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Linda asked on 05/22/14

My favorite Las Vegas information site . I can always count on Hunter to give us he great info. I am not sure if this has been asked before but here goes

We will be checking in at the Downtown Grand about 6 p.m. on a Monday night. Are there any decent buffets we could go to on the Fremont Street area? After being in a plane for about five hours we will not want a big expensive dinner . I am not sure if the Downtown Grand have a buffet or not. Would you know about how expensive the Freemont Street buffets would be ? Thanks once more . Oh one more quick question. Are their still an Elvis tribute singer either down town Vegas or on the strip ?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


The Garden Buffet at Main Street Station and the buffet at the Nugget are probably the best downtown. Garden is less expensive than the Nugget. Downtown Grand does not have a buffet (though they do have other restaurants that are good, simple and inexpensive such as Pizza Rock and Stewart + Ogden).

For Elvis stuff, I’d suggest Trent Carlini (LVH) or Legends in Concert (Flamingo).

Delinda asked on 05/22/14

Hello, need help in planning a 20th wedding anniversy for my parents in Las Vegas for party of 20. Do you have restautants or a venue that you can recommend? Thank you.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Congrats to them!

Wow, 20 is quite a few people. Las Vegas is so full of options, it’s very tough to make a recommendation without more information. Can you write back and narrow down at least some of the following: cuisine, cost, part of The Strip, time of the year?

richard asked on 05/16/14

Visiting Vegas on May21-24th. Having a hard time deciding what to do on friday and saturday of Memorial day weekend. What would you recommend?
Thanks again, as alwyays, for the helpful info!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, it depends on what you like to do. There are quite a few extra shows and concerts that weekend, plus all of the nightclubs will also be cranking at full blast.

Dennis B asked on 05/14/14

We will be staying at the Flamingo and was wondering how far it was to the following places . the High Roller, Linq, the New York New York , the Bellagio fountains and the Mirage volcano. Would we need to take a cab from the Flamingo or could we walk it without getting to exhausted. I know the Rivera, the Venetian , the Wynn and the Encore would be best to take a cab to right?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The LINQ and thus the High Roller are located next to The Flamingo so no cab is needed. Bellagio and The Mirage are also both very close and wouldn’t require a cab. Wynn/Encore are walkable but if you don’t like to walk, it’s a short cab ride. The Riv is definitely a cab ride.

Pete asked on 05/12/14

I am coming to Vegas in a couple weeks with my family. I am staying for a couple days after them and I am renting a car and am wondering if there are any cool places to see off the strip. Also, can you tell me about the Artisian hotel? I am debating between that and Downtown Grand

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

So, Downtown Grand has its share of problems but it is at least within walking distance of other stuff (Fremont Street). The Artisian is an interesting spot but it’s totally off by itself and not in a neighborhood you want to be walking around in.

For Off-Strip stuff, it really depends on what you’re into. Maybe check out the Neon Museum or Red Rock Canyon. If you want to see other casinos, Red Rock and Green Valley are both notable, as is M Resort.

Ky. Gentleman asked on 05/01/14

I truly hope this is not a dumb question and this site does give very honest and imformative answers.Now I have read countless reviews on the Downtown Grand hotel and Casino. My question is the biggest complaints seem to be thin walls and the shower only has a half door meaning the floor will be flooded. What have you heard about this hotel ? Is it easy to get a cab at their location ? thanks

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Hi. Downtown Grand was built on the bones of an older building, the Lady Luck. Many upgrades were done but as with some older buildings, the walls may not be as thick as you want. As far as the shower, that’s not one I’ve heard before. The hotel’s very nice and clean inside. Despite that, it’s typically not all that busy – they’ve had some trouble getting people to walk over from Fremont. Finding a cab shouldn’t be difficult. Hope that helps.

Linda B asked on 04/23/14

We are having a minor problem with deciding which downtown hotel we should stay at. Normally it would be the Golden Nugget but this we wanted to try another one Hunter with all of the changes and improvements and staying in a deluxe room or maybe suite which hotel woud you say is the nicer one the Downtown Grand or the D hotel on Fremont street

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Downtown Grand and The D are very different.

DTG has newer rooms that are arguably nicer. The D has a much livelier casino and perhaps the best restaurant Downtown, Andiamo Steakhouse.

