Whether it's gambling tips, choosing the right hotel or finding out what's the hottest club, RateVegas is here to answer all of your questions.
Re: Laughlin. Have you ever been? And if so, is it worth a day trip from Vegas?
Actually no, never been! Sorry!
Hi Hunter, a quick question – do you know when the new zip-wire is opening in Fremont St? We are coming to Vegas in February.
It’s actually late – originally was supposed to be ready by now.
As of today, they’re starting to string the actual wires up so it shouldn’t be long now.
looking into what hotel is best for a group of 8 guys heading to Vegas end of sep 2014.we are between 30-40 a few have been before.we all like to party,drink and gamble .we are looking into cosmopolition or MGM .a few are single and a few want to be single🙈.just can’t pick which one is better for us.can u help ???
If I were picking between the two, I’d definitely pick Cosmopolitan. It’s in a better location, is a better size (smaller) and has nicer rooms. It also has a top nightclub and several top bars.
Cosmo, for sure.
Hey Hunter the sight is still looking great. I do have a question that I hope you can answer with your honest opinions. Many years ago we spent three nights at what was then the International Hotel where Elvis appeared several times. We had a very nice room but that was long ago. We have some very close friends who are thinking about staying there sometime after Christmas. My questions are I know they have a new name and was wondering what your opinion of that place and has it been improved inside and finally which would be better to take the monorail back to the strip or are taxis close by ?
Yeah, the International became the Las Vegas Hilton and is now called LVH. It’s no longer associated with the Hilton brand.
The hotel is okay – they’ve done some work to spruce it up – but it’s a bit far from the action. It’s most typically a convention hotel due to proximity to the LVCC.
Cabs are easy to get but as you mentioned, it’s one of the only places where the Monorail makes some sense too.
Hi Hunter, I am rather ignorant about old Vegas. As I look at the Wikipedia entry for the Strip (particularly the map of the “former casino locations”), I find myself wondering which demolished casinos played the biggest or most influential roles in Vegas history. I first went to Vegas as an adult in 2003 and then did not get back there until 2009 (for a number of reasons), and I regret not having seen, for example, the Stardust. I know the Dunes, the Sands, and Desert Inn were also big in their day, Am I forgetting any of the big old time casinos? Does Dr. Dave’s books cover their histories?
Well, a lot of places are important for different reasons. The Flamingo, of course… but looking back, The Sands (entertainment), Stardust (skimming/mob stuff), Desert Inn (Howard Hughes).
Dave’s Grandissimo book doesn’t really cover this topic but he’s been threatening to write a history of Vegas casinos as his next book. You could also check out ‘Roll The Bones’, which does have some of that kind of stuff in it.
Hi Hunter, What’s your opinion of Bally’s recent room refresh of the now Jubilee Tower versus the MGM Grand’s fairly recent room refresh? Would you consider them on par competitors now? Which property do you prefer more generally, leaving aside the advantage of one over the other in terms of location along the Strip?
That’s an interesting question!
In general, the stuff they’re doing at Bally’s is less about raising the competitive nature of the property vs. completing some long-neglected fixes that were desperately needed. That’s not to poo-poo their updates – the renovated rooms are an improvement no doubt… They’re just more about refreshing soft goods that have significantly worn vs. a remake of the status of the room.
Caesars will eventually implode Bally’s and replace it with another hotel (though this is further off than originally thought) and thus isn’t interested in making big upgrade moves there. They are attempting to maintain their current level. MGM on the other hand is attempting to re-make their property to move up-market, at least somewhat. So in that sense, they’re not really comparable. MGM Grand is a nicer property, no doubt.
MGM does have downsides though – I like the location less and the place is so gigantic, something I find off-putting.
All of that said, overall, I’d probably say I prefer MGM Grand, though Bally’s excellent location and typically low rates make it a contender if it’s a weekend trip where the substance of the room is less important.
