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Florie asked on 06/04/07

I was tasked with making a decision on where to stay this summer for a 3 night vacation, wed-sat, in Vegas. We have a budget of $1500 to use for accomadations. There will be three of us.

We’re thinking of Wynn, Bellagio, and the Venetian.

We’ve stayed at the Wynn before in their Salon suite and loved the room so much, but three nights in that room will definitely surpass the budget. We recently got one of their specials where the Salon suite is $599 sun-thurs, parlor is $399, and resort room is $199…plus $100 resort credit for staying 2 or more nights.

We’re planning on watching “O”, so that’s why Bellagio was in mind.

We saw on Venetian’s website that they’ve just remodeled some of their suites, so we’re curious about those too…especially the ones with the 2 queen beds…that way no one would be stuck with a rollaway bed or a sofa for 3 nights.

Can you please help me decide which of these three awesome properties we’d be best to stay at? I’m under the impression that you are very well versed in Vegas travels, so your input will be very much appreciated.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The first thing to remember is that The Venetian throws around the term ‘suite’ very loosely – that’s how they refer to their standard rooms so be careful there. Now, if that’s the type of room you want (their standard room with two queens), then perhaps you’re all set…

Now, I consider Bellagio and Wynn Las Vegas to be a step above The Venetian, which to me is a little too much flash and not enough substance.

If I was ranking, I’d have to say WLV, Bellagio and then The Venetian, in that order. The WLV Parlor Suites are quite nice – I’ve been in them a few times and while smaller than the Salon, they still take very good care of you!

Drew Nelson asked on 05/31/07

What do you know about the Station Casinos/Hotels? I am looking at staying at the Boulder and Texas ones on my next visit and wondered what insight you might have on them.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I’ve visited all of the various Stations and I have seen the rooms at Green Valley Ranch and Red Rock but I have never actually stayed in any of their properties. They run the gamut from super-budget to high end so all budgets are covered.

Between Boulder and Texas Station, the only issues I see really are what you want to be near and how much you care about being in the middle of nowhere… In that regard, Texas Station is a bit more remote – Boulder Station is in the same area as Sam’s Town and not too far from Downtown Las Vegas. T.S. is sorta in the middle of nowhere as far as other landmarks are concerned. Both properties have similar amenities.

If you’re looking for something solely based on costs, I would also consider: The Orleans, Gold Coast, Stratosphere and perhaps even the Sahara. All offer what I would consider better locations (though still not great… but Sahara has a monorail station which helps).

Jackie asked on 05/31/07

I will be staying at the Riviera June 10th -17th when I booked the room they told me i would be staying in the monte carlo tower, are the rooms in this tower any diferent from the other towers? I have stayed in the san remo tower before what is the difference? Should I request another tower at check in time already getting a great rate thru the players club.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The various towers (there are four) are all a little different. The best one, in terms of room size, is the Mediterranean. Not a huge difference between the San Remo and the Monte Carlo towers, though the Monte Carlo actually is a bit nicer so you’re probably slightly better off than you’re remembering… You should be in good shape!

Brian asked on 05/30/07

I am taking my GF to Vegas as a surprise for her birthday. Neither of us have been there before. I plan on getting tickets for the Cirque de soleil early, but I don’t know any other must things that we should see.

We’re gonna gamble a bit but also want to see some of the nightlife and other attractions Vegas has to offer. We will be there for the first weekend in July by the way.

I also haven’t picked the hotel yet (being that its hard with so many reviews out there) but I was thinking either Planet hollywood or Treasure Island….so any suggestions on this front would be appreciated as well. Thanks

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, since you have some fairly general, open ended questions, I would recommend looking at our ‘Top Ten’ page:

This will give you some idea what has done well in the ratings.

Rebecca asked on 05/27/07

My sister and I are going to Vegas from Sept. 12-16 for our birthdays(my 40th, her 60th). We are staying at the Golden Nugget. Do you think we have any shot of an upgrade because of our birthdays? We plan on hitting the buffets at the Bellagio and the Wynn, and are also considering a middle eastern restaurant. My question is nightlife. Where can we go for music and dancing where we won’t feel like old ladies and won’t have to spend a fortune on bottle service or cover charges?
also, this is our first time in Vegas, so are there any things you would put on a “must see” list?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

An upgrade is probably a long shot but never impossible so make sure to mention the birthday angle. It’s more likely you’d end up with some flowers in your room or something like that.

