1. Welcome to VegasMessageBoard
    It appears you are visiting our community as a guest.
    In order to view full-size images, participate in discussions, vote in polls, etc, you will need to Log in or Register.

Belated TR: 11/5-11/11

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by DK528, Dec 14, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. DK528

    DK528 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2010
    Messages:
    213
    Location:
    NYC
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    7

    My Trip Report

    A very belated trip report but thought it was my duty to share after enjoying so many of yours!

    The trip was from Friday to Thursday, first two nights at Aria, last four nights at Encore. I’ll post as replies.


    Not off to a good start

    I live in Brooklyn, about 12 miles from JFK airport. My sister agreed to drive me to the airport for my 10:30 AM flight. We leave the apartment at 8AM. Whatever could go badly, went badly: All the garbage trucks were out at the same time and stopping cars dead in their tracks, traffic on the local streets, then on the highways, and we got lost. We got to the airport at 9:50 and it was too late to get on the flight. The next available flight was at 4:30PM. I had to wait until 1:30 to check in, and the area of the Delta terminal where I was did not even have a bathroom before security. After basically working 16-18 hour days for a long time, I was not a happy camper.

    Flight was fine--nothing to report, except for a wonderful eavesdropping session on the loud guy behind me who was trying to impress his seatmate. He got so drunk that he fell asleep on her lap.

    Landed at LAS and for the second straight time, we had problems de-planing. Both times, in fact, they couldn’t hook up the jetway to the plane. It is not a fun feeling landing in Vegas, seeing the Strip and being stuck on the plane for an extra half hour! We finally deplaned, I got my bag right away, there was no light at Alamo and I was off!

    I’m going to break up the rest of the TR into categories--as it happened back in November, my memory’s fading a bit so I think it’ll be most helpful to recap the highlights.
     
  2. DK528

    DK528 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2010
    Messages:
    213
    Location:
    NYC
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    7
    Hotels

    Aria: stayed here for Friday-Sunday on a deal ($129 for weekend nights plus 2 free buffets). I have to say I’m a big fan of this hotel. I like the colors, I like the restaurant options, I like the casino. Didn’t get a fancy room--just a low-level normal room facing the Cosmopolitan. Loved the bed. Figured out the technology after a bit. Didn’t love the bathroom (the weird tub-shower combo and the fact that water got all over the sinks) but overall, the room was fine. Aria was packed while I was there. Ended up having one night comped which made me feel special.

    Encore: Checked in to Encore on Sunday around 2pm. Not a good choice--besides all the people checking out, there were also a ton of people checking in. Had to wait a bit for my room but finally got the key, went up and called the bell desk. Right away when I got to my room, I noticed an awful smell. To me, it smelled like my dorm on a Monday after the poor janitors had to clean up the weekend mess and used harsh chemicals to get rid of the various odors. When the bellman got to my room with my bags, I asked him if he smelled it also. He was honest and agreed. I called downstairs and was upgraded from a room on the 15th floor to a room on the 62nd floor! So kudos to Encore for addressing the problem quickly. I sure hope they didn’t try to stick someone else in that room right away. Also, had two of my four nights comped at checkout!

    I also loved the Encore. Love the bed, love the bathroom, love the serenity of the place. I did notice after staying at Aria that Encore is a bit far north, and even a hike from the Wynn, but if you’re fine with walking, as I am, then it’s a great place to stay.
     
  3. DK528

    DK528 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2010
    Messages:
    213
    Location:
    NYC
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    7
    Food

    As the trip was a treat to myself after a brutal period at work, I knew I’d be hitting up a few nice places. I’m a big fan of eating a couple of appetizers and trying different things. Also, I had an inordinate amount of foie gras!

    Sage: here and Alex are my favorite places in Vegas. I sit at the bar, get a delicious dark n stormy and the sumptuous foie gras brulee and just enjoy being in Vegas. The food is good and inventive, the bartenders friendly, and the place welcoming. The bartender even remembered me from my January trip which was a nice touch. Came here twice this trip (Friday and Tuesday) and each time had the dark n stormy and the foie gras brulee. Also had the pumpkin soup on Friday which was also delicious.

    Mix: came here at sunset on Saturday night. Had a drink outside first and enjoyed the peacefulness of being high above the Strip. Had a couple of appetizers (1/2 portion of the tuna tartare and the butternut squash ravioli), had friendly service, and had a nice meal. Nothing spectacular but good.

    Bar at Guy Savoy: before an a capella show at Paris on Sunday night, I had an early dinner at the bar at Guy Savoy. Not going to lie, got a little lost in Caesars before finding the place. Got there right as it opened as the concert was early. The hostess seemed surprised that I wanted to sit at the bar but she was gracious and served me my meal. Got a glass of champagne, “big bites†of the Iberico ham and the mosaic of duck, foie gras and artichoke, and a 1/2 portion of the apple dessert. All delicious but a pretty small meal for about $100.

    SW Steakhouse: came here on Monday night. Sat at the bar and had probably the best Caesar salad I’ve ever had. If you like Caesar salads, go to SW.

    Alex: the grand finale dinner. Got the farmers market tasting menu. I can’t say enough wonderful things about this place. Had the same waiter I had in January, he and the other waiters were so friendly and polite, and I really felt special here. They give you two rounds of canapés and an amuse-bouche before even getting to the food you order! It’s a great way to try things you never thought of eating. The farmers market menu consists of: torchon of foie gras, lobster and fava bean risotto, beef short rib with potatoes and greens, and a plum tart. Everything was outstanding. I usually do not like lobster but the risotto was delicious. For a fine-dining restaurant, I think Alex is one of the best values on the Strip (with value being a relative term when you’re paying that much for a meal).

    Tableau: ate here for breakfast one day. Loved the potatoes.

    Bouchon: ate here for breakfast another day. Delicious food. Would like to try it for dinner.

    Pub: homey and fun place to watch a football game. Love the strawberry beer.

    BLT Burger: Toasted marshmallow shake is amazing. Had it a few times on my way home at night. I’ve been trying to replicate it at home but trying to roast a marshmallow over a no-scent candle just isn’t the same as one roasted over a campfire or even a blowtorch.
     
  4. DK528

    DK528 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2010
    Messages:
    213
    Location:
    NYC
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    7
    Activities

    Straight No Chaser: I can’t tell you how excited I was when I realized that Straight No Chaser would be playing in Vegas during my vacation. I had seen them once before and fell in love. They’re an all-male a cappella group who used to perform together at Indiana University back in the late 90s/early 00s. They posted a video on YouTube and ended up receiving a ton of hits, including the head of a record label. They signed a record deal and have been touring/performing for the last few years. They’re really wonderful and I highly recommend seeing them if they’re in your neighborhood.

    Valley of Fire: drove out here on Tuesday. Wow! I have to say, after turning off the highway and driving for a half hour or so into the desert, I really was not expecting much. And then all of a sudden, you see the first red rock! It was truly stunning. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Outlet shopping: visited all three local outlets (the two in Vegas and the one out past the M resort)--got a few things but not nearly as much as I thought I would. I think I’m spoiled having the Woodbury outlets near me in NY but there were lots of people at all the outlet malls buying up a storm!

    Gambling

    Lets just say I was not so lucky at the gambling this trip. I like craps and slots. Did pretty well at craps the couple of times I played but I’m a low-roller so I turned $200 into $300 or $400 and would stop rather than pressing my luck. Ended up being the only person at a table once, continued to roll, placed many bets for the dealers, and had a great time.

    I think what I learned from this trip is that I need to play slots less frequently. I’m not very good at money management with slots because I either play and lose or when I win, I’m not disciplined enough to pocket that money. So I continue to play and hope for a big win. I am exactly the target player for the casinos/game-makers.

    Enjoyed playing Amazing Race, WOZ and Monopoly, and had a few good wins on the Sex and the City slots but really, no wins over $150-200. Nothing like some of the wins I read about here. I’ll also say that I’m not super impressed with the slot selection at Aria.

    Overall, I had a wonderful trip -- it was a much-needed break. I did notice that I was a bit lonely by myself for 6 nights. Next trip to Vegas will have to be one with friends. Please let me know if you have any questions.
     
  5. blackjacknut

    blackjacknut VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Messages:
    3,380
    Location:
    Northeast Ohio
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    52
    Thanks for posting...and the restaurant reviews, I will have to give Alex a try.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.