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Joe asked on 07/13/10


I’m gonna be in Vegas in a month or so and am staying at Aria. I was wondering first whether there is a pool other than Liquid for guests to lay out at? Also, is there a cover charge to get into Liquid if you are staying at the hotel? Finally, me and the guys wanted to try the harrah’s buffet of buffets deal, and wanted your recommendation for which buffet to have for dinner, then which one to have for breakfest the next day. Thanks

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


Yes, Aria has a ‘normal’ pool – Liquid is just one small part, all the way at the back. Yes, Liquid does have a cover charge for all guests – usually about $40 but it can vary based on day and special events.

As for the buffet question, when it comes to Harrah’s, I’d say that Paris is probably tops for breakfast and maybe Planet Hollywood for dinner? That’d be my choice.

Mike asked on 07/10/10

Hey, me and my buddies will be in Vegas in mid-August, and I had a question about no-line passes for buffets. Everytime we are in Vegas and want to go to the Bellagio Buffet, there is a huge line wrapping around the casino. I am a MGM Players Club member, although I have yet to actually use it to play. If I go to a casino employee will they write me a buffet line pass simply for showing them my card? or will they check to see how much I have played to determine that? The reason I ask is our flight arrives in the evening, and we wont be able to get over to the buffet until the middle of the dinner rush. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Buffet line passes are a comp that is at the discretion of the employee – they can give them out pretty liberally since they don’t cost squat. That said, they typically won’t just hand them out, especially if you have zero play at all. You can ask but I wouldn’t count on that.

Depending on how many are in your party, one option at Bellagio and other buffets is to skip the line and eat at the bar. You can literally walk in the ‘out’ line and go to the bar where you will pay the bartender for your meal and eat there, instead of at a table. This really only works well with one or two people though.

Dillon asked on 07/09/10

Thank you for offering this great service!

I am planning to visit Vegas the week between Christmas and New Years. It is for my 10 year anniversary so I want the room to be extra nice (for an affordable price). I was thinking of staying at THEHOTEL at Mandalay Bay for 2 reasons: (1) the pool, and (2) the nice large rooms that i can get for $550 for 4 nights. I am wondering though, what the weather is like there in December … maybe I won’t even be able to make use of th e pool? I am also a bit concerned though about being so far from the center of the strip … or maybe it’s not to far to walk/ride to the center? This is my first trip to Vegas so I’m just not sure what to decide. Any insight on the weather, the room at the THEHOTEL, and location would be greatly appreciated!

Also, I’ve heard you can get a great deal the week after Christmas … is the hotel website the right place to do that? How far ahead of time do you need to reserve? Also, where’s the best place to buy show tickets ahead of time?

Thank you so much for your help! It is very much appreciated!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

You’re welcome!

December is pretty cold – many pools are actually closed for maintenance since most guests aren’t willing to brave it. They’ll often leave a hot tub or two open. You probably don’t want to pick a hotel on the basis of a pool for a December trip.

As far as location, if you don’t mind walking, it’s really not a bad time but you will spend more time on your feet than staying somewhere Center Strip, no doubt. There’s a tram that connects Mandalay Bay to Luxor and Excalibur so you can also use that to cut down on the walking. Of course taxis are always an option, though that can add up if you’re using them constantly.

The rooms at THEHotel are very nice – large, real suites, unlike some other rooms in Las Vegas. Typically well kept up, some of the rooms facing The Strip offer some fantastic views.

The week between Christmas and New Years is typically more quiet and thus the rates are lower. The hotel Web site is often a great place to book, yes – I’d recommend booking a room as soon as you know your dates. Check the fine print but most hotel Web sites allow you to cancel a reservation within 48 hours of arrival without penalty – that means if a better rate comes along between now and then, you can always take advantage of it. Better to be locked in now just in case rates go up.

For show tickets, it really depends. Many shows, such as most Cirque du Soleil shows are often not discounted and thus it’s best just to book with the hotels. Those shows also sell out quickly – guests of MGM Resorts properties (such as THEHotel) can reserve tickets for their shows 90 days in advance vs. 60 days for the general public.

