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aug 4-8 report

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by chef, Aug 10, 2003.

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  1. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

    Apr 20, 2002

    My Trip Report

    Instead of boring everyone with a blow-by-blow description, I'll get right to the point on the main topics:
    HOTELS - Stayed in a different hotel each night (Hilton $40, Las Vegas Club $15, NYNY $59 and Ballys $49).
    You would think this would be a hassle, but it wasn't. We had a car and checked in about noon each day. Never had more than a five minute wait.
    Ironically, all the properties were similar. We were also able to get rooms near the top with excellent views at each place, even though NYNY zinged us for $10 increase for that. Oh well, I guess that's the nature of New York.
    The biggest surprise was LVC North Tower room. Spacious, comfortable beds and quiet. Also enjoyed outside glass elevator at Hilton. It's like having a free amusement ride. Great view as we went up 20+ floors. Another high point with me at Hilton was marble-type desk that went length of window. You could sit in comfortable chair and do work at that desk while enjoying view.
    Ballys was fine also, with a excellent view of the Flamingo/Las Vegas Boulevard area. Big room.
    NYNY was fanciest, but smallest of three rooms. And we even had a Broadway Deluxe room. Best casino area was at NYNY.

    POOLS - Hiltons was standard Vegas fare, at LVC had access to one of my favorites - the Plaza pool on the 7th floor. That pool doesn't have any amentities, but it gets the job done for me. Ballys pool was similar to Hiltons. However, it had something most pools in Vegas are lacking these days - an actual deep end (12 feet). For someone that grew up when all pools had diving boards and deep ends, it was appreciated. The best way to describe NYNY pool was just a large kiddy pool. Plus tight quarters.

    FOOD - Best meal was Bellagio buffet. Got there at 3:20 and were able to take end both lunch and supper. Only difference between the two was prime rib, a roasted shrimp and scallop dish and king crab legs at dinner. Simply outstanding.
    Second-best and best atmosphere for a buffet was Green Valley Ranch. Very comfortable and roomy place to eat at. The variety abd quality of food offerings comes close to Bellagio's. I highly recomend anyone taking trip out there. We had lunch and it was more than we could ask for. After eating, it's fun to step outside, let the food digest at their pool and take in the view of Vegas.
    Paris breakfast buffet was good as always. Get there early to avoid the hordes of people in line.
    Other buffets we tried were Sam's Town for lunch, which was decent, Plaza for breakfast, which also was decent for small-scale affair and Palace Station for dinner, not so good.
    Palace Station's buffet is the institutional-type food. The ventilation is poor and service questionable. Even at $6.99 for dinner, would probably not go back.
    If you do go, there is one dish I would recomend. They have a made-to-order pasta station which is quite good. I eschewed everything else on buffet and just had two nice plates of noodles sauteed with mushrooms, garlic, artichokes and clam sauce.

    GAMBLING- Played craps at a variety of places and had fun at each. Highlight was being at table at the Cortez with someone who had 13 passes before crapping out. Those rookie dealers at the Cortez's crap tables give that place a lot of character. Be patient with them, they're trying their hardest.
    Everywhere we went, dealers were all friendly. Funny thing about playing craps as an out-of-towner is that you develop a bond with the fellow strangers for the period of time you are at table with them, but after that, you probably would never see them again., Kind of like two ships passing in the night.
    When that guy hit the 13 passes, all of us were like long-lost buddies, high-fiving each other and talking it up.
    You can't beat the camradarie at the crap tables.


    Stopped by the Tropicana to re-visit museum (a neat thing to see), but power was out in hotel. It was somwehat dark in casino and no A/C. Most of slot machines were out, but people were sitting for hours on end waiting for power to come back on. Apparently, they did not want to give up machine. I think it stayed out 3-4 hours.

    Also visited Auto Museum at Imperial Palace. Well worth the time.

    Women's breasts - Maybe it's because our small town doesn't have that many large-breasted women, but the size of women's breasts caught my eye for much of the trip. I'm not talking so much about the cocktail waitresses and entertainer types as much as I am the regular female tourists.
    Kudos to all the shapely women out there. If you happen to notice us guys getting an eyeful, it's not because we're perverts, but rather, we appreciate a woman's body.

    TRANSPORTATION - Since we did some wilderness back-packing on way out, we drove instead of flying (about 4000 miles round-trip). Give me the plane anyday.
    Instead of putting miles on my vehicle, rented from Hertz at Rockford, IL airport. For those frequent car-renters get this - absolutely no surcharges or airport fees and a paltry tax of only 5%. That is almost unheard for an airport rental car place. In June, I rented at Manchester, NH and after all the fees and taxes were added on, the total bill was 70% higher.
    Thank you Rockford for not being rip-off joint like other airports are.
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