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Dustan Burgard asked on 08/21/11

Hey Hunter,
This year i will be in vegas during super bowl weekend. I have never gone during this time before. I would like to watch the game at a sports book but not sure how it works on that day. there will be three of us and im not sure if you are able to reserve spots, or if you have to sit there for hours on end. we will be staying at aria so would like to watch it there if possible. If you have any sugestions on were to go or how to get a seat im all ears. Thanks yet agian.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Superbowl weekend is quite busy, as you might imagine. Last year, there was some overlap with Chinese New Year, which meant it was SUPER busy (pun intended).

When it comes to the books themselves, they operate as they typically do: first come, first served.

In addition to the books themselves, all of the casinos typically have parties, usually in a ballroom somewhere, to view the game. These are almost always invite only but if you have a casino host, I’d ask them about it as they should be able to help. If not, you’re probably going to be out of luck unless you’re willing to camp out for a good spot in the book.

You could always try another sports book, though they’ll all be busy. Sorry – I wish I had a better outlook for you!

Steve asked on 08/18/11

Going to Vegas next and we are staying at the Tropicana. Have all of the rooms been updated.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


Eric asked on 08/15/11

Great site!!

I’m contemplating a reservation in an MGM Terrace Suite at a pretty good rate. I stayed in one years ago & we had a great time, but I’m now wondering if any renovations or remodeling has been done lately. Some reviews dated a few years back mentioned a need for remodeling, but I haven’t seen anything recently. Do you have any idea what kind of shape the rooms are in? Is it fair to assume that the hot tub will be operational (as this is one of the current selling points of this room)?

Thanks for your help.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


MGM is in the midst of a property-wide remodel. It won’t be complete for a few more months so depending on your dates, your chances of getting an updated room will vary.

The rooms definitely needed a remodel – they went a few years longer than they should have. If you get one of the older rooms, you’ll probably see a good bit of wear, though I would expect all of the amenities, like the tub, to work.

Simoncarly asked on 08/14/11

Where are some good spots for a hotel chapel wedding and in suite reception for 50-75 people? Thank you :)

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

It really comes down to how much you want to spend. At the top of the spectrum would be Wynn Las Vegas and Bellagio – they can provide a top-notch experience with all the trappings.

Moving down the cost chain a bit, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, Treasure Island, Monte Carlo and Flamingo would be in the next category.

There are quite a few places that can fulfill your needs.

Haik asked on 08/12/11

Hi. Do you the differences between Cosmo’s “Terrace One Bedroom” and “Terrace Studio”? The descriptions on their website are similar and also the prices hardly differ. Which one would you recommend? Thanks!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The differences are subtle.

The Terrace One Bedroom includes a somewhat bizarre Japanese soaking tub. I say bizarre because while it offers a nice view but it’s so small, most American guests will probably scratch their heads a bit. One of those things that sounded good in a design meeting but I question if it was really a good plan to put them in the rooms. The studio has a more traditional bathroom.

Other than that, the studio is a more open floor plan than the one-bedroom where the sleeping area can be closed off.

Hopefully that helps – it sorta depends on what you’re looking for.

Rich kozak asked on 08/10/11

Thank you again, My question is.After many years of favoring MGM properties I have dedided to try the Palazzo resort any info would be helpful,such as, what rooms are nearest to the pools and casino ect.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The pools at Palazzo are right above the casino. You can access them from the main resort elevators without having to go through the casino, etc…

Palazzo only has a single tower so it really comes down to how high of a floor you like. The elevator core is near the center of the building so if you want to avoid long walks down the hallway, get a room closer to the elevator and you’ll be near everything you need!

Good luck!

DoubleD asked on 08/10/11

Hi Hunter,
I’m staying at the Wynn tower suites in a parlor suite next month, and I’d really like to stay in a recently renovated room as you did in your review of it a few months back. My question is: are all of these types of rooms renovated?

The reason I ask is I saw wynn’s twitter account mention on 8/9/11 that the south tower suites are renovated, leading me to wonder about the north tower suites (should they exist). If not, what can I do to make sure I stay in a renovated room?
Thanks as always

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yes, the Wynn renovation is 100% complete.

The Tower Suites portion of Wynn is only in the ‘south’ side. The north side is what they call ‘Resort Rooms’, which basically means the main hotel.

You shouldn’t have any trouble. Enjoy the room, it’s quite nice!

Deborah Damon asked on 08/10/11

Hunter: my question is: i know that the Saraha Hotel is closed, what happends to the resturant and the ride speed. did they close along with the hotel.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The restaurant and ride are closed. They tried to sell the ride off but couldn’t find a buyer.

Carolyn asked on 08/09/11

My niece is getting married in Las Vegas on April 21, 2012. I have 2 questions. First, what hotels would you recommend trying to get a block of rooms, maybe 12, at a very reasonable price, and second, what about a very reasonably priced restaurant to have an after wedding dinner for a party of 25 or so. We really mean reasonable – like $12 pp for dinner.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Location-wise, hotels Downtown (Fremont Street) like The Plaza, Four Queens and Golden Nugget are significantly less expensive than Strip hotels. You might try there. On The Strip, I’d probably check into Ballys, Imperial Palace, The Flamingo and perhaps even Circus Circus if cost is the biggest driver. The Stratosphere is further north but has recently re-done most of the property – they could be a contender.

If you’re looking for a block of rooms, you might want to consider talking to the group sales department. That may not be enough rooms for them to help you but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

For food, have you considered perhaps a hotel buffet? They’re good at serving large parties, some of them are very reasonably priced and they offer a wide selection. If that interested you, perhaps look at the Paradise Garden Buffet at Flamingo, the Emperor’s Buffet at Imperial Palace or the Round Table Buffet at Excalibur.

Loan asked on 08/09/11

Love the site, great info. Could you tell me what hotels on the strip currently do not charge the dreaded resort fee as I have gotten mixed information. Also what company do you recomend for Grand Canyon and or Hoover Dam tours. One more question, as far as the strip goes where could we find some live music? Thanks

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

For resort fees, almost all do except for hotels owned by Caesars Entertainment (Caesars Palace, Flamingo, Ballys, Paris, Planet Hollywood, Imperial Palace, Bill’s). VegasTripping has a comprehensive list:

Regarding tours, I’d take a look at Viator – they’ve got a bunch of packages you can look at.

For live music, you can typically find it at Harrah’s Carnival Court, sometimes in the lounge at Bill’s, and Encore’s Eastside Lounge. Those are just a few spots – it can vary quite a bit based on time of year and night of the week.

Joe asked on 08/05/11

Great Job with the blog. My and two other single guys (25-30) are going to Vegas for the first time in October. Staying at the MGM and will spend a great deal of time gambling in sportsbooks.

1. Best sportsbook for comps and relaxation?
2. Best bar/lounge on the strip?
3. If you were our guide, you would require us to do/see___________?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


Sportsbook comps, in and of themselves, are tougher these days than in the past. When it comes to getting free drinks, you can’t just make a bet and sit around for hours like you could in the past. If you’re making a bunch of other bets at the tables, you can still get great treatment in the sports book but if you’re just going to watch the game, you’re probably going to be buying your drinks. Rules vary but expect about one free drink per bet at most books.

When it comes to comfortable seats, not all books are created equal. I’d probably pick places like Wynn, Bellagio, Caesars, the Las Vegas Hilton, Bally’s and The Mirage when it comes to nice digs. They all have killer books. MGM is not bad but it’s small. It was re-done about five years ago so it at least has recent tech.

Best bar / lounge? That’s almost an impossible question to answer – it depends on what you want. Chill out spot? Ultra-lounge? Cheap drinks? Good view? Late night? All different answers. Some favorites: Mandarin Bar (Mandarin Oriental), Parasol Up (Wynn Las Vegas), Eastside Lounge (Encore), Petrossian (Bellagio), and Chandelier Bar (Cosmopolitan).

As for must-do, there are attractions that everyone that comes to Vegas should see (Bellagio fountains, Mirage volcano) but if you’re a few single guys, you’re probably less interested in sightseeing. Enjoy The Strip – roam from casino to casino ; take advantage of drinking out on the street ; lose some money ; win some money ; see Bellagio, Wynn Las Vegas, The Cosmopolitan, The Mirage, Caesars Palace and Luxor – all iconic properties. Go to the pool – depending on when in October, it might still be pretty warm out.

Most of all, just have fun.

rich kozak asked on 08/04/11

Your suggestion and comments are always reliable,My question is,if staying at an MGM resort in Vegas can we use the pools on any of there properties on the strip. Thank you

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


In most cases, you’re only allowed into the pool at the property you’re staying at, even if the hotel is owned by a company like MGM with multiple hotels on The Strip.

Some of the pools have ‘day clubs’ where you can pay for access. These are basically like nightclubs at a pool in the day time.

I’ve heard many stories of people sneaking into other hotel pools. In most cases it’s not that hard but of course it’s not recommended and they might throw you out if they figured it out.