Hope that helps.

casey asked on 07/08/10

When I was in Vegas a couple months ago, the Paris fountain looked like it was being taken out. Is that correct or are they just cleaning it up? Second question, which month is the the best time to go to Vegas price wise?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yup, it was removed to make room for a new Sugar Factory outlet.

As far as prices, typically the middle of summer has some good deals, as does the week before and after Christmas (thought not for NYE).

Ali B asked on 06/28/10

Are all the rooms at Monte Carlo renovated? I hear mixed reviews about it, however the photos on the website show a decent layout/decor.

I know it’s cheap, I know it’s got a great pool (am I right about the pool?)

location wise, its towards the end of of the strip, but how far? I don’t mind long walks, but how long are we talking here?


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Monte Carlo actually is closer to the center of the Strip, not one of the ends.

The pool is nice but small. Recent construction has reduced its size and limited some of the daytime sun exposure.

As far as the rooms, they’re typically clean, no frills rooms. Nice than your average Holiday Inn but really nothing special.

The bulk of the hotel’s rooms have not been renovated recently.

Moe S asked on 06/28/10

Building on my last question about pools.. What if two of us are staying at the Mirage, and have friends in other hotels. Would it be OK to have them come in with us?

We are meeting up with friends, but everyone is staying in different hotels to accommodate their own budget. Would be nice for us all to spend the day on the pool together. Thanks again!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

So technically, the hotels kinda frown on that but in most cases, it ends up not being a problem in practical terms.

Other than Mandalay Bay, I can’t think of any hotels that check keys for each person coming in – usually just one person per group.

Moe S asked on 06/27/10

IS planet hollywood advisable at all to stay in? The casino is pretty cool and funky, but never considered staying there before… thinking about it this weekend…do they have a pool?

Btw, if i want to go to the mirage pools (main pool, or Bare) I don’t have to stay in the hotel, correct? I always go in winter so not sure how things are in August..

Thanks for the support and for this site!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yeah, PHo is a perfectly fine place to stay. Good location, reasonably appointed rooms and typically friendly staff. They do have a pool, up above the casino actually. It’s not all that interesting – more like a concrete hole filled with water.

As far as the pool at The Mirage, you need to be a guest to use it. That’s fairly standard at all Strip hotels.

The exception is typically the pool clubs like Encore Beach Club, Wet Republic, etc… They aren’t open every day but when they are, they do general admission (for a fee of course).

Stacey asked on 06/23/10

Hey there,

Just wanting to ask a silly question? What is $20 trick to upgrade. How does that work.

We are going to be in town in October for my sisters weding and I am thinking of Staying at the Flamingo…. kinda worried after reviews. But my other sister is staying at the Casino Royale so I wanted to stay close, but still inexpensive.What can you tell us about Casino Royale?

Thanks in advance for any info you can provide!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The best place to read up on the technique is here:

Casino Royale is a small casino located on The Strip connected to some motel-esque rooms. It’s usually considered a low-end hotel but it does feature a good location and a busy casino.

B rad asked on 06/20/10

I’m going to be staying at the newyork newyork in august. Do they have a poker room or casino holdem???

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

No poker room at New York New York. There’s poker in many of the neighboring casinos though – Monte Carlo, Excalibur, MGM Grand, etc…

Bobby D asked on 06/20/10

I’ve been to Vegas many times, but never in August. Planning to go there early August, but not sure how happening it is then. Is it too hot to where it’s uncomfortable? I’ve honestly never seen vegas “dead” before, so i doubt this will be the case.

On a side note…how are the mirage rooms after renovation? worth considering? And do they have bigger suites for reasonable prices if it’s split between say 3 or 4 people? I love the location, can’t go wrong there.
Thanks for the help.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

It’s pretty damn hot but lets face it – you’re probably going to be indoors or at the pool so you can typically manage.

It’s not dead in August, no. Pools are hopping and while some people do stay away to avoid the head, I certainly wouldn’t call it dead.

As for the Mirage, I think the remodeled rooms are a nice change. The suites are still not totally done yet – they were put on hold when the economy soured and are just getting back into action. That said, they often have good room rates on the suites, even if the decor is a little bit tired.

