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

davetsai asked on 09/27/04

we’re interested in holding a reception in a hotel suite, but we were told when booking at venetian’s hospitality suite that all food and drink for all suites MUST be ordered from the hotel by law.

how strict is that? would we be able to just rent out a large suite and bring our own drinks, and maybe bring in some snacks for our guests too? surely people drink their own beverages in their suites if they’re ever throwing functions or even parties, right? any way around this so we don’t have to pay $100 per bottle of cheap alcohol? and are there ever strict policies against throwing parties in suites (assuming they won’t be too rowdy)?


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I quickly breezed through the NRS (Nevada Revised Statutes) that deal with the selling of alcohol and didn’t find an applicable passage. That said, I am not an expert in Nevada law. Clearly, the hotel enjoys a large markup on alcohol and buying through them is good for sales. Also, if there is indeed a law in play here, they are being responsible by letting you know. I have seen and heard of many cases where guests have brought alcohol to their rooms. I would think that any respectful reception wouldn’t have trouble.

cndrp00 asked on 09/26/04

my girlfriend and i are going to vegas in late december and are wondering how cold it usually is. we are from chicago so are used to cold but are curios how cold it gets and what clothes are needed

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The temperature should be in the 50s during the day and high 30s at night. It gets quite cold (for the West) – bring a jacket for sure.

huovy asked on 09/24/04

Coming to Vegas for a football weekend. Where is the best sportsbook to wager and watch the games? Do any sportsbooks offer special deals? Finally, I’m staying at Treasure Island; how would you rate their sportsbook?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The best books seem to be at Bellagio, Caesars, Stardust and The Mirage. The lines are going to vary a bit between books. Finding the best deals is a bit of an art – they change quite a bit. TI’s book is pretty small but usually not too crowded. The area is under construction as they add an overpass to the Fashion Show Mall next door… I would probably walk over to The Mirage, which is a great facility.

minion asked on 09/24/04

I am taking my husband to Vegas in November. I want this trip to be as special as possible because he will be deploying to Iraq shortly thereafter. He loves to stay in wonderful hotels and was hoping for some advice in this area. Right now I’m looking at the Venetian in the Venezia Tower. Do you have any other suggestions? Also, any suggestions on how to make the trip as romantic and memorable as possible? So far I have a day at the spa planned (which he will love) and tickets to Andrew Bocelli. Any other ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The Venezia Tower features higher levels of service than the regular tower at the Venetian. They also have special ‘Concierge’ floors that really roll out the red carpet. If fantastic hotels are your thing, I would also take a look at Bellagio and THEHotel at Mandalay Bay. Both are great places to stay. You probably want to squeeze in a romantic meal – what about dinner at Delmonico Steakhouse (Venetian) or Picasso (Bellagio). Helicopter rides over the Strip are a popular couples activity. A trip to the top of Paris’ Eiffel Tower perhaps? I hope that these ideas help.

Skyy asked on 09/23/04

What can you tell me about the MiraLago Lakeside Cafe?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The restaurant is located at Lake Las Vegas, inside the Reflection Bay Golf Club. Typical Mediterranean fare at prices that range in the $20s and $30s. Great views and nice staff, this is a quiet restaurant.

cndrp00 asked on 09/22/04

hey great site! ill be going to vegas at the end of dec. and was wondering if the monorail between the bellagio and monte carlo would be running by then. any info would be very helpfull

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The tram (it actually has two rails) that runs between Bellagio and Monte Carlo is scheduled to go back online in mid-late December. The variable is the construction at Bellagio. If there is a delay in opening the Spa Tower. the tram opening could also be delayed.

vegasbaby asked on 09/21/04

I’m staying in Vegas in December for the National Finals Rodeo, and I usually like to stay and gamble downtown @ The Nugget. This year we are staying on the strip, and I have it narrowed down to A Bellagio Suite at the Bellagio of course, and a Penthouse Suite at the Mirage. They are close in price but different in age of hotels. I really want to stay in a NICE room this time. What would give me the best BANG-FOR-$$$. WHAT AN EXCEPTIONAL WEBSITE YOU HAVE!!!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Both are very nice. To be honest, I felt like the Mirage suite was better furnished. I was surprised at how sparse the decoration in the Bellagio Suite felt. The suite at The Mirage is the second nicest room they have (the Villa Suites are only available to very high-end players). Bellagio probably has better food options overall, but the food options at The Mirage are nothing to be afraid of. The Mirage suite is larger and better for entertaining than the Bellagio suite. It also has a larger bathroom area.