For nightlife, there’s no question that the town is geared towards younger folks. Still, a couple of places are consistently a good shot: Bellagio’s Fontana Lounge has live music and typically a more mature crowd. Also, some spots like MIX at THEHotel at Mandalay Bay offers a relaxed atmosphere and a great view.

Dustan Burgard asked on 05/26/07

hello, is there anywhere i can go to read success stories or failures of people that have tried the twenty dollar trick. I enjoy seeing if it actually works for folks but it seems that all i ever read is someone asking if they should try it. oh by the way still love the sight.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Great question! Yes, there is a new-ish site that does include some testimonials for people using it at various hotels.

The site is located here:

margaret detren asked on 05/25/07

Hi Hunter

This is more of a comment then a question. A lot of visitors ask about the cirq shows and which is best. I have seen ‘o’ and Mystere and there is a huge difference (in my opinion) between the two. We saw ‘O’ first and were blown away, it was amazing and worth very penny. We saw Mystere this past April and although it was ok and kind of cuties there was no comparison. There were no costume changes and special sets and most of the show (except for a couple of amazing acts) were more about the clown in the audience throwing pop corn at people or the girl on stage looking for her father. The cast had on the same comstumes through out the whole show. If we had attend Mystere first we would never have gone to see any other cirq show. But because we saw ‘O’ first we thought we could not go wrong attending another one. ‘O’ had so many different costumes, and acts going on at the same time you almost could not take it all in. We saw ‘O’ three years ago and I still am amazed when I think of it. If someone has never been and wants to know which is the best one they should go to ‘O’ first. Just wanted to let people know there is a big difference between the two shows. Thanks for all your great info Hunter.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yeah, I really enjoy both shows but ‘O’ is certainly much more of an experience where ‘Mystere’ to me felt like it was more about a small group of performers. I recommend both shows to folks and Mystere is good when you can’t get ‘O’ tix.

Cindi asked on 05/24/07

This may be a really hard question to follow up on, but I have to take a chance that you may know the answer….About 7 years ago we went to Vegas & stayed downtown. Someone recommened we eat at a place that had the best sandwiche. I cant remember the name of it, but as you walked from the Plaza hotel straight down towards Freemont street, we took a left about 3/4 the way to the end. Then around another block. The place was pretty full. You placed your order at the counter & then could take your food & sit. I cant even remember what the sandwiche was, but it was really really good! Can you Help, I will be going back & would like to eat there again!

Thanks sooooo much!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Sounds to me like you’re talking about Main Street Station and probably the Triple Seven Brew Pub, which is a good sandwich spot.

Kurt asked on 05/23/07

I’ve heard some conflicting information on Rum Jungle. I’m questioning what the atmosphere is in the restaurant. I’ve heard people say go there to eat and see the dancers above the bar and other places I’ve read it sounds like the restaurant is totally separate from the dance club. Can someone verify what the atmosphere is like eating there?

Thanks, Kurt

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

It’s all one big room basically, though there are a few levels that are sometimes used for private events.

Earlier in the evening it’s more like a restaurant with a little bit of a dance club vibe but later on in the evening it is much, much more ‘clubby’, though at some point they stop serving food and it’s pretty much a large bar zone.

Drew Nelson asked on 05/23/07

I am looking at coming out on my birthday in Oct. for a brief stay of 3 nights. I am looking for a nice, clean, cheap hotel to sleep at only as I would rather spend my monies on other things. Any suggestions? Do any hotels you know of offer any specials for birthdays? I will have a rental car, so getting to the hotel won’t be a problem.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

As far as specials for birthdays, not really – this isn’t very common, though they may hook you up with some champagne or something if you let them know ahead of time.

As far as your first question, have you considered Downtown Las Vegas? That’s probably going to have the best array of inexpensive hotels and if you have a car, it’s probably less of an issue to get around.

I’d take a look at the Four Queens and Main Street Station Downtown and The Orleans off the Strip.

Karen asked on 05/22/07

We are planning a trip for the Aug 20 – 25. we are quit torn as to which hotel to stay at. We’ve stayed at the Signature before and loved it, but feel we should maybe try something different. We are also considering the Wynn or the Mirage. Any thoughts?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, I think both Wynn Las Vegas and The Mirage would serve you well. Wynn LV is a newer place with nicer rooms – if you want high end luxury and can afford it, that’s probably the call. The Mirage will be slightly less expensive but still a nice spot to go if you wanted to spend a little less on the room. Both have a nice array of restaurants. I think both are strong choices and it would probably come down to rates for me.

Nick Vegas asked on 05/21/07

My wife and I are coming to vegas for the first time and staying at the palms. We stay 5/30-6/1 leavin sat. evening. We got great deals on room/flight with buy one night, second night free, only problem is we don’t have a room for friday night. We’re on a slim budget and rooms are outragous on fri. night so I was wondering if we got a combined pts. card at the hotel and did all our gambling there if we’d have a chance of getting fri. night comped or at least discounted? Or should we make reservations now? Were not opposed to stay somewhere else on fri. either if you have any cheap suggestions or know of hotels that are known for comping well? Thanks a ton. Love the site!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Honestly, it’s not very likely. I never recommend playing for comps – you typically end up losing more than what you would pay for the thing in the first place.

Of course there are exceptions to this rule but I would think long and hard about how this might turn out and have a backup plan.

For hotels, have you checked Downtown or off the Strip? Try the hotels I included below.

LINDA asked on 05/19/07

i will be coming to stay in the wynn for a week in June and i am concerned about the amount of new developments going on….will this affect my stay??? should i change hotel if so to which one to avoid any disruption? a speedy reply would be apreciated
thank you

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The construction at Wynn Las Vegas is totally isolated from the hotel and shouldn’t impact operations at all. You might request to be located on the South side of the property if you are extremely noise sensitive.

Dustan Burgard asked on 05/18/07

first off love the sight!! In three weeks we will be visiting the nyny, I called and asked a very nice lady at 1-800-nynyforme for a room with a great view strip she said that she would put us on the highest floor possible in the new yorker tower, which one is the new youker tower? do you think i should still try the $20.00 trick since i talked to someone on the phone. thanks for your help

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks for the kind words. The towers at NYNY are actually connected despite the fact they have elevators randomly placed all over the property (strange design). The New Yorker Tower is near the center of the property with elevators near their steakhouse, Gallagher’s. The $20 trick never hurts – worst case is you give up twenty bucks and sometimes the upside is pretty great – you never know.

Dan asked on 05/18/07

What have you heard about Bare at the Mirage? The website mentions that you can rent daybeds for $250. But, when I called they stated that it was $650 and that included $300 worth of liquor/food. Also, if you just pay the admission how difficult is it to find seats? Lastly, do you need to get on a list to get in, or can you just show up and pay and get in?


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The rates fluctuate quite a bit, actually. Sometimes the rates can be as low as $250 but honestly, expect to pay closer to the $650 with bottle service on most days… As far as getting in without a daybed, it’s usually totally doable but be aware that Bare is not a large facility so as it gets more popular and on the weekends, the early folks will be the ones that get in… Hotel guests don’t need to be on a list – you can pay the fee and hit the bar… This advice applies generally – sometimes special events will change the rules.

Margaret D asked on 05/17/07


Just two more questions I promise.
1.) I play the slots for 5 or 6 hours at a time (1, 5 and 25 cent slots not the $1.00+)and get good comps for rooms. My husband hardly plays at all and when he does he only plays black jack at the low min.tables so he does not get any comps. Is there any advantage for us to having a joint players card when I will be the only one building points for comps? Is it a disadvantage to have us as joint players on one card because the points I accumulate would look like they were accumulated by two people and therefore the value per person would be less. It seems to me that it would make more sence for me to have a seperate card so that my points accumulate higher and then the comps would be better.
2.)Is there a better night to see the Phampton of the Opera when it is not so busy?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Sure – a joint card can’t hurt you! Any play on your account will show your increased value as customers, even if his play isn’t big time. My guess is that over time, the way casinos rate customers will change to include all play (as tracking play becomes easier with new tech), rooms, food, shopping, etc… – it will be a total customer picture much more so than it is today.

Now, all programs are different but generally speaking, having a joint account isn’t treated as divisible by two – comps are comps and unless you would need two rooms for some reason (I assume you’re staying in the same room), it doesn’t matter.

On the Phantom question, going during the week is usually slower.

Jimbo asked on 05/17/07

Hi great site!
I wanted to ask you if you know anything about the RIO during their WSOP. My buddy is in a 1500 dollar event June 16. We are staying downtown at Fitzgeralds and taking a rent a car to the RIO. Do you think there will be ample parking there or that there are so many people there that we will have trouble parking….thanks

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Parking shouldn’t be a problem – they have surface parking and a large structure.

rob asked on 05/16/07

What is the best strip club for couples ?