Dan from Philly asked on 07/26/11

My wife and I are staying at Wynn in September, and we want to see LOVE at the Mirage on either a Saturday or Sunday night. The show has two times, 7:00 and 9:30. If we decide to see the show at 7:00 and want to make dinner reservations at Sinatra, what time should we make our dinner reservation after the show? Alternatively, if we see the 9:30 show, what time should we make dinner reservations before the show?


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

LOVE is about 90 minutes long and starts on time so dinner in the 9:15pm range should give you enough time to get back to Wynn from The Mirage. You might want to leave a little more time if you’re walking.

At The Mirage after the show, the cab line grows quite long. Keep in mind there’s another cab stand at the North Valet entrance, near JET. It’s typically much quieter (though it also has fewer cabs).

If you go before the show, a lot of it depends on how long of a meal you’re planning. Sinatra could be a 90 minute experience, if you want it to be, though if you tell the waiter you have show tickets, they’re usually pretty good about keeping you on target. If you don’t have tickets in hand, you’ll need to wait in line to pick them up and then in another line (long and slow) if you want a drink during the performance. You’re probably looking at 6:30-7pm reservations if you want to eat before, depending on how much time you want to give yourself. It sucks to have to rush.

Wes asked on 07/26/11

My wife and I are going back to Vegas early next year. The last three visits we stayed at MGM Grand. This time I want to stay at the Signature. Is the walk from the the towers back to MGM and the strip really that far like I’ve heard? And what have you heard overall, good or bad, about the Signature? Thank you, great site and keep up the great work.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


Yeah, it’s quite a walk. If that bothers you, it might not be a good choice.

On balance though, that’s the main complaint people seem to have with the place. Otherwise, folks seem to like it.

Dennis B. asked on 07/26/11

Where can I find info. on the Deuce bus that travels up and down the Las Vegas strip ?


Dennis B.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

There’s information on the Web:

pete asked on 07/24/11

We are going to be staying in vegas for one night and wondering how safe valet parking is. we will have a flat screen tv in the back seat. Just curious if some hotels have secure places and if so, can you tell me which ones.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

When you valet your car, the parking agreement says they are not liable for anything that happens to your car or its contents. Most of the time, that’s not an issue but not 100% of the time.

At most Strip hotels, valet vehicles are parked in areas with restricted access but that doesn’t mean they are completely secure or that, unfortunately, you can always trust everyone with access.

If you have something of value in the car, you might want to consider bringing it up to the room, even if it’s a large TV.

You might also want to check with your car insurance company – it’s possible they might cover any potential problems, should they arise.

Ted asked on 07/18/11

Has anyone at ratevegas or two way hard three or vegas tripping or the vegas gang or anybody else for that matter ever taken pics inside the Tower Villas at Wynn? I’m not talking about the Tower Suites or the Fairway Villas, I’m talking about those three super exclusives suites above the casino at Wynn. Know the suites I’m talking about? You can see them on Google maps. Are they suites for Whales or am I mistaken about that? Wynn’s casino hosts indicate to me that they are suites.

That for a great blog, website, podcast, etc. Keep up the great work. Hope I can meet you all at the next podcastapalooza, if it happens.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


I do know which rooms you’re referring to, yes. There are actually six of them with three more overlooking the pool area on the other side. These are ‘apartment villas’ and for a time, Wynn lived there with his wife Elaine. Wynn has since moved to a Fairway but Elaine has kept the original space.

They are suites for the highest of high rollers, yes. Bellagio and The Mirage both had similar accommodations.

There’s an AD article on them here:

gervais asked on 07/18/11

visiting vegas in november would like to know is walking from fremont to bonanza gift shop is makeable is it a safe neibourhood. would like to walk also to pawn star

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


No, I wouldn’t recommend walking to either location from Fremont. It’s quite a haul but also, some parts of the neighborhood are a little sketchy.

I’d recommend either renting a car, taking a cab or using the Las Vegas bus system.

Aiden asked on 07/14/11

Love the site. Simple question….as far as standard rooms go, which would you choose between Monte Carlo and Luxor?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

In terms of quality, they’re probably about the same. If I were choosing between the two, I’d pick Monte Carlo, mostly because of it’s superior location.

Bronco asked on 07/11/11

Have always enjoyed this site, and my questions always end up with me having a MUCH more enjoyable Vegas experience. Well, part of one of my annual Vegas migrations includes a “seminar” that my company picks up. Each year the convention has always been at a wonderful strip hotel. In this instance -Red Rocks- is this year’s venue. I can’t imagine wanting to stay at a one stop facility for three days, and do not like mixing with all the other attendees and prefer the anonymity of the strip experience. Hunter, I guess my question is what’s your take on Red Rock? And, is there any easy way to get to and from the strip to wherever Red Rock is situated? I can’t imagine they run any sort of shuttle service. However, I’m thinking of renting a car and staying at the strip and commuting to the Red Rock seminar each morning, but not sure how far apart the two destinations are? Or, should I just suck it up and give this hotel/resort a shot?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Red Rock is a beautiful property – very nicely done in almost every way. For me though, staying that far off the Strip is not really appealing – I like to wander.

