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Aria during March Madness - lots of questions

Discussion in 'LV Strip Hotels & Casinos' started by Lilrascal, Mar 6, 2016.

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  1. Lilrascal

    Lilrascal Tourist

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    Hello everyone! Been lurking on the board for a while ever since deciding to make a return trip to Vegas. First off let me say you are all such a friendly group of people! A little about myself. Have not been to Vegas in probably more than 10 years. I used to go when I was younger (20 years ago) at least once or twice a year. I used to have fun playing JoB video poker, and I had discovered comps and was getting RFB. Well then 9/6 JoB started drying up as well as the comps and my trips tapered off. To be honest, as I got older the thrill of winning small amounts diminished somewhat, and to win more I would have had to gamble more than I was willing to lose.

    Well fast forward to now, and my wife and I recently decided to return to Vegas to see all the changes. A big part of our trip will be dining as we consider ourselves somewhat of foodies. We picked a week based on our work schedules, and are arriving on March 15th. Prices seemed high, but I was thinking maybe it was because of peak time or spring break. Well I didn’t realize it was the start of March Madness and St Patrick’s Day. Neither one of us are big basketball fans, and are not quite sure what to expect. Is everything going to be crowded, or just the sports books?

    In deciding on a hotel, I joined mLife to see what discounts were available if any. After I joined I realized that they had reciprocity with Celebrity cruises for status, and since we have sailed Celebrity quite often I shot an email to mLife. Turns out I was eligible for gold status. This did give me a little of a discount on some of the rates. We ended up booking a city view corner suite at the Aria. Seems to have some nice perks including airport pickup and drop-off. I now see that category is sold out during the time we are going to be there.

    Now on to the restaurant choices. I love to read reviews and menus, and am love to plan each meal. I am already realizing that this is going to be food overload, and am thinking it is going to take a month to lose the weight gained in one week, but what the hell.

    Dinners include:

    Sage - first night at since we get in late that afternoon
    Le Cirque
    Rose, Rabbit, Lie
    Twist
    Portofino
    Guy Savoy
    Lunch at Estiatorio Milos
    Weekend brunches at Bardot Brasserie and Border Grill

    Made a couple show reservations including Absinthe, Le Reve, and Fantasy

    Couple questions regarding our trip:

    Am i even going to be able to find 9/6 JoB on the strip?

    Are there any other “useful” things that being a Gold mLife member will get? I am assuming I would have to do quite a bit of gambling to get to the next platinum level? I have read you can also earn tier credits for money spent on dining, thus I am assuming I should show my card or charge to my room correct?

    What can I expect with March Madness?

    I also like craft beer. Are there places that are better for craft beer comped while gambling? Is it really possible to get Sculpin while gambling?

    I am sure I will think of other questions, but am looking forward to the input or any feedback on my trip.

    Thanks
     
  2. spicole

    spicole Low-Roller

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    Lilrascal,

    It sounds like you have lined up a great trip!

    Yes, charge as much stuff to your room as possible. This ensures that you 1) get full tier credits on any money spent on dining, and 2) it will be the best way to get any of the charges comped off on the back end.

    I believe Mlife Gold gets you line passes at some restaurants? I know Platinum allows you to skip the taxi line. You will also get the Gold level discount on any tickets you purchase at an Mlife box office.

    That looks like a very strong line-up of restaurants. :) I personally loved the brunch at Border Grill.

    Absinthe is great - and not for the faint of heart!

    Tringlomane is resident expert regarding VP and craft beer and will probably chime in.
     
  3. JTJTJTJT

    JTJTJTJT Newbie

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    Here is the chart which best explains the Mlife Gold. https://www.mlife.com/pages/tier_benefits_las_vegas.html
    As far as the benefits I would say room rates, followed by room upgrades, and priority checkin are the best benefits.
    Your quoted room rates are probably not going be anything great because you haven't played in a long time. They are going to get better once you earn some points playing, probably on your next trip. We have gold right now mostly from my wifes slot play and are staying at the Aria in May. Our rate is as low as $26 on some nights when the website shows over $200. We went during March madness a few times, and there are a lot more college and young 20ish people there. Pools can be crowded, but weather varies a lot from perfect pool weather to too cold so you never know. Sports books are busy but its a fun atmosphere so I think you will enjoy it. We have eaten at Le Cirque and it was great but its been years. We always rent a car so we mostly eat off strip but you have some good picks. If you want to bump up your points there is a hyatt credit card that also gives you mlife gold and 2 free room nights. As far as 9/6 I don't play but have read that its very rare now. MGM has financial problems and Ceesers is bankrupt so they no longer are giving you much. MGM will start charging for parking very soon too.
     
  4. Lilrascal

    Lilrascal Tourist

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    Spicole, Thanks for the feedback! I do seem to remember reading a Taxi line pass is also an included perk with the suite, but suppose that would only be good at the Aria not other mLife properties.

    I forgot to mention my wife and I also joined myVegas, and so redeemed 2for1 for the Fantasy tickets, and 2for1 entree at portofoino. Thinking about also redeeming for a glass of Absinthe while at Sage. Also thought about redeeming for champagne at Le Cirque, but felt a little odd redeeming coupons at such a nice restaurant.
     
  5. Universal

    Universal Low-Roller

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    You need to strongly consider putting Carbone on your restaurant list.
     
    Return to Sky Suites
  6. Lilrascal

    Lilrascal Tourist

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    Thanks I'll keep it in mind. Only one night not accounted for, so will consider that.
     
  7. joshk

    joshk Tourist

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    Venture off strip and go to Lotus of Siam if you get a chance.
     
  8. JaxxLV

    JaxxLV Tourist

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    Sounds as though your are willing to pay for hotel and meals, I'd advise not to status chase. Just play what you normally would. It's been stated on this board numerous times " comps are based on theo, not status". That said, even though you are considered gold, you would start from zero accumulating points, not whatever the threshold is for gold. So it could take you longer to reach Platinum. On the flip side, use your card at all mlife restaurants and of course when checking in and you will get points for all purchases.

    Your dinner list looks very nice. Definitely include Julian Serrano on that list for lunch or late night. They do have a bar menu at lunch that has many of their favorites or you can sit at a table and order the full menu.
     
  9. Grasp

    Grasp Low-Roller

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    You will not find 9/6 JoB on the strip for low limits. If you're willing to play for $5 or up ($25 / hand) it is available lots of places. MGM Grand does have it at $1 level and it probably your best bet if you want a chance at getting Mlife comps. If you're willing to go off strip or downtown, though it doesn't really match your food itinerary, you can find 9/6 JoB in lots of places for many limits. This of course will not help you get Mlife comps. In general, good VP does not equal good beer or liquor comps. There are a few exceptions, but once again, you need to go off-strip or downtown. On the strip you can find excellent craft beer and mixed drinks (Linq and Cosmo for sure), but you will pay for it with poor VP odds. You'll need to decide if the trade off is worthwhile.

    The week you are going is one of the busiest weeks of the year. March Madness is quickly gaining on Superbowl and New Years as the busiest times for Vegas.
     
  10. Lilrascal

    Lilrascal Tourist

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    Kind of what I figured on full pay vp on the strip. I definitely won't be playing for comps, and am fine with paying for the room and food we want vs trying to play just for comps. Makes sense about your play starting at zero not gold level.

    Thanks everyone for the restaurant recommendations, definitely might check out a few for lunches.
     
  11. Lilrascal

    Lilrascal Tourist

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    Not sure if I am too excited about being there during the busiest week of the year. Glad I got all my dinner reservations in already. Hopefully I don't have a hard time finding a cocktail waitress. Lol
     
  12. Hyperfocal

    Hyperfocal High-Roller

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    There is at least one place on the strip with full pay video poker. There is one bank of 25 cent machines at Cromwell that do take the Total Rewards card, but earn credits at $50 coin in per point rather than $10 per point at regular video poker.

    In the past, NYNY had a bank of quarter machines that didn't take the Mlife card at all near the check in desk. I played them last year, but don't see them on vpfree2.
     
  13. tls030583

    tls030583 Tourist

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    I was there the same week last year for a work conference/personal vacation. Luckily, my conference got moved a week later this year. The sports books are obscene during March madness! If you're not interested in that, you'll be totally fine. Being an alumni of the University of Kentucky and living in Lexington, my husband and I were both very much interested in sports books and games and were miserable. We ended up watching important games in our room which was a bummer. I'm hoping going a week later will be less crowded then opening weekend.
     
  14. Yokel

    Yokel VP Player

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    Someone reported them gone to vpFREE2.com in November and I also saw that they were not there shortly after that.
     
  15. dannyocean

    dannyocean High-Roller

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    For craft beer, nearby, try Five50, the pizza place. You can avoid a lot of the hassle of March Madness in the sports book (next door) by making a reservation on OpenTable, or just sitting at the bar. They have some pretty decent beers available.

    Definitely charge everything from MGM properties to your room to make sure you get tier credits for it -- it doesn't take much to hit Platinum; only $8,000. ("Only.") But worth gunning for that given some of your dining choices. I make Platinum each year on sunk spend. You really won't have much in the way of benefit from Gold, although your room discount should have been about 15%-20% off the rack rate. Platinum lets you skip to the front of the taxi line, which is always worth it on big weekends like March Madness, and also lets you skip to the front of the Shake Shack line, which I just found out, and that's really cool. Haha.

    If you're up for an off-Strip adventure, I always recommend either Lotus of Siam or Chada Thai for Thai food ... well worth the effort and the wine lists are fantastic.
     
  16. Lilrascal

    Lilrascal Tourist

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    Thanks everyone for the tips. Certainly wouldn't do it for status level, but if I was in the market for a nice piece of jewelry or watch, would the spend on that also count towards the next level?
     
  17. pd54

    pd54 Low-Roller

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    In my experience the best place to get craft beer on the strip while playing video poker is the TAG bar at the Linq hotel.
    I'll have a look online to see if I can get their menu, but when I was there I just told the server my preferred beers and he very happily recommended some beers to me.

    The aria bar right by the sports book and 550 pizza has an Aria exclusive Sin City beer, but Aria have a policy of only coming beers every 30 minutes.
    Also, if you want to stick with MGM properties Mandalay Bay serve craft beer on the casino floor as far as I know.
     
  18. pd54

    pd54 Low-Roller

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  19. Lilrascal

    Lilrascal Tourist

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  20. pd54

    pd54 Low-Roller

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