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heyadammiller asked on 06/14/04

Hunter, another question! Which tower came first at the Rio. Is it true that they are getting a remodeling? How is the remodeling coming along at the New Golden Nugget? Was it for sale by MGM MIRAGE? thanks! adam

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The first tower on site at the Rio was the Ipanema Tower. The Carnival Tower was added in 1997. The Ipanema Tower was remodeled about a year back and rumor has it that Harrah’s plans to add a third tower at the Rio. MGM Mirage sold the Golden Nugget to Tim Poster and Tom Brietling of Poster Financial Group in January of this year (2004). The Nugget’s rooms were remodeled 2001-2002 and they look great. Some parts of the casino are being changed under the new ownership.

heyadammiller asked on 06/14/04

Hey Hunter! I heard that the Desert Inn’s last and final tower will be imploded. When was this last tower built? Did Steve Wynn have this last tower kept for his headquarters?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yes, it is true that the St. Andrews Tower, the last remaining Desert Inn building, will be imploded. I have heard dates that range from later this month to October of this year. This tower was totally remodeled in 1997, and was originally constructed in 1963. The tower is currently being used by Wynn Resorts as a headquarters. They will be moving into new offices that are part of the Wynn Las Vegas complex.

JoeP asked on 06/12/04

Wow this is a great site!! Great work!! …..I will be going to Vegas this summer for a romantic getaway with my girlfriend. My question is in regards to Treasure Island VS The Mirage hotel. Overall which of these hotels is nicer (just their standard rooms)? I have found a rate of 79$ a night at TI and 99$ at The Mirage. Is the extra 20$ a night worth it? Thanks.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks! The Mirage is a nicer hotel. The Mirage opened in 1989 to cater to high end Las Vegas visitors. Treasure Island was built by the same company (Mirage Resorts) and opened in 1993. It was designed to offer a slightly lower end alternative to The Mirage. Both hotels are nice with great service. The Mirage has been remodeled more recently than TI and has a much better swimming pool. I would go with The Mirage (I stay there most frequently when in Las Vegas).

salandmeera asked on 06/09/04

Hunter, In my below question, you said it changes if we are talking about suites. I would prob. get a suite so please help with that and thank you for taking time to answer my questions.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, I would reorder the list a bit… Caesars has some of the best suites in town, no contest. TI also has some great Tower Suites… Then Paris, MGM Grand and NYNY… Have you considered The Mirage? They have great Tower and Penthouse Suites that are usually reasonably priced.

daisy1703 asked on 06/09/04

Is there anyway to get into clubs for free – I gamble but not enough all of the time, I just think the cover charges are outrageous when the drinks are expensive as well

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Short answer is no. You either have to play and get comped in or wait in line and pay the cover charge. Nightclubs have become a huge profit generator for Las Vegas casinos so I wouldn’t expect this to change.

salandmeera asked on 06/08/04

Hunter, your help needed here please. Please tell me where you would stay if you had the choice of MGM, Caesars, TI, Paris, or NY NY and what kind of room and that property would you choose.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I would probably pick the following, in order: 1. Caesars Palace (Palace Tower) – the rooms in the Palace Tower are VERY nice. Caesars has a good location with some good dining options. 2. Paris (Premium View Room) – great location, pretty good casino and great dining options on property and in the area. 3. Treasure Island (Tower Deluxe Room) – great service, still some great things about this place. Food selection is improving. Great dealers. 4. MGM Grand (Grand Tower Room) – the larger, newer rooms are in the Grand Tower. This place is huge but has some good food choices and has a pretty good location. 5. NYNY – not a fan.

Of course, this changes if we’re talking about suites…

Adam12 asked on 06/08/04

Hello Hunter, thank you for this great site! 2 questions real quick, TI Tower Deluxe at 90/night or BC at 39/night for a couple (mid 20’s, one first timer, 25Jul – 29Jul), money is somewhat of an issue. Also, are jackets required at Delmonico? It’s closed down at the moment and I cant seem to get any information. Thank you again!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

My take on the hotel situation is that they would be happier at TI – great service, larger hotel, etc… BC won’t be a big mistake but TI would be more of a Vegas experience. Jackets are not required at Delmonico. As far as it being closed, are you perhaps thinking of Emeril’s Fish House – that restaurant is closed for renovation.

