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Harold asked on 04/19/07

The last time I was in Vegas (3/13/2007) I couldn’t find O’Shea’s. I thought it was closed, but it is still on the harrah’s website. Did they remove the front promotional signs? Maybe I blinked and missed this place. I vividly remember blaring advertisments for their 18 hour happy hour, and not hearing them this time.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

O’Shea’s is absolutely still there so I’m guessing you were sipping your beer or something similar as you were heading down the street perhaps. Don’t worry, it happens to all of us.

Kathy asked on 04/18/07

Very informative site!!

Haven’t been to Vegas in 3 years. We are visiting next month and staying at South Point. We have read good reviews.

Was wondering what info you have on South Point and if you think the $20 dollar trick will work there.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks! As you probably know, South Point is a newer property and while it was sorta slow to get started out of the gate, it has become a popular location.

It recently came under new ownership and is now run much more like a family business – it is no longer owned by a large company and sometimes that can translate to more personal service so I’m curious to see how that shakes out.

You never know with the $20 trick but it never hurts to ask!

Adam Helm asked on 04/18/07

Morning Hunter,

I’m in Vegas for a week from June 6th stopping at the MGM, I’m after a tour company that has put a decent road package together for the Grand Canyon including the recently opened Skywalk, not many seem to have updated their info yet. I assume we would have to book in advance to secure a ticket for the Skywalk. I’m also interested in you recommending some relaxed but funky bars were you don’t have to use bottle service. We’re out there for a 30th and a 21st Birthday. 7th time in Vegas and still lovin it!


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The Skywalk has been a popular attraction so I would recommend getting your ducks in a row ahead of time if you want to make that visit. I honestly don’t have a lot of info on ground based Grand Canyon tour operators – it’s not something I have done personally either. When it comes to helicopter folks, I recommend Maverick, who I really liked.

A friend told me that these guys:

are good but I don’t have any personal experience at all. Sorry, I wish I could help more with this specific question.

On the bar thing, if you’re willing to go off the Strip, the best dive bar is the Double Down Saloon, near the Hard Rock. On the Strip, check out MIX on top of THEHotel at Mandalay Bay. Killer views and while they offer some bottle service, it is certainly not a requirement.

richard asked on 04/17/07

Just reserved a birthday dinner at Tableau in the Wynn resort. Have you heard anything about this restaurant? Also, if I would like to look at an updated menu, whom do I contact?

As always, thanks for the 411 and keep up the good work.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Sure, I’ve eaten here several times, mostly for breakfast and lunch but one time for dinner. I’ve always had a great experience, both food and service. I think you’ll have a great time. The menus are on or you could call the concierge at the hotel for a menu.

Denise asked on 04/17/07

My husband and I are staying 5 nights in June at the Bellagio (first time there). No great deal but we just wanted to treat ourselves. We arrive on a Sunday at 10 A.M. and like everyone else am going to try for a room upgrade. Does the time you check-in (morning versus evening) make any difference in an upgrade being available?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

It’s very hard to say because there really aren’t any hard and fast rules. You could argue that you might be the first people to get an upgrade while later folks miss out… At the same time, later arrivals might get the benefit of cancellations, etc… There’s really no way to know for sure. Just go for it!

Ephraim asked on 04/17/07

Hunter having a small family reunion next February and we thought Vegas would be great. Who would you contact about blocking rooms at specific hotels? It’s a small party of about 10 rooms…

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Every hotel has a ‘Group Sales’ department. That would be who you would call to help get a special rate, etc… I recommend doing this no matter what as they can educate you on the various options available to groups.

Robbie Gill asked on 04/14/07

Hey, great site! The last time I visited Vegas, in July 2005, we were supposed to be in a Lakeview Room at the Bellagio. But when we went to check in, they told us our room wasn’t ready. So they upgraded us for free to a room in the spa tower. The guy called it “somewhat of a junior suite” It was one of the rooms on floors 29-33, with the floor to ceiling windows. I was wondering if you’d stayed in one of these rooms, because it was great but I don’t know what they’re called. I can’t find them on Bellagio’s site, and I’d like to stay in one again. I don’t like the standard rooms. Thanks.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


I checked my super-secret Bellagio room inventory spec sheet for some info. It details everything from standard rooms to Cypress Suites to Villas.

I believe the room type you are referring to are what they call “Tower Deluxe” rooms. There are 72 kings and 36 double queens, so they are not in massive supply. Typically they go for $50 over the rack rate.

Bellagio doesn’t list many of its room types on the Web site. That’s a fairly common practice for many of these hotels as a bunch of the rooms are only available to casino guests. These rooms are then offered to regular guests if the casino hosts don’t fill them with their customers. Still, if you call you should be able to reserve them.

Want more information on Bellagio’s unlisted rooms?

Bellagio’s Secret Room Types

Hope that helps!

