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

Lisa Fieber asked on 09/20/06

At the end of the month I’ll be Las Vegas with a group of 11 other girls in their mid 20’s. We’re looking for a spot for dinner that can easily accommodate a group that size. We’s like to find a place with a cool young vibe, reasonable prices, and still stay on the strip. Does a restaurant like this exist?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yeah, what you’re going for is going to be a little tough – you’ll probably have to compromise at little bit on one or more of your criteria… I’ll throw out some suggestions and then you’ll need to make some calls to see if you can make it happen. Here goes:

  • Social House – Treasure Island – new sushi place, good reviews. Very hip, young vibe. Turns into a lounge at night.
  • Japonais – Mirage – another new restaurant, also hip and casual vibe.
  • Grand Lux Cafe – Venetian – I threw this one in here because I know that other larger groups have done parties here and it is not expensive. I don’t think its the best choice but it might work if all else fails and the food is decent.
  • Sensi – Bellagio – I really like the food here, really cool interesting stuff. A little less casual but still good.
  • STACKMirage – Great choice. Hip, casual vibe. Awesome food. Not too expensive. I would start here.
  • FIXBellagio – relative to STACK but at Bellagio. Also very good choice.

Hope those help. Have fun.

Steve asked on 09/19/06

I will be spending quite a bit of time at the MGM for an upcoming trip, and wanted to get a review of Tabu, Centrifuge Bar, and Studio 54. Also wanted to get your thoughts on Mix, both as a restaurant and bar, and Tryst.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, I suggest that you look over the applicable parts of the site to get reviews of all the various items you mentioned. For Tryst I suggest you search as well – I’ve talked about it a ton and the editor review on Wynn Las Vegas talks about it as well.

I had a bad meal at MIX but the bar is awesome and the view is incredible.

MGM Grand’s Tabu is very small and crowded. The Centrifuge Bar is just a casino bar, nothing too special and Studio 54 is a medium-end nightclub – one of the originals, the age is starting to show a little but it is still very busy most nights.

Mike Nelson asked on 09/19/06

Hunter, It is Mike again,

My friends and I are battling over the list of hotels you gave us and we are at odds over Barbarry Cost compared to the more name casinos such as the Mirage, or Aladdin. They are afraid the Barbarry Coast is to small, the rooms are below par, and as young guys we would not have any fun. I have read reviews and they seem to say the opposite but they do not believe the reviews or pictures. Also with staying in a hotel this small they are worried about the comp situation. Would playing the tables here be even worth your time since they cannot comp as much as say the Mirage or Treasure Island could? Please Help clear up the perception that you have to stay at a big hotel or nowhere at all…..

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Hey Mike…

I put the Barbary in there last time as an example of a place that is inexpensive but still pretty okay and near everything. If you can swing The Mirage, I recommend that over the Barbary Coast – it’s much more of the Vegas experience and lately the crowd there has gotten a lot younger due to the new nightclub and restaurants.

The Barbary ain’t a bad spot and I still recommend it but I do like The Mirage more.

As far as comps, unless you are a serious, serious player, I doubt that the Barbary couldn’t comp as much as you could spend.

Hope this helps.

santiago morales asked on 09/19/06

i was wonderind whats the name of the restaurant at the wynn that is with the roof like wavws of wood and to know if you have any pictures of that awesome restaurant, precisely the photos of the rood with wood waves.


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I think you’re probably either thinking of FIX at Bellagio or STACK at The Mirage? They both have roofs like what you describe.

Here’s one of STACK:

And one of FIX:

If this isn’t what you’re thinking of then perhaps re-submit your question.

susan asked on 09/18/06

hi hunter, LOVE THIS SITE!!! going to vegas 0ct27-Nov1 for vegoose music fest.Booked reservations at Mirage two bedroom tower suite. Is the penthouse suite a better choice? Possible upgrade when we arrive? Should we ask for volcano view OR pool/strip view?Any good place for dining with great atmosphere? Thanks for the help.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks! I hope you like the new look. Penthouse suites at The Mirage are almost identical to Tower suites except they are on higher floors and have nicer furniture. They also have turndown service and some other amenities. If you can get one and it won’t bust your budget, go for it. It’s a nicer room and since you are already in a Tower suite, you obviously like nice rooms. They sometimes upgrade Tower suite people to Penthouses, often when the Towers are all full. I’ve had this happen to me twice so it could happen to you… As far as a view goes, I think the ‘Pool View’ is better than the ‘Volcano View’ but either will do. Avoid the ‘Sunset’ or ‘Mountain’ view as this is the freeway. The ‘Pool View’ lets you look all the way down the Strip to Mandalay Bay, which is nice. As far as food, I suggest you check out The Mirage page here on the site, accessible from the home page – STACK is loud but good choice, Japonais is brand new and while I haven’t tried it yet personally, the room is very nice looking and has a cool lounge. Kokomo’s is a standby that recently got a facelift and the Samba Grill is good if you are very, very hungry – they have huge portions.

