Vegasuncovered’s Weblog

Vegas Uncovered a guide to the Las Vegas Strip

2 Free Las Vegas Buffets per day MGM, Mirage, Mandalay Bay, Aria etc

The MGM Mirage Group yesterday, issued a host of complementary buffet deals, if you book two nights under this offer you receive 2 complimentary buffets per booking per day. You do not have to use these in the buffet of the hotel that you are staying at  you can in fact use it at any of Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Excalibur, MGM Grand, Aria, Vdara, Monte Carlo, Mirage and Circus Circus. Mirage and Mandalay Bay are my two favourite buffets on the Strip it is great that if you stay at a cheaper hotel you can still eat for free in a far more expensive hotel. These deals are available on most dates until Spetember 8th but must be booked before June 27th

All of these deals are booked directly with the hotel on the links below.  All of these offers are fully refundable up to48 hours before check in, if the rate drops after you book contact the hotel and they will adjust your rate, these deals are available for everyone over 21 and
not just selected players. It is a very good deal.

I have just noticed that this page is suddenly after a few years getting a few hits again sadly these deals are all over there are still good deals to be had the best place to find them is to go directly to the hotels themselves this gives you greater flexability and also more chance of obtaining an upgrade when you check in and if you dont book direct with the hotel it is more difficult to get comps applied against your room rates. The links below will take you directly to the hotels have a great trip.

 

MGM Grand    Excalibur    Mandalay Bay,    Luxor     Aria    Bellagio    The Mirage   New York New York,      MGM Signature

 

MGM Grand Las Vegas “Complimentary Buffet Every Day!” From $65 per night *Book two nights and receive two complimentary meals at any MGM Resorts buffet everyday of your stay(*See site for additional details and restrictions). Promotion Runs: Jun 15 – Sep 8, 2011. Promo Code: ZBUFH11 (Exp6/27/11)

Mirage “Complimentary Buffet Everyday!”* From $69 per night Book two nights and receive two complimentary meals at any MGM Resorts buffet everyday of your stay (*See site for additional details and restrictions).Promotion Runs: Jun 13 – Sep 8, 2011. Promo Code: ZBUFH11 (Exp 6/27/2011)

Monte Carlo “Complimentary Buffet Every Day!” From $56 per night *Book two nights and receive two complimentary meals at any MGM Resorts buffet everyday of your stay (*See site for additional details and restrictions). Promotion Runs: Jun 13 – Sep 8, 2011. Promo Code: ZBUFH11 (Exp6/27/11)

New York New York “Complimentary Buffet Every Day!”  From $55 per night *Book two nights and receive two complimentary meals at any MGM Resorts buffet everyday of your stay (*see site foradditional details and restrictions). Promotion Runs: Jun 13 – Sep 8, 2011. Promo Code: ZBUFH11(Expires 6/27/11)

Luxor “Complimentary Buffet Every Day!”* From $36 per night Book two nights and receive two complimentary meals at any MGM Resorts buffe teveryday of your stay (*See site for additional details and restrictions).Promotion Runs: Jun 13 – Sep 8, 2011. Promo Code: ZBUFH11 (Exp 6/27/11)

Excalibur “Complimentary Buffet Every Day!” From $32 per night *Book two nights and receive two complimentary meals at any MGM Resorts buffet everyday of your stay (*See site for additional details and restrictions). Promotion Runs: Jun 13, – Sep 8, 2011. Promo Code: ZBUFH11 (Exp6/27/11)

Mandalay Bay “Complimentary Buffet Every Day!”  From $80 per night *Book two nights and receive two complimentary meals at any MGM Resorts buffet everyday of your stay (*See site for additional details and restrictions). Promotion Runs: Jun 13 – Sep 8, 2011. Promo Code: ZBUFH11 (Exp6/27/11)
ARIA “Complimentary Buffet Every Day!”* From $129 per night Book two nights and receive two complimentary meals at any MGM Resorts buffeteveryday of your stay(*see site for additional details and restrictions).Promotion Runs: Jun 8 – Sep 8, 2011. Promo Code: ZBUFH11 (Exp 6/27/11)

Vdara”Complimentary Buffet Every day!”* From $109 per night Book two nights and receive two complimentary meals at any MGM Resorts buffet every day of your stay(*See site for additional details and restrictions).Promotion Runs: Jun 13 – Sep 8, 2011. Promo Code: ZBUFH11 (Exp 6/27/11)

CircusCircus Las Vegas “Complimentary Buffet Every Day!”  From $27 per night *Book two nights and receive two complimentary meals at any MGM Resorts buffet everyday of your stay (*See site for additional details and restrictions). Promotion Runs: Jun13 – Sep 8, 2011. Promo Code: ZBUFH11 (Exp 6/27/11)

 

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June 14, 2011 Posted by | 20 dollar trick, ARIA, bellagio, buffet, buffets, Casinos, circus circus, Excalibur, flamingo, Free Upgrade, Holiday, hotel upgrades, Las Vegas, Luxor, Mandalay bay, MGM, MGM codes, MGM Grand, MGM GRand Arena, MGM Grand Garden Arena, Mirage, Monte Carlo, resturaunts, Travel, Uncategorized, Vdara, Vegas, vegas buffets, vegas comps, vegas discounts, vegas events, vegas pools, Vegas Strip | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How much money do you need to take to Las Vegas ?

After being asked about how to get a free upgrade the question that I am asked the most is “How much money do I need to take to Las Vegas ?” This is a very difficult to answer as it is the same as someone saying “How much do I need to spend on grocery’s each week ?”

So I will do the best I can to try and show some examples of spends and costs and what I would spend. I am going to assume that your hotel (including resort fees) and flights are paid and that you do not have a rental car and that you will not be doing any shopping. Please bare in mind that I have have great trips in Vegas on $25 per day when I have been hard up and great trips when my budegt has been $1k per day its not the money that makes it better or worse.

