Vegasuncovered’s Weblog

Vegas Uncovered a guide to the Las Vegas Strip

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,



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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

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas – My Review

3570 Las Vegas Boulevard South

Las Vegas

NV 89109

+1 (702) 731 7110

www.caesars.com

Location Between Bellagio and Mirage Dead centre Strip; this is the marker for other casino’s location. The only problem is that when Caesars was built no one walked on the Strip; all travel was done by car. As a result the casino entrance is about 500 yards back from the Strip. Don’t worry though the good folks at Caesars have put in a series of moving walkways to get you to their machines quicker.

Theme It’s Rome, ancient Rome from the spectacular fountains, delightful statues and cypress trees that you pass on your way to the casino to the toga costumes the staff wear. This certainly is ancient Rome with electricity and air conditioning. It is a very Grand Rome with loads of marble and gold, everything that can be gold and glittery is gold and glittery. The theme like most of Vegas is completely over the top; but in the best possible way. If there was a casino themed on Las Vegas, Caesars would be it. Las Vegas at its best.

Attractions Well there are the wonderful, if slightly dated magical statues in the Forum shops these are robotic statues that come alive with the aid of smoke and lights and act out Roman and mystical type tales; free and great for the kids. The race for Atlantis IMAX 3d simulation ride, the Omnimax movie theatre where the film actually seems to surround you and several amusements arcades. To be fair the whole of the forum shops could be counted as an attraction with plenty to see

Shopping The Forum shops at Caesars is the best casino shopping mall on the Strip. Re-creations of Michelangelo’s David and a copy of the Tivoli fountain compliment the great range of shops; the whole shopping experience here is great. Shops include many usual US high street stores such as Nike Town, Macys, and FA Schwarz but also designer labels such as DKNY, Hugo Boss and Vasari. It must be good, as the average retail turnover per square foot in the US is $300 per annum whereas the Forum shops take $1200.

Dining La Piazza Food Court is my favourite on the Strip; you enter together, you chose your different food (Pizza, Salads, Hot Dogs, Chinese etc) get your drinks together and pay together. No queuing up separately just because one of you wants Pasta and the other Chinese. The seating area is lovely, on the edge of the casino allowing you to see the action, sort of inside the branches of a big tree. There is a very small buffet with very long queues and quite high prices (B$15.50 L$17.50 D$23.50, Sunday Brunch $23.50 or $33.50 with champagne) which I have not tried. There are several other high quality restaurants including Hyakumi – Japanese, Bacchanal – a six course Roman feast and Café Roma the 24hr coffee shop. General reports of food at these restaurants are good .

Gaming Caesars has 118,000 sq ft of gaming space containing over 2000 slot and video machines, over 70 tables and 13 roulette wheels. Surprisingly there is a very good range of nickel machines here, table limits can be a low $5 minimum but this is only ever one or two tables and only when trade is slow. The layout of the casino is very odd; it seems bitty; like some bits were added on rather as a second thought. Parts of the casino are very dark and others very light. The way in which the floors are arranged makes you very disorientated. I am not sure if this is deliberate or not, but this, along with the expedition back to the Strip does seem to make you stay longer than planned.

Drinks Service I found the drink service to be quite good, although I think that depends on where you sit as there are many nooks and crannies which probably do not receive such good service. I always make sure that any cocktail waitress who passes within 20 foot of me knows I want a drink and this obviously helps a great deal.

Best Thing Just the whole over the top “we have got it and boy are we going to flaunt it” atmosphere.

Worst Thing The distance to the entrance from the Strip and the that Ceasres is confusing easy to get lost and has human traffic jams.

Overall If you ask anyone to name a casino (with possibly the exception of Bob Stupak and Steve Wynn) they will say Caesars Palace. Caesars is Vegas and Vegas is Caesars. You get a chance to see “whales” (high rollers) at play and yet still feel like you are a million dollars putting your nickels into the slots. If you are in Vegas and you can only go to one casino, this has to be it. You will not be disappointed. However be aware there is a large expansion program on at Caesars at the time of writing.

February 6, 2010 Posted by | ARIA, bellagio, buffets, Casinos, city centre, Holiday, Las Vegas, Luxor, Mandalay bay, Uncategorized, Vegas, vegas buffets, vegas pools, vegas shows, vegas spa, Vegas Strip | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

ARIA first City Center resort to open December 2009, Las Vegas

MGM Mirage have announced the opening of their latest super resort ARIA on December 16th 2009, this will be the first property to open on the amazing City Center development. City Center is the huge area between Monte Carlo and Bellagio and will feature a combination or Hotels, Casinos, Condos, retail, conferencing  and even two monorail stations nothing has ever been seen like this in Las Vegas or otherwise. ARIA will bring a new level of luxury to Las Vegas and this will be the resort that others are measure by, its been a long time in coming but then MGM Mirage are never ones to rush anything . If you want to be some of the first people to stay at ARIA you can book now or visit the ARIA homepage to find out more.

Deluxe Rooms and Deluxe city View Rooms average at 520 sq feet and come with all the latest electronic amenities including a 42” HD TV and 7” touch screen remote controls controlling everything in the room and allowing you to personalise to the room so it suits your taste.

There are 4 levels of standards suites, Corner Suite, Crystals Suite, Cirrus Suite and Hospitality Suite, all offering the ultimate suite luxury experience along with the very best in modern conveniences and every feature you could want or even imagine.

Above the level of suites are the ARIA Skylofts these are similar to the MGM Skylofts and if stars of rock and film come to stay in Vegas this will most likely be the accommodation of their choice and way out of the pockets of us.

Probably most exciting for me will be the new Cirque du Soeil,  Elvis inspired show that’s home will be in the new 1800 seater theatre at ARIA. “The king of rock ‘n’ roll will soon be back in the building in Las Vegas when ARIA presents a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The creative geniuses at Cirque du Soleil® have created a new show exclusively for ARIA. The production pays tribute to Elvis‘ music and life, fusing dance and acrobatics, live music and iconic tracks, nostalgia and modernity, high technology and raw emotion. In short, the show will be in Elvis’ image: powerful, sexy, whimsical and truly unique.”

If you want to be some of the first people to stay here ARIA is taking bookings from December 17th 2009 here

ARIA quick facts

•    Grand opening: December 16, 2009
•    Designed by the world-renowned firm Pelli Clarke Pelli
•    4,004 guest rooms, including 568 suites
•    150,000 square feet of gaming
•    300,000 square feet of meeting and pre-function space
•    Three primary pools with 50 cabanas, one European-style pool
•    16 restaurants and 10 bars and lounges, including a nightclub
•    80,000-square-foot, two-level spa and salon with 62 individual spa treatment rooms; 55 salon stations
•    Full-service salon, barbershop, deluxe fitness room, group exercise studio, meditation and relaxation rooms, separate     men’s and women’s spa with eucalyptus steam rooms and red wood saunas
•    1,800-seat theater that includes the celebration of the timeless musical legacy of Elvis Presley from Cirque du     Soleil
•    ARIA is pursuing LEED® certification from the U.S. Green Building Council

For best rates in other hotels look here

March 12, 2009 Posted by | ARIA, bellagio, Casinos, Cirque, cirque de soleil, city centre, entertainment, events, gaming, Holiday, hotel upgrades, Las Vegas, MGM, Monorail, news, resturaunts, shows, tipping, Travel, Uncategorized, Vegas, vegas events, Vegas Strip, vegas suites | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Excalibur, Las Vegas 24 hour bargain buffet pass $25

As well as offering some of the best value rooms in Las Vegas form as low as $24 per night, Excalibur have a new for a mere $25 only $7 more than a standard dinner buffet at Excalibur and less than the cost of a dinner buffet at say Mandalay Bay or Bellagio. This deal is open tyo everyone you do not have to be a guest at the Excalibur. If you play it cleverly you can get 4 meals out of your pass, if you have a late Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner when you purchase the pass and then have the same meal but at an earlier time the next day, for example on day one have breakfast at 10am, then lunch at say 3pm and dinner at 8pm and then breakfast the following day at 9am this will work out at $6.25 per meal on top of this you can of course pop in when you feel like it for a snack of soda !!!

Not only do you get up to 4 meals for $25 you also get a VIP line pass meaning that you will not be standing in line but eating. The all you can eat buffet pass can be purchased from the roundtable cashier.

The Excalibur Buffet does have a slightly bad press but in my experience this is unfair I have eaten there several times and whilst you are not getting the same level of food or service as you do at say Mandalay Bay or Mirage but the food is edible, there is a good choice and it’s always hot. Some people complain that you have to get your own drinks but this for me is actually better as you don’t have to wait for refills, the choice of drinks is very good and by serving myself I can make some interesting combinations. The buffet sometimes includes Tom Turkey and Prime Rib, the breakfast buffet at the roundtable is my favourite sitting as well as the normal American favourites it includes a good choice of Mexican breakfasts and has my wife’s all time favourite eggs Benedict.

All in all this is a very good deal and is the first step in being able to compile an accurate rate of costs before you go to Las Vegas well done Excalibur let us wait and see who follows. This is a true Las Vegas bargain and will I am sure in time be up there with the legendary Ellis Island Steak Special.

Excalibur Review

Excalibur rooms from $24 !!

Very Special Vegas offers

February 15, 2009 Posted by | all day buffet pass, bellagio, buffets, Casinos, circus circus, entertainment, Excalibur, Free Upgrade, Holiday, Las Vegas, Luxor, Mandalay bay, news, resturaunts, Travel, Uncategorized, Vegas, vegas buffets, vegas discounts, vegas events | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MGM Grand Las Vegas – My review


MGM Grand
3799 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas
NV 89109
+1 702 891 1111
MGM Grand Las Vegas

LocationYou have already hit the jackpot with this great location, sitting on the corner of the Strip with Tropicana Ave the busiest road intersection in the USA. There are foot bridges connecting the MGM with the Tropicana, New York New York and Excalibur. There is also a Las Vegas monorail station connecting MGM with the rest of the East side of the strip, this will be extended to the airport but that is a few years away.

Theme
Supposedly Hollywood glamour, other than the big lion at the entrance there is nothing that noticeably sets it aside from any other casino. The first time I went to Vegas they had an Emerald city/yellow brick road theme as you entered with the characters from the movie (minus Toto who had been stolen).With thunder and lightning and all, this was pretty cool but that has gone and been replaced with a smarter more serious image.

Rooms
MGM has two basic classes of rooms Grand Tower and West Wing, Grand tower can come with one or two beds and have loads of space, they have nice bathrooms and toiletries and all have a sofa and desk these are some of the largest standard rooms in Las Vegas, the West wing rooms are contempory and modern but smaller and darker and the bathroom is sort of integrated into the room, you have only a shower not a bather  and you can only get these with one bed. MGM has a number of suite options but there are only really three that I can afford, Bungalow, Celebrity Spa and Hollywood,. A bungalow suite is a big room with a large seating area, a Celebrity Spa Suite is a Bungalow suite with a large bathroom with a spa in it and a Hollywood Suite a two rooms suite with a large bathroom. All of these are nice suites and contrary to belief most are available on most floors so you are no more likely to get a good view because you are in a suite than a room, also be aware that your room will not be assigned until check in so you may not get the suite that you have booked.

Attractions
MGM used to have the best theme park on the Strip but sadly this has been removed and replaced with high roller accommodation. The loss of the theme park aside MGM still boasts some great attractions; the lion’s habitat where you can see lions and cubs paraded in a glass „habitat” and a state of the art amusement arcade which has all the latest video offerings as well as some stunning virtual reality games. MGM has screening rooms for upcoming TV shows you get free tickets and you watch shows yet to be aired and give you opinion this happens every day and is totally free of charge. I  think it also fair to include the rainforest cafe as an attraction as it is so much more than just somwhere to eat.

Pool
The MGM Grand pool complex  is fantastic, you guess that when as you enter you are offered a Map! There are 5 pools, various spa baths and an amazing Lazy River MGM opens at least one pool every day of the year.

Shows and Entertainment There are currently two shows at The MGM Cirque de Soleil’s KA and Crazy Horse Paris (over 18 only). The Hollywood theatre is used to host headliners it was Tom Jones on our last visit David Copperfield is there as I type. The MGM Grand Garden Arena is one of the biggest venues in Vegas and is used for concerts and boxing.   MGM has a good selection of good bars added to Studio 54 nightclub and the Tabu ultra lounge if you wanted to you need not go anywhere else for your entertainment. MGM is also home to MGM GRand Arena this is one of the premier venues in Las Vegas it plays host to the biggest boxing events in the US such as Ricky Hatton, De La Hoya and Mayweather and holds concerts such as Maddonna, Billy Joel and Britney. MGM I feel also has the best selection of non Ultra lounges and the best bars on the Strip its great for relaxing drinks in a non club enviroment.

Dining
MGM  is great for dining , the Grand Buffet (B$13.99, $15.49 D$25.99 and Champagne Brunch $20.48 or $18.99 without the champagne) this is a good buffet its not a contender for the best buffet crown but its good and good value, be warned that the queues can be long and the “champagne” on the brunch is not that hot but for $2.50 unlimited who can complain ! There is a good food court for quick eating including, Nathan’s Hotdogs, a pizza place  and Haagen Daz’s. The 24hr coffee shop is big and can take a while for food to be served and sometimes is not as hot as it should be. The rainforest café is a good bet for younger diners with animated robot animals and thunder storms. MGM has 8 offerings in the fine dining class Nob Hill, Pearl, Joel Robuchan, L’Atelier, Craftsteak, Fiamma, Sea Blue and Fiamma. There are 4 casual restaurants the very good Wolfgand Puck café, The grand Wok, Emeril’s and The Grand Wok. The MGM also has the obligatory 24 hour Starbucks.

Gaming
171,500 sq ft WOW its big its very big contains nearly 4000 slot machines over 100 tables and 17 roulette wheels table minimums start at the usual Strip rate of $10 but these can be few and far between in busy periods. Some of this gaming space has been give to a Sports book and poker room. There are several huge sections of penny and nickel machines but they tend to be away from the main sections of the casino and you feel like you are hidden from main view. The most annoying thing about this casino floor is that it is so big you get lost you must at all times follow the signs hanging form the roof and even then its still easy to get lost and disorientated. The size of the casino does work in its favour as well though even in busy times if you wander around for long enough you can usually find a quieter area.

Drinks service As a nickel player I would say that the drink service sucks. They just don’t want to give you anything, when I moved on to quarter machines it was better but only marginally. I think that this is in part to do with the size of the casino because even once you have managed to place your order you can wait another 30 minutes for the drink to arrive. This is not the place to come to if you want to get loaded, Note this seemed to have improved last visit.

Overall
A huge lively resort with everything under one roof, nice big rooms in a great location and great rates can be found when they run offers.

Good points
The location is great, the pool is great the dining options probably the best on the Strip. Unlike many other resorts they seem to have got the timing right for the check in you don’t seem to have to wait too long and the beds are the most comftable in Las Vegas if not the world.

Bad points
It gets crowded really crowded even walking through the Casino at peak times is a mission. Like every other resort they assign rooms at check in, this can mean that you do not get what you think that you have booked, your suite, bed or smoking option may not be available and you may be assigned something else.

Top Tip Check in at the airport whilst waiting for your luggage this saves time when you get to the resort. Do not take up on the offer of an “upgrade” to a West Wing room they are smaller and miles away from anywhere stick with the Grand Tower.

February 8, 2009 Posted by | bellagio, boxing, buffets, Casinos, Cirque, cirque de soleil, de la hoya, entertainment, events, Excalibur, free drinks, Free Upgrade, Hatton, Holiday, Las Vegas, Luxor, Mayweather, MGM, MGM codes, MGM Grand, MGM GRand Arena, MGM Grand Garden Arena, shows, slots, Travel, Uncategorized, Vegas, vegas discounts, vegas events, vegas pools, Vegas Strip | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mirage, Las Vegas Volcano to open 8th December 2009 great deals

Mirage is my favorite hotel on the Las Vegas Strip we had part fo our wedding reception there and have a booking for this Christmas, the Volcano my joint favorite free show, it has been closed now for sometime and has been rebuilt to make it even better, the Volcano will re open on December 8th 2009 and the good folks at Mirage have put together some special deals to coincide with this and I have listed them below.

Mirage was the first Casino that Steve Wynn built and to be honest without this wonderful property it is unlikely that the Las Vegas that we all know and love would be here as it is today. When Mirage was built Vegas was in decline Atlantic City was the place to gamble and had taken most of the East Coast trade, President Regan had passed the Indian act and Indian Casinos were about to spring up all over the country, everyone was thinking that Vegas would melt away. Steve had a hard job raising the funds to build this massive total luxury no expense spared resort but he managed mainly on junk bonds. Mirage still stands today as one of the premier properties on the Strip and is one of the few where it still feels like Vegas and not Disneyland, all of the rooms have been refurbished in 2008 and with the offers below this possibly makes it the best value resort on the Las Vegas Strip, but hey don’t take my word for it see for yourself.

Mirage Volcano Offer 35% discount

Enjoy a red-hot deal when you book now at The Mirage for 2009. Brighten your nights with the new Mirage Volcano an reignite your passions at what’s now officially the hottest spot in Vegas!

Promotion Runs May 31, 2009 – September 10, 2009

Offer Expires September 10, 2009

Mirage Volcano Offer 30% Discount from $56

Enjoy a red-hot deal when you book now at The Mirage for 2009. Brighten your nights with the new Mirage Volcano an reignite your passions at what’s now officially the hottest spot in Vegas!

Promotion Runs January 1, 2009 – June 4, 2009

Offer Expires June 4, 2009

Mirage Winter Offer from $64

Give in to temptations this winter and warm up in style in our luxurious accomodations.

Promotion Runs November 23, 2008 – February 1, 2009

Offer Expires February 1, 2009

Mirage Love Offer from $72

Join us at The Mirage and enjoy 25% discount on select LOVE show dates and 20% discount on deluxe room rates.

Promotion Runs November 23, 2008 – January 31, 2009

Offer Expires January 31, 2009

Mirage Review here

Offers at other Las Vegas hotels here

November 23, 2008 Posted by | Casinos, Cirque, cirque de soleil, entertainment, events, Holiday, hotel upgrades, Las Vegas, Luxor, Mandalay bay, MGM, MGM Grand, Mirage, shows, Travel, Uncategorized, Vegas, vegas events, vegas shows, Vegas Strip, vegas tips | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

$20 Upgrade Trick an Update, Las Vegas

Since I first published the $20 ugrade trick on my website I have had a quite a few emails from both people who have thanked me saying the $20 upgrade trick this has worked and others almost blaming me because it has not and they have had to end up staying in the room that they have paid for – how terrible. More recently I have been reading on other sites and blogs people saying that the $20 upgrade trick does not really work and how it’s just a waste of time and you get the same result just for being friendly and polite. Some people have even said that it annoys the check in clerks and if you try it they put you in a basement room with no windows with the Brady bunch in the room next to you.

So I thought it time that I wrote another post on this very popular subject and make it clear what I know either through personal experience or that of friends rather than say what I think (but without trying it) which it seems many people are keen to do on chat rooms and forums. You will see below the hotels in Las Vegas where the $20 upgrade trick has worked.

I have had success at many resorts in actually getting a room above the standard to what I had paid for, even if you don’t get the upgrade by tipping the clerk will generally put in more effort to accommodate your preferences with a room on the same level, lets face it not all rooms are equal. As well as these successes I have had some failures but in each instance the clerk has handed me my tip back. I have a standard room booked for Xmas and you bet that I will be trying this then 😉 Its worth noting that staff at MGM Grand, Las Vegas and Mandalay Bay have been told that they face disciplinary action if they are found to be taking “bribes” for room upgrades this does not mean that they will not be happy to take them nor does it mean that they will not get you a nicer room on the same level that you have paid for but it does mean that you are less likely to get an upgrade to higher level of room or suite than you have booked.

I have had personal success upgrading the level of my room at these hotels
Wynn Las Vegas – Standard room Vista Suite
MGM Grand, Las Vegas – Grand room to Bungalow Suite
Luxor – Pyramid Room – Tower Room and Pyramid Room – Spa Suite
Tropicana – Garden Room to one of the Towers
Mirage, Las Vegas – Standard Room – Strip View room
NYNY, Las Vegas – Skyline room – Broadway Deluxe
Friends have had success at;
Caesars
Bellagio
Monte Carlo

I have had success here ensuring that whilst the room has been the same level that the room I have got has been a good room usually with a view.
Excalibur – basic room View room
Luxor – High Floor view
MGM Grand – High floor Strip view
Mirage, Las Vegas – Strip View top floor

Just a reminder on how the $20 trick works.

This Las Vegas trick can work at any hotel and is worth a shot the worst that can happen is you get what you have paid for.

1.Before you leave home make sure you know what the levels of rooms are at the resort so you know what you are being offered and if it is something that you want.

2.Before you get to the check in desk place a folded $20/$50/$100 note between your credit card and your ID and ask the clerk if there are any complimentary upgrades available for the period that you are there.

3.Try to look for a youngish clerk as your odds are usually better with them than an older one and one at the end of the check in desk so that they are not overheard and be discreet. A young and friendly looking will
improve your chance of success.

4.You generally have more chance of success if your room is booked directly with the hotel rather than through a consolidator. You can book directly here for the best price using the best codes on the web

The most important thing is to make sure that you will be happy if the $20 Upgrade trick does not work that you will be happy in the accommodation that you have booked.


October 16, 2008 Posted by | 20 dollar trick, bellagio, Dumb, entertainment, Excalibur, flamingo, free drinks, Free Upgrade, gaming, Holiday, hotel upgrades, Las Vegas, Luxor, Mandalay bay, MGM, MGM codes, MGM Grand, Mirage, Monte Carlo, news, Paris Las Vegas, Riviera, shows, tipping, Travel, Treasure Island, Uncategorized, Vegas, vegas comps, vegas discounts, vegas events, vegas shows, vegas spa, Vegas Strip, vegas suites, vegas tips, wedding, xxx | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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

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