Adam12 asked on 06/08/04

D’oh! Sorry Hunter, I had one more question concerning the new Cravings Buffet at the Mirage. Any feedback on it yet? Is it up to par/better than the old buffet?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I walked through Cravings the day before it opened but didn’t get a chance to try the food. The room is very cool, with all individual serving and preparation areas. I have seen two reviews on the food, one was extremely positive and the other was marginal.

Rob asked on 06/07/04

Hi Hunter – great site! – especially this Q&A part (you know too much !!)
Can you advise? – when will the remodelling of the rooms at Bellagio be finished ? – And have the Venetian’s ever been done since it opened ? (I’ve heard that some are showing their age – have you ?).
Also – whats the latest with construction work at Caesars? Is the Forum Shops extension finished yet – and what else are they working on ?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks for the kind words. The renovations at Bellagio are complete. I got a chance to see them for myself – the rooms look quite a bit better – it is a very nice upgrade. The rooms at the Venetian haven’t been remodeled since the opening – I wouldn’t be surprised to see them get a touch up in the next 12-18 months. Caesars has several construction projects going. The Forum Shops expansion will be completed later this Fall. Also, Caesars is building a new all-suite hotel tower and a new entrance on the corner of Las Vegas Blvd and Flamingo Road. The new entrance is almost completed and the tower will open next year. The porte cochere is also being reconstructed. Lots of projects!

jaypatelcpa asked on 06/07/04

Hunter, thanks for answering my earlier question. Here is another. MGM Bungalow King for $99, Paris Premiere View Room for $144, or Treasure Island Petite King Suite for $139. What do think is the best in terms of price and view and which would you recommend?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The Paris room will have a great view of Bellagio but other than that isn’t much more than a room with a nice view. The TI petite king suite has some more amenities but you could end up with some poor ‘mountain’ views if they put you on that side of the hotel. I wouldn’t pick MGM Grand if you’re looking for a great view.

bobndee asked on 06/05/04

I heard that you could get an all day bus pass on the strip for $5.00. If true where do you get it? Is there a bus that runs to Chico’s outlet mall near Fremont St?
Thank you, Dee

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

You can get a full day pass for the CAT bus system (local bus). You can purchase it on the bus itself. CAT route 105 will take you to the outlet mall (Las Vegas Premium Outlets). The CAT Web site is located here.

patm asked on 06/05/04

Could someone please send me an e-mail and let me know what improvements were done at The Mirage Pool area.
Thank you,

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The Mirage updated the pool area with new landscaping, chairs as well as resurfacing the pool itself. The layout is the same, just a touch up on the existing facilities.

jaypatelcpa asked on 06/04/04

I am coming to Vegas on 6/27 for 2 nights with my wife and two daugters (7 and 19 months). Have found a great rate (I think) at the Venetian for $129. I am looking for a nice comfy place. Do you think this is reasonable ? Also, can you please tell me which hotels offer babysitting services?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yes, this is a good rate at the Venetian. It is widely considered to be one of the top properties in Las Vegas. At this point, few hotels have onsite babysitting but all can recommend local sources through the concierge.

jrmc72 asked on 06/04/04

Hey remember me and all my Mexican ID questions for my last trip to vegas in March (problably dont)! Ok Any ways, this time (June 24 -27) where taking a 10 year old and a 14 year old, what hotels do you reccomend with some cool pools for them and a fun atmosphere? Also, is that pool place open now ( the one with all the slides and stuff )? How much is the entrance fee?
Any other information on stuff for there age I would really appreciate!
Thanks in Advance,

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

How could I forget? Cool pools? Mandalay Bay has hands down the coolest pool in Las Vegas. Other good spots include The Mirage, Flamingo and Bellagio. The water park is called Wet N’ Wild and will be in full swing by the time you arrive. Tickets cost between $20 and $30 depending on age. More info on the park is here.

blueone asked on 06/04/04

I want to go see “O” at the bellagio but what are the best seats to get? If you are able to sit front row will you be straining your neck looking up at the stage? Do the “wet seats” that wet?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

There is a lot happening all over the theater during the show. I would not recommend the very front row – instead look for seats in the center section, about 1/3 of the way back. The wet seats do get a bit wet, yes.

cosmo asked on 06/03/04

Hi Hunter

I know the $20 trick is a crap shoot at the best of times but what situation do you think gives me the best odds? I’m flying into Vegas at 08:30 Sunday June the 6th and staying at the Flamingo-would I have better luck at the Airport check in at that time or should I register at the Hotel closer to 3:00 pm, thanks in advance

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Usually earlier in the day at the hotel desk (not the airport) is your best bet. Can you head to the hotel after you land?