I want to take my mom who is in her late 80’s to vegas-been online and found out that new york has a spa suite with two beds and is a smaller hotel with alot of sit down eating places
I dont want her to get to tired-I cant book this room till two months before we go in late feb.-will we have a problem getting this specific room? and she has problems with very smokey area’s we did stay at orleans last year and the people and rooms where great but had to check out early because of the heavy smoke-help!
It’s impossible to tell if you’ll have trouble but February can be busy so I’d recommend jumping on that when it’s available to book. You’ll probably be okay.
NYNY is no more or less smokey than other Strip casinos.
great questions about Las Vegas and you give great answers. Which is the best time to try to get free upgrades before noon or after seven p.m. ?I have had the $20.00 idea work for me over 90 % of the time
There is no one answer, it entirely depends on how busy the hotel is.
Can you list the oldest hotels . I mean the ones in downtown Vegas as well as the older ones on the strip ? I am very curious to know just which ones have the most true Las Vegas history with them
Golden Gate is the oldest, both Downtown and in Las Vegas. Golden Nugget in the 40s & Binions in the 50s.
On The Strip, The Flamingo dates back to the 40s. The Riv & Trop the 50s, Caesars and Circus the 60s. Bally’s, Harrah’s Casino Royale are from the 70s. The Quad and The Mirage the 80s and then it’s all the recent stuff from the 90s through today.
In almost every case though, the hotels have been so extensively re-developed that there are virtually no original components left.
Yes, there are quite a few Flamingo rooms that face The Strip. Yes, some of the GO rooms have a shower and a tub, though not all. Request this if it is important to you.
Hi again, Thankyou for your response its really appreciated. Were looking to travel on the 7th of november returning on the 11th. After looking at the hotels you listed (although lovely hotels) are all coming up close to double our budget.
We have found two hotels slightly more reasonable in price for our time. The luxor and the LVH. Would you have any suggestions on which is best or alternatives? every hotel seems expensive during this time is there a reason for this?
i’ll certainly be downloading the iOS app. Once again thanks!
Yeah, prices can really vary… and that’s actually a fairly expensive time of year. There are several conventions in that timeframe that drive up prices.
Between Luxor and LVH I would definitely suggest Luxor. LVH isn’t on The Strip so you’d be very much removed from the action. Luxor is fine. Often times no-frills but it’s on The Strip and who can beat staying in a pyramid!
Hi, im sorry if this has already been asked but i couldnt use the search function without a error message.
My partner and I are looking to spend 4 nights in vegas to celebrate her 21st birthday (flying in from the uk and arriving on her birthday itself!) Were both very excited but on a relative budget of around £250 for the hotel. Could you recommend a hotel that is nice in a good location for first time vegas travellers? We wouldn’t be renting a car either. Thank you for running such a great service!
Yeah, I really need to fix that search engine… been busy on the new version of my iOS app, VegasMate. Whew. Ok…
First off, happy birthday to your friend!
Ok, so I’m assuming that the budget you stated is total for the trip and not nightly and I’m using current exchange rates which bring it out to about $400. If I’ve fundamentally misunderstood your budget, write back and I’ll update this post.
So, the big x-factor is the time of year and if it’s a weekend or not. That really can mean the difference between a bad room at the worst hotel on The Strip and either a mid-range place or if you get lucky, a room at a nicer place that’s not full when you’re planning to come out. Since I don’t have that info, I’ll share some more general thoughts.
The nice thing about the Las Vegas Strip is that other than the ends being a hike, it’s all very safe and relatively grouped together. Unlike cities like New York, San Francisco, or even London where things can be far-flung, the airport is down the street from the hotel which is down the street from everything else. That means that not having a car is not really a problem for 90% of visitors and even if you end up at hotel A for budget reasons, every other place is so close by that you can hang out anywhere no matter where you’re staying.
