Started going to Vegas as a college student in the outskirts of LA, when it was a nice easy drive. Now living outside NYC, whose 5 hour flight means I'm down to one trip a year.
|Living:||New York Connecticut US|
Ratings & Reviews
Bellagio is a real classic - the blown-glass in the lobby will undoubtedly make this the nicest hotel lobby ever, the conservatory is a wonderful feature, and of course the lake is inimitable. The casino is only okay though, the nightclub is awful, food isn't as good as it should be (Cafe Bellagio has declined and most of the fine restaurants are overrated, especially Picasso) and then there's the hotel. These rooms simply have nothing to recommend them at their price point (note my last stay was pre the recent room refresh). Its a pity, this place deserves to be pulling down the full 6.
MGM Grand deserves the 5 dice for great food, a massive casino, great restaurants (regardless of where you stay, don't miss Craftsteak, aka Earth's Greatest Steakhouse), a great pool area (including Wet Republic, the original and best pool club) and okay rooms. But if you're willing/able to shell out for a Skyloft, take the express right up to 6 dice and beyond, cause the Skylofts are the most awesome rooms you will ever stay in (two words: POOL TABLE). I can't fathom paying up for a Wynn Salon Suite, which I'm sure is lovely but at the end of the day is just a big room in a fancy hotel, when you could do a Skyloft instead and get the multi-story area and the multiple sitting rooms and the amazing everything.
Finally stayed at Wynn recently, on a business trip no less. The strangeness of a solo trip affected my opinion of the place, but the bottom line is I found the gambling conditions too poor to allow me to come back regularly. To be exact, in the Wynn casino there was only 1 table of shoe-dealt blackjack with S17/RSA/DAS available (at $100 naturally - the high limit room started at $500, and the only occupied table was a Russian looking guy playing in his bathrobe). The room was lovely (though club noise was a major problem even very late at night) and the food was exceptional and the casino hosts very friendly, but a real shortage of quality blackjack tables means I won't be back anytime soon.
Its easy to forget about what is essentially the annex hotel to Aria, and there's no reason to step into Vdara beyond sleeping there. But I've given Vdara 5 dice because 1) its essentially an extension of Aria, and Aria is awesome and, more importantly, 2) its suites are an exceptional value for money. Think big, modern, well furnished/decorated rooms, a la suites at Aria, only at half the price as at Aria for a comparable room. This can be a great place to stay if you want to get a top end product without paying a top end price
I had high expectations for my stay at Mandarin Oriental but I'm sorry to say that I was deeply disappointed. This isn't a bad hotel mind you, its merely unremarkable. I found the service to be not hugely notable, beyond the service-heavy spa and the better-than-average concierge. The Sky Lobby (and the elevator change you have to make every time you want to go to your room) was more annoying than I expected it to be, but the most annoying part of MO for me was not being in a casino. I thought a 5 minute walk from Aria was no big deal but in retrospect I was wrong. MO didn't do it for me.
Haven't made it back to Caesars post the hiring of this ex-Wynn hotel manager, but a stay in the Augustus tower prior to that left me underwhelmed. The poor layout of the casino complex really makes it hard for me to enjoy Caesars. In the same way as MGM Grand, it ends up being defined by its vastness.
I've never stayed at Royale, but the casino here is so much fun, and the drinks are so cheap (dollar michelobs as fast as you can drink them) that it deserves a mention. If you're looking for cheap and party, look no further than Casino Royale. (unless you're looking to play blackjack - all Royale has is blackjack switch. On the other hand, this is heaven for craps players)
Years ago P-Ho was my home base casino for a couple trips, back when it was an independent. I swore off it when the spawn of the devil (occasionally called Harrah's) bought it, but when I went back on a whim a few years ago I actually had a pretty good time at the Ho. The Spice Market is still pretty good, Pink's Hot Dogs are amazing, and the blackjack was fair at higher limits (though the craps tables had a 2x on 12 field, a major disadvantage to the player). But its a long way from good enough to make me want to stay here again.
Its been so many years since I spent actual time at Paris that I don't even want to comment on it, other than to say that if you're looking for a lovely romantic meal, seriously consider the Eiffel Tower Restaurant. It may not have the name of a celebrity chef on the door, but it does have wonderful French cuisine in a truly exceptional space. The rest of Paris may not be recommended, but the Eiffel Tower is.
|1:||Blackjack. Vegas wouldn't be Vegas without it.|
|2:||Come to think of it, craps too.|
|3:||And free booze. Key benefit of playing higher limits - free top shelf|
|4:||Tetsu at Barmasa. I keep changing this entry, but Tetsu feels like it's gonna stick around for a while. You just won't find simple preparations of quality ingredients that taste better than this.|
|5:||Vegas trip inside jokes.|
|6:||Low rolling at Royale/IP/Barbary back in the day, getting smashed and playing $10 hands|
|7:||(Omitted for the superstitious craps players)|
|8:||My one stay at the Skylofts. Greatest. Bachelor party pad. Ever. (and at a recession-value price)|
|9:||All the girls dressed up to go clubbing. Sue me.|
|10:||Planning my next trip! (Also, lets not forget about Tetsu. Its so good it deserves to be mentioned twice)|
You know your stuff. Thank you for being a part of VT!
Shouted on Thursday, 17th March 2016 by Chuckmonster
Just joined the site. I found your reviews very helpful. I am trying to decide where to stay for a trip to Vegas in September. (it is mine and my wife's ten-year anniversary). I am really leaning towards the Aria based on your reviews. Thank you so much.
Shouted on Tuesday, 23rd July 2013 by ivaroni
Nice to hear that someone remembers the glory that was The Barbary Coast.