Celebrity chef and Las Vegas resident, Akira Back gives us the lowdown on his city.

Celebrity chef Akira Back has restaurants all over the world, but it’s Las Vegas that he chose to call home. “My first impression of Las Vegas was loud,” says Back. “But I soon discover that it’s very quiet, away from the Strip, it has a community feel. That’s why I still live there.”

01
VISIT A MICHELIN-STARRED RESTAURANT

Try the three Michelin star Joel Robuchon Restaurant. Don’t worry about what to order. Just sit and get ready to eat - he will make you 32 different courses. You should also come to my restaurant – Yellowtail Japanese Restaurant & Lounge. I’ve been there 11 years – that’s a long time in Las Vegas. You will be how many famous chefs from throughout the world go there and don’t do well. You should also try Lotus of Siam outside the Strip. They serve up Thai food that’s very, very good.

Akira Back

02
SEE AN AWARD-WINNING SHOW

Take in a show. My favourite show is still ‘O’ – a water-themed show by Cirque du Soleil. They have a pool, which they dive into, then the pool is covered over and turns into a dance floor. I love the show so much it has given me inspiration for my next restaurant. It will take me three years to get this concept off the ground, but it’s happening. I plan to have a day-to-night restaurant, which features a pool and is set over three levels.

bellagio

03
ENJOY A COCKTAIL WITH A VIEW

Go to the Hyde Bellagio. This rooftop bar designed by Philippe Starck gives you a great view of the strip and you also get to see the amazing Bellagio fountains.
Bellagio
04
EXPERIENCE ANOTHER SIDE OF VEGAS

Get out of the city and into the fresh air. My favourite thing to do on the weekend is to Lake Mead, which is 20 minutes from my house. There is so much to do there. Hiking, mountain biking, kayaking… You just have to wake up early before the temperature starts to rise.

Lake Mead

05
HAVE A BUCKET-LIST MOMENT

Take a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon. It’s the best way to experience it.

Grand Canyon

Chef Akira Back was in Singapore celebrating the launch of his new menu at Akira Back Singapore, JW Marriott Singapore South Beach. Look out for apple smoked A4 Tochigi Striploin and an adventurous twists on sashimi - Hirachi Carpaccio with jalapenos.

Suggested Itineraries
China, Hong Kong harbour, Oriental sailboat

From £2,280 pp

A Long Weekend in Hong Kong

Hong Kong China Asia

  • Witness the beauty of Hong Kong from the top of Victoria Peak

  • Savour traditional cuisine including Hong Kong’s famed dim sum

  • Cruise the harbour in a traditional sampan boat

  • Marvel at the Hong Kong skyline from Kowloon’s Avenue of Stars

  • Go on a shopping spree of designer brands at the Citygate Outlet Mall

When to go:

J F M A M J J A S O N D
ideal length 3 nights
Cambodia, Ang Kor Wat, Monkeys

From £4,000 pp

Cambodia with Kids

Siem Reap Phnom Penh

  • Explore the Angkor temples in Siem Reap, including Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm

  • Discover Khmer flavours and cook a three-course Khmer meal

  • Experience the colourful spectacle of Phare, the Cambodian Circus

  • Fly through the jungle canopy on a zipline adventure

  • Feed the Asiatic black bears and sun bears at a rescue sanctuary

When to go:

J F M A M J J A S O N D
ideal length 7 nights
Kansai & Shikoku | Bespoke Japan Holiday | Lightfoot Travel

From £5,980 pp

Kansai & Shikoku

Japan

  • Explore Kurashiki’s preserved canal that dates back to the Edo Period
  • Stay in a traditional Japanese ryokan with hot spring baths
  • Visit the Himeji Castle, Japan's most spectacular castle
  • Go island hopping the Seto Inland Sea
  • Dine on the famous and delicious Kobe beef

When to go:

J F M A M J J A S O N D
ideal length 12 nights
Destinations Featured in the Article
famous Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco at night, USA

North America

A holiday in North America with Lightfoot Travel promises everything from world-class museums to stunning national parks, great skiing and fun theme parks.

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