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Jessica asked on 12/02/07

Hi Hunter,
Do you know which buffets on the strip have oysters? 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 :)

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Most of the time, not many. Part of the problem is that many buffets often change some of the ‘non-core’ items from night to night.

I’ve seen them at Bellagio, The Mirage, and Wynn Las Vegas. You might also try the Rio Seafood Buffet, though off the Strip.

Brian B asked on 11/28/07

Im torn!!! I have a 2 bedroom penthouse suite reserved at Mirage for mid dec., but I am looking at the “media suite” at Mandalay and it looks outrageous. which would you suggest? I know mandalay is reclusive from the strip, but we will be hanging at the foundation room one night and have tables reserved for the next three at tryst, Pure and Jet….so location wise I know mirage is the spot but I love the look of the rooms. there are 3 guys that will be on the vaca so the 2 br is better than the one, but I need your help. Thanks in advance LOVE the site!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Both are nice but the Mandalay suite is all recently re-done where The Mirage suite is in need of one, scheduled for next year. That might sway your decision – the Mandalay suites came out very nice.

Personally, the location at MB really puts me off but it sounds like it’s not a big deal to you so if the chips are stacking in its favor, I think it’s a good spot. They’ve been putting a lot into it recently.

Andrew asked on 11/28/07

Do you know where Bobby Barrett has gone? We saw him at MGM and TI and heard he was at Casi Di’Amore but I cant find him anywhere. Thanks

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I’ve had this one before and I tried to track him down without any luck. If someone knows, please contact me.

Luis asked on 11/28/07

I noticed on the new November Stripwalk pictures, there is something being built on MGM Grand property, can you tell me what this is?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Hi Luis,

StripWalk questions should be asked over in the blog entry.


Leonardo Souza asked on 11/27/07

Hi Hunter.

Let me first congratulate you for this amazing website. I travel to Las Vegas very often, and your website helps me a lot.

Two weeks ago I was at Wynn Las Vegas, and while I was at the pool I noticed how Pallazo is blocking the sunlight after 4pm. I know it is winter time, but I think it still be a problem durung the summer. I am a big pool fan, and seeing how Vegas is growing up fast worries me. I have the impresson that Vegas is a city without any plan, and in a near future most of the pools will lost their privacy and the sunshine by 3pm. I believe Bellagio pools will be having the same problem after City Center is done.

Let me know your opinion, and mainly if there is any sort of plan to avoid huge buildings being raised so close to each other. I live in NYC and Vegas is becoming very similar to Manhattan with huge buildings close to each other.

Thank you in advance for your help. And keep on the great job on

Leonardo Souza

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Very good question – gold star for you today!

This is something I’ve thought about quite a bit, also in terms of new hotel towers and marquees blocking street views (ahem -Caesars Palace – ahem).

Basically, as long as the FAA is cool with it, you can build however tall and wherever you want. You’re right that the pools at places like Wynn Las Vegas and Bellagio have lost a lot of sun from other nearby resorts. In the height of Summer, that might be a blessing but it’s certainly not something they can control.

The new pool at Encore, the Wynn Las Vegas sister hotel under construction, will have its pool further out so that should be able to be kept obstruction free.

The lack of a cohesive plan, not just for Strip development but also for transportation, is an area where Clark Country is often derided.

Michael asked on 11/27/07

Hey Hunter,
Looking over the Mandalay Bay website, it looks like they’re really upped the ante on their rooms. I’m looking at the “Vista Suite” and the “Media Suite,” both of which were never offered on the website before, and both of which look pretty fantastic. Have you heard from anyone staying in any of the new rooms? Thanks as always!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

A friend stayed in a Vista Suite and said he loved it. MGM Mirage is pouring money into MB after a period of relative neglect. The whole place is being upgraded so as long as the location doesn’t bug you, it’s becoming a viable ‘nice’ place to stay, though it won’t unseat WLV or Bellagio for top pick anytime soon.

new girl asked on 11/27/07

Hi! I’m planning a Vegas trip with my friends and we’re trying to find places to dance/party a little earlier in the evening. What time do things get crazy at Coyote Ugly on a Thursday night?


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, of course it depends but generally speaking, no LV club/bars/lounges really see much action until 11pm.

