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27.8.14 2024
The W - Random - Vegas Veterans, need your advice.
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StaggerLee
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Since: 3.10.02
From: Right side of the tracks

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.91
First, thanks for everybody's advice when I was asking about which would be better, Vegas or Puerto Rico, it really helped my decision making easier!

Now that we've decided to go to Vegas, I need to know:

What hotels are good.
What hotels to avoid.
What's the bar scene? Is it just hotel bars, or are there actual drinking holes to go hang out in?
Recommendations for dining places, both cheap and fancy (ANY suggestions on food would be greatly appreciated especially good breakfast joints)

Any shows that are "can't miss"? We are going to see Penn and Teller one night, but the rest are totally free.








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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.32
Avoid Circus Circus. I spent a week there in October, and it was awful.

I swear, the free drinks came in juice glasses.




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StaggerLee
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Since: 3.10.02
From: Right side of the tracks

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.91
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    Avoid Circus Circus. I spent a week there in October, and it was awful.

    I swear, the free drinks came in juice glasses.

Noted.



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If you can, these two organizations are hard at work in Haiti, so please give them a hand.
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Sujuk








Since: 2.6.03
From: Littleton, CO

Since last post: 1107 days
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.12
If the sole purpose of the hotel is just for sleep, I would recommend staying at Imperial Palace. It's a bit of a dive, but it's affordable and right in the center of the strip, making other places you would want to visit very accessible.

As for bars, I had a blast at Margaritaville when I was in Vegas last year.
Dutchie
Boerewors
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Since: 29.1.02
From: PA

Since last post: 56 days
Last activity: 31 min.
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.79
Hotel-wise, it seemed like Circus Circus, Excalibur, and NYNY really catered to families. There can be kids running up and down the hallway anywhere, but those three, from what others who have gone told me, have a large number of children running up and down halls compared to others. It really depends on what you want to spend on a hotel, though. If you want to say you stayed at the Bellagio, Venetia, Wynn, Palazzo, or the new one (Aria), you're going to pay upwards of $200 more than if you stay at the MGM or Harrah's hotels. We stayed at TI and it was fine.

Booking an air+hotel package can save you a decent amount of money. Most of the MGM Grand hotels (and TI) have air+hotel packages through the hotel's website, but if you want to stay at the Harrah's chain, you'd have to do something like Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, Priceline, or Vegas.com. If you've previously been to a Harrah's-affiliated hotel, and have the players' club card, check it online for deals. We're headed back in June, and the best prices we've found have been on Orbitz and Vegas.com.

Pretty much every hotel lobby that we looked at had the free coupon books to help you save on food, shows, tours, etc. You can pick those up and use as you need - sometimes they have 2-for-1 admittance to different shows.

I don't remember finding any drinking holes on the strip, mostly hotel bars. We did wind up spending some time on the casino floor and in the sports books for the comp'ed drinks. Food-wise, we did splurge one night and hit the buffet at the Bellagio. It was expensive, but it was really, really good. It felt like miles of food, and it was jammed, but quite tasty. We also ate at the House of Lords in the Sahara. It was pretty affordable (I want to say $105 for 3 of us). I'm not a big fan of steak, but I thought the steak I tried off my friend's plate was pretty tasty. We also did Toby Keith's I Love this Bar and Grill in Harrah's. For 3 TK fans, it was cool. Also in Harrah's, there was a Dueling Piano bar - like a comedy/musical show, put money in the jar and they'll play whatever you want. It was pretty entertaining. Let's Make a Deal also tapes in LV, and I know that's something we're going to try to do this summer.

We did a lot of our "want to do" list from Cheapo Vegas (cheapovegas.com). One of the things we didn't get to do, but wanted to, was rent motorcycles and ride out to some Old West saloon town (I can't honestly remember the name, it was in one of the guide books) and do the Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon tours. The Grand Canyon is pretty much a full day trip unless you're doing the helicopter tour. A local had told us to stick to the bus tours for the Hoover Dam rather than rent bikes, because they try to move the tour buses in and out faster, and the rest of the traffic tends to clog up a bit.

I honestly don't think you can go wrong, no matter what you see and do with your time.


// I second Margaritaville. Yes, it's a chain, but they had a local band playing after...some hour? They were great - all 80s and 90s covers. The Purple Parrot drinks aren't too bad, either. We also did Kahunaville in TI quite a few nights, since we stayed there. There's another bar in TI, I honestly don't remember the name, but they had Rock Band night. That was some good entertainment.

(edited by StegDutchie on 29.1.10 1956)
Leroy
Andouille








Since: 7.2.02
From: Huntington, NY

Since last post: 1 day
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.09

The Luxor looks awesome from the outside, but inside - not so much.

The BBQ & Brewery at the Ellis Island Casino used to have a GREAT special - a full rack of pork ribs for $10 and $1 beer pints (and, if I remember correctly, their own micro brews). It's been a while so I can't vouch for the price, but I think they still have *some* special. I was full for two days.



