Four fabulous nights in New York and Las Vegas – the experiential trip of a lifetime

  • 06 June 2023
  • Blog

Last month, Virgin Atlantic Flightstore hosted their annual experiential trip where 10 tour operators won the trip of a lifetime exploring the eccentricity of New York City and Las Vegas’ neon-lit metropolis; a tale of two cities.

After a five-month campaign, alongside Virgin Atlantic, Delta Air Lines, The CIVILIAN Hotel, and Hills Balfour, we selected our winners, which included Virgin Atlantic Flightstore’s top New York and Las Vegas bookers and our wild card winner!

Our Partnerships Manager, Michelle, and myself, Ellie, Virgin Atlantic Flightstore's Marketing Executive, had the absolute pleasure of assisting in creating the itinerary and hosting the fun-filled trip. We wanted to share our best bits, thrilling times, and pinch-me moments with you, so read below for our magical tale of two cities…

We began our adventure at Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines’ Terminal at Heathrow Airport, where we were given our own private check-in desk and swiftly went through security. Our flight to New York was Delta Air Lines, with attentive service, incredible in-flight entertainment, and a smooth journey; it was great for those who had not yet experienced Delta to see all it had to offer, so they could confidently recommend it to customers – which they now certainly can!

Sleep No More – The McKittrick Hotel

We were lucky enough to experience Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More, the award-winning immersive sensation playing off-Broadway at The McKittrick Hotel. The only way to describe it is… well… to experience it for yourself! We got lost in the film noir reimagining of Macbeth, where we got to choose what we saw, running around the actors and being immersed in the show ourselves! An extraordinary experience.

It's fair to say we did it all in 48 hours and wasted no time sleeping… we were saving that for our flight to Las Vegas. It’s safe to say we all slept in the clouds on our Delta flight on the way to Sin City. The take-off was so smooth that 2 hours in, Michelle turned to me and asked, "Why haven’t we taken off yet?" If that isn’t a gentle take-off, then I don’t know what is!


We’re here to spill the Libertea on New York…

Touching down in Manhattan's rush hour certainly gave us a taste of city living from the get-go. We checked in to our boutique oasis for the next two nights, The CIVILIAN Hotel. Inspired by New York soul in the microcosm of the Theatre District, The CIVILIAN truly brings the energy of the city indoors, each room, restaurant, and outdoor hangout is curated to emulate the spirit of New York City.


“The CIVILIAN Hotel, what an amazing little quirky boutique hotel. I absolutely adored my little room. The hotel is in the best location, and the hospitality that was shown to us by Joseph and the team was amazing. I loved the rooftop bar, and the food was amazing.” – Lynda

“The CIVILIAN – WOW I loved this gem; it is so nice to have a hotel that’s not a main chain and one that has its own character, I had a wonderful feel about the hotel, and the staff could not do enough for us so thank you, I will be pushing you guys all the time. I have total confidence my guests would have a wonderful experience.” - Stacey

"The CIVILIAN I just loved and it would probably be the only hotel I recommend in New York! Love love loved it! I loved all the different spots you could eat and drink in there, the Broadway/theatre theme, just all of it, very luxy!" - Nicola 

Being so close to Times Square and Central Park meant we could explore whilst never being too far away – a massive bonus when you don’t know where you’re going half of the time! We packed into two days which most people would spend a week on, exploring the skyline and jumping from rooftops and viewpoints (the best way to see New York, in my opinion!).


Memorable Manhattan moments

Watching the sunrise on the top of the Empire State Building Observatory. WOW. The 4 am wake-up call was worth it, 102 floors up in the sky with limited access to the public (meaning it was not filled with the usual flocks of people at this hour), standing on the iconic building whilst the sun came up, breakfast in hand, was certainly unforgettable. It really is a feeling like no other.


"The Empire State Building at sunrise was also a huge highlight for me –  there was plenty of opportunity to admire the view and take pics – it all felt very peaceful away from the city, and I thought the fact that we got museum admission and a coffee and pastry included was pretty fab, from a customer perspective! Out of all the viewpoints we did, I’d say this one felt the most worthwhile.” - Charlotte

“Empire State Building - didn’t even know the Empire State did a sunrise breakfast. It is going to be a massive seller for me as I want all my clients to experience it, I felt we had the whole viewing deck to ourselves.” – Stacey

We didn’t stop there on our rooftop hopping tour, following on with SUMMIT One Vanderbilt, an artistic rooftop experience that is a walkaround exhibit, whilst taking in breathtaking views of the city and, of course, of the Empire State Building. As we had seen the city in all its glory at sunrise, it was only right to finish the day off with a sunset view. We headed over to Edge NYC to see everything again from a new perspective, we watched as the skyline turned orange and the sun slowly went down. And our night began.

Viva Las Vegas!

We were lucky enough to get to experience Las Vegas’ very own Virgin Hotel for our two-night stay. Upon arrival, we had two options… gamble the night away or get into bed and prepare ourselves for the next 48 hours. It was a tough decision, but that was soon made easier when we stepped into our King rooms with Super King beds, a lounging sofa, a wide screen TV, and a fridge full of snacks… we weren’t going anywhere.

After waking up refreshed, with probably the most sleep we’d had in the last 3 days, we felt we had to seize the day and really make the most of our one night in Vegas. Here are just a few things we got up to in 24 hours…

Our Las Vegas highlights


Downtown Las Vegas

Helicopter strip flight

Red Rock Canyon tour

The Venetian Hotel tour

Lunch at Milos

“My main highlight of the two cities was the Vegas helicopter strip flight, I thought this was the standout moment on the itinerary. It was just so EXTRA and it felt like we weren't privileged enough to do this! Even the welcome reception with the champagne and prosecco just felt incredible.” - Andy

We truly made the most of our time in both New York and Las Vegas. We saved up all our sleep for the journey back home to London Heathrow with Virgin Atlantic, dreaming of the last four nights we had experienced.

“Of course, a highlight for me would have to be flying Upper Class on the return flight… I loved every minute of it, and I was gutted when we landed! The staff were just so lovely and made you feel completely at ease, like nothing was any trouble at all. The food was glorious, and the pillow was possibly the softest pillow I've ever laid my head on! The lie-flat bed, the sleep suit, all the lovely toiletries in the goodie bag!” – Nicola


Ellie Morrison – Marketing Executive, Virgin Atlantic Flightstore

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