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Brad Ellis asked on 10/11/07

This will be our first time staying at Red Rock Resort. We usally rent a car, however this trip dont plan on a car.
What is best airport transportaton?
Car service, limo shuttle?
Dont want to spend alot of time waiting for a pickup.

Thanks for your time.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Red Rock is a good ways from the airport.

You’re not renting a car? If you plan to travel around the valley, you probably want one.

If not, I’d arrange car service or a limo – the shuttles are really Strip/Downtown centric so getting all the way out to Red Rock that way will be either very difficult or inconvenient. If you don’t want to wait, arrange to have a car meet you at the airport – I like to use Las Vegas Limo, they have sedans and limos.

Angela asked on 10/10/07

Hi, great site! I actually have two questions. The first is the shorter. Have you seen the Prince tribute, “Purple Reign”, at the Monte Carlo, or heard from others who have seen it, and, if so, what was your/their opinion?

Second, we will be returning to Vegas next week & staying at our “usual” hangout, Imperial Palace. I know many will disagree with my opinion, but my husband and I love IP, because, though it’s not fancy, by any stretch of the imagination, they always treat us like high-rollers, even though we’re far from it (this trip, all we’re out is airfare and gambling money. IP extended us an offer for a free deluxe room, free meal, free cocktails..above & beyond the ones we get while gambling…2-for-1 Legends show, and $5 match play on blackjack, plus I still have $18 in comp points waiting to be cashed in, when we arrive, from my last trip in Feb.). The rumor is that Harrah’s intends to implode IP & Bill’s Gambling Hall next year. As those are the “calibre” of places we like to stay, what are some other choices you might recommend, once they are gone? I HATE that so much of Vegas is going the way of the “mega-resort”, and there’s a certain appeal for me in the small, “old-Vegas” style hotels. We hate crowds, clubbing, etc., and we’re just looking for a nice place to stay & gamble, for a decent price, & still be treated like they enjoy having us as their guests. Thanks! Angela

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I haven’t seen ‘Purple Reign’ but I have heard that if you dig Prince, it’s a fun night out.

The rumors about Harrah’s redevelopment plans have been varied and so far nothing has come to pass. The IP just got upgraded to the Total Rewards program, not something they would do if they were about to implode the place. I think we’ll have the IP around for some time (though not forever).

So, I think this question is a little premature and when it does eventually happen, the influx of new rooms from City Center, Palazzo, Encore, and Echelon will likely mean some of the existing places will lower their rates.

Anyway, I think we need to wait a bit longer and see what happens.

Joey asked on 10/10/07

Since the renovation at Planet Hollywood do you think the clientele has shifted to a younger, hipper demographic?

Do you think that is what they are aiming for?

It seems that it has a decent location, but never makes anyone’s favorite lists.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I do think they are hoping for that but I’m not really ready to declare it has been a success. Rebuilding the brand from the Aladdin debacle will take time but as you said, the location will help them and even more so when City Center opens.

Emily Paulitsch asked on 10/09/07

Absolutely adore this site. I always check it first when I want the real scoop on things! Thanks to you we found THEhotel a couple years back – we now refuse to stay anywhere else!

Here’s my question. A group of 8 of us are going out Oct 25-28. We are all late 30s. We would like to go to a club one night – and do it right. Table and bottle service. Where would you suggest? A few of the girls want Pure, but I think that is because it’s the only one they’ve heard of! I think we might be a little old for Pure?? We are planning for Friday, if that makes a difference. I was actually thinking LAX – but just because of the easy route back to THEhotel!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


Thanks for the kind words!

As far as your nightclub planning, you’ve got the right idea – doing bottle service is doing it right and it is a night and day difference in terms of experience.

Honestly, any of the ‘big’ clubs would probably be fine. Although Pure gets a lot of ink, I don’t really think it’s the best. It feels a bit big and hollow inside.

I think LAX would be a fine choice and of course the location is tops. I also recommend Tryst at Wynn Las Vegas – it’s got a great indoor/outdoor combo with a waterfall that’s gorgeous. It’s arguably the top grossing place in town so they’re doing something right.

Have fun!

Brent asked on 10/09/07


Great site, thanks a lot for the sage advice!

I am planning a trip to Vegas 8-11 Feb 08 for my wife and her twin sister’s 40th Birthday. I just learned that unfortuntately that weekend is also a huge convention weekend so not only could my player development rep at the Venetian (who is usually incredibly generous) not help me out with a room, rooms in general at most/all of the strip properties are pretty pricy.

