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12nt trip from Ireland. May 11th - May 23rd

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Simpatt, May 26, 2015.

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  1. Simpatt

    Simpatt Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    Messages:
    235
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    14

    My Trip Report

    11th May - 23rd May 2015

    This was around my 15th trip to Vegas, I go every year and travel from Europe.

    I've broken this TR down into different heading for those of you who prefer just to read restaurants/hotels/gambling etc... you can take your pick from the subheadings or read the entire report. This trip was unique as it was our honeymoon as well.

    The long trip to Las Vegas...

    Our Aer Lingus flight left Dublin at 7am, we were on time headed to London for our British Airways connection to Las Vegas. We had no troubles and arrived in Las Vegas on time, around 13:30 local time. Immigration was about 30 mins and I had a limo waiting to take us to our first hotel, The Westgate. Westgate charged $80 with tax for the limo, I think I could have gotten a cheaper one myself with Presidential.... The driver was lovely and got us safely to the Westgate in no time at all. Tipped him a $10 and headed to check in.

    Hotels

    1st hotel - The Westgate 6 nts

    I've stayed here around 6 times and this trip we were lucky enough to get one of their Classic suites. The Santa Fé Suite, located on the 21st floor was huge, with an adjoining second bedroom. I loved the fact that you could get a separate elevator up to the 21st floor that only serves the villas. Saved tonnes of time in the morning coming down to the casino when you often have to stop at every floor. Main points we noted were:

    Huge bathtub and walk in shower
    Beautiful open spaced living room with large dining area as well as separate kitchen.
    Indoor Solarium with reclining chairs, perfect for those who like read.
    Large outdoor patio area, great for sunbathing and overlooking the pool.
    Renovations at the pool are good, fake grass areas are nicer on the foot than the old concrete and the new spa is due to open in the next month. My husband used the gym a lot this trip and says it was pretty decent and not too busy.

    The VIP service could be improved; the service wasn't what I would call VIP, more smiles and personality were needed. Also my credit card was charged after paying cash on check out. They did eventually refund my charges though. As the service and location is so much better on the strip I can't see myself coming back here next time.

    2nd hotel - Bellagio 2nts comped w/$75 free play and $25 dining credit

    This was my first time staying @ the Bellagio and I was very impressed. You definitely feel it's a mammoth step up from the Westgate; and any other hotels and casinos I have stayed in in Vegas; and I've stayed in around 15 including Wynn and most of CET/MGM properties. Everyone greeted us with a genuinely warm welcome and seems reassuringly happy to work there. We were upgraded free of charge to a Premier Fountain room up on the 21st floor. It was of course massively smaller than the Westgate suite, but the view was sublime. The bed was a close second to Wynn in comfort.
    We watched loads of fountain shows from the room of course!

    This was our honeymoon on trip, and I had asked for that to be noted on my reservation. When we arrived in the room we had chocolates waiting for us as well as a personal hand written note saying congratulations and wishing us a nice honeymoon! What a way to welcome your guests, personally. It's these personal touches that make me want to return next time.
    We both loved the pool area at Bellagio, really beautiful and relaxing with a variety of pools with different temperatures.

    3rd hotel - Planet Hollywood comped 4 nts

    I had originally planned to stay at Flamingo/Rio for the last few nights but I was feeling a bit nauseous at the thought of the Flamingo elevator horror stories from this board; also the distance the Rio is from the strip made me rethink the plan. Hunter kindly moved us over to PH and we were happy with the change of plan. We are both young and whilst we enjoyed the luxury of Bellagio, we also like the vibe of PH. I definitely prefer gambling at fun places like this rather than the overly serious tone of some other places. The music at the casino was good, the crowd was fun. Love the 'swim up BJ' at PH.

    Thanks again to Hunter, it was good to meet you this trip as well.

    Our room at PH was nice, we had booked a standard room and we were happy with what we got. Huge bathtub and two vanity areas are nice touches. Our room was high and had a nice view of the strip. The bed was also amazing and almost as comfy as the Bellagio! I learnt that all the rooms are due to undergo a remodel soon as well.

    Despite staying at PH before I still get lost in the casino! One night I had too much booze and couldn't find my blackjack table after going to the bathroom!! I did eventually find my table and my pile of chips....only in Vegas ;) oops. Needless to say that was a losing night, but a really fun night.

    Outside Vegas trips

    Valley of Fire
    We hired a car with Hertz and decided to head out for a couple of day trips. Since hubby is not a degenerate like myself, we decided Valley of Fire would be worthwhile to get me away from the tables and slots. We both loved it and saw some remarkable scenery. Definitely brining the hiking gear next trip and exploring some more! The landscapes and rock formations are magnificent and only an hours' drive outside Vegas.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    Red Rock Canyon
    This has always been a favourite of mine, great location being so close to Sin City, it doesn't eat up your Vegas time like some other day trips can. The 'scenic drive' is beautiful with nice stop off points along the way. What makes it even better is that if you're missing the casino you can always pop into Red Rock casino nearby.

    We also visited South Point and M resort as we had the car. Both were impressive to us, I'm still struggling to see how these places can be so huge, so full and yet so far from the strip. You could spend a weekend in either place and not leave!

    Restaurants/eats

    Mon Ami Gabi
    Always a favourite. We both had steak frites, medium, and it was to die for. Really tasty, melt in your mouth steaks and delicious fries. I'll always come back to MAG not only for the food but for the service and views. We had an outside patio table which for me, completes the meal. People watching is awesome from this spot!


    Lago @ Bellagio
    Lago had only been open a few weeks/a month. The waitress said to us upon arrival there had been some teething problems but all in all its been a roaring success. We ordered mojitos whilst we waited for out outside table. Cocktails were delicious and as you'd expect very alcoholic!
    We were seated half an hour late, but it's only fair to expect a longer wait when requesting a patio seat anywhere in Vegas. I chose a 7:30pm slot to catch some dusk as well as nighttime fountain shows and they were of course amazing from the patio.
    Lago is tapas style food, so be sure to order a few options. I had the lamb chop and hubby had a pasta dish. We also ordered another cocktail each and I think a portion of fries to share. Total came to €115 before a tip but well worth it in my view, for the service and the view. Subtract these two elements and the food alone isn't worth that much IMO. Overall experience makes it worthwhile.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Peppermill
    This was my first time and wasn't disappointed. The eggs Benedict were top class and good value for money! I liked the warm friendly environment as well, the lighting is very Vegas with blue and purple neon all around.

    [​IMG]

    Earl of Sandwich
    Whether it's the breakfast muffins or a tuna melt, I always can rely of EOS to deliver. A meal rarely costs more than €15 and it's always good quality. Nice and convenient when staying at PH as well.

    Le Café - Paris
    I was taken to Le Café for a surprise lunch and had a delicious onion soup to start and a chicken Caesar for my main. The onion soup was delicious and the Caesar was good. I like being in the open casino space and people watching here, service was as you'd expect but nothing to write home about.

    Buffets!
    Where do I start? I'm going to do a league table of the buffets ewe ate at with some comments where appropriate:

    1) Aria dinner buffet. Why? Simplicity of the layout, quality and variety of food, presentation, cleanliness. My favourites are the Aria branded cheesecakes, tandoori station, meat selection and mash potatoes!

    2) Bellagio dinner. Excellent selection again, just not quite as good as Aria in the other areas for me.

    3) Cravings dinner @ Mirage. You get free alcohol with your buffet which is a plus!

    4) Le Village breakfast and dinner @ Paris. Great French onion soup and croissants if going for breakfast.

    5) Spice Market dinner buffet @ PH. Always enjoyed this one, used to be my No.1. It's till good but I think the quality of the others have improved so much. Despite being 5th it's still great IMO.

    6) Harrah's breakfast. This is okay, nothing more.

    7) Westgate buffet. Below standard, food was tasteless compared to the others and some food was dry. Cheapest of the buffets however.

    Gambling
    I'm a blackjack and slots player, with the odd, quick roulette session. BJ was generally fair to good. I had some winning sessions (tend to buy in for $200, green chip player). I tend to cash out if I get up to $500. If I am drunk these rules don't apply...and can either serve me well or wipe me out. I am in Vegas to have fun and if I lose and have fun I'm a happy camper. I cashed out at $500 3 or 4 times during the 12nt stay, lost my 200-400 a day otherwise. Had some great play @ Bellagio playing $50 a hand and coming alway a winner, I had most fun though at PH on the $15 tables playing $20-40 a hand. The crowd is always more vibrant and fun, love the music and dealers as well.

    I did notice a lot more 3:2 at CET properties, well done to CET for not continuing the trend of 6:5 at every table.

    Slots - I'm a 1c/2c video slots player and enjoyed good sessions on Pharaohs Fortune at PH, Lobstermania is another old favourite of mine. I also played some Duck Stamps, MJ, Titanic (Celine didn't sing for me...), 200 Pandas (they were cruel to me too).
    I played these Asian slots with the little pots of gold that fill up progressively, when they fill the lid shuts and you get a chance at a progressive. Well I didn't ever get above the minor but the bonus rounds served me well. I hit for $400 a couple of times @ Westgate, lost much more than that in return.

    My better half, who isn't a gambler, was playing a $20 for me at Casino Royale on the 'Catch The Big One 2' fishing slot. He got the bonus on max bet ($1.75 I think) and hit all the fish for $1600!!! Of course lost around a third of it to the tax man but still this was our best hit for the trip, and a first W2G.


    Shows

    Jubilee!
    An old time classic! We loved Jubilee! We got front seats for $65 each and had a blast.

    Absinthe
    Wow! We were not disappointed. Great seats and mind boggling acrobatics and shockingly good balancing skills! We were picked on by the gazillionaire as the gays in the crowd and had so much fun. He is a gruesome yet hilarious man and has a dark sense of humour. We loved him! I would highly recommend this show to anyone who has an open mind and enjoys an intimate show with stunning acrobatics and a fun fuelled atmosphere. I'd see it again!

    Other notes

    Looking to come back for a shorter trip in November and then again June 2016 for my birthday.

    Weather was very strange for May. Usually May is one of the, if not the, best month weather-wise. Not too hot (yet) and mainly sunny and warm. We had two days with some rain and we didn't have a could less sky all 12 days, much to my husbands displeasure! Temperatures were in 70s-80s which was fine although cooler than average.

    After the slot win we hit the north premium outlets and they had just opened a brand new section! All you shoppers go check it out next time you're in Vegas!

    And there we have it. I hope you enjoyed the TR, I'm already planning my next visit. We got a lot done this trip, I had to play tour guide as well as get my gambling in and we struck the balance well.

    I am still and will always be in love with Vegas,
    Simon
     
  2. Simpatt

    Simpatt Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    A final closing comment; thanks to everyone who makes this message board so amazing. So much to learn and everyone's contribution goes towards making our next trips that bit more special.
     
  3. pd54

    pd54 Low-Roller

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    Thanks for you TR. Really good read, especially coming from a fellow Irishman!
     
  4. Simpatt

    Simpatt Low-Roller

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    Thanks pd! I'm almost Irish, born in the UK but live here in Ireland now ;)
     
  5. Superpocky

    Superpocky VIP Whale

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    Very nice trip report, thanks for sharing! I also liked the Aria buffet a lot, as you probably remembered from my TR, so glad that you and your partner had a great honeymoon trip in vegas!
     
  6. Simpatt

    Simpatt Low-Roller

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    Thanks Pocky, your TR was just awesome!
     
  7. Electroguy563

    Electroguy563 Over-Fried Gambler

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    Very nice trip report! I would love to do a long trip to Vegas, actually take a couple of days off of gambling and just relax at the pool, see movies, shop, and sightsee.

    Really nice pictures also. Thank you for taking the time to post.
     
    Going to Hawaii's 9th Island!!
    Going to Hawaii's 9th island!!
  8. Simpatt

    Simpatt Low-Roller

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    Thanks Electroguy. I've had all kinds of Vegas trips over the years; this one was a real mix of everything. All that was missing was a club and real night out
     
  9. Simpatt

    Simpatt Low-Roller

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    [​IMG]

    Forgot to add my favourite Aria dessert...!

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    View from our Fountain Room @ Bellagio

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    Stormy Vegas....

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    Westgate renovated pool area

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    Finally our handpay (lost 1/3 of this however, boo)
     
  10. RockyBalboa

    RockyBalboa VIP Whale

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    Fantastic report! Thanks for sharing. I loved the red rock pic!
     
  11. BiGP

    BiGP Low-Roller

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    Nice TR
     
  12. Electroguy563

    Electroguy563 Over-Fried Gambler

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    Wow. That pic of the dessert at Aria looks great! Is that a cheesecake? I love cheesecake.
     
    Going to Hawaii's 9th Island!!
    Going to Hawaii's 9th island!!
  13. Kolmeseiska

    Kolmeseiska Low-Roller

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  14. TomTWI

    TomTWI High-Roller

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    Heck I was planning to meet you in Ireland, we are going in November our first time. But I see your going to Vegas in November. Kidding of course loved your TR.

    TomTWI
     
  15. Blonde_4_ever

    Blonde_4_ever "The Welfare Queen of Windsor"

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    Wonderful report and CONGRATS!

    [​IMG]
     
  16. sam_marques

    sam_marques High-Roller

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    Great TR!! Sounds like you had an amazing time! Your view at Bellagio was stunning!!
     
    Mommys Solo Trips
  17. KyleB

    KyleB Low-Roller

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    Great read, glad you had a good time, and nice jackpot win!
     
  18. Simpatt

    Simpatt Low-Roller

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    Thanks for them kind words guys :) and thank you Bonnie!

    Haha Tom - should I cancel my Vegas trip? Hmmmm not gonna happen . Hope to meet you sometime though!

    Kolmeseiska - it was my Brazilian husband who had his card in the machine and we didn't want to risk looking dodgy by swapping over!! We have the paperwork maybe he can claim it back still?

    Electro - it sure is....they are to die for!! I could eat 10 of them and still want more ;)
     
  19. Jordan

    Jordan Caveman

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    Awesome report fella, thanks for sharing!
     
  20. Hobofrank

    Hobofrank Prime Minister of Idiocracy

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    you know you can get that 3rd back by filling out a tax form next April?
     
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