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CEDRIC asked on 01/31/10


First : you really have a great site.

I’m considering staying at a Dynasty suite at the Mandarin Oriental.
Last time we stayed in a Penthouse at Bellagio and I’m wondering if Dynasty is nicer ?

Also does the parlor at Wynn is about the same size than the Penthouse at Bellagio ? The price are about the same.

Do you know if Wynn usually upgrade people using American express Platinium travel service ?

Thank you so much for your help& have a nice day

Kindest regards

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


Thanks for writing. I stayed at Mandarin in December and was blown away by the service. The building is brand new and overall nicer than what you’ll find at Bellagio. The whole facility is quieter and more serene than Bellagio as well – the lack of casino means a very different vibe.

The Wynn Las Vegas Parlor Suite is smaller than a Bellagio Penthouse – the comparable room would be a Salon Suite at Wynn which is larger than the Parlor.

Wynn does have an agreement with AMEX Platinum that offers later checkout (when available) and spa passes. I believe that’s current but you might want to check with AMEX to be sure.

Mike asked on 01/28/10

I am heading down with a large group (20-25 people) in mid-April for a bachelor party, and we looking into booking at a hotel with a smaller, more intimate casino, so that our group won’t get so disbursed and separated while gaming. In the past we’ve stayed at the Hard Rock for this reason, and found the smaller casino and central bar have worked out very well. We were wondering whether there are any other hotels you could suggest which offer a similar set-up or design. Any suggestions are appreaciated. Thanks in advance.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I’d consider Encore, next to Wynn Las Vegas. They’re connected but Encore has it’s own casino, quite a bit smaller.

The rooms are killer, the pool very nice and the club, XS, is one of the hottest in town.

Encore’s my personal go-to hotel.

dzot asked on 01/28/10

Looking for an upscale place south of McCarran; would you pick Green Valley, M, or where?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

M Resort probably. Nice spot with good choice of restaurants.

aussie9 asked on 01/23/10

Hi, we are 2 Australian families heading to VEGAS for 3 nights early april 2010 before heading into the Grand canyon, we are looking for hotel recommendations please, we have one family of 4 (2 adults and 2 kids 11 & 9 years) the other family (2 adults and 3 kids 13, 11 and 8 years) so nine people in total. We want to experience the centre strip casino location, we are not big gamblers just want to have fun with the kids. Are there casino hotels that take 5 in a room or will we require an extra room? Hotels we were looking at were Planet hollywood, TI and Paris, all seem to have good prices, location and reviews. Our budget is somewhere between $70 to $130 per room per night if we can all fit into 2 rooms would be a bonus then we may even consider Ballagio or Encore, we have heard about these “resort fees” are they a compulsory charge, sounds like a ripoff to me are they at all the hotels ??
look foreward to your recommendation, thanks in advance

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


Standard rooms are limited to four persons. To get more than that in (abiding by the rules), you’d need to get a larger room (aka suite).

Planet Hollywood, Treasure Island and Paris are all good options for middle of the road properties in good locations. That said, depending on your dates, I’d still recommend looking at ARIA (CityCenter – brand new) and The Mirage. Sometimes the rates dip down pretty low. The three you mentioned have decent swimming pools but none are fantastic. Better pools at Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, and Flamingo to name a few.

Resort fees aren’t in place at all hotels but where they are, they are compulsory, yes. Many customers think this is a rip-off. Of the hotels you mentioned, Paris does not have a resort fee (none of the hotels owned by Harrah’s Entertainment have resort fees – Paris, Caesars Palace, Bally’s, Flamingo, Imperial Palace, Harrah’s or the Rio. Other hotels like Wynn and Encore do not have them but many hotels do).

Hope that helps, feel free to write back if you have more questions.