We will have a total of 10 people (8 adult couples and two kids ages 10 and 15). As of now, I have one “premier” room locked on and comped at the Paris (but I’m willing to adjust if there is a better/more convenient deal somewhere). What would be ideal is a large two bedroom suite with room for about six folks and an then additional 2-queen room so all of us could stay in the same hotel. I didn’t see any two bedroom suites at the Paris on their site, do you know if they have them? All I’ve been able to find of that caliber is the “1500” suite at the Mandalay Bay with two queens and a king, but it is pretty pricy.

Are you aware of any other strip (or I guess off strip, but really nice) properties that offer suites during those dates that up to six could sleep comfortably in? Do you have any suggestions for where we might be able to stay and not pay an “arm and a leg” for rooms for all of us?


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Hi There,

One thing to keep in mind is that most hotels don’t put their highest end rooms on their Web sites. To get two bedroom suites, especially on a weekend, you pretty much always have to call and speak with a live person.

Pretty much all of these hotels have two bedroom suites – they are basically a one bedroom suite with an optional adjoining room that functions as a second bedroom.

It will probably come down to what you want to pay. If you’re looking at Paris, I would suggest also looking at The Mirage, Bally’s, MGM Grand and perhaps Treasure Island. They all have nice rooms and sometimes you can find great prices.

Good luck!

Debs asked on 10/08/07

Hi Hunter
Used your site frequently when organising my trip to LV from the UK, and you were very kind in responding to all my questions quickly and honestly. We took up the vast majority of your recommendations during our stay – and I just wanted to say thank you for all your help.
I’ve taken the time to leave a few reviews of restaurants we visited during our stay, in the hope that it may help out other LV travellers.
Thanks Again!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks very much! It’s all that good info sharing that makes the site possible!

Matt asked on 10/07/07

First, absolutely great site – so fun to read and to check out all the info. I tell everyone to make sure this site is bookmarked for all things Vegas. Second, I kinda feel guilty asking a question (especially 2). I’m sure the answers are somewhere (maybe even in the faq.) But, here goes:
1. From a pure sushi stand-point (i.e. non the Social House), best place/recommended on the strip to go?
2. When do the pools generally close/open for the winter months?
Thanks a bunch!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


For great sushi, you have a few choices. Some of the best spots are:

  • Nobu (Hard Rock) – another outpost of this popular NYC eatery.
  • Okada (Wynn Las Vegas) – they feature different types of Japanese food but their sushi is tops.
  • Shintaro (Bellagio) – more great sushi, though this place may change up soon.

All of the above are top notch but far from the only offerings out there.

Second, on your pool question, most are actually open year round and heated in the Winter. That said, most pools have at least a few weeks of yearly maintenance when they are closed, typically January or February.

Julie asked on 10/07/07

Hi Hunter,
As usual always enjoy your website. My daughter has asked me to take her and a friend to LV for spring break the first week of March 08. Is LV a big spring break destination? Does it get crazy? Will pools be open? I am planning to stay at the Signature because she will have access to MGM Grand Pools and I will not! Thanks again. Julie

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

These days, pretty much every holiday is a big thing in Las Vegas. Any excuse to party brings folks from all over, including college students for Spring Break.

The pools should all be open, yes.

Have a great time.

Briggs Adams asked on 10/04/07

Thanks for calling the airport to check on those bar closing times. I feel guilty, lazy and kind of stupid that I didn’t make the call myself. Thanks again!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

No problem!

Ginnie asked on 10/03/07

THANKS for your prompt response re Golden Nugget. I will report back after I stay there!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


We always like to hear what people think – please submit your ratings and reviews on your return.

Honestly, for those folks who submit questions here – I’m happy to help you with my answers but the least you can do to say thanks is to come back after your trip and fill out some of the ratings and reviews on the site.

For those that have done so – thank you!

Emily asked on 10/03/07

First of all, thanks for the great website and all your helpful info! There are a group of us coming in on Tue., Jan. 1st and leaving on Fri., Jan. 4th age ranging from 25-30. Do you think the New Year’s crowd will still be there? We want to go to some clubs, but know which ones would be best for the weekdays, Tue. – Thurs. We want to go somewhere that is fun, but also don’t want to pay an arm and a leg getting in the door.
Also, can you suggest some nice, fun, but not too expense restaurants to go to?
Last question, have you been to Lucky Strikes? I see it on TV and it looks like it could be a lot of fun with a group.
Thanks again for all your help!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thank you. The New Years crowd will be around in smaller numbers (maybe as much as by half) on the 1st but you’ll see that continue to drop precipitously. Leaving on the 1st is a huge pain due to congestion so that’s why some people stay an extra night.

A lot of clubs like Tryst are closed at the start of the week. You’ll have more options Thursday night but you can still find stuff early in the week. Maybe check out Blush, Rain, and PURE as well.

