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MONTELAGO VILLAGE

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Southeast of The Strip

30 Strada di Villaggio

Henderson, NV 89011

702-564-4700

website

Store Hours Vary

Boutique Collection

B

AT A GLANCE

What is it?

A lovely lakeside collection of shops and restaurants designed to look like a small Italian village.

Where is it?

At Lake Las Vegas, about 30 minutes southeast of The Strip.

What do they sell?

The bulk of the boutiques are clothing, art, and collectibles.

What are the prices like?

This is quality stuff so prices are on the high side.

What should I be sure to check out?

They have a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory - definitely worth checking out!

Why should I shop here?

It's a very scenic location so while there aren't a lot of shops it's worth it just for the views.

What else do I need to know?

There is a small casino nearby so if you feel the need to test Lady Luck you have a place to do it.

What's the bottom line?

Less of a shopping experience and more of a pleasant diversion.

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FULL REVIEW

When MonteLago Village opened a few years ago it was a true destination. Filled with shopping, dining, recreation, hotel options, and gaming, all set amongst the picturesque Lake Las Vegas area, it was a no-brainer to encourage people to drive the 25 minutes to get there.

But the economic meltdown of 2008/2009 brought about hard times for the Lake leading to the closure of two of the three golf courses (with the third going private), one of the major hotels (The Ritz Carlton, effective May 2010), and the casino (effective March 2010).

The good news is that things may be looking up. 2011 brought the opening of Ravella, an upscale hotel in the former Ritz space, and the casino reopened in May of 2011.

I actually hope things do improve here because the village itself is charming.Located about 25 minutes east of The Strip off Lake Mead Drive, MonteLago Village is designed to resemble a quaint Italian seaside town, complete with cobblestone streets, village squares, and a small marina. Take some time to appreciate what the architects and builders have done here... long, rambling, clay-tiled rooflines, jutting balconies and recessed terraces, trickling fountains, intricate stone and woodwork, and a light-washed, candy-colored paint scheme complete the faithful recreations of everything from Italianate villas to a rock walled church.

But the real draw, as far as I'm concerned, has less to do with the actual things to do here and more about the overall experience. You've been up half the night gambling and drinking, seeing show after show, running from tigers to volcanoes, and you really could just use a break couldn't you? Come here and take a stroll through the village and along pathways through gardens that line Lake Las Vegas. Even though it was microwave oven hot the day I visited, I didn't mind the heat because the atmosphere of the whole place is so darned charming.

It's worth noting that they do a lot of special events here including wine walks, movies under the stars, concerts on the lake, jazz festivals, and more. Check the website above for event listings.

To get to MonteLago Village and Casino, take Interstate 15 (the freeway right next to the Strip) south to the 215 east (as if you're going to the airport). That will meander through the southern reaches of Las Vegas and eventually turn into Lake Mead Drive. Go another 6 miles or so and look for the signs pointing to Lake Las Vegas.

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