Andrea asked on 01/21/10

Hello. I love your site! I booked a deluxe room at Flamingo for myself and a few friends over Memorial Day weekend. I used a player’s club offer and the room is $40 for 3 nights. I usually stay at The Mirage, and I know it is not going to be near that level, but the reviews of the deluxe rooms are really scaring me! I have seen that a lot of people are offered an upgrade to a GO Room for around $30 a night at check-in, which I would do, but I don’t know that it will be offered on the holiday weekend. My friends don’t wait to pay more, and they really only care about the pool. Are the standard rooms really that bad? Should I just spend the extra money to secure the Go Room? I hope you can ease my mind! Thank you!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


The standard rooms at Flamingo are a bit tired and small but they are almost always clean. If you only really care about location and pool, it’s a fine place to rest your head.

The Go rooms got a higher end refurbishment treatment – if you can get one, I’d go for the upgrade but if not, you should be fine.

Just remind yourself that you’re having a blast with your friends, getting a sweet deal and after all, you’re in Vegas!

C Taylor asked on 01/20/10

Myself and my girlfriends are visiting Vegas for the third time in May.

We wanted to stay at either Encore or Wynn. Which would be your preference?

Also, I understand the pool area is smaller at Encore?

Are you allowed to use both hotels pools?


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


I personally prefer Encore – I think the rooms are nicer, though the rooms at WLV are also great. The WLV rooms are due to be remodeled later this year.

Encore’s pool area isn’t quite as big as the one at Wynn, that’s correct. You’re restricted to using the pool at the hotel you’re staying at.

Encore is building the ‘Encore Beach Club’ that doesn’t have a specific opening date yet but is set for right around that time. It will include another new pool and nightclub, Surrender. If that’s going to be open by the time your trip rolls around, that’s another reason to choose Encore.

Dustan asked on 01/20/10

wondering if you know of any hotels that have a spa suite with two beds in the room? thanks for the help. oh yeah your sight rocks!!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thank you! As far as I know, there aren’t any suites in that configuration, no. There are certainly multi-bedroom spa suites at many hotels, though they are very expensive. You could also consider a roll-away bed, depending on your need.

Nancy asked on 01/17/10

I am planning a bachelorette party in Vegas for a friend. There will probably be somewhere between 6 to 16 ladies going. We are in our early 30’s.

My friend (the bride to be) really wants to stay at the Luxor. It seems like a weird choice to me. Will this work for a bachelorette party? Are there any other suggestions? We will want to go out at to bars and such – but the majority of us are in committed relationships – so it would be about having fun (oppossed to meeting people). We also want to do some type of Thunder Down Under type of thing.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Hi Nancy,

Luxor is an interesting choice… not fantastic by any means, the hotel’s rooms are a bit tired. Still, it should work for a bachelorette party – there’s a club there (LAX), a reasonable spa and pool along with a typical array of restaurants. Mandalay Bay is next door, connected via a small shopping area.

Mandalay itself might be a better venue – the rooms are nicer, especially in their THEHotel tower. MBay also has better restaurants, though you could easily access them from Luxor as well. Both Luxor and Mandalay have a sprinkling of bars to keep you occupied.

As far as other hotels, you might take a look at the brand new ARIA at CityCenter or perhaps the year-old Encore – both have fantastic rooms and popular clubs.

‘Thunder’ is probably a great choice for a bachelorette party – it’s right next door at Excalibur.

RJ asked on 01/12/10

Dear RateVegas Experts:

I’m an avid reader of your site in addition to others about Las Vegas (,, to name 2), and I really like it.

My partner and I will be celebrating our 3 year anniversary the weekend of February 19th. To commemorate this anniversary and also as a Christmas surprise, I used my entire bonus from my job and purchased a Southwest Airlines/Aria Hotel – Deluxe Room package from MGM Mirage Vacations as his big Christmas gift.

I have been reading reviews of the Aria not only on your outstanding website, but also on and, and am becoming more nervous with each review I read.

Do you know the name of who at Aria does what Angela Lester does at the Vdara? It’s my goal to communicate ahead of time with someone at Aria to explain the importance of this special trip and to head off any potential drama before we arrive. I’m anxious to make this trip as worry-free as possible. I have had great success with other hotels in the past by faxing a letter explaining my special situation.

Keep up the great work.


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Wow, what a great present!

Regarding Aria, I should say again that I had a great time, despite some problems at the property. Those problems were literally the first hours the place had been open, a tough time for any property.

