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Kenny asked on 12/01/10

Hey Hunter
Please forgive me for my impatience but when is the next stripwalk? I miss those things!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Sadly, I’m not sure. Our main StripWalker was not a Nevada resident for some time. That may change though, we’ll see. Thanks for letting us know you like them!

John asked on 12/01/10

We are renting a car for one day, can you tell me some things to go see that are not on the strip or downtown?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Depending on what you’re into:

  • Red Rock Casino – if you want to see other casinos, this one out in Summerlin is about as fancy as locals joints come.
  • Red Rock Canyon – while you’re there, you might want to check out Red Rock Canyon – an incredibly beautiful set of rock formations just outside of town.
  • M Resort – again, another casino, but if you’re still jonesing, it’s a nice one out on the 15 on the way to California.
  • Lake Las Vegas – Unfortunately it’s a shadow of what it once aspired to be but it’s still an nice looking community with a small casino, a few shops and the artificial lake.
  • Hoover Dam – there’s a tour, if you’re interested in history.
  • Neon Museum – You can visit a ‘boneyard’ of old signs twice weekly. Details:

Mitchell Goosen asked on 12/01/10

Love your site. I know that if you are playing the slots or table games at casinos, you drink for free. Is this the same in the sportsbook? Or are there certain hotels that allowed and some that don’t?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

If you’re regularly making bets, you can at least get some free drinks at most Strip sports books. What they have clamped down on for sure are folks that would come in, make one bet, and then try to get drinks all afternoon.

Waitresses and bartenders will now check your tickets to make sure you’re actively playing.

gervais asked on 11/30/10

i will be in vegas in march.its my third trip to vegas.this time we want to stay downtown may be at the fitzgerald.what do you think about this hotel.
any sugestion…for downtown hotel

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The Fitz is a mid-range Downtown property. That basically means that the rooms are about the quality you’d find in a Motel 6 or Holiday Inn – nothing special but typically clean. The tower does have some of the best views on Fremont.

The best hotel Downtown, by far, is the Golden Nugget. After that, I’d look at maybe the Four Queens and Main Street Station.

JPyyyy asked on 11/29/10

My husband and I will be in LV in early January. Can you recommend the best Kitschy, Rat Packy, Vintage places?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, many of these places no longer exist as newer Strip resorts have replaced the famous joints that existed back in their day.

If you’ve never been down to Fremont Street, that’s probably the best single place to get a sense of the older side of Las Vegas.

On The Strip, you might want to check out the Sahara and the Riviera… The Peppermill Lounge is a good spot too. Off The Strip, the Golden Steer Steakhouse has been around forever and Dean Martin used to eat there from time to time.

Hope that helps.

Liz asked on 11/27/10

Hello, my husband and I are looking for a nice place to eat, semi-fancy, that’s not too expensive. Just looking for a nice little date night away from the family. Just a nice dress, and some dress pants and a button up shirt type place, nothing too formal, or too spendy. I’m sure there are a lot of options around the strip and I’m sure if anyone knows the place we’re looking for, it’d be you. Thanks for the help and keep up the good work with the site.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks for the kind words.

There are dining options all up and down the spectrum but sometimes choosing can be tough. Without a specific price range for entrees, maybe I’ll suggest a few different places and you can see which one seems to fit your taste and budget. I’m also going to assume you’re on The Strip.

If you like steak, you might take a look at SW (Wynn Las Vegas), Botero (Encore Las Vegas), or Craftsteak (MGM Grand).

For Chinese, I really like Wing Lei (Wynn Las Vegas) but it can be pricey.

Sinatra (Encore Las Vegas) is Italian inspired and always is a good meal in a beautiful room. Sirio (Aria) is simpler and maybe more ‘traditional’ Italian. Bacio (Tropicana) is a relative newcomer but inexpensive and getting good reviews.

Hope that helps.

Kyle Perry asked on 11/23/10

I am a transexual. Can you please tell me places to go for fun that cater to my kind?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


I’ll admit that I’m not really qualified to answer this question but I do have a suggestion that might help. My friend Steve Friess wrote a book called ‘Gay Vegas’ that does cover LGBT vacation activities in town. You can find the book on Amazon:

Hope that helps.

Mitchell asked on 11/23/10

Great site. I read your response to the “family event” a couple quesions ago, and I am in a similar situation. We are looking at staying on the strip(we don’t have a car), but I am coming with my 19 year old sister. We both have never been to Vegas and just need a break from the Canadian winters. What are the roller coaster options and other things to do and see on the strip. Thank you.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The roller coaster type stuff has been de-emphasized a bit in recent years but there are still a bunch of places to check out:

Manhattan Express Roller Coaster @ New York New York
Circus Circus Adventure Dome
Fountains of Bellagio
Mirage Volcano
Sirens of TI

Hopefully that helps you get started. Have fun!