Nevermatters asked on 06/03/04

I know that you can purchase VIP tickets to clubs at which allows you to stand in the VIP line. Now, is offering a service to walk you directly into the club. In other words, no waiting in line. Do you know anything about this service and do you think it is worth the money?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Marginally. There is no sure fire way to get in, even if you pay $$’s for one of these services. Your chances are better than walking to the door with nothing but there is no guarantee.

bluebird asked on 06/03/04

Hi, I am travelling to Vegas the 1st weekend of October with a group of 6 girls. We are all either 21 or 22. We were wondering whether we should stay thursday, friday, saturday night or friday, saturday, sunday night. So basically, what would be a more happening night – thursday or sunday. Also, we are considering staying at the Palms, Hard Rock, and MGM. We know that the Palms and Hard Rock have a lot of young people, but we would prefer to stay on the strip. Would there be a lot of young people at the MGM? Or is there another hotel on the strip with lots of young people? This site is amazing! THANKS!!!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Can I come along? Generally, Thursday/Friday/Saturday is more common than Friday/Saturday/Sunday, thus there is often more happening. As far as hotels, at this point I would recommend the Palms over the Hard Rock… On the Strip, MGM Grand is okay but you might also want to check Luxor, Treasure Island and Mandalay Bay. Have fun!

heyadammiller asked on 06/02/04

How long has the Barbary Coast Hotel been on the Strip? Is that where the old Burbon Street Casino was? Barbary seems like an old hotel- do you think that the Imperal Palace, Barbary, Flamingo, Harrahs- any of them have a chance of being torn down anytime soon? Thanks, A

Also Hunter- great new pictures!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The Barbary Coast opened in 1979. The Bourbon Street is located just down Flamingo Road across from the Ballys sportsbook. Of the resorts you mention I would say only the Imperial Palace is likely to see the wrecking ball anytime soon – and only if Harrah’s purchases the property for an expansion.

heyadammiller asked on 06/02/04

Hey Hunter! How is the Plaza hotel doing downtown? Now that they got new owners, are we going to see anything anytime soon from them? Any changes, rooms re-fitted, etc? June of 2003 it was looking pretty sad.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

As you noted, the Plaza is now owned by Barrick Gaming. Major changes are being plotted but as of now, there is little difference in the property. Changes such as a new tower and additional retail have been bounced around.

edwshaw asked on 06/02/04

how do the jacuzzi rooms rate at nyny with similar rooms else where in las vegas?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The jacuzzi suites here were built as a reaction to those at Luxor and in my opinion are an improvement on them. It is a strong choice if you’re looking for a room of this type.

cormo asked on 06/02/04

Hi hunter great site. Just a quick question, I’ll be in vegas in mid-june, i’m a hugh football fan(soccer) and would like to know where i could watch the euro 2004 championship.I’ll staying at the flamingo. thank for any help you can give me.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I spoke with the sportsbook at Caesars Palace and they plan to carry at least a portion of the event.

DAZZA8733 asked on 05/31/04

I have been offered a trip to Las Vegas from London U.K. for 7 nights for about $400 total per person including flights and staying at either the New Frontier or the Imperial Palace, which hotel would be better to stay at? I have read mixed reports on both. Many Thanks

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I would vote for the Imperial Palace – better location, some great restaurants, friendly casino staff. Certainly a better choice.

Terry asked on 05/29/04

Which strip properties have the most $1 Wheel of Fortune and Pinball slot machines?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

You will find $1 WOF all over town – it is one of the most popular slot machines. Just this past weekend I saw large banks at Bellagio, The Mirage, and Caesars Palace. The IGT ‘Pinball’ game is a little harder to find – recently seen at Ballys, Paris and Bellagio. Slot floors change all the time, so machines can pop up and disappear with no notice.