For restaurants, ‘not too expensive’ is a tough one because everyone has a different idea of expensive. Other than buffets, also check out places like ‘Grand Lux Cafe’ (The Venetian), ‘STACK’ (The Mirage), ‘FIX’ (Bellagio), and maybe a place like the Burger Bar (Mandalay Place).

Lucky Strikes can be fun if you like bowling, yes. It’s sorta a cross between a nightclub and a traditional bowling alley.

Lindsey asked on 10/03/07

Thanks for all the helpful info!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

You’re welcome!

Vicki asked on 10/02/07

1st off – GREAT site!!! Lots of good info for a first timer. We will be in Vegas 10/25-30 and I’m wondering about the weather (a friend said they were hot at that time, was that an oddity?). Also, we are staying at the Mirage – I’ve been hearing lots of negativity….how do you feel about the Mirage? Thanks so much!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thank you!

Las Vegas is in the desert (duh!) and despite what some folks may think, it gets cold there in the Winter, especially at night! For the end of October, I would certainly bring a jacket and jeans. Shorts might work during the day but not at night. Probably about 80 degrees during the day and maybe 50 or 60 at night (all F).

As far as The Mirage goes, I’m a fan and have been for a long time. Now, a lot has changed there in the last three years but I still like the place. I think the restaurant upgrades are good on balance and while I don’t care for some of the design changes, I still stay here often. If you can, get upgrade to a Tower Deluxe room for a little bit nicer setup.

Ginnie asked on 10/01/07

Your site is great and filled with really useful, CURRENT information. I’m staying off-strip for the first time (very loyal but slightly bored Mirage customer). I chose the Golden Nugget for three nights in April. Booked one of their new “Gold Club” rooms. Have you rec’d any comments/info about them? The price is comparable to a strip room, esp on Sat night, altho I have gotten spoiled by a nice casino rate at the Mirage over the years. Thoughts?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks. Keeping things up to date is a big job and sometimes we get a little further behind than I’d like but I try…

As far as Downtown goes, the Nugget is a great spot and the latest owners, Landry’s, are pouring a lot of money into it.

As far as the ‘Gold Club’ rooms, what they did was to block off a few floors for a sort of ‘concierge level’ like what you’d see at other hotels. If you’re familiar with The Mirage, think of the difference between the standard rooms and a Tower Deluxe room – slightly upgraded but not a ton of differences.

Lindsey asked on 09/27/07

Do you know of a website where you can get discounts or coupons?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I suggest doing a Google search. There appear to be quite a few.

Lindsey asked on 09/27/07

Hello, I have a few questions for you. I was wondering which show you would recommend, either Mystere or KA. I’ve seen Le Reve and I enjoyed it. The review on have Mystere has a higher overall rating. I want to see the most edge of your seat, can’t believe show. Which do you think between the two? What do you think of Monty Python too?
Also, we are staying at TI and want to know what you think of Tangerine and Social House. Is there a paper around town that tells you which club is most happening each night? About how much is it to get into all the clubs? We want to check out PURE and TAO. What do you think of those places?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

No doubt Mystere. Of all the Cirque shows, my faves are ‘Mystere’, ‘O’, and ‘LOVE’. They’re all a lot of fun. ‘KA’ and ‘Zumanity’ are WAY down on my list compared to those above. ‘Mystere’ is great.

By Monty Python I assume you mean ‘Spamalot’? If you’re a fan of the humor you’ll love the show. If you’re not or unfamiliar, I think its less of a sure thing but it is nice to have a non-Cirque option.

Social House at TI has decent food but its much more about the scene. Tangerine has never been one of the ‘first tier’ places in town but its a decent joint and often a bit less crowded than other places – that means easier to get in.

Pure and Tao are two of the most popular joints in town (I didn’t say best – I think Tryst and Body English are better myself) and thus you’re talking long long lines unless you go for bottle service. For costs I assume you’re talking about the cover and not a table reservation? It varies by night but expect to pay $30-$50/person to get in.

Briggs Adams asked on 09/27/07

Incredible and informative site! Quick question: I’ve got a flight arriving at McCarran at around 11 p.m. on Friday night and plan to hang out there to meet up with my buddy, whose flight arrives about 11:30 p.m. that same night. Is there any place I can grab a drinkee or two while I wait or are all the bars and restaurants shut down by then?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


I called the airport and they told me that locations like the ‘Fox Sports Box’ (sports bar) are open nightly until at least midnight.

Paul asked on 09/25/07

My wife and I are planning to go to Vegas from Feb. 17 to 20. Two questions:

First, we can’t decide between Bellagio and Wynn. On the one hand, we like Bellagio because its nice and seems to be in the “middle” of the action on the strip. On the other hand, Wynn is also nice (and a little newer) but on the “periphery” of the action. Your thoughts?