The hotels I’d suggest looking at (and they will vary a lot based on the calendar) are (in order):
- The Mirage
- Treasure Island (TI)
- Monte Carlo
- MGM Grand
- Planet Hollywood
my guess is that the following will be too pricey but it never hurts to check:
- Wynn Las Vegas
- Mandalay Bay (location is a little out there)
Downtown Las Vegas (Fremont Street) is fun and a lot less expensive but probably not the grand Las Vegas experience you’re imagining. You might want to grab a cab and head down there one night to check it out though – some fun spots down there like The D, Golden Nugget and El Cortez.
Could this be true ? I was getting ready to make reservations at the Flamingo next September for our anniversary but ten I found out that every Harrah’s hotel was sold out for the whole month. WHY ?
That doesn’t sound right… you got that information from the hotel? That’s only right on the boundary of when they accept reservations.
Hi Hunter, I am wondering if you could rate the station casinos from best to worse. I am primarily looking for lots of video poker and a clean room with good customer service. I already know that RR and GVR top the list but have not been in any others. We generally stay at SP and are looking for a comparable change. Your perspective would be greatly appreciated. I tried a search for info on your site but it said “error” so I hope this isn’t something you’ve already covered. As always, thanks for great info.
When it comes to Stations, I’m definitely less of an expert than Strip and Downtown casinos.
You’re right that RR and GVR are at the top of that heap. Both very nice hotels and casinos. After those two, I’d probably say Sunset Station, which isn’t too far from GVR and has reasonably okay rooms and a large casino.
Some of the Stations, like Santa Fe and Aliante (formerly a Station) are so far out there I can’t really get too enthusiastic about them.
It’s not a Station but the Suncoast is a popular spot for local VP players with a nice hotel room product. Something to consider as well perhaps.
My list would probably look like this:
1. Red Rock
2. Green Valley Ranch
3. Sunset Station
4. Boulder Station
5. Texas Station
6. Aliante (former Station)
7. Santa Fe Station
8. Fiesta Henderson
9. Palace Station
10. Fiesta Rancho
PS – Yes, the search is having some problems. :-(
So I’m going to Las Vegas for my 21st birthday. I currently have a vertical ID and I can’t renew it until my birthday which doesn’t give me enough time to receive my new one. Also when I renew my ID they punch a hole in it so it’s no longer good. My question is will everyone in Las Vegas accept a vertical ID which in red says when I turn 21? Or should I get renewed at which time I am given that paper print out?
So, first off – happy birthday!
Generally speaking, this shouldn’t be a problem. In Las Vegas they’re used to newly-minted 21 year-olds visiting to have a good time. I think you’re better off with the real photo-ID vs. the print out.
Do you have any other form of ID? I’ve seen people use passports, military ID and other forms either as a primary or a backup. Something to consider. For a few years after I turned 21 I made sure I had two IDs in Vegas because I was super paranoid about losing one and not being able to do anything.
One thing that goes a long way: be respectful when they’re checking your ID. Of course you’ll probably be drunk half the time but if you mouth-off to a bouncer or pit boss they might get pissed off and try to confiscate your ID as a presumed-fake, which would of course ruin your day.
I am trying to play bar golf with some friends while out there, essentially where you go to 18 different bars and get one drink at each. We will start around 1pm on a Saturday later this month and play till midnight-1ish and we are staying at the Elara. We are all in good shape, what I am more concerned about is hitting good bars. Some I know I want to hit are Chandelier Bar, Mandarin Bar, Rhum Bar, MIX, maybe an ice bar. We are going to XS the following night, so keeping Wynn and Encore out of it would be nice. Throwing a juice/shake bar in there might be smart too, so we aren’t too ridiculous at the end.
Ha! Bar golf, I like that. Never heard that term before.
