Xania Woodman

Correspondent

  • Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Xania Woodman is a correspondent who lives in Las Vegas and covers the city for Forbes Travel Guide. In addition to curating Vegas Seven magazine’s dining, beverage and nightlife coverage, she regularly contributes to the nationally distributed Vegas Rated and the annual guidebook The Unofficial Guide to Las Vegas. Her work has also appeared in Saveur, and thanks to Expedia Australia, she finally can say, “I’m big in Oceania.” When she’s not judging a cocktail competition or checking out the newest bars, she is writing about them for Forbes Travel Guide and her blog, NowDrinkThis.com.

  • On June 29, 2013
    Xania Woodman answered the question: Xania Woodman

    What are the best hair salons in Las Vegas?

    My hair is—how shall we say—complicated. It needs love, affection, one-on-one attention. And a beer. It definitely needs a beer while getting cut, colored and styled, a process that can take two hours or more. I get all of the above and so much more (critical insider gossip!) at Hillary Salon, Downtown in the Arts Factory. Stylist Hillary makes the magic while salon manager Michael keeps the place working. He's usually the one who pops his head in before I go under the clippers to offer an ice-cold Samuel Adams, a freshly pulled espresso or a cocktail from Bar+Bistro downstairs. Food, too, if you missed lunch. 

    The salon itself is funky, a one-chair affair tucked inside the equally funky Arts Factory artist enclave that is also home to galleries, architects, a photography studio and a rollery-derby outfitter. Most websites that state them have the salon hours wrong; this couple is huge in the Downtown arts scene, and they have a band. So if Hillary doesn't have clients, they're out, off doing something cool, somewhere cool. So appointments here are a must! Hours fluctuate day to day. However, they typically operate Tuesday–Saturday 10 a.m.–6 p.m., by appointment, $60 per hour.

    "Our business model is simply to maintain our integrity," Michael says. "We pride ourselves on our honesty. We don't sell things we wouldn't use ourselves, and we don't perform services that we can't in good conscience recommend. And rule No. 1: no gimmicks." My kinda joint. 
  • On June 29, 2013
    Xania Woodman answered the question: Xania Woodman

    What are the best hair salons in Las Vegas?

    My hair is—how shall we say—complicated. It needs, love, affection, one-on-one attention. And a beer. It definitely needs a beer whilst getting cut, colored and styled, a process that can take two hours or more. I get all of the above and so much more (critical insider gossip!) at Hillary Salon, Downtown in the Arts Factory. Stylist Hillary makes the magic while salon manager Michael keeps the place working. He's usually the one who pops his head in before I go under the clippers to offer an ice-cold Samuel Adams, a freshly pulled espresso or a cocktail from Bar+Bistro downstairs. Food, too, if you missed lunch. 

    The salon itself is funky, a one-chair affair tucked inside the equally funky Arts Factory artist enclave that is also home to galleries, architects, a photography studio and a rollery-derby outfitter. Most websites that state them have the salon hours wrong; this couple is huge in the Downtown arts scene, and they have a band. So if Hillary doesn't have clients, they're out, off doing something cool, somewhere cool. So appointments here are a must! Hours fluctuate day to day. However, they typically operate Tuesday–Saturday 10 a.m.–6 p.m., by appointment, $60 per hour.

    "Our business model is simply to maintain our integrity," Michael says. "We pride ourselves on our honesty. We don't sell things we wouldn't use ourselves, and we don't perform services that we can't in good conscience recommend. And rule No. 1: no gimmicks." My kinda joint. 
  • On June 29, 2013
    Xania Woodman answered the question: Xania Woodman

    What is the weather like right now in Las Vegas?