If you’re looking for something earlier, you might also think about MIX (THEHotel) or maybe Revolution (The Mirage).

Mike asked on 11/26/07

Can you tell me the average prices of the beer at the new pour 24 bar in the nyny casino? And have you been to the new diablo cantina at the monte carlo? what are the prices and dress codes for both places? Also do you think it will be swimming weather march 19-24? thank you

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Pour24 is open 24 hours and during the day, there’s almost never a cover and the beer prices are what you’d expect from a typical premium bar, between $4 and $7 depending on what you order. At night, they often have a cover and costs go up. Dress – during the day pretty much anything, at night you don’t want to wear shorts or your Mickey Mouse shirt.

Diablo’s Cantina – I haven’t been myself, no. I’ve heard some pretty mixed reviews from folks that have. I don’t think this place is a slam dunk yet. Prices are $15-$25 per entree, typically. Dress code is relaxed.

March might be a little cold for swimming but it depends on how sensitive you are. Probably borderline.

PAUL STRIGLER asked on 11/26/07



Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I believe the last article was in the RJ:

Seth asked on 11/21/07


I’ve been looking online at vacation packages with flight and hotel. Do you have any sugguestions of the cheapest place to find flight and hotel packages for Vegas. We are flying about of Houston.

Thanks for you help.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

As with most travel, prices change often so be sure to keep checking.

Also, don’t assume the package is always the cheapest way to go – sometimes booking flights and hotels separately can give better deals.

One thing is for sure, booking the hotel separately and direct gives you more flexibility, such as better cancellation terms that can help you take advantage of better rates if they come down the pike.

Last thing – if you find a good rate, don’t wait – BOOK IT. Waiting means a good chance you’ll lose it.

Shay asked on 11/19/07

Great site!!!
I know this is a tough question as you have mentioned on your site. The WLV vs. Bellagio questions. I have not stayed at either one but have stayed in suites at Mirage, V, M.Bay. Which one should I choose since it would be my first time to either property? How is the exec. suite at WLV? Or Bellagio suite if I was to pick Bellagio?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

If you’ve never been to either, I’d probably give Wynn Las Vegas the edge. They’re really on a roll these days.

Ross Hagen asked on 11/18/07


Can you tell me if the Tower or Penthouse suites at the Mirage have been renovated recently (i.e., TV’s, bedding, etc.)? If not, do you know if renovations are on the horizon?

I really enjoy the property, including much of the remodeling in the casino & restaurants, but didn’t know if the renovations included the rooms, too.

Thanks in advance for your info!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The renovations are scheduled for next year, though I have heard that some suites have been re-done – those may be ‘test patterns’ in prep for the full project.

JRMann asked on 11/17/07

Great site!!!
My question relates to cell phone usage…How is the reception in the various resorts? We are going to Vegas end of Jan. and plan to get cheapo “pay as you go” cell phones so we can keep in contact with each other in the cavernous casinos and the other people meeting us there. I appreciate your comments as you seem to be there frequently.
Thank you in advance…

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Almost all of the resorts have installed ‘repeaters’ inside so that phones work just as they would outside. The Las Vegas Strip is a dense, dense coverage area for all carriers. You shouldn’t have much trouble at all.

marie asked on 11/16/07

Hi there,This is my first visit to your site,and I am really enjoying it.My daughter and I will be visiting LV Nov 28th-Dec 4th,and are wondering about the weather,and what clothes to pack.We are from the UK,and the weather here at this time of year is cold day and night.I`ve heard the nights will be cold,but we`re not too sure about the days.Thanks in advance,and keep up the good work.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Las Vegas is in the desert and a popular misconception is that it is hot all the time. Not so.

It’s cold in the winter and you’ll need long pants and jackets for the evenings and maybe even during the day.

It won’t be exceptionally cold, probably in the 60s to 70s during the day and 50s at night (all temps in F). Having lived in the UK, I can say Las Vegas is warmer practically all the time – still, you don’t want to be uncomfortable.

So yeah, make sure you pack flexible – a jacket to throw on if it gets a little chilly.

rid891 asked on 11/15/07

Is it true what I am hearing about “no more comped drinks when you are playing video poker at the Wynn”?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

This rumor was floating around but it is generally untrue. It only applies to folks that go to the table top machines at the bar, put in $20 and expect to get free drinks for hours.

