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Forbes Travel Guide unveiled its 54th annual list of five- and four-star award-winning hotels, restaurants and spas today, along with a new Web site Startle.com. The interactive site gives readers an inside look into the world of the Travel Guide’s team of inspectors as it scours the globe looking for the ultimate in luxury travel at top-rated spots.
The star ratings system has been the gold standard in the global travel industry since 1958. This year’s list included four new five-star restaurants highlighted by Twist by Pierre Gagnaire at Mandarin Oriental on the Strip. Las Vegas winners of five-star hotel awards were Mandarin Oriental, Skylofts at MGM Grand and the Tower Suites at Steve Wynn’s hotels the Wynn and Encore. Four-star hotels named were Aria, Aria Sky Suites, Bellagio, Four Seasons at Mandalay Bay, Encore, Palazzo, Signature, Venetian, Vdara, Wynn and M Resort.
Five-star restaurants were Joel Robuchon (MGM Grand) and Twist. Four-star restaurants were Aureole, Bartolotta, Sinatra and Country Club (Wynn); L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon (MGM Grand); Le Cirque, Picasso and Michael Mina (Bellagio); Restaurant Guy Savoy (Caesars Palace); and Sage and Shaboo (Aria). Five-star spas: Four Seasons, Encore, Wynn and Mandarin Oriental. Four-star spas: Canyon Ranch, Bellagio, Aria, Trump and M Resort.
*Magician David Copperfield joins the Disney Channel’s “The Wizards of Waverly Place” for their series finale Friday, with David playing himself. The show stars Justin Bieber’s girlfriend Selena Gomez.
*Illusionist Penn Jillette is back from New York, which means his filming of Donald Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” has concluded -- for now. Penn & Teller’s shows have resumed at the Rio but are dark tomorrow through next Tuesday, then full time and normal again.
*When Palms head honcho George Maloof celebrated the casino resort’s 10th anniversary yesterday, he gave the 600 original employees still working there an autographed 10-set of special chips. … Coyote Ugly at New York-New York celebrated its 10th anniversary serving free shots to members of the military.
*Model Angela Marcello celebrated her last night as a single lady with a bachelorette party at Laura Croft’s Night School 4 Girls in the Excalibur. Angela and her gal pals learned pole dancing moves from pro instructor Tracey of “Fantasy” at the Luxor.
*The entire Kardashian-Jenner clan turned out to celebrate their teen queen Kendall Jenner’s 16th birthday in Hollywood, and sweet treats were shipped in from Sugar Factory at the Mirage. Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, Rob, Kylie and parents Bruce and Kris made sure the budding model’s special day was as sweet as could be with an unforgettable bash and a one-of-a-kind “candy bar” from Sugar Factory.
*News from two of my good pals: Actor Alan Thicke told me he’s starting a weekly humor column Boomerology for Huffington Post. To read Alan’s first contribution, go to HuffingtonPost.com/Alan-Thicke. And James Bond villain and “Wise Guy” actor Robert Davi is celebrating the success of his album “Davi Sings Sinatra: On the Road to Romance” on Amazon.com. Robert, who hosts “Siriusly Sinatra” on Sirius Radio, will be at the Venetian in the New Year with his live Sinatra show.
“Jersey Shore” star DJ Pauly D spins the wheels of steel at Snitch in Ghostbar at the Palms. Also, DJs Mike Attack and Rachel Wenman team up for a double birthday celebration at Ghostbar. And comedian Gilbert Gottfried begins a five-night run in the Icons of Comedy series at the Las Vegas Hilton.
It’s a staggering superstar list of more than 60 TV legends, including Joan Collins, Barbara Eden, Loni Anderson and Ernie Borgnine as they invade for the Strip’s first-ever and largest autograph show in the world, and we’ve got the full inside story from the stars themselves. Plus, Holly Madison reflects on her settled-down life in Las Vegas, a local teen hits stardom with her debut record and a chef canned from a Strip hotel finds fame and fortune on a new Bravo series.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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