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Jackie asked on 01/23/08

Can you tell me anything about the renovations being done at the riveria?
Will any of the towers be completed in June? Why is this being done with the rummers it will be demolished in the next couple years?
Maybe the riv will be around longer then we think!

Thank you for all your hepl over the last couple years!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

While Riviera Holding Company has had several potential suitors that would have demolished the facility, the company itself hasn’t shown any intention to embark on a large construction project – I think as long as the current management is in place, the hotel will stay pretty much as is.

They are refurbishing rooms and have been for some time. I would expect the bulk to be completed by Spring.

Terry S. asked on 01/23/08

Hi Hunter:

We’re coming back to Vegas for 3 nights in May —staying at the Bellagio (our 1st time at that hotel). Wondering if the Tower Deluxe King room is worth the upgrade from a Standard Deluxe room (about a $200 difference over 3 nights).

Also, we want to see another Cirque show. (Have seen Love and O.) Which of the others do you recommend?

Your advice is, as always, most appreciated. Thanks.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

If you can afford the extra room expense without it breaking the bank, I would do it. If it will materially impact your vacation, forget it.

For Cirque, if you’ve seen LOVE and O (two faves), I would say Mystere or the non-Cirque Le Reve. I would skip Ka and Zumanity.

Brad asked on 01/22/08

Hello. This may seem odd but do you know if the sportsbooks offer preseason baseball? Its the only real sport that interests me and I am going to be down in March and was donering if you knew?


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I don’t know of any that do but if a reader wants to let me know, I will update this.

jeff asked on 01/22/08

We want to stay at the Palazzo in July 2008. Will the rates be cheaper or more expensive if we wait to book until it gets closer to July?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Hard to say for sure but if you see a rate you like, book it – don’t wait. If you book directly with the hotel you can cancel and re-book with 72 hours notice.

margaret detren asked on 01/22/08

Hi Hunter,

Can you tell me if you have to go through the casino at the Palazzo to get to the elevators to the hotel suites? Do they have an ‘invited guest’ check in and if so is it at the front desk? I have a floor plan that shows the casino and restraunts but can not tell if check-in is at the casino level or a floor above. Thanks for your help.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

They do have invited guest check-in, right next to the main front desk, yes.

You do have to walk through the casino to get to the elevators, yes.

Scott Anthony asked on 01/18/08

I have a slot machine payback question.
Most experts explain paybacks being slighlty better at the higher denominations. So $1 slots pay slightly higher payback than $.25 which pay slightly higher than $.05, etc. So with the proliferation of “penny” machines, which you can play as little a s a few cents or as much as $50 in one pull, where do these machines stack up on this frequesntly accepted scale? Am I playing a penny slot or a dollar slot?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Interesting question. The multi-play/multi-hand/multi-line machines that you’re talking about have become more and more popular – generally speaking, the more you wager, the better you can expect the pay tables to be, even inside a single machine.

gilbert asked on 01/17/08

hellow hunter, staying at the flamingo soon, here’s my question’, i want to settle in asap, so i want to know where i’m i exit from the freeway onto flamingo road,where is the entrance to the flamingo parking lot? do i make a left on las vegas blvd and enter from there or do i go strait past l.v blvd towards the back street and enter through there? second question,i’m into bar’s/lounge’s, i love the celebration lounge at the tropicana, anything similar in thr area? thank’s!!!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

You can enter from Flamingo Road or Las Vegas Blvd. Honestly, either will give you basically immediate access.

For lounges, try the Fontana at Bellagio or the new lounge at Palazzo, sitting in the back of the casino.

Xavier asked on 01/17/08

Which Strip Hotel has the lowest table minimums ($5) on a daily basis.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Your best bets are far North: Riviera, Stratosphere, Sahara, Circus Circus. Maybe on the other end at Excalibur but no guarantees. Maybe something at Casino Royale but hardly ever at any normal times. The $5 table is going the way of the dinosaurs.

Selona asked on 01/16/08

Hunter staying in a irage Tower suite per this sites recommendation; hope it lives up to its reputable reputation. My question is we want to stock the fridge, bar etc, but know that room service isn’t the way to go. Do you use a local liquor store that delivers? Or can you recommend one near the strip, where the driver won’t be driving too far from the Mirage? Thanks…

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Often times I have had my own car in town so delivery hasn’t been a problem…

There’s a store in the Harrah’s Carnival Court, basically across the street. That’s one option.

Also, I believe there is still an ABC store in the Fashion Show Mall, on the other side of TI.