Drew Nelson asked on 04/13/07

Hi, while in vegas I purchased a video on vegas and it showed a light show at the Luxor. During my visit I didn’t see any night lazer light show and woudln’t the tram running between it and the other 3 hotels mess it up? Did I miss this lazer light show or is it gone? Also, since the Stardust is history, why did they leave part of the old sign still standing?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


That Luxor thing you’re talking about is pretty old – they ripped it out when they put in the monorail that links the property to Mandalay Bay and Excalibur. There were some cheesy lights and lasers that shot out of the Sphinx and the obelisk, into a screen of water from fountains that are no longer there. It won’t be missed.

As far as the Stardust goes, you just saw it while it was in the process of being taken apart.

Senon asked on 04/11/07

I think I embarassed a friend, but didn’t know I did. 411: A friend of mine booked me into Ceasar’s with a casino rate of $125.00 last week. She upgraded me to the Augustus tower. I got back two days later and had frantic phone calls about why I had not played or signed up for a Rewards card and used it. She said she wouldn’t do the casino rate again, but I had no idea I was making a non verbal agreement to have to spend money, in return for the casino rate. I guess I would say there’s nothing free in life, but have you ever heard of casino hosts getting upset this way?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Sure. Comps are based on players putting in the time and if a host puts someone in a room and they don’t have any tracked play, they’re going to get chewed out by their boss. This is a big no-no. They don’t expect you to lose a certain amount, just to play a certain amount of time.

Doug asked on 04/11/07

My fiance and I are planning a Honeymoon in Vegas. It is very impotant to her that the room have a jacuzzi style tub large enough for two. What hotels on the strip have those types of rooms?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


We’ve covered this many times in the past.

This search should help you:

Also, this is a good time to remind people about the search box above – it’s a great way to get info on stuff from past answers.

Ann asked on 04/11/07

Your site is great. I have been reading it for years. I have tried your $20 trick with $50’s and $100’s. It has always worked. We usually stay at the Bellagio(love the cabana service there), but a couple of years ago tried the Tropicana with a room rate of $69 and a $50 “trick” and were given a full blown suite! I do have questions (2). We are going to Vegas in June and staying at the Bellagio again. I thought about the Venetian but have not been able to get on their web site. Is something going on with it? Secondly, I can’t believe I have such a difficult time finding a fine dining restaurant WITH MUSIC OR ENTERTAINMENT! We’ve been to SW, Delmonico’s, Nobu, etc,. We are Italian and love good food…but want some kind of music to enhance the atmosphere. Please help.


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks for the kind words. The Venetian Web site does seem to be running slowly but I am able to access.

Your question on fine dining with entertainment/music is interesting. As I’m thinking about it, you’re right – this is rare, which seems strange.

The Italian place at the Golden Nugget, Stefano’s, used to have the waiters sing which was always fun. That restaurant is gone.

The fine dining restaurants at Bellagio that overlook the lake of course all have great views of the fountain show – that’s something to consider.

The Voodoo Lounge at the Rio, while not fine dining, has music from a live band.

Generally though, this doesn’t seem to be a very common thing.

Desiray asked on 04/09/07

Hi. My fiancee and I are playnig on a Vegas wedding in November of this year. We have been looking on for flight and hotel packages. We look everynight. I want to book now, especially when I find a great deal. However my fiancee wants to wait until August to book the trip. Ofcourse we want a direct flight there and back. I was wondering would it be cheaper and easier to find a room now, or 3 months from now. Also I want to know if there will be any conventions or big to-do’s going on during the week of Nov 18 – 22. Thats the week that I found the best deals.

Thanks so much!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, here’s an important point – when you book directly with a hotel, they will virtually always let you take a lower rate if it becomes available after you book.

This isn’t the case with travel agents like Expedia – you are on the hook for whatever you book at. Now, sometimes you can save money if you book everything together so you need to do the math to see if this helps you – you’re giving up flexibility so you need to decide if it is worth it.

Bottom line, if you find a good price that you’re comfortable with, book it. Rooms, flights and shows sell out and if you have specific choices in mind, you’re better off having things in place.

As far as conventions, those dates seem clear. November used to be a huge month for conventions but that has slowed somewhat since the computer trade show COMDEX is history.

Bronco asked on 04/09/07

Back from Vegas and had a great time! HOWEVER, I think I flubbed the $20.00 trick, but still dont’ know what went wrong, other than it cost me $20.00 for the check in host to say thanks.

Stayed at Ceasar’s. He asked if I wanted to upgrade to a nicer tower for an upcharge. I said no thanks, but would like him to consider me for an upgrade anyway. I kept my credit card and license with the $20 tucked away. I gave him the license, card and $20.00. He put the $20 right on his counter in full view, said thanks and proceeded to set me up in one of the older towers?

Hunter what the heck happened?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Interesting. Well, it’s possible that the clerk didn’t see it.

