How to Plan a Vegas vacation
by Mike Myers
First and foremost, you want to determine what type of vacation it is. Is it a work trip, a reunion, a bachelor party, or a gaming addiction? Each of those will determine where to go from here. For example, if it's a work trip, you have conventions and you'll probably want to choose a hotel near or connected to the convention you'll be attending, assuming you'll actually step foot in the convention. A bachelor party will most likely want a fun hotel or casino that will put up with your rowdy behavior, if not encourage it. You wouldn't want to plan a bachelor blowout and end up getting and trouble because your group was too loud when you entered every room in the casino when, for the same price, you could be as loud as you want and party with like-minded people at a casino down the street.
Once you determine the nature of your vacation, you can better understand how much help, if any, you're gonna need. A work trip with dinners you could probably just book on your own with a simple phone call or by visiting the casino's website. A bachelor party with golf outings and strip clubs and night clubs can get very confusing, especially if you're not a detail-oriented person or aren't knowledgeable of the local scene. For this case, calling an independent hosting company is probably your best bet. These companies will book your rooms, your transportation, dinners, give entertainment options and suggestions, and, if you want, they'll even come along as a guide to ensure everything goes smoothly. If you're a very detail-oriented person, you can certainly call the concierges at your hotel and book your own , pick your own golf course, and then figure out which restaurants you want to go to, and then call them and so on and so on, but the average person who isn't certain what they want to do on a specific trip, independent hosting company is a nice option and a definitely good resource to have.
Oh, and the casino concierges will typically get you a very biased suggestion since they're told to recommend only those things inside their casino in order to keep you on property.
How to Get a Good Rate on a Las Vegas Hotel
Your best way is to plan ahead. Don't come on a holiday weekend, not just Memorial Day or Labor day, or New Year's Eve or Presidents Day or any day off that brings out half of California. And trust me, all of California know all of these days. If you can come during the week. That's ideal. Otherwise just price on the travel sites and look for bargains. Have in mind what the type of hotel you want and try not to be specific. If you want a five star hotel, tell yourself that the Wynn, Encore, Bellagio, or Mandarin are all good and find out who's giving the best deals. If you don't go specific, you have the better chances of finding what you want at price point that you want. You can buy in bulk if you have a big group that's coming out, if you have a weeding party, or if you have a bachelor party and you're purchasing multiple rooms at the same time, you can ask for a discount as far as that goes. There's two ways to look at it. You can either purchase something far in advance or purchase something last minute. So, you can bank on the fact that they're gonna have extra rooms so you're gonna get a discount at the last minute or you can purchase it so far in advance that the hotels don't have something booked. Don't have a convention booked. Typically, when you go and find somebody having an amazing deal, they went and purchased it a year in advance. And then call it a concert or something like that came up at that hotel at the last minute so the hotel price is actually skyrocketed. However, they'll still honor your actual hotel room when your purchased it a year in advance. You can always count on there, being in a room with the last minute if you're gonna go the opposite direction.
How to Choose Among All the Las Vegas Hotels
Determine what you want to get out of your hotel. Is it simply a place to sleep for 8 hours and then you leave or is it a place you will be utilizing all the amenities and dining in the restaurants and shopping in the malls? Once you know what type of experience you are looking for, you need to determine the level of service and quality that you are seeking. Do you like the finer things in life? Are you wearing anything with the name Gucci or Prada on it right now? Will we be doing any gambling while you are in town or is that not your thing? All these questions should help you narrow down your focus. Most people's final answer boils down to money. How much are you willing to spend each night and for what type of room? And there is just a matter of choosing which one best fits all your criteria. If you are looking for the best of the best then the Wynn Encore is probably going to be your best choice, Bellagio is a close 2nd and the shopping is limited in both of them but both of the biggest designers in-house and some of the best restaurants in the world around every corner. If you are on a business trip, The Venetian or Mandalay Bay are very popular due to their connections to the two biggest convention centers in Las Vegas. They both have a lot of rooms. The Venetian a Palazzo was the largest hotel in the world with 7000 plus rooms and a lot of restaurants with a bigger variety of price point so you don't have to break your bank on a work trip. If you are here just to party, The Cosmopolitan is the newest hotel with very hip bars and restaurants and pools and is the most popular night club in the country. City Center has a wide variety of entertainment and room product even boasting the Mandarin Oriental boutique hotel for those who want a more intimate experience while still benefiting from being a Jason to a mega resort that has multiple night clubs and lounges for you to choose from.
The Highlights of Ballys Las Vegas
All this kind of reminds me of the stratosphere where there is not a whole lot of highlights to Ballys. The Sunday brunch is an amazing draw.
Other than that, the Jubilee show, I believe, is the only thing there that really draws in a crowd. It's one of the oldest shows in Vegas. It's actually a pretty amazing show. You can't imagine how many girls are topless that are on the stage. And it's kind of refreshing to not go to a strip club, to actually go to a production show and see what old Vegas was.
The only other highlight to Ballys is the actual location on the strip and the relative low price. And typically, the crowds tend to be a lot of females considering girls don't really care where they're staying. Girls tend to leave their hotel room, walk on the strip and go to clubs because they can wear whatever they want and get in. Guys don't have that luxury, so they tend to actually stay and pay for the actual experience of the hotel.
