Check into the spa at the Mandarin Oriental — absolutely gorgeous. Very Tom Ford Gucci-era with brownish/grey tinted glass, brushed brass fixtures, marble galore, and an incredible lap-pool-sized Jacuzzi with views of the Strip. Have Lucky 8s treatment, fall asleep, and wake myself up snoring. Exhausted and embarrassed.
Take a quick tour of Downtown Vegas establishments including Insert Coins, an arcade bar. Across the street, the Griffin (511 Fremont St.; +1-702-382-0577), is the hipster bar of choice, with reasonably priced drinks and indoor fire pits. Downtown Cocktail Room serves proper cocktails in a cute, intimate space.
Locals steer me to Frankie's Tiki Room, a full-on tiki bar with drinks served in specially commissioned, artist-designed, ceramic tiki mugs. I try a drink called the Thurston Howell. How could I not? It tasted like every other rum drink you've ever had in a tiki bar. And yeah, I bought the glass, which resembled an Easter Island statue.
Last stop: the Double Down Saloon. A proper dive with punk undertones: black walls, stickers everywhere, a bathroom with no lock and no toilet paper. And a house drink called Ass Juice. You read that correctly. I tried it. Grape-y. Don't sip: Shoot it with a beer chaser.
Do carry out from Lotus of Siam which many food writers have said is among the best Thai food in the United States. Order a curry but forget to order rice, which apparently isn't automatically included when ordering a CURRIED RICE DISH. End up back in hotel room, buzzed, with a tub full of what looks like soup ... that's meant to be eaten with rice ... and no rice. Bummed.