It is a tip, not a bribe, and they’re not obligated to provide anything in return.

Often people will make sure the $20 is visible as they ask and if told there are no upgrades, they don’t actually hand it over.

Sorry to hear it didn’t work for you – this happens sometimes.

Drew Nelson asked on 04/06/07

Hi, just returned from my trip to vegas and had a couple of questions:

1. I noticed a large empty lot across from the Sahara, and wondered with all the development going on, why is it sitting empty?

2. Are IN/Out burgers just a vegas thing? I stopped by twice and both times they were packed.

3. I rode the monrail while I was there, are there any plans to expand it?

4. I noticed the Mc’D’s is still there next to where the Stardust and Westward Ho was, with the new mega resort going in, they can’t let them stay there can they?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


Sure, I can help. Here goes:

1. The lot is owned by the (recently) former owners of the Sahara. They’ve been trying to sell it for some time but they are asking a lot so it hasn’t sold. It will eventually. That is the site of the first Las Vegas Strip hotel. the El Rancho Vegas, which burned down many years ago.

2. In N’ Out has locations in Nevada, California, Utah, Arizona and maybe some other spots. It’s a western thing – we love ’em here in CA too.

3. There’s talk of expansions to the airport, downtown and on the other side of the Strip. Low rider-ship continues to be a problem that delays any expansion.

4. That McDonald’s is going to be relocated as part of the Echelon Place master plan, yes. It’s moving just down the street.

richard asked on 04/04/07

Good afternoon Hunter!

Visiting early May and looking for a knockout restaurant for my birthday gluttony. Eating at Okada night before, always enjoy Bouchon, and am curious about Tableau and Rosemary’s. Good food, good drinks, good memories will be on the menu. What would you suggest?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Rosemary’s located about 20 minutes from the Strip, is a fantastic restaurant. I’ve heard some folks say they feel like it has declined a bit but I disagree. Good choice.

I’ve had several great meals at Tableau but I’m not sure I would pick it as a ‘Wow’ restaurant. Food and service are good but it’s not going to knock your socks off like an Okada would.

Other spots to consider:

  • Delmonico (Steakhouse, The Venetian)
  • SW (Steakhouse, Wynn Las Vegas)
  • Wing Lei (Chinese, Wynn Las Vegas)
  • Bartolotta (Italian Seafood, Wynn Las Vegas)

Those are solid choices as well. Bartolotta is a great spot. Really unique.

Caryn asked on 04/04/07

Thanks Rickey!!!
I emailed you yesterday, 4/3/07 and you responded immediately. After emailing you I read further into your post and have realized your site is awesome!!! Sorry about the O.D.D. the real initials are O.C.D. after clicking enter on the original post I realized the mistake, but was hoping you didn’t catch onto that.

My husband is going to kill me, but we have to cancel our reservations at The New Frontier. What hotel would you suggest? I have stated in some of the pricey ones on the strip, but this time around realize that I don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars just to sleep and shower. What do you suggest? Also my husband and I would be celebrating our 11th wedding anniversary, but will be renewing our vows in July while in Vegas. We would like to make it a memorable day/night. I’d love to do some dancing…I am in my 40’s my husband in his 50’s, have a nice dinner…nice but not too expensive. And what is romantic to me would be a nice stroll on the strip while people watching and just the fascincation of all the different well-lite hotels that brighten up the strip.

Rickey…what do you think?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

First question is this – who is Rickey?? No Rickey here.

Assuming that you are talking to me (Hunter) and not someone else, thanks for the kind words on the Web site.

As for your question, instead of waiting for ‘Rickey’ to answer, I’ll take a stab (sorry, I find this Rickey thing very funny)…

If you’re looking for a clean place with reasonable prices, here’s the list of places I would check out, in this order. Prices vary.

Of course, I always check Wynn Las Vegas and Bellagio, no matter what the budget is – sometimes there are deals.

  • The Mirage
  • Paris
  • THEHotel at Mandalay Bay
  • MGM Grand
  • Bill’s
  • Aladdin/Planet Hollywood
  • Bally’s

I hope that this list helps. Prices are so all over the place that sometimes you can find deals even at traditionally more expensive places.

Caryn asked on 04/03/07

My husband & I are making our 7th trip to Las Vegas in July. We are staying at The New Frontier, I am starting to hear so many negative things about this hotel. I know we all have our own opinions, but this is starting to scare me. I have been told by several people that I have O.D.D. I know we won’t be spending that much time in the room, but for the time that we are in the room I do want cleaniness.

With that being said…what do you think of The New Frontier, and what type of room would be cleaner/better than the others?

A frequent Vegas traveler…trying to board for less

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, the public spaces in the hotel are pretty run-down. I don’t think I would go so far as to call this place a hell-hole but it is descending into that realm… It’s a cheap place that’s not spending much (if anything) on that sort of up-keep stuff.

The rooms themselves are usually clean but very worn.

The New Frontier will be knocked down sometime in the not-too-distant future and until then, it’s primary purpose will be cheap rooms for those that will spend most of their time staying at other properties.

I looked up ODD and I’m not sure what it means. Did you mean to say OCD? Either way, if a dirty place (or a dirty looking place) freaks you out, I’d probably re-book. You’re saving money but if you’re miserable the whole time because you don’t want to touch anything, that’s not a vacation.

M&M asked on 04/03/07

My wife & I really enjoy the show King of Cars. We would like to go to the dealership while in town. We have no interest in buying a vehicle,however.Do they get upset with visitors going to see them? If not,can you provide an address for them? Also,the owner(sorry I cannot remember his name) has a CD out.Can you purchase it at the dealership or elsewhere? Any info on this would be great.We love your great help and advice. Thanks

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Remember that it is a business first and foremost. What is a big no-no is going there and disrupting a sale, driving customers away, etc… That will get you 86’d very quickly.

At this point they are used to people stopping by. Be respectful and you won’t have problems.

They’re in Henderson, NV:

According to their Web site, the music can be purchased here:

Thomas asked on 04/03/07

Which of the station casinos is the best on to stay at?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The top two are Green Valley Ranch and Red Rock, both on opposite sides of the valley, each about 20 minutes from the Strip.

Red Rock is newer and nicer, though GVR is no slouch.

Kurt asked on 04/02/07

We ate at Kahunaville last year when we came to Vegas and thought it was alot of fun. It had a real party atmosphere with the flair bartenders and good food. We’ve also been to Margaritaville. This year we are staying at the Signature and wonder if there is anything similar to Kahunaville near the MGM.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, Margaritaville would probably be on the same list along with perhaps ‘Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grille’. As far as party-ish atmosphere places on the south end of the Strip, there aren’t a whole lot of the kinds of places you’re talking about. That’s not to say there isn’t some great food – there certainly is.

For some bar-tending tricks, rumjungle at Mandalay Bay has a few slingers that can really pour. Of course the Carnival Court at Harrah’s is primo for this, though it’s not really near MGM Grand.

If you’re a big KV fan, I suggest hopping a cab and simply going there!

Brandi asked on 04/02/07

Hi Hunter=)

I will be going to Vegas at the end of May, a Wednesday thru Friday. It is my friend’s 21st birthday and it’s a trip for three girls..yay! lol

Well anyway, she is really into the “celebrity” of Vegas so to speak…I’m not sure of a better word. Basically we are looking to go to the trendy “hot spots”…Any reccomendations?

We’ll be staying at the MGM =(

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


FIrst off, you’ll have a great time. Those types of trips are a lot of fun.

Ok, sounds like you want some nightlife. Lotsa choices but the hottest spots right now are probably Jet (The Mirage), Light (Bellagio), Moon (Palms), Tao (The Venetian) and Tryst (Wynn Las Vegas).

Those are all nightclubs but there are also some trendy restaurants that are often full of celebrities such as Social House (Treasure Island), STACK (The Mirage), N9NE Steakhouse (Palms) or Fix (Bellagio).

By hitting those clubs and those restaurants, you’ll be certainly visiting some of the hottest places in town. Of course, there’s always the pool and the spa for a detox during the day.

Have a great time!

M&M asked on 03/31/07

We will be in Vegas July 1-8.This will be our second trip.We are going to Phanthom. Last year we were there in May and there were all kinds of musical groups in town(Chicago,Brad Paisley,Air Supply,and many Others)So far, I see only Brian Mcnight.Is it too early for musicians/groups to schedule or is the week of the Fourth a bad week for music in Vegas?Thanks for your help.Love all the helpful info.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Summer is good for concerts but it is still a bit early for all the bookings to be in so I would keep checking if you know that’s something you want to do while you’re in town.

Sarah asked on 03/28/07

Hey Hunter! Love the site and use it often, Thanks! Two ?’s…My husband and I are splitting a 2 bdrm tower suite at the Mirage with another couple this August. Is there a big difference in the bedrooms/bathrooms? In other words if we pay the same is one couple going to be getting majorly jipped in the “2nd bedroom”?? Also we plan on partying a lot that weekend and I just read on your site that most suites are NONsmoking?? BOOOOOO I thought this was sin city!?? If we do get stuck in a non-smoking suite will we get the boot for lighting up or do they generally look the other way?? Thanks again :-)

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


The 2nd bedroom is an adjoining standard room so yes, the master bed and bath are head and shoulders above the 2nd.

There’s been a recent anti-smoking backlash in Nevada but there are still suites that allow smoking, including at The Mirage. You just need to ask for one and it likely won’t be an issue.

If you do smoke in a non-smoking room if they find out they’d likely just charge you a cleaning fee when you checked out.