The Highlights of the Tropicana Las Vegas
The Tropicana is actually in the middle of a gigantic remodel. Before the only highlights at the Tropicana were the location and the proximity to the MGM. It's claim to fame was that it has been there forever and that it's on the corner of the Tropicana and Las Vegas Blvd. Other than that, there wasn't really anything there. Nicky Beach and Club Nicky are going to open up inside the Tropicana. Nicky Beach is a very popular pool party/just pool in general that probably has fifty locations around the world: Miami, they have them in Cabo, they have them in San Trope, they have them basically everywhere. It's just, basically, an all white towel, all white daybed version of a pool party. It remains to be seen if that pool party will be popular in Vegas. To me it looks like just a bunch of white towels laying on the ground, and in Las Vegas that just wont cut it, but like I said, once again, only time will tell if I'm correct or if they're correct and this is the next big thing.
The Highlights of the Paris Las Vegas
The Paris reception is probably the nicest reception or the fanciest reception in town. The Paris really did go all out with chandeliers and crystals and they did a really really good job. The Eiffel Tower restaurant, the lookout tower in the Eiffel Tower are definitely a must see. Inside the Paris Hotel itself are the legs of the Eiffel Tower so it looks like the Eiffel Tower is actually built through the hotel, which is really a nice touch. The Chateau Night Club is their new night club, they just opened it up. They spent 35 million dollars on it which includes a Sugar Factory which is a restaurant and candy shop on the strip. And it also has a fondue bar in the back of Sugar Factory. They have a good mall. It's very nostalgic if you've ever been to Paris. You know, this is one of the themed hotels which you just don't see that much anymore in Las Vegas. Everything is Italian or everything might be French oriented, but it's not based around a specific city so whenever you're walking on the streets or inside on the streets of the Paris, you know there's something nostalgic about it. Going by a crepe shop if you've ever been to Paris and saw often they have the outdoor seating where you can grab a coffee. Those are definitely some of the highlights for me.
The Highlights of the Stratosphere Casino, Hotel, and Tower
Truly the only high line of the stratosphere is the rides on top of stratosphere. On the hundred eight floor Vegas tower they have four different rides they have sky jump, they have Insanity, they have X-Scream and they have Big Shot. The Big Shot is basically hundred and sixty for call that's stumps directly fount the top of the stratosphere straight up they drop you in the chair and then shot you 45 miles/ hour straight up towards the sky. I actually done it, it's absolutely terrifying that one is the longest every done of the rest of resonance, they have sky jump now you're basically sky diving slash bunch jumping on the sometime your guide free follow that's you jumping of the hundred eight floor you flow always to ground that will you soon terrifying I have not done because I am chicken. The X-Scream is considered to be a space age titan tower, which is on the top of the hotels wall. Its angel you 27 feet over the edge of the stratosphere. The insanity is basically like a roller coaster of shots, its spend you in several passengers in the open air speeds up to 3gs it angel you like 70 degrees and wipe your body back in different directions you goes straight up you goes straight down you have truly believe in actual ride itself because you have no control over anything and you getting twisted around the top of the stratosphere. Truthfully to me all these seems crazy but it really only thing of the stratosphere.
The Highlights of Caesars Palace Las Vegas
The biggest highlight for Caesars Palace will probably be the Forum Shops, which when created was the most expensive first preferred shopping in all of Las Vegas. They have every type of store there, they have Louis Vuitton, they have Chrome Arts, they have Nike Town. They have actually just made a turn towards some of the more modestly priced clothing stores. The Forum Shops boast some of the best restaurants which are Stone Crab, The Palm, Il Mulino. They also have one of the most popular nightclubs in Las Vegas, or at least one of the most notorious nightclubs in Las Vegas. Those of us in the know, know not to go to Pure. However, Pure still makes a whole bunch of money on Fridays and Saturdays, because of the world-wide recognition it got whenever it came to town in the beginning. Pure was the first nightclub in Las Vegas to really pay celebrities heavily to show up. So your Paris Hiltons, your Britney Spears's, your Lindsay Lohanns when she was paid to go places really made Pure, you know, hit the map, and then now it's just kind of resting on those laurels. Elton John comes into town every once a while at the Colosseum. Celine Dion is a definite highlight in the Colosseum. Serendipity is a fantastic restaurant/dessert shop which is actually on the strip itself, but right in front of Caesars Palace, not actually connected to Caesars Palace itself, but if you walk out of the front of LA and just keep walking towards the strip, you'll run into it, along with an outdoor eatery area, that has an outdoor stadium, they have fights in, they have some concerts from time to time.
The Highlights of Aria Las Vegas
First and foremost I think the best thing about Aria, it's the fact that it smells like oatmeal cookies. There is the company that actually pumps the scents into casinos and Aria was the first one to really utilize it. Haze Night club is their most popular attraction. It's a big night club, you know lots of world renowned DJ's and celebrities. Liquid pool is a pool which is also run by the light group; cold munch is also across the way from the Elvis show which, the music is considered to be little bit outdated for the current audience. But for a true Elvis fan, it's actually a really a treat for the senses. Bar Masa is a very popular sushi restaurant. American fish has one of the best menus that I have ever seen. Serial is the best spaghetti in Las Vegas. Todd English pub has nickel beer night on Tuesdays, which is amazing considering its inside a casino and they also have a beer chugging contest where if you go up to the bar they have hour glasses and if you can tug your beer in 7 seconds your beer is free. Used to be a unlimited beers and then a friend of mine and his friend went in there and did 17 glasses of Guinness and then they ended up taking that rule away and now it's supposed to be two beers per day. It's definitely doable I've seen guys do it, I've seen girls do it in 15 for 15.