Mike Nelson asked on 09/17/06

Hunter! Whats up?,

I have been browsing your site for about a week now and decided to just ask for your advice. Three of my friends and I are planning a trip to Vegas in mid-December. We are all in our mid-20’s and except for one of us, are first time goers. We have been looking online through travel agents (hotwire, priceline, etc.) and cannot really decide on a hotel. They all seem the same! We are looking for the best bet for our money. And we dont want to be over charged on the room because we don’t plan on being in there long and want to be in center of it all. Are we asking for to much?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, since you don’t indicate any range of what you’re willing to pay, this is a bit academic. I can say for sure that you want to be on the Strip and I will take that further to say that you probably don’t want to be on the far North end (cheaper but certainly not in the center of it all). Here’s a few suggestions to check out:

  • The Mirage – rates vary but the hotel is very nice, good pool (though it will be pretty cold out so this probably doesn’t matter), good restaurants, younger vibe, JET nightclub on property. Sometimes it is very affordable.
  • Treasure Island – they actively court younger customers these days. Nightclub Tangerine is on property plus a couple of hip restaurants like Social House. Again, rates vary but the hotel is nice and service is good.
  • Aladdin/Planet Hollywood – located right in the center of the Strip, the hotel portion is just fine. The casino is a bit dead/mismanaged but you are so close to so many other options, this isn’t that big of a deal. Sometimes some good bargains.
  • Flamingo – often cheaper rates, still a good location. A remodel is planned but hasn’t happened so the rooms are bit on the older side.
  • Barbary Coast – this tiny hotel is right next to the Flamingo and often has great deals. The rooms are pretty nice and the people are friendly.

Those are just a few choices. Prices all up and down the Strip vary quite a bit. One advantage of booking with the hotel directly instead of through an agent like Expedia is that you can almost always (double check) cancel your reservation with just 48 hours notice – this is great when you find a better deal at another joint – and trust me, this happens, especially that time of year when it can get a bit slow due to the holidays.

Anyway, have a good time!

chris asked on 09/17/06

what happened to the television show “American Casino”?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I believe the show was cancelled. It was originally supposed to come back for additional episodes, though based at Red Rock instead of Green Valley Ranch but it appears to have vanished from the schedule.

Brad asked on 09/16/06

Hi Hunter. This may seem like a silly question regarding Casino carpeting. However I live in Windsor, Ontario, Canada and we do have a casino that has just recently been renovated. In my opinion and that of several others (who have all been to Vegas) it is trying to take form of Caesars Palace. Now Casino is owned and operated by the OLG which is government run, but Caesars manages it. As a matter of fact I thought the carpet looked familiar and sure enough I looked at a picture from Vegas and the carpet is a SPOT on match. Just curious as to why that would be?? I would assume they would try to mix it up a bit and try to have something one of a kind? Why would they use the same? Your insight on this would be appreciated.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Interesting observation. Really no way to say other than they probably just went that was as a cost cutting measure (or just being lazy). Casino carpet is a fun top. My friend Dave has a casino carpet galley on his Web site, which you could find by Googling if you’re interested.

Sandy asked on 09/15/06

The past few trips to Vegas we played at The Imperial Palace and found it to be great fun and always hopping any time of night with great happy hour specials which are hard to find .Have you ever viewed the rooms? It seems as they have been doing alot of updating so we where wondering if saving money on a room there would be worth it?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yes, I have. They are basically Motel-6 style rooms, extremely no frills. They are inexpensive and if you don’t spend much time in your room or need a lot of service, it’s a good match.

Stevewin asked on 09/14/06

Will be taking my mom and a friend of hers in early November. Will be comped for 3 nights at Monte Carlo. Looking for a nice Italian restaurant for one of the nights. Considerations are Fiamma, Il Fornario, or Market City Cafe.
Other nights will be Kokomos and considering Binion’s Ranch Steakhouse for a night downtown. Could you give me your thoughts on each?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Kokomo’s is a good restaurant and you’ll do fine there but honestly, you’d be better off at either Delmonico (Venetian), SW (Wynn Las Vegas), Country Club (Wynn Las Vegas), or perhaps Prime (Bellagio). All have better choices at about the same prices.

Binion’s is a good spot downtown with big portions, affordable prices and a good view of the city. Sometimes the food isn’t totally perfect but it is significantly cheaper than Strip steakhouses.

On the Italian choice, Fiamma is by far the best in that bunch. You might also consider Bartolotta (Wynn Las Vegas) for the best Italian food in the city. Francesco’s at TI isn’t bad and Onda at The Mirage is great, with a recently remodeled wine bar next door.

CBetancourt asked on 09/13/06


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

This has been covered before. I suggest you use the search but generally speaking, you’re basically out of luck.

tuckluck asked on 09/12/06

Hi Hunter, I love your web site, keep up the good work! I would love to see Celine Dion on Oct 5. So far Ticketmaster does not have any 1st mezzannine tickets available. What do you think my chances arein getting these tickets if I wait to purchase them when I get there on Oct 1? Should I just settle for 2nd mezzanine now to be sure we have tickets?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Howdy – thanks for the kind words. I think your chances of getting tickets that way are about 0%. Celine’s show is one of the most popular on the Strip and is virtually always sold out. I would grab whatever you can if you intend to see the show.

Jen asked on 09/07/06

Hunter…. when I put my credit card down at check in..does the Mirage block off the full amount of my stay on the card? I want to pay cash at the end and shop with my card . I dont want to pay until checkout in case some of my room gets comped.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

They take a deposit of the first night + tax when you make the reservation and then they will put a hold (not a charge) on your card when you check-in. The amount varies and it is to cover incidentals. Usually about $100/night of your stay. When you check out, you can settle your bill any way you’d like (but no chips for payment).

kl asked on 09/07/06

Thanks again for all of your great information! The Mirage told me that they do not offer Limo rides from the airport with their Royal Service any longer. Had you heard that? Do you think a Limo is a waste of money for such a short trip? I would love to suprise my friends with a fun ride, but hate spending my money on things like that! Also where did you say the closest liquor store was?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yup, the Royal Service is pretty much history. Too bad to, because it was a really great suite perk. Personally, I love taking a limo from the airport. First off, you don’t wait in the cab line and it is often horrendously long, second, nothing like arriving in style! It’s just fun. On the flip side, I usually take a cab on my way back to the airport. As far as liquor stores go, from The Mirage let’s see… There is a pharmacy with beer North up the Strip, past Wynn Las Vegas. Going South, you’d have to go a ways before you hit anything. Off the Strip, you could hit a grocery store off Spring Mountain to the West – not too far but you’re driving for sure – no walking. If you’re walking then heading North on the Strip past WLV might just be the best bet. Still, it’s a bit of a walk.

clomide asked on 09/06/06

I am going to Vegas in Nov to get married in the gardens of ceasars palace.
They have recommened the petite suite in the palace tower, which is the best place to stay i have been advised these have recently been refurbished to match the new tower rooms?
Where would you stay?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

At Caesars the best rooms are in the Augustus Tower. The rooms are larger and better appointed. The rooms in the Palace Tower are by no means a slouch however, they just come from the previous generation of rooms. I would compare the Palace Tower rooms to those at a resort like Bellagio while the Augustus Tower rooms are more similar to newer rooms like those at Wynn Las Vegas. That means bigger windows, better fixtures, larger rooms, etc… If you can get a suite in the Augustus Tower, you’ll be thrilled. If you end up staying in the Palace Tower, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed – it is a very nice place to stay.

FGARCIA724 asked on 09/05/06

Hi Hunter – planning a trip with my girlfriend Sep 22-26. Can u recommend any site that deals with the clubs in Vegas? When should I buy my table for a club in advance or at the door? Should I try hosted entry or is that just a scam? Know any good host?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Don’t even consider trying to get a table at the door – that won’t work. Yes, we do know a good host – do a search here for ‘clubs’ and you’ll see quite a few posts on details as well as his (Bill’s) contact info.

RobbieM asked on 08/31/06

Hi Hunter – great site!

I’m staying at Wynn Las Vegas in a few weeks and I read somewhere that they give out free bottled water at the pool – is this true and if so where do you have to go to get it?

thanks in advance

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Never seen that happen and I’ve never been offered any. Not sure that this is correct, at least not all the time. Sometimes things like this happen for one or two days and then people think it is policy.

andilynnwright asked on 08/30/06

Hi Hunter,

Just curious – how old are you? Are you single? Ok, now to my question – do I need a rental car in vegas? Also, have you seen La Reve? Any thoughts?

Thank you!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Howdy… I’m 27 years old and married. As to your question about a rental car, it depends on many factors. Do you like to walk? The Strip is very walkable but distances are deceiving. If you like to work and are able-bodied, I think you can easily survive without a rental, provided you’re not looking to do a lot of cruising to off-Strip destinations. Le Reve is a show constantly in flux. If you like the Cirque-type shows, especially ‘O’, you’d like it. Keep in mind that they are planning on making some fairly substantial changes (to differentiate it from ‘O’) in the next few months.

Jen asked on 08/29/06

Your the best! Ok…. Staying in hte Penthouse Suite at the Mirage in November. I am bringing a strong 15 plus grand to drop ( donate) mostly to the mindless slots. S=Is that worth me calling ahead to the host in hopes of comps or am I a minnow?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

No need to call ahead as they’re just going to want to see how you play. Make sure you have your card in anytime you’re playing and charge things to your room instead of on other credit cards. This will give them the chance to comp those items. You should be getting some good comps especially considering you’ll likely have a much higher cycle through rate than your actual coin in.

CARCIP asked on 08/29/06

Hi Hunter. Who has the lowest blackjack minimums these days? I saw a promo for the Sahara at $3 and I remember Casino Royale used to be low. Are the locals casinos likely to have low minimums too? Thanks. Your site is extremely helpful; keep up the great work.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

On the Strip you’re looking at Casino Royale (sometimes) and joints on the North end like the Sahara. Really though, you need to go downtown and also to locals casinos off the Strip. Minimums change all the time and sometimes several times a shift. Generally, the nicer the place, the higher the minimums.

kl asked on 08/29/06

I am taking some girls to Vegas for my 40th birthday. We are staying in the Hospitality Suite at The Mirage, with your rec. I was wanting some great night spots and some good restaurants. We are there on a Sun-Wed. Thanks for all the great info. You have a great site!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

There are so many options, you’re probably best off using our top ten lists and viewing for the different categories you’re interested in. Some of the new restaurants at The Mirage, like STACK, are quite good, plus you’ve got their nightclub JET and The Venetian’s Tao across the street. All will be busy the various nights.

deville asked on 08/28/06

Hi Hunter, My Husband is competing in the National 3 card poker tourn. Nov 26 at Ceasars. Ceasars seems like it might be a little too big. We do have comp rooms at ballys and other harrahs properties for most of the week (upon checkin we could pay to upgrade) My question is where would be a not so huge, nice, comfy place close to ceasars or would ceasars be our best option. We are in our 40’s and have heard that the rio is a very young crowd (which we are trying to avoid if possible) Please let me know your recommendations Thanks

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Caesars is very large but that’s not unique to them – all Las Vegas resorts are huge. If I were you I’d probably stick where you are. Caesars is the nicest Harrah’s property so take advantage. They have some very nice rooms in the new Augustus Tower.

cmdemore asked on 08/27/06

Hi hunter, glad you’re here to answer all these questions. On my third trip to Vegas I’m finally staying at the Wynn (Bellagio and THEhotel were my previous choices) in March 2007. I am going with an Executive Suite, the price and size of the room are just right. My question is whether all of the Executive Suites are in the Tower Suites Section. I have read an article that said that they were not but I think the author of the article was mistaken. I want to make sure I am in the Tower Suites section since I’m going during March Madness/Spring Break/Nascar time and want to avoid the main check-in area. Also will Palazzo cause a big problem with the views from the South Tower rooms? I’m hoping the exterior will be completed by March as to not be a huge eye-sore.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yes, all the suites in the hotel, apart from the villas, are in the Tower Suites section of the hotel. As far as views go, they will be changed and WLV guests won’t be seeing much of Caesars or The Venetian when Palazzo is done but the distance views were already not all that great. You can see the stuff at WLV and TI and some of The Mirage plus of course the Fashion Show Mall and The New Frontier. Palazzo will still look like a construction site but expect the high-rise to be much more completed than it looks today.

deb501 asked on 08/25/06

hi hunter thanks for my last answer
now my next question
i arrive in terminal2 with BMI from uk
but i want to check in at the airport as we land in the morning.
i know that there is a check in at trem 1 next to carousel 1 but is there anything in term 2
we are getting picked up by limo so i dont want to keep him waiting.

also after i spoke to you last a host from flamingo called when i mentioned that i spend $5000 or more he said that he must have gotten the wrong info as he was told $50.000
he just said lets wait and see what you spend before i commit myself,
i think that vegas must be full of high rollers when i get there ha ha ha
kind regards
ps hope the new site is as brill as this keep up the great work

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

When you’re eating and shopping, etc… – the more stuff you charge to your room the more they can help you. If your play warrants it, they can remove stuff from your bill. You’ll need to go to Terminal 1 to access pretty much any worthwhile services at the airport.

Hunter asked on 08/23/06

Why does this site keep going down? What the heck is wrong??!?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I submitted this myself in case someone was wondering. I’ve been having a lot of trouble with this site recently. It keeps crashing… Well, actually, it hangs as the process on the server is still running, just not accepting any connections. It’s quite a pain. I am about 75% done with the new that doesn’t have this problem so I am very reluctant to dig out all the old tools used to create this site and fix the problem. I am hoping to get the new site up very, very soon and then this problem (and being woken up at 4am by my server alarms) will be gone. The new site features a new design (looks kinda like, all new content (I went back and verified ALL the content to make sure it was up to date), and a simplified interface. We’re actually removing some of the ratings options to make things simpler and easier for people to submit ratings. Don’t worry, the Reader Questions are intact and all the old data will be brought forward – nothing will be lost. I’m really excited about it and I hope you like it when you see it!

deb501 asked on 08/20/06

hi hunter, i called the flamingo as you said but i couldnt speak to a host as they were busy! having told the lady what my call was about(spending between5 &$10,000…… i start with 5000 and whatever i win i put back usually all told about $10,000)she told me that i would get the usual free buffet free drinks and was not very interested!
can you please advise me who would be on the strip . kind regards debbie uk