The first expense that you will have is getting to your hotel from McCarran you have four options cab $15 – $30(depending on hotel and time of day), shuttle bus $12-$15 (return), public bus $2.50 or Limo approx $60. How to get from the airport to the Strip

When you get to the hotel if you have bags that you will check you should allow $5 per bag for a tip for the bellboy, at the same time it is worth putting a few dollars away for the maid they do a good job and often get forgotten we generally tip the maid $3 per day or $5 if we want extra shampoos etc to take home for Christmas presents 🙂 How much to Tip in Las Vegas

We generally take in a show every two or three nights when we are in Las Vegas we book one absolute cannot miss show before we leave home so this would not come out of our budget all the others we buy from the half price booths and we have paid as little as $15 for a magic show and about $125 for a Cirque show. I think that if you budget $75 for a show that as long as you are prepared to be flexible you should be able to find something that you like. If you want to book direct with the hotel when you are out there shows vary in price depending on show and seats and day of the week etc from about $40 to several hundred dollars.

Dining in Las Vegas is something where you can get buy on say $15 a day but you can also pay $10 for a coffee so what you spend is really up to you. We tend to either have a very small breakfast just coffee and a danish then coffee shop or deli lunch and proper meal in the evening or large or buffet breakfast a snack at lunchtime and then decent dinner. Excalibur and Luxor have 24 hour buffet deals for $24.99 and then $29.99 respectively and this is probably the cheapest way to stay full in Las Vegas though not the best. We generally allow $10 for coffee and danish, $15 for deli or coffee shop lunch and then the evening can be anything from a $20 buffet to a $200 fine dining meal at Eiffel. Food prices change between hotels we were surprised to find that staying at Wynn we spent a lot more money than say at MGM Grand as everything costs more.

Drinks are free when you are gambling (subject to tipping) but if not the prices vary greatly from one casino to another and how you get them ! Casino Royale has the cheapest beer with Michelob $1 all day every day at their bars generally though expect to pay $8 for a beer and $12 for a shot and mixer in a casino bar. Following the rules in the link below will ensure that you maximise your free drinks at the same time don’t piss off the cocktail waitresses.. FREE DRINKS IN LAS VEGAS

Like everything else in Vegas you and gamble as little or as much as you like there are slots from 1c and tables from $5 up slots at $1k per spin and tables with minimums of $5k per hand. Please  remember that most machines are multi lines and to get any return you need to play multiple lines and you should expect a minimum for 25c per spin on a 1c machine Unless you have a few good wins to start with as a rule of thumb you will spend at least twice what you think that you will on slots. $5 tables now are few and far between in the major resorts but Tropicana and believe it or not Bellagio have $5 BJ tables open 24/7 but generally speaking the more upmarket the hotel the less likely you are to find low limit tables. I have had days when I have stared with $40 and it has lasted me all day and I have even left with a profit and had other days where I have dropped $200 in 20 minutes. You can get comps on your play but never ever play for comps take them as nice bonus but don’t expect or try to play just to get a comp.

So roughly here is what I would allow as spending money for a 3 night trip Las Vegas

Taxi to and from airport $40
Tips for bellboy and maid $20 (plus $20 Upgrade trick)
Show with drink $80
Food* $250
Drinks (above free ones) $80
Gaming $300 – $1000
Misc $75

*Food
1 x Luxor 24 hour buffet deal $35
2 x coffee and danish breakfasts $20
1 x med quality dinner $100
1 x good buffet dinner $40
snacks and sodas $55

Please note this is a very rough idea and you really spend as little or as much as you like in Las Vegas,



See all the sights of Las Vegas. Book a tour on Vegas.com.


June 13, 2011 Posted by | 20 dollar trick, all day buffet pass, ARIA, bellagio, buffets, Casinos, circus circus, cocktail waitress, cocktails, entertainment, Excalibur, flamingo, free drinks, Free Upgrade, Holiday, hotel upgrades, Las Vegas, Luxor, MGM, MGM codes, MGM Grand, MGM GRand Arena, MGM Grand Garden Arena, Mirage, tipping, Travel, vegas buffets, vegas comps, vegas discounts, vegas events, vegas pools, vegas shopping, vegas shows, vegas tips | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Las Vegas 24 Hour Buffet passes and Vegas Buffet Deals

Shrimp at Las Vegas Buffet

One of the things that I love about Las Vegas is the Buffets they are great OK you are best to avoid the real cheap ones as they are well real cheap !! For what is a small amount of money you get the choice of loads of different types of food and you can pick the bits you really like and avoid the stuff that you don’t which usually happens to be the healthy stuff. If you want to eat a tiny main and stacks of deserts you have it, if you want plate of starters as your main you’ve got it.  It works well when dining in a group and you all like different things each person can choose what they want without the usual arguments about the type of place you go to eat, you go to the buffet and each choose the type of food that you like.

In Vegas you kiss goodbye to your body clock when you get off the plane and buffet dining helps you with this as there are generally all types of foods at all open times buffets work better for me in Vegas than anywhere else I the World. The only problem that you have is that the decent buffets have long lines and you can wait up to an hour (more so at Wynn) to get a table.

My favourite buffet is Mandalay Bay this is because of the food and the setting it is just really nice, I like the Mirage and Bellagio buffets for the sheer quality of the food  and that the breakfast buffet at Excalibur whilst never the best is one of the best value. As a general rule the quality of the hotel will determine the quality of the buffet the worst I have eaten at is Palace Station followed closely Tropicana and I would not eat the Circus Circus or Imperial Palace buffets if budget allowed me to eat elsewhere.

