Las Vegas invites you to get naked

Are you bold enough?

Unlike topless destinations around the world, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino attracts hotties willing to drop their tops and accept fewer tan lines. This stand in stark contrast to most topless beaches, where there’s a distinct lack of legitimate eye candy. The recent “Rehab” party, for example, offered up plenty of skin and is indicative of a new pool party trend in Las Vegas. The 21+ crowd is in the crosshairs of many hotels and resorts, and they are luring us with the oldest bait in the book.

“Daylife,” sunlight’s answer to “nightlife,” is the product Vegas is peddling. Adult pools and pool parties – complete with bottle service and the hardly dressed to deliver it – are bringing in big bucks, big names and big … well, I’ll let you guess. Celebrity hosts, such as Heidi Montag of “The Hills,” help make the pitch to bring you in the door (sans inhibitions).

And now for the disappointing news … it’s not as crazy as you’d expect (or hope). There still aren’t many topless pools in Las Vegas. Those that exist are generally reserved for guests, attract an older crowd and don’t require that the ladies go topless (most of them don’t). The big parties are a different story, where the odds of naked mayhem are much higher.

Daily Pampering: Roman baths at the Hard Rock Las Vegas

The Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas is really making some efforts. From the virtual women in the HRH Towers to the hologram pool tables in the penthouse suites, the Hard Rock Las Vegas is working hard to appeal to travelers. But even at the Hard Rock, hard work needs to repaid. Enter: RELIQUARY, Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas’ new spa.

RELIQUARY has 21 treatment rooms including a couples rooms with its own soak tub and shower; two aestheticians rooms; two vicci shower rooms and a party room that can host your, well, party. No doubt the spa’s party room will see endless parades of Bachelor and Bachelorette parties, but for those spa-goers looking for something more traditional, I suggest a soak in the Roman Bath. History tells tales of healing powers from Roman Baths, so why should the Hard Rock’s version be any different? This Roman Bath features private cabana areas, lounge space and typical spa amenities.

Want more? Get your daily dose of pampering right here.

10 new and notable luxe hotels to visit in 2010

Travel took a hit in 2009, but with a new year brings new opportunities. The silver lining of 2009’s travel industry was hotels – rates dropped, and new properties like CityCenter took center stage just as travelers closed out their year-end budgets and found a few extra dollars in the bank.

Analysts have predicted that hotel prices are on the rise in 2010, so the sooner you book the better the savings. Thankfully, the options are endless. New hotels popped up all around the world and some of the most notable were here in the U.S. I’ve highlighted a few of the new and notable North America hotels that opened their doors in 2009 and are worth a visit in 2010.

So, where will you spend your first overnight?

1. Mandarin Boston: The Mandarin Oriental Boston is located in the city’s Back Bay, one block from Newbury Street and within walking distance from Boston’s best restaurants and nightlife. The hotel opened its marble doors and welcomed guests to a feng shui-style wonderland in the fall 2009. For travelers looking for a little zen, don’t miss out on the Mandarin’s signature spa treatments.

2. Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe: The ski-in, ski-out access makes this particular Ritz-Carlton a must-visit in 2010. You can enjoy the outdoor adventure of Lake Tahoe while also indulging in the luxury that accompanies the Ritz-Carlton name.

3. Banyan Tree – Mayakoba: – Banyan Tree’s first North America resort welcomes guests into Asian-meets-Mexican-style villas with outdoor pools, Jacuzzis, and rooftop terraces. After you’re perfectly relaxed, take a riverboat ride through the forest to the white sand beaches, courtesy of the Banyan Tree Mayakoba. (We just got word that the Banyan Tree will be opening its Banyan Tree Cabo Marques in Acapulco in February 2010.)

4. Viceroy Miami: The Viceroy Miami (pictured above) is a feast for the eyes. Located in Biscayne Bay, the hotel features one of the most expansive roof-top infinity pools in Florida, a roof-top bar, full-service kitchens in the rooms and a decadent spa.

5. Intercontinental Montelucia Resort & Spa, Scottsdale: The 35-acre Arizona retreat is built to resemble an Andalusian pueblo blanco. The Intercontinental Montelucia hideaway is made up of four “villages” decorated with fountain-filled courtyards, garden terraces, and landscapes of Camelback Mountain.6. Canyon Ranch – Miami: A staple in Massachusetts and Arizona, the Canyon Ranch moved into Miami in 2009 and is giving other spas a run for their money. Between yoga, fitness and nutritional programs, you can spend a night on South Beach and replenish your soul the next day at the Canyon Ranch Miami.

7. The Standard New York: The glass-and-concrete hotel towers over the Meatpacking District in New York, making The Standard a soon-to-be-recognizable landmark. Inside the hotel are supped-up suites with glass-enclosed showers and walls of windows showcasing the Hudson River, the Statue of Liberty, and views of Manhattan.

8. The Nines – Portland: The future of green hotels sits in Oregon. The Nines was inspired by Ralph Pucci and Tiffany decor, and received its LEED Silver certification, making it one of the greenest luxury hotels in the nation.

9. Hard Rock HTH Las Vegas: The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas debuted its 374-suite tower with rock-star amenities, including in-room juke box systems, leather sleigh bed and black out drapes. Guests looking for a truly unique experience can rent one of the penthouse suites, complete with virtual women and virtual gaming.

10. ARIA- Las Vegas CityCenter: Sin City hit a new level when CityCenter opened its doors to guests earlier this year. The focal point is the 4,004-room ARIA Hotel & Resort, which features a a spa, 16 restaurants, 10 bars, three pools (including one adults-only pool) and entertainment featuring Viva ELVIS™ by Cirque du Soleil.

Hotels to watch for in 2010:

Fashion 26 – a Wyndham Hotel: Located on West 26th Street and steps away from the Fashion Institute of Technology, Fashion 26 is garnering major buzz from New York city-goers eager to get a glimpse of the fashionable digs. Rumors have the hotel opening in March 2010.

Hard Rock Punta Cana: The Hard Rock Hotel is going all-in with the Moon Palace Resort and opening its first all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana in spring 2010. The resort will have 1,800 guest rooms, a 48,000 square foot casino with 40 table games, eleven swimming pools, a kids’ pool and lazy river, a and floating wedding pavilions.

Hotel Palomar, Chicago: Kimpton is opening its newest hotel in Chicago’s River North neighborhood, near the Magnificent Mile, Navy Pier and McCormick Place. The Hotel Palomar Chicago‘s most unique feature is its “green roof,” covered with grass and plants intended to collect and clean rainwater and improve air quality.

Sleeping with silhouettes at the Hard Rock Las Vegas

No one ever said Sin City wasn’t sexy, and well, sinful. To prove the point (as if you couldn’t do it on your own), the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas’ new HRH towers are featuring a new concept to their suites: virtual women and virtual gaming.

Hard Rock’s HRH Towers Provocateur Penthouse master suite features a seductive interactive projection system that’s built into an enormous bed and projects silhouettes onto the ceiling, the wall behind the bed, and onto the bed itself. Sensors placed on the beds detect ‘movement’ and produce images of women around the room.

The HRH Paradise Tower’s Penthouse offers a different kind of playhouse. Digital art pool tables, created by San Francisco-based Obscura Digital, transform the room’s in-suite gaming into one of three scenarios:

Scenario 1-Mercury: The pool balls virtually flow across the pool table creating ripples and waves in an underwater “mercury” theme. (Think: pebble hits water.)

Scenario 2-Flames: Hit the ball with your cue and watch it send smoke trails across the table. Once the ball settles they’ll fester and burn as they come to rest.

Scenario 3-Reveal: Ever wonder what’s under the pool table? We didn’t either, but the Hard Rock thought it might fun to add a little fantasy to the game. As the ball makes it way across the table, it exposes “one of the world’s most beautiful women hidden underneath,” according to the Hard Rock.

The wonders of modern technology never fail to amaze… especially in Las Vegas. Check out a photo of the pool table below:

Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas opens all-suites tower

Nothing says rock ‘n’ roll like white padded headboards and silk black out drapes. Thanks to the new all-suites tower at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, anyone can live like a rock star (at least for a night).

Touting a more ‘sophisticated rock ‘n’ roll experience,’ The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas will debut its new 374-suite tower on Monday. The $750 million new tower opens just as CityCenter welcomes guests to ARIA, Vdara and Mandarin Oriental. While CityCenter promotes elegance, luxury and entertainment within its 68-acres, the HRH Towers are offering something a little different: simplicity in a rockin’ environment.

The HRH Towers press materials claim extra privacy and more refined atmosphere will grace the halls of the tower suites (a clear departure from the typical chaos and raucous atmosphere of the iconic Hard Rock Hotel). The suites range from 701 to 4,300 square feet and come equipped with the ultimate rock paraphernalia: an AMX 12″ Touch Panel Juke Box System featuring over 2000 songs and two 40″ Bravia LCD TV with DVD players. Of course, every rock star needs a rock star bedroom, so the HRH Towers built in a white lacquer wall quilted headboard to ordain the leather sleigh bed. Black out drapes ensure you won’t wake up with the sun and for those rockers past their prime, the bathroom features cast iron tubs for soaking your sore muscles after a long night.

Guests at the new Hard Rock Hotel tower suites will have their own private entrance and separate check-in area.

The best part? You don’t have to pay rock star prices for these rooms. Rates start at $149 for weekday stays and $279 for weekends.