Second, should we purchase our package now or wait in the hopes that the price will go down? (BTW, we’ve priced out if its cheaper to buy air and hotel sseparately and unfortunately it is not.)


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Honestly, both are very solid choices. If you’ve stayed at one and not the other, I’d give the one you haven’t tried a chance so that you can experience it. Personally, I gravitate towards Wynn Las Vegas a bit more because the facility and rooms are nicer but I have no problem at all sending people to Bellagio either – it’s a great spot and they’ve worked hard to compete.

So I guess I’d say Wynn Las Vegas over Bellagio but its very close in my book.

I’m always of the ‘book now’ variety because Las Vegas, especially the hotels you mentioned, sell out all the time.

Michael asked on 09/25/07

Ok – an actual question this time… :) Is there any way to find out which casinos (save from calling each one) carry specific slot machines? Some of my favorites seem to have disappeared, and I know that this is a regular thing, but still… I’ve always loved, and had great luck with, Twilight Zone (which I think they still have at the Westin), Beverly Hillbillies (haven’t seen it in a couple years), Munsters (hard to find, but still out there I think) and and of the I Love Lucy machines. I would think that SOMEONE would have record of this kind of thing, but perhaps it’s not public info… Thanks as always!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Great question. As far as I know, the best way to do this (and it’s a bit flawed), is to use Harrah’s Slot Finder

It only works for their properties unfortunately and it doesn’t give us all the info we’d like but it is better than nothing.

Debbie asked on 09/23/07

We are going to Las Vegas with several couples from Thursday April 17th-20th. I saw that the National Association of Broadcasters convention is April 11th-17th. Since we are going on the day the convention ends, how will our weekend be affected. I wasn’t sure how busy Vegas is the weekend after a huge convention. Should we book extra early?
What about room rates and crowds after the convention?
Thanks for your help!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

That’s quite a big convention but as with any large convention like that, the end is a protracted wind-down and thus shouldn’t impact you much.

There will be some folks that stay for the weekend but most will bug out early the last day or even the night before.

Room rates – hard to say. I’ve sometimes seen them drop after large conventions but that’s become less and less common as LV is pretty much busy year-round these days.

Michael asked on 09/21/07

Hey Hunter – here’s a question that you probably can’t answer, but you will most surely enjoy: Why does the Venetian’s website SUCK? It’s horribly slow, difficult to navigate, and always directing you to the wrong places. I’m trying to get some 411 on the newly remodeled rooms in the Venetian Tower, but alas – no go. And accessing their website via their promo emails is a task of ridiculous proportions… Just curious – it seems everyone else features functional websites… Thanks!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Nothing to add!

Glenn asked on 09/21/07

Quick question… my boss has comps at the Venetian… he wants me to use them… but he doesn’t want to go to vegas… is there anyway i can sign off on it… without him being there atall!?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Not that I know of, no. The casino would frown on this big time.

Jen asked on 09/20/07

Heres a fun one….. My friend and I are returning to the Mirage again in 2 weeks. He just hit over 100 Grand in our states daily numbers! Wahoo!

He can apply gambling losses toward his taxes we are told so he wants me to use his extra players club card when we are out there gambling. I am more than happy to do this but will he get proparly comped when we check out if the casino wonders how one person can play two machines at different ends of the casino at the same time? Should I just use my players club card or do the casino hosts not care???

Cheers Hunter!!!!!!!!!!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Interesting question… Can I come? :-)

Seriously though, while they probably have the technical ability to check something like that, I’ve never heard of anyone being challenged on those grounds, ever.

For the comps, they don’t really care about that stuff. They care about one thing – the money that went into the machine. If you guys agree that it is his and the comps go to him, I don’t think the hotel will hassle you at all.

That’s my best guess, I’ve never been asked this question before.

Aaron asked on 09/15/07

Hiya Hunter, love the site and it’s quantity/quality of information. Great job!

I’m a frequent Vegas traveller (40,m), usually with smaller groups for conventions. This trip I am going solo for a week and a little nervous. Any stand out tips for a solo funster?

Also, staying at Bill’s (before Harrah’s knocks it down) and would like a decent view of the fountains at the Bellagio. Rooms 310 or 410 have been reccomended. Any idea of the best rooms with a view from Bill’s to the fountains?

Thanks a bunch

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


I’ve done Vegas many times on my own and it can be fun. It’s a different kind of trip. Since it is very much a convention town, it’s actually not uncommon to see solo travelers.

To be honest, I don’t usually deviate too much from my normal plans when I’m alone. Maybe I’ll try a restaurant that no one will go with me to – something like that.

One thing that’s nice – many restaurants that have lines (i.e. buffets, cafes and even nicer joints with reservations) have bar areas that serve the full menu – no waiting for a seat and you have the bartender to talk to.