DW asked on 06/18/10

My girl and I are going to Vegas immediately after 4th of July. We have a room at Bally’s, and are planning on gaming mostly at Bally’s/Paris/Caesars. We’ve never been to a strip club, but we’ve been to topless shows (MGM’s Crazy Horse, Anthony Cools I think) and we loved them. For a young couple that doesn’t like ridiculously fake boobs, and is reluctant to go to a strip club because we’re afraid of being taken advantage of ($$$‘s), what would you suggest? Any great new shows that show loads of skin? We’d go to a recommended strip place, but we’d want some sort of assurance that its a place where they don’t totally try to take advantage of 2 people who obviously don’t know how clubs work. Any advice? Thanks very much.


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Good question.

You shouldn’t be afraid of strip clubs but it is good to know in advance what you’re getting yourself into. First, don’t trust a cabbie with a random recommendation about ‘the best place’. They are paid to direct tourists to certain places and will just take you someplace they will get a good rate for.

Typically you will pay some sort of fee to get in the door (though this is often waved via coupons or special deals), then it’s up to you if you want to simply tip the dancers up on stage or have something more personal, like a lap dance. The strippers will come by and ask you if you want a private dance – probably more than once… they can be pretty persistent. If you’re not interested in a lap dance, just be polite and they will be too.

Some of the top places are Sapphire, Olympic Garden, Rick’s and Treasures. Check out their Web sites and you’ll see the kinds of girls they feature and also give you a breakdown on the costs involved. There are of course lots of other places but these are some of the most popular.

As far as shows with skin, there are some but the experience is still going to be far more tame than a strip club. Some of these shows would include Sin City Bad Girls (Hilton), Fantasy (Luxor), Bite (Stratosphere), Crazy Girls (Riviera) and even Zumanity (NYNY).

I hope that helps. Strip clubs can be a lot of fun but it is a good idea to know what you’re getting yourself into before you go.

doug asked on 06/18/10

Every inner section in Vegas has a camera pointing towards oncoming traffic, and not the other way, toward passing traffic. So my question is this- Why are all of the traffic cams pointed straight down at the line and into our cabs?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Honestly, I have no clue at all, though the resolution of the cameras is often pretty low – I doubt they can see much in the way of detail inside the passing cars.

Benjamin Sidon asked on 06/16/10

Hey Hunter.

My wife and I are heading to Vegas next month, and are planning to stay at the Wynn. I remember a year or two ago that some of the standard rooms had been renovated (I believe to match the Parlor Suites), and I’d like to score one…I’ve seen pics of them on TripAdvisor, and they look much much nicer than the original, un-renovated rooms. What should I be asking for when checking in? Are these only in the Tower Suites area of the hotel? Thx.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yup, none of the standard rooms have been renovated yet – but they will be very very soon. The project starts in July so there’s an outside chance you could request a renovated room – they’ll have very limited inventory starting out though so it may be a bit of a crap shoot.

Their computer system should be able to identify renovated rooms.

If you’re dead set on a a newer room and they can’t accommodate, maybe I could suggest asking to move to Encore? Those rooms are less than two years old and look great.

Deborah K. Damon asked on 06/13/10

Hey Hunter:
After you responed to my last question i checked out MC FAQ answers then i facebooked them and found out that i want you to post that MC (Monty Carlo) does have WIFI but only in their suites not in their standard rooms only wired internet (but for a lousy fee). I don’t know about their resturants like their cafe, i am waiting for an answer which i don’t think they will. hope this helps.


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks for following up!

Monte Carlo not having pervasive WiFi is a total head-scratcher to me.

Anthony asked on 06/13/10

At the Mirage, on the rear side of the tower that is facing the highway, there is a section that juts out. What is this? At first I was thinking service elevators. Any idea?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

You’re correct – they are service elevators.

Linda Legsdin asked on 06/10/10

Hi Bill,

Try this again.

Going to vegas in December for 8 nights. 7 years ago I stayed a Ceasers and did not like it very much, too much for me.

What do you think of Bill’s Gambling Hall for 4 nights and then a swith to the Golden Nugget for the remainder of the vacation.