Those are a few options, or you could go with something a cab driver suggests – there are grocery stores not far from the Strip that might have even better prices.

Bobby asked on 01/15/08


Thanks for the info. After calling those locations (aside from the palms), it looks like the 2 bedroom Skyloft is the only one that comes the closest, accommodating up to 80 guests. So we’ll just have to consider trimming our guest list if we pursue that route. Also, FYI, the Absolut suite at Caesars can only accommodate up to 40 guests and is 3500 a night. Mirage villas are for invited guests only and none of the suites at the Mirage would be over 40 guests.


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks for sharing.

On the villas, they CAN be rented per night if they aren’t taken but that requires special approval from the casino manager and if a high roller comes in, you can get bumped.

julie asked on 01/14/08

Hi Hunter,
I am returning to LV March 1-5. I was given a card for a casino host who I subsequently contacted for my trip reservation. I do not know if I am being comp’d or if I am getting a casino rate. Should I ask? Also, do you tip your host or bring a gift? I have never dealt with a host before and not sure what to expect. I bring cash with me when I gamble, with a host would I be able to cash a check? Thanks for the great site.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

When you made your reservation they should have told you what they were offering you, for example, ‘two nights in a standard room’ or ‘a nice room at casino rate’. If you’re not sure, it doesn’t hurt to ask. As far as a tip or a gift, I know people that have done one or both – if your home town is known for something special (i.e. wine, etc…), that can be a nice gift. You want to develop a long term relationship with your host so it is good to get on good terms. They have the power to go to bat for you if they want to. As far as check cashing, many hotels will cash a check if you’re staying there (though it may be harder on the weekends if they can’t call the bank to confirm funds) – ask the host or call the casino cage to ask about their policy.

Scott asked on 01/14/08

Hunter, I just read your jan 11th q&a and there is a problem. I have stayed in a go room at the Flamingo and there is infact HD on the flat panel TV. The channels are hard to find but are there. Love the site! Thanks, Scott

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Hi Scott,

Thanks for the update, that’s in contrast to what I was told but it’s good to have first hand reporting.

Deborah K. Damon asked on 01/13/08

Hi, My question is I am going to Las Vegas on Thursday June 5, 2008 and i am staying at the Luxor Hotel for a week, which i heard its going through a brand new remodeling. I have been reading some of the peoples reviews now i am wandering if I should stay at the Pyramid or should i ask for a room at one of their towers. One review I have read said that they have had Bed Bug Bites and I have had them twice already, (Not from the Luxor just to let you know), but i don’t want them again. What is your suggestion.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The Luxor is indeed in the middle of a multi-year transformation. Personally, if I was staying there again, I would want to be in one of the towers, at least until the pyramid rooms are re-done this year. The tower rooms are a bit larger anyway.

Bobby asked on 01/13/08

Hello Hunter,

I’m planning a wedding to have in Vegas and one of options is to get a suite at one of the hotels on the strip, but do you know of any that would accommodate 100 besides the fantasy suites at the Palms?



Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

100? Wow, that’s a lot. Even the Fantasy Suites at the Palms would be a bit of a squeeze with a hundred people. To even consider such a number, you’re talking one of the jumbo spots like a large SkyLoft, Bellagio, Wynn Las Vegas or Mirage villa, or one of the larger suites at Caesars. No matter how you slice it, that would be pricey (but pretty awesome).

She asked on 01/13/08


We are planning a weekend away and want to stay the Wynn Hotel. Are there are months of the year- where the prices are lower because it is slow season or any promotions you are aware of? Also is the Fashion mall close by to the Wynn?


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The Fashion Show Mall is across the street.

If you are looking for deals, I suggest going to their Web site to sign up for their email list – they will send you deals throughout the year.

Sometimes the Summer is less expensive as many travelers avoid the oppressive heat.

Robert asked on 01/12/08

I was wondering if you could tell me where which vegas casinos have the sopranos slots?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, slot inventory changes at the big hotels all the time. I know they have had it at the Las Vegas Hilton recently. According to Harrah’s Slot Finder system, none of their Las Vegas properties currently have it.

margaret detren asked on 01/12/08

Hi Hunter,

I am so glad you will be staying at the Plazzio next weekend so you can tell us about it. You said you would be takng lots of pictures to post, can you also take a picture or two of their new casino? We have three days comped at the Venetian in March but may be able to stay at the Plazzio but would like to see pictures first. We were on the 27 floor of the Venetian last time and it was newly renovated and loved it. Also it was close to elevators and the casino and we did not have to walk to far. I am not sure if we should even consider the Plazzio but your input and pictures will help. Looking forward to your review of this new hotel.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I will absolutely be taking tons of photos of every aspect of the property.