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Probably Olympic Garden, north of the Strat. They have girls downstairs and guys upstairs.

M&M asked on 05/16/07

Sorry, I forgot the main question I was going to ask.We will be driving to Vegas. This is only our second trip.We are staying at Harrahs.I do not remember a driving access to get to Harrahs from the strip.I have read where you can access it by Koval Lane,but every map I look at does not show Koval Lane going very close to the back of Harrahs.How can we get to our hotel once we get to town?Thanks again.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

There’s an entrance for Harrah’s right on the Strip. Get off on Flamingo and make a left on Las Vegas Blvd. Harrah’s is on your right.

M&M asked on 05/16/07

I have read some about a couple of places in Vegas where you can shoot all types of guns.I think one is on Blue Diamond Road and the other is maybe on Flamingo.This is something the wife & I may be interested in.Can you recommend one over the other?We are not experienced at all at this,but it sounds cool. Thanks for your help.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I’ve been to the ‘Gun Store’ on Flamingo where we shot automatic weapons – lots of fun but not cheap at a buck a round.

rob asked on 05/16/07

i want to take my gf to a showgirls show. Whats better Jubilee or Fantasy ?


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Jubilee, no doubt. It’s been around longer and is more of a show.

margaret Detren asked on 05/15/07


I find your web sight very helpful, great job. My question is what is the better dates to stay at the Venetian, Saturday Sept. 1 to 4th or Wednesday Sept. 5 to 8th; considering this is a convention hotel and we would like it to be the least busy. Do you know if there is any big conventions during this time? Thanks

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, the hotel is almost always sold out all the time so it won’t make a huge difference either way. No huge conventions on either set of dates.

Steve asked on 05/14/07

I am heading to Vegas in July with my gf. What strip clubs do you reccomend that are women friendly and that are good for couples ? Thx

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Actually, most are pretty female friendly. Olympic Garden especially so.

Peachy asked on 05/13/07

Staying at the Flamingo in June, 2 questions:

My husband and I are low rollers and are considering joining Total Rewards. Will they allow us to open a joint acount where we get 2 cards and the points accumulate to the same account?

We will be arriving by car and will use the valet parking. If we use the bellhop for our luggage, how does that work? When do we tip? Do we have to wait for the bellhop after we check in or does he take our luggage up to the room? Will he bring the luggage in the room even if we are not there?

Thanks…love your site BTW!!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Married couples can get a joint account, yes. It works just as you suggest.

For the bellhop you’d typically tip the guy that delivers the bags, at least a buck a bag.

You’ll want to wait in your room for the bellhop to arrive. You’ll call when you get up there with the ticket number they give you and they’ll come right up.

Bobby asked on 05/12/07

Hello Hunter,

How limited are the limited view seats at CDSolei “O” theater?

Level ORCH, Section 203, Row O


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, it’s probably the best part of the theater to be in overall. Some of the seats are obstructed by hand rails though – if your ticket says ‘partially obstructed’ then you might be sitting with one of these at eye level, which can be a bummer. If not, you’re in good shape.

Jill asked on 05/10/07

Hi Hunter! Another question (or three) for ya!

We want to have dinner on the patio at Mon Ami Gabi next time we’re in Vegas. Is the patio open for dinner during the chillier months? We will be there late Nov, early Dec. We were in Vegas in December of last year but I can’t remember if I saw people dining on the patio at night or not.

I’ve also heard that they do not take reservations for the patio. Is this true? If so, how long of a wait can we expect on a weekday around 7-8pm, generally speaking? I’m hoping that since it’s a slower time of year, we won’t have to wait long…

Thanks much!


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

It’s open sometimes. Basically they do weather permitting. If it is too cold or windy, they will close it and December is pretty cold – there’s probably a 70/30 chance it will be closed.

As far as reservations for the patio go, I will have to call and confirm (they’re not in at the time of this writing) but this seems strange to me. Have you tried to make a reservation?

As far as a wait if that’s required, probably looking at 10-15 minutes if not shorter. Weekdays are a lot easier to manage.

Scott Nygard asked on 05/08/07

On May 06 2007 NDReece wrote:

I have been hearing that the Fontana Lounge is set to close sometime in June to make room for poker. Have you heard this rumor?

Sadly, I have heard the same thing.