Tim Kalaris asked on 11/22/10

A few buddies and I are coming into town for the first weekend of March Maddness 2011. It’s been a few years since we’ve been in Vegas so I know there have been a lot of changes. We used to go to the Stardust Sportsbook but that’s no more. What in your opinion is the best/biggest sportsbook in Vegas now. Where would you watch the games ?


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yeah, the Stardust book is long gone. You’ve got a few other choices, though I have to warn you, March Madness is super busy.

Bellagio – super nice room, large, nice chairs but very crowded.
Wynn Las Vegas – similar to Bellagio in that it’s nice and also busy.
Mirage – big ; a few generations behind in screen tech but less crowded than Bellagio or Wynn.
Bally’s – a really large book, sorta downstairs from the casino area.
Caesars – pretty big but since it is open to the casino, doesn’t feel that way.
MGM Grand – has skyboxes if you want to try to rent one.
Las Vegas Hilton – pretty nice ; right near The Strip on Paradise.

You’ve got a bunch of choices – have a blast.

Kevin H. asked on 11/15/10

Love the site, we’re coming down in the summer for a ‘family event’, and I have an aunt (50’s) and a cousin (18) who are, for lack of a better term, anti-Vegas. They’ve never been there and the whole drinking/gambling thing isn’t their scene. Just wondering if you had some suggestions on some family type things to do that won’t cost a ton, and will change their views about the lovely city. I’ve been there a few times, and know there is a lot to do, but I am the drinking/gambling type, so i may have overlooked those options in my previous visits. Thanks.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


Good question. Las Vegas, over the past fifteen years or so, has worked hard to expand beyond gambling and booze.

These days, people that don’t care at all about either can still keep themselves occupied. Some ideas:

Shopping – Vegas has all the best stuff, from Prada and Louis Vuitton at Bellagio to Nordstrom at the Fashion Show Mall to The Gap at the Forum Shops and everything in between. The Strip really does have pretty much every major retailer in the world, give or take a few. Even if you don’t want to spend Prada prices, there’s plenty of amazing stuff to look at.

Entertainment – You’ve got seven Cirque du Soleil shows, comedians, magicians, Broadway shows and more. You should be able to find something to make everyone smile.

Art – Less… but, there’s a gallery at Bellagio, public art at CityCenter and a bunch of galleries between The Strip and Fremont in the Arts District.

Outdoors – Red Rock Canyon is nearby and stunning. Valley of Fire is further away but also stunning. If you have a car, these could be good options.

Those are a few options – of course, there’s a bunch of other random stuff to do – from roller coasters at some Strip resorts to shooting automatic weapons at The Gun Store.

Hope this helps.

Mick Nixon asked on 11/11/10

Again love this site. We are planing a weekend getaway for 8 of us. Any suggestion on which hotel casino on the strip that have a suite to sleep all of us in one suite? Is there such suite with 4 queen size bed or maybe 2 queen and 2 sofabed. Thanks again

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

There’s no suite that is setup with four queens (not even at The Four Queens – thanks folks, I’ll be here all week).

Couple of issues:

1. ‘officially’, each bedroom is limited to four occupants.
2. Suites are typically designed for customers that want more privacy, not less.

So, if you wanted to abide by the rules, you’d need to get a two bedroom suite and a few rollaways.

Honestly, eight people is enough that you’re probably better off getting a few normal rooms, unless you’ve got folks willing to just wing it and sleep on the floor.

Tom asked on 11/07/10

Hello. I will be staying at the Mirage in a few weeks and haven’t been there since 1992. I have heard of the changes and the “toning down” of the tropical theme and was wondering whats the same and whats different (the changes).

Also, is the tropical theme still in some areas of the casino (besides the atrium) ?

Thanks! I just really want it to be like it was back in ’92.


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

If you haven’t seen The Mirage since ‘92, it’s going to look very different.

The casino area is significantly changed – where table games used to have cabana type awnings above them, those are gone.

The rooms have been re-done, not a bad thing, but the look is now more modern.

The Kokomo’s restaurant now opens to the lobby instead of the casino. In terms of other restaurants, they’ve generally all been replaced or upgraded, again, not a terrible thing.

The spa has been totally re-done as has the signature volcano.

What’s the same? Not much. The atrium, pool and lobby area.

