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A Sweet Suite Trip Report

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by LBinStL, Feb 23, 2003.

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  1. LBinStL

    LBinStL Tourist

    Apr 23, 2002

    My Trip Report

    We have returned from our Rio trip. Stayed in a fabulous suite and had a great time. I’ll break this report into parts about various aspects of the trip – read what you want and skip the dull stuff!!

    AIR TRAVEL – Just a few tidbits about our flights and airport security details.

    HOTEL – We had a wonderful stay in a Rio Masquerade Suite – very, very nice!! Teaser: our suite had a doorbell, as it was too big for a knock on the door to be heard in parts of the suite – plus the master bathroom was 40 feet long!

    SHOWS – One big winner and one not-so-hot exhibit.

    GAMBLING – Almost totally $1 VP

    MISC – Diamond Lounge, restaurants, etc.


    To get you all in the mood for a trip report….

    Our suite had a wonderful Jacuzzi located next to the window of the master bathroom. We were on the 18th floor of the Masquerade tower of the Rio. On our last night, as I usually do, I just soaked and bubbled the day’s aches away while gazing on the Las Vegas night. I turned out all the inside lights so the night appeared even more sparkling and clear. I just took in the views trying to commit it to memory until our next trip. I could see from Caesars to the Strat to downtown to the Rio’s other tower to the Palms. The weather is good and the night skies are cloudless. There are bright flashes and I realize that it is the Pirate show at Treasure Island. I can’t see the actual show but the fire flames can be seen above the hotel. Since the Rio sits a little way off the strip, the panoramic view of the Las Vegas valley is spectacular. Our trip has come to an end, but we had 4 days of fun…

    AIR TRAVEL - Just a few notes. Our round trip, non-stop flights cost us a total of $5/each. We used our accumulated American Air Frequent Flier miles for this trip. I did have to schedule it far in advance to take advantage of using the FF miles, but that was no problem. In St. Louis, you can use a self service check in desk if your tickets were purchased from the American Air web site. You go to a computer terminal and print out your own boarding passes (or you can actually print your boarding pass from you home computer.) Then you stop at a check in desk where you get your luggage tags. After your luggage has been tagged, you do have to take your bags yourself to the x-ray machines. If you use the regular check in lines, the airline takes your luggage to the x-ray machines and you do not have to move it yourself. If there was not such a long line at the regular check in counter, we probably would have just used that facility. But, there was a very long line and the self service desk had just a few people in line. The security line was not long at all in St. Louis – we were through it quickly.

    When we arrived at Las Vegas we came in on the D concourse. You have to take a tram to the main terminal. The trams were a mess. For some reason, the first one we got on did not return to the main terminal. It just sat there. So, everyone got off that tram and got on the other one. It had problems also and it took a long time to get to the main terminal and the baggage carousels. We joked that at least with all this delay, surely our bags will be waiting for us. Wrong. Things were really slow and we had a long wait, but in the end our suitcases showed up and we hopped in a cab to the Rio.

    The pilot of our incoming flight recommended that everyone get to the airport at least 2 hours early for their departing flights. We got to the airport about 2 ½ hours early to return. The American lines were very, very long for check in. They were long at the curbside check in and also inside the terminal. It didn’t matter where we checked in our bags, we still had to carry them to the x-ray machines ourselves – and wait in another line to do so. Then the security lines at McCarran were really long for the D concourse. We waited about 45 minutes in that line. My very small wristwatch set off the alarms so I had to be wanded. The set up there is not very good when that happens. My purse was sitting over in the holding area from the x-ray machine and I was standing in the wanding line separated from my purse by a glass wall and a lot of security roping. It was not a good feeling to see my purse sitting there with me unable to get to it.


    HOTEL – We have been staying at the Rio for many years. We love it there and are treated wonderfully by our Host. We have been comped our suite and food and show tickets, etc for a long time. We had been staying in a Carioca suite for quite a few years and were ready to try something else. We asked our Host if we could be upgraded to a Masquerade suite. It is the largest they have (except for the separate Palazzo suite building) and we really didn’t know if she would comp it for us. But, she said right away that we could have the Masquerade suite and we were excited about that.

