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.
I remember hearing about the Wynn offering a daily architecture tour. Do they still do so, and is it worthwhile? Do Aria or Bellagio have anything similar?
As far as I know, these are no longer offered.
Hi, this is an accommodation question. I see most of the rooms accept up to 4 people. I have a family of 5. Any suggestions as to where to stay on the strip that has rooms for 5 people and won’t involve taking out a second mortgage?
My understanding is that this is a fire-code thing: standard rooms are limited to 4 people.
So – you’ll need two rooms. If cost is a primary concern, you might want to look at places like The Stratosphere, The Riviera, Circus Circus, Luxor, Excalibur or possibly Monte Carlo.
I am coming to Vegas for the first time in May 2015 with my boyfriend and some friends. I have been pole dancing non professionally for a year and a half and would like to know if it is possible in Vegas to book a private room for my boyfriend and I, but minus the stripper…In other words I want to become his private dancer? Are there some clubs which allow this and if so what ones do you recommend?
This is an interesting question.
I’ve never heard of a club that offers this. I assume that has something to do with insurance.
There are hotel suites with poles in them at places like The Palms and Hard Rock. Maybe that would be something worth checking out.
Not really ; nope. A little further. Haven’t done it but scary is relative – the ride is safe, it is designed to thrill. Yes.
Your so darn good I have to ask. We will be staying at the DTG on Monday September 22nd and Tuesday the 23rd. The 23rd is also our 47th anniversary and I would like to treat my wife to a surprise dinner at a nice restaurant but I am not sure which one to pick. Now Binions is out because we have gone there the last two trips. I am looking for an American type eatery with steaks and chops . Where would you recommend ? Thanks
I’d look at either Andiamo at The D or Charthouse at the Golden Nugget. Both are excellent, though Andiamo is my favorite. Love love love that place.
I know this changes from time to time depending on the environment. Could you let us know which casino’s on the Strip are being more generous with there comps. Assuming our average bet is 25 plus in BJ and Craps. Thanks.
This question is more or less impossible to answer because there are so many variables between when you stay, how full the hotel is, what kind of comps you want, who your host is, etc…
I am trying to save time and make my walk a little shorter.
You probably don’t need to bother – the lines haven’t been very long and I’ve not heard of anyone having to wait, even at night.
If you do purchase them in advance, you can claim them onsite. You have to pick them up. The possible advantage to advance purchase is to pick the time (rides are time specified in advance).
headed to vegas for the first time in the next few days…Can’t decide on O, La Reve or a totally different more Vegas style show like Vegas The Show!
“O” is one of those incredible, can’t miss shows. Also, LOVE w/ The Beatles is pretty amazing. Absinthe at Caesars is a constant winner as well.
We will be staying at the Downtown Grand in a few days. We have never stayed there before. I have been reading so many negative stories about them I was wondering what your opinion was. btw I have also read some very positive items from reviews thanks
Our stay there was problematic, plus the casino was super dead the entire time which translated into sub-par service. Good luck!
I turned 21 in May, and I am planning a trip to Vegas next weekend. My ID is still vertical, will i still be able to get into bars, clubs, casinos, etc.?
You should be fine but if you can, bring a second ID (i.e. a passport) in case you run into any trouble.
I know that the Flamingo has Legends with look a likes singing the hits. My question are there any shows that have country look a likes like Garth Brooks, Allen Jackson, Miranada Lambert, etc. etc. ?
Legends is probably your best bet. It’s a mix of country and pop stuff… The Strat used to have a country-focused show but it’s no longer there.
My 21st birthday was last week.I’m headed to Vegas next week, my license from California is still vertical. Since I no longer live in California it’s a big mess to switch everything over to NM , if I go with my vertical ID will I still be able to get into casinos if it’s not expired ?
You should be okay, though if you have another form of ID like a passport, bring that along too, just in case. The casinos are pretty used to the ‘going to Vegas, just turned 21 thing’ so it’s not usually a problem.
We stayed at the Signature and out my balcony i noticed a bunch of what looked like gingerbread looking buildings. They are behind a wall running on koval ln and harmon ave. the wall has mgm logos on it and it looks like a gate going into it as well. just wondering if you know what that is.
I laughed at your description. I believe what you’re looking at is the only part of the old MGM theme park that still exists. I think it’s employee services and a health clinic now… But yeah, that whole parcel used to be rides and funky buildings, etc…
I am heading to Las Vegas for the 4th of July weekend. Do you have any tips you would be willing to share? Is it as bad as New Years? What activities, fireworks, etc. do you recommend be booked in advance? Thank you!
It’s not as bad as NYE, no. Strangely, for many years the fireworks on the 4th were minimal – actually better in the neighborhoods than on The Strip. That’s changed somewhat, though it’s still not like New Years where there’s a giant, central display. It’s busy, for sure… but nowhere near as busy. There are fireworks at The Strat and they actually have a party you can buy tickets to, though I’ve never been and can’t give details on what it’s like. More info on other displays will be forthcoming in the next few weeks.
Hi, I recently got a temporary license in Texas, and they took my old plastic one. I was thinking my passport would work for gambling/drinking? Will that work?
A passport is accepted virtually everywhere in Vegas as a valid ID, yes.
I just turned 21 and went to go get a new ID. I am from Utah, and they gave me a paper temporary. Will the casino’s accept this as a form of ID if I bring my other card with me?
Some may but generally speaking, you’re better off with another photo ID like a passport. Happy birthday!
We have not been to downtown Vegas in 2 years but we will be returning in September. My question is have they done anything to what used to be called Neonopolis ? The last time we were there it was empty and all of the stores and movies had closed. Some one mentioned it has also made a turn around. If that is true what does it have now ? Thanks
That name is rarely used anymore but there’s been a resurgence of tenants, yes. Many (most?) of the storefronts are now used – everything from a bunch of restaurants to Telemundo Studios. It’s not a dead spot like it was a year after it opened.
How far is it from the Downtown Grand hotel to the Main Street Station hotel ? What are the directions ? We are thinking about after checkin in at the DTG to go to the Main Street Station Garden Court buffet for dinner but was not sure where it was. Is it three star r higher rated ?
Your route probably depends on the time of day. The most direct route is to walk down Ogden to Main Street and take a right. That route is fine until late night. If it’s late, you’re probably better off walking to Fremont Street, down to Main Street and then over to MSS. Either way, it’s a few blocks – not far. The Garden Buffet is not bad. That and the Nugget buffet are probably the best downtown.
My favorite Las Vegas information site . I can always count on Hunter to give us he great info. I am not sure if this has been asked before but here goes
We will be checking in at the Downtown Grand about 6 p.m. on a Monday night. Are there any decent buffets we could go to on the Fremont Street area? After being in a plane for about five hours we will not want a big expensive dinner . I am not sure if the Downtown Grand have a buffet or not. Would you know about how expensive the Freemont Street buffets would be ? Thanks once more . Oh one more quick question. Are their still an Elvis tribute singer either down town Vegas or on the strip ?
The Garden Buffet at Main Street Station and the buffet at the Nugget are probably the best downtown. Garden is less expensive than the Nugget. Downtown Grand does not have a buffet (though they do have other restaurants that are good, simple and inexpensive such as Pizza Rock and Stewart + Ogden).
For Elvis stuff, I’d suggest Trent Carlini (LVH) or Legends in Concert (Flamingo).
Hello, need help in planning a 20th wedding anniversy for my parents in Las Vegas for party of 20. Do you have restautants or a venue that you can recommend? Thank you.
Congrats to them!
Wow, 20 is quite a few people. Las Vegas is so full of options, it’s very tough to make a recommendation without more information. Can you write back and narrow down at least some of the following: cuisine, cost, part of The Strip, time of the year?
Visiting Vegas on May21-24th. Having a hard time deciding what to do on friday and saturday of Memorial day weekend. What would you recommend?
Thanks again, as alwyays, for the helpful info!
Well, it depends on what you like to do. There are quite a few extra shows and concerts that weekend, plus all of the nightclubs will also be cranking at full blast.
We will be staying at the Flamingo and was wondering how far it was to the following places . the High Roller, Linq, the New York New York , the Bellagio fountains and the Mirage volcano. Would we need to take a cab from the Flamingo or could we walk it without getting to exhausted. I know the Rivera, the Venetian , the Wynn and the Encore would be best to take a cab to right?
The LINQ and thus the High Roller are located next to The Flamingo so no cab is needed. Bellagio and The Mirage are also both very close and wouldn’t require a cab. Wynn/Encore are walkable but if you don’t like to walk, it’s a short cab ride. The Riv is definitely a cab ride.
I am coming to Vegas in a couple weeks with my family. I am staying for a couple days after them and I am renting a car and am wondering if there are any cool places to see off the strip. Also, can you tell me about the Artisian hotel? I am debating between that and Downtown Grand
So, Downtown Grand has its share of problems but it is at least within walking distance of other stuff (Fremont Street). The Artisian is an interesting spot but it’s totally off by itself and not in a neighborhood you want to be walking around in.
For Off-Strip stuff, it really depends on what you’re into. Maybe check out the Neon Museum or Red Rock Canyon. If you want to see other casinos, Red Rock and Green Valley are both notable, as is M Resort.
I truly hope this is not a dumb question and this site does give very honest and imformative answers.Now I have read countless reviews on the Downtown Grand hotel and Casino. My question is the biggest complaints seem to be thin walls and the shower only has a half door meaning the floor will be flooded. What have you heard about this hotel ? Is it easy to get a cab at their location ? thanks
Hi. Downtown Grand was built on the bones of an older building, the Lady Luck. Many upgrades were done but as with some older buildings, the walls may not be as thick as you want. As far as the shower, that’s not one I’ve heard before. The hotel’s very nice and clean inside. Despite that, it’s typically not all that busy – they’ve had some trouble getting people to walk over from Fremont. Finding a cab shouldn’t be difficult. Hope that helps.
We are having a minor problem with deciding which downtown hotel we should stay at. Normally it would be the Golden Nugget but this we wanted to try another one Hunter with all of the changes and improvements and staying in a deluxe room or maybe suite which hotel woud you say is the nicer one the Downtown Grand or the D hotel on Fremont street
Downtown Grand and The D are very different.
DTG has newer rooms that are arguably nicer. The D has a much livelier casino and perhaps the best restaurant Downtown, Andiamo Steakhouse.
The suites at both hotels are very nice. You really couldn’t go wrong.
My only reluctance in recommending Downtown Grand is the location is slightly worse and they’ve not had as much success as they’d like getting people in so the energy can be somewhat low sometimes. The D is always packed.
Hunter I forgot to ask where is the Hash House located at Downtown Vegas ? How about the Mob museum ? Can you nae a couple of new attractions they have added to Fremont street ?
Hash House is located at The Plaza, right inside the front doors. The Mob Museum is just beyond Downtown Grand, about a block off Fremont. As for new attractions, the big thing opening very soon is the ‘Slotzilla’ giant slot machine and zip line.
I can always depend on you to give me great ansers to my questions. I jst had an e. mail saying that the Downtown Grand hotel/ aka Lady Luck has offered us two free nights in a suite. Before I said yes I wanted to ask you if you knew if the Downtown has really improved the hotel and are the streets well lit now so you can go to Fremont street without any problems ? Are the deluxe rooms really better and larger now ? THANKS
Last question first – the rooms are the same size as always which means that the standard rooms are not very large. They have been completely re-done and are now some of the nicest rooms Downtown. The hotel itself is nothing like you remember – they gutted everything and they did a nice job. The finishes are as nicer or nicer than most anything Downtown. Good stuff.
As for walking back and forth to Fremont Street, there is about a block walk. It’s semi-well lit (though I think it could be a little bit better lit) and doesn’t feel as dangerous, though I probably wouldn’t loiter. Fortunately, there’s at least some volume of folks walking back and forth so it doesn’t feel sketchy.
Hi Hunter – First, thanks for providing this service! Always great advice.
I’m considering a stay at Vdara. When I stayed at Signature @ MGM a few years ago, you got perks like access to MGM Grand’s amenities and access to VIP lines. Do you know if Vdara has similar perks with eith Aria or Bellagio? Thanks.
Generally no – Vdara is setup to be a completely stand-alone property unlike Signature which is part of MGM Grand.
I hope you can help me. Do you know if the D. hotel on Fremont street have an e. mail address ? If yes what is it ? I need to e. mail them some questions. Thanks
Your best bet would be to call the hotel’s front desk – far more reliable than email.
Hi hunter I’ll be in vegas on July with. Wife n kids we want to stay at The Hotel at Mandalay bay I read some bad reviews about the rooms that are kind dated and old, what do u know about the hotel in general?
I love the app
The last time I stayed at Mandalay Bay was about a year ago but not much has changed since then – the rooms were all re-done about three or four years ago and other than wear and tear, they seemed fine for an upper-mid-tier Strip hotel. Overall, MBay is pretty nice – lots of restaurants, a giant pool complex, some fun and lively bars and an easy connect to Luxor in case you get bored. I like Mandalay Bay but I do sometimes feel somewhat isolated on the far end of The Strip when I stay there. That would be my only real reservation.
Hmmm. Well, this sounds like it would be a pretty significant writing project and I don’t have the time to do that so instead I’ll say that for staying Downtown, I look at a few places:
- Golden Nugget because it’s like a mini-Strip hotel.
- Downtown Grand because it’s new (staying soon ; haven’t yet… but have toured it)
- The D because the casino is super fun and the rooms are decent.
- Golden Gate because the casino is super fun (but the rooms are tinnnnny unless you get one of the newer suites).
I would never stay at The Plaza again, ever. El Cortez can be fun sometimes too.
This site is so helpful for getting the updated Las Vegas info. We will be in Vegas the latter part of this September. Now other than the Golden Nugget what would you say would have the largest and nicest rooms on Fremont St ? I know a few of them have been renamed and redone . we will be downtown for two nights and at the Flamingo for three nights.
Downtown, other than the Golden Nugget, if you’re focusing on the rooms specifically, Downtown Grand is probably now in second place as it was just recently re-done. Not all of the rooms are very large however (Fremont rooms in general are typically small). After that, probably The D and The Plaza, though The Plaza’s casino is pretty dreadful, I wouldn’t want to stay there. The Golden Nugget is still head and shoulders ahead of everything in terms of rooms and overall amenities.
Have you heard anything about a special hotel named SLS Las Vegas that will open up on Labor Day ?I was also told to ask about an upcoming eatery named Life Night club. Does the name SLS Park Avenue sound familiar ? I.
I’m not sure how special it will be but SLS is the project being built at the former Sahara site on the North Strip. The company, SBE, has other hotels in LA, Miami, etc… and owns several restaurant brands that they will be bringing to the property.
My wife and I will be coming to Las Vegas in July with our 2 teenage kids to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. The plan is to renew our vows with Elvis at the Graceland chapel and then a fun night out with a great dinner. Problem is there is a myriad of fine dining options but we’d like somewhere with not only awesome food but also a great atmosphere – ideally with some sort of entertainment. I can’t seem to find anything that fits the bill where we can bring teenagers. Other option is just go to a nice place ( I’m thinking window table at the Eiffel Tower) then do something afterwards. Do you have any suggestions?
Have you heard of ‘Rose Rabit Lie’? It’s a new dinner theater type concept at The Cosmopolitan. It trends a bit more to the adult side but depending on your kids, they may enjoy it. As far as I know, there’s no age limit but you might want to check. It’s a pretty crazy experience.
Other than that, I think you’re probably on a good track with dinner+other fun. A couple of things to consider:
- By July, the new ‘High Roller’ ferris wheel at The LINQ (between The Quad and The Flamingo) will be open and that could be a great way to cap off an evening.
- The new restaurant from TV super-chef Giada De Laurentiis will be open at The Cromwell (formerly Bill’s) and that too should have incredible views of The Strip.
I see that the Cromwell hotel is about ready to open. I know it has replaced Bills but we were wondering if you have any info. about what it will be like and will will it rate $ $ $ $ ? Will it also have a daily additional charge like the rest ?
The Cromwell is scheduled to open in May, yes. It’s a high-end boutique hotel with rates quite a bit higher than Bill’s (i.e. average rates around $250-$300). Yes, it will have a nightly resort fee of about $20. We’ll have more information in the app soon.
Hi! We are debatig over staying at either The Mirage, Monte Carlo or NYNY. Which do you recommend?
I’d rate them in exactly that order: The Mirage first, followed by Monte Carlo and then NYNY.
The Mirage is a great property that’s been continually upgraded over the years. It’s got a great pool and some tasty restaurants.
Monte Carlo is not a great hotel in terms of rooms but it’s got a killer location next to CityCenter.
NYNY is my least favorite of them all and right now is somewhat torn up for construction so it’s a little noisier than normal.
Solo traveler staying at Encore in mid-May. Is it possible to ask the hotel for a line pass to XS, or Surrender to skip the crowds, or is that wishful thinking? Also, what are some good clubs for a single guy?
Hi Richard – you definitely can ask, though I wouldn’t give you great odds. Even if you do get a pass, you actually just end up in a different line (though it usually is shorter). Actually skipping the line is typically reserved for big $$ table reservations or VIPs, though on a slow night, anything can happen. XS is always a good bet, as is Marquee at Cosmopolitan. Hakkasan at MGM Grand is new and very popular as well. I haven’t been inside so I can’t comment on what it’s like.
What casinos on the strip offer Texas Hold Em Bonus Poker (the table game)?
These things change all the time but I’ve seen it at Wynn, Venetian and The Flamingo in the past year.
e thought Bills was closed but now we understand that CET is keeping Bills and doing a lot of work on it. Since you are in Las Vegas can you tell us anything about the old Bills reopening ?
Bill’s is being re-developed but it won’t be called Bill’s anymore, it is becoming The Cromwell and will re-open later this year as a high-end boutique hotel – completely redone, 100%. BTW, I’m actually not in Las Vegas.
With all of the changes on Fremont I forget what old hotes changed . We have a chance to stay free at one named the Grand. Can you tell me anything about that hotel ?
Downtown Grand is just off Fremont and used to be the Lady Luck. It’s recently been completely re-done with new rooms, a new casino and new restaurants.
Love all the answers about Vegas for those of us who don’t know. Thank you for that. My question is concerning the Paris or PH hotel and casino. Which one in your opinion is better to stay at for a couple in mid 60"s. I am thinking about the Paris ,but, am afraid rooms will be so dated and old. Are the bathrooms bigger than a breadbox (lol) in both places.
Hi, thanks! The rooms at Paris are desperately in need of renovation, yes. That said, crowd-wise, PH definitely skews younger. If that’s your thing, it’s a good spot but if the youngsters having a giant party keeps you up at night, Paris might actually be better… Both bathroom sizes vary based on room type. In the most basic rooms, they’re not all that big, no. Not as tiny as say The Mirage but not huge. PH especially though has slightly higher-spec’d rooms with much larger bathrooms, if that’s something you’re interested in.
Do I need a vertical I.D in Las Vegas to gamble or buy alcohol ?
You need to be 21 years old with a valid government ID that can confirm that. US state drivers licenses or US passports are most commonly used. International passports may garner more scrutiny but if they’re valid you should be fine.
I was wondering which casinos had a hotel room that includes a guest lounge that serves food and refreshments in the morning and in ater in the day? I hear that the top floor of the monte carlo does
Yes, some do have a ‘concierge floor’ type arrangement. Monte Carlo’s Hotel 32 is one. The Caesars properties generally go for a casino-floor level Diamond Lounge instead.
Coming to Vegas in the spring. Love to go to shows. Would like to see the old time Vegas entertainment show preferably on the strip with girls in headdresses, etc. Where would you recommend.
There’s really only one traditional showgirl type-show left and that’s ‘Jubilee’ at Bally’s. They’ve got it all – you’ll love it.
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.
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