The head of Aria is Bill McBeath. You might also copy the ‘Director of Hotel Operations’ and send another copy. It will reach the right person.

I’m sure your trip will be fantastic. Food wise, I give a special recommendation to Serrano and Sage, two fantastic restaurants.

Rob asked on 01/10/10

My wife and I are coming to Vegas with some friends in April for our 10th Wedding Anniversary. We are looking for a good italian restaraunt for dinner and would like some suggestions. Thanks.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I’d suggest checking out the following:

Nove (Palms) – classic food, roof-top view. I really enjoyed this place.

Bartolotta (Wynn Las Vegas) – very seafood heavy ; amazing prep. One of my fave places.

Sinatra (Encore) – Italian inspired, high end cuisine.

Sirio (Aria) – New restaurant with a large menu of traditional, simpler dishes.

Mark asked on 01/07/10

I won a very, very small amount of money on a futures bet at the sportsbook and won’t be back in Vegas any time soon. The ticket (Mirage) says to mail it in via registered mail. Is this a strict requirement? I’ve heard the expiration dates are strictly enforced, but nothing about mailing procedure adherence. Literally the registered cost with the post office would basically offset the ticket value. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

By law they can’t restrict the way you send the ticket, it’s just to prevent something from being intercepted. You can send it anyway you’d like. Yes, expiration dates are strictly enforced.

Heather asked on 01/06/10

I am going with 3 girlfriends over Memorial Day for 5 days… we are all 25-26, will be there Thurs. – Monday, and none of us have ever been before.

-Where should we stay (we’d prefer the strip, and can spend up to about $250 a night before tax)
-What bars/clubs must we go to?
-What restaurants must we eat at?
-What shows must we see?

We know (ok they know, Im not thrilled) that we want to go to a pool party, and BARE has been mentioned.

Any tips are VERY appeciated!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Hi Heather,

Lots of ground to cover – let’s see what we can do here…

As far as where to stay, prices have come down quite a bit from the 2007 highs. Still though, holiday weekends are always popular. I’d recommend trying a few places to see where you might get a deal:

  • Encore Las Vegas – fantastic hotel, nice pool and top club (XS). May be too pricey but be sure to check.
  • Aria – brand new hotel with very nice, huge rooms. Prices have been very competitive. Includes new club (Haze) and pool party (Liquid).
  • The Mirage – an older hotel these days but still a classic. Rooms (and bathrooms) are a little small but nice pool and typically quite a bargain.
  • THEHotel @ Mandalay Bay – an all-suite component at MBay, the rooms are spacious and nicely setup. You can use the pool at Mandalay, one of the best on The Strip.
  • Planet Hollywood – often fantastic deals. Rooms are decent but not always fabulous. Pool is a bit of a disappointment but always crowded.

In terms of bars and clubs, they’ll all be crowded but I’d make sure the following were on my list: XS (Encore), Tryst (Wynn Las Vegas), Pure (Caesars Palace). Now, Haze (Aria) and Vanity (Hard Rock) are also supposed to be great but they are brand new so I can’t tell you for myself.

For shows, Cirque du Soleil has a bit of a monopoly on showrooms in town – of all of their shows, I’d pick LOVE (The Mirage) first and then perhaps Ka (MGM Grand) or Mystere (Treasure Island) second. You don’t need to see more than one Cirque show on a trip. If you like magic, Penn and Teller (The Rio) are fun. For a musical, maybe Jersey Boys (Palazzo).

For restaurants, Las Vegas is full of great ones. For a simple cafe type meal, Terrace Pointe @ Wynn is always good, as is Society Cafe at Encore. For steaks, I think SW Steakhouse is tops (Wynn Las Vegas). Over at Aria, I had tapas for lunch at Serrano that were to die for. Nove at The Palms has great Italian…There are soooo many great places. One recommendation – don’t pick a place just because it’s owned by a celebrity chef. It may be a good restaurant but those guys are rarely ever actually cooking.

I hope that helps… If anyone has an iPhone, I’d humbly suggest our Vegas Mate app – you can find it on the App Store.