This is in response to that issue. I am not sure about what is going on there, but last year around this time, the Fontana Bar was closed for a while to host some special poker tournaments around the time the World Series was in town. Anyway, unless there is news otherwise, it could just be the same temporary closure.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

No, this is a full-time thing that’s in the works.

Jennifer asked on 05/07/07


I would like to rent a cabana at the Hardrock on Sunday 5/13 for the Rehab pool party. Do you know what the going rate is for these?


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

It varies all the time but expect to pay at least $400-$500 a day. Call the hotel to check availability – they often sell out.

NDReece asked on 05/06/07

I have been hearing that the Fontana Lounge is set to close sometime in June to make room for poker. Have you heard this rumor?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Sadly, I have heard the same thing.

Brett asked on 05/05/07

I’m heading to vegas on May 8 for a week and I had a question about the Playboy Club/ Moon Nightclub. Have you heard of being able to get directly into these clubs and not waiting in line if you eat at Nove Italiano? (I guess my question would also apply to TAO.) I have reservations at Nove on Saturday May 12, and I was hoping that I could use the escalators that they have to get into the clubs with no problems. I don’t mind paying the cover, it’s just huge, out of control lines that I have no patience for. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


This is a little publicized little trick for both Nove/Moon and Nine/ghostbar.

Usually you can get from the restaurant directly into the club, bypassing the line. Now, this isn’t a ‘right’ and sometimes they will say no. Generally speaking though, it’s not a problem, especially if you tip your server and the host/hostess when you come in. These people have the power to help you out so make friends and you’ll be set.

Jill asked on 05/05/07

Hi! You’ve been so helpful in the past that this is my preferred stop for Vegas info now! Thanks a ton!

We are planning to go to Vegas in the fall and would like to stay in a Spa/Jacuzzi Suite. So far I’ve found NYNY and Luxor have decent looking Spa Suites within our budget. Am I missing any other moderately priced Spa Suites? Thank you!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


Those are two that I often recommend. You might also look at Monte Carlo, which has a few. MGM Grand has a few rooms in this category too, though they are usually more expensive than the others – doesn’t hurt to try though as rates are always moving around.

Those, along with your list are probably the best place to start.

Jeff asked on 05/04/07

heading to vegas for bachelor party. Mandalay and THEhotel are sold out and we are looking for a great pool scene. We have a 2bd suite reserved at the hard rock. Is the pool scene at the hard rock on Saturdays top notch?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

You’ll be hard pressed to find a better pool scene than at the Hard Rock, especially on a weekend. For a bachelor party, the Hard Rock is always a winner. You’ll have a blast.

Drew Nelson asked on 05/03/07

Two questions really, the first being with the history behind the Stardust, any idea why they are not keeping the name with the new complex going up? Also I read a new casino is opening this year, I saw alot of construction on my visit a few weeks back, but nothing that looked like it would be done this year. The new hotel is going to be called the Pallazo?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Boyd Gaming is putting ‘Echelon Place’ on the former Stardust site and if you’re familiar with their ‘Borgata’ in Atlantic City, you’ll know that they are capable of designing something that should be very nice. They want to make sure people understand that what they’re doing is ‘all new’, thus the new name. Look for a ‘Stardust Lounge’ at the new hotel.

On the Palazzo, we’ve been covering it’s construction for some time on our blog – we’re focused on that sort of stuff over there – construction and design/development. Palazzo will indeed be done this year. Check the link below or head over to the blog to learn more – the link to the blog is in the header.

Paul asked on 05/02/07

Great site…most informative I’ve found. We’re going to be in Vegas May 23-27 and staying at the Paris. We’ve never stayed there before, so we have a Luxury room reserved, and I want to try the $20 trick when we check in to see if we can get an upgrade. My question is, what kind of room can we ask to be upgraded to? Are there different grades of rooms besides the Luxury, or would the next grade up be a suite? Maybe I could just try to get a room with a nice view of the Bellagio fountains…how would I go about asking for that? One more question…we booked a day trip to the Grand Canyon with Scenic Airlines. Plane ride there, a bus tour of the canyon, and the plane back. Did we make a good choice?? There are so many to choose from, I wanted to make sure we picked a reputable company. Thanks for all your help.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks! At Paris, I’d go for a high floor ‘P’ room with a Fountain View – slightly larger and an upgrade that is a reasonable request. Not a bad chance of getting it and they certainly know what rooms have a good view of Bellagio – that’s a common request. As far as your Grand Canyon trip goes, I’ve never traveled with the firm you mentioned but I checked my archives and I had gotten a thumbs-up in the past – they’ve had thousands of successful trips at this point. I hope your experience is great!