    6:45 p.m., June 29, 2013: My iPhone tells me it's 111 degrees, but my skin says it's way hotter. Earlier today, Las Vegas hit a high of 115 degrees, and varying reports have have tomorrow matching or even topping the standing record high of 117 degrees. And it's looking to stay above 112 for some time. While Las Vegas locals are used to triple-digit highs in summer, even we hardy souls begin to wilt under such circumstances. Just walking from the car to the coffee shop, my skin stings, my lungs fill with the hot air, and my contacts crisp, beginning their migration off my eyeballs. Cliché as it is, it's hot

    But the party doesn't stop for heat in the desert! So what's to be done? Do what the Las Vegans do and find a cool place to pass the time hottest hours: movie theaters, shows, casino malls, restaurants ... On the Strip, the communal billiard table on the third floor at the Cosmopolitan sees plenty of action when the mercury soars. Minus5 ice bars, complete with ice couches and cocktail glasses, are more than happy help you keep your cool. The vodka locker at Red Square, too. Downtown, Insert Coin(s) is a dark, air-conditioned place to kill time, pumping quarters into the vintage machines and sipping something cool. Or cozy up to your Kindle at the Beat Coffee House & Records with an icy chai latte and a freshly baked chocolate croissant.

    But if you must see daylight for yourself, survival depends on priorities: water, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses. Make shade a requirement, and misters a must. The patio at Estiatorio Milos in the Cosmopolitan are both shaded and misted, improving the already amazing $20.13 lunch. From a seat at the Cosmo's Overlook Grill, you can keep an eye on the pool goings on from the comfort of your indoor table, where brunch is served to the tune of a DJ. And at Wet Republic, you can spend the entire day in the misted, shaded bar, just feet from the DJ—usually a celebrity—and pool. See a gal covered in SPF 75 carrying a parasol? Say hi—it's probably me. 
  • On June 26, 2013
    Xania Woodman posted:

    Las Vegas’ Hottest New Craft Cocktail Bar | If craft cocktails are on the itinerary, then a visit to the 18 blocks of Downtown Las Vegas’ unique Arts District (colloquially called “The 18b”) is a must. There, amid the mid-mod décor depots and shabby-chic consignment stores, the city’s newest bar, Velveteen Rabbit, is pleasing the palates of the local cocktail cognoscenti, as well as the few tourists who are in the know. Read on: http://blog.forbestravelguide.com/las-vegas-hottest-new-craft-cocktail-bar#cmpid=xwoodman

  • On June 22, 2013
    Xania Woodman answered the question: Xania Woodman

    What are the best attractions in Las Vegas?

    This oughta keep your attention for at least 15 minutes: Since it opened in 1999, thousands have dined at Aureole in Mandalay Bay, many intent on watching chef Charlie Palmer’s famed Wine Angels in action. “As seen on Oprah,” these ladies have the sole task of locating then fetching bottles of wine ordered by patrons and getting them safely (and unbroken-ly) into the waiting hands of the restaurant’s sommeliers. All that time, the ladies have worn black skintight jumpsuits, which are said to have been inspired by the movie Mission: Impossible. But after 14 years, skintight is about to make way for skintighter.

    Following a 14-day competition among designers, Bunker Hill Bradley’s new outfit debuted Las Vegas Fashion Week, adorned with 20 feet of LED “angelic” lights each displaying more than 100 bulbs. An ode to the Tuscan sunset and made from recycled material, the winning design begins with pastel yellow and fades into tangerine orange, burgundy and grape purple and ends with solid black at the ankles. Plus, a gold, scroll-like pattern inspired by wild grapevines overlays the color scheme. Press your nose reeeally close to the wine tower if you can’t make it out—man, they love it when people do that. In Mandalay Bay, 702-632-7200, MandalayBay.com.
  • On June 22, 2013
    Xania Woodman answered the question: Xania Woodman

    What are the best attractions in Las Vegas?

    This oughta keep your attention for at least 15 minutes: Since it opened in 1999, thousands have dined at Aureole in Mandalay Bay, many intent on watching chef Charlie Palmer’s famed Wine Angels in action. “As seen on Oprah,” these ladies have the sole task of locating then fetching bottles of wine ordered by patrons and getting them safely (and unbroken-ly) into the waiting hands of the restaurant’s sommeliers. All that time, the ladies have worn black skintight jumpsuits, which are said to have been inspired by the movie Mission Impossible. But after 14 years, skintight is about to make way for skintighter.

    Following a 14-day competition among designers, Bunker Hill Bradley’s new outfit debuted Las Vegas Fashion Week, adorned with 20 feet of LED “angelic” lights each displaying more than 100 bulbs. An ode to the Tuscan sunset and made from recycled material, the winning design begins with pastel yellow and fades into tangerine orange, burgundy and grape purple and ends with solid black at the ankles. Plus, a gold, scroll-like pattern inspired by wild grapevines overlays the color scheme. Press your nose reeeally close to the wine tower if you can’t make it out—man, they love it when people do that. In Mandalay Bay, 702-632-7200, MandalayBay.com.
  • On June 22, 2013
    Xania Woodman answered the question: Xania Woodman

    What are the best attractions in Las Vegas?

    This oughta keep your attention for at least 15 minutes: Since it opened in 1999, thousands have dined at Aureole in Mandalay Bay, many intent on watching chef Charlie Palmer’s famed Wine Angels in action. “As seen on Oprah,” these ladies have the sole task of locating then fetching bottles of wine ordered by patrons and getting them safely (and unbroken-ly) into the waiting hands of the restaurant’s sommeliers. All that time, the ladies have worn black skintight jumpsuits, which are said to have been inspired by the movie Mission Impossible. But after 14 years, skintight is about to make way for skintighter.

    Following a 14-day competition among designers, Bunker Hill Bradley’s new outfit debuted Las Vegas Fashion Week, adorned with 20 feet of LED “angelic” lights each displaying more than 100 bulbs. An ode to the Tuscan sunset and made from recycled material, the winning design begins with pastel yellow and fades into tangerine orange, burgundy and grape purple and ends with solid black at the ankles. Plus, a gold, scroll-like pattern inspired by wild grapevines overlays the color scheme. Press your nose reeeally close to the wine tower if you can’t make it out—man, they love it when people do that. In Mandalay Bay, 702-632-7200, MandalayBay.com.
  • On June 22, 2013
    Xania Woodman answered the question: Xania Woodman

    What are the best places for brunch in Las Vegas?

    Ready for an eye-opening eye-opener? Book a table for Sunday Brunch at Bare Pool Lounge in The Mirage. And TGIS—thank goodness it’s Sunday. Because now you can have your applewood-smoked bacon and Fuji apple waffle with cinnamon butter and eat it in your daybed or cabana, too. Bare Pool Lounge has always been known for having a great poolside-dining menu, and those items—Buffalo Chicken Wrap, Cobb Salad, Mini Lobster Tacos—are still available. But Light Group corporate executive chef Brian Massie’s a la carte Sunday Brunch menu is the goods. While his Yogurt & Granola Parfait, Frozen Fruit Platter and Egg White Breakfast Wrap keep it light, the Breakfast Burrito (spicy chorizo, pickled jalapenos and fluffy eggs with Alejandro cheese) and that aforementioned waffle definitely do not. Just remember to wait 30 minutes before getting into the pool—plenty of time for another round of Absolut Tune Mimosas or Belvedere Bloody Marys! At The Mirage, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays, BarePoolLV.com.
  • On June 22, 2013
    Xania Woodman answered the question: Xania Woodman

    What should I pack for a trip to Las Vegas?

    If you take into consideration the vast amount of time you will spend indoors in Las Vegas as well as outdoors—shows, concerts, bars, restaurants, casinos, malls, attractions—you can experience over the course of one day a swing of 50 degrees, from 70 degrees or less indoors all the way up to 120 degrees or more outdoors at the height of summer. So, the answer to this question is layers and options You'll need comfortable, casual styles by day and something a little fancier by night—a lot fancier if you plan to hit a bank-breaker dinner or nightclub. And don't forget the sunscreen and your ID!

    Daytime (everyone):
    • Comfortable walking shoes
    • Shorts, skirts, capris
    • Tees or tanks
    • A light, long sleeve shirt or cardigan
    • Hat, sunglasses, sunscreen
    Evening (casual):
    • Men: dress slacks, khakis or jeans, short sleeve collared button-down, loafers, belt
    • Ladies: casual dress with a shrug or pashmina or skirt with a twinset top, cute sandals, cross-body purse
    Evening (special, i.e. fancy dinner or nightclub):
    • Men: a suit or nice jeans with a blazer over a stylish tee or long sleeve dress shirt, belt, dress shoes
    • Ladies: sexy or cocktail dress, reasonable heels with comfy insoles, shrug or pashmina, clutch purse
    Pools:
    • Men: board shorts, flip flops, tee or collared short-sleeve button-down, sunglasses, sunscreen, small bag for personal belongings
    • Ladies: bathing suit, sheer cover up kimono or pool dress, cute sandals, big floppy hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, tote bag
  • On June 22, 2013
    Xania Woodman posted:

    Las Vegas Brunches That Make The Biggest Splash! | Las Vegas is a brunch kind of town. With all the nightlife going on, breakfast often just happens at lunchtime. And nine months out of the year, the best place to brunch is near the waters of some of the city’s coolest hangouts, when LV’s party puddles are serving frosty libations to soothe the sun-ravaged soul, going so far as to offer frozen fruit, Evian misters, sunscreen service, poolside massages and even water shows. But one cannot live by cocktail garnishes alone. Fortunately, these new gourmet brunches make waking up in Vegas a little more appealing: Read on: http://blog.forbestravelguide.com/las-vegas-brunches-that-make-the-biggest-splash#cmpid=xwoodman

  • On May 31, 2013
    Xania Woodman answered the question: Xania Woodman

    What are the best activities to do in Las Vegas?

    Drinking beer is an activity, right? If you’re looking for the ultimate beer-geek experience in Las Vegas, you might already have found your way to the Freakin’ Frog, a deceivingly well-stocked college bar with the largest beer menu in the U.S. If it's not too busy, just ask for a peek inside the beer fridge.

    But, wait—where are all those people going?

    Once a month, a group of dedicated beer geeks gathers at the Frog. At a pre-prescribed time, and possibly after one or more warm-up brews, they follow proprietor Adam Carmer upstairs to his reservations-only Whisky Attic (also home to the largest whiskey collection in the U.S.). When they descend two hours later, they do so bearing the serene smile of one who has reached enlightenment. So, is Carmer handing out enlightenment up there? (He is a beverage professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas ...) No, but he is doling out some of the rarest beers in the world.

    At the monthly Freakin’ Cask Tasting, Carmer taps a firkin (quarter keg) or cask of scarcely imported beer from Italy, France, Germany, Belgium or beyond, sometimes even gems from the Zymatore Project (wherein a sort of mad beer scientist ages rare beers in former spirit casks for utterly unique results). Past beers have included Apostelbraeu Dinkel Bock, Le Brasserie a Vapeur Saison de Pipaix and Square Root 225th Anniversary Sour Historical Saison. The cost is anywhere from $35-$45, and you have to be invited to attend. To be added to the invite list, email Carmer your request at cask@freakinfrog.com, and to increase your chance, make it interesting!
  • On May 31, 2013
    Xania Woodman answered the question: Xania Woodman

    What are the best activities to do in Las Vegas?

    Drinking beer is an activity, right? If you’re looking for the ultimate beer-geek experience in Las Vegas, you might already have found your way to the Freakin’ Frog, a deceivingly well-stocked college bar with the largest beer menu in the U.S. If it's not too busy, just ask for a peek inside the beer fridge.

    But, wait—where are all those people going?

    Once a month, a group of dedicated beer geeks gathers at the Frog. At a pre-prescribed time, and possibly after one or more warm-up brews, they follow proprietor Adam Carmer upstairs to his reservations-only Whisky Attic (also home to the largest whiskey collection in the U.S.). When they descend two hours later, they do so bearing the serene smile of one who has reached enlightenment. So, is Carmer handing out enlightenment up there? He is a beverage professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. No, but he is doling out some of the rarest beers in the world.

    At the monthly Freakin’ Cask Tasting, Carmer taps a firkin (quarter keg) or cask of scarcely imported beer from Italy, France, Germany, Belgium or beyond, sometimes even gems from the Zymatore Project (wherein a sort of mad beer scientist ages rare beers in former spirit casks for utterly unique results). Past beers have included Apostelbraeu Dinkel Bock, Le Brasserie a Vapeur Saison de Pipaix and Square Root 225th Anniversary Sour Historical Saison. The cost is anywhere from $35-$45, and you have to be invited to attend. To be added to the invite list, email Carmer your request at cask@freakinfrog.com, and to increase your chance, make it interesting!
  • On May 31, 2013
    Xania Woodman answered the question: Xania Woodman

    What are the best activities to do in Las Vegas?

    Drinking beer is an activity, right? If you’re looking for the ultimate beer-geek experience in Las Vegas, you might already have found your way to the Freakin’ Frog, a deceivingly well-stocked college bar with the largest beer menu in the U.S. If it's not too busy, just ask for a peek inside the beer fridge.

    But, wait—where are all those people going?

    Once a month, a group of dedicated beer geeks gathers at the Frog. At a pre-prescribed time, and possibly after one or more warm-up brews, they follow proprietor Adam Carmer upstairs to his reservations-only Whisky Attic (also home to the largest whiskey collection in the U.S.). When they descend two hours later, they do so bearing the serene smile of one who has reached enlightenment. So, is Carmer handing out enlightenment up there? He is a beverage professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. No, but he is doling out some of the rarest beers in the world.

    At the monthly Freakin’ Cask Tasting, Carmer taps a firkin (quarter keg) or cask of scarcely imported beer from Italy, France, Germany, Belgium or beyond, sometimes even gems from the Zymatore Project (wherein a sort of mad beer scientist ages rare beers in former spirit casks for utterly unique results). The cost is anywhere from $35-$45, and you have to be invited to attend. To be added to the invite list, email Carmer your request at cask@freakinfrog.com, and to increase your chance, make it interesting!
  • On May 31, 2013
    Xania Woodman answered the question: Xania Woodman

    What are the best activities to do in Las Vegas?

    Drinking beer is an activity, right? If you’re looking for the ultimate beer-geek experience in Las Vegas, you might already have found your way to the Freakin’ Frog, a deceivingly well-stocked college bar with the largest beer menu in the U.S. If it's not too busy, just ask for a peek inside the beer fridge.

    But, wait—where are all those people going?

    Once a month, a group of dedicated beer geeks gathers at the Frog. At a pre-prescribed time, and possibly after one or more warm-up brews, they follow proprietor Adam Carmer upstairs to his reservations-only Whisky Attic (also home to the largest whiskey collection in the U.S.). When they descend two hours later, they do so bearing the serene smile of one who has reached enlightenment. So, is Carmer handing out enlightenment up there? He is a beverage professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. No, but he is doling out some of the rarest beers in the world.

    At the monthly Freakin’ Cask Tasting, Carmer taps a firkin (quarter keg) or cask of scarcely imported beer from Italy, France, Germany, Belgium or beyond, sometimes even gems from the Zymatore Project (wherein a sort of mad beer scientist ages rare beers in former spirit casks for utterly unique results). The cost is anywhere from $35-$45, and you have to be invited to attend. To be added to the invite list, email Carmer your request at cask@freakinfrog.com, and to increase your chance, make it interesting!
  • On May 31, 2013
    Xania Woodman answered the question: Xania Woodman

    What are the best bars in Las Vegas?

    Las Vegas’ hotel bars will never rival the city’s ultralounges and megaclubs for entertainment and amenities, but they can try. A few recent upgrades are worth noting.

    Press
    Not having its own casino or even its own hotel tower, the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Four Seasons Las Vegas is something of a best-kept secret and home to Verandah restaurant, which offers one of the most popular and well-attended brunches in town. It is also here that the new Press lobby bar opened on May 3, a sleek multipurpose, indoor/outdoor venue. By day, Press offers gourmet coffee and espresso drinks, fresh pastry and free newspapers amid comfortable lounge tables and a coffee bar. Four workstations come equipped with phone charges and oodles of power outlets. But coffee gives way to something a little stronger at 3 p.m. when the bar opens with a menu that includes original cocktails, reinterpreted classics, house juleps, wine and nightcaps as well as small plates and whimsical desserts.

    Lucky Bar
    Red Rock Resort has done a phenomenal job with the renovation of its center bar. The perfect meeting spot for cocktails before dinner, after a concert or as a destination unto itself, Lucky Bar has been transformed from a somewhat closed-off cave into a social hub with 360 views of the lively casino floor. Cocktails are simple, modern interpretations of the classics, but be sure to check out the martini cart.

    Lobby Bar
    Fans of Kokomo’s in The Mirage, may still be mourning the loss of their surf 'n turf staple to make room for Tom Colicchio's Heritage Steak, arriving in July. But the Kokomos’s Lounge that offered such a great vantage over the masses has been separated from Colicchio's new venue, and remains virtually unchanged despite its having been re-christened as the Lobby Bar. And the Side Car is a still a winner.