Who likes the little little duckies in the pond? I do, I do, I do, a chicka-quack quack.
redsoxnation
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Since: 24.7.02

Since last post: 422 days
Last activity: 422 days
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.87
The MGM Hotels are running a special through January 31 where if you book more than 61 days in advance 25% off, 31-60 20% off, and under 30 15% off. Truthfully, the 4 plus star hotels are giving it away. I've got 6 days/5 nights at the Wynn during the Sweet 16/Elite 8 for a grand, and that is including cross country flight. Southwestvacations is doing a lot of stay 3 days get the 4th free, stay 4 get the 5th and 6th deals free at various hotels. Should look at a few different weeks, as various circumstances could cause the same days to be a few hundred dollar difference.
Should check out the roller coaster at New York New York (and Gallagher's is an excellent and not ridiculously expensive steak house there), the shark reef aquarium at Mandalay Bay is a nice way to kill an hour, especially when you hit the area where sharks are actually swimming right over you, the sports book at the Imperial Palace just to see them running the board the old fashioned way not electronically, and most importantly, DO NOT KNOW THE PIN NUMBER TO YOUR CREDIT CARD. Playing off the ATM is one thing, playing off the credit card is where the danger starts. You can get free booze all day, so looking for bars is really nothing special.
As for shows: Donny and Marie are at the Flamingo, with the cheap seats being 90 bucks (I looked because I wanted to see if they were over 15 as a joke) and Manilow has moved to the Paris Casino beginning in March.

(edited by redsoxnation on 29.1.10 2049)
Lise
Mrs. Guru








Since: 11.12.01

Since last post: 363 days
Last activity: 30 days
#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.86
    Originally posted by Leroy

    The Luxor looks awesome from the outside, but inside - not so much.



When I worked for Gameworks, several of my managers used to work at the Luxor. Based on stories, I would NEVER stay or eat there.
StaggerLee
Scrapple








Since: 3.10.02
From: Right side of the tracks

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 2 hours
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.91
    Originally posted by Lise
      Originally posted by Leroy

      The Luxor looks awesome from the outside, but inside - not so much.



    When I worked for Gameworks, several of my managers used to work at the Luxor. Based on stories, I would NEVER stay or eat there.

Just about every single review on Priceline said it was a shithole, so I'll definitely pass.

Been doing a LOT of comparing prices. One hotel/spa off the strip offers $200 worth of spa discounts if you book two nights for $250. So, that's definitely worth it, because I am a sucker for a nice massage.
(plus the fiance will think I'm a nice guy)

I've actually thought of staying somewhere cheap during the week, then on Friday staying at Manalay Bay, or Ceasars. But looking now, we can get airfare for me (then I'd just priceline a flight for her), and four nights for around $745 at Ceasars. So, I doubt I can really do much better than that.

(edited by StaggerLee on 30.1.10 0142)



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If you can, these two organizations are hard at work in Haiti, so please give them a hand.
Guru Zim
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

Since last post: 19 days
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.32
If you value this relationship, don't put yourself on different flights, where hers might be worse.




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redsoxnation
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Since: 24.7.02

Since last post: 422 days
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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.87
    Originally posted by StaggerLee
      Originally posted by Lise
        Originally posted by Leroy

        The Luxor looks awesome from the outside, but inside - not so much.



      When I worked for Gameworks, several of my managers used to work at the Luxor. Based on stories, I would NEVER stay or eat there.

    Just about every single review on Priceline said it was a shithole, so I'll definitely pass.

    Been doing a LOT of comparing prices. One hotel/spa off the strip offers $200 worth of spa discounts if you book two nights for $250. So, that's definitely worth it, because I am a sucker for a nice massage.
    (plus the fiance will think I'm a nice guy)

    I've actually thought of staying somewhere cheap during the week, then on Friday staying at Manalay Bay, or Ceasars. But looking now, we can get airfare for me (then I'd just priceline a flight for her), and four nights for around $745 at Ceasars. So, I doubt I can really do much better than that.

    (edited by StaggerLee on 30.1.10 0142)






If you are going to do the nice/cheap change, better to stay at the higher level during the week and the weekend at the lower level place, as the prices for the good spots are lower during the week.
emma
Cherries > Peaches








Since: 1.8.02
From: Phoenix-ish

Since last post: 154 days
Last activity: 1 day
#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.43
    Originally posted by StaggerLee
    Been doing a LOT of comparing prices. One hotel/spa off the strip offers $200 worth of spa discounts if you book two nights for $250. So, that's definitely worth it, because I am a sucker for a nice massage.
    (plus the fiance will think I'm a nice guy)

    I've actually thought of staying somewhere cheap during the week, then on Friday staying at Manalay Bay, or Ceasars. But looking now, we can get airfare for me (then I'd just priceline a flight for her), and four nights for around $745 at Ceasars. So, I doubt I can really do much better than that.
So much depends on what your & your girlfriend's pricepoints, interests, peeves (eg. smoking), & preferences are.

Unless she's a biker chick, since you're with your fiancee, stay someplace nice.

I usually stay at MGM or its more civilised cousin Signature. I'm all about the high-end foodie destinations, so tend to plan my stay for convenient access to the restaurants I want to hit. MGM/Signature & Caesar's are pretty good for that. They both generally have a variety of packages & decent rates during the week.

The package you found for Caesar's looks pretty good. Most of the on-strip hotels offer some kind of spa package as well. If you're doing spa stuff, most places offer some sort of "couples massage", which could be nice.

You must do a Cirque de Soleil (cirquedusoleil.com) show. Zumanity is the sexiest one, since you have a date. O is also a really good one.

For food, totally depends on how much you want to spend. There seems to be a mandatory set of restaurant types that pretty much all the big resort hotels have: steakhouse, japanese, chinese, italian, american casual. Some have french, some don't. And just because the prices are high, does not necessarily mean that it's good. Give me some hints about pricepoint & food interests.

You can also look around on the Chowhound Las Vegas board (chowhound.chow.com). They're in the middle of a board reorg at the moment, but I've always found that to be a valuable resource.

Gimme some more hints & parameters!
StaggerLee
Scrapple








Since: 3.10.02
From: Right side of the tracks

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 2 hours
#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.91
Anybody stay or have any experience at the Stratosphere?

There's a special where I can get the four nights there for $120 total. Seems WAY too good to pass up.

As for eating, we're game for just about anything. I know I want to have at least one nice dinner ($100-150 price range) and the rest of the time we can pretty much eat whatever.

Zeruel
Thirty Millionth Hit
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Since: 2.1.02
From: The Silver Spring in the Land of Mary.

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 1 day
#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.29
    Originally posted by StaggerLee
    Anybody stay or have any experience at the Stratosphere?

    There's a special where I can get the four nights there for $120 total. Seems WAY too good to pass up.

    As for eating, we're game for just about anything. I know I want to have at least one nice dinner ($100-150 price range) and the rest of the time we can pretty much eat whatever.




Don't stay there. NOTHING is in walking distance and you will waste ALOT of money on taxi rides. It's WAY up north on the strip away from everything.



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JayJayDean
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Seattle, WA

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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.11
    Originally posted by Zeruel
      Originally posted by StaggerLee
      Anybody stay or have any experience at the Stratosphere?

      There's a special where I can get the four nights there for $120 total. Seems WAY too good to pass up.

      As for eating, we're game for just about anything. I know I want to have at least one nice dinner ($100-150 price range) and the rest of the time we can pretty much eat whatever.




    Don't stay there. NOTHING is in walking distance and you will waste ALOT of money on taxi rides. It's WAY up north on the strip away from everything.


Actually, I think the monorail goes up to the Stratosphere, so you don't have to spend dough on cabs to get to the Strip.

EDIT: Personally, I can say the best hotel experience I've had in Vegas is at Mandalay. Fantastic rooms. Make sure you factor in that there is going to be a TON of walking, though, so you don't want your lady trying to roll in pumps the whole weekend.

(edited by JayJayDean on 1.2.10 1036)


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StaggerLee
Scrapple








Since: 3.10.02
From: Right side of the tracks

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 2 hours
#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.91
Wow, so much information! Gotta love the internet.

Anyway, I booked our trip last night, I got airfare for two, and four nights at Vegas Club and Casino. I realize it's not on the strip, it's part of the Fremont Street Experience. It looks to have plenty around it, and if we get bored, we can just take a cab to the strip.

So, got all of that for $680.
Now I have to figure out what to do on which night.
I'm getting excited now!
Broncolanche
Sujuk








Since: 2.6.03
From: Littleton, CO

Since last post: 1107 days
Last activity: 359 days
#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.12
    Originally posted by JayJayDean
    Actually, I think the monorail goes up to the Stratosphere, so you don't have to spend dough on cabs to get to the Strip.
The crappy thing about the monorail is that it shuts down at around 2AM (if I remember correctly). Of course that won't matter if you're not a night owl.
hansen9j
Andouille








Since: 7.11.02
From: Riderville, SK

Since last post: 15 days
Last activity: 10 hours
#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.59
I just got back from Vegas an hour ago, and whatever you do, play as much Pai Gow Poker as is humanly possible. It's fun, there's always good people playing with you, and it's such a slow game that your bankroll takes forever to bleed away (while you drink for free).



It is the policy of the documentary crew to remain true observers and not interfere with its subjects.
Football is a cruel, cruel mistress.
StaggerLee
Scrapple








Since: 3.10.02
From: Right side of the tracks

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 2 hours
#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.91
My Fiance is the one who likes to gamble, so I will be sure she's up on her Pai Gow skills.

Big G
Potato korv








Since: 21.8.03
From: the people who brought you Steel Magnolias....

Since last post: 10 days
Last activity: 16 hours
#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.76
Thanks to Stagger for starting this thread. I'm looking at spending part of my 3 week US holiday (in Septemberish) in Vegas so I've found this thread to be very useful.

I've heard the Pai Gow tip mentioned elsewhere as well

Cheers
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