Thank you!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Both Bill’s and the GN are small hotels so you get quick access to the street, a good location and reasonably nice rooms.

If Caesars was overwhelming, it sounds like you’ve made some good choices.

DEBBIE DAMON asked on 06/09/10

Hey Hunter:
Speaking of wireless i read a review that someone could not get their ipod to work to no wirelessness or wifi in the Monte Carlo is that true. i have an ipod touch and i want to use it while i am there. otherwise i just spent $300 on a machine that only work at home. I hope all the hotels have wifi or what is the point of all those apps that are suitable for Las Vegas.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Most of the hotels have WiFi but Monte Carlo does not, only wired high-speed Internet.

If that’s your hotel, there are other places that have WiFi available:

or you might consider changing hotels to one that does have WiFi (almost all do besides MC).

Terry S asked on 06/04/10

Hi Hunter:

We’re heading back to Vegas July 25-28. You always give great advice on hotels/rooms. For the same price (good deal), we can get a Standard Deluxe room at the Bellagio or a Tower Deluxe room at the Mirage. We’ve stayed at the Mirage in the past, but haven’t yet experienced Bellagio. Your insight is appreciated.
Also, will be trying the $20 trick to upgrade…where will we have the better chance of success?

Thanks in advance.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I’d pick Bellagio – it’s a nicer hotel and the rooms are about the same size. The Tower Deluxe rooms at The Mirage are a nice upgrade from their standard but when compared with newer hotels, they can sometimes feel a little old.

As far as the $20 thing, it’s really hard to say. It depends on so many external factors… Probably a little harder at Bellagio.

Anthony asked on 06/03/10

When Monte Carlo was first built, it was a joint venture between Mirage resorts and Circus Circus. How much influence did Steve Wynn and his design team have over the project. You never hear about Monte Carlo being tied to Wynn at all.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Not much. Mirage Resorts provided the land and the future Mandalay folks did the design and construction. Actually, that’s why you see a lot of design features at Monte Carlo that also ended up at Mandalay Bay, specifically the wave pool.

Katie asked on 06/02/10

I am looking to go to Vegas for a batchelorette party Labor Day weekend – dates are Friday Sept 3rd (morning) to Monday Sept 6th (afternoon). Right now prices are ridiculous – any recommendations for whether to wait it out or should I just bite the bullet and buy the ticket now (in June) in case they go up again?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

You mean airfare? I’m really not an expert on finding a cheap plane ticket, sorry.

When it comes to hotels, if you book direct, you can almost always take advantage of a lower rate just by asking if it becomes available later. Check the terms when you reserve to be sure but typically there’s no penalty for canceling. For this reason I typically tell people to jump on their hotel reservations when they have solid dates.

Kathy asked on 06/02/10

Hello Hunter,

I am planning a Stay at CityCenter, specifically the MO.

I remember reading that when the place opened it was a cellphone Blackhole, although there was promises to improve things, I have not heard anything.

Has any improvements been made, specifically on AT&T or Sprint? as well as being able to make/place calls, I want to be able to use my 3G Data also.

Any inside info appreciated.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Mandarin Oriental is great – you’ll love it.

I had major AT&T problems at CityCenter earlier this year, though that was mostly inside Aria. Mandarin, being closer to existing towers on The Strip, worked pretty well.

I’m told that Aria now has repeaters installed for all the major carriers and is no longer a black hole. I haven’t been in to check since they made this change.

Julie asked on 06/01/10

Me and my other half are going to be going to Moorea Beach at Mandalay Bay on Wednesday, and I was wondering how it is during the week. We’ve never been to a European pool and not really sure what to expect. I’ve tried looking up reviews from various websites but there is nothing recent about Moorea Beach. Any ideas?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

In my experience, it’s pretty quiet most weekdays. It’s a nice respite from the main pool, which is usually quite busy and crowded.

Steve asked on 06/01/10

Hi Hunter,

I have been to Vegas quite a few times and am looking for a new Steak House to try. I have been to most of the big ones (Nine, Prime, Delmonicco, Country Club, Craft & Luxor-Tender), what can you recommend?