You’ve got some good ones on your list. If I needed a list of 18 bars and I wanted to skip Wynn and Encore, it would look something like this, in no particular order:
1. Chandelier (Cosmo)
2. Hyde (Bellagio) daytime only
3. Mandarin Bar (Mandarin Oriental)
4. Rhumbar (Mirage)
5. MIX (Mandalay Bay)
6. Minus 5 (either Mandalay Bay or Monte Carlo)
7. Heart Bar (Planet Hollywood)
8. View Bar (Aria)
9. Bar @ Times Square (NYNY)
10. Napoleon’s Lounge (Paris)
11. Red Square (Mandalay Bay)
12. Cleopatra’s Barge Bar (Caesars Palace)
13. Centrifuge or West Wing Bar (MGM Grand)
14. V Bar (Venetian)
15. Zebra Lounge (Palazzo)
16. Casino Royale
17. Bugsy’s Bar (Flamingo)
18. Le Cave (Wynn) yes, I know you said no Wynn but this place is a great bar
Juice bars are for the weak!
Some of these are a little cheesy and ghetto but they balance out between high-end to just super Vegas-y.
I would like to point out that your search function keeps giving me an error. With that said, I’m going to ask my question…
In planning a Bachelor party weekend, can you recommend a reputable company to put it together?
I noticed that MGM, Harrahs, Cosmopolitan (my preferred choice), and a hot of companies when googled offer the VIP planning party services. I was thinking of using the Cosmopolitan services, but I’m not looking for a “tamed” party. I’m bad enough to take the guys “out of county” if need be.
Do you have any thoughts on these services that I may not have considered?
I’ve been a long time silent reader of your previous blog, pod cast, and enjoyed following your cosmopolitan opening adventures with the guy at vegastripping.
Ugh, yeah, something is wrong with search. I’ll look into that.
Thanks for the kind words.
It’s an interesting question… I’m not sure I’ve got a great answer though. From your question it’s difficult to tell if you’re hoping to find someone plan some events that might not be legal in Clark County? If so, the more corporate party planners are probably not going to go there…
I had my bachelor party in Vegas. My friends planned it all themselves. It was insane… Hangover-style insane (before the movie existed). I can’t really get into the details but you got me thinking about it and I just had to mention it.
Good luck and have fun. Sorry I can’t be more help.
My fiance and I are headed to Vegas Labor Day weekend. I would like to know what nightclubs are the most entertaining. (I don’t drink, she does though) I went to Vegas in 2006 and I enjoyed Club 51? (not sure on name) at MGM the most because it had acrobats and such, I believe Hakkasan is there now. I hear Light at Mandalay Bay is solid, anywhere else?
Wow, yeah, nightlife has changed quite a bit since 2006.
The club at MGM you’re thinking of was called Studio 54 and that has indeed closed to make way for Hakkasan, which is the newest and biggest place in town. Light @ MBay is also brand new and getting a lot of buzz.
Beyond those new entries, XS @ Encore, Marquee @ Cosmopolitan and Haze @ Aria are also very popular.
Shwayze, Ashanti at Moon
Aug. 30 – 31
T-Pain at Haze
Armin Van Buuren, Kaskade at Marquee
Aug. 30 – 31.
DJ Exodus and more at Moon
Aug. 29 – 31.
Rev Run at Pure
Ice Cube, Trey Songz at Tao
Aug. 29 – Sept. 1
Steve Aoki, Calvin Harris and more at Hakkasan Nightclub
Aug. 29 – Sept. 2
David Guetta and more at XS
Aug. 30 – Sept. 2
Jermaine Dupri and more at Tryst
Aug. 29 – 31.
Hi Hunter. Different question. How frequently to acts (let’s use Penn and Teller for example) update their acts? Every year or 2 or 5? Just wondering as it would be a shame to go see a headliner and realize it was the same act I saw four years ago? Any info you can gather would be great. Thanks.
That’s a good question… It’s going to vary quite a bit by performer. P&T’s act hasn’t changed all that much from what I understand – they cycle in some new bits but the main structure has been the same for some time. I guess it also depends on your interpretation of what ‘a lot’ of change is.