VP players in the casino will get drinks just like slot players.

zanif asked on 11/14/07

Hey Hunter!

I’ve been reading each question for the first 10 pages, but couldn’t find anything close to what i’m gonna ask:
which company provides the best Grand Canyon tour?

I was hoping to do a half day tour, heli plus going to the new skywalk. Price is not a problem.

Pls help. Merci.


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

It’s been awhile since I’ve done this but my favorite company doing these (and Strip tours) is Maverick Helicopters.

Maverick Tours

Nice modern helicopters and a great staff.

Gerry asked on 11/12/07

Can anybody tell me which on the restaurants at Bellagio have a view of the fountains, and which one would you personally recommend??

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Sure… Olives, Le Cirque, Picasso, Prime, Jasmine, and Circo all have fountain views.

They’re all good – and different. My faves are Prime, Jasmine and Circo.

Cynthia asked on 11/12/07

Hi Hunter,

My sister and I are planning a trip to Vegas, probably the 3rd week in March, and are considering The Mirage. Originally, she was set on the Luxor but we’ve been reading some less-than-enthusiastic reviews about the Luxor so decided to try The Mirage. Have we made a good choice?
Also, she is allergic to cigarette smoke. Are there certain floors/room designated as non-smoking in The Mirage?
We were sort of hoping for a non-smoking floor because sometimes you can still smell the smoke if someone in the next room is smoking. Thanks! Love your site!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I’m a big fan of The Mirage and just stayed there recently. Hands down a million times better than Luxor. You should be happy there, yes.

Non-smoking rooms are done by floor, yes. 3/4 of the floors are non-smoking floors so you should have no problem getting one.

Jill asked on 11/10/07

Hi again Hunter! Thanks for all your insight in the past. I need your expertise again!

We’re looking for a cozy, comfy, semi-romantic place to have some cocktails and listen to some music. Nothing too dressy or overboard. Just looking for a cozy, casual and relaxed place to spend an evening enjoying each other’s company. Would the Peppermill Fireside Lounge fit these criteria or would you have more appropriate suggestions?

Thank you!

P.S. Congrats on the Trippies nod. I put in my vote!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks for the vote!

The Peppermill’s Fireside Lounge could work for this, though they don’t typically have live music. It’s pretty relaxed and quite a retro throwback at the same time if you’re into that sort of thing.

Other than that, I typically would send people to Fontana at Bellagio but that’s closed for at least the next four or five weeks.

Wynn Las Vegas has ‘Parasol Up’, which can fit the bill but I don’t know if I would go there just for that.

rick asked on 11/10/07

what are the locals choice for gambling in las vegas
where do the locals choose to gamble?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Most neighborhoods have ‘locals’ casinos, places like Green Valley Ranch, Sunset Station, Red Rock, The Cannery, and more.

rid891 asked on 11/10/07

My question is …Which casino has the better comps….Wynn or Bellagio?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Eh, hard to say. Wynn Las Vegas is probably being a bit more aggressive than Bellagio these days. Both target premium players.

Tom asked on 11/09/07

Great site. I’ve scoured this site and the web, for that matter. But, I can’t seem to get a good answer/insight for the life of me to this question: Going to be in Vegas for a Monday through Thursday and looking for $5 blackjack on the strip (preferably 3:2, but otherwise decks, etc., don’t matter.) Does it exist? Is there a difference between weekday/weeknight? Any thoughts/preferences/choices? Thanks.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Honestly, this game, which used to be the stable, is disappearing. Most of the low-limit games have gone 6:5, which sucks.

Finding 3:2 will be easier on weekdays during the day, least likely on evenings and weekends.

Your best bets are probably: Excalibur, Luxor, Tropicana, Monte Carlo, Harrah’s, Imperial Palace, Casino Royale, O’Shea’s, Bill’s and the North Strip places like Sahara, Riv and Circus Circus.

Lindsey asked on 11/08/07


Have you ever eaten at a Hamada of Japan? We were thinking of going to the one at the Rio. Just curious if it was a good place to eat. Also we are going to the Nove at the Plams. Is that a good place too? I looked on your website, but there was no comments on those two places. Thanks for ALL your help!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Nove is sort of new – I haven’t eaten there myself yet – but I hear it’s good and of course the view is great.

Hamada is a fun Japanese place, less formal than something like Okada at Wynn Las Vegas, sure.

Jeni asked on 11/07/07


First, this website is extremely resourceful and we are all grateful for your time and effort in having this site.

Secondly, I was hoping whether you would be able to divulge the basic general job descriptions of the concierge, front desk, casino host.

For example, from reading your posts sometimes the hotel’s housekeeping is not up to par and if housekeeping is being retarded, who should be the appropriate customer service person? Another question is what can the concierge, front desk and casino host can and cannot offer. I thank you for your time as this would help me out in not directing inquires to the “wrong department – not my job” scenario.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks for the kind words!

Here’s how I typically break this sort of stuff down if I have a complaint:

First off, in any of these casino hotels you have two main sources of revenue: gaming and non-gaming. You’ll also have departments for food and beverage, entertainment, facilities, etc… The kind of stuff you’re talking about would fall under the ‘hotel’ category but all of these places all have general managers or presidents that oversee the whole joint.

Typically I would send a letter to the head of the relevant department (bonus points if you know the person’s name) and CC the hotel president – that way the manager knows that their boss got a copy and they are less likely to just blow you off.

As far as what folks are empowered to offer, it depends on the hotel. Typically a concierge or desk worker can give you very little without approval. A casino host has power but they have to justify the comps they give you so they won’t just hand them out like candy – you have to play to earn those.

The hotel manager can authorize virtually anything, especially if you’ve been wronged.

I hope this helps.

Jennifer asked on 11/07/07

Thank you! Hey , do you know which hotel and when the 2008 Hawaiian Tropic Swimsuit competition is? Think it would be fun to stay in same hotel, I have searched the web but cant seem to pinpoint the 2008 schedule?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Last year it was at The Mirage but it seems that they haven’t made an official announcement about this year’s event.

Jennifer asked on 11/04/07

I so owe you a visit to paypal by now! ( am adding to my weeks to do list!) You have been so great for vegas planning this last few times!

After reading your response I have booked one of the SktLofts at MGM for the first 3 of my 7 nights in April. Tossing around other options for the remainder. Want to try out some new haunts.

Question……. Since I will be staying at an MGM/Mirage property the whole seven nights can I just accumulate points the whole time and see the players club at my last hotel to get comped and cash back? Or do I need to hit MGM after the first three nights and then lets say the Bellagio after staying with them for 4 nights? I would rather wait if it does not matter.
Cheers H!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Glad that we have been able to help!

The MGM Mirage Players Club card will work across all properties but as far as comps go, you’ll be billed for your stay when you check out of each hotel so if you’re hoping to have your room comped, you’d need to speak with them before settling the bill at each property.

I hope that makes sense.

rid891 asked on 11/02/07

Thanks for the follow up answers….After checking rates it looks like I can get a concierge suite at Venetian for less then I can a Bellagio suite. Are the two pretty rooms close in comparision? amenities look better at the V? Also what should I expect for table limits at each facility???

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Honestly, I don’t like The Venetian. The place is cheaply built and in my opinion, masquerading as a nice hotel. Bellagio and Wynn Las Vegas are head and shoulders above in my opinion. Table limits? Both will have the occasional $5 table but $15 and $25 are the norm for entry level.

rid891 asked on 11/01/07

Thanks for all the info. After reading the info about “party next door” at the Mirage I have decided on the Bellagio. I have 3 questions: If we do the penthouse suite what other “extras” can I expect? …, (line pass, special floor,ect)
Do all penthouse suites at B face the strip or must I request strip view?
How far in advance would you suggest I reserve a PS to secure the correct suite/view? Celebrating our 25th and want it right..Thanks

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, to be fair, any hotel can have the ‘party next door’ problem, I don’t think that’s unique to The Mirage.

The extra service items that Bellagio and The Mirage used to include have been scaled back. Still, some amenities do await you…. When you check in, if they don’t give you line passes, as the clerk for them. They should accommodate this request.

The suites are are on higher floors, yes. They require access from a special keyed elevator. Not all suites face The Strip, no. Strip view (lake view) can sometimes be a premium charge so if you want this, make sure you request it.

As far as advance reservations, the same answer always apples: book it as soon as you can. No reason at all to wait. Make sure your requests are noted and see if they can ‘guarantee’ any of them for you – typically many of those items are just that, requests BUT suites are typically pre-assigned to guests (where standard rooms are not), so they may be able to give you exactly the combination you want.

Jen asked on 10/30/07

Hellllloo again!
Just got back after another stay at one of the Penthouses at the Mirage. We were not as impressed as much as this time as last. Few issues including people having parties few doors down and just sitting outside our door in hallway more than one night..also the room wasnt as nice as last visit. Heres the question. Going back in April and thinking about staying at another MGM/Mirage property. Loved the terrace at MGM but hear the rooms themselves are worn…. so looking at their skyloft or perhaps the penthouse at Bellagio. We want a kick ass room and are wondering which of the nicer properties have respectable comps? We hit about 40 thousand points in 6 nights. Did not know if you have any insider knowledge as to who is known for appreciate play more over the other properties? Sorry such a long winded question….also ( double dog sorry) If am willing to shell out a grand-ish per night for a room…what in your valuable mind is the best?
Cheers baby!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Sorry to hear that The Mirage wasn’t top notch for you. I’ve had a lot of great times there myself.

If you’re kickin’ it up, I suggest trying one of the following:

Skylofts – everyone that stays here loves it and raves about it.

Bellagio – Grand Penthouse or Penthouse – the ‘Grands’ are on the top floor but any of the suites in the hotel should leave you with a good impression. The layout is very similar to The Mirage with nicer furnishings and better service.

Wynn Las Vegas – Salon Suite – great room, the most plush as it is the newest. Great, great spot.

As far as comps, the policies are actually pretty similar. This is mostly anecdotal but I hear that Wynn Las Vegas has actually been a bit more generous with comps than say, Bellagio.

Chris G asked on 10/30/07

I am making a trip to LV in December for a convention. This is my 9th trip to Vegas and have never stayed in the same hotel twice. Last time, I tried the $20 trick, but to no avail. I was checking in on a Saturday night — I should have known better - everything was full. I am staying at PH this trip and want to know if you can give me any tips on how to make the $20 trick work for me. I believe that I am at a disadvantage by not staying at the same place twice- is being a “loyal” customer more of a guarantee of getting an upgrade? I think the hotel should be glad to give me an upgrade to “make” a loyal customer out of me. What’s your opinion? Thanks, and I am enjoying your website!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

There’s no ‘one’ answer to this question – it is so highly dependent on factors like how full the hotel is, when you check in, who checks you in, etc… that your question is tough. Sometimes loyalty helps, sure. Sometimes they don’t care or can’t even tell that you’ve stayed there before. The only real guarantee of an upgrade is to be a loyal customer of the casino – the more you play, the more you’ll get.

Rid asked on 10/29/07

Which has the better one bedroom suites Bellagio or Mirage? and would the $20 trick work if I asked to upgrade at check in?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The layouts are similar but Bellagio’s rooms are nicer, as is the hotel itself. Also, they were just re-done so they have all new furnishings.

As far as the $20 trick – if you’re asking if you can get from a standard room to a suite with $20 at Bellagio, there’s no chance.

Bronco asked on 10/29/07

Heading to a family reunion, and need a place to gather before and after our nights out. I am paying $550.00 per night for a Tower Suite at the Mirage. They tell me a 1 bedroom suite can easily accomodate a party of 12-15 people. My question is are you familiar with perhaps some bigger, or nicer on the strip rooms/hotels of a Mirage caliber for that type of nightly rate? The room in on hold so I can still change if you know of something better? Thanks…

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I have been fortunate enough to have stayed in or visited some of the nicer suites in the big Strip hotels so I may be able to help…

Comparable hotels to The Mirage would probably mean Mandalay Bay, THEHotel, MGM Grand, Treasure Island, etc…

Honestly, while I like THEHotel, of the above I would pick The Mirage each time.

Upgrading to the next level, such as a comparable suite at Wynn Las Vegas or Bellagio, would typically (all dates are different) mean a bump in price. Still, if you can get a Salon Suite at Wynn Las Vegas, that would be quite nice as well.

Bottom line, I really like the suites at The Mirage. I think they are very nice and I’ve always had good experiences there.\

Chris McDonald asked on 10/28/07


I will be getting married at the Bellagio during May 2008 and was possible going to book The Tillerman restaurant for the reception. Would this be a wise choice for a group of approx 30 people, or could you advise of another venu.



Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I’ve never been so I can’t advise you directly but the restaurant has been around for ages and has a good reputation – that certainly counts for something.

Julie asked on 10/25/07

Hi Hunter,
My husband & I will be coming to LV first week of November and will be staying at the Wynn. My husband wants the cab driver from the airport to stop at a liquor store for beer & wine. Is this advisable or is there somewhere closer within walking distance of the hotel? Is it very difficult hailing cabs off strip? Thanks for the advice.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

It is illegal for cabs to stop on the Strip itself – you have to catch cabs at the hotels themselves, though this is usually simple. Sometimes, such as after a show gets out, the lines get long.

As far as stopping for booze, there is a drug store just North of Wynn Las Vegas, probably a 15 minute walk for an average person, on the same side of the Strip.

Terry asked on 10/24/07

Hi Hunter:

Always value your advice. We’re headed back to Vegas in May 2008. Price on standard room at Bellagio and resort room at Wynn is the same ($260/nt). Is there much difference between the two? Do you have a preference?

Also, we originally wanted to come 2nd week in March 08…but room prices at all Vegas hotels then are almost double. Any idea what is happening in Vegas then?

Thanks in advance.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I always have a problem answering the Bellagio vs. Wynn Las Vegas question because I am genuinely torn.

Both of my stays at each hotel in the past year have been really great so its hard to recommend one over the other.

I’d say the rooms and restaurants are better at WLV but location is tops at Bellagio.

They’re both great. If you haven’t tried one but have stayed at the other, maybe this is a chance to experience the other.

As far as the rate question – it’s the most common answer – conventions. ConAg is 135,000 people in that time frame.

Betsy asked on 10/24/07

Hi: I am getting married in LV in July of 2008. Have been to Vegas many times and want to do it at Bellagio because fountains have sentimental significance to me and my fiance. We want to do a reception in one of the Bellagio suites for anywhere between 35-50 people, however many make the trip. Bellagio reservations suggested the presidential or chairman suites in the spa tower, but I am concerned that (1) they don’t have a great lakeview and (2) they might be looking over that citycenter construction. Any thoughts on that? Any thoughts about whether the grand lakeview suite might be a better choice although smaller and slightly less posh? Any other suggestions on very impressive mid-Strip suites that might have a fountain view? Thanks!!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Ok… The Spa Tower suites, while very large and nicely appointed, have a partial lake view – they are blocked due to their location so if the lake is a big deal, I’d stick to the main tower. Because of their East/West orientation, the City Center construction view isn’t a huge problem but you will be able to see part of the site from the Spa Tower, yes.

A Grand Lakeview would be a good option, sure. Those suites were recently re-done and are quite nice. If cost is no barrier, ask about the villas – they are the ultimate in luxury.

As far as other hotels, nothing is going to work as well for the view as Bellagio.

Carol asked on 10/23/07

Going to Vegas late April. Looking to buy Bette Midler tickets. Ticketmaster only has tickets up to March 9th. Do you know if she will be there after that or who may be the new performer? Thanks. Carol

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Just like they do know with Dion and Elton John, they will rotate Bette Midler and another performer in that venue.

The other performer was going to be Cher but it sounds like that is falling through so we don’t know right now who will have the other dates.

They do add dates all the time so I’d keep checking.

just Joey asked on 10/19/07

Any word when and if the Fontana Lounge will ever reopen and if it reopens will it be in it’s original design?

It’s on my must do list if it does, thanks.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yes, the plan is for it to re-open in December of this year with a slightly updated design.

Tim asked on 10/18/07

Just found your site and love it. I was looking for some information on internet access in LV. I’ll be staying at the MGM and they (like all hotels to my knowledge) charge extra for internet. I’d only use it maybe once a day to check e-mail/news/scores so I’m not sure I want to shell out money to the hotel for access. So:
Is there any chance of finding wi-fi hotspots within the hotels themselves? Or am I stuck trying to find a Starbucks outside the hotel?
Is internet access something the $20 trick might work on?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks for the kind words.

You’re right – the Strip hotels like to charge crazy rates for daily Internet access – $10 or so a day is typical. I haven’t really done any site surveying but I seriously doubt you’ll find hotspots in the hotels.

You’re right – Starbucks typically does have T-Mobile supplied WiFi. One spot I know you can get online for free – the Apple Store in the Fashion Show Mall. The have WiFi that you can hook into or simply use one of the Macs in the store.

Internet access is a fee added to your hotel bill, just like the minibar or telephone calls – it’s not pre-charged so I doubt the $20 trick could help you here.

If you find any other free WiFi spots, let us know when you get back!

richard asked on 10/16/07

My apologies for such a vague prior question…I’m choosing between the Signature at MGM or Red Rocks casino. I’m an avid video poker player who also loves the video reel slots. Which property would be right for me?

Thank you and keep up the good work!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, the Signature doesn’t have its own casino – it’s part of MGM Grand which doesn’t have very good video poker… Actually, not many Strip casinos have good video poker so if you don’t mind staying all the way out at Red Rock (20 minute drive to the Strip), that’s going to be BY FAR a better VP/slot experience, no question / hands down.

JR asked on 10/16/07

We’re staying at Planet Hollywood December 23-27 and I was curious about how many/which types of rooms have been renovated so far? We have a regular Deluxe room booked, but planned on asking for an upgrade upon check-in and curious what to ask for. Was thinking of just asking for the fountain view upgrade, but if other room types have been recently renovated that might change things. Thanks for any insight.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

For the non-suites, room renovations have meant more of a de-theming than anything else – removing all the pseudo-Arabian stuff for the Aladdin. Honestly, I wouldn’t waste much time looking for a renovated room – I would be more interested in getting the view you want, if you want to be overlooking Bellagio, etc…

Kyle asked on 10/15/07

Hey, great site!
If it’s already been asked and answered, I apologize.
But, here goes: I would love a subjective opinion as to a pure vintage old school Vegas weekend. Short of staring at rubble piles, I can’t even think of where to begin, other than a trip to the RV camp at Circus, or that lounge in the Sahara. If you (as however you define it) could recreate a 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, or some combo thereof weekend, for that matter, with what’s left today; where would you stay, go, eat, venture, etc. Doesn’t have to be good or even fun, but just subjectively “vintage.” Gracias!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


This is an interesting question. One thing about Las Vegas – the city has never been afraid to blow up its history to make way for something new. That means that a lot of the historical stuff is long gone.

Still, if you’re into the history, there are a few things I would recommend checking out for sure.

Have you been Downtown? If not, check that out. Things there have changed less than on the Strip and it will give you somewhat of a glimpse into the days of yore.

Do you like neon? If so, schedule a trip to the Neon Boneyard – this is the storage yard for all the old hotel signs that will someday be renovated and put on display. Honestly, if you like history this is a don’t miss – it’s a lot of fun and you’ll see some great, great stuff.

On the Strip, only a couple of the original hotels are still around (and even then, they pretty much look very different). The New Frontier is about to be imploded and can’t be visited. The Stardust is gone. You can still visit the Tropicana, Sahara and Riviera and Flamingo even though the original bits are basically either gone, covered or altered pretty dramatically.

That’s how I would get started – have fun!

Stacie asked on 10/15/07

I’m booking my first time trip to Vegas for mid week in December. My hubby and I are in are early 30’s and want to experience the best of Las Vegas. What hotel (on strip and nice), Show (we live in NY so see a lot of B-way) and high end/mid end restaurants do you recommend?


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, the answers to this question could go on for pages and a lot of it has been covered before so I will point you in a couple spots and let you wander around the site a bit…

First off, check out our Top Ten Page

Top hotels would include Bellagio, Wynn Las Vegas and for some, The Venetian. There are also great rooms at Caesars Palace, THEHotel and MGM Grand among others.

For shows, Cirque’s always popular and if you go that route, “O”, “Mystere” and “LOVE” are my top picks.

For top restaurants, I like Delmonico, Bartolotta, Okada, SW, FIX to name a few. Again, check the top ten page and then also look at any of the restaurants in the top hotel, especially Bellagio and Wynn Las Vegas.

Lastly, depending on when in December you are going, Palazzo is opening 12/20 and will be an attempt at a high end hotel experience. Check it out.

Amanda asked on 10/15/07


Which would you recommend: Penn and Teller or Mac King?
Also, would you recommend The Price is Right?

Thanks for your help!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I haven’t seen Mac King but I’ve heard great things about the show. Penn and Teller are exactly what you’d expect and they work hard to put on a good show so from what I know, you’ll be happy at either show.

The Price is Right is always overflowing with people – it’s very popular so if you’ve got some time to kill, you like the show and you can get in – go for it.

Richard asked on 10/14/07

Thank you for the help on previous questions! My new question is this: I’m looking at a Vegas trip during
Thanksgiving week for some solo r&r. Any recommendations on where to stay and what to do?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


This is really too broad to give any specific answers but there are some past answers on solo travel that you might search for.

Generally though, other than being able to set your own schedule, is being alone all that different?

Drew Nelson asked on 10/13/07

Hi, just returned from a visit to vegas and was wondering if you knew completion dates for the City Center, the Encore next to the Wynn and the Palazo going up next to the Venetion? Also what is in the works for all that land from where the New Frontier is sitting down to where the old Westward Ho once stood?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


If you’re interested in casino development and construction projects, I suggest reading our blog – it is one of the things we focus on there.

Two Way Hard Three

As to your questions, Palazzo is scheduled to open December 20th of this year. Encore at Wynn Las Vegas looks like it is set for either late 2008 or early 2009 – both dates have been postulated and we’ll just have to see. City Center is set for completion in 2009 as well.

As for the New Frontier property, that’s been bought by an Israeli group that plans to create a Las Vegas version of New York’s famous Plaza Hotel.

Dave Mouldon asked on 10/12/07

During our next trip in March, we want to spend one or two nights downtown near Fremont Street. I know some of the older grungy hotels have recently undergone renovations. In your opinion, which properties are the nicest, cleanest, safest, etc. Thanks for your help.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

No contest, the answer as to which property is the nicest Downtown is the Golden Nugget. It’s actually nicer than some Strip hotels and they have continued to improve it as new owners took over in the past few years. The Nugget is my first choice, hands down.

Brad Ellis asked on 10/12/07

Thanks for the quick response. Sounds like better rent a car.

Thanks for your time , GREAT SERVICE !

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

You are welcome!

Red Rock is far enough away that even if you spend any time on the Strip, the car will pay for itself in no time.

Mariana asked on 10/11/07


I am a first timer to LV, and I was looking at the good rates of Luxor Hotel through their website. I also read some pretty negative reviews about Luxor (dirty rooms with bugs, horrible service, not well maintained hallways, etc.) The Luxor is a 4-star hotel, can it be as bad as some the reviews? Also, would you recommend a room in the pyramid or in one of the towers? And how far away is the Luxor from the rest of the strip hotels? Would taxi cabs be expensive?

Thanks for all your advice,

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


At least one of those negative reviews was from me – I’ve stayed there a few times, most recently this Spring. I was unimpressed with the room – very spartan and boring looking. Frayed carpet, etc… The important thing to remember here though is context – in another city, Luxor wouldn’t be considered second rate but in Las Vegas there is a lot of choice and competition and so it’s hard to recommend it when there are better choices.

Still, they do often have good deals and if price is an important guiding factor, Luxor should be considered, sure.

I would certainly say Towers over the Pyramid – the Tower rooms are newer, larger and nicer.

Luxor is on the South Strip, between Excalibur and Mandalay Bay. To get to other hotels you can walk (not a big deal if you like walking) or take the monorail. Cabs aren’t that expensive either – Luxor may not be in the middle of The Strip but it’s not in a remote area either. Click on our Map link to see exactly where it sits.

I hope this helps and here’s a link to my Luxor trip report from a few months ago:

Luxor: I’d Rather Stay in a Tent

Lisa asked on 10/11/07


How much is it usually to get into the popular clubs like: Pure, Rain, Tao, LAX, Playboy club, and etc…

How much is it usually to get into the lounges like: Tabu, Ghostbar, Moon, and ect…..

Both for men and women on the weekdays.


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Prices vary and most are posted on the relevant Web sites. $20-$50 depending on the place and night. There are often specials and promotions as well. This is assuming you’re not doing bottle service.

I’m happy to answer questions for folks here but I typically like people to do their own research when it is information that is readily available in hotel information.