DenverDiva asked on 05/27/04

Hey there – I’ll be visitng Vegas once again in a month and once again find myself overwhlemed with dining options. A couple of “first-timers” will be accompanying us and we want to treat them to a superb dinner. I’ve heard a bazillion recommendations but can’t seem to settle. Any suggestions?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Check out Delmonico at The Venetian. Some of the very best food in town combined with great service. More great chow: Picasso at Bellagio, N9NE at the Palms, or Jasmine at Bellagio. Lots of great choices!

joepm asked on 05/27/04

What would you folks say is the best jacuzzi room on the strip?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

If price is no object and what you want is a suite that contains a jacuzzi, I would recommend a Penthouse Suite at Bellagio. If you’re looking for a lower end room with a jacuzzi, take a look at the Jacuzzi Suites at Luxor – corner of the pyramid with tubs right at the window.

CASC29 asked on 05/22/04

Will the $20 trick work at the Mirage for the Strip view penthouse suite instead of the pool or mountian view?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

You already have a penthouse reserved? This might work, but with suites they sometimes look at you funny. FYI, many of the pool view rooms have a better view of the Strip than the volcano view rooms.

twofours asked on 05/21/04

Just wondering how honest the cabbies are in Vegas. I have heard you should take a shuttle from airport to Hotel. Will be staying at Monte Carlo how much should it cost to go from Hotel to airport? Hotel to Fremont St? Hotel to Stratosphere? Thanks.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Most are very honest. As with any big city, there are always some bad seeds. It is against the law to long haul passengers and most cabbies respect that. From the airport to the Monte Carlo is probably $10-15 depending on traffic. Probably about the same from the MC to the Strat. Heading downtown could be closer to $20. This all depends on traffic, of course. I don’t usually take shuttles, I stick to cabs and sometimes limos (can be cheaper if you are in a large group). I like talking to the cabbies as well – you can get some good insider info.

CASC29 asked on 05/21/04

Which is a better suite – The Penthouse at the Mirage, Panorama suite at the Aladdin or the Masqurade suite at the Rio?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Out of these choices I would pick the penthouse suite at The Mirage. The suite includes their ‘Royal Service’ and they really do take care of you. The Panoramas at the Aladdin have great picture windows but The Mirage is a great place to be. All leather furnishings, huge bathroom, etc…

rebelwr1 asked on 05/20/04

Making my first trip out to LV, and was wondering what hotel out on the strip is it easiest for a minor to gamble. My son is 19 and lookin to pull a few slots. What hotels are strict, and which ones arent as bad?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

While there are certainly some situations where you can get away with playing before your 21st birthday, we don’t condone or recommend it. If you were to win a big jackpot, you would get paid $0. That said, if a security guard approached you and asked for ID and you said you didn’t have any, they would simply ask you to leave. If you attempt to defraud the casino (fake ID), then you are getting into sketchy territory if caught.

user asked on 05/18/04

hi hunter. we want to see a show in Vegas this year but not sure which one ?? We are considering ‘O’ because we have heard it is amazing? Also Celine Dion at Caesers(worth the money if you like her?)But Danny Gans is supposed to be so funny ! Totally confused……

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

All of those shows are generally highly regarded. ‘O’ is probably the one show that most folks would say is the most ‘unique’. You won’t find a lot of other shows like ‘O’ – the staging and production is amazing. I personally love Danny Gans and think he’s very funny. Lately there has been a bit of a backlash against him as he has cancelled quite a few shows. Also, the high ticket price throws some folks. Celine gets high marks from Celine fans – so if that describes you, go for it!

marbesk asked on 05/18/04

Are there any grocery type stores or super markets near the Flamingo hotel? We are looking for a place that sells basic staples like milk, fresh produce, cereal, some deli, etc.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Several pharmacies are within walking distance, but they won’t have the fresh food you’re looking for. If you have a car, you can track down a grocery store at 1155 E. Twain (VONS), a short trip.

user asked on 05/17/04

Would you recommend somebody staying at the Aladdin in mid – Sept. Any idea how the changeover to Planet Hollyood could affect guests. Thank You

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

No one really knows. They will aim for minimal disruption but I think you will be taking at least something of a chance if you book during the change period.

son asked on 05/14/04

hi great site! i am going to vegas in Sept and wish to stay at either the Aladdin or NYNY? they are the same price.i understand the Aladdin is more centrally located on the strip but do you have any suggesstions that could help my decision? Thank You

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

While both the Aladdin and NYNY have good locations, you could argue the Aladdin has an advantage. You should be aware that that is the timeframe that the Aladdin will be converted into the ‘Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino’. It is possible that the conversion process could cause some disruption for guests – they haven’t outlined the plans yet. The rooms at Aladdin are nicer than NYNY in my opinion. In my opinion, both casinos have some design issues that keep them underperforming compared to others of similar size.

heyadammiller asked on 05/11/04

Hi Hunter!

When did Caesars Palace take down the metal fence/grating across their older buildings? It looks a lot better now but just looking at pictures in here, some of it has the metal, and some of it doesnt over the windows. It looked like it would be hard to see out of! Why was it there in the first place?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The original facade was removed in 2000 over the course of several months. Caesars wanted to match the older towers with the Palace Tower. The original design was the brainchild of founder Jay Sarno. If you look closely, you will see that the original facade was a patchwork of the letter ‘S’, for Sarno’s last name.

heyadammiller asked on 05/10/04

Hello Hunter! So what is the update with Plannet Hollywood going into Aladdin? We heard that it was delayed once agian with the deal closing late? Also there is a rumor that New York New York is looking at expanding- there is construction over by a narrow strip of land, what is going on there?

Thanks and Great Site!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

When an organization applies for a gaming license in Nevada, the licensing authority, the Gaming Commission, authorizes an investigation by the Gaming Control Board. The investigation is extensive and designed to ensure that only worthy candidates are licensed. This process can take around twelve months to complete. The new owners hoped that licensing would be completed by June but it is now looking like late August or September.

As far as I know, NYNY is not expanding. There was some construction on a new marquee sign between the resort and Monte Carlo. Also, work on outlets to Frank Sinatra Drive, that runs behind the resort. Perhaps that is what you’re thinking of?

heyadammiller asked on 05/10/04

Hunter, how often do you go to Las Vegas to update pictures of Las Vegas? I wondered if you had any more pictures of the Caesars Palace additions, any more released updated photos of the Wynn Las Vegas, and MGM Grand- MGM Grand was one of our favorite hotels and we wondered if you had anymore to add? We love your site, and all the wonderful photos you have added lately. Keep up the awesome work!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The short answer is that we update them as often as we can. Photos of the construction going on right now are probably my personal favorites… I love watching the buildings go up. Other pressing engagements have kept me away from Las Vegas for the past few weeks but I am working on getting some photos from another source on the site this week… As far as MGM Grand goes, do you have specific requests?

ian448 asked on 05/07/04

Hi Hunter.I have heard alot about casino hosts and how they offer discounts on hotel rooms etc for casino players.I presume that in order to do this you first have to join a players club, obviously gamble in the casino and then on your next visit they offer discounts dependant on your previous stays play.Is this correct?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

You’re basically on track. After you join the club, ask to speak with a host. They can answer your questions about what play is required to get specific comps, etc… If you played during your trip, speak with them before you leave – they can knock charges off of your hotel bill. Also, they will be your contact point for subsequent visits.

tommyiac asked on 05/05/04

Hunter, I forgot to ask if there is a website that has a property map for Mandalay Bay. I can’t find one on their site, and the one for the THEhotel leaves a little to be desired. Also, have you seen any sites with more pics of THEhotel?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The map on the Mandalay Web site is pretty much all that is available… THEHotel has a fairly small footprint, a check-in area, lounge and cafe on the ground floor. There are some additional pictures located at the Mandalay Bay Web site, here:

tommyiac asked on 05/04/04

On the photos page for Mandalay Bay, the last picture is of a bedroom there (you can see Luxor out the window). Do you know what this room is called and if its in THEhotel so that I can reserve that room type?? Thanks so much for all the great information.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

We just added those pictures yesterday… Yes, the room is in THEHotel. It is a a VIP Suite.

dropkik19 asked on 05/04/04

I’m heading to Vegas Memorial Day weekend. The last time I was there (3 years ago) most of the casinos were still paying 3:2 natural blackjacks but were starting to work in the automated shuffling machines, and hitting on soft 17’s. I’ve heard that 6:5 payouts are now the norm across the strip. I’m staying at Bally’s. I typically play $15-$25 a hand. I don’t mind the shuffling machines as much, Will they have any tables paying 3:2 and/or that stand on a hard 17? How about other casinos in the area? i.e. Paris, Bellagio, Barbary Coast, Venetian.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Your most common choices these days are single or double deck paying 6:5 or 6 deck auto-shuffle paying 3:2. The latter is a MUCH better play, even with the shuffler… But many players who are not very advanced see the ‘single deck’ games and think that is the overriding factor… In some casinos (i.e. Bellagio) you can find 3:2 single deck games, but most of those are in the $50-$100/hand range…

pinch asked on 05/01/04

Got another Hunter. Been considering taking a grand cayon helictopter ride with Papillon. Problem is, i can’t find any real customer reviewws anywhere. The main thing I’m worried about is that I have heard there is a good chance a couple won’t be seated together – do you know if thats true? I just can’t see spending 600 bucks for a honeymoon helicopter ride if we can’t sit together. If anyone else has info you can email me at
Thanks again

