die-for) and the heavenly, perfectly executed and authentic British baked Scones served with Mascarpone Cream, Lemon Curd, Honey Butter, Jams and Marmalades. Worth every single calorie! For an added treat, go ahead and indulge in one of their many Champagne Cocktails.

This is an experience you will forever cherish. I suggest that you (especially) share this tradition with your daughters, moms, or friends. I also recommend tea-time with your mate or business associates.

As a proper, complete English tea is one of my favorite things to do in the world, I must tell you, I rate complete tea at the Ritz-Carlton an A+ from the ambiance to the presentation, service and taste. Enjoy the “CHEERIO” first-hand!

Might I also suggest after tea that you go out onto the veranda, sip a glass of your favorite wine, maybe order a cheese plate (or one of their many menu selections) and just take some precious time to stop for YOU! Go ahead, indulge! Yes, stop, feel the serenity, and smell the breathtaking English Gardens below, as well as the lake and mountains. LIFE IS TOO SHORT NOT TO!

Every Thursday through Sunday, 1:00-4:00pm

Dine in Pure Elegance at the Medici Café and Terrace

Is everything perfect at the Ritz-Carlton Resort? ACTUALLY, YES IT IS! During your stay at this storybook hotel, don’t miss out on the opportunity to dine at the Medici Café and Terrace restaurant. Upon entering the café, you will immediately feel its warm yet elegant, charming, relaxed ambiance. Whether you dine inside or amidst the luxurious gardens, you will be in for a memorable dining treat. The Medici Café features breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a spectacular Ritz style Sunday Brunch. The restaurant offers a choice of New American-inspired Cuisine complimented by world-class wines. 


The service (my server was Brinstean) is impeccable, yet friendly and warm. The café earns its wonderful success in part do to the culinary expertise of Chef De Cuisine Truman Jones and Sous Chef Michael Klinger. May I say a big Bravo to them both! The menu is seasonal, which allows frequent guests something for which to look forward.

If I may, allow me to suggest some wonderful items on the dinner menu. An appetizer MUST is the gigantic, shrimp-cocktail. They are fresh, huge, cold shrimp that are perfectly cooked and served with a tasty cocktail sauce. The Crispy Sweetbreads are also divine and I am not normally a sweetbread fan! Next, try the absolutely delicious Mixed Green Salad with figs, Brie Cheese, and Walnut Vinaigrette. What a wonderful combination of flavors here.

For your entrée, the Creekstone Farms All Natural Beef Short Rib served with their famous Truffle Mac-N-Cheese (this will bring back warm and cozy childhood memories) and vegetables is truly delectable. For the fish lover, may I completely recommend one of their signature dishes, the Atlantic Salmon, served with Ricotta Gnocchi, Spinach, Currants, Parmesan and Parsley crust. This dish is just decadent! I myself devoured a memorable and beautifully presented Filet Mignon. It melted in my mouth. For a dish that is not only YUMMY but artistically perfect (both visually and to the taste buds), try the Butter Poached Lobster with sweet pea risotto, asparagus, and prosciutto. Without a doubt this is a taste from the gods. For dessert, have them all… NO REALLY …. JUST GO FOR IT AND INDULGE!!! I DID!!!!

Okay, so you need some pointers… Taste the Ritz Banana Split, the Coffee and Doughnuts, the Pineapple Dream, (and it is), AND OR the Raspberry Chocolate Cake! OH, I ALMOST FORGOT, if you like Grand Marnier Soufflé, you will love it at the Ritz. Like I said, try them all. They have a wonderful gym… I did that too….. Enjoy this special dinner at the MEDICI CAFÉ AND TERRACE. Enjoy all of your forever happy memories that you will WITHOUT A DOUBT experience at the Ritz-Carlton Resort in Lake Las Vegas! IT DOESN’T GET BETTER THAN THE RITZ!!!

A Few Village Recommendations: Let Me Map Out a Perfect Day for You

Sunset & Vines: A Restaurant with an Eye-candy View

I love this restaurant. Not only is the food fantastic, but the location is stellar. Located lakeside, Sunset & Vines offers an elegant and exquisitely dramatic ambiance inside and out. I myself prefer outside as the weather is so perfect year-round. As for the menu, it is all delectable and original. Allow me to share a few of my favorite foods here. The success of this charming restaurant I believe is not only due to the service, food and location but to the general manager Max Saleme, who tends to every aspect and every detail making sure only perfection is achieved. To begin with, pick your favorite bottle of wine from over 500 exciting and hard-to-find selections from around the world, and just let it breathe for a few moments while you take in the breathtaking view all around you, the lake, the mountains, the boats, and the Ponte Vecchio bridge (at the Ritz-Carlton).