The suites at both hotels are very nice. You really couldn’t go wrong.

My only reluctance in recommending Downtown Grand is the location is slightly worse and they’ve not had as much success as they’d like getting people in so the energy can be somewhat low sometimes. The D is always packed.

Dennis asked on 04/22/14

Hunter I forgot to ask where is the Hash House located at Downtown Vegas ? How about the Mob museum ? Can you nae a couple of new attractions they have added to Fremont street ?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Hash House is located at The Plaza, right inside the front doors. The Mob Museum is just beyond Downtown Grand, about a block off Fremont. As for new attractions, the big thing opening very soon is the ‘Slotzilla’ giant slot machine and zip line.

Dennis asked on 04/22/14

I can always depend on you to give me great ansers to my questions. I jst had an e. mail saying that the Downtown Grand hotel/ aka Lady Luck has offered us two free nights in a suite. Before I said yes I wanted to ask you if you knew if the Downtown has really improved the hotel and are the streets well lit now so you can go to Fremont street without any problems ? Are the deluxe rooms really better and larger now ? THANKS

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Last question first – the rooms are the same size as always which means that the standard rooms are not very large. They have been completely re-done and are now some of the nicest rooms Downtown. The hotel itself is nothing like you remember – they gutted everything and they did a nice job. The finishes are as nicer or nicer than most anything Downtown. Good stuff.

As for walking back and forth to Fremont Street, there is about a block walk. It’s semi-well lit (though I think it could be a little bit better lit) and doesn’t feel as dangerous, though I probably wouldn’t loiter. Fortunately, there’s at least some volume of folks walking back and forth so it doesn’t feel sketchy.

Carcip57 asked on 04/19/14

Hi Hunter – First, thanks for providing this service! Always great advice.

I’m considering a stay at Vdara. When I stayed at Signature @ MGM a few years ago, you got perks like access to MGM Grand’s amenities and access to VIP lines. Do you know if Vdara has similar perks with eith Aria or Bellagio? Thanks.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


Generally no – Vdara is setup to be a completely stand-alone property unlike Signature which is part of MGM Grand.

shadow asked on 04/16/14

I hope you can help me. Do you know if the D. hotel on Fremont street have an e. mail address ? If yes what is it ? I need to e. mail them some questions. Thanks

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Your best bet would be to call the hotel’s front desk – far more reliable than email.


Noe asked on 04/15/14

Hi hunter I’ll be in vegas on July with. Wife n kids we want to stay at The Hotel at Mandalay bay I read some bad reviews about the rooms that are kind dated and old, what do u know about the hotel in general?
I love the app

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


The last time I stayed at Mandalay Bay was about a year ago but not much has changed since then – the rooms were all re-done about three or four years ago and other than wear and tear, they seemed fine for an upper-mid-tier Strip hotel. Overall, MBay is pretty nice – lots of restaurants, a giant pool complex, some fun and lively bars and an easy connect to Luxor in case you get bored. I like Mandalay Bay but I do sometimes feel somewhat isolated on the far end of The Strip when I stay there. That would be my only real reservation.

sivled asked on 04/14/14

If you were going to rate the downtown hotels from the best to the last one you would stay at how would that list look and why you rated them way. Thanks

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Hmmm. Well, this sounds like it would be a pretty significant writing project and I don’t have the time to do that so instead I’ll say that for staying Downtown, I look at a few places:

- Golden Nugget because it’s like a mini-Strip hotel.
- Downtown Grand because it’s new (staying soon ; haven’t yet… but have toured it)
- The D because the casino is super fun and the rooms are decent.
- Golden Gate because the casino is super fun (but the rooms are tinnnnny unless you get one of the newer suites).

I would never stay at The Plaza again, ever. El Cortez can be fun sometimes too.

Linda B asked on 04/14/14

This site is so helpful for getting the updated Las Vegas info. We will be in Vegas the latter part of this September. Now other than the Golden Nugget what would you say would have the largest and nicest rooms on Fremont St ? I know a few of them have been renamed and redone . we will be downtown for two nights and at the Flamingo for three nights.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


Downtown, other than the Golden Nugget, if you’re focusing on the rooms specifically, Downtown Grand is probably now in second place as it was just recently re-done. Not all of the rooms are very large however (Fremont rooms in general are typically small). After that, probably The D and The Plaza, though The Plaza’s casino is pretty dreadful, I wouldn’t want to stay there. The Golden Nugget is still head and shoulders ahead of everything in terms of rooms and overall amenities.

Dennis asked on 03/30/14

Have you heard anything about a special hotel named SLS Las Vegas that will open up on Labor Day ?I was also told to ask about an upcoming eatery named Life Night club. Does the name SLS Park Avenue sound familiar ? I.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I’m not sure how special it will be but SLS is the project being built at the former Sahara site on the North Strip. The company, SBE, has other hotels in LA, Miami, etc… and owns several restaurant brands that they will be bringing to the property.

Lorenzo asked on 03/23/14

My wife and I will be coming to Las Vegas in July with our 2 teenage kids to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. The plan is to renew our vows with Elvis at the Graceland chapel and then a fun night out with a great dinner. Problem is there is a myriad of fine dining options but we’d like somewhere with not only awesome food but also a great atmosphere – ideally with some sort of entertainment. I can’t seem to find anything that fits the bill where we can bring teenagers. Other option is just go to a nice place ( I’m thinking window table at the Eiffel Tower) then do something afterwards. Do you have any suggestions?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


Have you heard of ‘Rose Rabit Lie’? It’s a new dinner theater type concept at The Cosmopolitan. It trends a bit more to the adult side but depending on your kids, they may enjoy it. As far as I know, there’s no age limit but you might want to check. It’s a pretty crazy experience.

Other than that, I think you’re probably on a good track with dinner+other fun. A couple of things to consider:

- By July, the new ‘High Roller’ ferris wheel at The LINQ (between The Quad and The Flamingo) will be open and that could be a great way to cap off an evening.

- The new restaurant from TV super-chef Giada De Laurentiis will be open at The Cromwell (formerly Bill’s) and that too should have incredible views of The Strip.

Dennis asked on 03/12/14

I see that the Cromwell hotel is about ready to open. I know it has replaced Bills but we were wondering if you have any info. about what it will be like and will will it rate $ $ $ $ ? Will it also have a daily additional charge like the rest ?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The Cromwell is scheduled to open in May, yes. It’s a high-end boutique hotel with rates quite a bit higher than Bill’s (i.e. average rates around $250-$300). Yes, it will have a nightly resort fee of about $20. We’ll have more information in the app soon.

MARIA asked on 03/09/14

Hi! We are debatig over staying at either The Mirage, Monte Carlo or NYNY. Which do you recommend?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I’d rate them in exactly that order: The Mirage first, followed by Monte Carlo and then NYNY.

The Mirage is a great property that’s been continually upgraded over the years. It’s got a great pool and some tasty restaurants.

Monte Carlo is not a great hotel in terms of rooms but it’s got a killer location next to CityCenter.

NYNY is my least favorite of them all and right now is somewhat torn up for construction so it’s a little noisier than normal.

Richard asked on 02/18/14

Solo traveler staying at Encore in mid-May. Is it possible to ask the hotel for a line pass to XS, or Surrender to skip the crowds, or is that wishful thinking? Also, what are some good clubs for a single guy?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Hi Richard – you definitely can ask, though I wouldn’t give you great odds. Even if you do get a pass, you actually just end up in a different line (though it usually is shorter). Actually skipping the line is typically reserved for big $$ table reservations or VIPs, though on a slow night, anything can happen. XS is always a good bet, as is Marquee at Cosmopolitan. Hakkasan at MGM Grand is new and very popular as well. I haven’t been inside so I can’t comment on what it’s like.

Erica Olsthoorn asked on 01/27/14

Hi There,

What casinos on the strip offer Texas Hold Em Bonus Poker (the table game)?


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

These things change all the time but I’ve seen it at Wynn, Venetian and The Flamingo in the past year.

Linda asked on 01/27/14

e thought Bills was closed but now we understand that CET is keeping Bills and doing a lot of work on it. Since you are in Las Vegas can you tell us anything about the old Bills reopening ?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Bill’s is being re-developed but it won’t be called Bill’s anymore, it is becoming The Cromwell and will re-open later this year as a high-end boutique hotel – completely redone, 100%. BTW, I’m actually not in Las Vegas.