Anyway Harrah’s Entertainment are offering a “buffet of buffets” pass for $44.99 this gives you 24 hour access to 7 buffets, Caesars Palace: Lago Buffet; Flamingo: Paradise Garden Buffet; Harrah’s Las Vegas: Flavors; Imperial Palace: Emperor’s Buffet; Paris: Le Village Buffet; Planet Hollywood: Spice Market Buffet; and, Rio: Carnival World Buffet. This is a brilliant deal if you think that the dinner buffet at Paris for instance is $27.99 and if you time it right you can get two dinners, a breakfast and a lunch which could cost up to $93 ! If you want a cheaper 24 hour pass look at Excalibur from $24.99 or Luxor from $29.99

“No craving stands a chance with a “Buffet of Buffets” all-access pass. It’s good all day at seven different buffets for only $44.99*. Fuel up for the morning with a made-to-order omlet, satisfy your afternoon appetite with some sushi and seafood, or just enjoy every meal throughout the day at a different spot. Simply walk up to any participating buffet and ask for the “Buffet of Buffets” pass. You’ll receive your credential which is good for 24 hours from the time of purchase. Then dig in!”

Luxor Buffet offer; all you can eat buffet passes from $29.99 for Adults and have the option of adding unlimited wine and beer for $10

MGM 2-4-1 –Buffet Deal; There is a deal at present at MGM where you can get 2 4 1 for a buffet when booking a room

Excalibur  have a 24 hour Buffet pass from $24.99

Circus Circus offer 2 free buffets with a stay of 2 nights or longer also includes $150 of dining, entertainment and retail vouchers

Youc an of course still try to get the best buffet in town for free read how to do it here !

 

 


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April 8, 2011 Posted by | all day buffet pass, ARIA, bellagio, buffets, Casinos, circus circus, Excalibur, flamingo, free drinks, Las Vegas, Luxor, Mandalay bay, MGM, MGM Grand, MGM GRand Arena, MGM Grand Garden Arena, resturaunts, Vegas, vegas buffets, vegas discounts | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New York New York, Las Vegas My Review

New York New York
3790 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas
NV 89109
Tel +1 (702) 740 6969
New York New York Las Vegas

Location Right on the money, sitting on the corner of the Strip with Tropicana Avenue, the busiest road intersection in the USA. There are foot bridges connecting New York New York with the MGM Grand and Excalibur.

Theme
Well what can I say; it’s the Big Apple. All of the buildings outside are 1/3 scale copies of those in Manhattan including the Empire State, Chrysler and CBS buildings. There is also a Statue of liberty and a Brooklyn Bridge with a ” Coney Island” roller coaster screeching round the whole lot. The theme does not stop outside, as you enter the casino you will see manhole covers with smoke rising out of them, trees in Central Park and hotdog vendors. It is dubbed as the greatest little city in Vegas something, we think, is well earned.

Rooms NYNY used to be a cheap resort I am not sure why but now it’s generally more expensive than MGM Grandand Monte Carlo. The rooms are a little on the small side but they are nice, be warned though if you have a room facing the strip you will hear the rollercoaster. It’s quite cool that your room is in a particular New York Skyscraper like Empire State or Chrysler tower.

Attractions
The Manhattan Express rollercoaster, supposedly the best in Vegas, runs round the outside of the structure speeding up to 67mph for $7 per ride. Sadly The Coney Island Emporium amusement arcade has been closed down. There are Ice shows outside, around Ellis Island, in the winter and tugboats spray water at each other in the summer.

Pool Surprisingly for a resort that has spent so much attention to detail the pool is very small and drab; this is not a place to stay if the pool is very important to you.

Shows and Entertainment Zumanity is the Cirque De Soleil offering here it’s the sensual side of Cirque, that means nudity and sexiness all held together by a drag queen compere. We loved this show it was great fun but you have to be opened minded to enjoy it and you also need to sit facing the center of the stage we were at the side and feel that we missed something for this. Coyote Ugly whilst not a show in the true sense is an interactive bar where the bar tenders dance on the bar and pour drinks directly into patrons mouths.

Dining This is the only Strip resort that has no buffet. America – 24 hour coffee shop is very good though the wait for the food can be longer than you feel it should. Il Fornai is a lovely Italian next to a stream that offers “outside” dining this is one of the best places for breakfast in Vegas. Gallaghers Steak house is pricey but very good you can see all the meat maturing in glass fridges. Nine Fine Irishman is an Irish pub offering good food and ambience. There are also several Delis and hotdog stalls as well as the village eatery. This has a variety of, eat in/take away fastish food.

Gaming 81,000 sq ft of well themed gaming fun containing nearly 2500 state of the art slot and video machines, along with about 50 tables and 7 roulette wheels. NYNY contains one of the best selections of slots on the Strip with a very large selection of my favorites; the good old low roller nickel machines. They have all the usual wheel of fortune, Adams Family, Winning Bid etc. plus Swing which we did not see elsewhere. The gaming area is a little dark and in certain parts slightly cramped but didn’t appear as noisy as some. Live acts performing at the huge bar at the front makes a nice diversion to the hundred dollars you have just lost. I don’t know if we were just lucky but we seemed to have a better hit rate on the NYNY slots than at any other Strip casino. The tables used to be covered in Central Park type tress sadly this has been removed and replaced with somthing that looks like lit up sweet wrappers.

Drinks service Like all casinos the service you receive whilst playing on the lowly nickel machines is never as good as when you are playing on the dollar ones, but the service here, even for us low rollers, was quite good. One thing – steer clear of the coffee.

Overall We love it, it’s exciting and you leave the real world for the time that you are in there. The theme works very well, with a very good variety of slot machines and friendly staff. It is our favorite casino, although it may have helped that we hit a jackpot there.

Good points
The whole theme thing as you enter from the upper level is New York; it works well and is great fun.

Bad points
I don’t think that there is anything that I dislike about NYNY apart from that at busy times we had to wait for machine attendants but this could have been the same anywhere.

Top Tip If you ride the rollercoaster and love it you can by re-ride tickets for about half price or if you really love it you can buy an unlimited daily ride pass.

To find out how to ensure that you get the cheapest possible rate read the post here

September 5, 2009 Posted by | bellagio, Casinos, Cirque, cirque de soleil, entertainment, Excalibur, free drinks, Holiday, Las Vegas, MGM, MGM Grand, resturaunts, shows, Travel, Uncategorized, Vegas, vegas discounts, vegas pools, vegas shows, Vegas Strip, vegas tips | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Casino Royale, Las Vegas My Revie

Casino Royale

3411 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas
NV 89109
+1 (702) 737 3500
www.casinoroyale.com

Location On the Strip, right on the Strip walk out onto the pavement next to Venetian and opposite TI.

Theme Very loosely based on the David Niven James Bond spoof of the same name. The outside of the hotel is made to look like sort of comic buildings, the theme ends at the doors.

Rooms contrary to popular belief there are rooms at Casino Royale, they are motel type away form the casino floor, I have not personally been there but reviews seem to imply that they are not very nice and are similar priced to Excalibur which is far nicer.

Attractions None were noticed, but this is reckoned to have the most valuable Fun Book (according to Las Vegas Advisor). When getting our slot club cards the person in front asked for some playing cards, I did the same and got given a couple of decks of “used cards” from the casino. These are full sized, quality cards as opposed to the freebies given away like at the Tropicana slot club. Oh and very cheap beer and free smoke, unfortunately all second hand yuk !

Pool Nope!

Shows and Entertainment Erm nope unless you count watching drunk folk act stupid.

Dining I saw no restaurants though apparently there are two upstairs, I was never aware that there even was an upstairs. Attached to the casino is a very busy Denny’s selling a variety of good quality, cheap food?

Gaming A mere 6000 sq. ft of gaming space with about 500 machines, 11 tables and a roulette wheel squeezed in. This is a dark crowded casino aimed at the lower spending tourist market. Casino Royale has a large percentage of nickel machines and even has a few penny machines, the only casino on the strip to offer gaming at this low stake. It can be smoky unless you sit near the doors, which unlike most other Strip casinos are usually left open. You do get low limit tables here 24/7.

Drinks service We did not stay long enough to be served cocktails but looking at other patrons and the states of soberness that they were in I guess the service must have been pretty good. However you don’t really need it as the bars are so cheap.

Overall A small low rollers casino if this casino were in England it could only be at Blackpool, Brighton or Southend.

Good points Erm low limit tables it’s so close to the Strip you can get out quick!

Bad points Smoke, clientele did I say smoke and clientele?

Top Tip Its worth buying a beer for a buck and walking in to another resort and there is a cheap clothes store where I bought a hoodie for $10 when I was cold that I quite like

August 9, 2009 Posted by | Casinos, circus circus, entertainment, events, Excalibur, free drinks, gaming, Holiday, Las Vegas, slots, Travel, Uncategorized, Vegas, vegas tips | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Las Vegas memories

I first arrived in Las Vegas Labour Day weekend 1992, we arrived at night by car and at this time this was the only way to to arrive in Las Vegas. From miles away you started seeing the faint gleam of neon as you got nearer as you took twists and corners in the road the light got brighter and the excitement rose. I had never been to Las Vegas and to be honest had not read much about it, this visit was just a short stop on a road trip from San Diego to San Francisco, I knew that there were casinos there and I knew that there were shows but nothing more than that. The Las Vegas we arrived to was amazing and immediately I fell in love with the town. On this first trip I had gaming lessons at The Sands, munched 3 castle burgers for 99c at the Hacienda, had 99c Shrimp cocktails, surf and turf for $3.99 and buffets for less than than the cost of Starbucks Latte. I did a Bungee jump at AJ Hackett which was located behind Ballys when you got up the tower it was pitch black to the desert on the East, on what is now a highly populated valley. In 1992 you could get all sorts of freebies from almost every Casino just for gracing it with your presence it was a totally different town.

On my first visit there was no Mandalay Bay, no Luxor, no MGM Grand, no Monte Carlo, no NYNY, No Paris, Bellagio or Venetian, Treasure Island was not built and the Desert Inn proudly sat on the lot now occupied by Wynn. Aside from the casinos there was little reason to come to Vegas except to gamble and maybe to have a stopover or use it as a base for a trip to the Grand Canyon, Vegas was not the playground it is today, many thought that Vegas’s time had gone and Atlantic City would be the new entertainment Mecca and had it not been for the belief, hard work and commitment of the likes of Steve Wynn and Kirk Kerkorian then this may well have been the case and the Las Vegas that I love today would not be there.

Since 1992 I have visited Las Vegas countless times and intend to do so for as long as I am able, in fact this Christmas will be my second in succession that I spend in Las Vegas. I have stayed in many hotels at all levels of comfort from Circus Circus at the value end to Wynn and Bellagio for the height of Las Vegas luxury. I have enjoyed some more than others and this is not always based on price.

Vegas has changed beyond recognition since my first short visit and I have no doubt that this will be the case forever, some changes will be for the better and some for th worse, prices will go up prices will come down Las Vegas will change to what the visitors want and for what they are prepared to pay for. The one thing that I don’t think will change is that there will always be something for everyone to love in Las Vegas and just when you think that you have seen everything Las Vegas will re-write the rule book and amaze you even more.