You MUST make sure to allow yourself lots of time to unwind and relax. (Or you will be sorry!) You will not want to leave this place. (I suggest you arrive when the sun in setting). The one thing you MUST order is the cheese plate. You can select the cheeses you like and there are many, all of which are fresh and of the finest quality. (Max makes sure of it!) Simply wonderful! The cheese plate is beautifully presented with many flavors and textures (olives, pickles, strawberries, grapes, fruit chutney, nuts, dried apricots and berries) that are combined into a phenomenal cheese experience you will not ever forget. DON’T even think about cholesterol; you are on vacation! The carnivore plate is also wonderful to have, as well, or combine with the cheese. My charming (and very cute) server, Chris Wolovlek also helped me to find a few more menu winners such as the scrumptious Sunset Sliders and the “oh-so-yummy” Smoked Salmon Quesadilla. Whatever you choose, you cannot go wrong. Just sitting here is a slice of heaven.

When there is a concert in Lake Las Vegas, this is the perfect spot, so get there early. When in the city, RUN TO the SUNSET & VINE… YOU WILL THANK ME…

Serving lunch and dinner. Call 702-382-7900.

Continue on the Perfect Day: Luna Rossa…Now that’s Italian

Open for lunch and dinner, this cozy, warm, charming, Italian restaurant serves authentic Italian fare and uses the finest and freshest ingredients. You will dine in a relaxed setting at the intersection of several village thoroughfares near the waterfront. Here you can just sit outside, people watch, and dine to outstanding tastes and flavors. If you wish for a more elegant atmosphere and ambience, then you might want to dine inside Luna Rossa. I myself love it outside. It feels like Italy. You will most likely be greeted by the suave and classy, general manager, Arturo Nieto, who himself is from Tuscany. He adds charm and finesse to this already wonderful establishment. Since it is so nice just sitting outside and watching all the sites, you will definitely not want to rush this moment. There are so many choices on the menu and I might say all of them are sensational and authentic. I had some outstanding help from my handsome server Miguel Diaz.


To start, enjoy the old-fashioned flavors (that would come from an Italian grandma) through the baked eggplant. Bravo! Lovely! Also a delicacy is the mussels and clams in a spiced tomato broth and garlic. Now that’s Italian! Here are some more unforgettable entrees: The small tube pasta in a light cream sauce with chicken, broccoli, shallots and sun-dried tomatoes, is scrumptious. The angel hair pasta with calamari garlic and spicy tomato sauce is my personal favorite and I don’t even like calamari! You can’t possibly go wrong with the delicious homemade lasagna or the small tube pasta with smoked salmon. If that doesn’t strike your fancy, then the Veal Piccata, Veal Milanese or the Osso Bucco most definitely will. All of the dishes are prepared with many combinations and blends of assertive flavors that will simply burst your taste buds, leaving you with a content smile and wanting to return again and again! 

One more fact; you must complete your meal by indulging in at least five or six of Luna Rossa’s dessert specialties and coffees.

Don’t miss this wonderfully delicious restaurant on your next visit. Not only is the food remarkable, but the service and presentation are sensational.

ENJOY, MANGA, AND say hello to Arturo for me!

Call Luna Rossa at 702-568-9921.

Ending the Perfect Day at the Havana Cigar Bar

Go around the village corner to the exciting and fun Havana Cigar Bar. This is a happening, classy, uplifting place to end the perfect day. Whether you smoke cigars or not, this is the village hot spot. Ya know what… heck with it all, light up and experience what all the fuss is actually about! I especially recommend this cigar joint on weekends where you will hear and enjoy fabulous entertainment. You can choose from a wide selection of premium cigars, hand-rolled cigars as well as finely crafted humidors and accessories. Live a little, light up, have a drink prepared by charismatic Clayton Cook, kick up your heels and dance a bit. You will be most comfortable in this low lit, cozy atmosphere with its soft leather couches and friendly staff. You will no doubt remember your experience at the Havana Cigar Bar.

Call Havana Cigar Bar at 702-871-2828.

WELL…. there you have it readers, the perfect hotel and the perfect day in serene and gorgeous Lake Las Vegas. Make your plans today and enjoy the good life!


1. The lake at Lake Las Vegas
2. Tea sandwiches served during Ritz-Carlton’s tea time
3. Complete high tea at the Ritz
4. Panoramic view of Lake Las Vegas and the gardens from the Ritz
5. Sit, relax and unwind with a glass of wine at the Ritz-Carlton
6. Lobster at Medici Café and Terrace
7. Scrumptious filet served at Medici Café and Terrace
8. Sunset & Vines’ outside dining with a delicious cheese plate and handsome server Chris Wolovick
9. The view at Sunset & Vines
10. Fruta di Pesce at Luna Rossa
11. Luna Rossa’s blue awnings in the middle of Lakes Las Vegas village
12. Fun and happening Havana Cigar Bar

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