Michael Martin asked on 03/28/07

Question about Vince Neil Ink in O’Sheas-I would like to get a tattoo here while in Vegas in July. I do want a specific design I have picked out. Is this possible or is it one of those places that you have to get something on their wall? Also,wondering about the cost.It will be mostly b&w, around 5-6".Any other info you can provide about the place will be helpful.Great site.Thanks for all of your advice.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

They do custom designs but pricing is based on what you have in mind, color, placement, etc… – they are all functions of how much time it will take, which determines cost. You could fax them your design ahead of time and speak with the artist.

As someone that has a few tattoos though, I would probably never get one in a place like Ink where I don’t know anything about the artist’s skill, etc… I’d probably recommend seeking out a good artist in or near where you live if possible. That’s my $0.02.

Hunter R. asked on 03/28/07

Me again, appreciate all your help. This really is a wonderful resource for people planning a trip to Las Vegas.

I see over in the blog section of the site a few entries about Bellagio’s room and suite upgrades. I think the room upgrades were completed, if my memory serves me correctly, but what about the suites. Could you give me a synopsis of what you know about the suites and their renovations, or lack thereof in the past few years. Thanks!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The suites are being upgraded over the course of this year. I would expect an attempt to close the gap with hotels like Wynn Las Vegas. This would mean plasma or LCD TVs, nicer/better furniture, new color schemes that are less yellow/powder blue and more earthy/organic…

That’s about it. We don’t have pictures of what they plan to do yet but when we do I will post them.

Some of the suites in the Spa Tower are a radical departure from the Bellagio (main) tower. I would expect the upgrades to close that gap.

I’ve attached some shots of the Spa Tower suites to give you an idea.

ruben asked on 03/28/07

How big are the [Mandalay Bay] suites? Do you have the floorplans???Thank you.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The new Mandalay Bay Web site has all of this information:

The floorplans haven’t changed – they just made some of the older suites nicer to justify higher fees.

Drew Nelson asked on 03/27/07

Hello, I am considering seeing a couple of shows (Penn/Teller, Carrot Top, Elton John, Jubillee) and I was wondering what info you had on those such as how hard is it to get tickets, what is the dress code or besides the venue itself, where in vegas can you get tickets to those shows?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Besides Elton, tickets shouldn’t be hard to come by. Elton John can be a little more involved but for any Las Vegas show, if you’re really interested, BUY TICKETS IN ADVANCE. Do not wait until you get there – many shows sell out and it’s likely you won’t see the show you want or any at all.

The dress code for virtually any show is casual, though you might look a little out of place wearing shorts to a show like ‘O’.

Besides the hotels, ticket discounters like Tickets2Nite sell excess ticket inventory on the Strip between the Aladdin and MGM Grand.

Glenn asked on 03/27/07

I am staying at the " Orleans ", at the end of April 2007, for the very 1st time. after 7 years at least at the Stardust.

I am wondering if there is any particular room numbers or floors that I should ask for a preferable to others ( close to elevator Etc )???

I am called the Keno King, so I always play lots of Keno, ( do not win often either ), my questions are as follows :

1 /. Is the Keno Lounge at the Orleans Nice ???.

2 /. Is there a particular pattern at the Orleans keno that seems to pay off more than others ???

3 /. Are the Cocktails, such as " Corona " beer, free to Keno Players ( with Tip of course ) ???.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

As far as what room to ask for, I think this would be mostly driven by what sort of view you want – how important is it to see the Strip?

As far as the keno lounge, it is quite respectable for an off-Strip casino – about 60 seats and comfortable.

As far as keno patterns, this is something I don’t know but I have a call in to someone there to get back to me on this.

They do comp drinks in the keno area as long as you’re actively playing!

Ruben asked on 03/26/07

Do you have any informations about Mandalay Bays Vista and South Seas Suites? Thank you.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

What information are you looking for?

Sparky asked on 03/26/07

Hey there experts, I have a question about pool policies.

If your a non-guest at the hotel is there anyway to get access to the pools?

If no, are there hotels that don’t check to see if your a guest? How do they know if your a guest if they do? Hotel card? Thanks for your time, keep up the great site!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Almost all are guests only and the nice ones check your keys to make sure they are valid – no EBay action here…

The Hard Rock has a Sunday pool party, Rehab, for which you can buy tickets.

Jill asked on 03/26/07

Just doing a little early planning for our trip coming up in October. Can you please inform me on Dress Codes for restaurants? We would like to go to Delmonico for dinner one night and a nice Chinese place one night (suggestions on that would be awesome, too) but are unsure of dress codes. We are typically very casual dress people with tattoos and piercings, but don’t mind cranking it up a notch. We really enjoy great quality food and excellent service and are willing to pay for it, but also want to be comfortable walking into these great restaurants. Thanks!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


Delmonico’s stated dress code is ‘business casual’ but I’ve seen jeans in there. Shorts probably wouldn’t fly. Anything slightly ‘officey’ is more than fine. As for tattoos and piercings, not a big deal at all. My wife and I both have tattoos and no one there’s ever stopped me or even glanced twice.