Without traffic, it’s probably a twenty minute drive from The Strip to Red Rock and that can be a lot longer if the freeway is backed up… That said, I once had to attend an event at Lake Las Vegas and stayed at Encore – I just dealt with the 45 minute drive every morning and evening. It wasn’t that bad.

Red Rock does offer a shuttle to and from The Strip (Fashion Show Mall) and the airport. The details are here:

Jeffrey Garison asked on 07/09/11

Hi. I’m looking for some information about the fountain and sculpture located in the Venetian’s Lobby, the one that’s gold and sort of look’s like a globe. I’ve spent HOURS searching the internet and just can’t find what I’m looking for. Hopefully you can help. I would like if it hs a name or title, and if so, what its name or title is. I’d also like to know its dimensions, such as how high/tall it is, circumfrance, that sort of thing. If I could get the name of the designer/sculpter as well, that would be fantastic. Since I have next to nothing in regards to information, anything you can provide, be it specific answers to my questions, or a website where that information can be found would be greatly appreciated. Alas, I’ve checked the Venetian’s website and they don’t provide that information.

Thank you.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I assume this is the fountain/sculpture you’re referring to?

I don’t have any of the dimensions – sorry – you’d probably have to go measure it. As for the design, everything inside The Venetian was created by a cadre of local and international firms based on existing and inspired by works in Venice proper. There’s also a copy of this sculpture at the Venetian in Macau, China.

I believe these are called ‘armillary spheres’ and are pretty common as a general style.

Hope that helps.

jim hodge asked on 07/08/11

staying in the petite suite at ti how would you rate this room and how do you feel about the treasure island slots any tips on what slots we could possibly win at

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

All the rooms at TI, including the suites, are nicely kept up and comfortable. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it very much. As for slot tips, not much guidance I can give beyond having fun – slots are randomly setup to do the payouts.

grace asked on 07/07/11

Hi, I want to celebrate my 21st birthday with a group of friends. I have never been to Las Vegas before, but I would like to celebrate with a class of touch. Would you please suggest some hotels, restaurants, clubs, and etc for me, please? I would say the monetary funds would be $$ out of $$$$. Thank you!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

If you have an iPhone or iPad, I’d recommend checking out our app, Vegas Mate. It includes a ton of useful info, especially for first-timers.

Here are some suggestions for places to check out:


- Tropicana: low prices, newly renovated rooms and a solid location make this a good option.

- Treasure Island (TI): also a good location, some cheap eats and typically good prices.

- Flamingo: great pool, middle of the action and reasonably costs.


So many choices… All of the hotels above have lower cost dining options – places like Bacio @ The Tropicana or even Kahunavilla @ Treasure Island. If you want to splurge on a more expensive meal, check out something like Botero (Encore at Wynn Las Vegas).


Same goes for clubs. Some of the top joints are XS, Tryst, Marquee and Tao but there are also some lower cost options like LAX, Coyote Ugly and Chateau. Almost every hotel has a club of some sort and if not, you can stumble next door and visit them.

I hope this helps – it barely scratches the surface.

rich kozak asked on 07/07/11

Hi hunter, what’s the word on the NewTrop are the renavations complete,I usually stay at one of the 4 star Hotels I am looking for value and comfort
Any recommendation would be a plus. thanks ,Rich from Boston,ma

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


At this point, both of the towers have been renovated, as has most of the casino and the pool. There are some parts of the renovation project still underway but it’s starting to wind up and they’re careful not to impact the guests.

The Trop is aiming to provide a good degree of comfort at a very reasonable price. The location is good and the restaurants are about 10x better than they were before. It’s not Bellagio but it’s very comfortable.

I’d give it a solid look – you may be able to save a few bucks compared to where you usually stay.

Anna McCallion asked on 06/23/11


Just found your site – thanks for all the info! I will be in Vegas second week in August and am interested in seeing a few shows e.g Cirque/Steve Wyrick/Tournament of Kings etc – my question is, am I best booking tickets now online to secure them and pay full price or buying them when I arrive in Vegas?

Any help much appreciated


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

In the past, there was an easy answer to this question: always book in advance, as the shows sell out.

These days, there are several discount ticket vendors on The Strip that offer discounts nightly, even for Cirque shows (though not all – the most popular shows don’t need to discount).

I’d say that if you have a specific show and time in mind, you’re probably better off booking in advance to lock in your seat. If you’re flexible and willing to wait in a line (sometimes for an hour or so), you can get a discount at the counters at hotels like Bill’s.

Hope that helps.

Roman asked on 06/22/11

My wife and I are staying at The Mirage in late July. I’ve heard alot about the $20 Trick. Is this really that popular and now i hear it is more like the $50 Trick. Any info and your opinion would be awesome. Should we try it?
Thank you for your time, and love the website!!!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Lots of people try it and it can mean a nicer room.

Sometimes more helps but most of the time it comes down to:

- Being polite.
- Whatever the hotel has available.
- The person you happen to have checking you in.

Basically, factors mostly out of your control. Should you try it? Up to you – it’s usually a ‘feel it out’ kinda situation.

Sam asked on 06/16/11

Hey Hunter,

Back for another round, hopefully this time a bit more brief. And as always, thanks for your hard work – you are an invaluable resource and a true salve to my curiosity.

I’ve recently been able to step up my budget where I’m now a 25/hand BJ player and a 50/hand Pai Gow player, bringing about 1k over 2 nights. Before this, I always playet CET properties, as Mlife never rated below 25/hand. Recently, though, I feel that at my new play level, I get much much much better ratings through Mlife. In what honestly is similar levels of play with the two (probably with more play at CET), I am currently 40% of the way to Pearl, while only ~25% of the way to Platinum. Additionally, while my offers with CET have dried up (I don’t even get free weekends at IP now, while I used to in my 10 and 15/hand days…), my Mlife offers are starting to rock (base is free mid-week/cheap weekends, 25 freeplay…and I just booked a comp saturday night at 25 freeplay at Mandalay Bay!)!

Now after that long build-up, the questions: one, do you think for the “low-mid-tier” player (what I’m assuming I am), Mlife is actually the better comp system? Or, alternatively, is this a by-product of Mlife placing better value on table game players?

Two, do you think CET (or any of the comp programs) have a “diminishing returns” factor in their comps? I have definitely noticed (both with myself, and with my friends), that offers have start hot, then slowly dry up (after maybe a year of membership), despite steadily increasing play. It wouldn’t surprise me if they had a “hook ’em early” loop in their system, especially for SoCal players.

Thanks again Hunter! Always glad to hear your thoughts!

Oh, PS, RateVegas for the Droooid? I am first-in-line on the waiting-list!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Hi Sam,

I’ve recently heard many folks saying that Mlife has been offering them some great deals. Hard to know if this is temporary, in an effort to pump up interest in Mlife or due to external factors, such as lower than expected play and occupancy at their properties.

There really is no one single ‘better’ system as they’re all constantly being tweaked and adjusted. If you can, ride each one’s wave as it best suits you… and if you can, play them off of each other. That’s easier to do as you continue to climb the pyramid.

As far as diminishing returns go, it’s difficult to prove but many do suspect that they aggressively market to players in a ‘building’ phase, to see how high they can take them. As play plateaus, offers normalize somewhat.

Good luck!


Keith Robinson asked on 06/15/11

I am coming out to Vegas for a week in July. I’m single and 52 years old. I’d like to stay at a hotel that is nice and caters to an older crowd. . . (not being over-run with children). Where would you reccommend? thanks

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

At the top of the heap, Wynn Las Vegas, Encore and Bellagio all fit that bill. Great spots.

You might also look at Bally’s or The Flamingo if you’re looking for something a little bit less expensive.

Have fun!

Dave asked on 06/08/11

We have stayed before at Encore and are looking into booking a room at Wynn. The we do spend quite a bit of time at the pool and I hear much of the Wynn pool is in the shade in the afternoon. Do you think it is worth an extra $50 to upgrade to a Wynn tower room for the tower pool access? is there any other benefit to being in a Wynn Tower room?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

In my opinion, upgrading to Tower Suites at Wynn is far more worthwhile than at Encore. Encore is smaller overall so there’s a little bit less exclusivity. On the Wynn side, it’s a more dramatic difference between Resort and Tower Suites. In addition to pool access, you get a newspaper, extensive turndown, and generally better service. If you can afford it without it being a major impact on your trip budget, I’d recommend it.

chuck kullberg asked on 06/05/11

Which restaurants still serve a dessert soufle i.e. grand marnier or raspberry soufle for dessert in las vegas?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

You might try the Eiffel Tower Restaurant at Paris – they have a popular one. Also, they used to have one at Fleur at Mandalay but I’m not sure if it’s still around since they changed the menu. In general, the French places are likely to have these sorts of deserts.

Monica asked on 05/30/11

Going to Vegas in 3 weeks and am booked at Aria. Having stayed the last two trips at Bellagio and read some not so stellar comments about Aria, should I switch.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

It probably depends on why you decided on Aria this time and not Bellagio.

Aria had a real tough time out of the gate with service but since about August of last year, I’ve heard a lot of increased satisfaction with the hotel in that regard.

Some of the restaurants at Aria are quite good (Serrano, American Fish, Sage, etc…) so it certainly has something to offer. That said, Bellagio is the 10+ year veteran with a long list of happy customers.

Depending on what you’re looking for, either or both hotels may be the best fit for you.

gervais asked on 05/25/11

i am from canada would like to know if getting married in vegas is valid or legal for canadian citizen.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I honestly have no idea. My guess would be no and that you’d also have to have a ceremony or legal wedding in your home jurisdiction.

I’d recommend you check with your local authority.

Ron asked on 05/16/11

Coming to Vegas in June, can you please tell me where the best flea markets, yard sales (swap meets) are? Thanks.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Check out Broadacres Swap Meet:

Sherry asked on 05/08/11

What would be the best pick? A Bellagio standard room, a Mirage standard room or a Cosmopolitan city room. (Mirage’s rooms are new I think). I did a little research and saw that the Cosmo’s rooms are small (460 sq ft) and are about the same size as the Mirage’s rooms. So that will be a little harder to decide.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The Mirage rooms aren’t all that new. They were re-done a few years back. Bellagio’s rooms are being re-done this year.

All of these rooms feel about the same size except the bathrooms at The Mirage are quite small. The rooms at Bellagio have so much furniture in them, there’s not a lot of usable space.

sue asked on 05/04/11

Which would you pick? Bellagio Penthouse Suite or Cosmo Terrace Suite or Aria Corner Suite? Bellagio offers airport transport ,lounge ammenities. Partial view in newer tower.Called and reservationist said partial view is really a full view of fountians ?? Cosmo 4 nites for price of 3. Aria suite sale, 30% off. These hotels and rooms seem to have mixed reviews? Prices go Bellagio , Cosmo, then Aria. any in put would be great .Thanks .its gonna be hottttt, never been in summer.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The Spa Tower views at Bellagio are obstructed, sometimes significantly. The rooms at Cosmo often have a better fountain view.

I’d probably pick Cosmo, then Bellagio and then Aria. Cosmo has had some ups and downs but the general trend seems to be improvement and I think there’s a lot to like about the terraces the rooms have, especially if you get a good view of Bellagio’s fountains. Pretty awesome.

Dan from Philly asked on 05/03/11

Yo Hunter,
Can’t wait for the next update for VegasMate (“It’s really great!”)

I wanted to ask your advice on my next 4 night trip (Friday-Tues) to Vegas in September. Using Amex’s FHR program (which I’m sure you’re familiar with) I am planning to stay at WynnCore – two nights in Wynn’s Parlour Suite and two nights at Encore Tower King. My question is what nights should I stay at which property? I’ll be in Vegas Friday at 9pm, which limits the amount of time I can use the room, so to speak. Also, I’m more likely to be upgraded on Sunday and Monday than Friday and Saturday.

Also, should I be concerned about the music from the clubs? And if so, where would you recommend me to stay to avoid the noise (oinsk, oinsk)?

Thanks in advance. You rock!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks – the 3.1 update is coming soon with lots of new stuff.

As for your question, getting an upgrade is a total crap shoot. Typically, quieter times are easier but there never any guarantees and little rhyme or reason.

The nightclubs may have more bearing:

Tryst is open Thu-Sat
Surrender is open Wed, Fri, and Sat
XS is open Fri-Mon

Given that, I’d probably start at Encore and finish at Wynn. Tryst is probably the worst offender when it comes to sound spilling into the Wynn rooms.

At Wynn, the Golf Course side is quieter. At Encore, it’s the North side. In either case, a high floor can help.

Good luck!

Marc from the UK asked on 05/02/11

Hi Hunter
I’ve heard about SLS changing the Fontana lounge at Bellagio but was wondering when this was likely to happen? We are coming over in August and we liked the look of spending an evening chilling out there.

If it will be closed by then is there anywhere else similar you could suggest (no cover, live music, mixed age group)?

Really enjoy your work, many thanks

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I believe Fontana is scheduled to close this month (May) and will re-open sometime this Summer. Sounds like you’ll be out of luck.

Not a lot of other similar joints. Encore’s Eastside Lounge has dueling pianos most nights and doesn’t have a cover (though there is a 2-drink minimum).

ann asked on 05/02/11

going to vegas in July……do you think the Cosmo suite balcony will be too hot?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Excellent question. Since Cosmo hasn’t had a Summer yet, it’s hard to know… I’d assume (hope?) that they considered this when designing the balconies. The glass is pretty thick, I wouldn’t expect much heat to make it to the floor… I guess we’ll find out but I wouldn’t worry too much.

Romaman asked on 04/30/11

tv I really loved those Golden Nugget commercials and was wondering if there was a commercial for the Mirage when it first opened? Also was there one for Treasure Island too?


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

There was a whole TV special made for Treasure Island. I don’t remember at Mirage commercial but I’d be surprised if there truly wasn’t one made.

susan Slazas asked on 04/30/11

Hello, pallazo prestige fortuna suite……cosmopolitan terrace suite……or is there a better choice? location, space and clean are my requests

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I’d pick Cosmo for the balcony. Nothing at Palazzo can match that.

Gary asked on 04/28/11

How do I get to that dome on the top center of the Bellagio tower? Also,
What’s in there? Any info?

PS: does the second tower have a dome on top?
Thanks, Gary

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I’m told it’s only accessible for maintenance and there’s not much up there that would interest anyone, besides a nice view.

Not open to the public – you’d have to know someone with enough pull to get you in there. Good luck and take pictures!

Sam asked on 04/21/11

Hey Hunter,

Big fan of your work. Wanted your thoughts on why the pay-for-exclusivity crowd of twentysomethings will spend $400 on a $20 bottle of vodka, but won’t even sniff a proper blackjack table. Historically, has the younger Vegas crowd never been a gambling one? And if so, at what point in their “maturation” do they shift from the party to the casino floor?

As a 26-year-old avid gambler and club avoider, I want these properties to start trying to build the life-long relationship with my gaming dollar that will give them 40+ years of my repeat business. Instead, all the “entry level” gaming has been (unintentionally) engineered to make gaming as unfair and unsustainable as possible.

It amazes me that places aren’t trying to convert this young crowd of clubgoers into life long gamblers. We have people who will willingly pay for status – and we have casino machines designed to reward higher play with exclusivity. How have these two machines not yet met in the middle? Does Vegas really think that the club scene is a sustainable model for the next 20 years? I mean, gambling built this city – isn’t it time to anoint and pursue the next generation of degenerate gamblers?

I just look at a property like the Cosmo, and I think – in 20 years, they can displace the Wynns and the Bellagios if they grab the 20-years-from-now gamblers while they’re 25 and drinking in the club. I mean, even places like the Strat and Circus^2 have loyal, repeat customers – how is nobody taking the long view on this market?

Just my thoughts, I’m curious to an expert’s opinion…

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

First off, thanks for the kind words.

As for your question, I think it’s a good and interesting one. I’m not sure that I have the answer but I can speculate.

I wonder if there’s a lack of ‘gambling role models’ (as silly as that sounds) for this upcoming generation. Instead of seeing James Bond hitting his romanticized version of a casino, they see the Kardashians hitting the clubs for drinking and dancing. Many these twenty-somethings are emulating what they see in the popular culture?

Also, for many, table games are intimidating. While some will try blackjack, I’ve heard from others in this age bracket about being freaked out by games like craps, where they can’t figure out what’s going on and they worry about doing something wrong and being yelled at. Casinos could do a better job of teaching these younger gamblers how the games work.

I don’t disagree that these casinos should be working harder to build the next generation of customer and it’s hard to argue with the fact that the lower limit games are often some of the worst in the casino when it comes to player friendliness.

I have doubts that this is going to change all that much. One of the interesting things about Vegas is that the only thing the casinos seem to discriminate based on is money. They don’t care if you’re 21 or 51 if you’ve got money to put down. As someone that’s been working hard since he was young and often wasn’t taken seriously until I got older, that’s something I can appreciate.

Adam asked on 04/16/11

Leaving for Vegas in 3 days. Going with my 9 year old daughter. I was wondering what you thought about the Beach Club pool at Flamingo? Love the site. Thanks.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

It’s a contained area just adjacent to the main pool area at Flamingo. It’s got it’s own bar and restrooms, which is convenient. It’s a bit more of a mellow and contained environment than the main pool. Hope that helps.

gilbert asked on 04/16/11

hellow Hunter, theres a big boxing fight may 7 at the mgm but the tickets are sold out, do you know of anywhere else where i could watch the fight? theatre?sports bar? im sure it wouldnt be free either i just want to sit down somewhere and watch the show

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Depending on how big of a fight it is, it’s not uncommon for other hotels to show it on closed-circuit, sometimes in a ballroom. Wynn Las Vegas, for instance, does this from time to time. Also, MGM has been known to broadcast their fights in their own sports book.

