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Comp tour 2016 march

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by kiprobalom, Aug 31, 2016.

  1. kiprobalom

    kiprobalom Tourist

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2015
    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    4

    My Trip Report

    Hey all :)

    So my first trip report here, about not the first trip overall to Vegas. Actually this time, we had a trip between march 13th to march 29th arriving from Europe to Reno, then to Tahoe, then back to Reno, and Vegas, actually 2 times, with a little Grand Canyon intermezzo.

    FIRST OFF - planning. The trip has been planned around comp availability I must admit. We are a young, now 3-timer Vegas wife and husband, both using cards always when playing. This payed out, TR gave huge comp availability, what we decided around last july to use. We gathered some AAdvantage miles as well, and bought our plane tickets (BUD-TXL-ORD-PHX-RNO pretty lengthy and tirering itineary by AA on the way out and LAS-JFK-HEL-BUD on the way back - altogether it was 113$ in fees and taxes + 45000 AAdvantage miles).

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    Phoenix
    On arrival we went to pick up our Alamo car - there was a HUGE line, 3 agents been working, and all 3 were in some sort of argument with the customer. What I could hear, that they had no cars left (similar happened 2 years ago in Kona, HI - we took the very last car, an almost repair ready pick up instead of the Economy car, and hey charged us nothing, so I was already feeling lucky in Reno, seeing what could happen :D ). Anyways, noone used the automatic check in, so I opted, and got the agreement, went to the lot just to take one of the few cars left without any problems. Rented a standard car, got a midsize SUV. Nothing fancy, but it worked perfectly :) This will be dropped off at LAS at the end of the trip.
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    RENO - quick 3 nights in Reno, I always wanted to check out "Little Vegas" on the north. Interestingly enough, when I told anyone here in Hungary about this place, noone ever heard about it, whilst they of course heard about Vegas :)
    Anyways, booked a comped room here - "Balcony Room" this turned out to be a pretty nice choice (smoking possible on the balcony, or at least nobody said it was not a possibility) and great view. Overall good quality of room, clean, and not noisy. Nothing fancy, but it was GREAT for free. As for game - no big wins, no wins almost, it was actually a loss =D
    Used the buffet here often, it was GREAT, and not expensive - got BOGO coupons when checked in, also had some form the American Casino Guide. At the end, charged everything on the room, and got comped the resort fee, so the stay itself was really free.

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    View from room

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    LAKE TAHOE
    - always been interested in this place, and saw that have plenty of comp possibilities here, so we took it. The route to there from Reno were already spectacular! And a real short drive from Reno, so well worth taking it.

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    Upon checkin, the receptionist were very polite - though we were very early, and gave us the room we booked "Luxury Two Queens". The view was OK, from the corner we could see the lake and all. The room was extremely clean and in a very good shape - we really enjoyed being here. And for once, we were finally almost at the elevator :D Internet speed were great anytime!
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    Well the casino itself also been very nice looking, though it felt a little bit small. Not a single win here, and during our 3 days, we easily lost here like 4-500$, so that 1 time we took the high priced buffet of theirs (which was absolutely great btw), and the resort fees been comped on checkout, so the stay + some food were really free. In the meantime, we took a trip around the lake - which was great as at this time of the year, there was not much people around, so it was very calm and "untouched". We also used coupons from the American Casino Guide, just to loose some more money elsewhere =D

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    Mornings were chilly!
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    BACK TO RENO FOR A WHILE - we had a gap between availability in Vegas for COMPs and the checkout (3 nights max comped at Tahoe and Reno) in Tahoe, so we took another 2 nights in Reno. This time, my wife booked the hotel with her comps. At checkin, we were told, that there was no rooms available, or we can take a single bed classic room in the oldest tower, no other choices. And they said, that booking a room is just a "preference", not guaranteed, especially for COMP rooms. We asked for a manager, who were kind enough to shop up after 10 minutes, just to have a yellow marker, grabbing our printed reservation and highlighting the relevant part about preferences, and not guaranteed rooms. Overall been very rude, not helping, and as we were there not for schooling, but to have fun, that was a very bad experience. Needless to say, we haven't spent a dime on the machines or at the tables during this stay - but we reach out to the general manager for clarification. After we briefly told our story, the GM were very apologetic, instantly offered 2 comp buffets, and erased the resort fees. Okay, that was better now =D So on checkout, this stay was also absolutely free, though we haven't spent a dime on gambling this time. (We walked in the city, had car tours, did shopping, oh and we took the California Zephyr from right in front of Harrah's to Truckee to experience American Train Travel :) Truckee not really worth the visit though, I sort of feel we wasted a half day for that trip, but well, experience :))
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    In front of Harrah's Reno
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    View from the second room - it was OK I guess :)
    BYE BYE RENO - HELLO VEGAS! - So we were off to Vegas :) We had thoughts - should we drive or fly? Fly could've cost us 200$ on Southwest, whilst driving takes much less in gas, but 8 hours of driving the least. We opted for the drive, as we don't really have deserts here in Europe :) And how good decision was that! Absolutely stunning drive!

    We reached Vegas in 10 hours at the end, having some stops - one in Tonopah for instance to get some food and gas, and at the car exhibit - which was quite an experience as well!

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    We had 3 nights in the Paris ("Red room high floor") and 2 night in Caesars ("DELUXE QQ NON"). Checkin was not too personal, also could not find before a decent parking place in self, so we took valet (what I usually avoid, but will use it more frequently for sure - much more convenient :) ). At the end, we had a room at the very end of a hallway, on a sort of high floor (the bottom of the high floors as per how elevators go). Long walks always!


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    As per gaming - nothing special again, no wins at all. At checkout, no waiver of resort fee, no "Thanks for staying", nothing, so that was the first we payed anything during this stay, it was 114.44$ with a BOGO visit to the Eiffel Tower. We also took advantage of the Social Rewards program, and had daily Buffet of Buffets passes, what we enjoyed pretty much :) TIP: book a table in advance to Paris Le Village, so you don't have to queue up to the usually huge lines, but can take the VIP / Diamond entrance ;)
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    View from Eiffel
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    Another view from Eiffel
    We also visited many smaller casinos to use our coupons in the American Casino Guide, and at most we had winnings for a change. Not huge, at a place I can't even recall we had continous blackjack for 10 hands on a 10$ bet :D , but it was very shady and on the outskirts :) Though these places were obviously much more personal, fun, and welcoming then Vegas Strop hotels for us. We had a great time in Hooters - we won altogether something like 300$ of winnings, and we even had a lanyard and a pack of card as a gift! Also had fun in Ellis Island, where apart from the music being superloud, delaers were VERY friendly, and the ACG freeplay I got, on the very first spin on the Big Bang slot got a random bonus for 88$ on a 2$ bet (+we had 2 t-shirts and 2 packs of cards and winning altogether like 100$)! We also used many MyVegas comps - matchplay in Station Casinos, buffets when we were out of the Buffet of Buffets etc.
    Then we went to Caesars. I had high hopes for this place, was my dream to be here (next to Venetian, and Palazzo :) ), but what we had was just pure dissapointment. The room was comped, checkin line was huge, and they had no rooms for us again. But here, they solved this upgrading us to a better room as they claim, but it was a good 10 minute walk with luggages through the casino. At least it was right next to the pools, where we spent a LOT of time ;) Anyways, there was no warm water in our room, we realized this at around 10 pm. At 2 am, they were still trying to fix it, no luck, all we got was some barely not cold water. Next day we were went to complain, and they instantly erased the resort fees as a compensation. Losses were HUGE here, 500$ or so, but heck... That's Vegas :) All in all, Caesars was a dissapointment, though maybe my expectations were high - however that no warm water fiasco were I think something they should not have in a class of hotel as Caesars is. We needed to pay nothing for that whole stay.
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    View from the Caesars room - if we peeked to the side, YES! there were thr Strip
    After a 2 day trip to Grand Canyon - which is as beautyful as usual - ...

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    And we even spotted a german minivan, which was at least quite strange at that part of the World :)
    ... we were back on track and back to Vegas. We had comped room from MyVegas this time in Mandalay Bay, however the day before our arrival we received an email, that for 10$ we can be upgraded to Delano. Oh yes! So there we were, in the Delano. What a fantastic place that is! Very classy, very elegant, and room quality is high! Well worth the upgrade!
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    Except some things... First off, TV was not working at all. Also lighting in one of the toilettes were out (pitch black), and the air vent hole below the main window wiere constantly open, uncloseable, causing too much breeze, cold and noise - which made sleeping almost impossible. After complain, they fixed all of that the next day, been very apologetic, and erased all resort fees, and upgrade fees, so again that was absolutely free :)

    We went to see KA in MGM - GREAT show ! - compliments of MyVegas. We also visited Shark Reef and the Wildlife Habitat, all with compliments of MyVegas.


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    We also went to see the Neon Museum, booked well advance to avoid being sold out, and we took the more expensive night tour. TIP: don't go at night, most the neons are not working, and in daylight you can see more, and it is less expensive as well...


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    And on the last day, weather went hellish, raining, winds... it was time to leave!
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    All in all it was a fun trip, we lost money, yes, but we were overly compensated with all the deals, erasements of the fees, and comped rooms - food etc. On the way back, we were already planning our next visit, which will happen next summer ;) Hope you liked all that, and it was not too long =D Thanks!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2016
    4th of july - wedding anniversary trip 2017
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  2. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

    Joined:
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    Great job on your TR! It sounds like you had a fun time.
    Plus, your report made me "Hungary" for my next trip to Vegas! :feedme:
    Boy, that was sure a lot of stops/connections for your flights!

    Thanks again for your report!

    RICHARD
     
  3. kiprobalom

    kiprobalom Tourist

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
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    Haha what a nice play with words there Richard ;)
    ABout those flights - wanted to pay the less, and suffer the less as well; tried to make a balance of these two there. So originally it was 1 stop in TXL, then 1 in ORD to RNO, but then AA axed the evening ORD-RNO connection for the day, so I needed to call AA to reschedule... That is how we ended up in PHX before RNO. Was not ideal, however we generally like flying and never been in PHX before, so, it was an experience :) It was definetely better still, than our trip to Hawaii... First - a 6 hour bus ride to Prague. Then to London, then LAX, then HNL... Painfull!!!

    Anyways, thanks for the compliments - though the credits should go to Total Rewards, who made that trip possible :)
     
    4th of july - wedding anniversary trip 2017
  4. Mario's Backroom

    Mario's Backroom Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Wow! What a trip! I love that you took the time for the Reno/Lake Tahoe portion as well. Thanks for sharing! I'd love to do a trip report of two weeks in Europe. One day!
     
  5. kiprobalom

    kiprobalom Tourist

    Joined:
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    Thanks =D Always thinking why Americans wants to come here really - I want to get out of here ASAP. Maybe we can switch places!
    Truth is - probably it is a human nature thing - that we always want/desire stuffs, what we can't have, or rarely have.
     
    4th of july - wedding anniversary trip 2017
  6. Uranium 235

    Uranium 235 Tourist

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    Visited BUD twice and in love with the place so yes, it must be as you described in wanting stuff we don't have.
     
  7. kiprobalom

    kiprobalom Tourist

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Hm and you know what - living somewhere entirely different than your "comfort zone" and visiting it as a tourist are two much different scenarios. I've experienced it myself - at my early 20s, I've decided to move to London, UK, as I visited there and thought it is a good place. After 6 months, I've screamed and ran home in tears - after realizing what a cr*ppy place it is - , even though I had a decent job there and better life standards then here in Hungary :) And exactly my fears about Vegas and the USA in general as well - though right now I think it will be fantastic to be there permanently, to enjoy USA as is, however based on these earlier experiences, I might be disappointed living there... Not that moving to the USA as a resident is an option (what I respect, that I don't have) whilst moving to the UK or other EU country is just a matter of decision for me. So I try to enjoy that option of visiting the States as frequently as I can - some privileges my ancestors, or nearly any Hungarian something like even 15-20 years ago couldn't enjoy...

    Btw I can show you places in Budapest what if you see, you don't want to come into a 500 miles radius ever again ;)
     
    4th of july - wedding anniversary trip 2017
  8. emmas

    emmas Low-Roller

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    Awesome trip with some good bargains.
     
  9. pleasemum

    pleasemum Low-Roller

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    Great Report - love the driving video!!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. kiprobalom

    kiprobalom Tourist

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2015
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    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Thanks a lot :) there are more vids where these are comimg from hehe ;)
     
    4th of july - wedding anniversary trip 2017