Mirage Penthouse Bedroom

Mirage Penthouse Living Room

The suite at the Mirage also includes additional ‘Royal Service’ amenities such as limo pick-up at the airport. Personally, I would stay at The Mirage and schedule some play time and meals at Bellagio. Ultimately either hotel should satisfy your requirement.

maverickdmb asked on 09/21/04

When booking a hotel online, the rates are much more if you are putting four people into a room instead of the standard two. My question is, how acceptable or how easy is it to book the hotel for the standard 2 people (getting a better rate) and then sticking the 4 people in that room. I understand we would only get 2 key cards, but other than that is there a huge issue doing this or will the casino catch on and do something about this? Thanks!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Most/all of the casinos have no system in place to ‘catch’ people performing this practice. Even if ‘caught’ I have never heard of anyone getting into any ‘trouble’. Officially, this is frowned upon by hotel management but in most cases you won’t find it too hard to make this work for you. A notable exception is Mandalay Bay, which requires one key per person to get into the pool area. Please note that we aren’t officially endorsing this practice.

beck0223 asked on 09/20/04

Is staying in the tower deluxe room a big difference from staying in the standard deluxe – would you say that it is worth the upgrade?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

We are talking about The Mirage. Yes, I would say that it is worth it. The bathrooms are larger, the rooms are better furnished, and you access them via more private elevators.

Skyy asked on 09/19/04


Since you always come through for me I’ll ask you…….is October a busy month in Las Vegas?


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Every month is busy in Las Vegas! Honestly, there aren’t any ‘slow months’ anymore. There are some slow weekends or weekdays scattered about, but in general it is always 60-80% full.

beck0223 asked on 09/17/04

We will be staying at the Mirage in Nov – I have heard two different stories – I heard from the rep that there is no need to rent a car because you can walk or use a taxi or bus to get around to go to Fremont Street – and I read on Tripadviser that it is way too much walking and she recommended renting a car- what is your recommendation -renting a car or using public transportation – we are young in our mid 20’s ??

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Unless you either have a physical condition that prevents you from walking or simply loathe exercise, I would argue you don’t need to rent a car to visit the Strip or Downtown casinos. The casinos on the Strip are further apart than they look, but they are very walkable. You can take a quick cab ride to Fremont and check those out as well. There are outlying casinos that some folks like to visit, such as Green Valley Ranch, which are easier to get to if you have a car… When I fly into Las Vegas, I never rent a car. I am in my mid 20s, so I think you’ll be just fine.

Andrea asked on 09/17/04

I need more info on the monorail system at the strip. I tried to see if I could purchase a ticket online, but since my trip is the beginning of Oct, the site said I couldn’t. What places on the strip does it stop? Is it currently running? Thank you!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The monorail is not currently running. They have had two instances of major mechanical failure (pieces falling off the trains) and it is closed for at least a few weeks for inspection. I hope that it is back online soon, I found it to be a helpful addition to Strip transport choices. Stops are located at MGM Grand, Ballys, Flamingo, IP/Harrah’s, the Las Vegas Convention Center, LV Hilton and the Sahara.

Skyy asked on 09/16/04

What can you tell me about the Sunday Champagne Brunch at Green Valley Ranch?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I haven’t been myself but I know they charge $17.99 and it runs 8am-3:30pm. Sorry I don’t have more info.

beck0223 asked on 09/16/04

Another couple of questions: What do you think of Blue Man Group – and what are the better shows for comedy and hypnotics?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Blue Man Group is a great show. It is smart, funny and weird at the same time. Mac King at Harrah’s is one of the most under-rated comedy shows in town. Also, Danny Gans will have you laughing in the aisles.

ian448 asked on 09/16/04

I have just returned from a fantastic stay in one of the Bellagio penthouse suites.
Whilst there I did notice that there are some suites situated in the central coloumn of the hotel, have you any info regarding these ?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

These are the Cypress Suites and are typically not rented to the public. They are often used for casino invited guests. That said, sometimes they are available by asking a reservationist.

maverickdmb asked on 09/16/04

My friends and I are planning a trip to Vegas in early December (age range 23-26) and we are looking for the ideal place to stay for a long weekend. We are thinking Hard Rock or Palms, but both are real pricey for the weekend. I have read on here that some people get rates under 200 a night, any advice on how to accomplish this. Also do you think these are the 2 best places to stay for our age crowd. Where else would be a good alternative, thanks again!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Those are two good options for 20s-30s crowd. The best rates are usually found either directly from the hotels or via Web sites like this one, that use room brokers. You should note that you usually have the most flexibility when you book directly with the hotel. Rates fluctuate quite a bit based on supply and demand, so it is a constantly moving target. You might also look at THEHotel at Mandalay Bay and Treasure Island. Both could be good options for you.

beck0223 asked on 09/15/04

What do you think about the Zumanity show? Also, what is the weather like in Nov. – My trip is planned for Nov 11-14

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Zumanity is a very unique and interesting show. If you are expecting a traditional Cirque show, you need to think again. The show has sexual overtones but is not as overtly risque as some media outlets have portrayed in. Yes there is nudity but it is not extreme or pornographic in any way. November will see daytime temps in the 60s and 50s at night.

cmac2sf asked on 09/14/04

I would like to find a 2 bedroom suite that is on (or very close to) the strip. This is for Christmas… the Hilton Grand
Vacations (@ Flamingo) is sold out, and Aladdin’s 2-br suite is over $600. We
would like to find one for under $300. Is that possible? Help, where do I start?
I’ve tried all different search engines but none works for a 2-BR suite. Thanks.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Many hotels do not sell suites via their Web sites – they often only sell them over the phone. Christmas is going to be tough for a 2 bedroom @ $300 as it is a very popular time. If you don’t mind not staying on the Strip, I would look at the Tuscany. They often have good rates for larger rooms. Also, give Luxor and Excalibur a call. Good luck.

craigmanson asked on 09/13/04

Hi, I’m just back from Vegas (wonderful stay), but had a bad experience at the MGM. I had booked (and prepaid 1 night) for a 2 night stay in a 2 bedroom penthouse, but on checking in (at 1PM), I was told there were none available, and that I would be given a Marquis suite at a discounted rate. At the time I didn’t make a major fuss (to avoid embarassing my girlfriend). I was wondering whether this was common, and what compensation I should claim?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

This is very unfortunate. At most hotels when inventory is not available (overbooked), you are UPGRADED at no cost. The problem here was that there are not many upgrades from a Penthouse at the MGM besides the Mansion, and they simply don’t upgrade non casino guests into the Mansion. I would suggest writing a letter to the hotel manager and CC the president of the hotel. You will get a response and they may offer to make it right on a future trip.

Skyy asked on 09/11/04


What’s the average temp. in LV for the beginning of October?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Anywhere between mid 50s to low 80s. The average is closer to 70 degrees F.

Hunter asked on 09/10/04

Tell me more about the new version of the Web site, launched in September 2004…

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The new site has several important new features. We now allow non-users to write reviews and submit ratings. We improved the search engine, simplified the ratings system, and made several visual design changes to make the site easier to navigate. As an added bonus, it should now load faster on modern browsers. As we continue to update and improve the site, we hope you will keep visiting!

Chadster asked on 09/08/04

Looking for a large suite for a Bachelor Party, but trying to keep the costs down for the group, any suggestions? Hotels on the Strip would be nice.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Large suites for low dollars can be a tough order. Depending on the time of year, you might find a deal. I would suggest looking in the following places: Aladdin, MGM Grand, Treasure Island, Harrah’s, Flamingo, and Bally’s.

heyadammiller asked on 09/07/04

Hunter, another question about Treasure Island… When TI was re-done in their new hip style, where did the old marquee sign go? And was the new TREASURE ISLAND sign on the building replaced too, or re-painted on the building since the Black Letter to White Letter transition.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The old marquee sign is now in the Neon Museum in downtown Las Vegas. The signage on the building itself was not replaced, merely repainted (I have several pictures of it while it was being painted on the TI page).

heyadammiller asked on 09/07/04

Hey Hunter, Have you been to Las Vegas lately? Is the deal with Plannet Hollywood Complete? Also I heard San Remo got bought by Hooters for a Hooters Hotel & Casino? How are the fourm shops and new tower at Caesars doing? I also wondered if you could give anymore details or pictures on what the update is on Las Vegas! Thanks!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I have several recent photos of Wynn Las Vegas construction that haven’t been published yet. The new version of this Web site will be going live any day now, and will include the new WLV pictures. The Aladdin is now owned by the operating company that will turn it into Planet Hollywood, but the transformation is expected to take 18 months. The San Remo will become Hooter’s late next year, it is true. Caesars Forum Shops construction is nearing completion – the glass is now up on the property and they are working on interior build outs. The new tower is coming along quickly but is still pretty far out from topping off.

heyadammiller asked on 09/07/04

Hunter, we will be returning to Las Vegas again soon in the next few months and are planning our third Las Vegas vacation. The past two times we’ve stayed at Treasure Island and then the MGM Grand. We liked both and like the MGM-Mirage properties. We want to stay at a different hotel, can you list three hotels that you think we may like and compare to the Treasure Island-MGM- around the same price range, etc.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Have you considered The Mirage? You can often find rates there that are comparable to TI rates and in my opinion it is a nicer hotel. Beyond The Mirage, I would also take a look at Paris and Mandalay Bay. Rates can wildly fluctuate but depending on when you are going, you can often find good rates.

Skyy asked on 09/02/04

What is the dress code for Top of the World at the Strat.? Do the men have to wear jackets? Or will just a shirt and tie suffice? Thanks again!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Shirt and tie for men is fine… They say ‘Jacket Preferred’ but it is not required.

Skyy asked on 09/02/04

One more, Hunter. Hotel check-in at the airport? Can you explain what that is? Is it available for all hotels?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Basically you check into your room at the hotel and they hand you your key. When you get to the hotel, no need to hit up registration. It is not available for all hotels. Honestly, I rarely recommend it. The check-in desks are hard to find and the clerks there can’t do as much for you as at the hotels themselves. Hotels such as MGM Grand, NYNY, Flamingo and Bally’s have hotel check-in.

cynthiajamison asked on 08/29/04

Hi! I am taking my 26 year old son to Vegas in 3 weeks. When I was a little girl, my folks went to Vegas alot (60’s)and we always stayed downtown. It wasn’t until 1995 that I made my first trip to the strip.
>I’ve thought about the Golden Nugget as they have very decent rates, and I do feel that the gambling might be better downtown, also I have great memories there.

> > I have stayed at the MGM, and thought that was OK, totoally different than downtown and huge. I am looking for something nice, rooms, pool and great food. I know we will be doing some visiting to different casinos, where ever we stay, to see the sights, eat and gamble.
> We will be staying 5 days and I will take my son downtown if we stay on the strip and vice/versa.

> I’m thinking about the Mirage, Caesers and MGM on the strip, or Golden Nugget downtown. Price quotes are 535.00 w/airfair (each) for MGM, and around 660.00 for both Mirage and Caesers. Golden Nugget is appx. 440.00. How do these rate quotes sound. We are flying out of Wichita Kansas. Any help and any other suggestions would be appreciated. We are looking forward to a great time and I want it to be a special trip for my son, as this is his first vacation.

> Thank you!

Sincerely, Cindy Jamison

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

It sounds like you are getting some decent rates, for all hotels. I would narrow it down to either The Mirage or the Nugget… The Mirage has a great pool, great customer service and is in a good Strip location. You will get better gambling downtown – the odds are better and the Nugget recently began offering better craps odds as they are under new ownership. This is really a question of Strip vs. Downtown. Both are a lot of fun but very different. If you stay Downtown, do you mind making the trek to the Strip? Most Las Vegas visitors, especially those who haven’t visited before, seem to spend most of their time on the Strip, as most of the large hotels are located there. If this is your son’s first trip to Las Vegas, I would probably argue the Strip has more of the wow-factor than Downtown… That is not to say that the Nugget isn’t a great property – it is.

Dogma010 asked on 08/29/04

Hi Hunter,
I’m getting married at the Candlelight Chapel and staying at the Rio. My question to you is where can I get two bottles of Champagne for my Post-Wedding Toast. I don’t want to buy Champagne at the hotel because of the jacked up prices. You, however, would be able to tell me if that was the case. Is my best bet going to a local liquor store? Or some other establishment. Thanks, Hunter

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

There are several liquor stores in the Valley that can help you out. Not knowing if you will have a car to transport you, it is tough to recommend the best place. There are several ’Lee’s Discount Liquors’ around that I have used in the past – large selection. Do a Yellow Pages search and you will see some of your other options as well.

Geoff asked on 08/26/04

What can you tell me about the Flamingo in general and specifically there 2 bedroom luxury suite w/ a 1220 sq. foot living room. We are heading to Vegas Oct. 1 for a bachelor party and looking for penthouses. The Flamingo is only $500 a night, while Aladdin Panorama suite is $800. Would the Aladdin be worth the extra 300 a night for a group of guys? I have never stayed at the Flamingo and hear widely varrying reviews of it.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The Flamingo is a bit run down these days… Not on the extremely bad end of run down, but certainly not as nice as newer resorts. Also, much of the clientele seem to be on the older side… Does that matter to you? The Aladdin rooms are nicer, large TV, great views – more of a supreme party atmosphere. If the extra $$‘s won’t break your budget, I would seriously consider it. If the Aladdin room would put a crimp on the rest of your trip, the Flamingo will do… Also check the Tower and Penthouse Suites at The Mirage. They are the same room configuration, the Penthouses are on higher floors and furnished better… Pictures of both are on this site under The Mirage.

Skyy asked on 08/25/04

What is the typical fare from the Rio to the casinos on the Strip via taxi? I know that distance is an issue, but can you give me a basic rate? Thanks again!!!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The Rio is not far off of the Strip on Flamingo. Rates will depend a lot on traffic, since the cabs also charge waiting time per hour. I would expect to pay $5-$8 per trip.

johnlundberg asked on 08/25/04

My wife is afraid to fly so we are planning on driving to Vegas for the Thanksgiving weekend. I am wondering when is the best time to book a hotel for this holiday weekend to get the best rate. Looking for a hotel like Venetian, Bellagio or Paris. Thanks, John

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanksgiving is popular in Las Vegas. I would suggest booking now to ensure you get a room. If you book directly with the hotel, you can switch to a better rate later if it becomes available.

SOLDSHORT asked on 08/24/04

Hello again Hunter!

Can you give me some advice on comps? I played craps a lot (5 hours on one table at times) last time I was in Vegas. When I returned home, experienced gambling friends said I have asked for comps (dinner, show, something). How would I go about doing that? How long would I have to be at a table and how much would I have to gamble? Im staying at the MGM Grand next month. I would be trying there….

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The key to comps is your casino host. You hand over your player’s card (you get these at the casino) when you start playing and ask to be ‘rated’. They will then track your play. When you are interested in a comp, ask to speak to a casino host. They will look up your play on the computer and verify your play. Don’t be afraid to ask for comps! Most Strip casinos want you to play table games for at least 4 hours at $25/hand or more to get rated for comps. Some casinos will include your odds bet as part of your comp calculation for craps, but most will not. Never play just for comps – ‘comp chasing’ is a bad policy that will end up costing you some serious $$’s.

Skyy asked on 08/23/04

Thanks for the answers to my previous questions! Just one more quickie. When staying at the Rio is there a certain Tower I should try and request? You’ll probably not be hearing the last from me. As the time draws nearer I’m sure I’ll have about 100 more questions to ask :)

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The newest tower at the Rio is the Masquerade Tower. It is larger and has better Strip views. The Ipanema Tower has recently been remodeled however, so both towers are ‘safe’. Feel free to keep asking!

Skyy asked on 08/23/04

Hunter, let me just say you are a God send! My fiance just made dinner reservations for Delmonico’s about 30 minutes ago, so that’s taken care of. Right now we pretty much have dinner planned for our stay, now I need to know about decent places for breakfast! Best, not too terribly expensive…either restaurant or buffet. Any suggestions? I’m not too concerned about the best casinos because I plan to lose in most of them! Thanks!!!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Glad I can help! If you are looking for buffets, I would rank them as follows: Bellagio, Paris, Aladdin, Mirage (jury is still sort of out on their new buffet), and Mandalay Bay. Bally’s has a Stirling Buffet that is very expensive but is a true experience – extremely high end – the works. Some other restaurants with some good food (not too fancy though): Caribe Cafe (The Mirage), Cafe Bellagio (Bellagio), Carson Street Cafe (Golden Nugget), Palio (Bellagio – pastries only), Raffles Cafe (Mandalay Bay). I hope that this helps!

Skyy asked on 08/22/04

Hi Hunter. Pretty informative site you’ve got here. Few questions for you. My fiance and I are getting married on October 4th, 2004 at the Candlelight Wedding Chapel, is it a nice place? Also we along with my parents have Standard Suites booked at the Rio. I’ve kinda been reading not so great things about the Rio, has the service really gone down that much? I just want this to be the best possible experience for my fiance, myself and my parents. We’re thinking about making reservations for Kokomo’s at the Mirage for our romantic wedding night dinner, is that a cozy place? We’ve already made dinner reservations for Top of the World at the Strat. for my dad’s 65th b’day, hope that’s a nice place as well. As you can tell, I worry a lot…hope you can help me out. Thanks!!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The chapel draws great comments from customers. If you haven’t already, give the Web site a look, located here. As far as the Rio, the last time I stayed there I didn’t notice any major problems. Most of the areas where they seem to have homogenized things a bit are in the casino department, when it comes to comps and dealers, etc… Kokomo’s at The Mirage is a great restaurant. It is located inside their atrium – you hear the sounds of the water flowing, etc… It is not overly quiet, if that is what you want… The food and service are great. If you want something that is a little more quiet, consider Delmonico at The Venetian. Similar menu but much quieter and probably more along the lines of what I would plan for a wedding night dinner. As far as the Top of the World, that will be a great place to celebrate. I’m sure that you will have a great time, especially since you are spending the time to plan your trip right!

karen asked on 08/22/04

Hi Hunter,I have just booked and paid for a two week visit to vegas in october for myself husband mother in law and two teenagers 15 & 17 staying at the excalibur and have now come across your site and read some of the reviews and I am now a bit concerned that this hotel may not be for us, it was recomended by a friend who told us to ask for a north facing room in tower one, do you have any suggestions which may help,many thanks karen.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The Excalibur is often maligned – and it is not my favorite place to stay – but depending on what you want from your hotel, the things I dislike about it might not bother you… I personally prefer casinos that are not filled with kids… Excalibur seems to host more family vacations than most other hotels – this means more kid friendly food choices, crowded pools, etc… Excalibur often has some reasonable rates, even at times when other hotel rooms are off the charts. It is connected via tram to Luxor and Mandalay Bay – so many choices are close at hand… I don’t think anyone that chooses Excalibur is expecting Bellagio – and they shouldn’t… Tower One faces South or East… Tower Two has a North facing side. Perhaps that is what they meant? North will give you views of most of the Strip while South you will see parts of Mandalay Bay and Luxor only.

bobndee asked on 08/21/04

I read that you could be on Fremont St and walk to the Outlet Mall. Is this doable?
Thanks Hunter you are a lot of help.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I had to double check on this one… According to someone who has tried this, while it is possible, it is not easy. There are several crossings not designed for pedestrians. If you are staying downtown, some hotels offer shuttles or you could take a short taxi ride. Information is here.

sonya asked on 08/18/04

What show would you recommend most out of – Mystere, V , O and Zumanity? I am finding it so hard to choose ??We are both in our early twenties and are just looking for an all-round good production.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I would suggest seeing either Mystere or O first and then perhaps trying the other shows on another trip. Mystere offers more bang for your buck and is easier to get tickets for.

seanbertiger asked on 08/18/04

Hi, its me again. I have another question regarding the Vegas Shows. I have a chance to buy three Celine Dion tickets for the end of september. BUt i really want to see Mystere as well and those tickets are available for this coming saturday. I dont know what to do. I want to see them both but Mystere will be cheaper for me. I just need your opinion on this since you’ve been to both shows. Which one should i choose? If i choose Mystere i will have enough money for three tickets, a dinner and a movie. But if i choose Celine Dion i wont have any money left for anything else but i’ll probably enjoy the show. Please suggest what you think is the best choice to make

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

It sounds like going with Mystere might be a more fun night overall, since you will be able to fit in a few more activities. Celine will likely be in Las Vegas for a few more years – catch her show next time!

bobndee asked on 08/17/04

Hi Hunter, You have answered so many of my questions that I feel I can count on you. We are going back to Vegas again and this time want to go see The Valley of Fire. I found a bus tour for $99.00 per person. Annie Bananie Tour. Do you know if that is the best deal we will find?
Dee Clark

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks! Bus tours typically fall around $100 and include some food, such as lunch.

donnyosmond_69 asked on 08/17/04

Hi I am booking for my honeymoon. I have really dragged my butt a little and want to try to make up a litlle ground by getting a good room in Vegas. I put a hold on the Pallazo Concierge Suite in the Venezia Tower of the Venetian for $269 a night. I reallly like the looks of the Piazza Suite in the Regular Venetian Towers, the jacuzzi is what i really want. I was told that the Pallazo has an oversized tub big enough for 2, however in the diagrams it looks standard. The Piazza is about $150 more than the Palazzo and it is not in the Concierge section of the Venezia. Do the rooms compare in luxury? Also i can go for the Strip Suite the same price as the Pallazo or the Panarama the same price as the Piazza. Which is the best in both categories? I have read Bellagio is the best, but it is sold out for our nights.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

You might also consider Penthouse Suites at The Mirage. These rooms are fantastic and sometimes they offer great deals.

As far as the Venetian is concerned, the Piazza suite is much nicer. The Concierge Palazzo suites are basically the standard room with slightly nicer furniture and a higher level of personalized service. The nicest suites for sale at the Venetian are the Piazza and the Prima… I hope that this helps.

seanbertiger asked on 08/16/04

hi there, your site is very helpful. I really want to take my family to Celine Dion’s show but dont have much money. I am thinking about getting tickets for second or first mezannie(not sure of the spelling) Will i still be able to see Celine and the show well from there? Or will it be too far away? My budget is about 300 bucks. If you would like to suggest a better show for a cheaper price go ahead and do so. I am looking for three tickets. Also how are we supposed to dress for Celine Dion’s show? Thanks very much

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Due to Celine’s popularity, tickets for her show are almost never discounted in any way… That said, the theater was designed for good sight lines and to keep all seats relatively close to the stage. Additionally, a large (I mean HUGE) display screen shows close ups of parts of the show, so you should be able to see all of the action. Another great show to consider is Mystere at Treasure Island. It is was directed by the same guy that did Celine’s show (Franco Dragone) and is produced by famous dance troupe Cirque de Soleil. Tickets run about $75 for any seat in the house.

Jhub asked on 08/14/04

Hey Hunter I recently reserved a table at the Prime Steakhouse at Bellagio, but I am now hearing from some people that it really isnt that great. I am wondering if this is truly the case. I am looking for something special for my fiancee and myself to enjoy. Please let me know if you think that I should stick with the Prime or go with another location…any suggestions would be appreciated greatly. THANKS

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I have had several great meals at Prime – it has a great setting down on the lake and the service is fantastic. While I would eat at Prime any day of the week, it is not my favorite steakhouse in Las Vegas. I prefer Delmonico at the Venetian. Great cuts and some interesting menu items you won’t find elsewhere.

Murray asked on 08/13/04

Greetings, I am a first time visitor to Vegas, staying at the Monte Carlo in early Sept. After a day at the tables or when my bank roll gets low. I enjoy drinking heavy at the nickel slots. My favorite midwest casino has ticket-in-ticket-out slots and VP. Is this something that is common or rare in Vegas? Does the Monte Carlo have TITO machines?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

A few years ago it was fairly rare but these days most Las Vegas casinos have all or most coinless slot and VP machines. The slowest to convert seem to be Excalibur, Luxor and to a lesser extent Mandalay Bay. Monte Carlo has a large number of TITO based machines, as do neighbors Bellagio, Aladdin, MGM Grand and New York New York. You should be set!

Yuniverse asked on 08/12/04

hello, I’ll be taking my wife to LV for the first time(1st for me as well) and will be staying at TI. She wants to go to a water park when we’re there. Are there any that you’d suggest? I heard of mandalay bay and wet & wild, but i don’t know anything about them. Also, is it difficult to get a room upgrade at the TI at the reservation desk? Thanks

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Mandalay Bay has a great pool complex but it can only be used by Mandalay guests. Wet N’ Wild is open (the last season before it is removed) and is located next to the Sahara on the Strip. It is a traditional water park that is open to the public. Tickets can be purchased that day on site. As far as the room upgrade – it depends. You might get lucky but you never know.

delgrande asked on 08/11/04

Going to Vegas in January 2005, thinking about staying at the Monte Carlo, (deluxe room) We’ve heard the walls are thin, and that you can hear people in other rooms and the hallway, and that the plumbing is very noisy, is this true? And is it that bad? thanx!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

It is true. How bad/loud it is depends I guess. Personally, I could hear things going on outside the room – a bit more than I wanted to – but it wasn’t a huge deal. I would expect ‘reasonable’ people to have no major problems. If this is something that bothers you, perhaps look elsewhere.

eccejamin asked on 08/11/04

Your awesome Hunter. I am about to pop my Vegas cherry Aug 17-23rd and reading these Q&As is really getting me excited about my trip. Unfortunately, lodging is causing a HUGE stress/confusion with me and my fiancee. We’re trying to decide between Tropicana, Luxor, Treasure Island, NYNY and Monte Carlo. We got this awesome(?) deal online for Tropicana (6nites, $420 Garden rooms, $500 Tower Rooms or $600 Paradise rooms), however, all our friends say we should stay at the ‘cool’ themed resorts. These cool themed resorts I mentioned above will cost $650(TI) to $750 (Luxor, Monte Carlo, NYNY). WE ARE SO CONFUSED WHAT TO DO!!! If we stayed at the Trop we’d stay at the $500 Tower rooms. So the cheapest themed resort after that, TI, is a $150+ price difference.
Is it worth stayin at these themed resorts our first time in Vegas? Does it even matter where you stay since no one ever really sleep in Vegas??? I’ve heard Tropicana is a “old and stale” by some people, and others say it is “great for the price”, who do i listen to? What do we do?!?! Where to stay? Please help us Hunter. Thanks!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

If I was shopping based on that list, I would go with TI. There is a lot of value in staying in a large megaresort your first time out, especially a place as great as TI. The Trop IS a bit old and tired, but it is also a good value for your money. If the extra $150 will really eat into your budget, then the Trop could be a good solution. It is in a good location and near many other attractions. Also, the pool at the Trop is better than the pool at TI. I am personally not a huge fan of Luxor, Monte Carlo or NYNY and would easily choose TI over those options – especially at less money. Monte Carlo may be the most uninspired casino design I have ever seen… My bet is that no matter what, you’ll have a good time. If you can swing TI without a huge budget problem, I would probably go that way. Otherwise, the Trop won’t leave you waiting to head home. Have fun!

sonya asked on 08/10/04

Hi I got a great deal for the MGM for 4 nights this sept. Expedia is offering an Emerald Tower room for the same price roughly as Travelocity is offering a Grand Tower room. Which would you recommend I book? And what are your overall thoughts on the MGM?
Thank you very much.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

You want to be in the Grand Tower. It is a much newer part of the hotel… When the MGM Grand was built, they converted an older hotel tower, the Marina, into the ‘Emerald Tower’ and built the Grand Tower around it… The rooms are bigger, nicer and easier to get to. MGM is huge. You will find many gaming choices and tons of restaurants. Over the course of the last couple of years, they have been steadily upgrading the property with improved pools, restaurants and entertainment. Plus, it is in a very good location and has access to the monorail!

rhc1221 asked on 08/09/04

Hunter…I am heading to Vegas from Aug. 28th- Aug. 31 and I am looking for a no limit holdem poker, however, I want to play against the best. What kind of buy n can I expect, and can I expect to see the Phil Ivey’s, Helmuths, T.J.’s etc… Let me know where to go and find these guys, I want to see just how good these guys are…:)

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

You want to play one on one against Kobe Bryant? The Bellagio is the almost exclusive home to the best players. You might see one or two at The Mirage from time to time, but Bellagio’s room is king. The room is divided up, with a lot of lower limit (but not low limit) games and then the high limit poker area in the back. They hold weekly tournaments with buy-ins between $500 and $1000. To play in the high limit room, you’ll need a lot more cash… I would expect $10,000 buy in to be sufficient but some special events have $35,000+ buy ins. Good luck – I think you will need it.