Sometimes I get to do some really awesome things as part of my job "requirements" at Discover Lehigh Valley. Last week just happened to be one of those times. I had an invitation to the official opening of the new hotel at Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem. It didn't stop there though, 'cause when Sands does an event, they do it right. That same day included dinner at the all-new Emeril's Italian Table restaurant, which happens to be the third Emeril Lagasse restaurant located there. And there always has to be a night cap, so to top it off I got to see a performance by Paul Anka (definitely not my style, but people watching was classic).

My words to describe the 302-room hotel? Classy, stylish, spacious rooms with common areas to match. I absolutely love the artwork that was chosen behind the front desk area and in the hallways, which is reminiscent of the Bethlehem Steel Plant, the grounds it lies on. The hotel also features an indoor swimming pool, small fitness center and around 5,000 square feet of meeting space.

As you're leaving the hotel and entering the casino floor from the inside, you just happen to walk past Emeril's Italian Table. The outside front of the restaurant made me feel as if I was walking along the streets of Italy with its quaint look. The food and menu were outstanding. I had a vegetarian entree - Eggplant Rollitini served with a sundried tomato polenta, basil pesto and arugula salad. I also indulged in the Chocolate Hazelnut Torte ... I highly recommend you top your dinner off with this one! Nom, nom, nom, nom.

As for the Musik at the Sands concert of Paul Anka, hmmmm ... Well I definitely think I might have been one of the youngest in the place (and I'm no spring chicken). I did know a few of the songs, like Put Your Head On My Shoulders (hold me in your arms ... you know the rest!). I must admit that for a man of his age, he put on quite the performance. The crowd really enjoyed when he came out into the audience.

I'm definitely looking forward to my next visit at Sands and may have to take a mini staycation! Have you seen their new developments yet?