As far as specific rooms at Bill’s, it sounds like you have more info than I do. That side of the building for sure – the other won’t get you any view at all.

Geanie asked on 09/15/07

Hey great site. I was wondering which is the best way to book a trip to vegas with a huge crowd? I’m planning on going with 8-10 people and need about 4 rooms. Is orbitz, expedia, etc. good with things like this and do travel agents still exist?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

4 rooms isn’t enough to get the hotel’s groups sales department involved.

Honestly, I still like to book directly with the hotels (using the links on this site gets you there and gives us a little boost as well). This gives the most flexibility in changing reservations and plans as their policies are typically best in this area.

As far as travel agents go, they certainly do exist. While I book most of my travel online, a trusted travel agent is great for places you’ve never been (especially overseas where there could be ‘gotchas’) and for complicated reservations like multi-party stays. Never hurts to ask.

Richard J Trent asked on 09/14/07

Hi, and Greeting from the UK!

My fiance and I are getting married in the Venus Garden at Caesars Palace in October. We have 35 to 40 guests travelling to Las Vegas with us from England. After the 1pm sevice we are having a meal in a private room at CP during the afternoon for the wedding formalities, which is booked until 5pm.

We are hoping to resume around 7pm for those that would like a more casual get together; drinks and dancing etc. We have a couple of children in the party (11 and 13) and are really stuck for options.

Is there anywhere you can suggest?
We wondered if it’s possible to hire a large suite (central strip location) for a single evening and invite the guests there or head to a specific venue?

First timers to Vegas and really need some help!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

First off, congrats. What part of the UK are you from? When I was a kid, I lived in Cambridge for a year while my Dad was a University doing post-Doctoral work. I love the UK.

I get a fair amount of requests for info on group options (dining, etc…) and to be honest, this is an area that I have some trouble, mostly because often times people ask for inexpensive options and often group+inexpensive don’t mix.

If you’re looking for a hotel suite to hold a party, that’s an excellent idea. Several hotels have ‘Hospitality Suites’ especially designed for this purpose and they’re often used pre/post wedding for this sort of thing.

If you need some names, Caesars itself has a few. The Mirage has a whole bunch Hospitality at The Mirage and Treasure Island has a few. Both Bellagio and Wynn Las Vegas also have some on the high end.

If you do have an even larger budget, another option is to get convention area space (some of it is quite nice, don’t worry about that) and they can do it up for this purpose. This is also a common solution.

I hope that this helps. Write back if you need more info.

Debbie asked on 09/13/07

We would like to go to Vegas for New Years this year but do not want one of those club venues. We are 3 couples and everyone is in their 30’s. We looking for a fun night of dinner, and possibly a bar with dancing after. We are willing to spend money but do not want a cheesy venue. Any suggestions?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, a lot of hotels have parties specifically for New Years, some just for high rollers and some to which you can simply buy tickets. Many include dinner.

Other than that, a lot of the big shows, like ‘O’, ‘Le Reve’, ‘Ka’, etc… have dinner+show deals you can look into. They’ll combine pre-show dinner with a special performance that include champagne, balloons, etc…

For more mellow dancing on New Years, maybe try places like MIX (THEHotel at Mandalay Bay), Fontana Lounge (Bellagio – currently closed but should be re-open by NYE), and maybe even rumjungle (Mandalay Bay), which has been trending to a slightly older audience.

Cheri asked on 09/13/07

Booked a room at the Monte Carlo for 4 nights. How’s the hotel overall? I’ve read mixed reviews and am getting leary. Which side is best for room location? Thank you again. Hope you can help.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Don’t get too leary but I think ‘mixed’ is the best way to describe most people’s reaction to the resort. Part of that is context – compared to hotels in other cities it is a great value and not a bad room. Compared to luxury offerings in Las Vegas from places like Bellagio, Wynn Las Vegas, The Venetian and more mid-range joints like The Mirage, TI, THEHotel and others.

With Monte Carlo, you probably want to be on the South side these days – the North side is dominated by construction noise from City Center which is going up next door. The view isn’t stellar but since they work almost 24×7, you’re best served on the South side.

John asked on 09/13/07

Thanks for the answers you are helping great. I got another if you can. I wanna get it to the top nightspots. I’ve seen these passes to get to the front of line and I’ve also seen V.I.P. escorts. What is the best way to go about getting into the best nightclubs in Vegas?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

We’ve covered this a lot – first thing I suggest is to do some searches here on the site using terms like ‘bottle service’, ‘nightclub’, ‘line’, etc…

By far, the best way to get into a club is to reserve a table with bottle service. When visiting with a group of friends, the cost per person becomes much more reasonable. This is the best way, hands down.

The line passes typically just get you into another line and you still end up waiting to get in.