The Highlights of the Palms Las Vegas
Once the hotspot of Las Vegas, The Palms has taken the backseat in the past few years but seems prone for a comeback. Rain was the first mega club to gain notoriety nationwide due to the popular TV show the Real World which introduced the mayhem that has Las Vegas to a new and youthful market and from there the Palms' exploded. Ghost bar and Moon are both on the top floors of the two towers but neither is considered to be a hotspot by anyone in the know, neither is Rain really for that matter. The pool is very popular on Fridays for their ""ditch Fridays Campaign"" that's about it. There are some interesting themed rooms, like the Barbie room which is decorated in all pink like a Barbie house and then there is the hardwood suite, which has a full size basket court inside it with fold a way Murphy beds inside the walls for stragglers from last night's game.
Nine Steakhouse is a true phenomenal that is always busy and full of beautiful people perhaps it's the inventive menu or perfect steaks or perhaps the other two true dining experiences at the Palms, no included the Mexican restaurant or the 24hr Cafe are actually on the top floor of the Towers and hence not very accessible.
On the opposite end of the property is Palms place, which is their attempt to a calmer hotel built during the economic and real estate boom of years past. The building sits most empty, a good place to find a nice room at a nice price if you don't mind being sort of alone and you don't mind the long walk to the actual casino itself.
On the lower level of the Palms sits Simon Restaurant and pool neither of which make money except on Sundays for a brunch which has found a nice niche and does very well. Picture young people in their pajamas eating pancakes and drinking from the bloody mary buffet.
The Highlights of the Monte Carlo Las Vegas
The Monte Carlo is actually located in between New York, New York and Aria, which was not a great place to be located, whenever Aria was under construction for three years, but now that it's actually fully built, it's actually in a fantastic location. The JabbaWockeeZ were from the show "America's Best Dance Crew" which weren't necessarily the best dancers in America's Best Dance Crew history, however because they had masks on their face, they were the only ones who capitalized on their name. So now, they can obviously be switched in-and-out, and have substitutes, have days off, whereas all the other dance crews were personalities in and of themselves. Diablo's is a great draw, it's outside on the strip, they have live music upstairs, weird bar games downstairs, it's good to watch football games or you know any sort of sporting events, but they also have the "Wheel of Death" where you can spin the wheel and you know, get weird shots, or you know, whatever the prize may be. Andre's is a great French restaurant. In minus five they borrow you, they bring you in and they give you a fur coat, and you go drink inside a freezer. The pub at Monte Carlo ‚Äì another clever name is actually a really-really popular spot, probably the most popular thing at Monte Carlo inside Monte Carlo itself. Not necessarily a destination place, however if you're staying at the Monte Carlo, you tend to not be the big bottle customer, so they're actually smart and put in a pub in this location. Brand Steakhouse is probably their best restaurant, they have great steaks, actually a pre-invented menu, every once in a while they'll go and have a tribute to something. The last thing I attended there was a tribute to bacon. So they had an entire tasting menu, like twelve courses, all dedicated to bacon. Which, I love bacon although, to be perfectly honest I haven't had bacon since. And that was about a month ago, which I'm sad about.
The Highlights of Treasure Island Las Vegas
It is across the street from the Fashion Show mall, so the proximity to that is a stone's throw away, which is great shopping and it kind of matches the mentality of Treasure Island. Phil Ruffin purchased Treasure Island a few years ago from MGM Mirage Company, and has tried to revamp it, has tried to put in some new, different crowd attractors. He built Gilley's country bar which is right on the strip, actually connected to the Treasure Island Sirens show and it's absolutely packed at all times. It's a country bar on the strip, which I don't know why anybody didn't think of that earlier. The other big highlight for Treasure Island would be the Sirens of TI show. The Sirens of TI comes on four times a night during the winter and five times a night during the summer. They actually revamped the show a few years ago; it was a little stagnant where just two pirate ships were going at one another. And now they've incorporated really scantily-clad women, hence the Siren of TI. So they brought it a little bit less family, but a little bit more explosions and obviously something for the dads to look at whenever they're bringing their kids along.
The Highlights of the Palazzo Las Vegas
Sushi sama is one of the best restaurants in Las Vegas. An eclectic blend of Brazilian, Japanese and Peruvian influences. Its basically a diamond in the rough in the Palazzo shopping mall. The actual shops are good, new and trendy, there's just no body in them to shop. The one exception is Barney's which does do some bodies through the door, but nothing like they planned when they built a three story monster inside the biggest hotel in the world. Jersey Boys is a critically acclaimed broadway musical that was brought to Vegas by way of the Palazzo. Loved by all ages, I've never heard anybody give a bad review of the show. Lavo's undergone one of the the biggest transformations in the shortest amount of time. After a really poor initial offering the entire restaurant underwent a transformation from a Mediterranean menu to an Italian cuisine. The restaurant actually does a good crowd most days of the week and serves as a feeder for the night club of the same name on its second floor. Built for 18,000,000 dollars the club is absolutely beautiful during the day time, but unfortunately all the details that made the place so amazing are lost by the darkness and all the people. Still it's run by the creators of Marquis and Taos so they find a way to make it busy, but it's definitely their third best spot in town.
