Nikki Neu & the Luxury Lifestyle
Vegas-based lifestyle journalist Nikki Neu is at home on the luxury beat.
"Whether I'm appraising five-star hotels or comparing 30-dollar foie gras appetizers, I bring the same critical point of view to the job," she says.
"To separate the good from the great, you need extreme attention to detail and a very discerning eye. Not everything can be a bottle of bubbly, but it should be."
How Nikki Met the Lux Life
Nikki grew up in fashionable Bedford in Westchester County, outside NYC. She majored in Communications and Media Studies at High Point University in North Carolina, where, she says, "I fell in love with Southern hospitality and comfort food. I can still smell a barbecue smoker a mile away."
Nikki's Slice of Sin City
Nikki has lived in Las Vegas since 2007. "I was initially hesitant to settle in Sin City," she admits. "But now I have full-on embraced it. I live in a condo right on the Las Vegas Strip. It's never boring."
Nik's picks for Vegas include:
- For fine dining: Michael Mina at Bellagio
- Locals' spot: Forte
- Spa: The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas
- Low-key hideaway: Poolside at Green Valley Ranch Resort
How Nikki Got Bitten by the Travel Bug
As a child, Nikki traveled throughout the US and Western Europe with her family. "I've been making packing lists ever since I could hold a crayon," she recalls. "Travel has always felt special, but also a part of life."
As a teen, Nikki traveled as a musician on tour, playing classical piano and violin. "It was a wonderful time, and music still enriches my life," she says.
"On a long flight, I plug into my iPod and rock out with Bach and Mozart."
The Breakout Moment
Nikki's eureka moment occurred during a tour stop in Paris when she was 15. "Everyone else agreed to go to McDonald's for lunch, as if they were at home," she relates. "I simply could not."
"Instead, I put together my own picnic of fromage, charcuterie, flaky croissants, and a ripe peach. I relished my lunch by myself on a bench overlooking the Seine. I felt like a Parisienne and was happy beyond words."
"For me, one essential component of luxury travel is authentic experiences," says Nikki. "If you stay inside your resort bubble or insist on American restaurants and stores, you could be anywhere."
Nikki's Travel Style
Having lived in city and country, Nikki now likes all kinds of destinations. "Paris still has a special place in my heart," she says.
"These days, I love taking busy weekend trips from my home in Vegas to San Francisco and Santa Barbara," she says. "I like being near the ocean, but I also like snowy mountains, where I can do some downhill skiing."
Currently, Nikki is exploring Southern California and Mexico for Luxury Travel.
No matter her destination, Nikki's requirements include "a fluffy, luscious hotel bed to sink into and restaurants where I can savor exquisite food and wine."
"Life is too short to ever forgo the good life," advises this Vegas bon vivant. "Let enjoyment center you. Kiss it hello and invite it to stay awhile."
Nikki's Media Life
Nikki has worked as a staff writer detailing hotels and F&B (food and beverage) for VEGAS.com, LasVegas.com, and Mexico.com.
Currently, Nikki is a freelance journalist concentrating on F&B and all things Vegas. Her articles about Vegas hotels and dining have appeared in special sections of the Los Angeles Times and OC Register.
"As much as I like Sin City, I need a break now and then," Nikki confesses. "I love getting out of town for Luxury Travel."
Where to Keep Up with Nikki Neu
- Read her blog, EatCookTravel.com
- Follow Nikki on Twitter (©nikkineu)
- Read Nikki's articles on Vegas.com
Nikki's Latest for Luxury Travel
- Nikki shows you why one of Southern California's most enjoyable getaway hotels is the Relais & Chateaux resort, Rancho Valencia
- Nikki likes California. Here's her take on a classic yet hip beach resort, Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows
- Nikki learned everything about
- Curious about Los Cabos, the celeb hotspot in Baja California, Mexico? Nikki tells you what's great in Cabo
- Nikka loves Mexico. Just for us, she explored a tranquil beach town, http://luxurytravel.about.com/od/destinations/tpZihuatanejo-Mexico-Luxury-Travel-Guide.htm">Zihuatanejo, on the Pacific coast
- Nikki's rec for where to stay in "Zihua"? Viceroy Zihuatanejo, a small resort on one of the loveliest beaches South of the border