Ask The Experts Your questions answered by our editors

What is your question about Las Vegas?

Whether it's gambling tips, choosing the right hotel or finding out what's the hottest club, RateVegas is here to answer all of your questions.

Please review these guidelines before submitting your question.

Your question will NOT show up here until it is answered! Please do NOT submit it again.
Please use our search function before you submit a question. Many questions have already been answered.
We try to answer your questions within 5-7 days, but this is a free service so sometimes it can take longer.
Many questions about the "$20 Trick" have been answered. Please use our search function before asking about it.

Ask A Question

Questions & Answers Ask The Experts

Elisa asked on 07/13/07

Just responding to Robert’s question of July 11. He wrote “Im a big fan of the late 1980’s music. For Example The Gap Band,Rick James,Rodger N Zapp Ex….is there any casinos that offer live music of that stlye…” We just got back last night after a week at Ballys. They have a group performing in the casino. Don’t remember the name of the band, but they did play Kool and the Gang, Commodores, bands I think Robert would enjoy. Hope this helps!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


Melinda asked on 07/13/07

Hi Hunter. Thanks for answering my recent question about Bill’s Gamblin Hall. We feel very good about our choice.

We’re now trying to choose between two Italian restaurants. Batista’s Hole in the Wall, and Bucca di Beppo. I’ve read good and bad reviews on Batista’s, and a friend told me Bucca del Beppo was good. We like casual dining, with a friendly staff, and yummy food.

Do you have a recommendation for either of them?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, Bucca di Beppo is a chain so it’s not something you’ll only find in Las Vegas. I’ve eaten at other outlets of Bucca and it’s been fine. Batista’s is more of a Vegas place and I’ve had one good meal there.

Robert asked on 07/11/07

Hello Hunter
Going back to Vegas at the end of this Month.Staying at Harrahs got a really good rate 4 nite trip Sunday Thru Thursday. I wanted to find out Im a big fan of the late 1980’s music. For Example The Gap Band,Rick James,Rodger N Zapp Ex….is there any casinos that offer live music of that stlye while or any other style while you are gambling? And do you no of any good Prime Rib And Steak n Egg Specials around town. About a year back before the San Remo Changed to Hooters the had a Prime Rib or a
Steak N Eggs Special for 5.95 and it was Exellent? Thanks for your time.and thanks for this Service.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Hey There,

Actually, live music in casino open-air lounges is harder to find these days. There are still some places that have it, but expect the style of music to change often and without warning. Paris Las Vegas has a little theater right there that is open to the casino where they often have live music. Other joints that used to have this, like MGM Grand and The Mirage, no longer do it.

On the food front, I’m not usually one to sample the sub-$6 steak after several bad experiences in my past. I have heard that Binion’s reinstated coffee shop fare fits the bill.

K. Oppel asked on 07/10/07

Thanks so much for answering my questions. Have a blessed day,
Resectfully, College MOM

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

You are welcome!

Kristin asked on 07/09/07

Quick question – Are the Flamingo pools open all year round? If yes, are any of them heated, if no, when do they close?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yes the pools are open year round with the exception of several weeks in the Winter when they do their maintenance. This varies so check with them prior to arrival. At least one of the pools is heated, yes.

Juan asked on 07/09/07

Hola, Hunter….

Like many reveiwers and readers have stated… thanks for a great site! It’s been a huge source of information. Thanks to the reviewers too. I will leave my $.02 when I get back from Vegas in a week. I have been to Vegas a few times but I just let my friends execute our plans (room, shows, etc). I will be staying at Paris and have read about the “P” rooms. Off the top of your head, do you know if these rooms also have a view of the Bellagio Fountains? I guess I am being greedy, I want the extra room and the view. ;D

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks! The Paris ‘P’ rooms can feature Bellagio views, yes. Actually, that’s one of the amenities that they use to convince folks to go for the ‘P’ rooms… They know which rooms have views and which do not – they are indicated in the computer so make sure you ask.

Sandy asked on 07/09/07

I really just have a comment on just having returned from Vegas on a Fourth of July trip. Where the heck can you get a decent drink in Vegas now? We stayed at the Monte Carlo and ordered absolute and tonics, 2 for 16.00 and they were weak and he used the gun dispenser, is that really absolute in there? Harrah’s also never poured from the bottle and the cost was the same as well as being weak. We did have the best steak dinner at Boa’s in Caesar’s, filet melted in your mouth and great service and atmosphere,check it out!Also Battista’s hole in the wall, what fun and a great value! The old bar next to it serves better drinks than all the fancy hotels on the strip, a miller lite and hot dog 2.50 with friendly bartenders!Really disappointed this time with drinks and cabbies!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Many of the hotels have indeed installed those drink guns that ensure that they never over-pour the drinks. This seems to be more common at former Mandalay Resort Group properties (MB, Luxor, Excal) and Harrah’s joints. You won’t see that at nicer places like Bellagio or Wynn Las Vegas. Some Caesars bars have ‘em, some don’t.