Check our our photos: The Mirage

Kent Cristy asked on 10/30/10

My wife and I are planning a nice relaxing vacation to Vegas. I have been looking at the Treasure Island Tower Suite or the MGM Celebrity Spa Suite. Is there a preference between these two or maybe another suggestion (ie. NewYork NewYork spa suite). Thanks.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yeah, honestly, I think it mostly depends on what part of town you want to stay on. In terms of service, MGM and TI are probably fairly equivalent. MGM has a much better selection of restaurants but TI is far smaller and easier to navigate.

Personally, I’ve never felt at home at MGM and would pick TI but others would probably disagree – it’s a bit of a draw.

I’m not a fan of NYNY and never have been.

Dorthy asked on 10/30/10

A few questions for you. What is a good limo company, basically if you could use one, who would you choose? Second, what do you think of the new Planet Hollywood Towers? And last, what hotels have the best bathrooms for standard rooms. We are coming with a group of girls and we like to have nice bathrooms with maybe a separate tub and shower.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I’ve used Las Vegas Limo several times in the past and been happy. The other thing to consider is going through your hotel – depending on where you are staying, they may be able to contract out their hotel limo to you for whatever you need.

As for the PH Towers, I did a site tour right before it opened but haven’t stayed since. A friend of mine did recently stay and was happy with the room and also said it was an excellent value.

When it comes to standard bathrooms, some are definitely better than others. Encore and Wynn both have great standard bathrooms – two sinks, separate tub and shower. Same for Venetian and Palazzo. Bellagio rooms typically have a single sink but separate tub and shower. Older hotels like The Mirage have pretty small bathrooms. Generally speaking, newer hotels have larger bathrooms and the nicer hotels have the best bathrooms.

dave asked on 10/27/10

Two questions:

1) I see that Mandarin Oriental charges $30/night for parking. Is that common? Is free parking another amenity we are losing?

2) Which strip property has the nicest standard rooms in your opinion? A few years back I stayed at theHotel and was extremely impressed with the room. Have they been superseded by Wynn/Encore or MO or somewhere else?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

No, parking fees are not common. Mandarin is one of the only hotels (perhaps the only one? I can’t think of another) that has a parking fee. Downtown hotels charge for parking but validation makes it free for guests. No such luck at Mandarin.

Nicest standard rooms probably depends on what you look for in a room. THEHotel has large standard rooms, even bigger than Palazzo, another spot with lots of space. Mandarin’s rooms are smaller but come with personal service and the room is full of super nice everything.

My favorite is still Encore – not the biggest but larger than Mandarin, nicely appointed and I love the way they look.

James asked on 10/25/10

Can you tell me if there are any spas that do couples massages and if so, can you tell me which ones are the best. Also, what are the best spas for guys?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yes, lots of spas will do couples massages. Some spas are only available for hotel guests on certain days but I’d take a look at Encore, The Venetian, and Aria, amongst others.

As far as spas for guys, the higher end spas are all pretty good at catering to men too – they’ve become an important part of the customer base.

Encore has the best spa in town, if you ask me. Great men’s lounge, awesome services. Aria has one interesting feature – a co-ed (bathing suit required) outdoor jacuzzi.

Generally speaking, the nicer the hotel, the nicer the spa.

Joe asked on 10/15/10

Im hearing that Treasure Island is going to change the Sirens of the ti show to something else. Is this true?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Haven’t heard that myself.

gary asked on 10/15/10

coming in town for 5 days. staying at mandalay. going to the dragstrip 4 days.will i have to rent a car or is there other reasonable ways to get there? Thanks Gary

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

You mean the Las Vegas Motor Speedway? You’re going to need a car, yes. It’s way out in the middle of nowhere.

Ed asked on 10/14/10

I want to start off by saying this site is absolutely stellar and there should be more like it. Well done. I’m visiting LV in a few months and looking to get a new tattoo. Just wondering if you had any suggestions on where to go, or who you would trust to do a good job? Thanks for your time.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks, that’s very kind. I don’t have any direct experience getting tattoos in Las Vegas. There are a few studios in the casinos now – The Rio, Mandalay Bay, The Mirage and O’Shea’s all have them.

I’d recommend visiting their sites to see who the artists are and then do the research to see what kind of work they do.

Sorry I don’t have more info.

CJ asked on 10/11/10

I love your site. Couple of questions for you. We are coming in late January and we were thinking about staying at a couple locations. The TI, Tropicana and the Flamingo Go room. Any thoughts? I was wondering what if the Tropicana has a resort fee and if it does, what is it? Is there any way around the resort fees say in the winter when the pools are closed(TI, MGM Grand, etc.) and you don’t use the free faxes and other crap they include in it?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks for the kind words.

