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Vegas Uncovered a guide to the Las Vegas Strip

The Venetian, Las Vegas my Review

Venetian
3355 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas
NV 81909
(+1) 702 414 1000
www.venetian.com

Location Built in the site of the legendary Sands, a place in the sun. The Venetian was the last casino North on the centre strip but now it has Wynn and then Encore to its North. It is connected to Palazzo and there is a bridge to Wynn. The location is not bad.

Theme Obvious isn’t it ?? Venice and my have they don it well you walk over the canal and into Doge’s Palace to enter the casino with a big tower that looks like it should be in Italy on your right, as you enter there are great marble floors and a ceiling that could have been done by Michangelo. The whole place is very well done with no expense spared you walk down to Canal Shops and on to St Marks Square you will only realize that you are not in Venice by the price of the coffee. There is of course a canal with authentic gondolas and the gondoliers will serenade you, you will be pleased to know that it does not smell like Venice.

Rooms, the rooms are all suites, you need to be aware that a Suite in Vegas can be and often is a big room with a seating area in Venetian all the rooms are suites and these are big rooms with a sunken seating area. The seating area is great big corner sofas and a nice table and amore with TV in. The rooms here are lovely though maybe a little dark, the bathrooms are big and have a separate tub and shower and little room with the WC in it, two sinks and lovely bitter orange toiletries. Housekeeping was not great at the Venetian when we arrive (9pm) the room had not been made up properly and we had to get housekeeping to address this which they did quickly, on two other occasions the room was not cleaned or made up properly and we had to get housekeeping to sort this out which they did.

Attractions Well I guess I have listed the main ones above however Madame Tussuards is here it may not be as big as the one in Baker Street, but good never the less and with many castings of Vegas legends it is a must. Oh time traveler is a of simulation ride, there are better ones on the Strip at Luxor. Venetian is home to Phantom of the Opera and this is performed in a theater builtsoley for this show ! Venetian is home to the Canyon ranch Spa which is up there with the best of the Spas in Las Vegas.

Shopping Good the canal shops are well themed and generally see goods of an Italian nature and like anything in the US if its imported its expensive and this is no exception. There is also a little bit added on to buy Italian goods in an Italian location !  Fashion show Mall is also just across the road if you cant get what you want here.

Dining There is no buffet here its not that sort of joint however the selection of top draw eating establishments is immense with no fewer than 13 places to fill you tummies up. There are Mexicans, Italians, Seafood, Chinese and a Steakhouse. The only place that we can afford to eat is the Café Lux this is very posh 24hr coffee shop and like everything else here it is good but priced accordingly and still half the price of its counterpart in Italy. The food court is small but has a couple of good delis however like everything else it is not cheap.

Gaming 100,000 sq ft of upper class gaming space to be honest some of the newer and louder machines do look out of place in these surroundings, to my surprise there were a fair amount of nickel machines included in the 2,500 that go right up to $500 per pull !! There are over 50 table games reportedly with minimum limits usually around of $15. The casino is lovely and has a well heeled feel to it but it does feel slightly cold. The patrons are a mix of T-shirt tourists (like ourselves) coming to look and marvel, and the well heeled well dressed but non flash guests of the hotel. Weekend nights however there are groups of 20 something’s who think that they are rock stars rolling around drunk and acting like a-holes, this ruins the place enough to make my mind up never stay there again, security do nothing about them even when reported.

Drinks Service When we were playing on the nickel machines it was not too hot however once we moved to the quarter machines this improved good service and nice drinks,
strong G & T at 10am may not be the best start to the day but at least they were willing.

Best Thing The rooms are lovely and the Grand Lux Café has great food and great service

Worst Thing The fact that drunk 20+’s seem to rule everything at the weekends and ruin it for everyone else and the resort seems to think that this is OK. Everything is expensive this does not mean it is not good value but on our budget we can’t afford to spend too much time at the Venetian

Overall This is a classy joint filled with classy things the theme is great and well thought out it feels much more like Venice than many of the other theme casinos and their respective models, however it is not up to the same levels as Wynn, Encore or Bellagio.  If you are on the Strip you must visit Venice just make sure it is not at a weekend evening.

Best Vegas Rates here !