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Hmmmm, that’s pretty strange. Well, if they don’t want your business, that’s fine. It may just be that you spoke with someone that doesn’t work on the casino side, etc… Now, bringing $5k to play and then spending what you win is sometimes viewed a bit differently than bringing $10k to spend – they are most interested in the drop, more than playing credits you build up. Anyway, you’re still entitled to more than a buffet – the comps haven’t gotten that tight. You might call the hosts back – they can’t be busy forever and it’s amazing the variance in different hosts. Some are eager to work with you and develop new players, others just can’t be bothered. The key to the comps game is persistence – keep asking for stuff. You won’t get solicited for much in the way of comps, you have to go after them.

ladyluck asked on 08/20/06

My friend and I are going to see “O” in November. We are going to shell out the $150 per ticket for great seats but looking at the seating chart we are unsure what is considered the best view.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I would sit in the center about half-way back. If you’re too close you can’t see all the action, plus you might get wet. The balcony is a different experience, though I think downstairs is still better.

Gary10 asked on 08/19/06

Is there anymore coin operated slot machine

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Sure, there are still places without ticket in/ticket out slots. Right at this moment, Luxor and Excalibur are being upgraded to TITO slots. I haven’t been over to check but I don’t think it is complete yet.

There are of course many downtown properties that still use coin based slots.

deb501 asked on 08/19/06

im going to lv dec3rd2006 for 7 days although im staying at the flamingo i usually gamble (slots only) in the venitian where the comps are brill.
i usually spend between $5000 and $10000 what sort of comps do you think i might get there? or can you recomend where i gamble on the strip i know im not a high roller but it is nice to be treated like one.
by the way love the site its brill debbie uk

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks for the kind words. Well, your range of what you wager is pretty wide so I can’t simply come up with an answer to your question. Yes, you should be getting some good compage, even at The Venetian. I would call a host over there and see what they would be willing to offer you – probably more than you think.

andilynnwright asked on 08/18/06

Hi Hunter,

Thanks so much for answering my questions from yesterday. I really appreciate your honesty. I have a follow-up question about shows in Vegas. I’m actually really not a big fan of Celine Dion. I know her music and heard good things about the show so thought I would give it a shot. Anyways, regarding shows in Vegas…I’ve scene Cirque many times not to mention the hundred times on TV as well..they all seem very similar and I hate to say it but I’m kind of over it. Is there a show besides anything Cirque that you would reccommend?

Thanks so much!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I hear on the CDS comment, though I do think that the new show, LOVE, is a shot in the arm and a lot of fun – just what CDS needed. Sounds great, looks great, did I mention SOUNDS GREAT?

andilynnwright asked on 08/17/06

Hi Hunter,

Do you get kickbacks for saying so many great things about Wynn? Is it really that great? Why do you not like the Venetian?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

That’s a fair question. Nope, sadly no kickbacks. In the spirit of full disclosure let me break down the places I do make money from the Web site. I get paid when people click on the ads. The ads are supposed to be Vegas related and hopefully feature things that you guys are interested in. So that’s the primary. I also get a small percentage when you guys book vacations/rooms through the Web site. Also, I own stock in Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas Sands (Venetian owners), MGM MIRAGE, and Harrah’s – I have stock in all of ‘em. I say great things about Wynn Las Vegas because I think that overall it is a great hotel. It’s certainly not perfect but it’s my favorite place to stay right now. I also really like The Mirage, Bellagio and to a lesser extent TI. They are former Wynn properties – I like the way the guy designs hotels. Beyond his stuff, I like THEHotel at Mandalay Bay, parts of Paris, parts of Caesars, Red Rock, etc… I am not a big fan of The Venetian. The place is very ‘fake nice’. By that I mean they are always spouting off how great they are but it just doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. It’s very cheaply built and if you ever really look closely at the build quality of the facade on the Strip, you’ll see that there are holes, mistakes, etc… It’s not the fantastic ‘8th wonder of the world’ that they claim it is. They’re building a new hotel, the Palazzo, next door. I’ll give that one a fair shake – maybe they learned their lesson when completing The Venetian. We’ll see. In the meantime, treat yourself to the best!

andilynnwright asked on 08/17/06

Hello, I’m going to Vegas for Labor Day. I’m staying at the Venetian. I haven’t been to Vegas in 10 years and work in the hotel business so am very excited to check out all the hotels. If you could only see one show in vegas, which would you see? I already have a ticket to Celine Dion. I’ll be going alone to relax and to do what I want and not worry about taking a friend along. Are there any good restaurants were someone single would feel comfortable? Thank you so much!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Is your one show Celine? That wouldn’t be my choice but I’m not a fan. The modern Las Vegas show has become somewhat associated with Cirque du Soleil, a Canadian dance troupe. They have several shows in Las Vegas but in my mind, the best are ‘O’, ‘Mystere’ and the brand new Beatles based ‘LOVE’. Of those, given that tickets are very hard to come by, you might be best off with ‘Mystere’. They are all recommended but as Mystere is over ten years old, it is easier and less expensive to get tickets. On the restaurant side of things, since Vegas is also a convention town, many restaurants have sit down bar areas where you can order from a full menu. You asked for good restaurants so I will assume you’re willing to spend a little bit of money on this and I’ll avoid the low-end places. Now, there are of course hundreds of choices on the Strip alone so this is just a stab at it – there are many, many good choices. For a great steak, I would take a look at the Country Club at Wynn Las Vegas. It’s out back by the golf course and I’ve eaten there solo several times. It’s a great spot. For Italian, I would again head to Wynn and eat at Bartolotta. Fresh everything – tasty! Also, Bartolotta is open for lunch, a rarity for fine dining. Onda at The Mirage is another good choice for Italian and it features a recently re-worked wine bar. Jasmine is excellent Chinese over at Bellagio but I’m not sure about eating there alone. For great American food in a very hip atmosphere try either FIX at Bellagio or STACK at The Mirage. Both feature a similar menu (but unique) and the food is excellent. Not pretentious at all, just good cookin’. There are great restaurants all over the city. I suggest you look at some of our top ten lists from the front page to get some other ideas. Have fun!

Jen asked on 08/17/06

Have you eaten at “Alize” lately? It is on the top of the Palms….worth the hype?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Hype? Where are you seeing hype? Alize is regarded as a solid choice but it is rarely mentioned in the list of the best restaurants in town. Nothing wrong with it though and if you’re looking for a ‘view’ restaurant, it and perhaps MIX at Mandalay should be topping that list. The restaurant at the Stratosphere (‘Top of the World’) has really slipped in terms f quality.

ertan1 asked on 08/17/06

who made the large running light sign WYNN on the hotel walls.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

As with many of the signs in Las Vegas, it was done by YESCO, the Young Electric Sign Company.

vtdagman asked on 08/16/06

Hey hunter: Me and my wife are heading down there in the next month, staying at the New Frontier (only because its free through a time share deal)… You’ve mentioned Hard Rock, Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, and Mirage have pools with tight access… but do you know if its possible to get into the Caesars , Rio, or Wynn pools ? And how do hotel pools know the room keys are vaild… do they scan them?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Most of the hotels that check do indeed scan the keys to make sure that they are valid, yes. That means you can’t use an old key from a previous trip, a key from EBay, etc… Caesars is sometimes strict and sometimes not. Same with the Rio. Wynn Las Vegas is very tight, just like The Mirage or Bellagio. The tightest by far is Mandalay Bay – they check a key PER PERSON where most hotels just check by the group.

brad_bucky asked on 08/12/06

Hey Hunter. I have been to Vegas 4 times so staying in a certain spot doesnt really make a difference to me. My girlfriend and I plan on heading down late april/early may and want to make it a cheap stay. I would love to stay at the Mirage for their pool alone however it will be slightly out of the range for what we wish to spend. So I was wondering how the pools compare at Flamingo or TI? Which would better for relaxation/atmosphere?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The pool at TI is pretty small and even though they have renovated and tried to expand it a bit, there are simple space constraints they will never be able to overcome (TI is actually built on a pretty small parcel – it is crammed in there!). The pool at the Flamingo is superior in size and setup but there are more kids there most of the time – more families where TI is going for young adults. If that’s your only criteria, they go for it. I think that in ever other respect TI is tops – service, rooms, food, etc… Location is probably a toss up depending on where you like to spend your time.

suepc asked on 08/11/06

Friends are going to vegas in a week. i just read that the ATM fees are very high, but I cannot remember where I read this. Is it true? I know sometimes they are a few dollars, but this posting made it seem enormous. They will be staying a few nights at Caesars and Bellagio. Thanks again.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

ATM fees are similar to just about anywhere else, maybe sometimes as high as $4. Yes, a rip off but not gonna kill you. If you need the ATM, you need the ATM!

DoubleGW asked on 08/09/06

Hi Hunter..I have 3 nights comped at Caesars. We are staying in the Palace tower. I asked if we ciould upgrade to the Agustus Tower and was told that the Palace tower’s rooms were just renovated and are very similar. Do you have any news on this? One more question. Are there any Brazilian Steak Houses in the area?…it’s such a fun concept. You are always sooooo helpful!
Thank you in advance!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The Palace Tower rooms are not as nice as the Augustus Tower but they are still very nice. They compare with rooms like those at Bellagio where Augustus Tower rooms are more on par with a Wynn LV room. The main action as far as Brazilian dining goes is the Samba Grill at The Mirage. They do that whole rodizio thing and every meal I’ve had there has been great.

brian asked on 08/06/06

My buddies and I are planning a trip for the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament.

We’ve heard that it’s gotten so popular over the years that room rates have skyrocketed and it’s impossible to find seats in the sports books.

Any suggestions on how to work our way around this? It will be my first time in Vegas, although my buddies have been before.


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Unless you’re dropping big cash in the casino, there really isn’t a way to get seats reserved. Many folks resort to simply getting up really early and camping out. Of course, the better sports books are more popular. The better books include Bellagio, Wynn Las Vegas, MGM Grand, Las Vegas Hilton, The Mirage, Caesars Palace and Mandalay Bay. Red Rock also has a fantastic book but it is 20 minutes from the Strip (it will still be crowded, just more locals). Sorry I don’t have a better answer for you. Of course, if you’re a big gambler then you can just have your host save you a table.

thaglue11 asked on 08/06/06

hello, i am brand new to this site and i think you can help me. i am taking my wife and mother to vegas in august of next year (2007). i am looking for a 2 bedroom suite for about $1000 per night. i have looked at the skylofts and penthouse suite at bellagio. so i am looking for a high end 2 bedroom. any suggestions??? thank you

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Sure, in that range you should be able to take your pick of a few different rooms, all of which will be very nice. Here’s what I recommend you take a closer look at:

  • Bellagio Penthouse – A very nice room in a great hotel. You can usually even get on the top floor (or near it) which can mean a great view of the fountains – try to guarantee you get that view. Service is good everywhere at Bellagio but you get the extra touch in a penthouse.
  • Wynn Las Vegas Salon Suite – This is the Wynn’s version of the penthouses at Bellagio, both designed by casino genius Steve Wynn. This suite is available in the one and two bedroom configurations and due to the hotel’s design, none have a bad view. As with all other suites at Wynn Las Vegas, you enter via a private porte cochere, special check-in and elevators. Suite guests have access to an extra set of pools. They really know how to make the suite experience special at WLV. If you want to read a trip report from our blog, one of our regulars recently stayed in one of these rooms and if it counts for anything, this is the room I have booked for my next trip to WLV. The trip report is here. If you want to see some Salon Suite photos, check these out: Photo 1, Photo 2.
  • The Mirage Penthouse – Very similar in design to those at Bellagio, these are very high quality rooms in another great hotel. One of the good things about The Mirage is that since Bellagio opened, the prices here have dropped. That means that you can get a great room at prices that are sometimes downright inexpensive. There has been a lot of upheaval at The Mirage in the past two years with a new Cirque show (LOVE in collaboration with The Beatles), new restaurants (STACK, Fin, an updated Kokomo’s), and more. I’ve stayed in these rooms a few times and they are very nice. One important note – they haven’t been renovated in the past few years so certain amenities, such as plasma TVs, are not installed. Photo 1 and Photo 2.
  • MGM Grand Skyloft – I haven’t stayed in or seen one of these personally yet but a good friend of mine has stayed here and he gave it very high praise – and he’s not one given to praise a hotel easily. If you want to read his trip report, visit this page: Skylofts trip report.
    The bottom line is that no matter what you pick, you’ll be in good shape. I suggest that you read the various hotel profiles on this page and also check out our blog, where many of the trip reports above come from. You’ll get a good idea of service and the various hotels. Our photo link in the toolbar above also has pictures of all of the hotels and many of the actual rooms. You have some time so I suggest you keep an eye on the various hotel Web sites to get an idea of rates. If booking at Wynn Las Vegas, MGM Grand, The Mirage or Bellagio, you can use the link from our hotel pages and we get a small commission – it doesn’t cost you any more and we get credit, which helps pay for our overhead. Have a great time!

tsincich asked on 08/04/06

Hi Hunter…In October, we (2 couples)have a choice between a 2 BR Parlor Suite at Mandalay Bay and 2 Junior Suites at Signature-MGM…price is almost the same. Do you have a preference or any insights? Thanks for responding.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I haven’t stayed at the Signature yet – it’s brand new… I am curious about it though and might pick it just for the novelty. It is set back behind the casino so accessing it means a bunch of walking. Keep that in mind when you choose. Signature is basically condos that the owners have allowed to be rented as rooms. Most of them include kitchens which could be a nice amenity. Either way I think you’re going to be fine so it really comes down to picking based on some of the little details. MGM Grand on balance has better restaurants than Mandalay Bay, plus it is closer to the rest of the Strip (I feel isolated at MB). That would influence my decision.

pallets asked on 08/03/06

where is the best place to purchase 4 grand canyon tour tickets to include hotel pickup helicopter to bottom of canyon 20 minute pontoon ride on colrado river

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, it sounds like you want something very specific and thus your choices may be limited. My favorite helicopter operator is Maverick and I believe they do this sort of thing. I have not taken a ride to the Grand Canyon, only night Strip rides. Anyway, their Web site is located here: Please mention that we sent you!

cchaseatl asked on 07/31/06

Hunter—need help!! We are returning for our 2nd trip to Las Vegas in Sept. Last year we stayed at the Mirage and were upgraded to a Suite which was FABULOUS! This year everything is booked up but regular rooms. Do I take a chance to get upgraded-not good—or should we try another hotel? And what would you recommend-it’s hard to beat the Mirage! We really would like a nice room, not too pretentious though if you know what I mean.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The Mirage is a winner (or should I say ‘Wynner’). You might also look at Treasure Island, which has some nice suites and also if you’re into upscale, Bellagio and Wynn Las Vegas which both have amazing suites and nice standard rooms. Getting the suite upgrade at The Mirage is a long shot – you got pretty lucky.

melmatt asked on 07/30/06

Hi. I am new to this site. We will be in LasVegas the week of labor day. We are staying at the Planet hollywood/Aladdin. What are our chances of a room upgrade? We arive on Labor day. Thanks

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I suggest you do some searching on ‘room upgrade’ and ‘20 trick’ to read the many, many answers on this topic. The bottom line is that you never know for sure.

suepc asked on 07/30/06

I know you are asked many times about the weather in Las Vegas. I found something you may want to pass on to your readers. Site at first is a little hard to follow, but with these hints it becomes navagatable:

Web Site:

you will be directed to main page. on top left there is a box (next to the rainbow) that says enter zip, state, etc.
Type in 89101 in this box
Hit the magnifying glass, search icon

Scroll down to mid page where it says History and Almanac…look for Detailed History….put in any date you want..then hit go…

You will now be on the main page for History for Las Vegas…here you can click on any of the blue words…monthly, daily, weekly, etc. If you click on monthly, you will be shown the full calendar for the year and date you choose.
*This will be mid to lower page….
you must scroll down to see full

You can change year/date/month/ and type of view on this page….

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Excellent! Thanks for the contribution!

sophia asked on 07/29/06

Could you please tell us if the color and decoration schemes vary much in the Mirage Penthouse suites? Not so much into the muted brown look. Also, I hear mixed reviews on “O”. Still a good show or is Ka more vivid?
Thank you Hunter!!!!!!!!!!!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Lots of browns and yellows, not too much variation, no. I think ‘O’, along with ‘Mystere’ and even the new ‘LOVE’ represent the best that CDS have to offer. I personally thought ‘Ka’ was very slow and a bit boring. ‘O’ is a great show and the staging is absolutely amazing. The theater is one of the stars of the show.

Jen asked on 07/28/06

Thanks for your response, sorry it was twice computer lied to me and told me the first one didnt go thru! It was only the tower room, not the suite that they could promise a non-smoking. However I decided that I am going to risk it and go for the Penthouse after reading all your comments.
Can you please tell us what to expect from the weather from Nov 9th -15th? I have found only monthly averages and suitcase space is limited!
Cheers again!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

It will be a bit cold, especially at night. Make sure you bring cold weather clothes… Las Vegas is the desert so it gets chilly (and windy) in November. By cold I mean like 60-70 degrees during the day and 50s at night.

CARCIP asked on 07/28/06

Hey, awesome site. My brother and I will be in Vegas sometime in September. We have each been to Vegas at least 6 times so we’ve pretty much done all the usual attractions. Saw mention of the Pinball Hall of Fame in the 07-14-06 blog entry. Can you think of any other cool offbeat stuff? Thanks.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

That’s a pretty tough question, just because it is so open ended. Maybe you want to check out some of the locals/off-Strip casinos? Places like the Rio, Palms, Orleans, or Green Valley Ranch? Red Rock Resort in Summerlin is pretty amazing if you haven’t been there. Non-casino stuff like Lake Las Vegas or Red Rock itself are both a good time.

nsxdrift_89 asked on 07/28/06

Hunter, I’ve booked a Palace Tower Room at Caesars for a weekend in August, and when I made the reservation, I asked them if I could request an upgrade to the Augustus tower at check-in, and he said yes, and he also noted that on my reservation. My question is, do you think I’ve got a very good chance of getting that upgrade, or should I try the $20 trick, or should I just not worry about it, and take the Palace Tower?

Thanks Hunter.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I think the chances are low-to-mid but the Palace Tower is very nice. Equate Palace Tower rooms to Bellagio and Augustus Tower rooms to Wynn Las Vegas to get an idea… I wouldn’t want to be in any of the other towers though – they are very old.

nsxdrift_89 asked on 07/27/06

Hunter, I’m back with another question. I was wondering you would reccomend a Panaoramic View Room at Wynn, over an Augustus Tower Room at Caesars, or vice versa. I’m trying to decide, between the two, and I can’t come to a conclusion over which is better.

Also, I was wondering, does Caesars offer turndown service in the Augustus Tower?


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I sorta see the Panoramic View as a sucker upgrade. It’s often given for free. I would either stick with a Resort Room or upgrade to a Tower Suites room… Augustus Tower rooms do include turn down service, yes.