I’ve stayed at TI and the Trop in the past few months and I have a Go Room visit scheduled in the next few weeks. The changes at the Trop are significant but they’re still in the middle of the process so keep that in mind. Honestly, I’d say you’d probably be happy in any of the above.

As for the Trop resort fee, yes, they do have one and it includes what’s become the ‘standard’ set of stuff: Internet access, local phone calls, fitness center access, 2 for 1 drinks, etc… Unlike other hotels, the Trop fee is only $9.99 per night – for my recent stay at TI, it was $20/night.

As far as getting around the resort fees, not really. Of course, the hotel has the power to waive pretty much any fee they want but they’re not optional so unless you give them a reason to take care of it (i.e. do lots of gambling), you’re pretty much locked in.

cedric asked on 10/10/10

Hi Hunter

Thank you for the info concerning the Helicopter tour.

I have another question, I have understand that the south RIM is much nicer & better that the west RIM. Do you agree ?

Also beside the “Cirque du Soleil” shows, do you like any other shows ?

The only cirque du soleil that we didn’t see is “Viva Elvis”, do you like it ?

Thank you so much Hunter for your help


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


As for the Grand Canyon, I’m not sure I can help – I’m really not an expert at all in where to go or what to visit. That said, I’ve also heard the South Rim is more interesting.

As for shows, I’d suggest taking a look at shows like Penn & Teller (Rio), Jersey Boys (The Palazzo), or if you like Cirque stuff, Le Reve (Wynn Las Vegas).

Regarding Viva Elvis, I’ve not seen the entire show, only excerpts. I’m not much of an Elvis fan so it’s not really something that grabs me. What I saw didn’t inspire me to check out the rest of the show.

sms asked on 10/05/10

What are the classic “red rooms” like at Planet Hollywood? I’ve been comped, but not sure what the rooms will be like. Thanks

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Red Room at Planet Hollywood? There are ‘red rooms’ at Paris next door. PH has ‘Resort Rooms’, perhaps that’s what you’ve booked?

cedric asked on 10/03/10

Hi Hunter

Great web site

I’ll be in Vegas end of october and would like to make an helicopter tour

I used papillon and we were not able to seat together for weight reason

do you know some other tours companies ?

Also do you have sone information on skywalk, is it worth it ?

Thank you very much

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I’ve used Maverick Helicopter Tours before – very professional folks and I would use them again.

As far as the Skywalk, I’ve not done it but a friend of mine did. He said it was interesting but he doubts he’d do it again – if you’re in the area, you might try it. Not sure if it is worth a trip just for that though.

SEAN asked on 09/23/10

I herd a rumor that Palazzo may close whithin 3-months & the Ritz Carlton @ lake Las Vegas is reopening. what have you herd reguarding these properties.


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

It’s true that a new company is taking over the former Ritz Carlton out at Lake Las Vegas – that won’t be re-opened for a few months.

As for The Palazzo, Las Vegas Sands is relatively healthy as far as gambling companies go. Don’t believe rumors about it shutting down.

SEAN asked on 09/23/10

Just returned from LV yesterday Sept 22 & I need to let your readers know about traveling along the strip & the way things have changed recently.

If you are a padestrian it will take you a good ten minutes just to pass City Center alone because you will need to travel on sidewalks that are curved as well as two very long overhead bridges on the CC property. In adition for the next week or so you will need to cross the strip near Cosmopolitan do to construction & recross it if you want to reach casinos on the west side of the strip. These curving sidewalks are found in several locations, so be aware.

For bus riders, service headways were increased to every 12- minutes from 10 minutes for most of the day. this applies to both Duce & ACE Gold Line services. 20-minute waits are not unherd of.

When bording a Duce bus, you MUST ENTER THROUGH THE FRONT DOOR & run your pass through the reader on the farebox. On ACE you MAY ENTER THROUGH ANY DOOR. I saw plenty of confusion on this & wanted to let the readers know what rules apply where & how.

For mor go to

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


Carole Norman asked on 09/23/10

Oct 22 2010, we have reservations at Flamingo for 3 nights. I have one comped room and one room I am paying for. This is an 85th birthday celebration for my mother, and her grandchildren are coming to suprise her, so we will have 5-6 rooms total..all deluxe. We have stayed here in past, but it seems we are so spread out it takes forever to get to each others rooms. This time I would like to be able to request "adjoining rooms, one with shower so my mom does not have to step up over a tub, not too far from the elevator, her king room with the nice sitting area that I have seen in pictures on line…and the other relatives on the same floor, same tower. If I tip for this request at check in, how much do you suggest?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well… this is certainly something that you can request but there’s no guarantee they can or will accommodate you. It probably depends on a combination of how nice your check-in person is and how full the hotel is.

Your mom might even want a handicapped room – they are setup with bathrooms that are easier to navigate.

If you are satisfied with the desk’s attempts to help you and want to leave a tip, $20 should be sufficient.

chris asked on 09/20/10

Love your site. We are looking at getting married in Vegas this spring. We don’t want to do a typical hotel wedding or a drive through, but we would like to maybe do something like do it in a park. Can you recommend a nice park or something along those lines, maybe with a view of the strip?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


You might want to check out some of the following:

  • Red Rock Canyon
  • Springs Preserve
  • Valley of Fire

All have been used for weddings!

Karen asked on 09/17/10

Hi! Just wondering: me, my mom and another lady are staying at the MGM Grand starting Nov. 7th and we hope some of their pools will be open at that time. Will there be some ?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


MGM Grand starts to shut down its pools in November – you’ll probably find some of the pools and hot tubs open but not the entire complex. Wet Republic will also be closed.

Hope that helps.

mike asked on 09/13/10

We are looking at staying at the tropicana this December. We stayed there a couple years ago and i know it has been remodeled since. My question is have they all been remodeled or are some of the old rooms still there. Would you stay there or the Flamingo or Bills if they all are the same price?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Hey There,

At this point, all of the rooms in the two towers have been remodeled. Personally, I’d ask for the Paradise Tower as it is closer to the casino.

The new Trop is coming along nicely – give them a try!

Jason asked on 09/11/10

My wife and I are going to vegas in a couple of weeks, staying at Encore. I would like to take her to one of the Wynncore restaurants for her birthday. If you could only pick one restrurant, what would be your choice?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I’m going to actually give you more than one, in case cuisine guides you:

  • SW Steakhouse – excellent steaks and a great environment. Super awesome food, typically great service.
  • Bartolotta – unique, fresh seafood. Expensive but the chef’s tasting menu is a great way to explore.
  • Wing Lei – if you like Chinese, this is the best place in town.

Hope that helps.

Macks asked on 09/08/10

First off, I love the site. There’s going to be a few of us heading down there in May. We like to stay at the Flamingo cuz its usually cheap and in a great location. I was just wondering if upgrading to a “Go Room” would be worth the extra money. I’m not sure how different it is than the regular rooms. What do you think?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The Go rooms are probably a little heavier on style than comfort. Basically take a slightly larger regular room and include much nicer furnishings in candy-cane colors and you’ve got a Go room.

I’m actually staying in one for the first time in a few weeks – we’ll see.

Chris O asked on 09/07/10

We are 8 English guys coming over on 25th September for a week. We have decided to stay at Hooters as its cheap and we would rather spend our money on other things. I have heard very mixed reviews about Hooters, ranging to excellant to the pits. What’s your opinion remembering that we are 8 guys in our 30’s and we are not accustomed to 5 star luxury!!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

It’s a no-frills hotel with a small pool and modest casino in a relatively good location, close to a lot of other, larger places.

If you’re looking for reasonable budget, it’s probably a fine choice.

It’s not on The Strip so you’ll probably be walking or taking taxis often. Just something to keep in mind.

jon o asked on 09/03/10

I was looking at booking a hotel and was on I noticed the site was a lot cheaper than orbitz, more than half on a strip hotel. Have you heard anything about this site? I don’t want to take the chance of booking it and then when we get there, not have a room.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I have heard of but never used I haven’t heard any horror stories.

casey asked on 09/02/10

We are planning on going to Vegas end of January or beginning of February. Is there any time in there at it will be busy, like conventions or anything like that? I know a lot of the hotels have there pools down, but are there any with indoor pools?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Both January and February have large conventions (i.e. CES) and also big events (Chinese New Year, Superbowl) so you’ll find some pockets of high activity in that time frame.

As far as hotel pools, most are closed or significantly shut-down during that time due to the weather. No indoor pools, no. Depending on your hotel, you may find part of the pool complex open or maybe a jacuzzi or two.

JLBSox asked on 09/02/10

Hi, great website!! 2 middle age couples heading to Vegas in February. We’re thinking about heading out to a few of the night clubs. Would arriving at 10:00 be our best strategy for actually getting in? Is a nice pair of jeans, a button down shirt and shoes good enough to get us into most clubs or are jeans no good? Are you a fan of the Voodoo Lounge?


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Typically the earlier the easier when it comes to getting in. If you show up around 10pm, you’ll find short lines (and an empty club).

Jeans are typically fine as long as they are nice – can’t be ripped though. Biggest thing is the right shoes – no tennis shoes allowed.

Voodoo has a great view and usually trends to a slightly older crowd so if that’s what you’re looking for, it can be a good choice.

Arvind asked on 08/28/10

I’m planning to visit vegas Sep 29 to Oct 1st (wed and thurs night)
I’ve shortlisted three hotels to stay in. Rates below are the combined rates for BOTH nights (a good weekday deal )
1) Bally’s – $80 (standard)/ $120 (the better room)
2) Flamingo – $90 (standard) / $130 (the better room)
3) Planet Hollywood – $100 (standard) / $130 (for the better room) I know that all three belong to the same chain and all three dont charge the notorious resort fee
I saw the room pics of all the three and read some reviews.
All of them have descent reviews
I need some help choose a good one. I’m traveling with my girl friend and we are 20s.
I’ve been to Vegas twice before and so I know the place, but stayed before in other properties. Here is my criteria
1. There should be a good chance to get a strip view (and may be the fountain view) with or without upgrade/tipping
2. A good club downstairs
3. Not too expensive food. I know the buffet in PH is quite good. 4. Any deals/combos for food or shows. Any experiences/tips?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Of the three hotels you mentioned, PHo and Bally’s will both sometimes advertise ‘fountain views’ but they’re typically fairly obstructed – unless you are at Paris or Bellagio itself, you’re probably not going to get a great view.

Neither Bally’s nor The Flamingo have a nightclub, though both are near other hotels that do so maybe that’s not that big of a deal.

I’d probably rank them with PHo first, Flamingo second and Bally’s third.

Have a blast!

rich kozak asked on 08/18/10

Great inside info site.Do you have any insider tips on getting elvis tickets at Aria.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


You can try discounters like Tix4Tonight

Other than that, shows from Cirque du Soleil often go off at full price as they’re some of the more popular shows in town. You can always call the hotel and purchase them at full price there.

The above discounter is your best bet.

Have fun.

Peter Donohoe asked on 08/16/10

Hi there, first of all, love the site and love the app.

A couple of questions for you. First I am staying in the MGM Grand for 8 days from the end of September and was wondering if there is anywhere towards that end of the strip where I can watch English Premier League football matches live?

Second. Cabs taking the tunnel, is it likely they will take the tunnel to our hotel? Is there a need to? How do I ensure they dont?

Finally. I like rock/punk music, its a given that Double Down Saloon will be getting our custom can you recommend any similar bars.



Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


I’ll take these out of order…

Regarding cabs and the tunnel, actually Vegas Mate 2.7 on the iPhone will answer this exact question – we’re adding average cab fares and tunnel/no tunnel info for each hotel. According to my handy-dandy chart created by a local cabbie, the answer is no tunnel to MGM Grand and that you should expect to pay about $10 from the airport. Conditions may vary.

Vegas Mate 2.7 should be out by the time you’re on your trip.

As for bars, there are a few new ones Downtown, like The Griffin that you might want to try. I’ve not been but I hear great things.

Now, for football matches… Given that this is the good ‘ol USA, sometimes this is tougher than you might think. It really depends on what else is on at the same time – if there’s a big US-centric event overlapping, it gets a lot harder.

That said, the major books allow betting (and thus typically show the matches) on English Premier League events. Try the Las Vegas Hilton, Bellagio, Aria, Wynn Las Vegas and sometimes MGM Grand.

Sean asked on 08/15/10

Reguarding Jeff Simpson’s Aug. 9th colum, I’ve been wondering if some of the downtown casinos could convert there rooms into residential units.

Granted that there’s an over supply of housing around the metro area currently, but people have been slowly transissioning away from the auto dependent subdevision & are leaning towards a more walkable lifestyle in downtown cores. This could revive downtown in several ways.
1. By turning this area residential you will atract grocery stores & other retailers for daily needs. There’s already a Walgreens in the area, plus there is plenty of small shop space ready to be occupide in the neighborhood.
3. If casino profits can be used to parcially maintain the residential units that sit above it, that would lower maintnence costs for the buildings occupince espicially if they are condos.

Hunter,I wonder what your thaughts are on this subject, as Deborah K. Damon & I have been working toward a solution on such a problum.


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Hi There,

I’d ask that all blog related comments be posted there where everyone can join in on the discussion.


heidi asked on 08/13/10

Hi, I’m a Vegas virgin and am trying to plan a 7 day trip next april – about 10 or so people for a 30th birthday. i’d be grateful for any hints or tips –
at the moment, i’m swinging towards planet hollywood or the mirage (we’re looking for a decent central place that won’t break the bank), what do you think?
also, are there car rental companies around? we’re hoping to road trip in, but maybe fly back home to los angeles afterwards, so we’d need to be able to return the car once we hit vegas… possible?
one more thing, what are our party options in our early 30s and a big group? will all the early 20s on spring break make us look like grandparents?
thanks so much for your time!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

First off – welcome – you will have a great time I’m sure.

As far as hotels go, either PHo or The Mirage would be solid choices. I’d argue that Planet Hollywood has a slightly better location but The Mirage has nicer rooms and a significantly better pool.

Both hotels have a pretty good range of restaurants but there are so many choices within a few square miles that even if you wanted to try something else, it’s right there.

For me personally, I’d probably pick The Mirage – I’ve stayed there dozens of times.

There are tons of rental car companies, yes. Several of the hotels have pickup/drop-off right there on-property and if not, there’s a large car rental facility near the airport where every renter is represented. Planet Hollywood has an Avis rental station on property. For The Mirage, there’s a Dollar Rent-a-Car desk next door at Treasure Island. So yes, no matter what, you could return a rental from a national carrier either at your hotel, nearby or at the airport (which is five minutes from The Strip).

There are a ton of party options for people of all ages, it really depends on what you like. As far as nightclubs go, if that’s your thing, there are a ton of places: XS (Encore), Surrender (Encore), The Bank (Bellagio), Haze (Aria), Pure (Caesars Palace), Rain (The Palms), JET (The Mirage) and tons tons more.

If you’re not into nightclubs, there are a few bars and lounges that are a bit more mellow: Eastside (Encore), Revolution (The Mirage), Fontana Lounge (Bellagio), Mandarin Bar (Mandarin Oriental – awesome), Mix (THEHotel at Mandalay Bay).

Hope that helps – have a blast.

angela asked on 08/11/10

Hunter, am planning on staying at the Wynn next month and can get a good price for a resort room.Having been before and stayed in the Tower suite, i was hoping to maybe upgrade when checking in. Should i take the chance and book the resort room at a great price then upgrade when i get there?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

If you’d be happy with the Resort Room, assuming you can’t get into Tower Suites, then sure.

TS can be a tough upgrade to get, especially on the weekends as it often fills up.

James asked on 08/04/10


First off, I would like to say that Vegas Gang is one of my favorite podcasts-excellent work!

I’m staying at Aria soon and had some questions. First, where is the nearest food court or other dining options for late night food after the nightclubs close. Second, is there a resort fee at Aria? Third, when getting a cab to go to my hotel from the airport, what do I say so they don’t take the expensive route? Last, me and a bunch of buddies want to try some new nightclubs (we have been to Tao, Pure,54,Rain, and Haze) and were thinking of XS. I know that XS was the top nightclub last year and was super hard to get into, but I was thinking since Surrender just opened it might make it a little easier possibly. What are your thoughts on a group of five of us getting in? Anyway that our concierge at our hotels have any connections to help us out? Keep up the great work. Cheers!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Hi There,

Thanks for the kind words.

As far as nearby food courts, there’s one next door at Monte Carlo but I’m pretty sure it’s closed after midnight. You might also go across the street from CityCenter where there’s a string of little shops including a FatBurger and a few other eateries. In the hotel itself, Cafe Vettro is a 24 hour facility.

Aria does not currently have a resort fee, no.

When leaving the airport and heading to Aria, you want to make sure the driver does not take ‘the tunnel’. Just say ‘Aria – and please don’t take the tunnel’. They typically don’t for Aria but never hurts to specify.

XS is arguably still the top dog (or close to it) and is always very popular. Five guys can sometimes be tough – it’s harder if you wait ‘til prime nightclub time (midnight-ish) so if you can get in a little earlier, it’ll be easier… and yes, your hotel concierge can often help. These guys have connections for sure.

Cheers and have fun.

zac c asked on 08/02/10

I’m doing a bachelor party in Vegas with 8 friends. We are going to be there for Week 1 NFL games and were looking for a good sportsbook. I know from a past visit that Cesars Palace has a real nice room, but most of the seats were reserved. Do you need to be a high-roller to reserve these? Just a hotel guest?

What are the better Sportsbooks on the strip that could handle a group of us and would be comfortable enough to sit thru a game or two?


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


Typically those are reserved through the casino – you may not have to be a high roller but you need to put in some play in order to get those reserved for yourself.

You can also check out The Mirage, Aria, MGM Grand, Bellagio and Wynn Las Vegas, though they all do this to some degree. Aria and MGM Grand often do let you reserve special boxes.

Have fun.

Bob Werner asked on 07/28/10

Great website. I found it by accident doing a search for golf courses in Vegas. Question: What does it cost to rent a fridge at the Sahara? I’m staying in a Premium Non-Smoking room and would like to keep some bottled water cold.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks for visiting.

An average fridge rental per night is about $20. If you need one for medication and let them know that, sometimes that fee is waved.

Cindy asked on 07/26/10

Thanks for all your hard work on this site and others! Keeps us Vegas fanatics in the loop! :)
Just was comped 5 nites at Caesars and was curious which tower you would recommend, as we have never stayed there before. We were offered a Classic Room, a Roman Tower Room, or a Forum Tower Deluxe Room. What would you recommend?
Thanks for your help!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Caesars is tricky – the three older towers are quite a bit smaller and less luxurious than the Palace and Augustus Towers.

The older rooms have been refurbished though – thankfully.

I’d probably go with the Forum Tower Deluxe – easy access to the casino and the hotel amenities and while the rooms are smallish, they have nice beds and bathrooms.


JP asked on 07/25/10


If you are a guest at a hotel do you still have to pay to get into their nightclubs? I’ll be staying at the Encore and was wondering if they will waive the cover for XS and Surrender.

Thanks in advance,


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


Yes, you still have to pay a cover… that said though, as a guest it’s relatively easy to get a line pass, especially on the less peak days.

Ask at check-in to see if they have any passes to give away – they often do.

bobby asked on 07/19/10

I was wondering where the best gambling offers are on the strip (match plays, free slot credit, ect.). I also heard something about the pocket casino at Venetian/Palazzo and was wondering what that was about. Thanks!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

This is the kind of thing that varies quite a bit – it’s always in motion. Generally speaking, the properties that are in the middle and lower tier have to work a bit harder for customers and thus often have the best deals. Join the slot clubs and shop around.

As far as the pocket casino device, The Venetian and Palazzo allow you to make bets on several types of games using this device in places like their swimming pool. There are a lot of restrictions on its use and hasn’t really taken off yet.

Susan asked on 07/17/10

We generally have room service for breakfast when we stay in Vegas. The casino generally already includes a sometimes hefty gratuity in the bill. Should my tip and the already included gratuity equal a 20% tip total or is that not considered sufficient? Also, what is the standard tip for casino personnel who do payouts on machines and taxi drivers? Lastly, on occasions we receive a limo ride to the casino as part of our stay, what is the recommended tip when the ride is free? Thank you. Susan

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Many hotels will add a gratuity to a room service bill automatically. That amount is typically less than 20%. If you were to add up to a 20% equivalent, that would be considered a nice tip. It’s important to check the bill to see if a gratuity is or is not included – sometimes they will be quite clear about it, other times they are not.

For a taxi ride, maybe three or four bucks over the meter for a ride under $20. If under $10, maybe less.

As far as a limo driver, you should tip them as if you were paying for the ride. That’s a good rule with all comped items – tip the normal value of the goods or service, assuming a tip is justified.

Ann asked on 07/14/10

We have stayed at Winns, Venetian, and others but our favorite has been the Bellagio. We have stayed at the Ballagio for the last 10 years, in standard rooms and penthouse suites for various occasions. We have always enjoyed the excellent service, the Petrosain champaigne and caviar bar, and the cabanas at the pool are great. My last visit in May was somewhat disappointing. I think they have trimmed down a lot. We have decided to stay at the Aria in September just for a change….but I’ve read some very scary reviews…how would you compare the Aria to Bellagio?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Aria exists in two spheres – there’s the Aria that MGM promised and then there’s the reality of Aria. The hotel was designed to replace Bellagio as the crown jewel of their hotel empire. In reality, many guests are finding they prefer Bellagio.

Aria is a hotel that has a lot to offer that seems to be going through a longer than expected teething phase – it’s still being broken in and thus service is inconsistent.

I wouldn’t wave you off of Aria but just be aware that it can be a little bumpy. That said, it’s improving at a pretty good clip – your stay might be perfect.

Ben asked on 07/14/10

Love the website!! I use it for all my Vegas info!

I’m wondering if you have heard anything about the new Cosmopolitan hotel outside of the normal press buzz? We are thinking of booking a room there for next spring. I know the rooms have terraces (which look very cool) and that there will be multiple pool areas and restaurants. Haven’t heard much else, though.

Have you heard anything about the nightclub or retail shops or any insider information about what we can expect for the pool areas? I hate booking sight unseen, but the place looks pretty promising.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I’ve been following Cosmo relatively closely – plan to be there in December for the opening.

Until I stay, I don’t really want to offer much in the way of opinions – I want to see it for myself.

From what I hear, the pools should be pretty nice and competitive with places like the Encore Beach Club.

We’ll see.