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

If you haven’t tried SW at Wynn Las Vegas, that would probably be at the top of my list. Beyond that, Botero at Encore is quite good as well.

Nathaniel Borrero asked on 06/01/10

Me and my wife are planning a trip to Vegas for our anniversary. I want her to have the most fun she can while still making the trip romantic. Is there anything to do nightlife wise for couples under 21 in Vegas?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Unfortunately, not a whole lot, no. The clubs, bars and casinos are all 21+. You could take in the Fountains of Bellagio, quite majestic at night.

Hope that helps.

Kenny asked on 05/31/10

I have a question about the original MGM Grand.
So since its Ballys now, are people sleeping in the same rooms as other people died in the day of the fire? If so im booking my ass to the Mirage.

PS: Is there any MGM Grand remains leftover from the fire? (i.e. shops, signs, decor etc.)

Yeah im weird, I just have a nostalgia for the original MGM.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The rooms were gutted and completed refurbished – there was a ton of fire, smoke and water damage. The superstructure is the same but that’s about it.

As for anything leftover, not in the hotel, no. Perhaps in a museum somewhere but they went through and really re-did everything as part of the reopening process. They didn’t have much choice given all the damage.

Michelle asked on 05/29/10

My husband and I are planning a trip in July to Vegas..need help on deciding on a hotel. Have comps to Harrah’s, Flamingo, and Bally’s. Which one would you choose?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Of those three, I’d put them in the following order: Flamingo, Bally’s and then Harrah’s. If you can, upgrade to a ‘Go’ room at Flamingo – much nicer than the standard rooms, even if it is a little overly pink.

richard asked on 05/29/10

Buenos noches, Hunter:

What’s the Encore Beach Club like? Also, if you’re a hotel guest of the Encore, can you enter the pool area before the 11:00 am throng of unwashed masses? Thanks

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


I wrote about the EBC here:

No, no guests can enter before 11am.

Roger Bedford asked on 05/27/10

I’m heading to Vegas in a few days. Spending 3 nights at Encore, and planning to do 2 nights at Mandalay Bay. I’ve been reading reviews about MB online, and now I’m afraid that the downgrade from Encore to MB may ruin the overall vibe of the trip. I’m kind of a snob when it comes to my lodging. Anyway, my question is: has MB really gone that far downhill as far as the room decor is concerned? Should I be calling them now to try to book at their THEhotel property instead? I read that MB recently renovated their property, but many reviews from guest that stayed in April 2010 are saying that the carpets are filthy, furniture is ratty and the rooms aren’t always the cleanest upon check in. Your thought are greatly appreciated!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

There’s no doubt that Encore is nicer than Mandalay Bay.

The rooms at MBay were renovated but the amount spent wasn’t enough to get them into the same class as a Wynn or Encore. Of course some rooms are in worse shape than others but I doubt you want to spend your vacation switching rooms until you find one in good shape.

If you are indeed a lodging snob, I’d take a look at THEHotel – the rooms are larger and generally nicer, despite the renovation at MBay.

Mark asked on 05/26/10

Going to Vegas in June. It’s been over 10 years since I went to Vegas, and unfortunately it was with the ex-wife (the memories have been tainted). At the time, the Rio buffet was the talk of the town. We really enjoyed it. I especially loved the seafood (lobster tails!) Is it still one of the best?
Secondly, if I ate at 1 restaurant that you have been to, which one would it be? Please give me 2 answers: one where price does not matter and one where it is fairly economical. Thanks!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Some folks still sing its praises but I think it’s safe to say that the general agreement is that the quality of both buffets at The Rio has slipped in recent years. Better buffet options may be Bellagio, Wynn Las Vegas, Planet Hollywood and Paris with the first two heavier on seafood options.

As for your other question about restaurants – there are a ton of great choices so it’s hard to pick just one.

If money is no object, my top spots are Bartolotta (Wynn Las Vegas), SW (Wynn Las Vegas) and Wing Lei (Wynn Las Vegas).

For more economical but good, the Circus Steakhouse (Circus Circus – yes, it’s true) is a great option with tasty food at very reasonable prices. Beyond that Julian Serrano at Aria was very tasty and given the structure of the menu, you could avoid a super huge bill if you weren’t famished.