I hate those things too so I feel your pain.

Brent N asked on 07/08/07

Two tipping questions:

What’s the best strategy to get a good seat when there is a wait at a restaurant? Do I tip the hostess when I put my name on the list or do I tip the person that actually seats me once they call my name? What’s a “good” amount to tip for a preferred seat?

When tipping housekeepers, how do you indicate that cash/chips left in the room each day are for them? Previously, I’ve left cash or chips on the nightstand before and had it there when I returned each evening so I waited until the end of the stay to leave a tip knowing that it was clear that anything left at that point was for the housekeeper…however, I now realize that I may have “juiced” one or more of the housekeepers who happened to be off on the day that I checked out.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

For housekeepers, what I typically do is write ‘Thank You’ on a piece of paper from the notepad and stick the money or chips on top/next to that note. That eliminates the confusion and if you have a request (i.e. extra towels, more pillows), you can just write it there as well.

For restaurants, you’ll be best off tipping when you arrive / get on the list – you’re giving them the tip at the crucial moment when they are trying to figure out where to put you instead of after you’ve already been seated.

K. Oppel asked on 07/06/07

Husband & I will be on our first visit to Vegas in August unfortunatly there is a convention in town that week with an expected crowd of 62,000, but oh well. I’ll be blunt, two kids in college = total vacation bargain hunters. Got cheap air, $55 per nite at Harrahs and payless car rental (plan on doing Red Rock & Hoover)and mostly free stuff. Question – Will be checking in around 7-8p.m. Sunday evening will checkin at harrahs be bad then (as far as time consuming and # of good rooms left) and do you think $20 trick will get a upgrade to a junior suite in carnival tower, 2 beds in a quiet area or am I asking for too much. Would love to throw in I want a view but it doesnt really matter too much. Is all this doable or should I ask for just an upgrade (I’m assuming upgrade means to a suite, yes I know I’m green)and hope you get Carnival tower. Dont want to be pushy but since I’m a cheapo I dont want to waste a $20 for just a regular room in Carnival. Also if you feel checkin at hotel will be bad I have heard the 20 trick does not work at airport checkin, whats your take on it. Thanking you in advance for any info you may forward. The broke college mom

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Of course it varies but typically Sunday is a checkout day and generally speaking, an evening check-in on Sunday will be a breeze. Room inventory is much more available Sunday-Thursday so that increases your $20 trick chances, though getting bumped to a Junior Suite is probably wishful thinking… You never know though and the spoils go to the customers that ask for things so put it out there… Don’t worry about being pushy – just be polite and state your request clearly – if they say something like ‘sorry, we do not have any upgrades available’, you can pull the tip back before handing it over.

Have a great time!

Lin Perry asked on 07/06/07

I’m flying into McCarran late on the afternoon of this coming Labor Day (9/03)and had planned to rent a mid-sized or compact car through early afternoon of 9/15.

Because I seem to have nothing but bad luck (break downs, mechanical problems, etc.) with virtually all the American made cars I’ve rented in past years, I would VERY, VERY much prefer to rent a Toyota (something like a Corolla, Prius, or Camry) or else a Nissan (ideally an Altima), both of which I’ve consistently had GOOD luck renting.

To secure such a rental, I’ve contacted almost all of the rental car firms which serve McCarran, trying to determine who might offer these cars, and from which rental firm I might have the best chance of actually showing up and finding a Nissan or Toyota waiting for me.

So far, I’ve gotten nowhere. Any ideas or recommendations?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Hmmm, interesting. I’ve never had a rental car question – first time for everything I guess.

Are you a member in any rental car loyalty programs? This will give you access to more options / ability to state your preferences. Of course some rental companies are owned by car manufacturers (i.e. Hertz) and thus are only going to get you certain types of cars, such as Ford, etc…

You state that you’ve had good luck with foreign cars in the past – have you tried reserving with the same company in Las Vegas?

I dunno, good luck. Sorry I can’t help more. Maybe try this:

Mark asked on 07/04/07

Hey Hunter,

Great web site. I was wondering about your opinion on the closing of the “New Frontier” Do you have any memories good or bad about the place? Where does it rank among the other places that have been torn down on the strip?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks for the kind words.

I haven’t ever stayed there but I have spent a fair amount of time on the casino floor so I feel like I can comment.

Honestly, out of all of the recent and scheduled implosions, the Frontier will probably be the least missed. For some reason it really hasn’t carved out a spot in people’s hearts like the Stardust, Sands or even The Dunes.

D. nelson asked on 07/04/07

I have talked my parents into visiting Vegas and they are going Dec. 3-7. I have never been there at that time of the year, what can they expect crowd and weather wise? Also, I always chose the parking garage, but at their age I suggested using Vallet parking, how does it work and how long does it take to get your car back? Also, could you suggest a good resturant that has a good view of vegas for them.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Early December is typically the same time as National Finals Rodeo, which this year is 12/6-12/15 or thereabouts… NFR is BUSY so expect crowds. The time between the end of NFR and Christmas is dead in case they want to re-schedule.