Steve asked on 01/06/10

Hello. I have a trip coming up in 2 weeks and I wanted your opinion as to where to stay. I received an email rate of $99 per night from Wynn/Encore with a $75 resort credit. I can also stay at Aria for about $135 per night with a $75 credit. Would you stay at Wynn/Encore or Aria and why? Thanks

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Probably Wynn/Encore. Aria is still working out a lot of kinks in their operation. If you’re okay with your vacation being interrupted by glitches in service, go with Aria. Otherwise, I’d do Wynncore and then maybe Aria on your next trip.

I enjoyed Aria quite a bit but they need more time to get everything working properly.

Danny asked on 01/01/10

I’m staying in a Lofts suite at Hotel32 at the end of Jan. I’ve been reading about the dedicated Suite Assistant that will provide concierge/butler services for me. 2 questions: 1) I’m not even sure what to ask the assistant to do for me, ie, iron clothes? do my laundry? make all my trip reservations? get food (or call room service)? what else? 2) how much do I tip the assistant for these various services?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Heh… Well, having that level of service can be a bit uncomfortable at first.

If you do need laundry done, they can certainly see to it.

They’re happy to make arrangements for you – dinner, shows, etc…

Their job is to make sure you have everything you need for your stay – if they can’t help you, they’re supposed to find the person that can.

As far as a tip, the figures range depending on the services performed though some people tip 10-15% of their total bill if they’ve availed themselves of the butler heavily.

Bob asked on 12/31/09

Taking my wife to Caesars for her 50th birthday and booked a “Roman Tower executive suite.” The woman on the reservation line described it as 1,300 square feet, piano, dining table, hot tub. But I haven’t been able to find any pictures or descriptions of such a suite online. I know the Roman Tower standard rooms are a bit dated, but I’m hoping the suite might be an exception. Are you familiar with the suite? Should I look to upgrade when I check in?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The Roman Tower is the original at CP so it’s standard rooms are small. That said, they knew maybe more about opulence in 1966 than they do now – the suites and larger rooms are over the top.

A relatively recent remodel means that the decor has been refreshed… You’ll likely quite enjoy it. One big advantage to the Roman Tower is the proximity to everything – it’s very easy to access compared to the newer Augustus and Palace Towers.

That said, no, I’m not familiar with the specific room type and like you, couldn’t find much in the way of details.

vette asked on 12/27/09

Is the Firefly at the Plaza a cool place to visit for any first-time vegas goers? If not, where is a good place to go eat and catch an (affordable or free) attraction?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I’ve only eaten there once but really enjoyed it. The food was awesome and the view is great. I’d go back there anytime.

Vette asked on 12/27/09

I will be in Vegas in late January and bringing three people from the east coast who have never been to vegas. What are some (affordable) attractions for first time vegas goers that are a must see or do if you have never been to vegas?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

My top list would include the Fountains of Bellagio, The Mirage volcano, CityCenter, Wynn and Encore… Those would be the places I’d be sure not to miss.

medic37 asked on 12/24/09

CO-ED / COUPLES SPA or indoor swimming?

I’ve been to Vegas over 50 times. I have yet to find a SPA that will allow couples to sit together in the tubs. Maybe I am looking in the wrong places?

The weather is too cold to swim this time of the year & none of the Classy Hotels have indoor swimming. The spas are all “separate” except for the massages or treatments that can be done as a couple.

Any suggestions for a place to stay that has a indoor pool or better yet a “mixed” Spa?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Actually, the new ARIA hotel at CityCenter has a couples/co-ed spa area with pools on a special balcony.

Mario asked on 12/19/09


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Not yet, no. I did try several other Aria restaurants and enjoyed them quite a bit. Serrano, Jean-Georges Steakhouse, and Cafe Vettro were all good (but different).

Jim asked on 12/15/09

Going to vegas weekend of 1/15 with another couple. They got a comped room in Augustus Tower at Ceasars. Worth spending the $ to stay in same tower? Which other type of room there would you suggest? If we choose The Mirage, what type of room there would you suggest?


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The Augustus is top of the line at Caesars at the moment. Is it worth it? I think that depends on how much the expense will impact the rest of your vacation budget. If you’re giving up good meals and shows to get an upgraded room, I’d think twice. That said, if you can afford it, I’d consider it. The rooms are very nice. If that doesn’t work out, try for the Palace Tower. Also very nice but a bit of a hike from the casino.

At The Mirage, I’d check into a Tower Deluxe room – higher floor, private elevator and nicer service.

Melissa asked on 11/12/09

Im thinking of going to Vegas in Dec and I wonder if you could give a short list of strip hotels that charged the extra resort fees. thanks.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

It’s getting easier to list the ones that don’t – it’s becoming common. Off the top of my head: The Mirage, TI, Planet Hollywood, Vdara, Monte Carlo, MGM Grand, Trop, Excalibur, Luxor.

Some notables do not: Bellagio, Wynn Las Vegas, Encore.

Scott asked on 11/09/09

Hi, I’m coming to Vegas at the end of November thru begining of December.
I want to see a great Elvis performer but have trouble finding one every time I come out.
The only one I can find is the Legends show.
Any suggestions??
Please help!!
Thank You!!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Make sure you go see Big Elvis at Bill’s, right on The Strip. Big Elvis

taylor asked on 11/09/09

We are thinking about staying about at the embassy suites by the convention center. Is it a long walk to the strip or would we be better off staying at a hotel mid-strip? The walking isn’t a big problem, its what we might run into walking from the strip back to the hotel at night.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

It’s not a terrible distance but the route from that hotel to The Strip isn’t totally direct due to the street layout… Personally, I don’t feel unsafe walking in that area at night but not everyone shares my feelings and some would argue that the area has gotten worse in the past couple of years. A mid-Strip hotel negates all of those concerns.

Jessica asked on 11/08/09

We are getting married on Jan 2 at Mandalay Bay. We have about 25-30 people coming – we are all from San Diego. We have the 750sq ft suite that night. Do you think they will all fit for an in-suite standing hor deouvres party for about an hour before we take off and hit the stip? Or should I have everyone go to a lounge? If so, what is the best lounge for drinks and appetizers for the buck? What are some “do not miss” strip stops we should make with our 25 guests?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

They’d probably fit, though it would be a bit cozy – that can be good for a party though.

As far as lounges go, MIX up on the top floor of THEHotel has an amazing view, not to be missed.

Jay asked on 11/06/09

Hey great site, awesome resource. Was wondering if you could recommend some of the best value restaurants on the strip? Ideally looking for a steakhouse and a seafood place to fill the nights in between the high end restaurants we’ll check out.

Any ideas for the best bang for the buck? Thanks!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I’d say by far the best value steakhouse is the Circus Steakhouse at Circus Circus. Not the best cuts of meat on The Strip but really good prices and food that will make you smile.

The other thing to check out is entree deals – some resorts, like Wynn|Encore, MGM Grand and others are running them with special menus and some lower prices.

Mario asked on 11/03/09

I heard that the city center was opening on december,1 2009. I was wondering if the whole place was gonna open or just a part of it will open. can you please tell me which tower will open on december, 1 2009. THANKS!!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

CityCenter opens over the course of December: Vdara Hotel – 12/1, Crystals retail – 12/3, Mandarin Oriental Hotel – 12/4, Aria Hotel and Casino – 12/16.

Leah Erban asked on 11/03/09

Hi, I am staying at the Luxor Nov 10=13, I’d like to try for upgrade to Spa suite but need to do as little walking as possible due to fractured ankle, I’ve read that they are in corner of pyramid, possibly close to inclinator, but would they be too far away, should I stay with my pyramid deluxe room?? Thanks!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The problem with these suites is that sometimes they are near the elevators and sometimes they are totally opposite, depending on the floor you’re on. You could be walking 10 feet or two entire sides of the pyramid, depending on where they put you. If you have a fractured ankle, that could be excruciating.

They typically won’t guarantee you a floor until you check-in – you might want to stick with what you’ve got unless they will stick you in a room near the elevator.