    Pictures of our suite are posted at www.vegasphotoguide.com/submitted/lbinstl/. The Masquerade suites are located at the end of the hallways in the Rio’s Masquerade tower (the taller building). If you look at the Masquerade tower you can see how the ends of the building are rounded. That round shape is the same shape as the outer wall of these suites. The entire outer wall is floor to ceiling windows and takes up the total perimeter of the suites. The glass wall is about 125 feet long from one end of the suite to the other. The views from these windows are spectacular – we had a 180 degree panoramic view of the strip, the mountains and the whole valley. The glass window wall starts in the dining room, forms the outer wall of the living room and bedroom and ends at the Jacuzzi in the bathroom.

    The suites are 1600 square feet. When we first went in, we saw that there was a doorbell next to the door. We couldn’t figure out why, but as we saw how large the suite was we realized that there were parts of it that could not hear a knock on the door. You enter into a large foyer that has a coat closet located off of it. There is also the “guest†bathroom adjacent to the foyer. From the foyer you also see a frosted glass window. On the other side of the window is the wet bar, fridge, and coffeemaker. The furniture is white/bleached oak. It had a sort of Scandinavian feel to it in color and style. You enter the living room first. It has a couch, easy chair and ottoman, 2 wing chairs, end tables and large square coffee table. There was a large TV in a wall unit and also a CD player/upgraded sound system. The couch and easy chair are stuffed with down feathers. They are very comfortable. I knew they had down stuffing as they were so soft, plus a few feather escaped from a seam every once in a while!! The dining room was off to the left. There was a clear glass round dining table with 6 chairs. There was a credenza that had a high speed internet access machine connection on top of it. Also in the dining room was the wet bar, sink and fridge. We would sit at the dining table drinking our morning coffee and watching the sun rise and hit the mountains in the distance.

    Through a door from the living room was the bedroom. It had a king size bed, another TV, a writing desk, and a couch. On the wall at the head of the bed, there were 2 doors – one on each side of the bed. These doors both went to the master bathroom. This bathroom was 40 feet long – so big it needed 2 doors – one on each end. In the bath room suite, there was a dressing room with a chest of drawers, a safe, clothes hanging rods and iron and board. Then there was another room that contained the toilet. Then next, there was a walk in shower and beyond that the Jacuzzi located at the window. There was a marble dressing table with a bench and another vanity area that had 2 sinks. This was one gigantic bathroom!! There were so many light switches on the walls of the bathroom - I don’t think we ever figured them all out in 4 days. There was a switch for each of the vanity areas, one for the dressing room, one for the toilet room, a switch for the light in the shower and another switch for the light over the Jacuzzi. This suite had 4 separate heating/cooling units. There was a separate thermostat for the dining room, one for the living room, one for the bedroom and one for the bathroom.

    There was track lighting on the ceiling that threw lights on the artwork on the walls. There were 5 separate sets of draperies that covered the glass walls. The first night, we went around and pulled all the drapes closed. But, the next night, we left the drapes open and the “glow†from the Las Vegas night lights was just wonderful. There were no glaring lights that came into the rooms, just a lovely halo of light that surrounded us. The sun did not shine into the suite until the afternoon, so we didn’t have to worry about the sun waking us up early in the morning.

    Every evening, we were brought a plate of wonderful cookies. I’m not sure exactly who sent them – it was not a maid that came to the door, but a “room service†kind of guy. One night the cookies were peanut butter cookies with peanut butter filling. Another night, it was butter cookies with apricot filling. And, the very best were the chocolate chip cookies with fudge filling – spectacular. Our bed was turned down each evening and chocolates were left on the pillows. We were just treated like royalty.