Joe asked on 05/26/10


Besides buffets – can you make a few reccomendations of where to go for some great shellfish. Thanks

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Bartolotta at Wynn – very pricey but amazing seafood and often some great shellfish.

Joe’s Stone Crab in the Forum Shops – this is one of their specialities.

RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay – menu rotates a bit but considered maybe the top seafood joint in town.

Joe asked on 05/20/10


What type of reviews are you hearing in regards to the food and night time bar atmosphere for both Cabo Wabo and Diablos. Thanks

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I’ve heard multiple thumbs on Diablos Cantina. As far as Cabo Wabo, more so-sos from folks, not a ton of love.

Amanda asked on 05/20/10

I have booked a trip to Vegas for June, and we are staying at Bally’s. I read that you can check in and get your room key at the airport. I’m wondering if you think we should do that, or wait til we get to the hotel? I don’t mind waiting a while, but obviously would rather the process go quicker. I’m not real sure how the airport check in works, but I don’t want to regret getting checked in there and hating the room we get put in. Any advice on this? Thanks so much!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I actually believe they discontinued the airport check-in for Bally’s. I called the hotel to double-check and they confirmed they no longer offer that service.

Deborah K. Damon asked on 05/18/10

Hey Hunter:
can you tell me if all the buildings in the City Center are complete or is there still construction being work on. I keep checking the web site Vegas today and tommorow but the latest update still says April 16,2010. I guess things have really slowed down to do this recession that we are still having. nothing to update.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

There is still some construction going on – The Harmon hotel is set to open at the end of this year and some interior work is being done at the Veer Condos.

That said, construction is mostly complete. The stuff they’re still working on doesn’t impact guests.

Jane asked on 05/17/10


My husband and I are coming to Vegas in September. We are going to be taking a day trip to the Grand Canyon and one to Bryce Canyon. My question is, how busy is Labor Day weekend? We are thinking about coming over that weekend but if it really busy we could come onother time. Also is it better to come during the week or over the weekend?


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


Labor Day weekend typically gets pretty busy, yes. Most holiday weekends are popular in Las Vegas, even over the past two years.

During the week you get much better deals and far fewer people, if those things are important to you.


hail2skins asked on 05/15/10

Hunter, wanted to know if you remembered if there were continuous shuffling machines at the blackjack tables within Encore’s pool area? Also, what are the minimums at those tables? Thanks in advance for any info, as well as being for the lookout for these aspects of the tables at the Beach Club when it opens in a few weeks.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Ohhh boy… Working completely off memory, pretty sure the pool machines did use shufflers and had ~$10-$15 minimums.

We’ll find out about the EBC when it opens but I’d expect about the same.

Josh asked on 05/04/10

First, great site and thanks for all you do. I’m coming out with my wife for a long weekend. She is visiting Vegas for the first time. We are mid 30s married couple. Are there any clubs/bars you would recommend for a mid-30s couple. Not looking for the trendy 20 something hotspot, just a fun place where we can have some drinks, enjoy some good music and dancing.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


I get this question a lot. Unfortunately, not a lot of great options.

Some places to check out:

Fontana Lounge at Bellagio
Mandarin Bar at Mandarin Oriental (highly recommended)
Mix Lounge at THEHotel
Blush at Wynn Las Vegas
Voodoo Lounge at The Rio
Gold Bar at Aria

Not all have dancing.

Have fun!

S Karavias asked on 05/02/10

We’ll be staying at the Aria in June and have a few questions about Liquid.

Last year we stayed at THE Hotel and really enjoyed Moorea Beach during the week as it was much less crowded than the weekends. On Mondays – Thursdays can we expect Liquid to be slower as well? How does the size compare to Moorea? Finally do they charge or have a minimum spend during these days for a regular lounge chair by the pool (not the daybeds)?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Liquid is open Thu-Sun only, though the rest of the pool complex is open every day.

The size is about the same as Moorea, maybe a little bit larger.

The general admission covers the standard lounge chairs. Beds, cabanas, etc all have a minimum spend.