Dee asked on 10/31/09


We are traveling to Vegas during the NFR this December, and need to stay close to the Sands Expo Center. Which hotel isn’t going to break the bank, but still is clean and comfortable?? Thanks!!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, The Venetian and Palazzo are closest to the Expo Center – they’re actually connected to it. From there, Wynn Las Vegas, The Mirage, Harrah’s and TI would all be nearby. TI and Harrah’s will probably have the lowest prices – perhaps start looking there.

Mike asked on 10/28/09

We stayed at the Flamingo in one of the standard rooms and asked the front desk if we could see a go room. They said they dont do that but you can see pictures on the internet. We had a bad experience at the MGM with the west wing rooms being so small. Is it standard practice to not to show a certain type of room or was it just a person not wanting to do there job?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Giving room tours is totally at their discretion but it’s also very common. Not a very friendly reception! They should have offered the tour, even if it had to be at another time.

Steve R. asked on 10/25/09

Its been 3 years since my last Vegas trip, and I’m considering going the middle of March next year with my brother who’s never been before. How is the weather at that time? It doesn’t seem like its warm enough to enjoy the pools. If not, I’m leaning towards Harrahs where I can get an upgraded room for next to nothing. If not, I’ll stay at Flamingo and try a GO room. The last time I was at Flamingo I was not impressed with the standard rooms.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

It’s still a little cold in March – be sure to bring a jacket. Not really great pool weather, no – some are even closed. I would book around other amenities than the pool.

karen asked on 10/23/09

as a uk size 24/26 will i fit on stratosphere thrill rides

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

They actually have several different rides with different requirements. Your best bet is probably to contact the hotel directly: Stratosphere

You may also want to know the equivalent US size for easier comparison.

Have fun!

MARIO asked on 10/21/09

I Went to the Bellagio buffet in january, and it was great, but then i went in July and i didnt like it at all.I was thinking that maybe that change the chefs the ones who cook the food can you explain

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Some of the staff may have changed, yes. Could also have been an off night. Other good buffets include Wynn Las Vegas, Paris and Planet Hollywood.

Lacey asked on 10/20/09

Which Halloween parties are the best? The Hard Rock F&F Ball seems quite popular, but are any of the others actually a better party? I love the costumes and celebratory atmosphere even though clubs aren’t traditionally my venue of choice. My fiance and I will be there Friday thru Monday. Any recommendations from someone who has been to any of the parties is greatly appreciated!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The F&F at the Hard Rock is probably the most popular these days, yeah. All of these parties have a similar vibe to the nightclubs so if you like that sort of atmosphere, you’ll have a good time.

Mark asked on 10/15/09

Great site, as always. I’ve always tried to avoid the gyms/fitness centers/cardio rooms in Vegas, despite how many buffets I’ve hit. But, now with the “resort” fees at some places, e.g. The Mirage, I’m going to take advantage of them. But, of course, I can’t find much, if any, information on them. Is there any info out there – or more specifically, what can you tell me about The Mirage’s cardio center, which is apparently the only access included with their resort fee. Any info is appreciated. Thanks!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Basically, you get access to the work-out areas of the spa/fitness area – they have a decent number of machines – pretty much the standard gym stuff.

Nice enough but it won’t blow your socks off if you didn’t plan on using it anyway.

Sean asked on 10/13/09


I am getting married next year, and my bachelor party will be in Las Vegas next summer. I am trying to figure out the best place for us to stay. I’m a Wynncore fan, so my preference would be there, but I don’t want that to cloud my judgement. Our budget is $1,000 per night (weekend) for 2 nights. We only needs one bedroom, and people can decide to crash there or get their own room somewhere.

Obviously, solid choices would be Wynn Salon at $800/night, Encore Salon at $950/night, fairway villa $1,000/night. My question about the Villas pertains to whether the walk to the villa could become annoying. They’re quite a hike. I do like the privacy aspect for the bachelor party, however. Would we be better off in a Salon Suite? The Encore Suite has more space, but I like the Tower Suites at Wynn better (I find the difference to be more pronounced at Wynn than Encore). As you can see, I’m conflicted.

I’m sure there are other options for us: Media Suite at Manadalay, Penthouse at Bellagio or Even Mirage. Something at MGM? You know better than I. What would be your pick?


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The walk back to the villas isn’t all that bad – a tad longer than the tower when you factor in elevator time. They are fantastic rooms – unlike anything else in town overlooking the golf course. I think that’s a strong contender and a room that your guests will not forget.

As far as other properties, you might want to consider Vdara or Aria, both opening in December as part of City Center.

Thought I’d probably be @ Wynn.

Cindy asked on 10/11/09

My grandson and I are coming to Las Vegas in a couple weeks and was wondering if there are any discounts for military? He is on leave from the middle east and this is his vacation-want it to be special.Was hoping that some places would give something back to our servicemen!! Thanks

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Some do, yes. Off the top of my head, many of the Cirque shows, such as KA at the MGM Grand do offer a 35% discount on tickets. Some hotels also have these deals but you’d need to ask on check-in as they vary. I also know that some service members use this Web site for more info: Thank your grandson for his service for me please!

Jackie asked on 10/06/09

Planning to go to Ceasers this Saturday. I have reservations at SUSHI ROKU in the forum shops and am planning to go to PURE afterwards. Are they really far away from eachother?? Should I have the cab drop us off at the forum shops directly?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

They’re not far, no. Easy walk, 5-10 minutes depending on your pace and all indoors. The Forum Shops does have a valet and that’d probably be the best place to be dropped, yes.

Bonnie asked on 10/04/09

I booked a suite at the Venetian and after doing so I realized I booked the bella venezia suite instead of the bella venetian suite. As I have searched and searched looking for the difference in the two suites I find myself more confused then ever. I have read the venezia bella suite and the venetian bella suite are identical visually by a reservations lady at the Venetian. But, I have read review after review of the venetian bella tower suites being nicer due to the updated decor while the venezia tower suites not so updates and hip.

Please, do you know the differance?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


The Venetian Tower was renovated in 2007-2008 while the Venezia Tower has not been renovated since opening in 2003 so what you’ve read is correct – the Venetian Tower has newer decor. I don’t know if it’s really nicer or not but it is a few years newer.

Hope that helps.

bobby asked on 10/02/09

Hey Hunter, have you had a chance to check out Hotel 32 at Monte Carlo yet? If so, what do you think?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I haven’t seen the rooms personally yet, no.

In general, I think with so many excellent choices in town, the rates they’ve been asking for Hotel32 (as high as $400-$500 at some times) seem way out of whack.

They may be nice rooms but they don’t exist in a vacuum.

mac asked on 09/29/09

We are coming in for Thanksgiving, are the buffets more expensive that day, and is black Friday really crazy at the outlet malls?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yes, most buffets have special turkey day meals and charge a little bit more – TG is actually somewhat popular in Las Vegas casinos.

As far as Black Friday goes, yes, it’s probably just what you’d imagine. Crowded and popular, perhaps even more so this year with people tightening their budgets.

NeilB asked on 09/24/09

Hey again, I’d be very interested to have your thoughts on these ‘resprt fees’ that seem to be all the rage @ strip hotels. I hear both luxor and monte carlo have brought in $10 per night and mirage is $15 p/n + tax. Personally i think its disgusting and is daylight robbery for the service they are offering!!
I booked 2 rooms at the mirage on 21st July for 28thOCT-2ndNOV and have only just heard about these fees. Ive heard rumours bookings made before SEPT 1st are exempt from the $15 resort fee p/n, Is this true?
I have emailed the hotel about this but 5 days later, still no reply. As a UK resident I refuse to phone the hotel @ my cost to find out they are going to rip me off on my stay. I have stayed at the property 5 times and this trip maybe my last one spent there!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I’m not a fan. I think it’s a pretty lame way of jacking up the rates after the fact.

Everyone is doing it – the new City Center hotels will all have these fees as well.

If the fee was not policy when you made your reservation, you should be okay but you’ll need to check your bill carefully.

Ron W asked on 09/22/09

Can you please tell me of any Vegan restaraunts in Las Vegas? I am aware of Ronald’s Donuts and the Red Velvet Cafe, are there any others?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, this is an area where I have pretty much zero experience.

This site might be helpful:

bill asked on 09/22/09

how much can i expect to pay for airport ride to the sahara hotel

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Depends on time of day and traffic but no more than $20 max and probably more like $12.

Bud-Bud asked on 09/22/09

What is the up-to-date news on the 3 “stalled-yet-we-hope-they-come-to-fruition” projects: Fountainbleu, Echelon, and The Plaza?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The best place to get up to speed on those projects is over on our blog, Two Way Hard Three

FBleau is out of money and looking at liquidation, Echelon is on pause for probably at least another year and The Plaza hasn’t moved a spec of soil so far.

Kathy Turner asked on 09/21/09

I am looking for Bobby Barrett who is a Frank Sinatra impersonator. Does anyone know were he is performing? He use to perform at the Brown Derby!!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yeah, this has come up before. I have not seen any updated info on him for some time.

Brent N asked on 09/16/09

What’s a “normal” percentage tip for Cabana “helpers”? We recently rented a cabana at the Mandalay pool. The lowest-end cabana was $250 and we did enjoy it and got real good service from two servers (water, towels, etc…) at the end there was a line for gratuity on the $250 bill and it sort of stumped me. Is a 20% tip “expected” like at a hotel? I mean service was fine and we got plenty of towels, ice, and bottled water when we needed it….but $250 is a lot to pay for a 10′ × 10′ tent with a fan, a table and a couple of chairs so I’d like to think the service is included in that price. I ended up tipping $25 but now wonder if that makes me a cheapskate!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yeah, a 15%-20% tip, based on service is probably ‘expected’, just like a restaurant. At some places, the cabana staff expect even more, as they are performing multiple roles (i.e. eye-candy + server).

I can understand sticker shock for cabana fees but since the server doesn’t set the prices or reap the benefit from an expensive cabana, I’m not sure it is fair to tie their tip to feeling ripped off by the price.

Tipping can be a highly personal thing and people have widely varying opinions about what should be left.

Karen Gray asked on 09/16/09

Looking for a couples lingerie party in vegas but can only find them durring Halloween and we can’t go at that time. Any clubs that have these type of parties on a regular basis?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The major clubs, such as Pure, Rain, The Bank, JET, etc… all do these from time to time. Your best bet is to check their various Web sites and compare the events to your dates.

sally asked on 09/15/09

we will be staying at mgm next week, in a comped premier suite. i have been to mgm site, and there are not many pictures nor can i find any reviews of the rooms. have they been remolded?what about “corner view” of what? strip.. please let me know what you know. thanks

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I believe those suites were last remodeled about four or five years ago, along with the rest of the Grand Tower. Some of the views are of The Strip, depending on where in the building your room is located. You might want to ask for a Strip view.

The suites at MGM Grand, other than Skylofts, are getting a bit long in the tooth and many are in need of a remodel. That’s not to say it’s a bad room – it’s not. Just compared with some of the newer properties, they need a refresh.

Jackie asked on 09/14/09

I read online that there is some kind of a tram that connects from Bellagio to Monte Carlo and back. Is this true?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yes, though it is currently closed. The tram will re-open in December and include a new stop at City Center’s ‘Crystals’ mall.

Jackie asked on 09/14/09

I am heading to Vegas in October and staying at the Monte Carlo. I dont plan on renting a car and am just wondering how much $$ I will be spending for cab fares. I dont have the whole trip mapped out yet, but I know I will be going to the RIO and CEASERS? Any idea what my cab fees will be from Monte to those destinations? Trying to see if renting a car would really be worth it?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, if you don’t mind walking, getting to Caesars Palace from Monte Carlo is probably only 15-20 minutes on foot and a nice leisurely walk down The Strip. Walking to The Rio is possible but you have to go over a major freeway and most people do take a cab.

Monte Carlo to Caesars might be a $7-$10 ride, depending on traffic. Over to The Rio would probably be closer to $10.