Some of these arrangements may not be made until closer to the actual event so I can’t really point you at a specific option but if it were me, I’d check:

- The MGM sports book.
- Your own hotel’s sports book if you’re staying elsewhere.
- Other MGM Resorts sports books (i.e. Bellagio, Mirage).
- Wynn Las Vegas or, if the event has another hotel co-sponsor, with them.
- Showtime in your hotel room, as a last resort.

Hope that helps.

Mark asked on 04/15/11

I keep hearing more and more complaints about club noise affecting people’s stays in hotel rooms. We had this happen at TI a couple of years ago. It was unbearable, even at a 20-something floor room.

We’re looking at Wynn or Encore for our next trip. I’ve read some complaints about club noise at Encore in some rooms, in particular. Is this a real concern at either resort? And if so, is there a certain side/level/area that these complaints seem to be coming from? I’m assuming with the attention to detail at either resort and the overwhelming amazing reviews at either place, these complaints must be coming from a particular isolated area. Any thoughts?

Thanks and great site.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yes, it’s a legit concern at both Wynn and Encore, depending on how sensitive you are to noise and which part of the building you stay in.

It’s worse at Wynn, as Encore was built with higher density glass to prevent this problem. Still, it’s audible.

Assuming you want to avoid this:

- At Wynn, get a golf course view room. The nightclub, Tryst, is on the Strip side in the lagoon below.

- At Encore, get a view facing north / The Stratosphere. The clubs, XS and Surrender, are both on the south facing side. The north view isn’t anywhere near as pretty but c’est la vie.

In both cases, sometimes just getting a very high floor can solve the problem too.

Kenny asked on 04/13/11

No offence but:
As a loyal fan for 5 years, everyday when I check your blog, its mostly all about the business side of Vegas and whats new in Vegas Mate not that thats a bad thing (great app by the way). I never see any posts about the casino design anymore and I miss the updates you guys would post about whats changing at the casinos and the detailed Strip Walks and not to mention the “Casino Design of the Week”. I love your blog and its still my favorite but… just bring back the casino design topics and discussions….

Best Regards- Kenny

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

No offense taken… and thank you for the kind words.

There are a lot of reasons but I’d generally say that I agree with you – we should try to do more of that. Part of it is logistics.

Thanks for making your opinion known.

James asked on 04/11/11

We are moving to Las Vegas within the next few months. I was wondering if there are any hotels/condos on or close to the strip that you can rent out per month. We want to be as close to the strip as possible since we will both be working near it.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yeah, sure – there are places like Extended Stay America and Emerald Suites all around.

Jon Reinhardt asked on 04/10/11

love your web site! My son is in the military and he’s off in August so we’re meeting him in Las Vegas. Thinking about Aria, Venetian, Trump, Wynn, Encore, and Bellagio standard rooms. Your preferenc in order? Also, any good active military discounts? Thanks!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


My preference in order would be Encore, Wynn, Aria, Bellagio, Venetian and then Trump. Trump is last because while the rooms are spacious and comfortable, the location is a drag.

As far as military discounts go, it’s always good to ask – many hotels and some shows offer active deals. For instance, KA at MGM Grand is sometimes 50% off with a military ID.

Many of the MGM Resorts hotels offer a discount, depending on availability. On your list, that would mean Aria and Bellagio. In the past both Wynn/Encore and Trump offered military discounts but I wasn’t able to get a confirm on if they’re still offering them. When you’re checking your dates, be sure to ask them if they have the discount available.

Thank your son for his service – I hope you guys have a blast.

Steve asked on 03/31/11


I was offered 4 comp nights at Caesars Palce in either the Roman Tower Room or the classic Room. I have never stayed at Caesars before. How do these rooms compare. I usually stay at one of the MGM resorts (Bellagio, Mirage, MGM, Aria or Mandalay Bay)…..Thanks

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Some of the oldest rooms so they’re small with small bathrooms.

Sherry asked on 03/30/11

Going to Vegas on July 20-25 and have 2 options. (all discounted) A Wynn salon suite for $150 and a Bellagio penthouse suite for $199. Which one should I take? I always hear lots of people say stay at Wynn while another says to stay at Bellagio. Which one??

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

If it were me I’d pick Wynn Las Vegas – service in the Tower Suites section is top notch. That said, I wouldn’t be upset if I ended up at Bellagio either.

Both good contenders but I’d pick Wynn.