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Caesars and the Venetian

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by LV Dawn, Jul 12, 2006.

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  1. LV Dawn

    LV Dawn Low-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    Thursday, July 6, 2006

    We left the house at 3:00 pm for a 6:00 pm flight. Got to Newark airport and was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t crowded. Since we had quite some time to kill, we used passes for Continental’s President’s Club, so we’d have some place to hang out and have a cocktail. Our flight departed on time but for some reason, there were a huge number of planes taking off at the same time. We took a nice tour of the airport, including the freight terminals, for almost two hours. We finally took off around 8:00 pm. The food served on Continental has been horrible lately, so we knew to bring our own food on board. They served this nasty beef and swiss sandwich, which looked and smelled like dog food on a bun. It came with a tiny salad (just lettuce and carrot slices) and a mini milky way bar for dessert. We were able to make up some time in-flight so we only got into Vegas an hour late. We had comp rooms at Caesar’s Palace and decided to use the airport check in. There was no line and the guy there was very nice. With the Diamond card, we were offered a room in the Augustus Tower, but choose a newly renovated mini-suite in the Palace Tower since our daughter (age 15) was with us and it was closer to the pool. I stayed at Caesar’s about five years ago and had a great experience so we were really looking forward to going back. I expected Caesars Palace to be on the same level as Mandalay Bay, Bellagio and the Venetian. I have to say, I was extremely disappointed. I think Caesars is relying on their name way too much. The room wasn’t bad. There was some broken glass on the floor but we saw it before we stepped on it. The bedding was nice and the pillows were comfy. It did have a plasma tv. The room layout wasn’t great though. I expected a mini-suite to have a small dining table and/or a sofa. This room had a very simple desk/table and was rather small, in my opinion. It did have two bathrooms connected by one shower. I wasn’t impressed. I really think they couldn’t have utilized the space much better. I really don’t know how many people actually use a bidet in a hotel room but I would rather have a single nicely designed bathroom and they could have used the extra bathroom space to make a nice little living area. I wonder if perhaps Caesars designed the room poorly to make you want to spend more time in the casino? The room did have a nice view of the pools and a partial view of the Bellagio fountains, which was nice. The valet at Caesars simply refuses to park your car, even with the Diamond card. They will only park Seven Stars members or Diamond members with a special color coded card that says you’re in the Augustus tower. They kept pushing everyone else to park in the Forum Shops. I was NOT happy with that. They insist they don’t have adequate parking. If that is the case, they need to fix that and it should be a top priority, in my opinion. If Celine Dion can have her own humidity controlled special theater, everyone else should be able to at least be able to park their car. After getting settled in, we had a bite to eat in the Augustus Café. It was a bit over priced for a coffee shop ($60 with tax and tip for two bowls of potato soup, one chicken pot pie, one French dip and two sodas) but the food was actually really good. Service was painfully slow. We were seated promptly but our server was hard to track down. We gambled a bit that night. For a property that size, they really should have had more machines to choose from. Many of the money slots were broken (light was off) or they kept spitting out money because they didn’t like the new $20’s.

    Friday, July 7, 2006

    We got up early (still on East Coast time). Café Lago and Augustus Café were both extremely crowded so we opted for a continental breakfast in one of the bar areas. After that, we met up with our friends/neighbors. They were there with their son (14 years old). We had tickets for Mystere that we needed to pick up at the box office so we ran over to do that. Actually everyone was going except me, because I saw it when it first came out and hated it and couldn’t sit through it again. In fact, I think I’d rather go to the dentist. I like the theater but for some reason, I just hated Mystere. The kids wanted to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. I called the main number for the Orleans and asked them to switch me over to the box office and listened to the movie schedule. Not sure if she switched me to another Coast property or if I screwed it up (it was hard to hear and I was on a cell phone) but we drove all the way over there only to find out they didn’t have it. We did find it at the Palms so the guys took the kids to the movie, which was in IMAX, which they thought was really cool. My neighbor and I had a few really weak mai tais and gambled a bit. I really like the Palms, aside from the really weak drinks. They played good music and had a nice variety of machines. With all the Hollywood types that seem to hang out there, I expected to see a bunch of half naked, brainless bubble heads wandering around giggling and screaming. I was pleasantly surprised that there were only a few of those. After that, we went back to the room, showered and got ready for the show. We had dinner at Canter’s Deli at Treasure Island. I really like that place. They have the best knishes I’ve ever had. After dinner, everyone went to the show and I gambled while I waited and got my butt kicked playing slots and video poker. When the show was over, we headed back to Caesars. The kids went to bed and we gambled a bit.