For a Chinese joint, I’d check out Jasmine (Bellagio) or Wing Lei (Wynn Las Vegas). I loved both places.

Teresa asked on 03/26/07

I forgot to ask on my other question before, Do you have any favorite Karaoke Bars that you can reccommend on the strip?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Bill’s has it some nights, though the property was just sold to Harrah’s so I don’t know if that will continue.The Bootlegger Bistro, South of Mandalay Bay sometimes has it and I’ve heard they also do it at Gilley’s (New Frontier) from time to time.

Teresa asked on 03/26/07

Hey Hunter, when we visit Vegas for my “50th” BD in June, Hubby wants to take me to a special dinner, but wants me to do the research and choose. I’m curious on your opinions on the following: Delmonicos, Kokomos and Stack, feel free to add any additional choices and opinions. Thanks again!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Of the three I would easily pick Delmonico. I’ve had good meals at STACK and Kokomo’s but they didn’t compare to my all-time favorite, Delmonico. The food is great, service attentive – you’ll love it.

STACK is much less ‘formal’ and by that I mean that it feels more like a place you just ‘grab a table’ than something where you’ve planned an evening. It’s good food but it’s not really an experience.

Delmonico is a very solid choice.

Kristin asked on 03/25/07

Looking for a quick weekend trip and being Total Rewards members, we received prices of $150 for Thurs-Sun in a standard Bally’s room, $225 for standard in Paris or a total comp for a GO Luxury room at Flamingo. I have never stayed at Flamingo before, usually standard at Bally’s or Aladdin. Will I be disappointed?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The GO rooms are redesigned Flamingo rooms that just recently became available. If you’re happy with Bally’s, I can’t imagine you’d have too much of a problem with the Flamingo, especially in a renovated room. The pool at The Flamingo is a good deal better than Bally’s.

Bobby asked on 03/24/07

Hey Hunter,

I recently went to Jet @ The Mirage with some friends. On the way down in the elevator an employee asked us if we were going to Jet, we said yes, so she gave us her business card and told us to go straight to the front of the line as her invited guest, just show the card.

I’ve heard of this happening more and more, what’s the reasoning behind it?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

It’s a marketing thing. Especially if you’re young, good looking and with a bunch of nice looking ladies, this can easily happen.

Plus, it’s goodwill to hotel guests, which is never a bad idea.

Something like a line pass is the least expensive comp that any of these places can give – it costs them $0!

Michael asked on 03/23/07

hey Hunter,
I was a HUGE fan of the Barbary Coast, both for gambling and staying… I’m interested in eventually seeing what Harrah’s did (will do) to the place… Any insight as to when the new website might be up and running? I can’t seem to find it anywhere! Thanks as always!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


Their Web site?

It’s right here:

Chris P asked on 03/22/07

My wife and I have been to LV several times…were coming in May and thought..hey, lets rent a convertible and drive around/into the desert. Maybe to Laughlin. Sounds fun initially…but is it more trouble than its worth? Is LV a fun place to drive???

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


Personally, I think driving in the desert is a gorgeous, relaxing way to spend an afternoon. I think it’s great.

Laughlin as a destination probably won’t impress you but if you’re going to enjoy the drive, it’s a nice distraction, no doubt.

Las Vegas proper can be a very frustrating place to drive. Combine crazy ass taxi drivers, Californians that are spending more time looking at the hotels than the road and a few Nevadans that seemingly skipped the driver’s test and you’ve got the melting pot that is Las Vegas’ roadways. Good luck.

Chico asked on 03/22/07

I will be coming in May for 5 nights. I usually average around $250-$350 a hand playing blackjack. Who do you think will give me better comps Venetian or Wynn Las Vegas. Thanks

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, that’s a solid per hand amount. Honestly, there’s no reason to be bold and straight up ask them. They won’t extend anything until you’ve actually hit the casino and they can verify your claims but once they do, they’ll both want you.

I’ve heard stories of people being treated without much respect at both properties but it’s always hard to tell the motivations of the storyteller or if they were even telling the truth.

If you’re playing at that level, you’re a valuable player and assuming you’re playing more than one hour (!), they should both offer you a similar level of comps.

That said, Wynn Las Vegas has a better product than The Venetian so you’d rather stay there and enjoy it.

Good luck.

SteveB asked on 03/21/07

Hi there, great site! I’m looking for some decent live music in a bar or pub setting on or near the strip and was wondering if you might have some ideas.

Some qualifiers:

1. I like Rock, Reggae, and Irish Folk music live.

2. I want to be able to wear shorts and flip flops if I choose

3. Looking for a relaxed, blue-collar atmosphere as opposed to high end/snobbish.

Thanks in advance!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Check out Nine Fine Irishmen at NYNY – they sometimes have live music and the vibe sounds like right up the alley you’re talking about. Very informal.