Mitchell Goosen asked on 04/28/10

Would like to get a limo from the airport to our hotel, but I would like to have a little more time in it than just the 15 minute trip. Can you tell me any company’s that do that?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Any of the limo firms will sell you a full hour if that’s what you want. You just need to set it up in advance.

Popular firms include CLS and Las Vegas Limo.

Deborah K. Damon asked on 04/28/10

Hey there Hunter:
Can you tell me how long the pools will be open at the Monty Carlo I hear that curtain pools are only open from Memorial day to Labor day, I am arriving on Setember 16, 2010. Can you tell me if the pool will still be open or am i going to miss my chance at trying their great pool. I was looking forward to trying their wave pool and lazy river. I also heard that Lance Burton will be disappearing himself from the Monty carlo have you heard anything on that.

Debbie Damon

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

It really depends on the hotel. Many do shutdown their pools for maintenance, though often a jacuzzi stays open.

Monte Carlo hasn’t announced when their pool is shutting down but last year it wasn’t until October. It’s typically still pretty hot mid-September.

Lance Burton will be leaving Monte Carlo in September. The last show is 9/4. The hotel hasn’t announced his replacement.

pete.s asked on 04/26/10

hello, i was wishing to travel to las Vegas in 2011 and wished to inquire about whether or not it is possible to gain access to casino’s through presenting your Australian drivers licence, rather than risking carrying around your passport to every casino on the strip,
thanks a lot

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Good question. From what I’m told, your passport may be required. Some places may accept the DL but if not, you’d be screwed. Probably safer to carry it if you think you’ll be carded.

Richard Enriquez asked on 04/21/10

Greetings Hunter from Texas!

Going to experience the Bellagio for the first time ever in July. Bellagio’s website doesn’t have the menus for Cafe Bellagio and the Pool Cafe. Are these places worth spending some winnings at? Also, how’s the dim sum at Noodles?

Muchas, gracias

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Hi Richard,

The Pool Cafe is simple but decent, as is Cafe Bellagio. Both are similar to what you’d find via room service – many traditional dishes, usually at reasonable prices. Both are pleasant locations.

Noodles was very tasty the last time I was there, thought it’s been a year at this point.

Generally speaking, all of the food at Bellagio is pretty good.


AJ asked on 04/21/10

Hello. I am trying to decide where to stay on my next trip to Vegas in late May. Should I try a corner suite at the new Aria at CityCenter or stick with a standard suite at Encore? I stayed at Encore last Fall and loved it. How do the two compare in your opinion? Thanks.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

After spending my last two trips at Aria, I just got back from a week at Encore.

Personally, I find Encore to be superior when it comes to service, quality and amenities.

CityCenter has some good restaurants but I’m not planning another stay there anytime soon.

Hope that helps.

CJ asked on 04/20/10

I’m going to be in Vegas in a month, and I’ve been looking online for some Foakleys(Replica Oakley sunglasses for cheap). I haven’t had a lot of luck onlind, and I know a lot of big cities have street vendors and things like that that sell these sorts of things. I was wondering if you knew of any, preferably around the strip, that would sell something like this.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Sorry, I really don’t know. I’ve seen some of these guys over the years but nothing I could really point you to.

Betty asked on 04/19/10

I am booked to stay at the Luxor in a few weeks. After reading reviews, I am starting to think that wasn’t such a great idea. I have health issues which includes asthma and allergies. Is the cleanliness something at the Luxor that I should be concerned about?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

In my opinion, Luxor is a mid to low end Strip hotel. For some folks, this is no problem. If you just want a place to sleep for instance.

It’s not a luxury operation unless we’re talking about their biggest suites.

That said, it’s usually clean so if that’s your main concern you should be okay, though with allergies I guess you never know for sure.

Most complaints seem to be around service levels, food and noise from other rooms.

Deemo asked on 04/18/10

Hey man, you have been very helpful in the past and now I need you again. First time going with the girlfriend and I need some help.

First, (and I couldnt find anything in the searches) for four nights at Encore is it worth trying to get an upgrade? I have gotten generous ones elsewhere but have never stayed here.