We have some shots online already:
Palazzo at

Hunter R. asked on 01/11/08

H – Hello again. Trying out the metropolitan suite at the Flamingo on recommendation from a friend. Didn’t think I would ever be saying that I would be trying the Flamingo, but I digress. We’ll be there Final Four weekend, any information on whether the hotel has high definition on their flat panels for the game?? I know they have the LCD flat panel tv’s but there is a difference between that and having HD to accompany that. Also, what have you heard about these suites if anything?


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

My understanding is that it’s SDTV on the flat panels in the rooms, sorry. Only the newer hotels have actual HD service to go along with the HD sets – I know Wynn Las Vegas does, not sure about Palazzo – it may. This may change over time. [UPDATE: Another reader indicates they DO now have HD service on the TVs.]

I’ve not seen those suites since they’ve been re-done but a friend stayed in one and said they had come out nice.

Karen asked on 01/11/08

More of a comment than a question

regarding the question about airport check in for the Flamingo, the Harrah’s properties no longer have an airport check in. It closed a few months ago.

and great site, btw!!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yup, now that you mention it, I remember seeing that in the paper. Thanks for the update!

dicegirl44 asked on 01/10/08

Hi Hunter:

LOVE the site, so much useful information I have already gotten for it. I was wondering if you could help out with a specific question though…We are getting married at Mandalay Bay Chapel on July 5, 2008 with a dinner reception to follow. After that, we plan to have drinks at the Fontana Bar. We want to reserve a table and bottle service at a nightclub after that. Any ideas about a fun but upscale place that a diverse-ages crowd would enjoy? I know the clubs cater to the younger crowd and that is OK, but just wanted your opinion on the best place to just hang out, drink a little, dance a little, people watch, etc. Not sweaty group meat market stuff, but a little more sophisticated.

Additionally, how much would we expect to pay for bottle service for about 20 people? July 5 is a Saturday night. And when should we reserve, and who to contact? Thanks!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks! As to your nightclub questions, here’s some thoughts… You’re right that most of the clubs are pretty youth oriented and honestly, on a busy Saturday night are pretty ‘sweaty group meat markety’.

There are a few places that are less like that – Blush (Wynn Las Vegas), Caramel (Bellagio), Revolution (The Mirage) and MIX (THEHotel at Mandalay Bay) – the thing is that these aren’t really nightclubs – they are upscale lounges – so you’re not going to have dancing. You will have a good spot to hang out with a much greater chance of being able to hear each other think. Specifically Blush at Wynn Las Vegas is pretty neat – they call it a ‘boutique’ nightclub. They do offer bottle service at all of those above spots. If you’re set on a traditional dancing type nightclub, Tryst (Wynn Las Vegas), PURE (Caesars Palace), LAX (Luxor) and The Bank (Bellagio) all have well cordoned off VIP areas for bottle customers.

With a group as large as yours, you’ll need several tables – typically they require a bottle/table per 3 to 4 people (sometimes 5) and you’re looking at ~$350-$600 per bottle. If you’re shooting for 20, you may be able to negotiate though – that’s a large party – though they may require a mandatory gratuity for a group that large.

Who do you contact? You can call the hotels in question and ask for their nightclub reservations department. They can help you.

Lastly, we’re working on bringing personalized travel agency services including stuff like booking nightclubs to the site – we should have the ability to get you hooked up with all this sort of thing directly through us soon.

Jen asked on 01/10/08

Where could I see pictures of the rooms at the Palazzo?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Not a ton on the ’Net yet. I will be staying there next weekend and will be sure to take a ton of photos and post them here.

Dan asked on 01/09/08

Hola Amigo,
My wife and another mid 20’s couple are planning a trip to Vegas(duh!) from Mexico.
Since where being cheap and splittin a room we wanted to know your recomendations on a couple of the best 2 bedrooms with a whirlpool maybe ???

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I assume you mean a room with 2 beds, not bedrooms? If you do really mean a 2 bedroom suite, that’s not a cheap room – often much more expensive than getting two single rooms.

One other problem is that they often don’t put whirlpools in double rooms – they assume you want the jets for being ‘romantic’ and they assume that’s less likely in a two couple configuration.

I realize I’m not really helping you out but maybe I’m setting more realistic expectations.

Still, check the following for potential deals: Planet Hollywood, the Signature at MGM Grand, THEHotel, Monte Carlo, Bally’s, Flamingo, The Mirage.

Jennifer asked on 01/08/08

Great site! I am hoping you can help. I am going to Vegas next month with 3 girlfriends for a weekend. I have several questions for you.
1) We have reservations at the Flamingo for the Go rooms (got a rate of $120 a night) Is it worth the extra $25 for these rooms over their regular rooms? Do I stand any chance of getting a strip view room if I ask really nice?

2) we arrive about 10 pm on a Friday night – would it be faster to check in at the airport?

3) we are thinking of getting a limo from Presidential limos for a transfer to and from the hotel. Have you heard anything about them – good or bad?

4) we have Mystere tickets for the late show on a Sunday. Can you recommend a good place for dinner close to or in TI that wont break the bank?

Thanks for any advice you can give!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Howdy there. Sounds fun, can I come? Seriously though…

Here are my thoughts:

1. The ‘Go’ rooms are worth the extra money. There’s not that many of them, most of them have superior views and everything in there is brand new. You certainly have a chance of getting a Strip view, absolutely. Bat those eyelashes and you’re in.

2. 10pm on Friday? That’s a solid maybe. It might be faster but I honestly avoid airport check-in. I like to deal with a clerk that works on property instead of airport Siberia. They typically are better employees – no one wants to work at the airport.

3. I’m not familiar with Presidential – I typically book through the hotel or Las Vegas Limo but I will say this – 10pm on a Friday the cab line could easily be an hour at the airport – that’s no way to start your vacation. Get a limo – it’s the only way to get things going! Also, when you’re super bummed that the trip is over, a limo ride back to the airport softens the blow. This is a solid move.

4. My two suggestions are both at TI: Isla (Mexican) has a great tequila bar and a lot of interesting dishes or Social House (sushi) has established itself as a hotspot in its own right.


sean asked on 01/07/08

I am planning a trip to las vegas for my roommates 21st brithday, I wanted to know what you think is the best place for us to go to have the best time possible? thanks alot

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Sorry, I need a bit more specific of a question… My answer based on the above is ‘Las Vegas’.

Ray asked on 01/07/08

Hey Hunter,

We make our annual trek to Vegas the latter part of July to the first part of August when rates are a bit lower. This year looks like we may come the end of Sept, first part of Oct. Will the rates still be low? Thanks for your help!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

It’s hard to say for sure – they swing and re-adjust all the time based on demand. Late October through February has a couple of big conventions and major holidays that jack up rates on a lot of the weekends and even week days.

Check the rates for your fave places now and consider booking if you like the prices – locking in a good rate is your first win!

RID891 asked on 01/07/08


I took your advise and I am booked into the B Penthouse Lakeview for 25th Wedding Annvy in Sept.Now which resturaunts would you suggest for our big dinner.Not big wine drinkers but do love steaks, seafood, and Italian… and she loves a nice view…Thanks for all of the imput so far.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

My favorite steakhouse in town is Delmonico at The Venetian – great steaks and side dishes. If you want to stay at Bellagio, Prime is also a good choice for steak.

For Italian, I always enjoy Circo (Bellagio) and Bartolotta (Wynn Las Vegas). The latter is also good for seafood.

Generally speaking, pretty much all of the restaurants at Bellagio or Wynn Las Vegas are good and there are some other gems sprinkled elsewhere as well.

carcip asked on 01/05/08

Happy New Year, Hunter!

Do any of the monorail stations have entrances on the street level? I enjoyed using the monorail last time out, but hated having to schlepp through smoky casinos.

Love the site, I check it every day. Thanks.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks for the kind words!

Virtually all of the monorail stations are in out of the way spots – one of the frequent criticisms of the line. Since it runs along Paradise Road, which is parallel to the Strip, there isn’t much choice in most cases.

The Las Vegas Hilton stop is actually in front of the casino but I assume you meant Strip locations.

Some are of course, closer to the Strip than others. The walk to the stations at MGM Grand and Ballys is eternal – some of the worst. The Flamingo/Harrah’s station isn’t quite as bad and most of it is in the casino.

Generally, if you like the convenience and price of the monorail, you’re stuck with the walk.