July 22, 2009 Posted by | bellagio, buffets, Casinos, entertainment, events, Excalibur, free drinks, gaming, Las Vegas, Luxor, Mandalay bay, MGM, MGM codes, MGM GRand Arena, Riviera, Stratosphere, Travel, Uncategorized, Vegas, vegas buffets, vegas comps, vegas discounts, vegas events, vegas pools, vegas shopping, vegas shows, vegas spa, Vegas Strip, vegas suites, vegas tips, vegas wedding, virgin | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Las Vegas on the Cheap – Cheap Hotels

In these days of credit crunch and high gas prices I thought I would write a few posts showing how to save money in Las Vegas and still have a great trip and am kicking it off withover 40 trips to Vegas some on a large budget and some on very small budgets a post on Cheap hotels.

I have stayed at almost every property from Bellagio, Wynn and Encore to Excalibur, Circus Circus and Sahara. I have eaten at places on every level of the spectrum from Eiffel at Paris LV and Mix at Mandalay Bay to Peppermill and the Circus Circus buffet. I have had best seats at Cirque Shows and front row seats to Vegas “A list” headliners I also been to shows where tickets cost $5. Whilst I would not say that my most enjoyable ones have been the ones where I have been on the tightest budget I have still had great trips without, spending  very much money. I have discovered that the cheapest options do not always save the most money, in this post I hope to give you some pointers from my experience on how to get the most out of a trip to Las Vegas when on a budget. You can make huge savings  on how you book and when you come there is a post all ready on this here.
 

Your room will take up some of your budget but not as much as you think, in Las Vegas there are rooms that will suit every pocket and in most cases you generally get what you pay for. Now the cheapest rooms on the Strip can  be found at Rivera, Circus Circus , Sahara and Stratosphere. The problem that you have with all of these resorts is that the location will mean that you will end up spending money on transportation to get to the parts of the strip that you want to be at, even if you buy monorail or Deuce bus passes the cost of these can be as much as the difference between staying in one of these hotels and staying at a better hotel in a better location.

Excalibur, Tropicana, Bills, and Imperial Palace are the cheap options with good locations Luxor is also worth a mention as some of the offers  that  they have make bring the prices on a par  with these. I have stayed at all of these hotels and unless there is a great offer on at Luxor Excalibur is my budget choice. The rooms are large  and the hotel is clean, not too smoky and it has a great location., with good staff, good cheap eats and also they have some of the best offers around offering not only rates as low as $25 per night but also often include food or entertainment credits. I once stayed at Excalibur on a $40 a night rate for 2 nights this included 2 free buffets, 2 free spa passes, 2 free drinks and some 2 4 1 coupons the value of this  was about $120, more than I paid  for  total for my stay. Wherever you stay if you get any extras included make sure you use them millions of dollars worth of these coupons are thrown away each year.

If you get a very good rate at an expensive hotel you will spend more money than you would if you stay at a cheaper hotel, as everything is more expensive, coffee, breakfast, water or soda in the shop and of course meals and drinks at the bar. Even if you try not to spend money you will spend more if you stay in an expensive resort than if you stay in a cheaper one.

You can of course stay in a cheaper hotel Downtown (Fremont Street) or off Strip, whilst I will on a longer trip have a  couple of nights downtown its not where you want to stay for your Vegas vacation. I have stayed off Strip once and would not do it again as it just does not fell like you are in Vegas and the transportation to where you want to be is inconvenient and can be costly.

To find out how to ensure that you get the cheapest possible rate read the post here

June 19, 2009 Posted by | bellagio, buffets, Casinos, circus circus, Cirque, cirque de soleil, Excalibur, fremont street, Holiday, Las Vegas, Luxor, MGM, Paris Las Vegas, Riviera, Stratosphere, Travel, Uncategorized, Vegas, vegas discounts, Vegas Strip, vegas tips | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How to get the best room rate in Las Vegas

No one likes to pay over the odds and I never pay more for I have to for anything and this includes my room in Vegas. Sure you sometimes I have to pay more for a room that others but it is still important for me to make sure that I still pay the lowest rate possible.

There are two ways to reduce the amount that you pay, “when you stay” and “how you book” to get the very best rate you need to combine the two. Whilst it is not always possible to have control over when you go it is still possible to make huge savings by being smart how you book.

When you stay
We all know that the time of year can change the cost of your room wherever you stay but in Las Vegas this is magnified a room one night can cost $50 and the next night $350 this was the case for us at MGM Grand in September 2007. I do not know of anywhere else in the World where rates can change as much as the do in Las Vegas.

Friday and Saturday nights
in Las Vegas are the most expensive of the week, in some cases a Friday or Saturday night can cost the same as the rest if the week combined. If you can avoid staying over the weekend do so, this could mean getting out of town for a weekend (we often go to the Grand canyon for a night) or get a cheaper hotel for the weekend we have stayed downtown and off strip just for the weekend.

Check what is on, although there are over 100,000 rooms in Vegas on a busy conference week they can fill up and this affects the price hugely, check what conferences, events and concerts are on when you plan to visit, if you don’t want to se what is on then it is bet to reschedule if you can.

Holidays, Las Vegas if a holiday town and this is when it is at its busiest as a result this is when room rates really go through the roof so if you can avoid being in Vegas over a holiday you will save money.

Time of year, the two weeks before Xmas are the slowest and cheapest of the year and New Years Eve the most expensive night of the year. In July and August rates drop because of the heat, May June and October can be expensive as this is when the weather is good but not the crazy heat that you have in July and August.

How to book
You can not only save a load of money by the way in which you book you can also get extras free food, drinks, entertainment and even return airfares or free nights.

Book direct with the hotel this is probably the most important thing to do, if you book direct you are usually guaranteed to get the best price, by booking direct unless you book a non refundable rate (this will be clear when you book) if the rate drops after you have booked you contact the hotel and they will drop your rate to match this, of course if the rate goes up you will still only pay the rate that you have booked at. We once paid $45 per room per night for Luxor the same room was being advertised at £110 ($150) per night in a brochure.  By booking direct you only pay the first night as a deposit and this is fully refundable if you cancel or change your booking up to 72 hours before check in.

Use a code to book but check that the link takes you directly to the hotels website, these not only give you great rates but loads of extras see here for the best codes online. Look here for some of the best rates available

If you see a deal you like and a rate you are happy with book it straight away as rates change regularly and good deals are often pulled with no notice, as long as you don’t book a non refundable deal you can always cancel later on if something better comes along.  Don’t assume that the rate you see this morning will still be there tomorrow or even later today !!

Use the discounts that still allow you book directly with the hotel, if you see a deal that asks you to pay the entire stay up front 9 times out of 10 it is not directly with the hotel (only exclusion  is a non refundable offer) and therefore you don’t get the advantages of booking direct . There are only so many rooms available on each deal and when that number has been hit the deal will be pulled so book when you see a rate you are happy with.

Keep checking the hotel’s website to see if the rate drops if it does get in touch with the
Hotel and get them to drop your rate.

Book early, Unlike most other places you may visit booking late is not the way to get a good deal booking as early as possible is key, as I have explained you can always cancel if your plans change or you see a better deal later or get the hotel to drop your rate.

As long as you have booked direct then you should be able to have any comps deducted off of your room stay. Its easier to get somemoney back this way than you may think, you generically will not get much if anything off for low denomination slot play but table games and poker just ask to be rated. Last time I was at MGM Grand 4 hours of poker on the $1/2 table got me $40 off of my room bill. You need to go to the players club booth say the night before checkout and ask what you are entitled to and they will adjust your bill there and then. One tip if you plan to use some comp against your room its far better if they see action off of you each day, make sure something happens on your card even if you stick it in a slot and just play $10 this will work for you getting comps. If you have not booked direct no Casino can comp any of your room charges. If you book direct also try the $20 trick !!

For the Very best direct Las Vegas hotel rates click here

 

May 11, 2009 Posted by | 20 dollar trick, bellagio, Casinos, entertainment, Excalibur, Free Upgrade, Holiday, hotel upgrades, Las Vegas, Luxor, Mandalay bay, MGM, MGM codes, MGM Grand, MGM GRand Arena, Mirage, Travel, Treasure Island, Uncategorized, Vegas, vegas comps, vegas discounts, Vegas Strip | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

25 Random things about Vegas Headliners Donny and Marie Osmond

I stumbled along this interesting fun post on the Las Vegas Sun Website and thought it it would be fun to list it here

25 Random Things about Donny Osmond

Beginning with five things about Donny from Marie herself:

1. “Donny dances on the tabletops at the Flamingo. Hold on to your beverage.”

2. “Donny licks the salt off of pretzels before he eats them.”

3. “One of Donny’s favorite movies is ‘Waiting for Guffman.’ ”

4. “For Donny, a day without some state-of-the-art techie gadget is like a day without sunshine.”

5. “Of all the performers I’ve shared a stage with in my career, Donny has proved to be the most all-around gifted entertainer.”

6. One of Donny’s pet peeves is when people spell his name “Donnie.” So as a joke the backstage crew at the Flamingo spelled it that way on the gold star on his dressing room door.

7. Donny and his wife, Debra, have five sons, Donald, Jeremy, Brandon, Christopher and Joshua, and a grandson, Dylan, and granddaughter, Emery.

8. Donny has lost two inches off his waistline since the show opened in October. He says gets his cardio and leg workout on stage, but does a full workout at a nearby Las Vegas gym.

9. Whenever hometown friends visit Donny in Vegas, he takes them to the Bellagio bridge — for the best view of the gigantic Donny & Marie mural on the front of the Flamingo: Donny’s eyes alone are 6 feet high and 10 feet wide. “At home, I’m uncle Donny to all the kids and teenagers. But when they come here, I have to show them that — I’m a little more than Uncle Donny right now,” he laughs.

10. He commutes from Provo, Utah, after his days off, and stays in a suite upstairs at the Flamingo during the week. “I joke in the show about being behind Marie’s teeth, but I’m up a little higher than that. I’m in Marie’s hair.”

11. Indian actor Sanjeev Bhaskar recently gave his blessing for his wife to leave him for another man: Donny Osmond. “She planned to marry Donny when she was 12 and told everyone she was going to convert to Mormonism,” Bhaskar said. “She was so excited when he came on ‘The Kumars at No. 42’ as a guest. I told her ‘if you want to go off with him, it’s not a problem.’ ”

12. Donny was peeved when his nephew David was booted off “American Idol” last week, but mostly because the American public wasn’t told that David had laryngitis. The two recently shot a mini-concert for “Entertainment Tonight” on the Flamingo stage.

13. A typical Donny day: Drives his son to the airport at 6 a.m. after four hours of sleep, calls his business manager, sleeps for about an hour, records the voice of a farmer for a Disney cartoon series, works out, does interview with the Las Vegas Sun, does show with Marie.

14. Donny has been a cartoon character at least twice before, in Rankin-Bass’ Saturday morning series “The Osmonds” (1972) and as a recurring character in Hanna-Barbera’s “Johnny Bravo” (1997).

15. He has starred on Broadway three times, as the title characters in “Little Johnny Jones” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” and as the villain Gaston in “Beauty and the Beast.”

16. In the early 2000s, Donny briefly considered teaming up for a show with fellow former teen idol David Cassidy, his rival for the cover of Tiger Beat magazine in the early ’70s. “We had one meeting, and it was like, OK, I don’t want to go there.”

17. Donny admits to being “a total nerd,” specifically, a Mac geek: He designed the secret backstage video control room at the Flamingo, as well as the audio and computer systems that run the show. He also put together all the video montages seen in the show, assembling long-lost videos and still photos in his basement. “It’s my little world in here.”

18. Donny bursts into full-on song mid-conversation, launching into “Remember When,” “It’s Your Thing” and the Osmond Brothers’ 1972 rock hit “Crazy Horses” within the span of a half-hour chat.

19. He confides that “Crazy Horses” is soon going to replace “It’s Your Thing” in the Donny & Marie act. “That whole song (“Horses”) is about ecology. Nobody knew at the time what it was about. Garage bands in England are still covering that song.”

20. Donny has a whole terabyte of songs stored on his iTunes, and he’s been transferring old vinyl albums to files using a USB turntable. His cassette collection is next.

21. Donny is engineering a new Donny & Marie album, which will be ready for release in May, followed by a solo Donny album in October. “I don’t think I can have a No. 1 record again, that’s not a goal of mine. But I think Donny & Marie can still sell a lot of records.”

22. Donny and Marie stopped singing together in the early ’80s to reestablish careers as individual artists. “We always knew that we’d come back together again, and when I saw this room at the Flamingo, with the booths, I called Marie and said, ‘This is it. This is the old Las Vegas that we grew up in.’ ”

23. Donny found it tough adjusting to working as a duo again. “I had to come to the conclusion that I’m not the dictator anymore. I can’t say ‘OK, Marie, you’re gonna do this and you’re gonna do that.’ I’m dealing with somebody who is in control of her own career now. That’s why we brought (director/choreographer) Barry Lather in as the mediator — or arbitrator,” he laughs. We both came up with ideas for the show, gave them to him, and he figured it all out for us. Because it would have been a disaster if he wasn’t there.”

24. Their dressing rooms are next door to each other, but Donny doesn’t see much of his sister until showtime. “Last week I went over to her house in Green Valley and hung out for a little while. It’s beautiful. But when I have time off, and I’m not doing anything, I’d rather go home and see my wife and kids.”

25. Donny says he and Marie are both grateful for their Vegas winning streak — the Flamingo show has been extended through 2010. “We’ve both been in situations when we wonder ‘Are we going to sell any seats?’ And so when we have a success like this …”

25 Random Things about Marie Osmond

The first six things about Marie come straight from Donny:

1. “Marie knows that if she ever sticks her thumb in my back, I’ll go crazy. She did it once on the Donny & Marie talk show: I asked someone a stupid question and she put her thumb in my back. See, when I was a little kid onstage, if I sang a sour note my brother Merrill or Alan would just poke me with a thumb, and it took me right back to those bad times. I threw it to commercial, we walked offstage, and we proceeded to rip each other’s head off. You could hear a pin drop in that audience — they heard everything. Dick Clark had to come backstage and said, ‘Now children,’ and that stopped it right there.”

2. “Every interview we do, Marie has to change the lighting.”

3. “She laughs all of the time.”

4. “Marie came up with the purple socks tradition I had in the ’70s.”

5. “She co-founded the Children’s Miracle Network.”

6. “Don’t ever expect Marie to be on time.”

7. There are three hotel rooms behind Marie’s teeth in the Donny & Marie mural wrapping the Flamingo; if we saw the rest of her in the mural, Marie would be 900 feet tall.

8. A single mom, Marie is 49 and has eight children from her two marriages. Her daughter Rachael, 19, helps manage her mom’s wardrobe and quick-changes during the Flamingo show.

9. Marie agreed to the Flamingo gig on the condition that she got the larger dressing room, which is sometimes packed with 15 or 20 people, kids and dogs, playing with Wiis and toy light sabers. “Hey, I have more children, and I live here. I need the space,” she says, defending her real estate grab. “But George Wallace’s is bigger than mine,” she says, and bursts into peals of loud laughter.

10. The only daughter in a family of eight brothers, she’s a big kidder, too. The audience loves when she takes Cher-like swipes at Donny, who can’t quite get her back. “My mom said to me, ‘You’re Marie Osmond: Your M.O. is to keep (the Osmond brothers) all humble.’ ”

11. She and the kids live in Henderson’s Green Valley neighborhood; Marie has a Nevada driver’s license and shops at the District. “When I was flying back last time, I saw the Strip, I thought, ‘It really feels like I’m home.’ And for me, that’s huge.”

12. She grew up onstage with her singing brothers, but got some real showbiz schooling at age 16 from Lucille Ball. “She was a tough lady,” Marie says, recalling a guest stint on Lucy’s show. “She waved me over and she said, ‘So. You learned a few things in the makeup room, huh? You wanna learn a few more?’ And I thought ‘Oh wow, I’m dead.’ But she goes, ‘OK. You’re worth my time. You’ll be in the business a while. Let me teach you a few things.’ She taught me about lighting, for one thing.” (See No. 3.)

13. Between “Dancing With the Stars” and the Flamingo show, Marie figures she’s lost about 47 pounds. “The show is hard work, but it was also intentional. I had to be healthy. Heart disease runs in my family. Mom died of it, and my grandmother died of it, my dad had two pacemakers. I’m like, ‘Hello, ticking time bomb.’ One day, my son came to me and said, ‘Mom, you’re all we have.’ ”

14. Marie says she wanted to quickly bring audiences up to date with her stylistic range in the current show. “I’ve played fairs and festivals, honky-tonks and symphony dates. I could play my guitar and cook. I don’t think people know I can do those git-down-with-your-bad-self kind of things.”

15. She has also studied opera for seven years, off and on, and during her solo segment sings Andrew Lloyd Webber’s aria “Pie Jesu,” surrounded by stage fog and twinkling stars. “I could be more operatic than ‘Pie Jesu,’ ” she says, “but I didn’t want to scare anyone to death.”

16. She is recording her next solo album in her Henderson home.

17. Marie often says “tragedy + time = humor.”

18. She has a new book coming out in April called “You Might As Well Laugh About It Now,” which got its start when her house burned down in 2005. “I lost more than 30 years of journals, and my mother’s things. I was afraid I would forget it all, so I started putting them down. (The publisher) said it felt very Erma Bombeck-ish.”

19. Marie also likes to say, “My job is to be an entertainer, not a celebrity.”

20. She drives herself to work every night.

21. She and Donny have had many fights over the years. “Oooh, if anybody could hate each other … are you kidding? Working together and going home to the same house? We probably would have killed each other.”

22. She can’t think of many successful precedents for brother-sister acts. “I mean, you had Karen and Richard (Carpenter), but Richard never talked. (She whispers) Which would have been a nice thing for Donny to do… No! I’m so teasing.” She laughs.

23. The No. 1 reason for their appeal: “We have the same work ethic. I don’t know if it’s blood or what, but we know we’ll always show up for the other.”

24. No. 2: “Almost everyone has a brother or sister, and I say things to Donny that everyone can relate to.”

25. Marie says she stuck her thumb in Donny’s back that one time because “he was being a butt.”

March 17, 2009 Posted by | bellagio, Casinos, entertainment, events, flamingo, Holiday, Las Vegas, Luxor, Mandalay bay, MGM, shows, Travel, Vegas, vegas shows, Vegas Strip | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New York New York Las Vegas – my review

New York New York

3790 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas
NV 89109
Tel +1 (702) 740 6969
New York New York Las Vegas

Location Right on the money, sitting on the corner of the Strip with Tropicana Avenue, the busiest road intersection in the USA. There are foot bridges connecting New York New York with the MGM Grand and Excalibur.

Theme Well what can I say; it’s the Big Apple. All of the buildings outside are 1/3 scale copies of those in Manhattan including the Empire State, Chrysler and CBS buildings. There is also a Statue of liberty and a Brooklyn Bridge with a ” Coney Island” roller coaster screeching round the whole lot. The theme does not stop outside, as you enter the casino you will see manhole covers with smoke rising out of them, trees in Central Park and hotdog vendors. It is dubbed as the greatest little city in Vegas something, we think, is well earned.

Rooms NYNY used to be a cheap resort I am not sure why but now it’s generally more expensive than MGM Grand and Monte Carlo. The rooms are a little on the small side but they are nice, be warned though if you have a room facing the strip you will hear the rollercoaster. It’s quite cool that your room is in a particular New York Skyscraper like Empire State or Chrysler tower.

Attractions The Manhattan Express rollercoaster, supposedly the best in Vegas, runs round the outside of the structure speeding up to 67mph for $7 per ride. Sadly The Coney Island Emporium amusement arcade has been closed down. There are Ice shows outside, around Ellis Island, in the winter and tugboats spray water at each other in the summer.

Pool Surprisingly for a resort that has spent so much attention to detail the pool is very small and drab; this is not a place to stay if the pool is very important to you.

Shows and Entertainment Zumanity is the Cirque De Soleil offering here it’s the sensual side of Cirque, that means nudity and sexiness all held together by a drag queen compere. We loved this show it was great fun but you have to be opened minded to enjoy it and you also need to sit facing the center of the stage we were at the side and feel that we missed something for this. Coyote Ugly whilst not a show in the true sense is an interactive bar where the bar tenders dance on the bar and pour drinks directly into patrons mouths.

Dining This is the only Strip resort that has no buffet. America – 24 hour coffee shop is very good though the wait for the food can be longer than you feel it should. Il Fornai is a lovely Italian next to a stream that offers “outside” dining this is one of the best places for breakfast in Vegas. Gallaghers Steak house is pricey but very good you can see all the meat maturing in glass fridges. Nine Fine Irishman is an Irish pub offering good food and ambience. There are also several Delis and hotdog stalls as well as the village eatery. This has a variety of, eat in/take away fastish food.

Gaming 81,000 sq ft of well themed gaming fun containing nearly 2500 state of the art slot and video machines, along with about 50 tables and 7 roulette wheels. NYNY contains one of the best selections of slots on the Strip with a very large selection of my favorites; the good old low roller nickel machines. They have all the usual wheel of fortune, Adams Family, Winning Bid etc. plus Swing which we did not see elsewhere. The gaming area is a little dark and in certain parts slightly cramped but didn’t appear as noisy as some. Live acts performing at the huge bar at the front makes a nice diversion to the hundred dollars you have just lost. I don’t know if we were just lucky but we seemed to have a better hit rate on the NYNY slots than at any other Strip casino.

Drinks service Like all casinos the service you receive whilst playing on the lowly nickel machines is never as good as when you are playing on the dollar ones, but the service here, even for us low rollers, was quite good. One thing – steer clear of the coffee.

Overall We love it, it’s exciting and you leave the real world for the time that you are in there. The theme works very well, with a very good variety of slot machines and friendly staff. It is our favorite casino, although it may have helped that we hit a jackpot there.

Good points The whole theme thing as you enter from the upper level is New York; it works well and is great fun.

Bad points I don’t think that there is anything that I dislike about NYNY apart from that at busy times we had to wait for machine attendants but this could have been the same anywhere. Oh the pool is pretty poor.

Top Tip If you ride the rollercoaster and love it you can by re-ride tickets for about half price or if you really love it you can buy an unlimited daily ride pass.

March 2, 2009 Posted by | Casinos, Cirque, cirque de soleil, cocktails, entertainment, Excalibur, gaming, Holiday, Las Vegas, Luxor, news, shows, tipping, Travel, Uncategorized, Vegas, vegas pools, Vegas Strip | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment