By Celece Seegmiller for The Spectrum Newspaper
Did you know you could experience a taste of Italy just a few hours away? It is Ravella at Lake Las Vegas and even though it is only 17 miles from the strip, it is far from the typical bright lights, big city Las Vegas experience. Ravella is the perfect location for a weekend escape for two, a family getaway, or even a destination wedding and I had the pleasure of staying there a few weeks ago.
Ravella’s name is based on the picturesque coastal town of Ravello in southern Italy and inspired by the word “revel,” meaning ‘to take great pleasure or delight.’” Ravella’s architecture is reminiscent of Europe’s colorful waterside villages. Ravella features 349 guest rooms ranging from standard 486 square foot king or double rooms to the stunning 2400 square foot presidential suite. I was fortunate enough to stay in the 960 square foot executive suite which included a living room, 1.5 bathrooms, 2 closets, and a master bedroom that was larger than my first apartment. Upon entering the room, I was ready to extend my stay. I was immediately drawn to the window in the living room which featured a beautiful view of Lake Las Vegas. The master bedroom offered ultimate relaxation in the king size feather bed dressed in luxurious linens. The master bathroom was like a marble spa retreat and included a large soaking tub, upscale bath amenities, and a double vanity. I’ve had the pleasure of staying in many of the famous luxurious hotels along the strip and this room was definitely one of the best.
Ravella brings Italy to the desert with Florence’s famed Ponte Vecchio Bridge. This iconic three-story bridge includes a collection of rooms and suites with unrivaled lake views. The bridge spans 375 feet long and is tall enough to permit a 21-foot sailboat to pass beneath. The hotel is built around a Florentine inspired garden, complete with a firepit and comfortable seating in the center. The garden’s tranquil setting is an ideal spot to start the day with a cup of coffee or wind down with a glass of wine in the evening.
While you won’t find The Statue of Liberty or Eiffel Tower at Ravella, you will find Lake Las Vegas, the largest privately owned man-made lake in the country. You can bask in the sunshine by the waterfall, walk along the white sandy beach; or enjoy water activities like boating, kayaking, paddleboats, stand-up paddle boarding, and fishing. The shores are lined with hiking and jogging trails. Ravella offers a resort sized heated swimming pool, private cabanas and a poolside grill.
Ravella did not forget about golfers. Guests are offered access to the exclusive SouthShore Golf Club at Lake Las Vegas. SouthShore Golf Club is the first private Jack Nicklaus Signature Course in Nevada. Named by Golf Digest one of the “Top 10 New Private Golf Courses in America,” SouthShore’s award-winning par-71, 6,917-yard championship fits seamlessly with its surroundings on the shores of Lake Las Vegas
If outdoor activities are not of interest, consider an indoor activity at the spa. Ravella features one of largest and most beautiful spas I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. This 30,000 square foot spa includes a salon, fitness facility, and 24 treatment rooms that surround a tranquil meditation garden. It is the ultimate location for rest and relaxation.
I could not help but notice that Ravella is the perfect location for a wedding. Apparently, other brides seemed to think so too as there were several wedding parties at the resort. Ravella is one of Las Vegas’ most spectacular wedding locations, with its romantic over-water chapel and Lake Las Vegas serving as the backdrop. The Renaissance style chapel features hand-carved wooden pews imported from Italy, iron chandeliers and sconces, and a beamed ceiling. The garden, courtyard, beach and climate-controlled lakeside pavilion serve as perfect reception venues. If a wedding in Venice is not possible, Ravella is a great alternative.
The Village Lake Las Vegas is adjacent to the resort and offers a collection unique boutiques, and a casino set to open at the end of May. It is reminiscent of an Italian lakeside village, complete with waterfront restaurants, fountains, boat docks, gondola rides, and of course – Gelato, a delicious Italian dessert! After all, a trip to Italy is not complete without Gelato.
The next time you want to get away, consider Ravella Lake Las Vegas. It is an escape to the Mediterranean, minus airline security and a 16 hour flight. I can’t wait to go back!