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Hmmm… This is a question that I can’t answer with complete confidence. Have you spoken with the operator about the seating assignments? I can certainly understand your request… I would start there and see what they say – it seems like they should be able to make this work! Also, any other readers feel free to contact pinch and let him know.

jpark1213 asked on 04/28/04

Hi, Hunter.. I have question about Mirage Buffet. I’ve heard they’re renovating their buffet. So it’s completely closed now? When do they reopen?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The main buffet is totally closed until June. They have a temporary location open in the convention area but most of the normal dishes can’t be served… The new buffet will be called ‘Cravings’ and from what I hear, they are aiming as high as they can go.

electricman asked on 04/27/04

Hunter, We are going to be in Vegas mid may, staying at the Flamingo & Rio. Will I talk to a person or is it automated for check in at the airport? Do both locations have jacuzzi tubs available? Is it a long walk from the Hard Rock to the Thomas& Mac Center? Do you have any comments about the Hofbrauhaus? Thanks again..

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The airport check-in is still staffed by humans – for now. We’ll see how long that lasts depending on how the automated machines do at the Flamingo proper. To get a jacuzzi at the Flamingo you have to be in a ‘Luxury Suite’… At the Rio it is a ‘Cariocas Suite’. The Hard Rock is pretty darn close to the Thomas and Mack – if you don’t mind a short walk, you’ll be fine. I haven’t been to the Hofbrauhaus yet but I’m told it is a lot of fun!

Mikeynla asked on 04/16/04

Hunter, quick question:
Aug 22, 2 nights, Mirage Tower Deluxe: $159/night; Caesars Palace, Palace Tower: $169. What’s a boy to do?
(thanks as always!)

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Based on just the room, the Palace Tower rooms at Caesars are nicer than the Tower Deluxe rooms at The Mirage. I prefer The Mirage overall, but being next door at Caesars you could spend some time at The Mirage if you were so inclined… I would probably pop for Caesars in this instance as it is a really low rate for those rooms.

pinch asked on 04/16/04

Thanks for the response Hunter. Since you mention hotels, i do have another question. Being the first time in vegas, i am not how close we are to the high or low end but can tell you were we are staying. The first two nights are at the excalibue in a jacuzzi suite (I have since rerad reviews, and am not sure it is a good choice, but we both like the rennaisance so hopefully it will work ok). The second two nights are at the Bellagio in a penthouse, and the last two night are at the MGM on a terrace suite. Are there certain views or room requests i should make at these places? Thanks again for all the help!

P.S…. regarding those terrace suites… strange question.. are they private enough to get honeymoon-like firsky on, or is the whole hotel watching? I can’t tell from the pictures if the surrounding glass panels are windows or just solid..

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

That’s quite a range of hotels there! The jacuzzi suites at Excalibur are much better than the standard rooms, you’ll probably be fine… The vibe is sorts like Disneyland with gambling, if you think that works for you guys… The rest of your trip you’ll be staying in some fabulous accommodations… The Penthouse Suites at Bellagio are quite spacious with all the amenities… They’ll take great care of you at Bellagio… If you can, get a lakeview room. If those aren’t available, I would vote for the pool view… Mountain view at Bellagio is code for freeway view, so you probably want to avoid that if possible. The Terrace Suites at MGM Grand are pretty cool, featuring walk-out patios. As far as privacy, some rooms in other wings might have viewing angles of your suite if they were really trying to see what was going on… I think you could get away with whatever without much fear… and isn’t that chance a little bit fun? Have a great time!

pinch asked on 04/15/04

We are taking our first trip to Vegas in June for our honeymoon. Does anyone have advice on how much cash a couple should have for a week long stay? I have already booked and paid for the rooms, limo, helicopters and shows. The only thing i can think of that i need cash for is food and tips. Anything i am forgetting? If not i was thinking 2k would be enough as we are not very big gamblers, but could use some advice.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

There is no ‘right’ answer to this question, since Las Vegas has facilities to match virtually any budget. If you’re planning on bringing along $2,000 for your trip to cover food, tips and some light gambling you should be able to eat in good quality restaurants throughout your trip and sneak in a couple of gourmet meals if you are so inclined. Since you didn’t fill me in on where you were staying, I will assume it is not at the highest of the high end and neither the lowest of the low. It sounds like you’re on track with your trip planning. Feel free to browse this site to get an idea of how much certain restaurants usually cost. Have fun!

bigslim4 asked on 04/15/04

really nice site bro. this (the vegas site i mean) was something i actually considered back in the days. mine definitely would’ve of been a bust. 16 hits 10.. anyways bro, while impaired via intoxication a couple weeks ago, i called heavily upon your vegas knowledge on helping me decide on a few things. if u feel this to be a duplicate question sprung on by my lack of patience, sorry. straight up…aladdin or TI.. never stayed at TI before but have been to the aladdin rooms… i think they’re quite nice and suit the needs of 4 homies. however the casino seemed a bit hollow. i like the service and friendliness of TI but am worried about both room and pool size. do u know how large the standard rooms are at the TI? all suite upgrades seem to cater to a romantic couple’s getaway. nothing remotely romantic of this trip. just gambling man. just gambling. last question on comps. i’m a heavy blackjack player with a strong average of about $50-100 a hand for about 6 hours a day easy. how are the comps at TI? i’m leaning towards TI but would appreciate a little hunted vegas knowledge from the big hunter himselp. much obliged…keep it rollin bro.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks! I vote TI. Since not everyone would agree with me, I will explain why I’m voting for Treasure Island. You’re right that the casino at the Aladdin feels hollow, mostly because the high ceilings suck all of the energy to the top of the room. The casino design at TI is not perfect, but it has been improved in the last year or so and is still far superior to the Aladdin. Also, TI has some of the friendliest dealers and casino staff on the Strip. You’re not off base to be worried about the pool at Treasure Island. It is one of the biggest weaknesses of the resort – it is small and fills up with guests very quickly. This doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time there and to be honest, the pool at the Aladdin is nothing to write home about, but TI’s pool is not the reason I am recommending the resort. The rooms at TI are probably slightly smaller than at the Aladdin. They are very much the average room size for Las Vegas Strip resorts, a bit larger than those at The Mirage but not by much. Until you get to a tower suite you’re not going to get into a ‘party’ suite (instead of a romantic getaway type suite), and those can get pricey. With that kind of 21 action you can get some great comps at TI. The cool thing is that the hosts at TI can also comp you meals and entertainment at The Mirage, Bellagio, MGM Grand and New York New York, so you have a lot of choices. Be sure that you get a MGM Mirage ‘Players Card’ as soon as you arrive and always present that card as you buy in. Being friendly, tipping the dealer and chatting with the pit boss can’t hurt your rating either. Have a great time!

bdp23 asked on 04/13/04

I was wondering if you knew anything about US Rent A Car? Do they have good, reputable service and good cars? Thanks, love the site

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

They have been operating in Las Vegas for over twenty years. Find more information about them here.

hoopsrule asked on 04/13/04

Few more questions – 1) What are the best breakfast buffets on the Strip? 2) In addition to Treasure Island, which casinos have the best dealers? 3) Which casinos use those dreaded shuffle machines for blackjack? 4) Are you going to be posting soon your room and service ratings for Caesars and Mandalay Bay?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I would rate the best breakfasts as follows: Bellagio, Paris, and Aladdin. When the buffet at The Mirage re-opens in June 2004, they will be a serious contender for this crown as well. Beyond Treasure Island the dealers at Bellagio and Harrah’s always receive high marks – friendly and reliable service. Other resorts also have great casino staff but these resorts offer consistently best of class service… At this point I don’t think that there are any Strip resorts that don’t use card shuffling machines. The latest trend on the Strip is to offer 21 that pays 6:5 on a blackjack instead of 3:2 – the hook is these are single deck games. Beware as these are horrible for the player. We plan a huge amount of site updates once our new software is in place… We don’t have a date but we are working hard on it and it is looking great! Both Caesars and MBay have several strong points depending on what you are looking for on your vacation.