Weather wise, it’s cold at night in December and can be cold during the day. Jeans, pants, and jackets are required to avoid misery.

Valet works like pretty much anywhere else – you give them the car, they give you a ticket. To get the car back, reverse the process but include a tip. How long it takes depends on many factors, most importantly how many people are waiting (time of day) and which hotel we’re talking about. I’ve waited 5-10 minutes in a good case and as long as maybe 20 minutes at a busy time.

There aren’t very many restaurants with city views. You’re pretty much looking at MIX, Eiffel Tower Restaurant, Top of the World, and Alize. I’ve linked up the various hotels below so you can read more about them.

RICH KOZAK asked on 07/03/07


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Depending on what part of the hotel you are going to be in, you will hear some construction noise, yes.

The Spa Tower will be the worst with main tower rooms facing North being the least noisy.

Margaret D asked on 07/01/07

We are having our room comp’d at the Venetian by the casino host and it is in the original tower (older one). Are the higher floors considered to be an upgrade? I often see it mentioned that someone was given a upgrade by the front desk to a higher floor. My question is if the registration clerk gives us a upgrade without us asking for it will the difference between the regular room and the upgrade be charged to our account or be shown in some way that would require us to gambel more to pay for the upgrade?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, some people like the higher floors for the view and consider that an upgrade but in most hotels, higher floors aren’t officially considered upgrades, no.

They won’t make a change to your reservation that will cost you anything without you explicitly approving the charge – you don’t have to worry about that and if somehow that did happen, a manager would remove the charge if you asked – they don’t spring stuff on their customers like that.

JC asked on 06/29/07

Thanks for your earlier, prompt response. I was able to book 4 nights at the Riviera and roundtrip airfare from Florida for about $1000.00 even in January.
About January in Vegas- whats the weather like ? Are most hotel pools closed or open with reduced hours. What are the chances of snow/ice/really cold temperatures in January ?
Also whats the best public transportation options for those without cars ? Ive heard cabs get expensive and the busses/monorail have discount passes where you can ride all day for about 10 bucks. Is this a good deal or better and more practical just to walk up and down the strip ?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

January will be cold, even if you have sunny days. Make sure you bring long pants or jeans and a jacket or sweater for nighttime. The desert does get cold but ice and snow are not likely.

As far as pools go, it depends. Hotels often use the Winter to do maintenance so check with your hotel for the specific dates.

For public transportation, it depends on where you will be going. The Strip is very walkable if you enjoy that sort of thing. The monorail can be a good option if you are traveling a long distance but for short hops, it isn’t very practical as the stations are located at the very rear of the properties and these places are so big that’s like a city block or two! For a short trip, walking is faster.

Cabs can get expensive but are also the most convenient if you’re in a hurry.

Have fun.

JC asked on 06/26/07

It is currently June and I am planning a trip to Vegas in January of 2008. The week I am there, the “World of Concrete” convention is also in town. Is this a huge event that will severely affect my ability to get an available hotel room ?

Also, call me cheap or whatever you like, but I refuse to pay $150-$200 a night at a hotel just because it says Ballys or Mirage on the outside walls. Isnt there somewhere the normal, hard-working person(not a corporate fatcat) can stay on or near the strip without dropping an absurd amount of money just to drop your bags and sleep somewhere ? Am I better off waiting(trip is still 6 months away) to get some better prices. But if I wait, will this Concrete expo end up hurting my chances of getting a room ? Confused- please help, thanks…

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The concrete convention is fairly large – they are expecting 85,000 people for 2008.

This is why you’re seeing elevated rates for the rooms but waiting to book would be a huge mistake. If you book now and directly with the hotel, virtually all offer 24 hour cancellation meaning you can continue to look for a better deal if you want to. If you wait, there’s a good chance rates will rise or rooms will simply sell out. Be sure to check the cancellation policy when you book but I suggest you book now.

If you’re looking for some inexpensive lodging, try some of the following (in no particular order):

  • Sahara
  • Stratosphere
  • Imperial Palace
  • Planet Hollywood
  • South Point
  • Bill’s Gambling Hall
  • Tropicana
  • Riviera
  • Circus Circus

Steve asked on 06/26/07

I heard a few months ago that the sports book at Harrah’s was being renovated and bets were being taken at the piano bar. Do you know if this is true and if so, do you have any info on it?

Thanks a lot.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The Harrah’s race and sports book is open near the poker room – they are taking bets normally.

Lisa asked on 06/26/07

Going to Vegas, Mirage. Have tickets for LOVE. I have searched the web just wanting to know the dress attire for the show. I want to be prepared. Can you please let me know.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

You’ll see people in all manners of dress, from casual to business casual… I’d probably skip shorts but other than that, you can pretty much wear anything you’d like.

Nancy asked on 06/26/07

We are trying to plan a nice steak dinner while in Vegas. I have read mixed reviews of Delmonico’s and it is confusing me! I was hoping to get your opinion on which restaurant is worth trying, when quality of food, and service are what we’re looking for.

SW Steakhouse, Prime, or Delmonico’s?

Thanks a lot for your opinion.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

All three restaurants are very good but I would give Delmonico the edge. I’m not sure about bad reviews. I’ve eaten there at least a dozen times and never had a bad experience – go with confidence.

SW and Prime are both good alternatives but I would pick them only if the ‘D’ is full.

Jeremy Aldridge asked on 06/25/07

As I have previously told you in getting your invaluable information, I’m coming to Vegas with my wife and another couple. I’m not big on day trips as I like to gamble while I’m there…but considering I’ve been the Vegas quite a few times, I’m open to spending a half day on a excursion. I know the Hoover Dam is nearby, but I’d much rather see the Grand Canyon. My question is how long a drive is it, or am I going to need to do a helicopter tour? Any thoughts idea on prices for a rental car for the day and the helicopter route? A link would be fine. Thanks for the help.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The drive is pretty long – depending on your speed and conditions, expect a 3-6 hour drive in each direction. If you want to spend a half day, you’re going to have to go the chopper route. I like Maverick

Fiona Lamont asked on 06/25/07

I’m booked to stay at the Luxor in September and have just heard that there is renovation work ongoing at present.

Has anyone been there recently that would be able to forewarn me what works are being carried out and what sort of state the place is in? Would rather go preparing for the worst rather than being disappointed when I arrive.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yeah, here’s a recent blog article with info:

Luxor: Rather Sleep in a Tent

Chris asked on 06/22/07


Ive been a long time fan of this staying in a bellagio 2 br penthouse in july, and i was wondering if they had any of those in the spa tower or are the 2 br penthouses only in the main tower?and have they even started those damn suite renovations yet? with the rate they are going city center will be up and running and Wynn’s golf coarse will be fully developed before MGM Mirage renovates the bellagio suites.

thanks in advance(my future self is thanking your future self)

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


They are in both towers, yes. Most room product is available in each. The suite renovations at Bellagio – long promised – are supposedly underway according to the person I spoke with. If you’re concerned with getting a newer room, request the Spa Tower as it is if of course newer.

The suite renovations were originally supposed to have been done almost two years ago. It is crazy it has taken this long,

Phil asked on 06/22/07

Hello everybody!
Just back from Vegas and stayed at the Fitzgeralds. Due to my play the casino upgradet my tier status to Club Fitz Emerald. So far I didn’t get any information from the casino concerning the benefits. Do you know more about the additional treatment for Emerald members? Thanks a lot for your help!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Be patient. Sometimes it can take weeks or even a month to get new stuff from the casino.

Pam Self asked on 06/21/07

Hi Hunter,
Taking a family Vegas vacation 7-22 thru 7-27. My husband and I (early 50s)and two sons (ages 21 & 22). Was thinking of staying at two different places during our trip. Bellagio and the Plaza to get different experiences. Is that a good idea or should we stay at one location? Thanks for your advice.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Wow, talk about different experiences. Moving hotels mid-trip is a pain, especially considering most check-outs are noon and check-in is at 3pm – you’re homeless for a few hours!

Genie Helton asked on 06/21/07

Looking for a suite in Feb. of 2008 that will accomodate around 10 women (maybe less)for a 40th birthday bash. Will stay for 1 week.
Went to Vegas last Jan. and was upgraded to a suite that was dated but we loved it because it would have been great for our 40th.
How do you get the suites ahead of time and without paying an arm and a leg for them.
I have heard of people going to Vegas and piling in 1 room, however, the 3 trips that we have made in the last year and half, we have had to present our room key before getting on the elevator.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Suites go quickly so it is always a good idea to book as far in advance as you can.

SInce they are popular, getting a deal is tough. Your best bet is to shop around for rates and if you’re flexible on timing, during the week is always a lot cheaper. Also, visit the hotel Web sites and sign up for their guest books – they will often send you email deals that can include suites.

Most nice hotels do check keys, yes. Still, they won’t stop you as you head up to your room.

jackie stiles asked on 06/21/07

I was reading David’s question regarding needing a bed with out the solid frame if this can’t be located maybe a rollaway cot or a pull out bed, then they can chose any hotel and request either of those options. most suites have the most room for a chair and the pull out sofas.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Great advice.

Andy asked on 06/20/07

I was at the Bellagio on June 6. Sadly, the Fontana Lounge is closed. Fixtures were being pulled. They said it was for the big Bellagio poker tournament and then the space would be used for “special events” until December when the space’s future use would be determined. None of the staff I talked to were expecting the old lounge to be reopened. I loved the place. Live music, not too noisy or dark, and not packed with twenty-somethings.My questons are:1) what’s the next best thing?; 2)Are traditional lounges with live music all doomed? Thoughts?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yeah, this was in the pipeline for some time and honestly, I think it’s a big mistake for them… This was one of a very few places with a cool vibe, great view and live music. I recommended this many, many times for folks not interested in nightclubs but wanting to go out.

Next best thing? Honestly, not a lot springs to mind. I’ll work on this one and try to update this with more info soon.

We’re discussing this on the blog:
Bellagio Closes Lounge

Michael asked on 06/19/07

Hey there Hunter. I got an email deal from Planet Hollywood, so decided to give their website a look, and it’s FINALLY updated. However, there’s not much info about the rooms. They do have the room layouts that Aladdin used, but no photos. I’m assuming that this is because they’ll be updating the rooms, but any word as to whether or not this is happening now, or in the future? thanks as always!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


The room updates have barely started and will be ongoing through 2007 and into 2008.

The public areas of the hotel have mostly been changed, the mall is in the middle of its transformation and the facade is still a construction zone.

The rooms are currently vintage Aladdin with a couple of random PH touches, such as random movie paraphernalia.

Nick asked on 06/19/07

I will be staying at TI from 22/07-25/07 and have reserved a “petite suite.” The trip is kind of a summer vacation for my girlfriend and I, who are both 21. I have read numerous reviews about TI and most seem to be positive. This is my first time to Vegas and I plan on doing some gambling. Anyway, my main question regaurds the bathrroms in the petite suite, speciifically the whirlppol tub. Are the tubs large enough for two people and would trying to upgrade to a larger suite be worth it?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yes, the tub is designed for two and assuming average sized persons, it shouldn’t be a problem.

The larger suites are always nicer but honestly, at TI getting bumped to the next level would be pretty tough.

Don’t worry, you’ve got a nice room.

Have a great time!

Sara asked on 06/18/07

Thanks for the help! As a follow up to my earlier question, isn’t Picasso a little “stuffy”? It is in consideration. What about Mix, I’ve heard mixed reviews on it…any idea? (This was for my 30th birthday and we want a very nice, yet relaxed place to eat) Thanks!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Picasso is actually less stuffy than you might think, given the prices and the menu. The staff are pretty friendly and the room is lively and bright – not secluded/dark. The dress code is business casual and while often in Las Vegas that’s more relaxed than elsewhere, you won’t find shorts or t-shirts at Picasso.

Mix – I’m not a big fan and it’s not just because of one bad meal, since that can happen to any joint. The view is to die for but other than that, I feel like it falls a bit flat. For a place with a great view and good food, consider Alize at the Palms.

Brett asked on 06/17/07


Thanks for the great answers!

Our week long trip to Las Vegas is coming up; we will be there 07/22-07/29 and had some more questions for you. (We wrote you back in December as well.)

We are a group of four 21-23 year old guys (going to celebrate everyone being 21 & single) and need some help with the points below. We are staying at the Mirage in a two bedroom tower suite.

*Can you make a suggestion for what to do during the days when we do not want to gamble? We’ve decided to make a day trip to the Grand Canyon & Hoover Dam so that takes care of one day.

*We’re all interested in going to see a magic show and would like a recommendation as to which one to go to.

*We’re also looking for a short list of “Vegas Must See” shows/entertainers that we should hit during the trip.

*Can you recommend the best strip club for our demographic? (Something middle of the way; not too expensive and not too cheap) What’s the best bet for the money?

*What kind of extras should we expect from the Mirage since we are in one of their higher tier rooms?

And, if there’s anything you can think of that we might be interested in, we’d love to hear it.
Thanks again for the great site!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, probably the most common thing for a non-gambling daytime activity would be to hang out at the pool. You might also consider visiting the spa – there’s nothing like some time in the steam room after a long night of drinking – or maybe splurge for a massage. Day trips like what you mention can also be a good idea, though the Grand Canyon is a pretty good drive if you intend to do that.

For magic, it’s Lance Burton hands down. The show is funnier than I thought it would be and despite being in the front row, I was amazed at some of the tricks. It’s a little campy but hey, that’s sorta magic in general.

As far as must see shows and entertainment, if you’re talking about full on stage shows, the Cirque shows are some of the most popular and a show like ‘O’ blows audiences away. I also really liked ‘LOVE’, which is at The Mirage. As far as lounge entertainment, that stuff changes so often that nothing I could tell you would be very helpful.

For strip clubs, there are lots of options. Crazy Horse Too is often cited as one of the most popular spots. I’d say either there or Spearmint Rhino, which often wins ‘Best Of’ awards.

Lastly, for room ‘extras’ – unfortunately, The Mirage recently discontinued their ‘Royal Service’ that came with the high-end suites. It was limo transport to/from the airport and a few other niceties. You’ll get nice stuff like turn down and all that jive… Plus the room itself is really killer. When you check in, ask for line passes for the restaurants – that will save you some time.

