Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

May 6, 2010

What Are Your Favorite Vegas Tourist Tips?

Posted by Hunter

I'm working on a Vegas Mate update and one of the things I'm looking for are great Vegas tourist tips.

You have any great tips to share? If so, leave 'em in the comments and I may use them in a future update!

One of my favorite tips: if dining alone, many restaurants have a bar that you can often just walk up to, reservation or not.


Read archived comments (12 so far)
May 6, 2010 9:02 AM Posted by Sean

1) Actually, on a similar note to Hunter's suggestion, I was told (and experienced) that you can totally surpass the line for the Bellagio Buffet (i.e. go in the out line) if you go and eat at the bar inside the Buffet, as opposed to waiting for a table. You simply pay for your entire meal and drinks at the bar. It was a very long lineup when we tried this, but the bar was empty and we went right in!

2) There's a washroom inside the high-limit slot room at Wynn, which, if you're playing in the pai gow area, saves a long walk over towards Tryst, or an even longer walk to the washrooms past the buffet.

3) In XS at Encore, if you're gambling at the blackjack tables or craps outside by the pool, the drinks are free (I remember getting a sarcastic remark on this board when I asked if they would be free or not...). With extremely high drink prices at XS, it might be just the excuse you're looking for to play a few hands or throw the dice.

May 6, 2010 12:00 PM Posted by ooo000

Check rental car deals if you are flying . Unless you're drunk the whole time, car rental might be cheaper than several cab fares. It also helps for cheaper meals off the strip.

If you use taxis to and from the airport, map your hotel and note the direct route from the airport before you go. politely tell the cab to take that road/route.. this way they won't be tempted to screw you and take you on the 15 when you are goin to Wynn or anywhere else just down the road.

May 6, 2010 12:16 PM Posted by NoDeuces

During fireworks shows or for free great views of the strip, go to the Bill's garage (top floor). You can avoid the strip traffic during the shows by coming from Koval. Got there 15 min before 4th of July show @ Caesars.Great location.

May 6, 2010 1:42 PM Posted by David McKee

Does the Pinball Hall of Fame (newly relocated across from the Liberace Museum on Trop) count as a tourist tip? You won't get any of your coin-in back but the time-on-device is difficult to surpass and it's a helluva lot of fun. Runners-up: Sigma Derby @ MGM Grand and even-hours bingo at Cannery East (almost everybody else schedules bingo for odd-numbered hours, as though per ancient writ).

May 6, 2010 3:54 PM Posted by steve_c

Know your shortcuts. Plan ahead of time, and know which streets to take and the most efficient way in and out of your hotel, either via valet which is most convenient, or self parking. Find the freeway off ramp closest to your hotel, and utilize that. Most of the time, you can avoid the strip completely, or minimize your actual strip driving time. Most first timers will one to drive down the strip at least once though.
BYOW - Bring your own water. Yeah, stock up on the shit. No matter the time of year, you need to keep yourself hydrated if you are consuming alcohol (which I'd say a majority of visitors do). Even if you aren't drinking, and your walking a lot, it's nice to have an endless supply of your favorite drinking water on hand. This doesn't mean carting around ice chests and coolers around the casino (or even on the strip, which I see a lot). This is worse than some jerk pushing a stroller around the strip at 2-3 am, IMO. lol If bringing things like that on vacation isn't your cup of tea, take advantage of free water from the casinos or just buy it on the strip. I'd rather pay $3 for a huge pack of bottled water than $2-$3 a bottle.

May 7, 2010 5:40 AM Posted by LeoNYC

Once you make your hotel reservation, check the rates every now and then. Rates (in all hotels, but especially in Las Vegas) fluctuate and change according to occupancy. Plus, check also for any promotion codes you can use.

May 7, 2010 10:32 PM Posted by mattk

1) About hi-limit bathrooms, those really are one of the best secrets for those walking the strip. You may not be able to bet like a high roller, but you can piss like one. Bathrooms in the high limit areas tend to be more spacious, more private, with better soaps, towels, everything. Sometimes you'll even get mouthwash and cologne. Casinos count on the intimidation factor to keep you out of the area, but in reality, it's just as public as anywhere else and you'll perfectly entitled to use them. Try it once and you'll never line up in a row of 20 urinals again.

2) If you want good room rates, the key is to know how busy the city will be on those days. For big holiday weekends, the earlier you book, the better. Today is May 6, and I just shopped rates for the July 4 weekend. I saw T.I. with a $150 average rate for a three night stay, and Vdara at $172. If you try to book it two weeks out (as most people do) the rates will be at least double. Week of, they'll be triple. On the other hand, if it's a midweek stay, or a low-demand weekend, the longer you wait to book, the better. On a crap weekend, (like this one for example), rates are coming down and will continue to come down. So you wait literally until the day of arrival and you get the best rate.

3) There are some parking lots to avoid. Have you ever self-parked at Caesars for a big concert on Saturday night and then tried to leave? Chances are you're still there right now. Park at Bellagio and then walk over to Caesars. For shows at Venetian, use Palazzo's parking. At Hard Rock, use their new lot on Harmon.

4) Be wary of upsells at the front desk. If the desk clerk is trying to get $20 more out of you for a "corner" room or a "panoramic" room (*cough* wynn), what you will get is the same standard room you've already paid for, just on a corner, or on a higher floor. The thing is, they will fill all these room anyway by the end of the night, whether they up-sell or not. Don't be upsold at the front desk unless you're getting more square feet. Venetian is very good about this. They will pull out a book and actually show you the various floor plans.

And well, I do have a method to skip the Bellagio buffet line, but it's too good to share. :)

May 8, 2010 5:22 AM Posted by detroit1051

Improve your chances of getting a quiet room by insisting on a non-smoking floor. Drinking, smoking, and partying all go together, so stay away from smoking floors.

Always insist on a non-connecting room when checking in. Those connecting doors transmit a lot of noise.

If you don't mind walking, insist on a room near the end of the hallway, the farthest from the elevator. You'll have much less traffic going by your door.

I agree on renting a car. Especially now, rates are very reasonable. You'll soon learn the best places to park on the Strip (and always for free). Drivers act like lemmings, all trying to park on the lowest garage level. In places like Bellagio and Wynn, I always take the speed ramp to the top level where there is almost always good parking near the elevators. Well, I sometimes park one level below the roof it it's summer and 110 degrees :)
Another advantage of a car is the convenience of taking spur of the moment trips to Red Rock Canyon, Mt. Charleston, Pinball Hall of Fame, etc.

I also second the suggestion of dining at the bar when restaurants are full. I've done that many times when dining solo at LeCirque, Sensi, SW, Tableau and the now/soon to be closed Daniel Boulud. Same menus and good conversation with the bartenders.

May 8, 2010 4:24 PM Posted by Mike

At Bellagio or Wynn, get the dinner buffet at the lunch price:
The price changes from lunch to dinner at 3:30. Go to the buffet at 3:20, there will be no more than 5 people in front of you. You will pay the lunch price, a $10 savings. Get a salad or soup first, and by the time that is finished the dinner items will be out. Dinner buffet at lunch price.

May 9, 2010 9:59 PM Posted by Mike E

When staying in Wynn Tower Suites, if you want to go directly to the buffet, host's office, or simply need a shortcut to anything in the corridor that terminates at the Country Club, make a left as you exit the guest elevators and walk through the door to the baccarat salon. Keep walking straight and you'll reach another unmarked set of doors. This leads you to an awkward space with steps that take you down to the main resort pools. Again, keep going straight and once passed a final set of double doors, you'll already be at the buffet. No crowds to walk through and you're where you need to be in seconds. For business travelers that must attend meetings, etc. in one of the rooms overlooking the golf course, this is a huge shortcut.

At Encore, they'll comp some pretty fancy booze in the Asian games area. Yes, you can get Macallan 18 at a $10 pai gow table.

Industry weeknights at nightclubs are sooo much better than weekends. Also, bottle service is always negotiable, especially on these nights. Before lining up, consider a threshold of spend with your party, talk to a host standing out there and see what he can do. They often waive minimum bottle requirements or will do a two-for-one type of deal if there's an XS (hardy har) of tables available.

Never, ever pay for transportation to a strip club. You can get a limo for free and might even get cover or a round of drinks thrown in, too.

May 10, 2010 6:03 PM Posted by Jinx

I don't know how much of a tourist tip it is, but it's something that works for me. Don't be afraid to be a bit more generous with tips, especially for drink service at VP bars or with waitresses. $2/drink with an occasional $3 or $5 thrown in and playing in the same area over the course of a trip is a solid way to gain a positive relation with the server working that area. Having your tip ready for the server when they return is a big plus too especially at machines.

May 11, 2010 11:18 AM Posted by steve_c

... I agree with Jinx about tipping, it really pays off if you do it right. We often go to the Sirens Cove bar at TI to get their "TI iced tea" (basically a Long Island), and will often tip about $5 each time. These drinks are great for the price. Usually, the same bartender is working all the time, so he'll remember us and hook it up. Our last trip I was nearly gagging down my last drops of TI tea and ready to blow chunks all over the side of the Encore self park because the drink was so strong. I'd rather have a strong drink than some of these pitiful excuses some places call a drink.