Kristen asked on 05/01/07


Love the site and used your advice last year and need more. I am heading to Vegas next weekend with 6 other girlfriends and want to know which clubs we should go to. We are 25 and 26 so we will want to be going to all the hot spots and would love celebrity sightings. Last year we went to Pure, Jet, and Light. Are those still the good places? We will be going out Saturday-Monday nights. Please help us with the good places to go. Thanks!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


Pure, JET and Light are still all pretty hot. I’d also consider Tryst (Wynn Las Vegas) – with a great outdoor area with a waterfall and Moon (rooftop of the Palms new tower).

Between those places you’re more than covered, though there are other spots like Tao that are also popular – Vegas has a ton of nightlife choices these days.

jackie asked on 05/01/07


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

No need to shout my friend!

Most pools check guest room keys when you enter, so no, not really. The Hard Rock has a Sunday pool party for which they sell a certain amount of tickets to the public.

Katrine Hejlesen asked on 05/01/07

Me and my boyfriend are planning a holiday in Las Vegas from 19 August to 28 August. Seeing this is our first trip to LV (and the US!!) our heads are filled with questions about the do’s and dont’s and on how to get on in LV.

We are planning to stay at THEhotel, since we have found a really nice deal (or so we think) via travelocity. $1800 per person and this includes airline tickets, which are normally around $1000-$1300 per person from Copenhagen to LV. Can you confirm that this is a fair price?

As stated, we are from Denmark, where tipping is included in the bill. I have read that in LV you generally tip almost everyone. Does this also include the front desk when checking in? And how much? I have read all the questions regarding tips and the infamous $20 trick. However, I do not plan on performing this trick, since we already plan on booking a suite. Room view is not important either, but I do want to come off as a friendly and courteous guest, so that a high level of service will be guaranteed. This also includes tips for maid service etc.

Based on your answers to previous questions, I now know roughly how much to tip waitres, bellhops etc, but frankly, I do not know how. Is it okay to just simply hand the staff the money and say “Thank you very much” or should you be more “disguised” in your actions?

I think this covers most of my questions for now. Sorry to have rambled on like this, but I am just so excited about going to LV.. and also a bit scared ;)

Is there anything else that I should be aware of as a first time visitor?

Thank you in advance.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


That price sounds good/fair. THEHotel is a nice property and I’m sure you’ll have a nice time. It’s connected to Mandalay Bay which has a great pool but the rooms in your side of the hotel are much nicer – it’s a win/win situation!

Regarding tipping, if you’re not doing the $20 trick, tipping the front desk clerk is less common, though I’m sure they will appreciate it if you’re determined. Tipping in the US and in particular Las Vegas is not something you need to do on the sly – you can hand them a folded bill or two and say ‘Thanks’. They’ll understand what it is.

For the maid, just leave your tip on the desk with a small note indicating it is for he/she – that way they know it is okay to pick up.

There’s so much to do and see that it’s very hard to come up with a list of must-dos – I’m sure you’ve already thought of a few things. Just relax and try to soak it all up. Have a great time!

Sandy asked on 05/01/07

I have looked for a schedule of fireworks for this Fourth of July with no luck. We will be staying from July 2 til July6,I want to book some shows but wonder what the plans are for the strip fireworks,dates etc….Thanks!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The Strip doesn’t usually do fireworks for the 4th of July. Some of the local communities have smaller shows but there’s nothing like a NYE scale show.

Becca asked on 04/30/07

Hello there! I love your site. It has beed very helpful. I am planning a trip in Vegas 5-12/5-18 for my husband’s 30th surprise birthday. We are staying at NYNY. I have 3 questions for you.
1. I want to order a cake to be delievered to the hotel any suggestions?
2. Places to eat for a good birthday dinner. ( There are 15 of us)
3. Best way to get from the airport to the hotel. Does NYNY have a limo service?

Thanks for all of your help.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


Here are some answers:

1. I’ve heard that Freed’s on Eastern is a popular spot. You might also ask the hotel/concierge as they may even make it in-house for you.