Amy B. asked on 03/21/07

We are coming to Vegas April 1-5 and from what i have read I would like to visit the Mix Lounge atop THE hotel at Manadalay Bay. Question is…will it be open, is there a cover charge and what does it mean when a lounge is having “industry night”…is it still open to the public or not?

Also…we are staying at the Aladdin/Planet Hollywood and I am wondering if you have a current update on the construction?

Thanks…I love your site…I have never been to Vegas before and find the info on your site most helpful!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Mix at THEHotel is open seven days a week so you shouldn’t have a problem. The term ‘industry night’ is an evening with a reduced or no cover charge for people in the hospitality industry and many clubs have them. That almost never means it is closed to the public but it never hurts to blow in a call to the club before you head over, just to be sure of the terms.

Planet Hollyaladdin – I was just in there a few days ago and most of the interior construction is complete so from that perspective, it’s relatively back to normal. There is still construction outside – a lot of it (see photo attached) and in the mall that surrounds the hotel. Still, nothing insane and unmanageable.

Thanks for the kind words!

AMY asked on 03/21/07

I am staying at Bally’s the first week of April. Everyone has told me to request the north tower. I don’t want to get some crappy room with no view. We are arriving around noon, so is there any certain room requests I can make. Also, please give me some tips on what are the best buffets (we are not really into all the fancy stuff at Bellagio or Wynn). Just good quality food! Thanks!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Both towers have been renovated so the rooms should be pretty close these days. Honestly, there are good and crappy rooms in both towers and due to the placement of Bally’s, a lot of views end up being of Paris’ parking garage or the gas station down the street. That’s just the way the hotel is setup.

Some South Tower rooms have partial (very partial) Bellagio fountain views. Honestly, if you can swing an upgrade (or get lucky), getting into a suite would be a fun way to upgrade your vacation.

As far as buffets go, Bellagio is often at the top of the list. Another buffet that is less pretentious in terms of its selections is the ‘Market Spice Buffet’ at Aladdin – good food, wide variety, names you know. Paris is also good, especially for breakfast. The Mirage Buffet, called ‘Cravings’, was once a powerhouse. It’s now not as amazing but it serves a wide range of options and is still a good setup.

Hunter R. asked on 03/21/07


Dining at Piero’s in April on a Saturday night. Have you been, and what are your thoughts??

Hunter R.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I have been – the food is good and the service old school.

My guess is that you’ll have a great time and really enjoy yourselves.

Nick Kerley asked on 03/20/07

My girlfriend, myself and another couple are staying at the Luxor in september for 4 nights… Any suggestions as what they best things to do at the hotel and around town are? And what are the pros and cons of the Luxor?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, that’s a pretty incredibly broad question. I would suggest checking our Luxor pages to get a feel for the resort and what’s good and bad.

The short answer is that the hotel was left to languish for a long time but is finally being spruced up. I was there a week ago and things are starting to come together. By September I would expect service and facilities to have picked up noticeably.

Feel free to hit back with more specific questions.

Becky asked on 03/19/07

Was wondering about getting into the “hot” clubs. We dont have enough for bottle service so we were wondering about tipping the bouncer $100 or so to let a group of 5 in so we dont have to wait in line. Is this done in Vegas? and is that too little an amount. THx

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


This might work but as with all bribes, it is a little risky. Having a mix of guys and gals will help too.

Still, I like your style. Cash gets things done, in Vegas more so than anywhere else. $100 is probably okay – don’t do less.


Shell asked on 03/19/07

I just stumbled across your website (a very welcome site/sight) on my search for information on weddings in Vegas. My fiance and I want to get married in Vegas next April (‘08) and are looking for a good place to have our reception. What we really want is a hotel that will allow us to have a cocktail reception in a suite as I have no desire to do a reception dinner at one of the hotel buffets. I am looking at the Skylofts at MGM Grand and at the package offered by the Paris/Bally’s for the penthouse reception there. Problem is there are no pictures of the Bally’s Penthouse and I’ve heard that Bally’s is a bit run-down. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks so much!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Great idea.

Skylofts are one of the best set of accommodations in town, focusing on a high level of personal service. Nothing at Paris or Bally’s can match Skylofts.

If you’re planning on having a private wedding reception, I would look at (in order): Skylofts, Wynn Fairway Villa, Bellagio Penthouse, and maybe a Hospitality Suite at The Mirage.

Go with Skylofts. You’ll be very happy you did (can I come?).

Drew nelson asked on 03/18/07

I am schedule to stay at the Orleans March 31-April 5. I was looking over the reservation confirmation they sent me and saw they will be placing a “hold” against my credit card for an additional $50 a night for each night I stay. That means $250 that I won’t be able to use to gamble and such. I called and asked them when this went into place since my previous two visits to Vegas (Stardust/Westward HO) didn’t charge me this security fee. They said it was started in January. I know that I will get the money back upon check out and no damage or charges to the room, but I find this to be a little outragous. Do all the vegas hotels now charge this “security” fee? How can you find out pre booking if they do or don’t?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


This is a fairly common thing – as far as I know, all Strip hotels do it too (at much high amounts).

This is to ensure that incidentals (i.e. minibar, stuff charged to room) is covered. For instance, a recent stay at The Mirage resulted in ~$600 in holds for such things.

You can often reject this option but that means that nothing can be charged to your room.

One other thing, and I’m not preaching – everyone’s situation is different. You mention charges on your credit card meaning less money to gamble. I would recommend to all readers to not use credit cards for money to gamble. It’s too easy to get into a situation that is less than fun.

No judgments here, just a little advice. We want everyone to have fun.

Janet asked on 03/17/07

I just returned from Vegas and I talked to a solider on his way back to Kuwait. He is out in 6 months and has promised his wife a trip on their anniversary. She wants to stay at the hotel; where one of the restaurants, serves ice cream in a golden bowl and has golden sprinkles on top. He does not have access to a computer and I made him this promise. Can anyone help me? Thank you in advance.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Honestly, I have no clue. I asked around a bit and nothing.

If someone knows, please email me at so we can help this soldier out.

Drew Nelson asked on 03/15/07

While in vegas I would like to see Penn and Teller. However the only night they are performing is Sunday the 1st of April, as they are dark for the rest of the week. How can I find out the chances of the show selling out? Also, with the show at the Rio I would like to visit the Palm and Gold coast while there, are they close enough to walk to?Lastly, I heard there is a great meal deal at the Gold Coast, can you confirm this non menu steak special?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The chances of it selling out? The show is popular so I would suggest buying tickets now if you want to go. There’s no reason to wait.

Regarding walking, assuming you are able bodied, you can easily walk between the Gold Coast, the Palms and the Rio. They are all right there.

The Gold Coast does have a food special for about $10 – a steak and various other bits. The food is average but it is inexpensive.

cruznsuzn asked on 03/15/07

Will be in Vegas next week and we are a fun couple in our fifties who likes to have a good time…we are staying at the Mirage…where would you recommend for the older in age but still like to party crowd in regards to clubs, etc….

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, the nightclubs are often totally jammed with folks in the 21-30 age range… Now, there are a lot of other places where the ages are more distributed that are still a great time. Here are a few of those:

  • Social House (TI) – The bar here is pretty hip these days.
  • Fontana Lounge (Bellagio) – A fan favorite, overlooking the lake – often live music.
  • Petrossian Bar (Bellagio) – Great people watching right off the lobby.
  • STACK (The Mirage) – The bar here is a good place to hang out and watch folks in the casino.
  • Lure (Wynn Las Vegas) – This ultra lounge has been picking up steam with a new crew running it. A nice outdoor area too.
  • Mix (THEHotel at Mandalay Bay) – A don’t miss lounge on the top of the hotel tower. The best view in town – make sure to check this out.

That’s it for now. There are so many places to check out but this list should help.

DEBS asked on 03/15/07

Hi Hunter.
Thanks for answering my previous question about where to dine after my wedding ceremony…the Delmonico it is! Checked out their website and it looks perfect. Your own site is amazing and so informative…learning so much about LV before my vacation.

A further couple of questions for you:

1. Can you recommend acompany for a VIP heli tour of the Grand Canyon (want to surprise my soon-to-be hubby the day after our wedding). So many to chose from…

2. Have you heard anything about outdoor weddings at the Valley of Fire? It’s looking like the 1st choice for our tying the knot and we’ve seen a few companies on line that offer this wedding….

3. FINALLY (Promise) – can you recommend any must see things to do while we are in LV? We’re in the city for 10 days.

Thanks so much.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Great! I love Delmonico – they’ve never let me down and I’ve had many a birthday, anniversary and other meals there – always great.

Here’s some help on the other stuff:

1. My favorite here is Maverick Helicopters. They have nice equipment and professional staff. Not the least expensive but I think the best.

2. As far as an outdoor wedding at Valley of Fire, I’ve never witnessed one but if the weather is nice, this could be amazing. It’s a beautiful place.

3. As far as must sees, I can’t recall if you’ve never been before but here’s a list of a few things that everyone should see/do:

  • Fountains of Bellagio – free and in front of the hotel, it’s amazing.
  • Drinks at Mix (THEHotel) – a great lounge on the top floor. Great views of Las Vegas, especially if you go at sunset.
  • The Mirage Volcano – another free attraction, this is worth seeing as well.
  • Forum Shops at Caesars Palace – The shopping mall to end all shopping malls.
  • Wynn Las Vegas – it’s the most expensive hotel in the world and worth a walk around.

That’s just a start, I could go on forever.