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April 17, 2009 Posted by | buffets, Chapter 11, entertainment, Las Vegas, shows, Travel, Uncategorized, Vegas, vegas shows, vegas spa | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Day Trip from Las Vegas to the Hoover Dam

The Hoover Dam is only 35 miles South East of Las Vegas and half a day is plenty enough time for a trip. The actual tour of the Dam unless you are a real engineering geek you may well find as boring as hell, engineering freak or not the Dam is well worth a Dam Visit 😉

We left Vegas at about 8am and drove straight out on US93 heading for the Hacienda which is the closest Casino to the Dam, we always stop here either en-route to Dam, Laughlin or on the way back from the Grand Canyon. We had the buffet breakfast its good not great but cheep and filling and then as per usual fall for the trick that the hope you fall for and stick a few dollars in the slots and some of these still use coin so it’s a real old time treat. AS we came out of the Casino we saw a sign saying Helicopter rides from $29, we thought that this would be a nice treat and seemed a good price. When we investigated of course just like everything in Vegas its not really $29 for what you want, the $29 flight only went over Lake Mead to fly over the Hoover Dam was $59 each but we could have the helicopter exclusively, we decided that this was worthwhile so after being weighed and asked if we had any weapons a car took us up a steep hill to get aboard the Helicopter. We both sat in the back and up we went, it was a very unnerving feeling and we seemed to do some “blue thunder” manoeuvres between an electricity pylon and the mountain as we swooped past the new bridge that they are building and on towards the Dam. The view was great we flew over the Dam and then after a another couple of combat loop the loop type manoeuvres we were over lake Mead and on our way back, about 6 minutes after taking off we were safely back on the ground. For me this was one of the highlights of our trip I loved it and it was worth every penny, although I was not completely happy when in the chopper it was going through my mind whether to go on it again 😉

We drove on to the Dam which was only about 15 minutes including the security check and then parked in the car park at the Visitors centre which is just the Vegas side of the Dam. It is $7 to park here and well worth it sure there are a few lay bys on the Arizona side of the Dam but it is hit and miss if you can get a place and also it can become a fair walk to the Dam and gift shop etc. The gift shop is well stocked and reasonably priced but the café I thought was quite expensive and the food not so good, we were pleased we had filled up at the Hacienda.

I think that we spent about 2 hours or so at the Dam this included walking over it and back taking a stack of photos and having a good look round the gift shop and taking a coffee. It’s a good day and the size is something that can not really be realised from photos or the television and I think that it’s worth the investment of ½ a “Vegas” day.

When we had finished at the Dam we carried on to Laughlin for the rest of the day and got back to Vegas about 10pm.

February 17, 2009 Posted by | Casinos, driving, events, grand canyon, Holiday, hoover dam, Las Vegas, national parks, news, Travel, Uncategorized, Vegas, vegas tips | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bellagio Queen of the Las Vegas Strip !!

Bellagio Las Vegas, secret rates ;)

3600 Las Vegas Boulevard South
at West Flamingo
Las Vegas
NV 89109
+1 (702) 693 7111
Bellagio Las Vegas

Location Center Strip next to Ceasers oppersite Paris could not really be any better.

Theme Well it’s amazing! Theme based on a northern Italian Village on the shores of Lake Como, did I say on the shores? Well they built the lake as well but missed out the usual beaches that you would find in Italy. The theme doesn’t stop at the village you can see across the lake; the shopping arcade has a very Italian feel to it. As does the pool that you would not be surprised to find in a very upmarket Tuscany Villa. The only thing that does not fit in with this theme is the completely over the top luxury, this is just not found in Italian Villages! I must admit though the two themes added together do work well for the well-heeled patrons of the magnificent Bellagio.

Attractions Bellagio is stacked full of attractions all slightly different from the usual ones that are aimed at getting you through the doors of a Strip casino. You will not find a rollercoaster or a fire breathing dragon here, you will however see the Bellagio gallery of fine art holding some of the world’s most expensive pictures in it including Van Gough‘s sunflowers. The biggest, most obvious and voted the best freebie on the Strip is the dancing fountains, these are brilliant. Over 1200 water cannons shooting water 240 ft in the air and “dancing” to a variety of music from Sinatra to Pavarotti. The glass mural roof above the check in desk is not to my taste, but I can see attraction, 3D flowers, which must have cost no small fortune. There is a lovely glass domed conservatory housing thousands of exotic flowers and plants. The displays in the conservatory change with the seasons and seem to get better each year well worth a visit.

Pool
Like everything else at Bellagio the pool is class, no waterslides or fake beaches here but 5 pools in classic Italian style with hand carved stone features. There are 4 whirlpool tubs and also a lap pool for those who feel the need to work off the buffet!

Shows and Entertainment Bellagio is home to Cirque De Soleil’s “O” this was the first Cirque show to come to Vegas and is preformed in water ! “Cirque du Soleil® weaves an aquatic tapestry of artistry, surrealism and theatrical romance in the timeless production, “O™.” The international cast of world-class acrobats, synchronized swimmers, divers and characters perform in, on, and above water to create a breathtaking experience in a magnificent theatre reminiscent of a European opera house.” With names such as Hermes, Rolex, Tiffany and Chanel my wife and I assume many others find the upmarket stores here great entertainment.

Dining The buffet has been crowned king of the strip but at $27.95 going up to $35.95 at weekends for dinner it crowns the pricing as well (B$14.95, L$19.95 and $28.95 for Sunday Brunch with champagne). The no children rule here is strictly enforced ensuring that little fingers are kept out of such delights as crab claws, venison and duck breast offerings. We did not find a food court as such but a very good coffee shop opposite the swimming pool. Bellagio has a host of gourmet restaurants with prices to match; many of these are situated around the lake providing the best possible view of the fountain shows. Bellagio Picasso’s Mediterranean restaurant must be mentioned as it has only original Picasso’s on its walls, they are lesser known works and not anything special but its typical of the Bellagio “money no object” policy.

Gaming It’s big but seems quieter than most other Casinos on the Strip. The tables are canopied and the limits are higher than elsewhere on the Strip with the minimum often $25. There are not as many slot machines here and the ones that there are have the volume reduced on them and the pay out trays even seem quieter. The Bellagio does not have very many nickel machines but a does have a good selection of quarter upward machines. The casino, like the shopping arcade, is over run by security guards.

Drinks service On quarter and nickel slots you are lucky to see a cocktail waitress; once you get on the tables even the $10 tables the service is very good.

Overall
For well heeled patrons who want that ultimate luxury; this is your place. Everything here is the very best that money can buy. Great theme and magical fountains a very different affair from many of her rivals. Though I some say tha Bellagio has lost its crown to Wynn !

Good points The dancing fountains, I could watch them for hours.

Bad points
The secuirity can be a bit snotty and you can feel that some of staff look down their noses at the low rollers such as myself.

Top Tip
Buy a travel mug at Palios coffee shop for $6.49 and refill it for free with coffee, tea or soda for the duration of your visit.

October 11, 2008 Posted by | bellagio, buffets, Casinos, Cirque, cirque de soleil, cocktail waitress, cocktails, entertainment, events, free drinks, Holiday, Las Vegas, Mandalay bay, MGM, Monte Carlo, Travel, Treasure Island, Uncategorized, Vegas, vegas buffets, vegas comps, vegas shows, vegas suites, vegas tips, vegas wedding | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Luxor one of the Best value budget hotels in Las Vegas

Having hotels from only a few dollars night to suites costing 10’s of thousands Las Vegas caters well for every budget. I have stayed in most of the properties on the Strip (not the $10k + suites – oh how I wish) and the cheapest does not always represent the best value, in fact some of the cheaper properties are just plain nasty or/and in poor locations. Many people say “oh I am only sleeping in my room” this maybe the case I still want to go back to a place that is clean and wake up feeling that I want to get off of the property as quickly as I can, even if you only sleep there it’s still nice to be able to have a little play or a drink before turning in at night and getting a nice breakfast in the morning. My view is that I you are traveling to Las Vegas its going to cost you money and you are going to spend money and the cost difference between a cheap hotel and a decent hotel is often only a few dollars and this is money well spent, I mean cutting your gaming budget by $10 per day can mean you are staying somewhere nice and not spending at least that every day in cabs. I also think that staying on the Strip is a must for Vegas first timers you want to spend your time on the Strip and in the hotels and not in cabs or on shuttles.

In recent years the prices at Luxor has come down I don’t know why as they have spend millions improving the resort putting in new clubs, LAX and Cathouse and several new cool bars. I always used to spend at least my first night in Vegas at Luxor as it was close to the airport and it has a real “I’m here in Vegas” feel.

The pyramid rooms are slightly cheaper than tower rooms and I prefer them, they are large clean and you open the door directly on to a walkway in the Atrium and can hear all the clinking of machines and look down directly on to the mezzanine as soon as you walk out of your room, this for me is priceless. The spa suites are awesome and much cheaper than most other suites in town of a similar or even smaller size, they have a separate living room and a huge spa under the window which at night is very cool, as all spa suites are in the corners your view has two different aspects.

Luxor has great dining options both the buffet and the Pyramid coffee shop are excellent and there are several other more expensive restaurants as well as the food court with Nathan’s, McDonalds etc.

Luxor has a great Mezzanine floor this has a video arcade and an IMAX cinema, here there is also a shopping Mall that connects Luxor to Mandalay Bay, as this is a separate floor from the casino which means it’s easier for those with Children, though Luxor is not a resort that I have ever seen over run with kids.

Luxor has a huge pool which never seems to be too crowded (though it can be a little short of shade) and a very large spa and gym. The entertainment program at Luxor is also very good, Believe is a new Cirque De Soleil show staring Criss Angel, Carrot Top is one of the funniest guys in Vegas and there is a sexy topless review called Fantasy.

Luxor is connected to Mandalay Bay and Excalibur both indoor walkways and a monorail. Whilst Luxor may not be a Bellagio or a Wynn it offers the full Vegas experience for a very small cost, most of the specials have great extras thrown in and you would not get a hotel of this standard anywhere else in the world for anything close to the price that you pay at Luxor.

Staying Vegas for me is about value not about getting the very cheapest room, if I don’t like the property or don’t like the room then this to me is not value. I have probably spent more nights in Las Vegas at Luxor than any other hotel and I feel that Luxor is a good full service resort and the only budget thing about Luxor, Las Vegas is the price.

Here are the best deals available for Luxor all include many extras as shown on the link, unless stated all are fully refundable and if the rate drops after you have booked then you can call the hotel and they will adjust your rate.

MVP, Non refundable from $55 – Valid for stays Now to June 2009 Book by June 2009

Best Vegas Deals click here

October 5, 2008 Posted by | buffets, Casinos, circus circus, Cirque, cirque de soleil, Criss Angel, Dumb, entertainment, Excalibur, free drinks, Free Upgrade, Holiday, hotel upgrades, Las Vegas, Luxor, Mandalay bay, MGM, Mirage, Monte Carlo, news, resturaunts, shows, Spa, tipping, Travel, Uncategorized, Vegas, vegas buffets, vegas comps, vegas events, vegas pools, vegas shows, vegas spa, Vegas Strip | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Getting Married in Vegas – Las Vegas Photographers

Las Vegas Wedding Photographers

TI WeddingsMost of the packages in both the Las Vegas Wedding Chapels and the Las Vegas Resort Chapels will include a photographer and some prints, some will give you a CD of digital photographs and others the film. If you wish to have additional professional photographs taken you can either arrange this with the Chapel or you can hire a photographer. The prices vary greatly but the least that you should expect to pay is around $1000. Here is a list of photographers in the Las Vegas area, most if not all offer a wedding service. Please be aware that unless otherwise stated we have no experience of these photographers nor of the quality or professionalism of either them or of their services. If you want your friends and family to take the photographs then this book will teach you “how to photograph a wedding”. It is intended to be bought by people setting up as professional wedding photographers and will show you all the tricks to take great wedding photos, it even comes with a 100% money back guarantee if you are not totally satisfied.

Jerry Swanson
368 Via Sonador
HENDERSON , NV 89012
Phone: (702) 564-5844
www.swansonphotographs.comom/
Britt Pierson Photography
2620 S Maryland Pkwy, #212 ,
Las Vegas , NV 89109
Phone: 702-731-0069
www.brittpierson.com
BLR Photography
Phone: (702) 325-3686
www.blrphoto.com
Picture Me In Vegas
Specialty Las Vegas Weddings
Phone: (702) 438 – 9400
Fax: (702) 437-1761
www.picturemeinvegas.com
A Picture Perfect Photography
2380 E. Patrick Lane
Las Vegas, NV 89119
Telephone: (702) 436-5710
Allen Photographers, Inc.
3223 Industrial Rd.
Las Vegas , NV 89109
Telephone: (702) 735-2222
Altenburg Studio
3017 South Decatur Blvd.
Las Vegas , NV 89102
Telephone: (702) 252-7557
Loving Impressions Photography
Las Vegas , Nevada
Phone: 702-251-4800
Glen Douglas Photographer
1717 S Decatur Blvd
Las Vegas , Nevada
Phone: 702-878-3919
Bill Miller Photography
5425 S Eastern Ave
Las Vegas , Nevada
Phone: 702-798-5785
Jani Mae Photographers
1800 S Eastern Ave
Las Vegas , Nevada
Phone: 702-641-1800
A Advanced Photo & Video
3355 Spring Mountain Rd., #66
Las Vegas, NV 89102
Telephone: (702)220-8002
Taylormade Productions
Live-event Videography
Phone: 702-860-6203
Advanced Photographics
1692 Golden Horizon Dr.
Las Vegas , NV 89123
Telephone: (702) 431-9206 or 800-950-9206
Andrew Cattoir Photographs
1649 Nevada Highway
Boulder City , NV 89005
Telephone: (702) 293-6040
Jodi Lynn Studios, Inc.
101 S. Rainbow Blvd.
Las Vegas , NV 89128
Telephone:(702) 259-8000
Kilby’s Video Productions
4699 Industrial Rd.
Las Vegas , NV 89103
Telephone:(702) 253-1699
Life Touch National
5900 Smoke Ranch Rd.
Las Vegas , NV 89108
Telephone:(702) 646-8750
Memories Photography
953 E. Sahara Ave.
Las Vegas , NV 89104
Telephone:(702) 737-7060
Marc Anthony Productions
886 E. Sahara Ave.
Las Vegas , NV 89104
Telephone:(702) 866-0798
Morgan’s Photography
727 S. 9th St.
Las Vegas , NV 89101
Telephone:(702) 598-3636
New Image Photography
946 E. Sahara Ave.
Las Vegas , NV89104
Telephone:(702) 894-9881
Andrea Waller Photographs
600 Bianca Bay St.
Las Vegas , NV 89144
Telephone: (702) 387-1990
American Theme Weddings
390 W. Sahara Ave.
Las Vegas , NV 89102
Telephone: (702) 671-0116

September 24, 2008 Posted by | bellagio, buffets, Casinos, entertainment, events, Excalibur, flamingo, free drinks, gaming, grand canyon, Holiday, hotel upgrades, Las Vegas, Luxor, Mandalay bay, MGM, MGM Grand, MGM GRand Arena, MGM Grand Garden Arena, Mirage, news, resturaunts, Riviera, Travel, Treasure Island, Uncategorized, Vegas, vegas comps, vegas events, vegas shows, vegas tips, vegas wedding, wedding | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Paris, Las Vegas – My Review

Paris Las Vegas

Paris-Las Vegas
3645 Las Vegas blvdS
Las Vegas
NV 81909
(+1) 702 739 4111
www.paris-lv.com

Location Centre Strip; attached to Ballys, next door to Planet Hollywood and dead opposite the Bellagio. Should this not be enough for you there is a monorail to the MGM Grand. Location! Location! Location! You had better believe it – this is A1.

Theme Well its Paris and it is probably the best themed resort on the Strip, with a 1/3 scale Eiffel tower and Arc de Triomphe, the Opera House, Parc Monceau and the Rue de la Paix they have done marvels. The themeing does not end at the door, all of the security staff dress as gendarmes and staff will use a couple of French words every now and again. The floors are cobbled and French styled street lamps are present, there are posters that appear not to have been taken down properly, just left on pillars like in France. The only way in which you know that you are not in France is the cleanliness of the place and the friendliness of the staff. The one exception being the Spa where the staff are rude and disorganized.

Attractions Well I guess I have listed most of them above. Just walking through this delightful complex is an attraction on its own, you can go up the Eiffel tower for about $6 but we didn’t want to leave the casino floor.

Pool The pool here gets some bad reviews and I think that this is unfair; it’s a standard type of pool, quite big in the shadow of the Eiffel tower with nice plants. Sure there is no lagoon and no waterslides but I think it’s classy and nice and usually kid free.

Shows and Entertainment The rather unoriginally named “Ooh La La” is a sexy (topless) French style review this is the main show at Paris Las Vegas but its not as good as Crazy Horse Paris . Anthony Cools has a show he is an adult rated Hypnotist this show is quite new and the theater only holds 220 people so you will be close but I don’t know how good it is.

Dining As you would expect the grub here is top notch. There is a brilliant take away coffee shop which we had to queue up for ages but well worth it for fresh pastries and coffee only beaten by the Luxor. There is a first class buffet (B: $13.99 L: $17.99 D: $24.99 Sunday Champagne Brunch $24.99) we looked and drooled but did not eat due to the long queue and my lack of patience. The Eiffel Tower restaurant is one of the most expensive in town, the food is great and the view is amazing, the staff are wonderful and the ambience perfect, this is our favorite Vegas fine dining establishment. There is a very good 24hr café though quite expensive and a further selection of top quality but expensive restaurants. Everything culinary here has good reviews and prices to match.

Gaming With 85,000sq ft of casino space it doesn’t seem as big as many other, smaller casinos; it is easy to navigate partially due to you being able to see one of the legs of the Eiffel Tower wherever you are. All of the tables have wrought iron look canopies and the whole feel around the tables is nice. There are 2,500 slots of all denominations and over a hundred tables with minimums at $5 and plenty of them. There is a very large selection of nickel machines, which surprised me, but they do feel a bit squeezed in and as a result it does get a little cramped when the casino is busy. It is cool being able to play on a slot or at a table and see the legs of the Eiffel tower coming through the roof.

Drinks service Stunning, we got some of the best drinks service here, quick and strong, and they kept flowing and flowing. Helping us to prove what we had secretly always known; gambling and large amounts of alcohol are a great mix.

Overall A well themed luxury casino with a great range of games, good staff and great food. The atmosphere is easy and relaxed; we love it.

Good points The theme, you can get all of the benefits of going to France by coming here and not having to suffer the bits I don’t like.

Bad points The Staff in the spa were terrible and the machines in the nickel section can feel a cramped and everything seemed very expensive.

Top Tip Book if you want to eat at Eiffel its expensive but worth it, you can cut through Ballys to get to the Monorail station.

September 7, 2008 Posted by | bellagio, buffets, Casinos, entertainment, events, Holiday, hotel upgrades, Las Vegas, Mandalay bay, MGM, MGM Grand, Mirage, news, Paris Las Vegas, shows, Travel, Uncategorized, Vegas, vegas buffets, vegas comps, vegas events, vegas pools, vegas shopping, vegas shows, vegas spa, Vegas Strip, vegas suites, vegas tips, vegas wedding | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Self drive day trip from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon

We had many friends out in Vegas for our wedding in September 2007 a few of us decided that we wanted to go to the Grand Canyon and as money was short the best way to do this was by car. I hired a 7 seater people carrier from Dollar which cost me £36 on a pre book including a tank of fuel a sat nav, all taxes and insurances for both myself and my Dad.

We picked the car up at 7.30am from MGM Grand and loaded everyone in it, myself, my bride to be, my brother in law, my mate and my elderly parents by time we got going it was about 0830. We headed out on the 95 and soon to the 93 we got to the Hoover Dam we stopped very briefly for photos and then headed on. We stopped for a healthy brunch of burger and chips somewhere on the Historic Route 66 in a sort of hardware come general store come cafe the food was good but the toilets were a little scary in a sort of deliverance way but not unclean, it may have been called the Roadkill Cafe. Slowly we boarded our trusty steed and carried on to the canyon.

We arrived at the gate and parted with our $25 that allowed unlimited entry for the next 7 days (useful NOT) and drove to Mather Point for our first view of the amazing natural wonder. We got back to the car as it started to rain and then the clouds opened we had thunder lighting and rain drops the size of golf balls we drove round to Yavapai Point I was the only one stupid enough to get out of the car I go drenched but managed to see the lightning coming down on the canyon this must for most people be a once in a life time experience. The rain stopped as abruptly as it started and the others came out to join me and had the joy to witness a most amazing rainbow stretched over the canyon. We got back to the car and drove to the Grand Canyon Village we parked up and sadly could not get a disabled parking space so had to park some way back but had another great view over the canyon, whilst we were viewing the canyon some kind souls in our group went into the bar at Bright Angel lodge and commandeered some tables. We had a few drinks and relaxed before heading back to Vegas.

We stopped to get some fuel and some candy bars and then headed back down the 93 night came upon us long before we were stopped at the Hoover Dam security and by this point the whole party was getting very hungry. We stopped at the Hacienda Casino just over the Dam on the Vegas side and saw the buffet was $7.49 when we went to pay it was half price $3.75 including soft drinks! What a bargain this was, there was a carvery section, pasta, Mexican, chicken, salads, and huge array of deserts, don’t get me wrong its not Bellagio but it was clean, fresh and tasty and I would most certainly head there again if in that part of the World. After eating we had a quick burn on the tables and slots and then headed back to Vegas we arrived back at about 11pm and after seeing my parents safely to their room us young uns hit the casinos.

It was a long day but a very good one on top of the car hire the divided costs for fuel and park entry were about $12 each the only thing I would say is that next time whatever car we took we would allow an extra space as it was a little cramped.

August 14, 2008 Posted by | Casinos, driving, events, grand canyon, Holiday, Las Vegas, MGM, MGM Grand, national parks, news, sport, Travel, Uncategorized, Vegas, vegas buffets | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tipping in Las Vegas – how, who and how much to tip in Las Vegas

Las VEgas Strip

Las vegas StripBelow is what I tip, I am not saying that this is generous (I am mean) but its what I generally tip and only once has anyone acted in a way where they thought that I had not tipped enough. My tips are based on a mid range casino like MGM, Luxor or Monte Carlo if you are at a top hotel like Wynn, Mirage or Bellagio adjust up slightly and a cheaper property like Excalibur or Circus Circus slightly less.

Bell Boy – I generally tip $2 per bag when it arrives in the room I don’t generally tip the person who gets my stuff out of the trunk as the tips are pooled so they should be covered. I would do the same for the Bell boy who delivers my bags back to my car or taxi when I leave. Sometimes you can wait ages for your bags or for a Bell boy to come to your room I still tip as the Bell Boy is generally doing his best but in busy times there are just not enough of them employed by the hotel.

Check in clerk – I always tip the check in clerk before my room is assigned, if I want an upgrade using the $20 trick, even if its just for a view of the Vegas Strip then I tip at least $20 (see here). If I just want to make sure I don’t have the room by the kitchen extractor fan or with a stunning view of the third level of the parking lot maybe $10.

The Maid – the poor maid often gets forgotten about because you don’t see her, I always leave at least $3 per day for the maid, usually on the pillow or under a spent bottle of toiletries.

Dealers – I am slightly funny about this I rarely tip a dealer directly but if I am doing well I put small side bets for the dealer every now and again, when I leave the table if I am up I will usually tip the dealer about 5% up to about $50. I have had many dealers in Las Vegas who I have found either moody or boring in this case regardless of what I win I will not tip.

Cocktail Waitresses –In Las Vegas all drinks are free whilst you are playing if they are served to you by a cocktail waitress but you need to tip.If I am just passing and don’t expect to stay I tip $1 – $2 per drink if I am going to be there for a while I tip $5 per drink for the first one then usually $1 per drink after that. See here for more detail.

Barman – I tip $2 – $5 per round up to 5 drinks I think that this is probably on the stingy side but that is what I tip. In London you dont usually tip a barman but this is expected in Las Vegas.

Bellagio Las Vegas, secret rates ;)

Valet Parking – There is no charge for valet parking in Las Vegas (except at the Four Seasons) so tip the guy, but only when you collect your car usually tip $2 if I want it quickly and ask and I get it quickly thi.s can become $5 – $10

Guy that calls the cab, outside most hotels there is a guy who calls the cab and opens the door for you, most people tip him $1 I don’t I am happy an capable of calling a cab myself just not allowed to.

Cab Driver – This depends if it’s a very short trip under say $6 I give the change to $10, this is to compensate the cabbie for the time he has spent waiting and the fact he could have got a better fare. $6-$10 generally the change and a couple of dollars $10 upwards the change + 20%. If the cab driver is moody or if he takes me what I think is a long route he won’t get tipped he wont like it but he wont get tipped. I am on vacation I am paying for a service and part of that service is his attitude.

For the best Las Vegas hotel rates click here

New Excalibur 3 for 2 deal a real good one

July 12, 2008 Posted by | 20 dollar trick, bellagio, Casinos, circus circus, cocktail waitress, cocktails, entertainment, Excalibur, free drinks, Holiday, hotel upgrades, Las Vegas, Luxor, Mandalay bay, MGM, MGM Grand, Mirage, Monte Carlo, news, tipping, Travel, Treasure Island, Uncategorized, Vegas, Vegas Strip, vegas tips, Wynn | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top 10 useless but interesting facts on Las Vegas

Las Vegas

Las Vegas

Contrary to popular belief the Flamingo was not the first resort built on the Strip it was actually the third opening in 1946. The first hotel/casino was El Rancho which opened in 1941.

Las Vegas is home to all ten of the largest hotels in the United States. The MGM Grand is largest with over 5000 rooms! There are more rooms in MGM Grand than in the whole of Sarasota, Fl.

In 1869 Nevada was the first State to outlaw gambling, it was reinstated in 1931 and was the only State with legalised gambling until 1976 when New jersey legalised gambling in Atlantic City.

With NYNY, Excalibur, Tropicana and MGM Grand on its corners, the intersection at Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Blvd (The Strip) is the busiest in the whole of the United States.

The Strip (Las Vegas Blvd South) is not actually in Las Vegas its in Clarke County, it was originally build this side of the county line as taxes were lower.

More than 100,000 couples tie the knot in Las Vegas every year and until 2008 if you wished to get married in Las Vegas you only had to provide proof of age, you did not have to prove who you were !!

Between November and March Las Vegas gets cold really cold as low as 1F or 34F it has even been known to snow on the Strip !

The beam at the top of the Luxor is so bright you could use it to read a newspaper 7 miles into space!

Mandalay Bay hosts Shark Reef the largest predator only aquarium in the World, if the water was all taken out and put in 2 gallon buckets and placed side by side, the buckets would stretch from Las Vegas to Los Angeles.

July 9, 2008 Posted by | bellagio, Casinos, Excalibur, flamingo, Holiday, Las Vegas, Luxor, Mandalay bay, MGM, MGM Grand, Mirage, Travel, Uncategorized, Vegas, Vegas Strip | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

4th of July Vegas hot deals be quick for the best rates for this holiday weekend

Below are the best 4th July holiday rates for the resort on the Las Vegas Strip these offer huge Savings, you need to take the code in bold and put it in the box where it says Have you received an Offer Code?
Enter your Offer Code”
get saving now and have the best holiday weekend ever !! If the hotel you want is not listed here or you are looking for dates further in the future click here

Mandalay Bay “JULY 4TH WEEKEND” Rates from $99.99/nt. *Plus, enjoy $10 off discount for each event when you stay with us: July 4th – Vertical Horizon on the Beach and a 20 minute Fireworks Extravangaza! July 5th – Closed Circuit – UFC 86: Jackson vs Griffin! (*See site for additional detail and restrictions) Jul 3 – Jul 6, 2008. Promo Code: PJULY4 (Exp 7/6/08)

Luxor “RED, WHITE & BEAM” Rates from $65/nt *Amenities are one time use only based on double occupancy with a minimum two night stay. *On select calendar dates treat yourself to: One Romance Kit and one bottle of Korbel Champagne,One $10.00 Beverage Credit for Oasis Pool Bar, Complimentary Upgrade to a Tower, Deluxe Room, One $50.00 Gasoline or Airline Flight Certificate Towards Your Stay, & $10.00 in Free Casino Play for New Player Club Members (*See site for additional details and restrictions). July 2 – 7, 2008. Promo Code: PJULY4 (Exp 7/4/08)

TI “Red, White, Blue & Green” Rates fr $76/nt.*Plus, $20 per night upgrade to a Petite Suite based on midweek availability (Sunday – Thursday), and/or an additional $50 per night on weekends (Friday & Saturday) and other dates, $15 Midday Food and Beverage Credit, $35 Pool Cabana Discount based on availability Monday – Thursday, 35% off tickets to Mystère™ and Cirque du Soleil®, BONUS – $25 Casino FREE PLAY® (*See site for additional details and restrictions). Jun 30 – Sep 4, 2008. Promo Code: TIRWBG (Exp 9/4/08)

New York New York “Online Affiliate Offer” Rates from $64/nt. Book NOW and receive 20% off each night you stay in any of our gorgeous rooms or suites. *Also included: $10 Starbucks Credit, $10 FREE PLAY (*See site for details). March 19 – July 24, 2008. Promo Code: 20DS1010A (Expires 7/31/08)

rates you will not believe

June 30, 2008 Posted by | bellagio, Casinos, entertainment, events, Holiday, Las Vegas, Luxor, Mandalay bay, MGM, Mirage, Monte Carlo, Travel, Treasure Island, Uncategorized, Vegas, vegas comps, vegas events, vegas pools, vegas shows, vegas spa, Vegas Strip, vegas tips | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment