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Momtrends on Location: Las Vegas

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What comes to mind when you think of Las Vegas? Smoking, gambling, strippers, 24-hour all-you-can-eat buffets - not exactly many moms' idea of a great getaway. But then again, you probably haven't heard of the Vdara.

Not quite two years old, the Vdara is one of the newcomers to the Vegas strip that offers a perfect setting for moms to relax, renew, refresh and, if you want, kick up your heels a bit. Here's why it should be on your radar.

Play your own game. Obviously, lots of people go to to Vegas for the gaming. From blackjack and roulette to war and penny slots, there is no shortage of gambling options. I love a good game of poker now and then, but for a girls weekend away, it's not at the top of my list for fun. The Vdara is one of only a handful of non-gaming hotels that keeps you in proximity to the restaurants, shopping and activities of the Strip without hearing the ring, buzz, bells and cheers of the casino hall ALL. THE. TIME. But if and when you are ready to deal yourself in, the Vdara is just a short walk away from the Aria, Bellagio and other gaming hotels.

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Cook up a fun evening. The Vdara is an all-suite hotel which means every room comes with a kitchenette that include a stovetop, fridge, dining table and often amenities like a microwave, coffee maker and stemware. In a town nicknamed "Lost Wages," it was wonderful to have the option and ability to eat some meals in.

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During my recent visit to the Vdara for a friend's 40th birthday, we were able to enjoy drinks and appetizers in the room before heading out to see a show and we even cooked up breakfast the next morning thereby avoiding a) having to leave the suite and b) spending $27/person for all-you-can-eat breakfast some restaurants offer. The Vdara makes it easy to save money on food, which was extra special for this group of foodies.

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Stay together. The point of a girls' weekend away is to spend time together, right? The Vdara makes this easy with their penthouses. With one- and two-bedroom penthouses, you can easily sleep up to six hours and actually spend some time hanging out together instead of traveling back and forth between separate rooms. The penthouses are also located on the top floors (54-56) of the Vdara giving you spectacular views of the Strip and the nearby Bellagio water show.

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Lounge in luxury. Any good getaway needs to include some relaxing, and the Vdara does it right. From made-to-order cocktails and an innovative lunch menu to private cabanas and plunge pools, the Vdara pool offers everything you need for an afternoon of lounging. The staff goes above and beyond to meet patron requests, and you'll be hard-pressed to find a reason to leave your lounge chair. Except perhaps for a cooling dip in the pool. If you're looking for some pampering, the Vdara Spa offers single treatment and package deals to soothe, relax, rejuvenate and reinvent yourself from head to toe (Try the Snakeskin pedicure for a truly Vegas look.)

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Other bonuses? The Vdara is non-smoking and eco-friendly, two extras that made me - and the Earth - breathe easier.

Want to visit? Check out www.vdara.com for current special and deals and to learn more about the property, services and amenities.

Kate Bayless is a writer, editor and managed not to gamble once during her Vegas trip - except on those 4 inch heels. Her work has appeared in Parents, American Baby, Fit Pregnancy, iVillage, Momtrends and other publications. Visit her at www.katebayless.com or @katebayless.

Momtrends was not paid for this review. Vdara did provide a complimentary one-night stay at the hotel to facilitate this review.

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