    Saturday, July 8, 2006

    We slept a little later and decided to venture out of the hotel for breakfast. Someone I work with told me they had an enjoyable meal at the Flamingo buffet but because it overlooked the wildlife area. I’d never been but we were right across the street so we decided to give it a try. We used Total Reward points. They don’t serve breakfast on the weekends, just brunch. The food was mediocre, not bad but nothing to rave about, but we asked for a table right by the windows so we could watch the animals. 10:00 am must be feeding time for the animals and we were there for that, which was nice. We watched some turtles, the pink flamingos, a bunch of ducks and a very strange looking crane. After that, we went back to the hotel for some time at the pool. I remember the Garden of the Gods pool complex to be impressive. Last time I was there, the round pool had water fountains that shot up pretty high and every once in a while, they’d lean over and spray you. Not sure why, but they don’t do that anymore. They trickle. That was very disappointing. I cannot remember what we did for lunch that day. Our neighbors had never been to downtown Vegas, so we decided to have dinner at the Center Stage Restaurant and wander around down there for a bit. Our neighbors are on a very rigid meal schedule so the latest I could get them to agree to eat at was 7:30 pm. They eat breakfast at 7:00, lunch at noon and dinner at 6:00 and it’s hard to get them to be flexible. It would have been much better if we ate at 8:30 and were able to watch the light show from the restaurant. The neighbors are musicians, so they enjoyed running up and down asking the piano player for various requests. After that, we wandered around under the canopy, watched a few shows and headed back to the hotel. Again, the valet refused to take the car. We gambled a bit at Caesars but the music from the clubs was so incredibly loud, we couldn’t find an area to gamble away from it. I found it quite annoying. Maybe I’m just getting too old?

    Sunday, July 9, 2006

    Woke up and decided to take a dip in the pool before breakfast. I prefer to swim early in the morning or late in the afternoon. I am not a big fan of the sun, especially during peak hours. We got back to the room around 10:00 am and wanted to shower before heading out for breakfast. We had no hot water. I called my neighbors (they were staying two floors up) and they didn’t have hot water either). I called downstairs and they said they were getting some complaints and they’d send an engineer down to the boiler room to check it out. I waited another ½ hour and still no hot water. I decided to call the front desk manager. He said he wasn’t aware of the situation but he’d look into it. He called back and said they were going to send an engineer down to the boiler room. I told him they were supposed to do that ½ hour ago. He offered to let us change rooms. I really didn’t want to pack everything up. He offered to let us shower in the spa but I really didn’t want to do that either. He wasn’t sure how long it would take to fix and I told him that we couldn’t leave for breakfast until the water was fixed so he gave us a $50 room service credit. We ordered breakfast and ate. Around noonish, the hot water came back. I showered first and while I was waiting for everyone else to get showered, I went downstairs to gamble, only to find that my comps were gone from my player’s card. I went to the Total Rewards desk, waited in line for quite some time and the guy there insisted I used them. I told him they were there when I went up to bed and I am pretty sure I didn’t use them while I was sleeping. He said there was nothing he could do and that I’d have to talk to a host. He gave me directions to the area where the hosts were and I spoke to a really pompous host. Somehow, the front desk manager coded the $50 credit to come out of my comp account and the host eventually put the $50 credit back. At that point, I was just downright disgusted with the place. Even with a free room, I checked out early and told them how disappointed I was with the property, the incompetence I experienced and the stressful encounters with the valet. We left and moved over to the Venetian using a $79 special offer that came with $50 in slot credits. We were able to use the invited guest check in line there. The gal there was really sweet. We were able to get a great strip view and two beds (which they consider an upgrade) for free. The neighbors were not happy that we changed hotels. We decided to try the new Harrah’s buffet that night. It was really good. Instead of the usual prime rib and turkey, that had about 6 or 7 different types of meats, including this really great rotisserie chicken. We asked for turn down service that night. I don’t know why, but I really like turn down service. We gambled a bit. The Venetian has a nice variety of machines.


    Monday, July 10, 2006

    Grand Lux seemed a bit crowded, so we wandered over to the Food Court at the Venetian. Everyone wanted something different so that worked out well. We decided to try the swipe/stamp promo that Harrah’s was running. Someone over at Harrah’s clued us into the gifts that were given for three and six stamps. Harrah’s was giving away a keychain, Flamingo was giving away a crappy fan, Caesars had nice grey sweat shirts, Paris and Rio were both giving away t-shirts. We decided to just do the three stamps, making Caesars the third stamp to get the sweatshirt. I won a funbook, but my husband won 25,000 reward credits, which was a pleasant surprise. Of course, we were leaving the following day, but we live in NJ so we can use them in Atlantic City. After wandering around in the oppressive heat getting stamped and swiped, we went back to the Venetian. My daughter and I went over the Maggiano’s at the Fashion Show mall while my husband hung out and gambled. Food was great, as usual. I walked out without grabbing my credit card and they sent someone out after me (caught up with me right before going over to TI). I was thankful and appreciative. My daughter hung out in the room for a bit while I went to find my husband. I grabbed two quick apple martinis and then we all went down to the pool. It wasn’t crowded. The water was perfect and the chair cushions were so comfy, I could have spent hours there. After that, we showered and we couldn’t decide what to do for dinner so we let our daughter decide. She wanted to go back to the Harrah’s buffet so we did. The menu was exactly the same as the day before, which was a little disappointing but she was happy. After that we gambled and I had another apple martini. I stopped by to talk to the host on duty, who was nice enough to comp the food charges from breakfast and one of the room nights.

    All in all, we didn’t have much luck gambling. We had fun though.

    Tuesday, July 11, 2006

    Woke up, checked out and headed to the airport. Flight departed and arrived on time. Back to reality…
     
  2. SH0CK

    SH0CK Stylin' and Profilin' Quasi Tech Admin

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    Sorry Caesars put a bit of a damper on the festivities, but it sounds like you all had a fairly good time other wise.

    Nice report Dawn :thumbsup:
     
  3. tara

    tara Low-Roller

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    Great report. Sorry you had so many problems at Caesars though!
     
  4. LV Dawn

    LV Dawn Low-Roller

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    Caesars was a huge disappointment but now I know not to go back. Even with free rooms offers, it's just not worth the hassle. My time at the Venetian more than made up for it. I've never been disappointed with any of my stays at the Venetian. I have realized that I really do like changing hotels during a trip. Each hotel is different and every time I change hotels, it's like a new vacation and a new adventure.
     
  5. evesixer

    evesixer Guest

    For such a "nice" hotel, you would think that they would be way more accomodating. Sounds pretty crappy to me. Glad you made the best of it though. Did your daughter and their son have a good time?
     
  6. RonNJ

    RonNJ MIA

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    What part of Jersey are you from LV?
     
  7. LV Dawn

    LV Dawn Low-Roller

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    Evesixer, my daughter and my neighbor's son did have a great time. This is my daughter's 5th or 6th trip out there and she loves it. She tells me she likes it as much as Disney World, which I find hard to believe.

    Ron, I live in Matawan.
     
  8. weluvvegas

    weluvvegas Vegas Slot Junkie

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    Great trip report! Althought we've never stayed at Caesars, last trip we were playing BJ there really late at night and it seemed more like an episode of the Real World than a upper-class casino. Tons of local College students walking around drunk and picking fights with one another on who's girl is the hottest etc... Definitely NOT our type of atmosphere!
     
    40th Birthday Bash!
  9. LV Dawn

    LV Dawn Low-Roller

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    It's just my nature but I couldn't help but write a letter to Caesars outlining the issues I had at the hotel. I received a letter from Gary Selesner, President of Caesars Palace. To sum it up, he basically said that he's going to share my letter with the Vice President of Operations so that some of the problems I encountered can be addressed. I appreciate that they did take the time to review the letter and send me a letter letting me know they were taking the items seriously. Saying and doing are two different things, so I will wait and see.

    He also went on to say that the hotels' director of facilities assured him the pool fountains were working well and they were turned down due to wind conditions. I beg to differ on this issue because they were turned down the entire three days I was there and the Bellagio Fountains were running, which doesn't happen when it's windy.

    Anyway, I was wondering, has been to the pool at Caesars lately? If so, can you tell me if the fountains in the round pool have been on high or if they were turned down to a low trickle?

    He did offer an upgrade as a goodwill gesture but to be honest, unless they make some serious improvements, I have no desire to return. It was just one screw up after another and vacations are supposed to remove stress and not add to it.
     
  10. RonNJ

    RonNJ MIA

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    Matawan!!

    Were almost neighbors, I live it East Brunswick
    I'll be leaving from Newark on the 28th...Hope I'm not in the airplane parade for 2 hours!!

    Ron
     
  11. LV Dawn

    LV Dawn Low-Roller

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    Ron, we are practically neighbors! As a matter of fact, I was planning to spend tomorrow afternoon in your neck of the woods. I have 1/2 day of work and was planning to take my daughter out to lunch and then do some back to school shopping on Rte 18. Small world!

    Have a great trip! Good luck!!
     
  12. RonNJ

    RonNJ MIA

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    Your right

    What a small world. The only time I get over to Matawan is to eat at Buttonwoods, which used to be a lot better than it is now

    Back to school shopping. Thank goodness my son is in College and I'm through with that stuff. I'm looking forward to the Carraba's opening on Rt 18..Good food

    Take Care
    Ron
     
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