Dennis asked on 01/25/14

With all of the changes on Fremont I forget what old hotes changed . We have a chance to stay free at one named the Grand. Can you tell me anything about that hotel ?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Downtown Grand is just off Fremont and used to be the Lady Luck. It’s recently been completely re-done with new rooms, a new casino and new restaurants.

Cheryl asked on 01/20/14

Love all the answers about Vegas for those of us who don’t know. Thank you for that. My question is concerning the Paris or PH hotel and casino. Which one in your opinion is better to stay at for a couple in mid 60"s. I am thinking about the Paris ,but, am afraid rooms will be so dated and old. Are the bathrooms bigger than a breadbox (lol) in both places.
Thank you

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Hi, thanks! The rooms at Paris are desperately in need of renovation, yes. That said, crowd-wise, PH definitely skews younger. If that’s your thing, it’s a good spot but if the youngsters having a giant party keeps you up at night, Paris might actually be better… Both bathroom sizes vary based on room type. In the most basic rooms, they’re not all that big, no. Not as tiny as say The Mirage but not huge. PH especially though has slightly higher-spec’d rooms with much larger bathrooms, if that’s something you’re interested in.

Kassidy asked on 01/04/14

Do I need a vertical I.D in Las Vegas to gamble or buy alcohol ?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

You need to be 21 years old with a valid government ID that can confirm that. US state drivers licenses or US passports are most commonly used. International passports may garner more scrutiny but if they’re valid you should be fine.

Gregory asked on 12/27/13

I was wondering which casinos had a hotel room that includes a guest lounge that serves food and refreshments in the morning and in ater in the day? I hear that the top floor of the monte carlo does


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yes, some do have a ‘concierge floor’ type arrangement. Monte Carlo’s Hotel 32 is one. The Caesars properties generally go for a casino-floor level Diamond Lounge instead.

Carol asked on 12/15/13

Coming to Vegas in the spring. Love to go to shows. Would like to see the old time Vegas entertainment show preferably on the strip with girls in headdresses, etc. Where would you recommend.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

There’s really only one traditional showgirl type-show left and that’s ‘Jubilee’ at Bally’s. They’ve got it all – you’ll love it.

Elgin asked on 11/14/13

Re: Laughlin. Have you ever been? And if so, is it worth a day trip from Vegas?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Actually no, never been! Sorry!

Eileen asked on 11/05/13

Hi Hunter, a quick question – do you know when the new zip-wire is opening in Fremont St? We are coming to Vegas in February.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

It’s actually late – originally was supposed to be ready by now.

As of today, they’re starting to string the actual wires up so it shouldn’t be long now.

Charlie asked on 11/02/13

looking into what hotel is best for a group of 8 guys heading to Vegas end of sep 2014.we are between 30-40 a few have been before.we all like to party,drink and gamble .we are looking into cosmopolition or MGM .a few are single and a few want to be singlešŸ™ˆ.just can’t pick which one is better for us.can u help ???

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

If I were picking between the two, I’d definitely pick Cosmopolitan. It’s in a better location, is a better size (smaller) and has nicer rooms. It also has a top nightclub and several top bars.

Cosmo, for sure.

Dennis asked on 10/31/13

Hey Hunter the sight is still looking great. I do have a question that I hope you can answer with your honest opinions. Many years ago we spent three nights at what was then the International Hotel where Elvis appeared several times. We had a very nice room but that was long ago. We have some very close friends who are thinking about staying there sometime after Christmas. My questions are I know they have a new name and was wondering what your opinion of that place and has it been improved inside and finally which would be better to take the monorail back to the strip or are taxis close by ?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yeah, the International became the Las Vegas Hilton and is now called LVH. It’s no longer associated with the Hilton brand.

The hotel is okay – they’ve done some work to spruce it up – but it’s a bit far from the action. It’s most typically a convention hotel due to proximity to the LVCC.

Cabs are easy to get but as you mentioned, it’s one of the only places where the Monorail makes some sense too.

Elgin asked on 10/27/13

Hi Hunter, I am rather ignorant about old Vegas. As I look at the Wikipedia entry for the Strip (particularly the map of the “former casino locations”), I find myself wondering which demolished casinos played the biggest or most influential roles in Vegas history. I first went to Vegas as an adult in 2003 and then did not get back there until 2009 (for a number of reasons), and I regret not having seen, for example, the Stardust. I know the Dunes, the Sands, and Desert Inn were also big in their day, Am I forgetting any of the big old time casinos? Does Dr. Dave’s books cover their histories?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, a lot of places are important for different reasons. The Flamingo, of course… but looking back, The Sands (entertainment), Stardust (skimming/mob stuff), Desert Inn (Howard Hughes).

Dave’s Grandissimo book doesn’t really cover this topic but he’s been threatening to write a history of Vegas casinos as his next book. You could also check out ‘Roll The Bones’, which does have some of that kind of stuff in it.

Elgin asked on 10/04/13

Hi Hunter, What’s your opinion of Bally’s recent room refresh of the now Jubilee Tower versus the MGM Grand’s fairly recent room refresh? Would you consider them on par competitors now? Which property do you prefer more generally, leaving aside the advantage of one over the other in terms of location along the Strip?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


That’s an interesting question!

In general, the stuff they’re doing at Bally’s is less about raising the competitive nature of the property vs. completing some long-neglected fixes that were desperately needed. That’s not to poo-poo their updates – the renovated rooms are an improvement no doubt… They’re just more about refreshing soft goods that have significantly worn vs. a remake of the status of the room.

Caesars will eventually implode Bally’s and replace it with another hotel (though this is further off than originally thought) and thus isn’t interested in making big upgrade moves there. They are attempting to maintain their current level. MGM on the other hand is attempting to re-make their property to move up-market, at least somewhat. So in that sense, they’re not really comparable. MGM Grand is a nicer property, no doubt.

MGM does have downsides though – I like the location less and the place is so gigantic, something I find off-putting.

All of that said, overall, I’d probably say I prefer MGM Grand, though Bally’s excellent location and typically low rates make it a contender if it’s a weekend trip where the substance of the room is less important.

alice goodman asked on 09/29/13

I want to take my mom who is in her late 80’s to vegas-been online and found out that new york has a spa suite with two beds and is a smaller hotel with alot of sit down eating places I dont want her to get to tired-I cant book this room till two months before we go in late feb.-will we have a problem getting this specific room? and she has problems with very smokey area’s we did stay at orleans last year and the people and rooms where great but had to check out early because of the heavy smoke-help!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

It’s impossible to tell if you’ll have trouble but February can be busy so I’d recommend jumping on that when it’s available to book. You’ll probably be okay.

NYNY is no more or less smokey than other Strip casinos.

Dennis asked on 09/20/13

great questions about Las Vegas and you give great answers. Which is the best time to try to get free upgrades before noon or after seven p.m. ?

I have had the $20.00 idea work for me over 90 % of the time

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

There is no one answer, it entirely depends on how busy the hotel is.

shadow asked on 09/20/13

Can you list the oldest hotels . I mean the ones in downtown Vegas as well as the older ones on the strip ? I am very curious to know just which ones have the most true Las Vegas history with them

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Golden Gate is the oldest, both Downtown and in Las Vegas. Golden Nugget in the 40s & Binions in the 50s.

On The Strip, The Flamingo dates back to the 40s. The Riv & Trop the 50s, Caesars and Circus the 60s. Bally’s, Harrah’s Casino Royale are from the 70s. The Quad and The Mirage the 80s and then it’s all the recent stuff from the 90s through today.

In almost every case though, the hotels have been so extensively re-developed that there are virtually no original components left.

Linda B asked on 09/20/13

I hope you can help us with the following questions. Do you know if any of the Flamingo hotel rooms have a shower and a tub ? Are there any Flamingo rooms that would face the strip so we view the fountains ? I know the hotel is one of the oldest but has it been updated in any way to keep up with the newer ones ? You have done a great job congratulations

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yes, there are quite a few Flamingo rooms that face The Strip. Yes, some of the GO rooms have a shower and a tub, though not all. Request this if it is important to you.

Joe asked on 09/18/13

Hi again, Thankyou for your response its really appreciated. Were looking to travel on the 7th of november returning on the 11th. After looking at the hotels you listed (although lovely hotels) are all coming up close to double our budget.
We have found two hotels slightly more reasonable in price for our time. The luxor and the LVH. Would you have any suggestions on which is best or alternatives? every hotel seems expensive during this time is there a reason for this?

i’ll certainly be downloading the iOS app. Once again thanks!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yeah, prices can really vary… and that’s actually a fairly expensive time of year. There are several conventions in that timeframe that drive up prices.

Between Luxor and LVH I would definitely suggest Luxor. LVH isn’t on The Strip so you’d be very much removed from the action. Luxor is fine. Often times no-frills but it’s on The Strip and who can beat staying in a pyramid!

Joe asked on 09/13/13

Hi, im sorry if this has already been asked but i couldnt use the search function without a error message.
My partner and I are looking to spend 4 nights in vegas to celebrate her 21st birthday (flying in from the uk and arriving on her birthday itself!) Were both very excited but on a relative budget of around Ā£250 for the hotel. Could you recommend a hotel that is nice in a good location for first time vegas travellers? We wouldn’t be renting a car either. Thank you for running such a great service!


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yeah, I really need to fix that search engine… been busy on the new version of my iOS app, VegasMate. Whew. Ok…

First off, happy birthday to your friend!

Ok, so I’m assuming that the budget you stated is total for the trip and not nightly and I’m using current exchange rates which bring it out to about $400. If I’ve fundamentally misunderstood your budget, write back and I’ll update this post.

So, the big x-factor is the time of year and if it’s a weekend or not. That really can mean the difference between a bad room at the worst hotel on The Strip and either a mid-range place or if you get lucky, a room at a nicer place that’s not full when you’re planning to come out. Since I don’t have that info, I’ll share some more general thoughts.

The nice thing about the Las Vegas Strip is that other than the ends being a hike, it’s all very safe and relatively grouped together. Unlike cities like New York, San Francisco, or even London where things can be far-flung, the airport is down the street from the hotel which is down the street from everything else. That means that not having a car is not really a problem for 90% of visitors and even if you end up at hotel A for budget reasons, every other place is so close by that you can hang out anywhere no matter where you’re staying.

The hotels I’d suggest looking at (and they will vary a lot based on the calendar) are (in order):

- The Mirage
- Treasure Island (TI)
- Monte Carlo
- MGM Grand
- Planet Hollywood
- Paris
- Tropicana
- Bally’s

my guess is that the following will be too pricey but it never hurts to check:

- Cosmopolitan
- Wynn Las Vegas
- Bellagio
- Aria
- Mandalay Bay (location is a little out there)

Downtown Las Vegas (Fremont Street) is fun and a lot less expensive but probably not the grand Las Vegas experience you’re imagining. You might want to grab a cab and head down there one night to check it out though – some fun spots down there like The D, Golden Nugget and El Cortez.

Dennis asked on 09/06/13

Could this be true ? I was getting ready to make reservations at the Flamingo next September for our anniversary but ten I found out that every Harrah’s hotel was sold out for the whole month. WHY ?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

That doesn’t sound right… you got that information from the hotel? That’s only right on the boundary of when they accept reservations.

Sue asked on 09/01/13

Hi Hunter, I am wondering if you could rate the station casinos from best to worse. I am primarily looking for lots of video poker and a clean room with good customer service. I already know that RR and GVR top the list but have not been in any others. We generally stay at SP and are looking for a comparable change. Your perspective would be greatly appreciated. I tried a search for info on your site but it said “error” so I hope this isn’t something you’ve already covered. As always, thanks for great info.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


When it comes to Stations, I’m definitely less of an expert than Strip and Downtown casinos.

You’re right that RR and GVR are at the top of that heap. Both very nice hotels and casinos. After those two, I’d probably say Sunset Station, which isn’t too far from GVR and has reasonably okay rooms and a large casino.

Some of the Stations, like Santa Fe and Aliante (formerly a Station) are so far out there I can’t really get too enthusiastic about them.

It’s not a Station but the Suncoast is a popular spot for local VP players with a nice hotel room product. Something to consider as well perhaps.

My list would probably look like this:

1. Red Rock
2. Green Valley Ranch
3. Sunset Station
4. Boulder Station
5. Texas Station
6. Aliante (former Station)
7. Santa Fe Station
8. Fiesta Henderson
9. Palace Station
10. Fiesta Rancho

PS – Yes, the search is having some problems. :-(

Lakin asked on 08/12/13


So I’m going to Las Vegas for my 21st birthday. I currently have a vertical ID and I can’t renew it until my birthday which doesn’t give me enough time to receive my new one. Also when I renew my ID they punch a hole in it so it’s no longer good. My question is will everyone in Las Vegas accept a vertical ID which in red says when I turn 21? Or should I get renewed at which time I am given that paper print out?

Thank you!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

So, first off – happy birthday!

Generally speaking, this shouldn’t be a problem. In Las Vegas they’re used to newly-minted 21 year-olds visiting to have a good time. I think you’re better off with the real photo-ID vs. the print out.

Do you have any other form of ID? I’ve seen people use passports, military ID and other forms either as a primary or a backup. Something to consider. For a few years after I turned 21 I made sure I had two IDs in Vegas because I was super paranoid about losing one and not being able to do anything.

One thing that goes a long way: be respectful when they’re checking your ID. Of course you’ll probably be drunk half the time but if you mouth-off to a bouncer or pit boss they might get pissed off and try to confiscate your ID as a presumed-fake, which would of course ruin your day.

Dave asked on 08/07/13

Hello Hunter,

I am trying to play bar golf with some friends while out there, essentially where you go to 18 different bars and get one drink at each. We will start around 1pm on a Saturday later this month and play till midnight-1ish and we are staying at the Elara. We are all in good shape, what I am more concerned about is hitting good bars. Some I know I want to hit are Chandelier Bar, Mandarin Bar, Rhum Bar, MIX, maybe an ice bar. We are going to XS the following night, so keeping Wynn and Encore out of it would be nice. Throwing a juice/shake bar in there might be smart too, so we aren’t too ridiculous at the end.


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Ha! Bar golf, I like that. Never heard that term before.

You’ve got some good ones on your list. If I needed a list of 18 bars and I wanted to skip Wynn and Encore, it would look something like this, in no particular order:

1. Chandelier (Cosmo)
2. Hyde (Bellagio) daytime only
3. Mandarin Bar (Mandarin Oriental)
4. Rhumbar (Mirage)
5. MIX (Mandalay Bay)
6. Minus 5 (either Mandalay Bay or Monte Carlo)
7. Heart Bar (Planet Hollywood)
8. View Bar (Aria)
9. Bar @ Times Square (NYNY)
10. Napoleon’s Lounge (Paris)
11. Red Square (Mandalay Bay)
12. Cleopatra’s Barge Bar (Caesars Palace)
13. Centrifuge or West Wing Bar (MGM Grand)
14. V Bar (Venetian)
15. Zebra Lounge (Palazzo)
16. Casino Royale
17. Bugsy’s Bar (Flamingo)
18. Le Cave (Wynn) yes, I know you said no Wynn but this place is a great bar

Juice bars are for the weak!

Some of these are a little cheesy and ghetto but they balance out between high-end to just super Vegas-y.

Jonathan asked on 08/01/13

Hi Hunter,

I would like to point out that your search function keeps giving me an error. With that said, I’m going to ask my question…

In planning a Bachelor party weekend, can you recommend a reputable company to put it together?

I noticed that MGM, Harrahs, Cosmopolitan (my preferred choice), and a hot of companies when googled offer the VIP planning party services. I was thinking of using the Cosmopolitan services, but I’m not looking for a “tamed” party. I’m bad enough to take the guys “out of county” if need be.

Do you have any thoughts on these services that I may not have considered?

Thank you!

I’ve been a long time silent reader of your previous blog, pod cast, and enjoyed following your cosmopolitan opening adventures with the guy at vegastripping.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Ugh, yeah, something is wrong with search. I’ll look into that.

Thanks for the kind words.

It’s an interesting question… I’m not sure I’ve got a great answer though. From your question it’s difficult to tell if you’re hoping to find someone plan some events that might not be legal in Clark County? If so, the more corporate party planners are probably not going to go there…

I had my bachelor party in Vegas. My friends planned it all themselves. It was insane… Hangover-style insane (before the movie existed). I can’t really get into the details but you got me thinking about it and I just had to mention it.

Good luck and have fun. Sorry I can’t be more help.

chris asked on 07/30/13

My fiance and I are headed to Vegas Labor Day weekend. I would like to know what nightclubs are the most entertaining. (I don’t drink, she does though) I went to Vegas in 2006 and I enjoyed Club 51? (not sure on name) at MGM the most because it had acrobats and such, I believe Hakkasan is there now. I hear Light at Mandalay Bay is solid, anywhere else?

I like good dj’s too is there a list of them somewhere for that weekend, I see that Armin Van Buuren 8/30 @ Marquee and Benny Benassi 9/1 @ Marquee are there.


Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Wow, yeah, nightlife has changed quite a bit since 2006.

The club at MGM you’re thinking of was called Studio 54 and that has indeed closed to make way for Hakkasan, which is the newest and biggest place in town. Light @ MBay is also brand new and getting a lot of buzz.

Beyond those new entries, XS @ Encore, Marquee @ Cosmopolitan and Haze @ Aria are also very popular.

Shwayze, Ashanti at Moon
Aug. 30 – 31

T-Pain at Haze
Aug. 31

Armin Van Buuren, Kaskade at Marquee
Aug. 30 – 31.
The Cosmopolitan

DJ Exodus and more at Moon
Aug. 29 – 31.
The Palms

Rev Run at Pure
Aug. 30.
Caesars Palace

Ice Cube, Trey Songz at Tao
Aug. 29 – Sept. 1

Steve Aoki, Calvin Harris and more at Hakkasan Nightclub
Aug. 29 – Sept. 2
MGM Grand

David Guetta and more at XS
Aug. 30 – Sept. 2

Jermaine Dupri and more at Tryst
Aug. 29 – 31.

cschoony asked on 07/15/13

Hi Hunter. Different question. How frequently to acts (let’s use Penn and Teller for example) update their acts? Every year or 2 or 5? Just wondering as it would be a shame to go see a headliner and realize it was the same act I saw four years ago? Any info you can gather would be great. Thanks.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

That’s a good question… It’s going to vary quite a bit by performer. P&T’s act hasn’t changed all that much from what I understand – they cycle in some new bits but the main structure has been the same for some time. I guess it also depends on your interpretation of what ‘a lot’ of change is.

Stuff like Cirque rarely changes much after the show leaves previews. If you’ve seen a headliner, I wouldn’t expect it to vary all that much unless it’s been a really long time. If you didn’t like the show, I wouldn’t expect to be won over by ‘all new content’ unless it’s explicitly billed that way.

Bell asked on 07/05/13

What is the difference between Sumerlin and green valley?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

They are both master-planned communities but they are on opposite sides of the valley and are owned by different corporations.

Chantelle asked on 07/02/13

Hey there,

My fiancƩ and I are getting married at the Aria in September. There will be around 35 people coming. I would like to make a Group reservation preferably at a lounge for the reception (booze only) What are our most money friendly options?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:


It may be tough to find a lounge that will take a large party like that (most casino lounges are somewhat small). Have you considered perhaps renting a hotel suite to use for this purpose? That’s not an uncommon way to handle it.

scott sweirzer asked on 06/28/13

Hello I would like to get a good video poker game online One that looks real What game should I get Also can I get dvds of the fremont street light show Thank you Scott

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I know that a lot of folks use iPhone apps like WinPoker. WinPoker is also on Windows if you don’t have an iPhone.

As for the FSE light show, I don’t think that they’re on DVD, sorry (probably for licensing/rights reasons).

Catherine asked on 06/23/13

This is just a comment. Someone had asked a question about kids in Las Vegas. My niece recently took her 6 year old son to Vegas and they stayed at the Four Seasons. They really cater to children there. When they arrived there was a plate full of chocolate and cookies with his name written on the plate, sponge letters spelling his name in the bath tub and a small robe just for him to wear. I just thought this might be good information for you. Great app by the way.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks for the note and the kind words!

Mike asked on 06/18/13

Going to Vegas either sept. or oct. with my sister who is only 20. I am aware of the stuff or lack of stuff for her to do, but she is into shopping and people watching…figured vegas. Anyways, I didnt know if the pools were open that late and which ones let people under 21 in. Flamingo has a great pool but the main one is for 21+ i believe. can you give me an insight of what places are nice to stay at and have good pools. Also, are there any new zip lines opening up soon.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

She should be able to spend time at the pool at your hotel. Some other hotels do have ‘dayclubs’ that allow guests from other hotels to party there but they require you to be 21.

If you’re looking for hotels with great pools, take a look at Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, Wynn/Encore, Bellagio, Aria, The Flamingo and MGM Grand.

There’s a zip line scheduled to be built at the Rio but it won’t be open until later this year (opening date not yet specified).