Stuff like Cirque rarely changes much after the show leaves previews. If you’ve seen a headliner, I wouldn’t expect it to vary all that much unless it’s been a really long time. If you didn’t like the show, I wouldn’t expect to be won over by ‘all new content’ unless it’s explicitly billed that way.
What is the difference between Sumerlin and green valley?
They are both master-planned communities but they are on opposite sides of the valley and are owned by different corporations.
My fiancé and I are getting married at the Aria in September. There will be around 35 people coming. I would like to make a Group reservation preferably at a lounge for the reception (booze only) What are our most money friendly options?
It may be tough to find a lounge that will take a large party like that (most casino lounges are somewhat small). Have you considered perhaps renting a hotel suite to use for this purpose? That’s not an uncommon way to handle it.
Hello I would like to get a good video poker game online One that looks real What game should I get Also can I get dvds of the fremont street light show Thank you Scott
I know that a lot of folks use iPhone apps like WinPoker. WinPoker is also on Windows if you don’t have an iPhone.
As for the FSE light show, I don’t think that they’re on DVD, sorry (probably for licensing/rights reasons).
This is just a comment. Someone had asked a question about kids in Las Vegas. My niece recently took her 6 year old son to Vegas and they stayed at the Four Seasons. They really cater to children there. When they arrived there was a plate full of chocolate and cookies with his name written on the plate, sponge letters spelling his name in the bath tub and a small robe just for him to wear. I just thought this might be good information for you. Great app by the way.
Thanks for the note and the kind words!
Going to Vegas either sept. or oct. with my sister who is only 20. I am aware of the stuff or lack of stuff for her to do, but she is into shopping and people watching…figured vegas. Anyways, I didnt know if the pools were open that late and which ones let people under 21 in. Flamingo has a great pool but the main one is for 21+ i believe. can you give me an insight of what places are nice to stay at and have good pools. Also, are there any new zip lines opening up soon.
She should be able to spend time at the pool at your hotel. Some other hotels do have ‘dayclubs’ that allow guests from other hotels to party there but they require you to be 21.
If you’re looking for hotels with great pools, take a look at Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, Wynn/Encore, Bellagio, Aria, The Flamingo and MGM Grand.
There’s a zip line scheduled to be built at the Rio but it won’t be open until later this year (opening date not yet specified).
I have been to Vegas twice before… several years ago stayed at Circus Circus… and last year stayed at Mandalay Bay for my honeymoon, which I thought was amazing! My partner and I, along with my mother, will be returning to Vegas next year in the Spring, probably late April/early May. We are wanting to stay somewhere more mid-Strip, that’s not too overly pricey, and we are looking at Flamingo, Harrah’s or Planet Hollywood. How would you compare the 3? Which one would you recommend? Also, when is Vegas usually busiest for Spring break? We want to try to avoid going at such a busy time.
Out of those three, I’d first take Planet Hollywood followed by Flamingo and then Harrah’s last, though Harrah’s and The Flamingo are pretty close. Planet Hollywood has nicer rooms and is overall a better facility. That said, by next Spring there will be a new attraction, The LINQ, located next to Flamingo (it’s a giant outdoor shopping and dining area with a large observation wheel at one end). That will likely make Flamingo (and to a lesser degree Harrah’s) busier than it is today.
As far as Spring Break goes, weekends in mid March to early April are the busiest times for partiers.
my wife and my self is going to Vegas and would like to know a good place to have an anniversary dinner that has speical drinks to help us have a real good anniversary night. Both in good heath.
Depending on what sort of special drinks you are looking for, here are a few ideas:
- Sinatra (Encore) has a bunch of speciality cocktails and amazing food to boot (Italian inspired).
- Picasso (Bellagio) is less about specialty drinks but it is maybe the top place for a special event dinner in town. Amazing views of the lake.