On top of it all, the bouncer can decide not to let you in no matter what kind of pass you have.

Shay asked on 09/12/07

Wanted your guy’s opinion on which is a better hotel to stay at for a few nights, Bellagio or Wynn? I am looking for a romantic atmosphere overall, with luxurious suite experience.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I can say confidently that both would be strong choices. For many people, this comes down to personal preference, enough that I’d almost say you should pick one for this trip and then the other for the next.

They both have some plusses and negatives relative to each other. The rooms at Wynn LV have the edge as they are newer and have more modern amenities and better design – things like floor to ceiling windows. Restaurants at both have some really high points and a few so-sos. Okada and Bartolotta at WLV and Sensi and Picasso at Bellagio are particular stand-outs. Bellagio’s location is better as it is in the middle of the Strip.

As far as entertainment goes, ‘O’ is generally considered better than ‘Le Reve’. Wynn also has ‘Spamalot’.

Though Wynn Las Vegas is technically rated higher (on the Tower Suites side – make sure you’re on that side of the hotel), service at both hotels is very high.

I’d be happy either way though I probably personally gravitate to Wynn Las Vegas more these days.

Percy asked on 09/12/07

Best, for food and service, steakhouse under $200 per head with a bordeaux? Best other than a steakhouse (same rules)?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

For steakhouses, my tops are Delmonico (The Venetian) and SW (Wynn Las Vegas) – both are truly great and everyone I have given the recommendations to have come back raving – these are winners.

Delmonico is more traditional though a few dishes have a Cajun flair. SW opened with a strong French tilt but that’s been tempered a bit.

Other than steakhouses, my top two other picks are both at Wynn Las Vegas: Bartolotta (Italian with heavy fish bias) and Okada (Japanese). Both are incredible.

John asked on 09/12/07

Thinking about going to Vegas in March. Whats the weather like? Also where is the best hotel to stay for a group of 20 somethings looking for a good party everynight?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

March should be pleasant during the day but probably jeans weather… Nighttime will be a little chilly most nights.

Party wise, lots of choices these days.

Check out: THEHotel at Mandalay Bay, Wynn Las Vegas, The Mirage, TI, The Palms, and the Hard Rock. All of those offer a lot of party, in or nearby… Though there are so many spots on the Strip that it is almost hard to go wrong.

Margaret D asked on 09/10/07

Hi Hunter,

Just back from Vegas and in the 10 years we have been going the last few years seem to less and less people smoking. That said this past long weekend at the Venetian had more young people smoking then I have ever seen. It was horrible. Is one casino/hotel more known for being more smokey then the others? The hotel was wonderful and suite great but the smoking terrible. Also the young women had dresses that were so short if they bent down they would make it in playboy. I did not see this type of crowd at the other hotels. I thought the Venetian was for the convention type, is this the norm or just some special weekend?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, this past weekend was MTV VMA (Video Music Award) weekend so the number of uber-hip/wanna be/chain smoking/douchebag/indie people was much much higher than normal.

Generally speaking, all modern casino-hotels have good air filtration systems that are designed to minimize the impact on other guests, The Venetian included.

This weekend was extraordinary compared to others because of the special event.

jennifer asked on 09/09/07

does the $20 trick really work anymore. i’m staying at the luxor in a week. also – do you know much about ’joe’s crab & seafood’ at the forum shops. i know it’s a little expensive – but is it good?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

It does work in some places, sure. It’s a tough thing to measure – I’m sure the actual success rate is probably pretty low but you don’t have much to lose.

On Joe’s Crab and Seafood, it’s sorta a mini-chain out of MIami. The food is great – an excellent choice for shellfish and also steaks.

Shelly asked on 09/08/07

HI Hunter – we’re always reviewing your site – it’s great! Question: we’ve been travelling to LV about 4 times a year for the past 5 years, usually staying at signature, Skylofts, WLV or Bellagio PH. I only drop a couple hundred dollars a day, but we definitely dine in the high end (and wonderful) spots. Just curious – other than about $35 playback, we have never, ever been offered a comp of any kind. No room, meal, airport ride – nothing!Just what does it take to get an offer of some type? We have signed up for just about every Player’s Club card one can get, and I use them when I gamble. We knew you would know this one!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks for the kind words…

For table games, to even be rated at all you need to be playing $25/hand for at least 4 hours a day – below that and they don’t bother to keep track. At that level, you’ll probably be offered a casino rate room, which is typically say $129/night or so at a place like Bellagio. For slots, different places use different metrics (coin in, through, etc…) to determine ratability but it’s all about the points you generate. They are all different but you can call or stop by the booth to ask what your point balance is and then also how many points you need for specific comps.

The first rule of comps is: ask, ask, ask. Especially at the fringe levels, the people that ask more are often the people that get more.

Erica asked on 09/07/07

No Question. Just wanted to say thank you for all of the information. Planning to go to Vegas for the first time in December and this website was VERY helpful in deciding where to stay, play, etc. Thanks!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

You’re welcome. Glad we can help. For those that are looking for ways to express their gratitude, book your trip through the links on this site – that’s how we make money – when you book your trip from these links. It’s the best way to say ‘thank you’ if you’re so inclined.

Beyond that, we also have a PayPal donation button on this page for folks that feel like we may have saved them money or time.

Enjoy Las Vegas.

Andrew asked on 09/07/07

this is probably a dumb question but i am going to Vegas next week for my 21st birthday and i want to know… if i win big, do i need my actual social security card or if i know the number am i in the clear?

thank you,

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

You should be fine just with the number. If for some reason they can’t verify your SSN, they are required to take the taxes out right there on the spot but I’ve never heard of this for non-foreign visitors. Good luck – way to think positive, eh?

Scott asked on 09/05/07

Hi Hunter, this is a very informative site you have here! We will be staying at the Bellagio in about a month, and I have a couple questions:

I reserved what the reservationist called a Bellagio Partial Lakeview Suite in the Spa Tower. Do you know how “partial” a view of the fountains that would typically be?

I’ve also read stories from people that stayed in a Penthouse Suite, talking about access to VIP services, line passes, etc. I’ve only read hints at this from people that stayed in a Bellagio Suite. However, the reservationist told me it was on a keyed access floor (which I assume would mean a special elevator, same as Penthouse suites?), and to use the Invited Guests check-in. Is that the same as the VIP check-in? Can I expect to receive the same VIP perks as those in a Penthouse Suite with regard to use of the VIP lounge, line passes, and so forth?

Thank you!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


As far as I know, all the rooms in the Spa Tower that face the lake are in the computer as ‘Partial Lakeview’ because you can indeed not see the entire lake and the further North you are, the less you can see due to how the building is positioned (you’re blocked by the main tower). Here’s an example:

Spa Tower View

VIP check-in and Invited Guest check-in are different. VIP check-in is in a private room for higher end players and other VIPs. Invited Guest check-in is a separate line in the main check-in area. Typically the VIP perks are only given to the highest end customers or via a special promotion.

Vinay asked on 09/05/07

Hi Hunter,
We are 5 people planning to visit Vegas later this month and would like to know if any of the hotels on the strip accomodate 5 people in one room (with the extra bed)? Will the 20$ trick help us in any way in this regard?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

They will do up to four people in a regular room and they will charge for the extra two people…

I have heard of people sneaking in extra guests in the past without any negative effects. Your mileage may vary.

Mary Kay asked on 09/03/07

Hunter I need your help ASAP!! I hope this gets to you in time. On 9/8 we had planned to go to Pollyesthers at the Strat for my 40th. A group of about 7 35-45 yrs old. Now I see there is some kind of goofy pre-MTV thing going on there. This is going to be a hassle huh? Lines and $$ I suspect. We were eating at Fellinis first. I guess I can change dinner to accomodate something else, what do you suggest? A fun bar/lounge/able to dance a little nightspot. Thanks!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yeah, you’re probably right about this. Actually, that weekend is going to be wall-to-wall folks every night – I’m not really sure where to send you. If you’re at Fellini’s already, you might as well check it out but my guess is you’re going to be somewhat stuck almost all over.

Anny asked on 08/31/07

How is the bellagio as hotel to stay? First time going to Vegas. How is the Monty Phyton Spamalot show?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Bellagio is great – my second favorite place to stay in town after WLV. We stayed there last December and I was very impressed with the service. We were in the Spa Tower in a Salone Suite – very happy.

With Spamalot, if you like Monty Python, you’ll love it. If you like British humor you’ll love it. If you hate both, maybe skip it. We loved it.

gilbert asked on 08/30/07

Hellow Hunter, just got back from LV, going back Nov 30.I’m planning on staying at Excalibur, will the rates skyrocket or should i book now?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Book now. If you book direct with the hotel you can always call and get a lower rate if it is available later… Book later and you might be sorry.

Jonathan asked on 08/30/07

Hey Hunter,

What do you know about THEdelux at The Hotel at Mandalay Bay? They are supposed to be rooms not suites. I thought it was an all suite tower. Do you know where the location of these rooms are located in the tower? Where they always there and never advertised before or did they create these rooms recently?


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I believe these are optional second bedrooms for the suites that when they aren’t rented as two bedroom suites, you can get the room as a stand alone.

Imagine a THEHotel suite without a living room.

Dave asked on 08/29/07

Just a few short questions on our Sept trip. We are staying the MGM Grand. Any room types you suggest? Is there a high end wine/champagne shop at the MGM or nearby?

Off the wall question: I enjoy the details behind the LV hotel/condo construction. Is there a specific new construction tour for commerical real estate nerds like me?


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Second question first… Other than perhaps touring the City Center sales pavilion next to Monte Carlo, I can’t think of any tours… If you’re not familiar with our blog, we talk about that stuff all the time because that’s what I’m interested in too – Two Way Hard Three

As far as room types, I usually just tell folks that care about the hotel room to go for whatever they can afford without having to make major sacrifices in other parts of the trip. The Hollywood Suites are pretty decent for the price… The Skylofts are tops if money isn’t an issue.

As far as a wine/champagne shop, the hotel will be happy to sell that stuff to you from room service/catering. If you’re looking for an actual shop, nothing really great in walking distance.

tony asked on 08/29/07

The Palms.

Is it really all its hyped up to be?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Personally, I say not really… When it first opened I would have said absolutely not… Now, they have improved their offerings with the Fantasy Tower and Playboy Club – it’s more interesting than it used to be but most of the hype is just that – hype.

martycohen asked on 08/28/07

we are staying at the rio.I like to know if one of the towers was up dated.firm beds are a must which tower has a better view of stip room numbers would be helpful. which buffet would you choice for dinner what other resturants in the RIO are good.the gold coast hotel arriva and cortez room worth the walk.noras cuine 6020 w flamingo rd and billy bobs steakhouse in sams town worth the cab ride.thinking of going to lake mead cruise hover dam tour from ballys how long do you think it would really take to get there.please give your opinnion on all the above.thank you

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

In the future, please try to limit it to one or two questions per submission – this is a free service and in an effort to help as many people as possible, I like to try to spread my time around – the above questions are a whole vacation!

Anyway, here are some thoughts:

There are two towers at the Rio, the Ipanema (original) and the Masquerade (newer, taller). Both have been renovated a couple of times since they were originally built. The Masquerade Tower’s rooms are larger and have better views of the Strip, generally speaking.

If you like buffets and you like seafood, that option is a reputable choice. The main buffet used to be considered one of the best in town. It has been eclipsed but is still popular. Other than that, the Rio has a bunch of other good restaurants but that’s what our hotel ratings are for – follow the link below to see other opinions.

Is the Gold Coast worth the walk? It’s about 100 feet so unless you hate walking, you don’t have much to lose.

I would not take a cab ride to Sam’s Town for any of their restaurants.

Bronco asked on 08/27/07

Hunter heading to a family reunion. We are looking for a restaurant on the strip, that might be nice, yet reasonably priced where we can get a private room and hold a dinner party one night. Any suggestions? On that same note to avoid embarassment; will one of the buffett restaurants set up a table for 20-30 people, or is that asking too much?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

No, I don’t think you’ll be able to get that sort of specialized dining out of a buffet – the only chance would be to call ahead for the catering department and see if something maybe could be worked out.

As far as group dining, I’ve gotten this question a few times recently so instead of answering it again with the same content, I suggest using the search – try group dining or private dining

jill asked on 08/24/07

Friends are travelling to Vegas by Motorcoach. We are travelling by plane. Therefore, we are looking for hotel accommodations and an rv park. Besides Sam’s Town, what can you recommend? We could stay at a casino near an rv park, but need recommendations. Thank you.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The only RV park on the Las Vegas Strip is at Circus Circus – give them a look.

Mary Kay asked on 08/23/07

Thanks so much for all yuor expertise. i am on this site all the time for your sage advice! We are off again to Vegas 9/8-9/11. We are staying at the Flamingo and got a screamin’ deal for the GO rooms. My question is, do you know if they have adjoining rooms avialable with the deluxe? How about the luxury? We had them at TI and it worked out well. Thanks and have a great day.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


While it is possible it could work out, since ‘Go’ rooms are still sorta new and there aren’t a ton of them in inventory, getting adjoining rooms can often be a tough request for them to fill. They won’t guarantee anything but they will try to help you. If they can’t fill your request initially and you’re willing, you might consider telling them that you’re willing to move mid-trip as well.

Mark asked on 08/23/07

Hi Hunter,

I have a question about steak dinners in Las Vegas and which one is a better deal. The steak and shrimp Mr. Lucky’s special at the Hard Rock or the 16 ounce special in the Monterey Room of the Gold Coast. What’s the cost? Or are there any other steak specials you would recommend?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Both are good deals… The Gold Coast setup is about $10 and is more of a traditional steak meal, potato, etc… The Hard Rock/Mr. Lucky’s deal is not on the menu – you have to ask for it. For a long time it was $7.77 but I think they may have slightly raised the prices.

Those two are the most notorious, no doubt.