Second, we will be out on Weds, Thurs, Fri and Sat. Any club suggestions for each night? (Hoping you say Playboy somewhere) I saw some from last year but obviously times change.

Lastly, quick question. Best Italian, Best Sushi, and Best Steakhouse.. You can just name them because I have taken up too much of your time.. Thank you so much!


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


Your upgrade choices would basically either be a panoramic view or into the Tower Suites section. They rarely give these away for free but it never hurts to ask.

Even the standard Encore rooms are fantastic though.

As far as clubs go, Tryst (Wynn) and XS (Encore) are two of the best. If your trip is after Memorial Day, they will have also opened Surrender at their new Beach Club.

Beyond that, the Playboy Club at The Palms can be fun, as is The Bank (Bellagio), JET (The Mirage) and also Haze (Aria).

For food:

Italian: Bartolotta, Sinatra, Circo and Sirio.
Sushi: Okada.
Steakhouse: SW, Cut, Delmonico.

abdul asked on 04/15/10

Hi. I have heard lots about the power pass on some websites. Can you tell me a little about that. Is it possible to do in one day? Second question, I heard a rumor that the stratosphere is getting a new ride, is that true and if so, when does it open? Thank you

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yes, the Strat is getting a new ride, called SkyJump. It’s sorta like bungee jumping off the top of the tower. I saw a video of someone doing it and it looked scary as hell.

The PowerPass is a ticket that allows you into multiple attractions such as Madame Tussaud Wax Museum, the Circus Circus Adventuredome, the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art and many others. You’d probably be hard pressed to take advantage of all the specials in one day but if you plan to visit some of the places that are covered, it may be a good way to save some money.

tony asked on 04/15/10

My wife and I (both in mid 50s) are staying at Palazzo this June. I am attending an event at LV Convention Ctr. What will be the best way to get from the hotel to convention each day? Is it too far for a brisk walk? Taxi? Would there be a hotel shuttle? Monorail?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

A walk from Palazzo to the LVCC is certainly doable but it’s probably 20-30 minutes depending on how fast you walk.

Alternatively, the LV Monorail does go to LVCC and you can catch the train at Harrah’s. End to end probably not faster but less walking involved.

A taxi would also work and probably be $10 or so each way.

There may be a hotel shuttle but that’s usually reserved for the larger conventions.

Debbie Damon asked on 04/14/10

thanks for the advise about the Monte Carlo, why is it that they have a resort fee and what other hotels have that resort fee that we can avoid like the plaque. What is your intake on the Flamingo Hotel is that one of them that also has the resort fee.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Many hotels have added resort fees as a way to add to their bottom line. Sometimes you get something useful in return but most of the time it is a rip off.

The Flamingo does not have a resort fee. The rooms are a little old there, though they do have upgraded “Go” rooms that customers seem to really enjoy.

Kasey Mack asked on 04/12/10

Love your site. We are 3 girls coming during the week. Couple questions for you. Is it best to take a shuttle from the airport or is a cab the best option? We have taken the shuttle before but we had to go to every other persons hotel too. Secondly, we are trying to keep the costs down, so are there any places on the strip to have some cheap drinks but still have a good time?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The downside to the shuttle is that you have to stop. If you have fewer than four, a cab mind even end up being less expensive, depending on where you’re going.

As far as less expensive drinks, nightclubs are all expensive but there are some bars with good vibes and cheaper drinks (by Vegas Strip standards). Check out:

Revolution (The Mirage)
Parasol Up (Wynn Las Vegas)
Eastside Lounge (Encore)
Mix (THEHotel)
Fontana (Bellagio)

Have fun!

Jim Reilly asked on 04/08/10


I’m currently booked for 6 nights at Encore – Resort King. Is is work the extra $$ to upgrade to the Tower Suite King?


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Hey Jim,

Some of my friends would disagree with me but I feel that at Encore, unlike Wynn, the TS upgrade is not really all that worthwhile.

The experience at Encore isn’t nearly as segmented.

Don’t get me wrong – the service is always great on the TS side. I’m just not sure you get as much bang on the Encore side as you do at Wynn.