- e (Cosmopolitan) only serves several covers a week but is the embodiment of service and style.
- SW (Wynn) for a more ‘straight-up’ steakhouse experience, SW at Wynn Las Vegas has great views of the Lake of Dreams along with meat that melts in your mouth.
What source would you recommend for getting tickets to Le Reve?
Simplest route is the Wynn box office. The show is not a 100% sellout most nights, not hard to get tickets.
This used to be a thing but nowadays they rely on security staff with EMT training and then call 911. If you become ill you will be sent to the hospital.
This may be a stuped question but I live in aus And looking at going 2 vagas and do you have to be 21 to drink & gamble???
You do, yes.
taking my 85 year old mother to vegas was going to stay at the orleans but reviews dont look good will it be ok?
Hard to respond specifically not knowing what the reviews you read said… The Orleans is a fine mid-level property located off the Strip.
Hello – My boyfriend and I will be in town the first weekend in May. We love the horse races and are looking forward to doing some wagering on the Kentucky Derby. Do you have any suggestions for a sports book to spend our afternoon and money?
Also, it is an expensive weekend on the strip so we are staying at TI which is considerably less than the places we typically stay, most recently The Venetian and The Mirage. Will we be disappointed and should we consider spending more? It will also be Cinco De Mayo and I see that there is a Señor Frog’s at TI so that makes it more attractive to me.
Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!
A great Web site for information on sports books (not my most knowledgable subject) is The Vegas Parlay. It has all sorts of info on specific books and events. Recommended.
As far as TI goes, it’s a fine hotel. Rooms are actually a bit larger than The Mirage and kept clean. The casino is small and the lower prices typically attract a slightly rowdier clientele than either Mirage or The Venetian but if you don’t mind people whooping about their good time, you should be fine.
Hi, I’m a Vegas veteran. Gambler, partier, degenerate. I try to drive out a couple times a year from San Diego area. I am planning a trip this summer to see one of the starting days of the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event (there are usually 4 day 1’s. Day 1a, 1b, 1c, etc. I’m sure you know) My question is: Do you know of any ‘specialty’ sporting events? I attended the world championship of darts, which was a blast! I’ve been to a number of UFC events. Indy race at the speedway. And a bowling tournament. Im hoping to see a billiard event, trick shot competition or 9 ball tournament. Something along those lines. I don’t care if it’s an indoor wood chopping competition with axes. I want to get drunk and cheer for something I don’t really care about. Maybe put a little money on it, then I’ll care more and cheer louder. Thank you for what you’re doing. Very cool service for all the Vegas newbies and us veterans. I gotta check out that app everyone is talking about!
Really interesting question… I didn’t really have a good answer so I asked some friends and got a few suggestions for you to check out… one thing to remember is that events in Vegas come and go and I haven’t checked the schedules to see how they overlap with your WSOP trip. Still, some things to look at:
- Wranglers Ice Hockey @ The Orleans
- Las Vegas Speedway – check out whatever is happening at the race track
and since you mentioned darts, I could not resist including this:
I’m staying at the Rio for a few nights. Is it as bad as trip advisor and other reviewers say? Any advice on what tower to stay in or any insight? What about their shuttle to the strip, does that still exist? I see it’s still a 4 star hotel.
The Rio has fallen behind a bit in terms of renovation and upkeep. The Ipanema Tower is the older one but has been more recently renovated so I’d pick it over the Masquerade Tower, personally. There is a shuttle that goes to Harrah’s on the Strip, yes. Details here
Heading down in early May. Looking for a nice restaurant for me and my gf that will not break the bank, also she is not a steak fan, any suggestions? Upgrading to Iphone in a few weeks and already bought vegas mate app, cant wait to use it!
Hi – thanks for buying the app! As for restaurant choices that are not steakhouses, here are a few to consider:
- Olives @ Bellagio: great view, tasty food. Not super cheap but not super expensive either.
- Scarpetta @ Cosmo: can be expensive depending on what you order but really tasty Italian.
- American Fish @ Aria: seafood restaurant from Michael Mina. Tasty dishes.
- Bouchon @ The Venetian: best known for brunch but every meal is good.
- Sinatra @ Encore: can be expensive but it depends on what you order. Food is really good, Mediterranean inspired stuff. Yum.
- Sage @ Aria: I’ve not been to this one yet but it gets raves.
Hope that helps. Check out some of the menus in Vegas Mate or on the Web and see how these places match up with what you’re looking for. Have fun and good luck!
Love your app Hunter. My question is…after having visited Las Vegas regularly over the last 20 years, what would you recommend that is different.? We have seen a lot of shows, been to museums and even zip lining in Bootleg Canyon. Any ideas? Thanks.
Thanks! Have you been to the Neon Museum? I totally recommend that as a way to see some great history. Also, the Pinball Museum? Another sorta odd-ball choice if you want to try something new. I’m not that into pinball but I found it interesting. If you like the outdoors a drive to Valley of Fire can be a nice afternoon too.
My wife has had a longtime obsession w/ getting steak & eggs at the Victorian room at Bill’s after late night gambling sessions for the last several years. With Bill’s untimely closing, is there another alternative in the area?
On weekends the cafe at The Flamingo is open 24 hours and has a similar menu.
We used to stay at Bill’s Gambling Hall on the Strip.
What was the old name before they changed it?
Hi great website
How much would a limo cost from MCCurran to the venetian. One way for three people arriving 15:00 march 4th
Should be about $14 or so, give or take. If you have an iPhone or iPad, grab our app ‘Vegas Mate’ from the App Store – it has average cab fares for all major Las Vegas hotels from the airport. Have fun!
Actually, the oldest hotel is the Golden Gate – first hotel in town. As for the Gold Spike, I’d recommend staying away unless you are a pimp or a hooker.
If you’re determined to go there, it’s a very short cab ride from Fremont or it is walkable though I might not at night and definitely not alone.
Hi – Is there a good restaurant/bar you can watch the Mirage volcano from? Thanks
Not really. Ironically, one of the better views (but still partially obstructed) is across the street at Denny’s.
‘tis true, starting in March… They haven’t yet announced all of the details but as you noted, many comped rooms have this charge covered.
my hostess is submitting me for 2 nites @ the Mansion in the mgm grand.
she told me that acceptance is based on the "suite committee’s decision.
do you know what factors they use to decide who gets the villas?
How much you play and who else might want them during the same time period.
I get comps from M Life. In the last year I’ve stayed at Aria and Bellagio. Aria was MUCH better. Bigger and better room. Newer etc. I’m comped again and want to pick a new place. I’m thinking MGM or Mandalay Bay. How is the construction going at MGM? I’ll be there in late-April.
It’s interesting, Aria and Bellagio’s rooms are actually about the same size in square feet… but Aria definitely has the benefit of floor-to-ceiling windows (makes the room look bigger) and better technology. Bellagio is a great hotel that was built right before consumer demand changed towards large bathrooms and semi-suites… Anyway, I think Bellagio is a great hotel and Aria is a good hotel that has been getting a lot better over the past 18 months. They’re finding their stride at Aria.
So, MGM vs. Mandalay… Well, MGM has recently completed a room remodel. Mandalay did theirs about a year and change ago. Mandalay is currently changing out most of their restaurants and showroom stuff, plus a massive change at THEHotel next door. MGM is adding a massive nightclub complex. They’re both under construction but the work shouldn’t mean that you can’t sleep at night…
MGM has always been a little big for my tastes. I’ve stayed there a bunch and while comfortable, I never really felt at home.
I stayed at Mandalay Bay a few months ago and enjoyed it. The only thing I’d knock it for is location but if you can manage that, I’d probably give it the edge, especially if you love the pool.
hi , your service and advice is brilliant , we are staying for a week early august , 2 adults and 2 children , can u suggest any other amusement activities besides circus circus for the children , are there other places with rides games and roller coasters in the area , or other amusement places
Unfortunately for parents that bring their kids along, the number of options have been shrinking over the years. Beyond Circus, places like New York New York, which used to also heavily cater to families have been scaling that back.
Hotels like Bellagio still have arcades but they’re small and won’t occupy most kids for more than a half hour at most. Not a great distraction.
Since it’s August, the pool is always a reasonable choice. Beyond that, I might suggest the Pinball Hall of Fame (fun!), touring the Neon Boneyard (depends on your kids and their ages, probably), Madam Tussaud’s Wax Museum at The Venetian, Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden at The Mirage, Mandalay Bay’s ‘Shark Reef’ aquarium, the roller coasters at The Stratosphere (not good for really young kids) and maybe something like Bodies or the Titanic exhibit at Luxor (though they may gross out some kids – again, depends on yours and if they like that stuff).
Good luck, have fun.
Hey Hunter, glad you’re still offering advice. I miss the blog but understand why it’s gone. After doing the Mandalay Bay for last couple of trips, decided to go back mid-strip. Between Paris or Mirage, which one has been more recently overhauled? Stayed at Mirage # of times in past (small bathrooms) but never across the street. Or should I just suck it up and try Aria?
Thanks! Loved the blog but it was time to let it go… As for your question, The Mirage will always have a very special place in my heart. It has had 20+ years of benefit of being Steve Wynn’s first foray on The Strip and has help up well. Yes, the bathrooms in the standard rooms are ****really**** small but that’s the main knock. Great casino, nice employees and a facility that was designed to be the Wynn Las Vegas of its day.
Paris is fine but between the two, I’d be Mirage all the way. No question.
Now, as for Aria, they’ve been seriously picking up their game. The opening was a bit of a disaster but they’ve gotten that stuff figured out. Aria is a great place to stay and worthy of a try. If you want to change things up, I’d give it a go.
About 5 years ago I took my gf to Vegas and I bought her a chocolate covered strawberry from a store at the Wynn. I know that place is no longer there but can can you tell me a place on the strip (not a godiva) that would sell these. Its been kinda a ritual on all the trips we go on.
You’re right, the chocolatier at Wynn is now gone. You might try Jean Phillipe at Bellagio or at Aria – both should have you covered.
I’d say Main Street Station. It’s got more charm and personality. In both cases, the standard rooms are pretty small compared to the Strip but the Cal’s rooms are typically ~100 square feet smaller. Pretty tiny. Both have small bathrooms, comparable to a Holiday Inn or the like. Clean but not exciting.
Can you take a bus from the downtown area to the car rental center? If so what bus is it that I will need to catch? Thank you so much for the information
Well, there’s a shuttle to and from the airport, so that’s an option. Direct to the rental car center, you should be able to take a bus to the South Strip Transfer Station and walk the rest of the way. It’s not far. Most of the Strip buses end up there.
Hi, can you offer suggestions for what to do with a 1 year old toddler? I have a buisness conference coming up at the end of March, and will be bringing him and my husband along for the 5 days.
I believe he’s too young to be allowed in to shows—and gambling’s out—so any help here would be appreciated.
Yeah, not a lot of options. I’d suggest giving this site a read:
hi , we are travelling from Australia to las vegas , wife , husband and 2 boys aged 4 & 8 , we are staying from the 1-8th august , are there any sporting events at all we could attend ??
I was going to suggest a Las Vegas 51s game (baseball) but they only have away games while you’re in town… Too bad – that would have been fun!
Las Vegas doesn’t have any professional sports teams so you’re somewhat limited to the 51s or whatever UNLV’s doing but they’re not around during the summer either. When it comes to sporting events, you’re kinda out of luck for the first week in August, sorry!
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