Bronco asked on 01/03/08

This is going to be a VERY different trip to Vegas, as we are taking Mom for her 80th birthday. She loves Vegas, but her mobility is down significantly from years past. Rather than put her in front of the slots all day, do you have any suggestions outside of her gambling that may appeal to someone in that age group? I’ve seen lots of elderly people there, but never know what they do, or where they go? Now it’s my turn to entertain. Any help?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well see, there’s this secret club of octogenarians that has a clubhouse under the lake at Bellagio… Knock three times on the third rock from the big tree and ask for Marv…

Seriously, I think they partake in the sorta standard fare that most visitors do, with that varying based on mobility. Gambling, shopping, eating, spa/pool, etc… I don’t really know of any special activities.

Reduced mobility is obviously a disadvantage in Las Vegas and especially on the Strip where walking distances are long. If you can make it down to Fremont Street, she might enjoy seeing some of those casinos and walking distances there are minimized.

Mark asked on 01/03/08

I am planning a trip to Las Vegas in early March. I am planning to get a suite at either Palms Place, Bellagio or The Hotel. What place should I stay at and why? I have heard some complaints about Bellagio but I have always wanted to stay there and it is in the middle of the strip. Thanks, Mark

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I like Bellagio a lot – the last time we stayed there it was great. Of course, it is expensive so the bar is set pretty high but from the places you mention, that’s the place I would pick.

It has the best location, great restaurants, a great staff and nice rooms, though the standard rooms at THEHotel are superior in that department.

Harald asked on 01/03/08

Hi there,
I’ve booked a penthouse suite with lake view in the Bellagio and I wonder if this suites are in the Spa Tower and in the Main Building?
If so, what’s the difference between both and which one would you recommend.
Thanks for your help.


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

They have those suites in both buildings actually. Typically Spa Tower suites will be designated as ‘partial lakeview’ since they are somewhat obstructed.

They have worked to make both towers similar, though the Spa Tower has a few room types that don’t exist in the main tower. It’s easier to get to the pool and spa from the Spa Tower but the main tower is closer to the casino. They’re both nice.

Spa Tower may have some more noise for the next year or so due to City Center construction next door.

Michael K asked on 01/02/08


I just printed a pair of E-tickets to see KA at the MGM. The Tickets read “L.E.T. included – NO CAMERAS

What does this mean?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

LET is the entertainment tax that is required on tickets – don’t worry about that. No cameras is a pretty standard rule as well – no photos allowed in the theater.

Glenn asked on 01/01/08

Yes I am coming to Las Vegas the last weekend in March. I see the Palazzo will finally be open. The websites for the Palazzo and the Venetian are down. So I can’t find any information out. What shops and eating place are in the Palazzo Hotel and Casino?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

You need to do a little looking around the site here before posting a question like this.

Evan Armstrong asked on 12/31/07

Hello, I am heading to vegas from April 19-23. I will driving over to the Grand Canyon for 2 of those days and spending 2 days in vegas. I was wondering what the weather is like out there then, and if you knew of any new shows that were coming on line that would be good to see.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Mild weather. Bring long pants and jackets for cooler evenings but it should be pretty mild.

As far as shows go, the newest in that time frame will be stuff like Bette Midler at Caesars Palace and Jersey Boys at Palazzo. No new Cirque shows between then and now.

j ferrell asked on 12/30/07

i am arriving jan 14 for four nights first 2 at Ballys last 2 at venitian. can you suggest what room to request at ballys for the 20$ trick? at the venitian i have booked the rialto suite, at 1100 sq. feet. what is your comparison between this room and the suites in the newer wing, veniza . thanks, jfe

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

For the $20 trick you really want to shoot for whatever you can get. There are some junior suites in the southern tower that sometimes come up this way.

As far as Venetian vs. Venezia, the Venezia tower’s rooms are a bit nicer but the former just went through a renovation to keep on par with the rooms at the sister resort, Palazzo, which is opening any day.

Drew Nelson asked on 12/22/07

Hi, I am looking at a vegas visit during the final four weekend. Arriving on Sunday and leaving on Thursday. I was wondering what is vegas like that weekend of the final games?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Quite crowded. The NCAA tournament is a big event in Las Vegas – it’s like a mini-Superbowl type situation. You’ll find the entire town busier and the sports books mobbed.

Jessica asked on 12/19/07

We have been both to the Hofbrauhas in Munich and Las Vegas and I have to say the Las Vegas one is a mini HB but “Vegas Style” so if you love Munich you will like Las Vegas. Also, I was looking for Bellagio playing cards (not in the Bellagio gift shop) and I found them and the black Hard Rock playing cards in the back of Ballys at a gift store trying to find ichiban but we passed on the food and picked up the cards. Hope this helps and thanks for answering my previous questions!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


JP asked on 12/18/07

Hey Hunter:

Great site! We booked our most recent reservations through it, very easy!

Just wondering what is going on with the Fontana Bar at Bellagio. Last time I was there they said it would reopen sometime this December, but I still don’t see it listed as open on their website. Any inside info? We are going to be in Vegas in February and would love to have a drink there again. Thanks!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks very much.

Fontana is scheduled to re-open literally any day now. It should certainly be open by the time you are there but I’ll double check on it myself when I visit after Christmas.

Jackie asked on 12/18/07

I think this site is great I read it everyday!

I will be going to vegas 6/6-6/14/08
other than the palazzo anything else new from last June? shows,attractions or new casions. Do you know when slots of fun is going to be closed will it still be open in June?

P.S the $20 trick has never worked at the Riv.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks very much!

From last June, hmmm, let’s see… You’re right in that you’ll have Palazzo and that’ll be the big one. That’s really it until 2009 when we see Encore and City Center open.

Slots-A-Fun should still be open, yeah. That area is starting to ramp up for redevelopment but it is still a ways off.

Joey from Boston asked on 12/16/07

Hunter, I see they are accepting reservations for Palazzo. I also see that they expect the retail shoppes to be open mid January.

Not to pin you down on anything but what is your best guess on how functional and open for business the rest of the joint will be by February 1st?

How is Sheldon Adelson’s track record with providing a fully operational hotel once he has an official opening?


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, we don’t have a ton of data to go on… The Venetian in Las Vegas was a disaster with VIPs being shuttled to other properties since the fire system wasn’t certified on time.

From what I have heard, the Venetian Macau went more smoothly but it was not entirely open.

Palazzo is scheduled to open 12/28 so I don’t think you have to worry about your room being ready in January but you may not have all the stores and restaurants open by then – you never know.

Paul asked on 12/10/07

Hey Hunter,

I’m flying in to Vegas on January 1st. I know Vegas is a madhouse on New Year’s Eve, but can you tell me what it’s like on New Year’s Day? How fast do they open up the strip and get everything cleaned up? Should I expect check-in delays? Is there still a residual crowd from New Year’s Eve that night in terms of nightclubs, buffet lines, etc.? Thanks!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Actually, it’s pretty amazing.

New Years Eve, 2000. We’re in front of Bellagio at about 2am. The place is THRASHED. The flower beds are totally wrecked – trampled by the people. It looks like ass. Well, 10am the next morning, the flowers had all been replaced like nothing had happened. In addition to Bellagio, the whole Strip had been pressure washed and looked good as new – they know how to deal with this kind of stuff and they do it well.

Check in delays on 1/1? Probably not – the masses are all leaving. It’s like a Sunday times about 1,000 – some people do stay but the vast majority are on their way out of town.

Gary C asked on 12/10/07

Not really a question: I did a search and saw that you’ve never been to the Hofbrauhaus! It’s right across the street from the Hard Rock and is an awesome time.

Their homebrewed beers are pretty cheap and all served in huge liter steins.
Great food (if you’re into wurst, kraut, burgers, etc…) but the atmosphere is what makes the place worth your time!

As soon as you walk in it’s a scene straight out of the movie ‘BeerFest’, with live music, people up on the tables dancing/drinking/singing, and costumed waitresses toting around huge amounts of ale. We went on a Friday night, and my friend won a competition (he had to hold out his beer stein for something like 15 minutes), winning himself a free souvenir.

Anyways, great atmosphere for a young crowd, definitely worth checking out.

Also, do you know if its possible to purchase the cool black playing cards the Hard Rock uses at its table games at night? I checked the souvenir shop and they said they didnt have them.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, I’ve been to the one on Munich, Germany – does that help to redeem me at all? :-) I’ve only heard good things about the Las Vegas outpost but I appreciate the additional vote of confidence.

As far as the cards at the Hard Rock, I would suggest checking back in with the gift shop from time to time. That’s the kind of thing, along with cool cast-off dice from the craps pit that comes in at random times and often sells out quickly.

Johnno asked on 12/08/07

We are venturing to Vegas from Australia for our honeymoon in April 2008.

I’ve been to Vegas before with my best mate and we stayed at Barbary Coast which I thought was outstanding Value.

My better half has never been to Vegas and I’d like her to experience the whole cheesarama. Our budget for accomm is around $200 per night and we’d like to stay in a hotel that’s
1) on or close to the strip
2) has a sweet pool area
3) has rooms with a view of the strip
4) Decor thats different/retro/kitch/freaky.

After many weeks trolling the ‘Net I’m thinking that a Deluxe Go Room at the Flamingo should meet the above criteria, but seeking advise from those in the know if I have overlooked anywhere else.

Cheers with Beers
Johnno from DownUnder

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Cheers with beers indeed my friend.

First off, congrats. Second, based on your budget I think you’ve actually picked a winner. Beyond a Flamingo Go, I’d maybe tell you to look at Monte Carlo but with the City Center construction next door, it’s pretty disrupted out by the pool.

MGM Grand sometimes has good deals and could also work but you’re on a good track.

If you have targeted a good rate at Flamingo, I’d book it. Lock it in.

Lindsey asked on 12/07/07

Hi, Hunter.

My question is does any of the cirque shows ever go on sale or 1/2 price? I saw on a comment that KA at one point had a 1/2 off coupon on a coke can or something. Also, does tickets2nite really have Spamalot Monty Python tickets for 1/2 price? Last question, have you heard any good things about the piano bar at NYNY? Thanks for all your help!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Cirque shows are rarely discounted since they are often sold out months in advance. KA has had a little trouble selling tickets from time to time and they have had some discounts for that show. Still, not easy to find those deals. Spamalot has been discounted heavily but the deals aren’t the same all the time. Things can change at any time. The Bar at Times Square at NYNY can be a lot of fun, sure. Dueling pianos, the works.

Gary C asked on 12/06/07

Great info, thank you.

I have another question – as there is a group of 4 of us heading to Vegas (2 couples) would it be cost effective to book a 2 bedroom suite for 5 days (if such a thing exists), instead of getting 2 separate rooms? We’re currently seeing rates for about 165/night thurs-monday (at the NYNY), which fits our budget.

I wouldnt be surprised if the economy of scale didn’t quite apply to suites at any of the hotels on the strip, but figured it was worth looking into.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

2 bedroom suites are almost always 1 bedroom suites with an adjoining room for the second bedroom and yes, almost all hotels have them. Would it be less expensive? Almost certainly not – typical 2 bedroom suites at mid-level Strip hotels would be $500-$600/night and a high end place would be $1k+/night. Still, you get a lot more space to hang out in.

Never hurts to ask – who knows, you might find a great deal.

ronnie asked on 12/06/07

We are leaving for Vegas on the 24th of December and spending Xmas and New Year there.
We are from the Netherlands and thinking about renting a car.
My questions are:
We have reservations for Circus Circus and El Cortez, which one should we choose? We will visit all main stream attractions on the strip, with our Vegas Visit Pass and we will gamble a little bit, but not main reason.
We also want to spend a nice new years eve. What is the best location?
Will it be easy to park the care near/in the hotels, or do you so: don’t take the car?

Any other must do’s? I love the site! Txs!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Between Circus and El Cortez, I would choose Circus Circus. Now, both hotels are pretty old but the El Cortez is almost laughably ghetto. Circus is no palace but it is on the Strip, the rooms are clean and the staff is professional.

New Years in Las Vegas is very, very busy. The Strip will be closed to traffic so don’t plan to drive that night at all. At other times parking at the hotels is no problem at all. There will be fireworks from the hotels and I typically like to watch from mid-Strip, near The Mirage or Caesars Palace. Most people just stand on the street. There are a couple of semi-private locations but I’m not gonna spill the beans here. Most people could figure this out by thinking about it for a minute.

Brad asked on 12/05/07

Hey Hunter. You have provided me with great advice in that past and it is appreciated.

The girlfriend and I are looking for a decent Asain restaurant for dinner and were wondering if you can reccomend any? I have looked at so many and need some help!


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks… There are a lot of choices for Asian food, sure. My favorite Japanese place in town is Okada at Wynn Las Vegas – it is truly excellent and the indoor/outdoor room is gorgeous. For Chinese food, there are quite a few good spots… Jasmine (Bellagio) and Wing Lei (Wynn Las Vegas) are great but also pretty formal. If you want something more relaxed, Japonais at The Mirage was a nice time.

Mark in KC asked on 12/05/07

What a website.

Myself and a few buddies frerquent Vegas a few times a year. We usually stay in a suite when we go. We have stayed at the MGM a few times in the Marquee Suite and the Luxor in the Tower Premeir Suite. This year we have booked the Media Suite at Mandalay Bay for March Madness. We spend most of our time in the sportsbooks and poker rooms. First of all how does the media suite rate compared to the others.Secondly how does the poker room stack up against the MGM. We really enjoy the sportsbook at the MGM, but the poker room was just okay. I have heard that the Wynn is the place to stay, but the fairway villas were a bit out of our price range. Thanks for your advice

Mark in KC

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Between the suites you mentioned, I would consider the MB Media Suite tops. It was just recently re-done so the furnishings are all current, which is nice. The poker room at Mandalay Bay isn’t bad. It’s a bigger room than at MGM Grand, less cramped. If you ever have the chance, get a Fairway at WLV – killer.

Jessica asked on 12/05/07

Hi Hunter! When you have a moment, would you be able to answer my second question: Should I even approach the casino host or just ask the slot desk whether they can comp anything on my hotel bill before I check out when I only play slots?
Thanks so much and a great website!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Never hurts to talk to the host. It’s their job to be nice to players and keep you coming back.

Gary C asked on 12/04/07

Wonderful site, very handy.
My fiance, myself, and another couple are hitting Vegas next July for 5 nights, WED through Monday.

We’d like to hit at least one interesting bar/lounge with either live music or a good view. I’m assuming doing so on a wed or thurs night would make it easier on the wallet (and negate us having to wait in line). Is this the case? Do you have any good suggestions? I’ve heard good things about MIX.


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

You’re right that mid-week is typically much quieter and easier to get into spots. Now, there are some places that are only open Thursday-Sunday so keep that in mind…

For a good view, you honestly can’t beat MIX. I don’t care much for the restaurant but the bar is a great spot (they are separate areas).

Beyond that, a couple of other places to consider:

The Times Square Bar at New York New York – often has ‘Dueling Pianos’ which can be fun.

Harrah’s Party Pit – sorta like Cancun on Spring Break, if you’re into that sorta thing.

LIve entertainment is becoming more scarce for casual nightlife as the clubs dominate the scene and are attracting the business.

Bellagio’s Fontana Bar was a go-to for live music but it is closed until the New Year… It should be back open by the time you get there.

Vishal Singhvi asked on 12/03/07

Planning my first trip to Vegas with my wife and 18-month old. We live in central NY and the purpose of the trip is to get away from snow and cold for 3-4 days in 1/15/08 to 3/15/08 period.

1. I’d like to know which hotels would be best considering that I am with a kid, and that we don’t plan to do any gambling (we may do in very small amount though).

2. I’d like to get a reasonable yet recently renovated suite. Any recommendations?

3. Do any of the hotels have Indian (South Asian) food on menu?

4. In the above time period, is there a time when the hotels/airlines are cheapest?

Thanks in advance for your help

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


Honestly, despite the implication at one point in the mid-nineties that Vegas was good for kids, that’s not always true. If you’ve made up your mind and are traveling with your child, it is good to think about how that impacts your trip… Still, at 18-months, we’re not looking for places with kid friendly pools or video arcades so I guess we’ll focus more on the fact that you don’t care about gambling and that some things like long distances might be a bigger problem than if you were solo.

If you’re looking for a reasonably priced suite that isn’t straight outta 1984, I’d suggest looking at the following places:

Mirage – often good deals, nice suites. Approaching a re-model but I enjoy this place a lot and recommend it often.

Planet Hollywood – also deals to be found. Hotel is not very old but all the changes there have kept prices down as they find their way.

THEHotel at Mandalay Bay – really nice room product that sometimes is totally reasonable. This is an all-suite tower (though they have a couple of single rooms just to be confusing).

The Signature at MGM Grand – good if you want to get away from the hubub. These are mini-apartments with full kitchens on the MGM property, which can be nice if you ever feel like cooking in. The Signature is set far back from the Strip but you can walk through the casino.

That’s where I would start. If you don’t find what you’re looking for I would expand my search to include MGM Grand, Paris and Bally’s. Bellagio and Wynn Las Vegas are great picks but usually pricey.

Indian Food – Surprisingly, given the culinary explosion in Las Vegas, not a very good selection on the Strip. The only one I even know about is in a mall on the Strip – it’s called Tamba and I’ve never eaten there so I don’t know if it is any good. There are some local restaurants in town if you will have a rental car.

As far as the least expensive time in your range – I can’t really speak to airline prices but for Vegas hotels, you have a couple of dates in there that are really expensive, specifically Superbowl weekend, Chinese New Year (early Feb) and Valentine’s Day. Typically the weekends before and after these big weekends are slow and weekdays always offer the best value.