The Highlights of Wynn Las Vegas
The Wynn resort in Las vegas is head and shoulders above the rest. Its, five diamond five star absolutely the nicest place to stay in all of Las vegas and just made it better by building Encore. Encore has excess nightclub which is probably the biggest attraction inside the resort itself. Technically, excess is in their shopping mall which is in between the Wynn and Encore. Encore beach club is may be the most expensive pool party in the world.Its about 65 million dollars a build it opened up a year and a half ago and it is just lavish and actually bulldozes its own valet in order to put its pool party there. SW is a fantastic steak house which actually bears Steve Wynn's initials, has a great view of a different waterfall which has its own show. Although to be honest, the show really is disappointing. Tryst is still a very busy night club even though the crowd is kind of suffering a past couple of years especially with the opening of excess. Tryst does have a 50 foot waterfall inside of it which is pretty amazing to see if you have never seen it before. Its definitely worth stopping by. If I am shopping there, there is not a whole lot of it, its definitely the high end brand names. Encore has a little bit more of the trendy clothing but it is still you know obviously very expensive. They have a Ferrari and Maserati dealership which you basically have to justify even walking in there otherwise you have to pay in to see it as a museum. If you want to spend the most money you ever spent in your life on coffee they have just a regular coffee shop there that, the coffee is like 20 dollars for a cup of coffee and there is nothing special about it and its not great. Just happens to be next to the Ferrari shop inside the Wynn near the Encore. One of the final things there is the Garth Brooks Show which I mentioned before the Garth Brooks show is sold out every single night is one of those where even as a Las vegas local and somebody who is really connected it is still very very difficult to get a ticket because the Wynn takes so many of the tickets for their high end gaming. And all those people wanna go see the show so its definitely, if you have a way to get into it or you want to spend money with the ticket broker its definitely a show to go see. He sits on stage for the first hour and plays all his own songs and in the 2nd hour he sits on stage and plays everybody else's songs. And the last thing about the Wynn and Encore is that they have their own golf course which is unheard of considering how expensive the land is. Tom Fazio designed, Steve Wynn designed 18 hole golf course with water features and waterfalls and everything I see connect to the resort itself. If you are not staying there you could spend 500 bucks and buy your way on or if you are staying there you can usually get it for cheaper. Steve Wynn is the one who conceptualized the bay resort with the Mirage and one upped himself with the Bellagio and then found a way to one up himself again when people thought it was impossible because the Bellagio was perfect he went and built the Wynn and then one upped himself again and built the Encore. Whatever he does in Las vegas from here on out he could do no wrong he is truly a visionary on Vegas.
The Highlights of the Hard Rock Las Vegas
First and foremost, when you mention the Hard Rock, you gonna mention partying so you will probably mention Rehab. Rehab is the Sunday pool party that was created seven years ago that has had every celebrity, every DJ, every hip hop act, every person that's ever been to Las Vegas in the last 8 years has heard of Rehab or has been to Rehab. It's the kind of place that will do a million dollars on a Sunday during the day. Vanity is a new night club at the Hard Rock. Its run by the same people that run Rehab. It replaced Body English which the old night club at the Hard Rock. The best restaurant by far and away is Nobu, the only Nobu in town. It's as big of an attraction as the night life itself. And then the Hard Rock just expanded within the last year. They added the HRH tower which is an all suite tower and they added a paradise tower which is, they have some suites in it especially some suites which connect to the pool on the lower floors. However, the paradise tower is basically just some extra hotel rooms, the HRH tower is actually a really impressive tower.
The Highlights of the Las Vegas Venetian
Home to the biggest convention space in all of Las Vegas, The Venetian Palazzo is the largest world with more than 7000 rooms. The reception area is second to none and if you've ever been to Venice you'll truly appreciate how amazing this casino is. From the canal shops to the dining that is indoor yet outdoor looking to the Italian squares and the indoor gondola rides complete with singers and bridges. The Venetian is home to many Italian restaurants, too many to mention but rest assure you won't go hungry at this resort. Venetian is also home to Tao nightclub, Tao the restaurant and Tao beach all successful and hospitality venues fill up mostly Sunday through Thursday. The Blue Man Group and Phantom of the Opera both play five nights a week, a testament to the size of the Venetian and it's ability to carry two major shows. And in a separate theaters comedians like David Spade, Tim Allen and Rita Rudner perform to pack houses every night. Out front Madame Tussaud's famous wax museum creeps people out with how lifelike the statutes are if you're into that kind of thing.
The Highlights of the Bellagio Las Vegas
O, which is a Cirque du Soleil show is the best Cirque du Soleil. That show is absolutely amazing. It's been around for years and just keeps getting better over time. It's one of the most impressive shows you'll see. An art gallery that's inside the Bellagio encompasses some of the best art collections, traveling art shows; Picasso will do a show there, Monet will do a show there, Manet will do a show there. The fountains at the Bellagio out front are something that will never be done again, basically, because of the water shortage. Somebody that built a lake inside of Las Vegas is pretty amazing in the fact that each one of the fountains syncs up to a certain song is pretty impressive, especially at night to go stand out front of the Bellagio and to notice it's actually dancing along to the music itself is really ah-inspiring. The rooms at the Bellagio are second to none. They're rooms are gigantic, some of the biggest gamblers in the world stay there. Their nightlife, they have The Bank Nightclub which replaced Light a few years ago. The Bank Nightclub does really well, especially on Sunday nights it's definitely the busiest club in town on Sundays. Caramel is a lounge, but actually it does really well, especially during fights and what have you because you can go in there and watch it on closed circuit TV. They have a wide variety of restaurants. Prime is a fantastic steakhouse by Jean-Georges. Yellow tail is fantastic sushi and Japanese fusion. Fix is kind of the more fun atmosphere which is rare for a Bellagio-type hotel which is usually pretty stuffy. Sensi is another restaurant that's amazing that has kind of an eclectic bento box feel where you can get four different types of meals all at the same time. The parking is fantastic at the Bellagio, and while it's kind of a pain to get in the front door, if you know to get dropped off at North Valet there's never a wait and it's actually a great place to grab a taxi if you don't wanna wait in line.
The Highlights of the MGM Grand Las Vegas
KA is one of the many shows done by Cirque du Soleil, and while not considered to be the best one in town, it's certainly an amazing performance. Wet Republic is one the busiest, one of the hottest pool parties in Las Vegas. In its third season Wet Republic booked some of the best DJs in the world on a regular basis, and the crowds and the numbers definitely show it. It has a separate valet for locals and a seemingly open checkbook for booking talent. The Crazy Horse Paris is more like a show of the past with performers on stage and very little crowd interaction. Still, for what it is, the girls are beautiful and you don't need to leave your hotel. If you're a gambler and will to spend a lot of money on your hotel room, the MGM does have some amazing suites and villas. The Skylofts are a fairly recent addition to the MGM, which are basically big apartments, mostly two stories with a very contemporary feel and look to them. And nearby is the MGM mansion which encompasses some of the most lavish and secret rooms in Las Vegas; some even have multiple swimming pools inside and they're upward of 10,000 square feet. One final experience at the MGM is the lion habitat which showcases direct descendants of Leo, the MGM lion that roars at the beginning of every MGM movie past and present. The clear cage is perfectly visible from the casino floor and free to the public to watch.
The Highlights of the Excalibur
There aren't many highlights of the Excalibur, unless you enjoy the smell of red carpet. First and foremost if you are group of females, Thunder from Down Under is their male stripper view. All the guys are actually from Australia or can really fake an accent. It's actually supposed to be a better show than Chippendale's. I don't know, you have to like Australians in order to believe that. But it isn't a very very popular show. Also the Tournament of the kings is a weird dinner show that has jousting and they feed you which is great. It's actually pretty entertaining, it's for all ages, but I know lot of grownups that are really really entertained by it. And then the last one is Dick's Last Resort which is bar restaurant theme. They are typically not known for their good food, but what they are really known for is their bad attitude. They intentionally give you poor service, not part of how they took off, but it's actually a popular concept. It's not just here in Vegas. There are lot of birthday parties that get thrown in there because, they make a big deal about it. They make you out of paper hats. If you are a kid or if you are an immature adult it's a fun place to go to.
The Highlights of the Golden Nugget Las Vegas
First and foremost, you can see the biggest golden nugget in the world. Its way way bigger than you think it is. They have it in a case along side I believe the third biggest golden nugget. Every last pool has a water slide which takes you through an actual shark tank itself. That's the only one I have heard of at least here in Las Vegas. There is also a zip line right outside the Golden Nugget that brings you about 50 feet above the Fremont Street experience. So you can kind of zip above the crowd below you and then still see the show from above you. The biggest highlight of the Golden Nugget is that its the nicest hotel downtown by far and away. Its nicer than every other hotel downtown combined together if you took everything amazing about all the other hotels. Rooms are clean and the gambling is good. Tom Breitling and Tim Poster went in there eight years ago and remodeled the place and really did a good job of bringing high end back to downtown Las Vegas.
The Highlights of the Luxor Las Vegas
Criss Angel has created a show on being vague and awfully good looking. He brought his TV magic to the live stage and teaming up with Vegas concert created the show called Believe, which seams to be a home run whenever it was pitched. But terrible reviews and just bad Luxor casino remodel, fallowed by the their nightclub product LAX undergoing massive management change due to IRS investigations lead to the demise of the couple years ago. A new bar called the Civil Row which was formally noir bar just opened up to add little more live. Cathouse is busy remodeling and redesigning their nightclubs slash restaurant concept. It's not bad, it's not great. They do after-hours and they often do speak-easy during a day. There is bodies which is a show that grossly enough shows you what a body looks like without a skin on it and in various forms and shows you diseases and it's truly gross. And there is a restaurant called Tacos and Tequilas also called TNT which is probably their trendiest. probably the most fun, it's kinda a high energy Mexican restaurant. It's usually a lot of there, which is kind of bizarre and I don't know why, but every single time I go there there's a ton of older ladies there hitting on the other guys. So if you are into that, amazingly enough, they've found the niche.
The Highlights of the Imperial Palace Las Vegas
The location is probably its best attribute other than the actual location on the strip. The (center?) 150 yard line. They do have an auto collection there. Which is the worlds largest, and they claim to be the finest classic car show room. And they have 100 million dollars worth of inventory there. Basically all of the cars are for sale. Which is pretty amazing, they're not just showcasing the cars. You buy a pass to go see the cars, where every car has a price on it. So, the nice thing is if you actually saw something you wanted you could drive away with a car that day.
Rockhouse is a rock and roll themed, low end, dive bar. Which is right off the strip. They have a daiquiri stand. Which is, no kidding, on the strip, and then you walk through that stand and it goes into the nightclub/bar. There's a lot of turn-and-burn mentality of it. It's not a place where you're going to bottle service or anything like that. Apparently, there's a place called Frank Marino's Viva Las Vegas. which is really good if you're into drag queens.
The Highlights of Rio Las Vegas
The Highlights of Rio Las Vegas: There's a wine cellar hidden in the basement of the Rio. It's a true gem in an otherwise forgotten casino, containing one of the biggest wine collections in the United States. The wine cellar is know for its inventive wine and cheese whites and you can also pick up a rare bottle of wine for your collection or a bottle of magnum of Rothschild's for that special occasion.
Two floors above the wine cellar is Martorano's Italian Restaurant, known for his bad-boy image and infinity for DJing and cooking at the same time. This nighttime destination is truly the only youthful place to eat at the Rio and it's next door to the Chippendale's show so it's a good spot to find a group of girls either coming or going to the show. That being said, the Chippendale's show is probably the number one attraction to the casino now that the World Series of Poker is said to be moving. But they also put the Chippendale show next to the exits so the casino doesn't reap all the benefits of the groups of women. Just bad planning I guess.
One shining light at the Rio is their high end suites known as the Palazzo suites. They actually existed before the Palazzo Hotel. They're big and very nice, they don't seem to belong at the Rio at all. Many high end gamblers stay there because of the private gambling in the back, where you never actually enter the Rio itself and because it's part of Cesar's entertainment they have access to the largest gambling database in the world.
The Highlights of Circus Circus Las Vegas
One thing about Circus Circus is they have an Adventure dome there, which is an indoor fairgrounds. The best time of year for locals especially is Halloween because they do actually throw an amazing Halloween party there; they do it all month, they have horror shops, they have an indoor roller coaster, but they make it Halloween-themed. It's the best Halloween show in Las Vegas and it doesn't depend on the weather because it's a dome. They have a few rides that are inside the Adventure dome itself. They have one that's called the Canyon Blaster which has a double corkscrew and goes 55 mph, which is pretty impressive considering you're actually indoors. They have a spinning disk, they have a Sponge Bob Square Pants ride, they have a Dora the Explorer, like 4-dimensional ride. They have a slingshot which is similar to the one on top of the Stratosphere; however, the fact that you're not on top of the Stratosphere kinda takes away from the terror. The steakhouse at Circus Circus is actually one of the best steakhouses in Las Vegas, which is pretty rare considering it's inside Circus Circus. They actually have a Rock & Rita's place as well, which is a pretty good burger bar. They serve breakfast there. But it's a party atmosphere inside Circus Circus and fairly new as well.
The Highlights of Mandalay Bay Las Vegas
The highlights of Mandalay Bay right now will actually change within the next 18 months. Currently, some of the cool things there are the Foundation Room, which is on top of the actual Mandalay Bay tower itself. It is a private club, absolutely beautiful, a little bit dated. It's high-end for the House of Blues crowd. House of Blues is their concert, bar that's inside Mandalay Bay. They have a wave pool there. It's second to none in Las Vegas. They have Moorea which is a high-end, topless adult pool. Strip steak is a fantastic restaurant. Aureole I've mentioned before; Aureole is one of the best restaurants in Las Vegas both for atmosphere and for food. They actually just remodeled it as well. Mandalay Bay is actually undergoing a transformation. The Lion King is going away and they're putting in a Michael Jackson - Cirque du Soleil experience. Right now it's currently a traveling Michael Jackson show, but this is gonna be the home base for it, and they're also going to have a Michael Jackson museum, a Michael Jackson tribute, they're really going heavily into Michael Jackson. And then where Rum Jungle used to be will be a new nightclub. Another highlight of Mandalay Bay itself is THE hotel which is the all-suite tower of Mandalay Bay. They have great rooms; they don't really have any amazing rooms, but all the rooms are good. It's obviously very popular for the convention space which is attached to Mandalay Bay.
How to Get Free Drinks in Vegas
Unless you're a hot girl you probably don't even know that drinks cost money. Vegas does have a few ways for you to drink for free both, by the book and under the radar. The legal answer is you need to be gambling and the casino or bar is happy to give you free drinks. If you gamble enough you can get as much alcohol as you want for free. Even if you win the drinks are still free as long as you're actually, gambling. The problem with the gambling is that you're doing just that, gambling and chances are if you gamble, you're going to lose. They didn't build all these billion dollar resorts by giving away money. So, how do you get around this? The best way is the everlasting hundred dollar bill method. Step one, get a hundred dollar bill and a friend and sit down at the bar right in front of the bartender, order your drinks from the bartender, and then, order your drinks from the bartender. Nothing outrageous one drink as piece and then wait for them to return to put the hundred dollar bill in the machine. He will see your hundred dollars in credit and assume you will be gambling. Some people will tell you you can use a twenty dollar bill, but I've found that the bartender will wait to see how much you gamble before comping you and your friend with a twenty dollar bill and with the hundred it's usually no problem with the two drinks and especially, because he's fishing for a tip. After you get your drinks get into a conversation with your friend about whatever. Wait for the bartender to walk away to serve someone else and then, simply cash out and walk away. No need to run because he doesn't know if you've gambled or not so you're not guilty of anything wrong in his eyes besides not tipping and for all he know you gambled a hundred at a time and lost it all. Repeat the process at a different bar preferably not in the same casino, but definitely not within the site of the same bartender. It's a little immoral, but then, so's ten bucks for a beer. Thank you for the tip and the hit. I hope to do more of your hits tonight.
Fun Things to Do on the Las Vegas Strip
The pirate show, called "Sirens at TI" is a cool, free show, that can be seen from the side walk four or five times a day depending on the season. Next door at the mirage is another free show that runs every hour from 8pm till midnight called "The Volcano" its been ramped up from the eruption below and to include fire bursting out of the lake below. But if you don't get to see it don't worry you actually aren't missing too much. Across the street, in an ally way tucked between hairs and flamingo is carnival court. Its an outdoor festival that has oddities and a fair like atmosphere, There's a stage with live performances and a bar that boasts some of the best flair bartenders in the country, Even if you don't drink there that impressive so you should go by and check it out. Down a bit further and back across the street is the best free show in Vegas, the Bellagio fountains, they run from 3pm until midnight every thirty minutes or every fifteen minutes depending on the time of day. So don't fret if you miss it, another one is just around the corner. The Eiffel Tower at the Paris hotel across the street from the Bellagio fountains, has an observation deck and a restaurant inside of it, both of which provide amazing views of not only the Bellagio fountains but the entire Las Vegas strip. Sometimes the lines get a bit long, but if you can stand the standing around, its actually a really nice view. Further down the street and across the strip is "New York, New York" which boast a roller coaster that weaves you through the buildings that make up the New York skyline. The "Cyclone" as its called, runs all day and night weather permitting. starting around 10am and finishing close to 1am on the weekends.
Guide to Shopping in Las Vegas
Shopping in Las Vegas consists of four tiers, ranging from the outlet malls all the way up to the flagship designer stores. The Bells outlet malls in the South end of the strip, about a mile or two pass me all day. It has a good Nike outlet, a good Calvin Klein outlet, and it's a real place to buy Chuck Taylors at the Converse store. And I'll see any reason to pay full price to work out your T-shirts, underwear, and shoes that haven't changed style in 35 years. The next level is your everyday shopping which is done at the Fashion Show Mall. Here you have your Macys, your Bloomingdales, and your Neiman Marcus, and while they do have nice things, you can also find your Forever 21, and your Apple store and your Abercrombie and Fitch, if that's your thing. It's located on the North end of the strip across in the wind and next door to Treasure Island. The mall definitely has the best variety and is the only one with actual department stores in it, vastly different from all the other shopping experiences in Vegas. The next level is the Forum shops in Caesar's Palace and the Mall de Palazzo. The Forum shops are the best laid out in my opinion, but being predominantly one story, it's a bit of height from one end to the other. When you do eventually get to the new edition, the stores over there are really disappointing. The Palazzo is a maze of good shopping and zero waiting because nobody shops here with the exception of the employees of the Palazzo and the Venetian I would guess, just out of sheer convenience. It's high-end and completely empty. Even the Barney's has nobody in it. The final tier is crystals at Aria which looks more like an airplane hangar with huge open spaces and baffling color scheme. It does have some amazing stores, the Tom Ford is gigantic, the Louis Vuitton is three stories. Originally it was said that every store that was being put in there had to be the worldwide flagship, but it then went out of the window after the fall in the economy and the lackluster reception of the City Center.
How to Get Discount Tickets to a Las Vegas Show
There's a couple of different strategies. There are actually ticket stands that are on the strip that you can find on, like, the non-Bellagio side of the strip. They actually buy the tickets in bulk so they get a bit of a discount. But if you're actually, truly, want the free experience and you could stand a heavy sales pitch, almost every casino has a kiosk for time shares. Which if you go and listen to their pitch, you can get free tickets to a wide variety of shows.
Typically, the shows that you get tickets to are actually the shows that are inside the casino where the kiosk is at. So don't go listen to a sales pitch for somebody inside Planet Hollywood if you don't want to see a show that's inside Planet Hollywood. You know, take the walk, go down to Caesar's Palace if you want to go watch a show that's in Caesar's Palace. Just kind of a typical rule of thumb, they don't want you to leave the property so if there's gonna be a sales pitch for something that's making you leave the property, they don't want you to leave again whenever they're giving you the tickets.
Other than that, there is definitely discount websites. Your Groupons and your, you know, Living Socials get amazing deals on tickets to shows. 50, 60, 75% off, you know, just depending on the show, depending on the day.
What Are the Best Vegas Shows?
It truly depends on what you like. The Cirque late shows like ""Love" in the Mirage or "O" in the Bellagio, they're beautiful and they're playful, and it's amazing to see how perfectly executed each show is night after night. They also have one called "Zumanity" inside New York New York that definitely is not for children, but it's cool for stay spots to see if your partner is going to be good in bed or not. There's "La Reve" inside the Wynn which is actually Dragone who actually started Cirque de Soliel with Guy Laliberté, and then split off from him after the "O" show. "The Lion King" is inside Mandalay Bay. It's actually shutting down at the end of this year. It's going to turn into a Michael Jackson Cirque show, you know shocker here's another Cirque show. "Blue Man Group" is an obviously, very popular show at the Venetian. And there's typically not too many shows you can't get tickets for a day off or week off, with a few exceptions. My favorite show in Las Vegas right now is probably the "Love" show. I think the music is amazing. Anything that has to do with Cirque in my opinion, it's some of the top quality. The "O" show is another one. Once again, it's a Cirque show. However, just the actual stage and production itself, it's truly amazing in that they built this. I believe it's a 20 million dollar stage that works seamlessly, and the shows are so fantastic that they have all live music playing and performing, and it's the little things like that really get my attention and certainly I've seen every show in Vegas. So you know it's a really something that's amazing for me to go to see whenever my parents come to town or whenever family comes to town is really and truly amazing.
How to See Blue Man Group in Vegas
Our easiest way to go see the Blue Man Group in Las Vegas is to go to the Venetian where they're actually located. Go to their box office or go hit up your casino host if you've been gambling.
They go five days a week, two shows a day. It's obviously a very popular show ,however, not an impossible show to get tickets for.
You could also go on to the Venetian's website. Purchase tickets through their website itself or go to a ticket broker or Vegas.com, purchase tickets to the show there.
Like I said, it's not that difficult to get it in advance, however, once the tickets are gone they are gone. There typically isn't a way to get tickets once they're actually sold out because it's not like a night club or it's not like a restaurant where they overbook. Once the tickets are gone then they're sold out so then you're relying on a ticket broker where you're paying double the price or triple the price depending on how much you want it.
How to Get Comps at Las Vegas Casinos
The answer is very easy, you need to gamble. Doesn't matter what type of gambling, but what does matter is the casino can track your play. If you are just looking for a free drink, just sit down and play, someone will come by and take your drink order. And as long as you are playing, your drinks will be free. Keeping in mind you cant gamble on nickel every five minutes and expect any free drinks. If you are looking for a more serious comp you need to get a players card, which gathers your information and then keeps track of how much and how long you play. And you get coupons or comps in the mail for smaller gamblers. Real gamblers play at the tables, black jack, roulette, craps and for all these the dealers or pit bosses will keep track of your play. All the players will get tallied and the percentage of what you gambled will turn into comp that you can redeem immediately or save for your next trip.
Guide to Las Vegas Restaurants
The good news is whatever you're looking for, we got it. Every hotel typically has a steakhouse, sushi, Italian, a fish house, and either a 24 hour cafe and/or buffet. You just have to pick your passion. Usually the price and somewhat the quality and ambiance matches the casino. Fancy diner experiences flourish at the Wind and Bellagio. For more casual and fun eateries at the Hard Rock and The Palms. And the truly trendy, hipster locations about the Cosmopolitan. If you are looking for the best bargains then head to downtown. You can find good food at better prices because the rent isn't so high. So sometimes that translates into more money spent on ingredients and quality. But in my experience, you get what you pay for in Las Vegas.
Some great spots around town. The Bellagio has Yellow tail which is fantastic sushi and japanese fusion food. The Bellagio has Prime. Aureole at Mandalay Bay has an amazing 50 foot wine fairy that will go and- if you order a bottle of wine they will hoist her up on a pulley system so it's a pretty amazing experience. Next you have swans that are out back that you can feed while you are inside the restaurant. One bit my mother once.
Next on top of Mandalay Bay is beautiful. They actually have a night club that's connected to it. Inside the Luxor, there's no beautiful restaurants at Luxor so you can pretty well skip that. Monte Carlo has a Diablo's which is up front which is a more casual kind of bar, kind of restaurant area. Inside they have Andre's which is a really nice French restaurant. Aria has Todd English P.U.B. which is actually like bar food but it's the only bar food place in all of Aria so it kills it during the day. American Fish is the one of the best menus I've ever seen inside Aria.
At the Cosmopolitan STK is super popular. Scarpetta is a really popular restaurant. Milos is that great fishery inside the Cosmopolitan. Venetian has TAO, but that really more of an atmosphere than it is great food. Not that the food isn't great but that's not the reason why people go there. LAVO inside the Palazzo has the best meatballs in town. Palazzo has Sushi Samba which is really like kind of a hidden gem. They have one in New York and one in Miami but the one in Vegas to me is a different atmosphere because it's actually inside the mall, inside the Palazzo which the mall is completely dead and the Sushi Samba just has fantastic atmosphere. There's always good looking people, there's a great bar that's right inside, they have a lounge that's inside the back called Sugercane. So, that's another great hidden restaurant.
How to Find the Best Buffets in Las Vegas
The best buffets in Las Vegas would definitively depend on what you are looking for in your buffet experience. Some places may excel on sea food such as Rio others are known for their French cuisine like the Paris. The biggest ones are at the Rio and at the Planet Hollywood and offer the widest selections. The Bellagio and the Wynn are commonly know as the two nicest buffets, with the highest quality foods and highest prices. The MGM is now offering an unlimited passes to buffets at some other properties for additional price, which means you can visit the buffets as many times as you want, during the given day. Cesar's entertainment offers twenty four hour pass which is good at seven other casinos, so you are not limited to just one for your selections. If you're go purchase this pass, pick whichever meal you like best and buy the pass late in that meal time at the first day. That way you can go out at the next day and it won't be expired yet. One truly buffet is the Sunday Sterling Brunch at Bally's which will run you eighty five dollars a piece. At over double the price of the next priciest place it gives you an unlimited champagne with lobster, crab legs, caviar and variety of other foods not normally on brunch menu.
What's Las Vegas Weather Like?
The weather in Las Vegas is not 105 like everybody thinks. Sure, June through August is way too hot. Wherever you go from air conditioned hotels to air conditioned cabs and limos, to air conditioned restaurants and clubs. Unless you're actually walking the strip, you don't even notice.
The warmer it is outside, the colder it is inside. So don't forget to bring a cover up or a little jacket when you're going out at night. She's always chilly because the casinos blast the AC to entice the tourists on the strip to come inside and gamble and spin.
For the most part, March through May is beautiful. June through August is too hot and September and October amazing weather again with 80 and calm winds. The winter months are kind of a crap shoot. It's usually a little bit windy and either in the 40s and 50s. But I happen to love jackets and I get to show them off during those months so, at least it's not snowing.