    We have been Rio customers for about a dozen years and our treatment has gotten better as time has passed. We have not paid for a suite or food or show tickets or anything else for a long time. When we check in at the VIP check in, we really do not even “registerâ€. Somehow, it is already done for us. We don’t show a credit card of any kind. We gave our name and the clerk, just reached in a drawer and handed us our keys. I guess our credit card is on file there, but I’m not sure. Our experience at the Rio has been beyond belief.

    SHOWS –

    We saw one show and one exhibit – both coincidentally concerning Old Time Rock and Roll.

    The first was an exhibit supposedly “at the Rio†that was a photographic display of 500 original photos depicting the history of Rock. It was called Rock X-Posed. We got free tickets via a Rio email offer. Tickets were $12 apiece if they had to be bought. The actual exhibit was very nice. The photos were very different and not ones normally seen. There were many of a young Elvis, lots of Beatles, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Stones, Chuck Berry. The problem with the display was the site of the exhibit. I thought it was going to be in the area of the Rio where they had previously had displays such as Treasures of Russia and the Titanic exhibit. But, oh no, this Rock X-Posed display was said to be in a “tent adjacent to the Rioâ€. OK, that’s kind of weird. But, stranger was that this very large tent (we were told it covered several acres) was located practically in the middle of the Rio’s parking lot. It was a very peculiar location – all off by itself. In fact, it was so remotely located, this display was getting very few people seeing it. We had to go out of the hotel to the Masquerade garage and take the elevator to the ground level. Then, walk through the garage, cross several driveways, walk across a grassy area that had no sidewalks and across part of the parking lot to get to this tent. Then, we get to the tent and realize that the side that was facing the Rio was not the entrance, but the back of the tent. You had to walk all the way around this stupid humongous tent that cover many acres to get to the side that had the entrance. It was just a ridiculous distance to walk. It was just so strange that is was out in basically the middle of nowhere. Supposedly, the display was open until 11pm each evening, but I cannot imagine anyone going at night. First, it was kind of creepy where it was, plus it was so poorly lighted and difficult to locate, I really don’t think it would be easy to find – especially at night. We could see the tent from our room and there were hardly any cars or pedestrians around it. It was really a neat display and idea, but the location was horrible.

    Now, for the really GOOD show – we saw my all time favorite singers – The Righteous Brothers. We saw them a few years ago and I was so happy that they would be there when we were in Las Vegas this trip. They were at the Orleans. It is a great showroom for a singing act – nice sized with all seats being good ones. I have loved them and their music from the first time I ever heard “You’ve Lost That Lovin Feeling†back in the 60’s.

    Their voices are not quite what they were when they were younger. But, their enthusiasm and their show was still fabulous. The show opened with a big screen that showed a picture of them from the 60’s, then one from the 70’s, the 80’s and then 90’s. Then, they announcer said the Righteous Brothers in the 2000’s and they came out on the stage. They really were great. They sang every song I wanted them to sing plus more. They also really know who their audience is. They have such a good time teasing all of us in the audience about our ages and they make fun of themselves also. They have been together as an act for 41 years. They casually mentioned something about now being in their 50’s. There were a lot of groans from the audience as we knew they were both a little beyond their 50’s. They laughed and said well, they used to be 58, then 59 and well, now they were “fifty – twelve†– meaning, of course, that they are now both 62.

    They talked a lot and were very funny between numbers. They also said, that of course it did not matter to them at all, but in 29 days, 12 hours, 7 minutes and 15 seconds, they were going to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!! They deserve that honor so much. They sang so many great songs – Lovin Feeling, Rock and Roll Heaven, Unchained Melody, You’re My Soul and Inspiration, Time of My Life. They ended the evening with Old Time Rock and Roll and the place was absolutely alive!! I just adore them and enjoyed every minute of their show. As far as I am concerned, it was the best show I have ever seen anywhere.

    As we left, I noticed that my throat was a little sore. I then realized that I had been singing along with the Righteous Brothers for the last hour and a half. We returned to our suite, entered and found the wonderful chocolate chip cookies on the table, saw that the bed had been turned down and there were chocolates on the pillow. I hopped into the Jacuzzi for a few minutes with the Righteous Brothers’ songs still playing round and round in my head. I felt like the evening had been made JUST for me and I enjoyed every perfect minute of it!!!


    GAMBLING – We are VP players. My husband plays quarters and I play dollars. I am a much more heavy duty player than he is. Most of our comps are based on my play. I play max coins in every time, so each deal is a $5 bet. I play very fast – always have. A lady next to me said I played like I was typing – very fast and concentrated. We came out ahead by a few hundred dollars this trip. That is just fine – a big win is always hoped for, but breaking even or coming out a little ahead is great. I hit lots and lots of four-of-a-kinds. I would guess over the 4 days, I hit 35 to 40 of them. I hit one straight flush, but the ultimate Royal eluded me this trip. My best “quickie win†was when I put a $100 in a $1 VP machine and cashed out 10 MINUTES later with $615. It happened very fast – just about every 5th hand was four of a kind. When I went over $600 so quickly, I cashed out, folded the bills and stuck in back in my wallet. Most days, I can find a machine that I can play while being “in the zoneâ€. What I mean is that I usually can find a machine that I can play and play and play for several hours with just one $100 bill put into it. I don’t win a lot, but I also don’t lose a lot when I find a machine like that. What I do is I put many, many points on our Total Reward card on a machine like that. With the way things work for us, lots of points translates into comped rooms, food, etc. So, even though I don’t win money when I play a machines that is “in the zoneâ€, I also don’t lose money. With those kind of sessions, I cash out with the same amount I originally put it. What the benefit to us is that by putting a lot of points on our card, we will reap the benefits of the points on our next trip by getting our great suites, etc comped. There are not 9/6 machines at the Rio – or if there are any they are very well hidden! But I found lots of 8/5 ones and that was OK with me. I enjoy playing VP – that is the main thing I come to Las Vegas to do. It was a good gambling trip.


    MISC – They have changed the entrance to the Rio’s Diamond Lounge since we were there last Septemebr. You used to be able to get to the elevator to the second floor lounge from one of the hallways. Then, you checked in on the second floor right at the entrance to the lounge. Now, you can only access the elevator by going through the High Limit Slots area. They have now located the desk where you check in right there on the main floor next to the elevator. So, you need to check in before you can get on the elevator to the second floor lounge. The food, drinks, service and desserts in the lounge were still wonderful. My main problem with the Diamond Lounge is that it does not open until 4pm on weekdays. I wish it had longer operating hours.

    We are not big time eaters – really don’t go to fancy places. The Sao Paulo Café at the Rio has improved over time. In the beginning, it wasn’t too good, but the service and the food have been very good lately. The All American Grill at the Rio is still first rate. Plus, Toscano’s Deli also remains a good place for a quick bite.


    If you stuck through this whole long report, I am amazed!!! We’ll return later this year for another go at Las Vegas.

    [ February 26, 2003, 05:09 AM: Message edited by: LBinStL ]
  2. Little Bob

    Little Bob Low-Roller

    Aug 18, 2002
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Great report! I am surprised they comped you so well on video poker. The speed you play must mean a lot of coin in over a period of time. Your suite pictures and description were fabulous. Enjoyed your description of the Righteous Brothers. We want to see them on a trip to Vegas sometime.
  3. LBinStL

    LBinStL Tourist

    Apr 23, 2002
    Big Bob - Go see the Righteous Brothers - you will not be disappointed!

    Our comps at the Rio involve more than our VP play. For one thing, we have been staying at the Rio almost since it first opened a dozen or so years ago. I believe that they average your play over your last 6 visits to figure out some comps. So in our case, the length of time that we have been Rio customers has a lot to do with our comps.
  4. LV Terry

    LV Terry Captain Flop'N Fold

    Sep 30, 2001
    Santa Barbara, CA, USA
    Excellent trip report! Very enjoyable to read. Sounds like you had a really great trip! Thanks for taking the time to share it with the rest of us!

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