Hope that helps.

WMoritz asked on 06/15/07

First, love the site.

Second, the wife and I are going to Vegas July 1st – 6th and will be staying in a Penthouse Suite at the Mirage. We have a Limo reserved to and from the Airport. In the trip from the Airport to the Mirage bottled water, a bottle of champagne and roses are included. Is it acceptable to take the bottle of champagne once we get to the hotel. I mean two people can’t really drink a bottle of champagne in the time it takes to get the Mirage can they?

Lastly, if you don’t mind. On all of our previous trips I have always left the tip for Housekeeping on the last day when we check out. For example we stayed in a Penthouse Suite at Mandalay Bay last December and I left $50 (we were there for 5 nights) when we checked out. Is this the correct way to do it or should I leave $10 each morning for the night before and is this a decent amount? I ask because we noticed that there were different maids on at least 2 occassions who provided our turn-down service. Do they pool tips or did someone not get anything and someone else made out nicely?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Howdy – thanks for the kind words.

For the champagne, yes you can certainly take it on in with you. Vegas doesn’t really have hangups about this kind of stuff.

For the housekeeping tips, it’s usually a better idea to tip each day as the maids do not share tips and if you have more than one over the course of your stay, one will get shorted. A $10 a night tip is appropriate for a room of that size. Tipping the maid is a great way to get special attention for your room – so many people don’t even think about doing it!

LINDA asked on 06/15/07

Hello again, I just love this site :)
Do you know where I can get a better seating plan of the venetian theatre. I want to go and see phantom in August and I want to sit on the first upstairs level..I think this is the orchestra level but not sure…I want a clear view not looking at the back of someones head lol.

Also I want to see the grand canyon skywalk, any suggestions who to book with.I am in the UK and not sure if I should book now or when I arrive in August.
Thanks again for your help :)

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks! Good floor plans for these theaters are surprisingly hard to come by. Other than this one:

Seating Chart

I don’t think there is much out there. It’s a fairly new theater so the sight-lines are pretty good.

As far as the Grand Canyon thing goes, are you planning to fly out there? If so, check out Maverick

Debbie asked on 06/14/07

Your site is awesome and packed full of helpful information!
My husband and I are planning a trip to Vegas during the 4th of July. We have not been in Vegas over the 4th before. Do you know if any of the casinos do anything special for the holiday? I would assume the casinos would have fireworks, but didn’t know if we could expect anything extra special. Thank you for your help!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Actually, the 4th of July has typically not been something that the casinos have celebrated in a big way like New Years. Local areas have fireworks like most large American cities but in the past, nothing large and coordinated on the Strip.

Now, I hear rumblings that this may be changing so we’ll have to stay tuned and see!

Sara asked on 06/14/07

Hello. You have always been so much help to my family and I in planning Vegas trips. My husband and I are most likely going to go to Vegas for my 30th birthday. We were just there in April and stayed at Paris and Wynn. We are thinking of staying at Red Rock, what do you think? We know it’s far from the strip and that’s ok because we want a relaxing resort feel. So I’ve read mixed reviews-is it a nice place? Anything you can recommend there? Also want recommendations for my birthday dinner. Something very very nice (probably on the strip)(we like tasting menus, good champange) but maybe a place without a stuffy feeling. We have eaten at Alize a lot as we like the nice and sort of relaxed feeling. Thanks for all the help!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I really was impressed by Red Rock when I visited but I haven’t stayed in one of the rooms myself. I’ve heard it’s a very nice experience similar to a high end Strip resort. If you’re cool with the location, I think you’d be happy there for sure!

For a top end restaurant, have you considered something like Picasso at Bellagio – they have an excellent tasting menu. There’s also Alex at WLV and Robuchon at MGM Grand but they could probably be considered a bit stuffy so maybe not what you’re looking for?

Steve asked on 06/14/07

I wanted to find out if you have checked out Cafe Martarnaro(spelling?) at the Rio. It looks like a pretty cool place to eat and hang out. Any reviews or info would be helpful. Also, how would you rate Kokomos and Japonais at the Mirage?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I haven’t tried Cafe Martarano yet but I’ve heard some good things so it’s probably a safe bet.

Kokomo’s at The Mirage is a good steakhouse but honestly, there are so many places like it on the Strip, ‘good’ is a tough sell. Delmonico Steakhouse at The Venetian or SW at WLV are better bets.

Japonais was an interesting experience. I thought the food was good and the menu has some interesting things on it you won’t find elsewhere. I’d probably go back.

Drew Nelson asked on 06/13/07

I am returning to Vegas Sept 30-Oct 4. I am finding both car rental rates and hotel rates to be considerably high and even higher then when I visted back in the first of April. Is Oct or the first week of Oct. unique or special? Just wondered why the higher rates?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The Fall is typically more expensive with more convention activity, etc… That usually translates to higher rates.

margaret detren asked on 06/12/07

We will be staying at the Venetian in the older tower but are to check in at the VIP desk. This is our first time at the Venetian and I would like to know if we have to carry our suitcases through the casino to get to the elevators to the venetian tower. I looked at a floor plan/map of the casino and it looks like there could be a hall way behind and to the side of the registration desk but I can not tell for sure. Do you know if you have to walked through the casino with your suitcases. Hunter I appreciate all you help.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yeah, to get from registration to the Venetian Tower elevators, you’ll have to hike through the casino, unlike the Venezia Tower where you’re right there… If you have a bunch of bags, the bell desk would be happy to take your bags up for you.

Mike asked on 06/12/07

I’ve heard that Jay Z will be opening one of his 40/40 clubs in Las Vegas (Dec 07’). Do you know where it will be located?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Sorry, I haven’t heard anything on this topic.

Brian asked on 06/11/07

I am planning to visit Vegas in September. For my second trip I have decided to save money on my hotel because I never was in my room and stay at the Motel 6 on Tropicana Ave. I get into Vegas late ( 3:30 a.m )Saturday and do not see the reason to spend $$ for a 6-7 hour hotel stay. I am a big college football fan and have planned to enjoy my first morning in Vegas playing/watching games from 9am- check in @ MGM sportsbook. My question is concerning my luggage and will MGM/or any other property maybee watch my 1-2 bags while I am gambling in their casino?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Sure, they’ll take your bags. Just take them to the bell desk and they will hold on to them for you.

Jeremy Aldridge asked on 06/11/07

My wife and another couple are coming to Vegas in mid August. We are looking for somewhere to sit back, relax, and have a few drinks on the strip. The only location I can remember is Margaritaville’s balcony. Any other places you can recommend?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Good question. In addition to Buffet’s joint, consider Parasol Down at Wynn Las Vegas (outside but no Strip view), Bellagio’s Fontana Bar has an outdoor patio but it may be closing soon.

If you plan this around sunset-ish time, MIX on top of THEHotel at Mandalay Bay is hands down the best place for this – incredible city views.

Jennifer asked on 06/11/07

Two questions: What are the tower deluxe room like at the Mirage? Secondly, how can I get passes to some of the hottest nightclubs?
Thank you in advance for your answers. I like the location of the Mirage but not sure if the rooms are worth it.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The Tower Deluxe rooms are the same as the standard rooms but feature larger bathrooms, tubs with jets and are accessed via a special set of elevators. A nice upgrade from the standard rooms.

The best way to guarantee entry to a nightclub is to reserve a table for bottle service. This has been covered many, many times so I would suggest using the search box above if you want more info on that.

Virginia asked on 06/10/07


We’ll be in LV for 4 nights over Thanksgiving weekend. This is our 4th trip and we’ve always stayed at the MGM. This time we were considering a change. Possibly Mirage or Paris. Or maybe we’ll just stay with the tried & true MGM. What would you recommend as the best hotel among these three – or others in the same price range?

I’ve read some reviews that the beds are hard at Paris. Know anything about that?

Thanks for your help!


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I’ve never noticed anything in particular wrong with the beds at Paris and I’ve stayed there a few times…

Of the hotels you mentioned, I prefer The Mirage for its design and service. I really like the property and if you’re looking for a change, why not give it a try?

Melinda asked on 06/08/07

Thanks for all the helpful information you give!

My family and a couple of friends are going to Vegas for 7 nights on August 11. We got a great rate from Bill’s of $99.00 for Sat/Sun, and $49 for the weeknights. I’ve noticed that when anyone asks about an inexpensive place to stay, Bill’s is rarely suggested. Are they that bad?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Are we talking about Bill’s Gambling Hall, formerly the Barbary Coast?

If so, that’s a great spot and great rate! Nothing wrong with the BC at all, just they often have some higher rates but always a good choice.

steve asked on 06/08/07

I am coming to Vegas on Tue the 19th for a WSOP preliminary event and have booked at the Imperial Palace because it was very cheap and in a great location. What I wanted to find out was about the Standard Rooms. When I booked the lady I was dealing with told me the rooms were in the back of the property. What do you know about these rooms? Are they motel style rooms separated from the rest of the property? I’m not expecting much, would just like a clean room and bathroom. As long as they are clean and safe I’m cool, because I know what I’m getting with the rest of the IP.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Ouch, yeah, those are the worst rooms in the joint by far. THey overlook the parking garage and they are old and not well maintained. You’ll hear traffic all night long – I’d probably look elsewhere.

Bucky asked on 06/07/07

Hey Hunter. Going to Vegas in Sept 07. Staying @ Harrahs. 2 of us guys going for the weekend leaving the girl friends @ home. If I was to try the $20 trick what should I ask for? Clearly we do not want a queen bed, is it even worth it if its just for a view (which is not important to us). Also wondering about Harrahs pool and if it is any good, have not been able to find any pictures about it?

Thanks for the info!!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


The pool at Harrah’s isn’t all that hot – it’s really not one of the reasons people choose the hotel. It’s sorta like a hole filled with water.

As far as upgrades go, the rooms in the Carnival Tower are newer so you might want to try to end up in one of those.

MIKE asked on 06/07/07

Great Site! So I’m planning on visiting in early September with my girlfriend. The main factors in choosing where to stay are 1. Nice pool area that isn’t overrun with kids 2. Central location 3. Overall quality. Budget is about $350-400 a night Thurs-Sun.

So far the choices are :

1. Standard room at Caesars (have heard it’s pretty dated).

2. Basic room at Bellagio (have heard you get no service unless you’re spending crazy money)

3. Spa suite at MGM

Leaning toward 3 but would appreciate advice (or alternatives)


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

In regards to your comment about Bellagio and service, I can’t agree. That’s never been my experience and I’ve stayed in many different types of rooms at the hotel. The staff has always been attentive and courteous.

Of the choices you present, I would go Bellagio, MGM, Caesars in that order – and I would probably nix Caesars since those rooms are indeed dated.

You need to also check out:

  • Wynn Las Vegas – either a Resort Room or a Tower Suites room.
  • The Mirage – Tower Deluxe room.
  • THEHotel at Mandalay Bay – their standard room is a suite and very nice.

I would certainly check into those as perhaps better selections based on your criteria.

Steve Winbun asked on 06/06/07

I wanted to find out what you know about the Go Pool at the Flamingo. Not sure how big it is or how it compares to Bare or Venus Pool. Also, I have read that the Flamingo now has blackjack and craps out by the pool. What have you seen or heard about these additions?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The new ‘Go’ pool at The Flamingo is a reaction to ‘pool party’ type facilities at other resorts – you mention a few like Venus at Caesars and Bare at The Mirage. We also have Tao Beach at The Venetian, Moorea Beach Club at Mandalay and a Euro-pool at Wynn Las Vegas.

The ‘Go’ pool was formerly an adults only pool area – it’s not all that large and was picked because it is out of the way. It’s not as much of a complete experience as say, ‘Bare’ at The Mirage, which is a very well done entire sub-section. The Go pool is NOT, as some reports have said, on the roof.

I have not seen or heard of games out by the pool but I’ll follow up to see if these have been added. Other casinos like the Hard Rock and Wynn Las Vegas have pool-side games while others like Mandalay Bay are adding it.

Jamie asked on 06/05/07

Which places in Vegas (restaurants, hotels, etc) are known for good service? which ones are known for bad?

I am planning a trip, and bad service is one of my pet peeves. I’d rather pay more but get good service.

Also, any tips you have for dealing with staff there in order to get the most help/favors/assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, with hundreds of restaurants and dozens of large hotels, this would be a long posting indeed.

Fortunately, our ratings page breaks things down by service:

Generally speaking, the top end places like Bellagio and Wynn Las Vegas have the best service.

As far as dealing with staff, being polite never hurts, neither does being specific. Tipping is a part of the standard operating behavior in Las Vegas so if you really want people to take you seriously, tip accordingly.

Jamie asked on 06/04/07

I’m hoping you can clarify things for me (I love your site by the way, I book marked it at work and at home!)

I have a few questions regarding hotels and things to do. I am planning a trip for me and my best friend (25 and 27 yrs old). This is a first trip for both of us and I want to do it right. It is a celebration trip for graduation from college, and I dont know if/when I’ll be back.

I am debating between Mandalay Bay, Wynn, and Bellagio or other upscale hotels. What hotels/which rooms you suggest for the ultimate vegas experience?

I am considering booking on expedia or travelocity – is this smart? what is the best way to book?
Also, what are some must-do’s (places to eat, sights to see, which casinos?)

I love all the info on your sight, but I find it somewhat confusing when it comes down to making a decision about which to pick.

Your help is greatly appreciated!!!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thank you.

Of the hotels you mentioned, I would forget about Mandalay Bay and stick to Bellagio and Wynn Las Vegas – they provide a FAR superior experience to Mandalay, which has declined a bit in recent years.

As far as how to book, I always suggest booking directly with the hotels. For both of those places, if you use the links from our hotel pages your reservation will be made with them directly and we still get credit for the reservation so please consider that if you want to help us out. By booking with the hotels you have the most flexibility in terms of making changes to your reservation down the line

Depending on your budget, both spots offer nice standard rooms but also really great suites. At Bellagio, take a look at the Bellagio Suite and at WLV, check the Salon Suite and the Parlor Suite – both are great. If you do go with a standard room at Wynn Las Vegas, make sure you are on the Tower Suites side of the hotel – a totally different experience.

On the restaurant and must-see question, I could go on for hours. I suggest both checking out the top ten list from the main page and also reading past questions here on this page – both are a great resource when looking at options for things to do.