Vegasuncovered’s Weblog

Vegas Uncovered a guide to the Las Vegas Strip

Mamma Mia to close at Mandalay Bay – final show tickets on sale

The final performance of Mamma Mia will take place at Manadaly Bay on the 4th Januarty and tickets are now on sale from the Mandalay Bay Box Office or by calling 632-7580.

Mamma Mia is the most sucessful Broadway musical to come to Las Vegas with over over 2000 performances. Tickets are for sale from $49.50 to $110, Mamma Mia has has its home at Mandalay Bay since 2003.

October 2, 2008 Posted by | Casinos, entertainment, events, Holiday, Las Vegas, Mandalay bay, shows, Travel, Uncategorized, vegas shows, Vegas Strip | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top Ten Las Vegas gaming tips

Craps TableI am not going to give you in depth gaming advice or lessons for a couple of reasons: –

Firstly I do not want to give anyone any ideas of how they could win or more importantly be considered in any way responsible for their losses. If I were in a position where I had this knowledge I would be a professional gambler.

Secondly there are many excellent books that have far more resources behind them than I have. I would recommend that you use these books to learn the games but nothing more as if the authors really had systems that guaranteed winning they would not bother writing books.

  1. If you are not sure about a game or rules on a table stand back for a few hands and watch and learn, this will also give you the opportunity to decide if you are happy with the atmosphere at the table.
  2. DO NOT GAMBLE MORE THAN YOU CAN AFFORD – this is the golden rule. Chances are you will not beat the house, in fact there is no chance about it you will not beat the house full stop so gamble for entertainment not to get rich.
  3. Never hand a dealer money place it on the table he is not allowed to take it form your hand and trying to pass him money will only cause you embarrassment.
  4. If you think that a dealer is rude just leave the table you can play anywhere do not put up with bad service
  5. Find out when the casino has free gaming lessons and use them they are totally free, good fun and you are not under any pressure to play once your lessons have finished.
  6. If you are new to a game try playing in the morning when the casino is less busy then the dealers will be more able to assist you more. This is particularly useful with craps. I had a nightmare my first time playing when I shot I kept throwing the dice out of the pit and hitting people on other tales and couldn’t remember my bet odds. The croupier and other gamblers were fine about it. Things may have been very different if it had been say 10pm on a Friday night.
  7. Do not use any system that involves upping your stakes to cover your losses. You think that you can win Circus Circucbut it will not last you will have a bad run and lose big time in the long term. I used to play with systems like this but although you may win 4 out of 5 times in the end you will have a losing run that more than wipes out all of your winnings. The casinos love people who run escalating stake systems and casinos only love people who lose money to them. The only system that can work is to up your stakes when winning so you are gambling with casinos money. There are several strategies that if followed may reduce the house’s edge a little. This is particularly useful for blackjack but the house always has the edge this is what pays for everything.
  8. Don’t play Keno this has terrible odds stacked in the favour of the house and although simple is really not worth a bet.
  9. When you are new to a game look for a casino with low stakes that way if you are making mistakes or just learning your losses are likely to be smaller. Hotels on the Strip have higher minimums than those downtown but, Circus Circus, Rivera, Imperial Palace, Stratosphere, Excalibur, and the Sahara have lower stakes than the posher Strip casinos.
  10. Get an online account and practice before you get out to Vegas with many of these you get free bonus’s every month so you can practice on the casino’s money and you may get lucky

 

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May 29, 2008 Posted by | buffets, Casinos, circus circus, Cirque, cirque de soleil, cocktail waitress, Dumb, entertainment, free drinks, gaming, Las Vegas, Mandalay bay, MGM, MGM Grand, Monte Carlo, Paris Las Vegas, Riviera, shows, Stupid, Travel, Uncategorized, undefeated, Vegas, vegas buffets, vegas comps, vegas events, vegas pools, vegas shows, Vegas Strip, xxx | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

10 Dumb A**e things to do in Las Vegas

Ther are many really stupid things that you can do in Las Vegas and I have compiled a list of what I think the top ten are please feel free to add your own. – Simon

Gamble more than you can afford to lose. This is the single dumbest thing that you can do. Look around you; who pays for all the free shows, drink and subsidised meals? The punters of course. The chances of you beating the house are so slim that they are not worth calculating. Think of gambling as a way of paying for entertainment and not as an investment.

Jay walking. The Strip is one of the busiest roads in the US cross where possible at bridges where not only use proper crossings and only cross when signalled to do so. Failure to comply with this could not only ensure that you become a short term Strip attraction but could land you a night in Jail. Jay walking is illegal in the US and you will get arrested for it.

Carelessness with your valuables and money. Whilst I have never felt threatened in Vegas you are constantly reminded that pickpockets operate in this area. It is easy to get distracted with so much to see and do that I am sure it’s easy pickings for these criminals. Be careful particularly when at slot machines and tables. Keep your wallet/purse in front of you; I now wear mine on a chain since the Venetian incident. (see Casino report)

Pay anything less than 100% attention whilst driving down the Strip. There is a lot to see, it’s very exciting but pay attention. There have been many accidents caused because proper attention was not being paid to the road. There have even been cases of people trying to film and take pictures whilst driving. The police are very tough on motor offences on the Strip so be careful and keep safe.

Not use sun protection. It’s very dry in Vegas; as a result it feels a lot cooler than it really is. 100F in Vegas only feels like about 80F at home! Don’t be caught out cover up, use sun protection lotions and ensure that you drink loads of fluids throughout the day.
(Medical tip: Beer / Alcohol doesn’t count as fluid! it will dehydrate you further)

Play the slots in the Airport. With average slot payout in Vegas around 92-96% it’s a good bet, rumour and experience have shown that the slots in the airport are much lower than this.

Gamble whilst drunk. The drinks are free whilst you gamble, any ideas why? You got it; it’s a proven point that people will take more risks when they have had a few beers. Don’t let them fool you make it 1-0 to the punter!!

Play Keno. Odds closer to the national lottery with much lower jackpots than Bingo. Has house odds stacked up so high they reach the casino ceiling; this really is a mugs game.

Try to cheat. This is really stupid; casinos have cameras everywhere and are familiar with every trick in the book. You simply will not get away with it; if you are in any doubt I suggest that you watch the film Casino prior to leaving home!

Turn up on a Friday, Saturday or Holiday without a reservation. Although you would have to be very unlucky not to get any room, except for Mid November when Comdex is on and all rooms tend to be booked. You will probably not be able to either get in to your first choice and will most definitely pay a lot more than you would if you had pre booked.

Play any slot offer that involves a buy in of less than the money you are given. The Riviera and Tropicana amongst others offer $40 play for $20 buy in (or similar amounts). You get to play on “special” machines. You are damn right they are special – they don’t pay out! Apparently you can’t lose as if you do not hit a jackpot you get a quality prize worth at least $40, my idea of quality and the casinos idea of quality differ here; you basically are buying a prize for $20 that if it was in a store you would not buy for $5.

May 20, 2008 Posted by | buffets, Casinos, circus circus, Cirque, cirque de soleil, cocktail waitress, cocktails, Dumb, entertainment, free drinks, gaming, Las Vegas, Mandalay bay, MGM, MGM Grand, Monte Carlo, Paris Las Vegas, resturaunts, Riviera, shows, Stupid, Travel, Treasure Island, Uncategorized, Vegas, vegas buffets, vegas comps, vegas events, vegas pools, vegas shows, Vegas Strip, vegas tips, xxx | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Luxor Las Vegas review, Cheap stays

My review of the Luxor I hope you enjoy, If you want the current best deal for the Luxor with stacks of extras click here

Luxor

3900 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Between W Tropicana Ave & Russell RoadLuxor
Las Vegas , NV 89109
(262 4000)
Luxor Las Vegas

Location Well it’s on the Strip – just! It was the last resort on the Strip until Mandalay Bay came along to keep it company. There is a walkway to Mandalay Bay and the Excalibur, there is also a tram but it’s quicker to walk. You are a fair distance from the heart of the action; it’s about a 15 minute walk to New York New York and about 1 hour to Treasure Island right at the other end of the strip. The location is not all doom and gloom; the Luxor is one of the closest hotels to the Airport so transfers are quick. Being almost the furthest South you can avoid much of the Strip traffic and get to the factory outlets in about 10 minutes.

Theme Ancient Egypt and boy they carry this off really well, though sadly much of this theme is being lost as Luxor ups the stakes in becoming a cool hotel.

Attractions Well its jackpot time, the Luxor put in an extra floor directly above the casino (attraction floor) and has dedicated it to non-gaming activities. There is a state of the art amusement arcade, a motion ride, IMAX cinema, theatre, King Tuts Tomb and museum. There is a food court as well as several small concessions and bars one of which serves foot long margaritas. Other than the bars this is great if you have kids they are allowed to roam here freely unlike almost all areas in all other resorts. We wasted many valuable gaming hours on the attraction level.

Pool The pool is big and has a couple of waterfalls it’s not nice to look at but it doesn’t seem to get too crowded and it serves its purpose well. There is an “ultra” pool area as well which commands an extra admission fee. Its not up there with MGM and Mandalay but streaks ahead of many others.

Shows and Entertainment Luxor will soon have the hottest show in town Criss Angel Believe – by Cirque De Soleil but for now you have Carrot Top a very funny wacky comedian voted Las Vegas Entertainer of the year (over 18’s) and the sexiest revue in Las Vegas Fantasy again only for Adults. There are also some excellent IMAX rides.

Dining The Buffet was well themed; as a sort of archaeological dig site that was good fun. The food was varied, including a stir-fry Chinese that was cooked for you but the overall quality of the food was not as good as say the Aladdin, Bally’s or Mandalay Bay though it is marginally cheaper (B:$11.99 L:$13.99 D:$19.99 champagne Sunday Brunch $17.99). The fresh fruit selection was very good but the deserts were not. . The food court at the Luxor is brill it has a great Nathan’s Hotdogs as well as McDonalds, a pizza joint, salad and sandwich place, Ice Cream place and the amazing Luxor Coffee Company. These coffee stands are scattered all round the hotel and this is without question the best coffee in Vegas. The Luxor has several other “quality” restaurants including Isis which is supposedly one of the best in US we have not eaten at any of these so will not rate them. Luxor also has a 24 hour coffee shop that sells all types of fare 24/7. We only had coffee from here and it was filter and was, quite frankly, not up to much. The staff there also acted as if they were doing us a favour, they did not get tipped!!

Gaming The Casino is huge; there is enough room to park 9 Jumbo jets here! It is quite light and has great mock Egyptian statutes when you enter. There are several sets of slot machines with either a Mercedes or a BMW in the centre that you can apparently win though I have never seen it and would like to see someone try Luxor at nightto drive it off its oddly perched stand. The range of 25c slots is pretty good though they could do with a load more on nickel machines for cheapskates like me. There are about 70 tables from $5 minimum upwards though we found that the minimum stakes often went up when play was busy. The casino is actually surprisingly difficult to navigate and can disorientate you very easily. The Ra nightclub is attached to the casino floor, as this is the trendiest place in town you can often spot celebs walking across the floor, we saw Steve Tyler from Aerosmith. Free drinks are very slooooow in coming particularly when you are playing on nickel slots; unfortunately the same applies to change people and engineers when the hoppers empty or machine jams. This casino does not seem to get too crowded probably due to its location.

Drinks service The drinks service was slow, we did not get served often and when we did we had to wait an age for then to arrive. If anything this seems to have got worse over the years there are load sof bars now and I am guessing that they want you to spend your money there rather than dishing out freebies.

OverallA good value well packed resort with a great Spa, massive gaming area and large amount of non-gaming attractions not to mention the best coffee in Las Vegas, though its close now with Wynn and Mirage.

Good points Check in is smooth, loads of parking and being in a pyramid is pretty cool.

Bad points Slightly too far up the Strip

Top Tip You can not get the monorail to Mandalay Bay it only stops to let people get off, yuo can walk through the Mandalay Passage though which is far quicker anyway.

May 9, 2008 Posted by | buffets, Casinos, circus circus, Cirque, cirque de soleil, cocktail waitress, cocktails, Dumb, entertainment, free drinks, gaming, Las Vegas, Luxor, Mandalay bay, Mayweather, MGM, MGM Grand, Monte Carlo, Paris Las Vegas, resturaunts, Riviera, shows, Stupid, Travel, Treasure Island, Uncategorized, Vegas, vegas buffets, vegas comps, vegas events, vegas pools, vegas shows, Vegas Strip, vegas tips, xxx | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Las Vegas Spa Report, Caesars, Mandalay Bay, THE hotel

Whenever I am in Vegas I always go to a Spa, below is a report by my friend Blagger on the three Spa’s he visited on his last trip to Las Vegas I hope you enjoy – Simon

I took in three spas on my recent Vegas trip. I’ve only really become a spa fan in the last three years or so. Prior to that I’d looked on it as something of a girls’ thing. Well more fool me for missing out all these years. I had basically the same treatment at each spa – a hot stone massage or its near equivalent at that particular establishment. Pretty boring I know – perhaps I should spread my wings and experiment a little but I guess I know what I like! I didn’t use any of the fitness center amenities so can’t comment on those.

Qua at Caesars Palace – Qua Signature Stone Massage. Monday April 21st, 11am
Qua Spa

So many people rave about this place that I had to try it. Be aware that unlike any other Vegas spa that I’m aware of who all seem to have cancelation policies of 2-4 hours before your appointment, Qua do not accept same day cancelations. Make sure that you don’t wake up that morning with the hangover from hell, because it’s too late to cancel and you’ll be paying whether you like it or not. I was staying at the Rio and could have jumped on their shuttle to Caesars but decided to drive there for my 11am appointment as I was planning to do some off-Strip stuff later that day. Qua is located in Augustus Tower and there’s a definite air of relaxation the moment you step away from the busy hotel lobby area. You can either take the elevator up one floor or use the elegant stairs, and you then walk along the corridor containing the hotel’s wedding chapels. The doors of the chapels are all open and I could say that it’s a cynical marketing ploy to attract future wedding business, but I actually found it pretty cool to check out the chapels. The spa is extremely impressive. I checked out the “Roman Baths”, three distinctly different spa pools with different temperatures before showering and waiting for my massage. The room that you and the other customers are taken into to wait for treatments is really cool. Reclining seats built into the wall and you kind of look upwards at a sort of planetarium effect on the ceiling whilst feeling more and more relaxed.

Eventually your therapist arrives and makes themselves known to you. They actually call them “artisans” at Qua. I guess that’s in keeping with the Roman vibe of the place. Still I prefer it to “technician” which has been the name of choice at some spas recently. That sounds like they’re employed by NASA! My massage by Tara was great. Some interesting little features that I hadn’t experienced previously like the mini hot stones between the toes. I’m not certain how beneficial they were but it felt good! I do enjoy a chat with my therapist/technician/artisan. Tara was from NYC and had been in Vegas for four years.

After my massage I checked out the steam room and sauna as well as the Roman baths once more. The Arctic Ice Room with its fake “snow” was awesome. I went back in three seperate times!

All in all Qua was great. One minor irritation however. The lockers sucked! They have those really small half size lockers and as I had a bit of stuff with me it was nowhere near big enough. Other than that it lived up to expectations.

Cost of treatment $170 (plus $30 tip)

Spa Mandalay at Mandalay Bay – Mandalay Hot Stone. Tuesday April 22nd, 4pm
Spa Mandalay

Let me stress that there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with Spa Mandalay. It could be argued that it’s a beautiful facility. It’s just that I found it a little faceless and lacking in character. The staff were all very nice and couldn’t be any more helpful but it was definitely a bit of a let down after Qua. It actually reminded me a bit in terms of layout and atmospere of Spa Bellagio (perhaps the same design team had a say in the two MGM Mirage set-ups) but without quite having the same calm and serenity. My massage was excellent. Caroline was originally from LA but had lived in LV for nearly thirty years so it was good fun talking with her about when she was growing up there in the late 70s/early 80s.

After my massage I went to chill in the hot and cold tubs only to find that a large bachelor party of in the region of twenty guys had seemingly taken over the spa. Now don’t get me wrong, there was no blatant bad behavior here. No cases of beer were being opened and no strippers had been smuggled in but there were just so many of these guys that it made things a little uncomfortable for the few of us there who weren’t part of their gang. Finding a chair wasn’t easy and all the decent reading material (sports and men’s stuff like GQ) had been claimed. All that was left were the banking and investment magazines…

Spa Mandalay is worthwhile. I’d have liked to have been there when the bachelor party guys were elsewhere but that’s not the spa’s fault. It’s probably a step below the very best spas Vegas has to offer but still worth a visit. Full length lockers as well….. 🙂

Cost of treatment $155 (plus $25 tip)

Bathhouse at THEhotel – Hot Spiced Rum Stone Massage. Thursday April 24th, 11am

One word screams out at you here from the instant you step out of the elevator – “contemporary”. This isn’t like any other spa I’ve experienced in Vegas. Its scale is way smaller and a lot of it is dominated by dark colors. The hot and cold tubs were great as were the steam room and sauna. The massage was just ok but maybe I’d gone into massage overkill by now! I’m afraid to say that there was no noticable impact from the hot spiced rum aspect of the treatment. Jennifer from Seattle was really nice. She’d only been in Vegas for a year so no stories about LV back in the day. The selection of juices and fruit was really impressive here in the relaxation area and as well as the usual magazines it was impressive to see that day’s LA Times and New York Times. Out of town editions maybe that had gone to press the previous evening but still a nice touch. Also, what could only be described as the Rolls Royce of lockers was provided. Complete with a little drawer for your valubles and a totally seperate shoe area. Very cool.

All the staff here were really laid back but still very helpful. It’s a very hip and funky vibe but it’s definitely not a place like some bars or clubs where you’ll feel like you’re too old.

Cost of treatment $155 (plus $25 tip)

Three treatments in four days was (for me at any rate) one too many. In retrospect I should have just gotten a day pass for the Bathhouse and checked out the facilities there without having a massage. My take on my experiences. Qua was great. Is it my favorite spa on the Strip? Let’s just say that’s an extremely tough call between Qua, Spa Bellagio and Canyon Ranch (Venetian). Each of these has its good points that make it better than the competition in my eyes but it’s impossible for me to pick an overall #1. I haven’t visited the spa at Wynn so can’t compare it unfortunately. Spa Mandalay was a little disappointing but had I visited in the morning when it would probably have been less busy I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more. The Bathhouse is impossible to compare to most of its competitors. If you want something a little different from the traditional large scale spa experience then I recommend it highly.

As a final word, my favorite spa in the Las Vegas area remains the Ritz Carlton at Lake Las Vegas. If you have a car and want a memorable spa experience taking in some time out away from the Strip at the same time I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Want the rates the travel agent wont share here they are !!!

May 3, 2008 Posted by | Casinos, entertainment, events, Holiday, hotel upgrades, Las Vegas, Mandalay bay, MGM Grand, Spa, Travel, Uncategorized, Vegas, vegas pools, vegas shows, vegas spa, vegas tips | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Spamalot to Close at Wynn Las Vegas

“Spamalot” to close at Wynn Las Vegas

The cast and crew of the comic music “Spamalot” weren’t in a laughing mood before Wednesday night’s performance at Wynn Resort and Casino, but somehow the show went on. Before taking the stage, the Spamalotperformers, including star John O’Hurley, were given the sad and stunning news that their show would be closing on July 13. A Wynn spokesperson confirmed the details for The Sun on Thursday.

“Closing in Las Vegas will allow Monty Python’s ‘Spamalot’ to pursue opportunities elsewhere which had been precluded by the show’s agreement with Wynn Las Vegas,” according to a prepared statement from the casino/resort. “Wynn Las Vegas would like to extend its utmost appreciation to the cast and crew who bring laughs to our audiences each and every night, and a special thanks to our eminently lovable star John O’Hurley.”

TImpressionist Danny Gans, currently headlining at the Mirage, will take the musical’s place in the Grail Theater in early 2009; the theater will be refurbished and renamed the Encore Theater. The adjacent Encore Suites at Wynn Las Vegas is scheduled to open in December.

The Tony Award-winning “Spamalot,” which just began celebrating its anniversary at Wynn Las Vegas, will have played more than 500 performances when its contract concludes in July. “Spamalot” is the second Broadway-style show to close on the Strip this year, following the February shuttering of Mel Brooks’ “The Producers” at Paris Las Vegas.

April 30, 2008 Posted by | buffets, Casinos, circus circus, Cirque, cirque de soleil, cocktail waitress, cocktails, entertainment, free drinks, Las Vegas, Mandalay bay, MGM, MGM Grand, Monorail, Monte Carlo, Paris Las Vegas, resturaunts, Riviera, shows, Travel, Uncategorized, undefeated, Vegas, vegas comps, vegas events, vegas shows, Vegas Strip, vegas tips, xxx | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment