Vegasuncovered’s Weblog

Vegas Uncovered a guide to the Las Vegas Strip

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

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

Paul McCartney at the Joint Hard Rock Las Vegas, Ticket News

Tickets for Paul McCartney’s concert at The Joint, Hard Rock Resort and Casino, Las Vegas on April 19th, will go on sale to the general public at 12.00pm PST on Saturday February 14th 2009. You will be able to purchase tickets via Ticketmaster.com or charge by phone charge-by-phone at 800-745-3000, the costs will be as follows

Floor is all general admission standing – $195/ticket
Balcony is reserved seating – also $195/ticket
VIP tables are $500 per ticket

For great deals on accommodation look here and here

February 12, 2009 Posted by | Casinos, entertainment, events, Holiday, Las Vegas, Luxor, Mandalay bay, MGM, MGM codes, paul McCartney, shows, Travel, Uncategorized, Vegas, vegas events, vegas shows, Vegas Strip | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Paul McCartney to open The Joint, Hard Rock Las Vegas

Paul McCartney will headline the grand opening weekend of The New Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas on April 19.

“I’m looking forward to Rockin’ The Joint!” Paul McCartney said in a news release.

“We are honored to have the multi-Grammy award winning artist and rock legend, Paul McCartney, launch us into a new era of rock ‘n’ roll at the all new Joint concert venue scheduled to open at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in April,” Randy Kwasniewski, president and COO of Morgans Hotel Group Las Vegas and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, said in a news release. “The new Joint will be the most sophisticated, intimate, and authentic venue in Las Vegas — unlike anything the city has ever seen.”

Tickets go on sale at 12 p.m. Feb. 14 at the Hard Rock Hotel Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, online at Ticketmaster or charge-by-phone at 800-745-3000.
Updated Buzz Pic

The New Joint inherited its name from the original Hard Rock venue and was designed by the Montreal-based architectural design firm Scéno Plus. The New Joint will double in size, while keeping the same atmosphere of the original venue and will carry on the up-close and authentic feel with the furthest seat in the house only 155 feet from the stage.

The New Joint will be a multipurpose facility featuring a state-of-the-art sound system, an innovative lighting system, WiFi access throughout the venue, a full blogging station for press covering events and 38 flat screens throughout the venue to guarantee the ultimate viewing experience.

The New Joint’s $60 million project is part of the widely publicized $750 million expansion the Hard Rock broke ground on in 2007, slated for completion in late 2009

Best Vegas Hotel rates click Here and Here

TICKET NEWS AND PRICES HERE

February 8, 2009 Posted by | Casinos, entertainment, events, Holiday, Las Vegas, music, news, nightclub, shows, tipping, Travel, vegas events, Vegas Strip, vegas tips | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

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