2. Well, without more to go on I’ll make my normal suggestions for favorite places: Delmonico at The Venetian, Bartolotta at Wynn Las Vegas, the Country Club at Wynn Las Vegas, STACK at The Mirage or FIX at Bellagio, Sensi at Bellagio – those are all good spots. Also, you might check our top ten lists: Top Ten Lists

3. I like to use Las Vegas Limousine – give them a call and they will set you up. The hotel can also contact them on your behalf.

David asked on 04/29/07


First of all, love the site. I’ve been checking in on occasion for a month now, and I’ve learned more about the “in-and-outs” of Sin City than I could from any Frommer’s or Fodor’s paperback can do. I’m currently planning a four-night Vegas vacation in late-July with my girlfriend, and I’m trying to plan it out as much as I can in advance. I have a two questions for you:

1) I’ve noticed that you haven’t been to/reviewed the Signature at MGM yet, and I was just wondering if you have heard any horror stories from there yet. I’m about 90% dead set in splurging and getting a room there, but if there’s anything I should know, then now would be the time.

2) I’m know that the VIP passes at nightclubs discussion has been made before, but what would you recommend for a couple as table service isn’t really an option for a couple: using and buying “front-of-the-line” or “VIP line” tickets, relying on the concierge at the hotel, or going through the gentleman named “Bill” that you have referenced before.

Any help would be greatly appreciated in advance!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks! The tough thing about Las Vegas for travel guides is how fast things change – it’s like lightening.

I haven’t been to the Signature and at this point, it’s not in our review database, though I think I will add it in. At first, when they opened, it wasn’t clear how many room nights would be rented for the hotel and how popular it would be. Well, they are really advertising the place and people keep asking about it so we need to cover it just like any other hotel – it will be listed on the site and be ratable very soon.

As far as horror stories – no, none. I’ve talked to a couple of people that have stayed there and they enjoyed their experience. It’s a bit of a walk from everything at MGM Grand or the Strip but that’s the only negative I’ve heard. I would book the Signature with confidence.

On the nightclub thing, Bill is a good guy with a lot of satisfied customers… I would recommend at least talking with him to see what he might be able to do for you, so that you have all your options laid out for you. The hotel concierge probably won’t be able to help you at all – I wouldn’t go that route. As far as the type passes, usually this just means a shorter line, not skipping the line. If you’re not talking Friday or Saturday night, these might be a good way to get in but on the weekend it is a zoo and everyone without a table (and some with!) wait.

Margaret Detren asked on 04/28/07

We have been offered 3 nights comped at the Venetian. We have never been there before but our casino host use to be at another casino and has offered us these 3 nights. My question is what are the pros and cons between the venetian tower/rooms and the venenza tower/rooms. Should we request one or the other when booking these compted nights with our caino host or trust him to see wee we get a nice room. One last question, I read on the internet that the dress code at the venetian is strickly inforced. Are they talking about the restraunts and shows or any where you go in the venetian. It’s hard to imagine the casino, elevators and halls would have a dress code. Do you know anything about that.\\

Thanks in advance, your sight is so helpful

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The Venezia rooms are nicer and everyone that stays there seems to prefer them – they are the superior product and if you can get into them, I suggest you do so. The rooms in the Venetian Tower have been refurbished to upgrade them from the original decor but the above still holds true.

Regarding the dress code, not sure where that came from. The Venetian doesn’t have a dress code any more so than any other Strip casino. As you indicated, some restaurants will have dress codes but that’s about it… Shoes and shirts are required but I don’t think that’s what you were getting at. :-)

Mary Kay asked on 04/28/07

Hey there back again. Planning our trip 9/8-9/11 for my 40th. We got great airfare but it seems everytime i check, hotel rates are going sky high. last year TI cost $89 a night! This year Flamingo has creeped up from a total of $350 to over $500. (sat sun mon) is there something going during that period? Don you think it will go back down or are we screwed? Help!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I did some quick checking – no major events other than the first week of September being popular historically. Rates have been trending up and that will continue… $500 for three nights is about $165/night – not outside the range of where things are headed on the Strip.

I suggest booking something now so you have a reservation – rates will likely not decrease but if they go up, you’ll be protected. If they do go down, you can cancel (check your policy!) and take the lower rates.

Also, if the Strip’s prices are too high, Downtown Las Vegas often has some great bargains.

Jen asked on 04/26/07

I have booked a room at the Mirage. It’s the Tower Deluxe room that I am now hearing is a step above their regular rooms? Is it worth it?
Was looking to get a room with floor to ceiling windows, large bathroom and in room safe. I also thought of the Signature at the MGM but am hearing that it’s valet parking only (we always rent a car) and that it is a long walk to the hotel. Your suggestions?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

It’s very difficult to tell someone if something is ‘worth it’ since circumstances are always different. Here’s how I would put it – it’s a nicer room but if upgrading will seriously crimp other aspects of your vacation, it’s probably not worth it. If it won’t have any impact on your other activities, it’s a great play. Personally, I usually take these over the standard rooms. Now, only the suites at The Mirage have floor to ceiling windows – those are typically found in newer hotels… The bathrooms in the Tower Deluxe rooms are the most notable upgrade, with a larger tub. Sounds like something you’re interested in.

Guests of the Signature shouldn’t have any problems using the self-park at MGM Grand, though it is a bit of a walk. Of course, valet parking is free so I’m not sure why that would be an issue.

Pete asked on 04/24/07

I am going to Vegas next month. ans staying at the Planet Hollywood how much construction should I expect?


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

There is still some exterior/mall construction going on but generally, the interior construction is complete and shouldn’t disturb you.

Colleen Curry asked on 04/24/07

We are going to Vegas Fathers Day weekend to see The Police at the MGM. My question is can we walk from the rooms to the show? I would think so but the place is huge! Also they wouldn’t let me book any better suite than the Celebrity, is this common when there is a big event? I booked before the show was even on their calender, I wanted to stay at the Skylofts. Anyway, I love your site and read it daily. Thanks!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


Yes, you can walk from the rooms to the Grand Garden. It’s not too far… As far as the suites go, the big shows bring in a lot of high rollers so yeah, the high end suites often get filled quickly.

Margaret Detren asked on 04/23/07

1.)I have found that the slots at the Monte Carlo are loose enough that I could play for hours and get my room upgraded and comped. Can you tell me if the slots at the Venetian are loose?I play mostly 20 lines/bonus types in 1cent, 2cent,5cent and 25cent demoninations. We may stay at the Venetian and I have read there is a poor selection of slots.
2.) Also are the beds and pillows uncomfortable as stated by hotel guests reviews?
3.) where can I find a good picture of the casino at the Venetian that shows the slots part of the casino.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


1. This is so subjective that it is impossible to answer. It all depends on what machine you’re at – some are going to pay back more than others. Speaking very generally, higher end places typically have lower payback percentages but again, this is so highly variable that nothing is going to hold true across the board. They have pretty much the same range of games that you find at other Strip properties.

2. Not dramatically so based on my experience, no. Average hotel bed – it was fine. Nothing super special.

3. If the photos here don’t have the view you’re looking for then I suggest doing some searches.

richard asked on 04/23/07

Might possibly have a pool cabana at the Wynn on May 3. Do you have any info about what these cabanas are like, and what are the best spots at the pool?

Thanks again and can’t wait for VEGAS!!!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The cabanas at Wynn Las Vegas are very nice. You’ll have access to food and beverages, along with a very nice place to hang out with music, TVs, etc… It’s a great way to chill out during the day. As far as the spots go, there are some up top at the Tower Suites pools if you’re staying in that part of the hotel. Otherwise you’ll be down next to the main pool and honestly, there really isn’t a ‘bad’ location – there aren’t that many cabanas and they are all right next to the pools.

gary asked on 04/21/07


Staying at Paris in August and have read that they are in the process of revovating their rooms. Will this be complete by then and is this a good choice for a place to stay?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I believe at this point they are all done…

Paris is a good mid-level hotel in a good location. Lots to do all around that area.

Drew Nelson asked on 04/20/07

I my visit to vegas a few weeks back now, I noticed the old Klondike motel/casino had closed and is fenced off. Any idea given it location next to the airport and limited land space, what is planned for there?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yeah, it was all set to be turned into condos but after the place was closed up, it seems financing has been hard to come by so it stands alone.

Chris asked on 04/20/07

I know you are most likely tired of being asked this, but…

I am staying at the MGM grand in a few weeks and I can’t wait to try the $20 trick (may try the $50 trick). I am unsure how to word my request! I really want a good room on a high floor with a strip view…is it rude to be specific with my request for a free upgrade? I am booked at the casino rate for a grand tower room with 2 queens.

Great site, and thanks in advance for the help!!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Actually, most people I’ve talked to have more luck being more specific – it shows you know what you want and no, it’s not rude.