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Downtown Grand Hotel Review

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by ExVegasLocal, Jun 23, 2014.

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  1. ExVegasLocal

    ExVegasLocal Low-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    Those of you who just want a clean hotel room to crash in, will not understand this review. You will think I am too picky. To me, the room I stay in for my hard-earned vacations is very important. And this one was especially important to me as I booked this hotel for my honeymoon. I was originally booked at the M Resort and had also considered Green Valley Ranch and Vdara, but since the DTG is new and the price was terrific, based upon the photos and reviews I had seen, I decided to book a one-bedroom suite at the DTG.

    Upon check-in, the valet folks were terrific. Everyone at valet was friendly and helpful. Our bags and car were whisked away and we were shown to the registration area. Throughout our stay, every single encounter we had with the valet and bellmen was quick, friendly, and efficient.

    At registration, I explained that I was on my honeymoon and offered a $20 gratuity for the attendant’s help in finding an especially nice room for my five night mid-week stay, which she accepted. Upon arriving in the room, I found I had received exactly the room I booked (nothing more) and had an especially dismal view of a concrete parking garage. Perhaps more depressing than the view was the fact that all of the hotel’s windows are only a few feet tall, making it feel as if the room is a dark cave. (Only the rooms on the top floor of each tower have floor-to-ceiling windows). To say I felt disappointed in the room would be an understatement.

    The “suite” was actually two standard hotel rooms with a double door in the wall leading from one side of the suite to the other. On the entry side was a sofa, cabinet with drawers and a coffee table. There was a large flat-panel television on the wall. Passing through the double doors takes you to the bedroom where there was a king-sized bed and a desk/armoire combination. (There was no closet.) All of the furniture was melamine/lacquer over particle board. It felt cheap and it looked cheap.

    The room was supposed to have two bathrooms, and it did, but they were not what I was expecting. Rather than one large luxurious bathroom, with an additional powder room, each half of the suite had one standard non-descript bathroom with an enclosed shower stall. Each bathroom appeared to be decorated using whatever was on sale at the time the hotel was renovated. White marble tile on the floor, a different color granite used on the countertops, and ugly light oak “off the shelf Home Depot-esque” cabinets. None of it went together. (Hey DTG, 1993 called. They want their oak bathroom cabinets back.)

    I tried to shrug off the room and spent one night in it, but by the next day, I was resolved to change rooms or check out. The folks at the front desk had me come back three times before someone was available with the power to find me a better room. The supervisor offered to put me in a room called the “City Suite” for an additional upgrade charge. I accepted as my only alternative was to check out and find a new hotel.

    This room was much better. And again, the bell desk was awesome at helping us get our luggage moved. This suite was the same size as the room we had before, but it was “open concept” with no wall between the bedroom and living areas. It was on the top floor, had floor-to-ceiling windows and a partial view of Fremont Street with wonderful light streaming in. It had a small powder room and a built in wet bar in the living area along with a couch, two chairs, a coffee table, and a desk. The king-sized bed was flanked by two nightstands and a sitting bench at the end of the bed.

    But again, the bathroom was awful. You see, though I am not disabled, they had given us a “mobility room” designed for folks who use wheelchairs. There was no door separating the bathroom from the bedroom, so lying in bed gave you a clear view of the entire bathroom, including the toilet. This bathroom offered zero privacy. (Honeymoon or no, I prefer to have a little privacy at times. Thankfully, there was a toilet in the powder room.) To make matters worse there was only a standard tub/shower combination, so the bathroom did not feel at all luxurious. (I have no idea how a person in a wheelchair is expected to get into a bathtub.) And here is the weirdest part. There was no glass and no shower curtain separating the tub/shower from the rest of the bathroom. Again, there was absolutely nothing. No half-glass wall, no shower curtain, nothing! To bathe you had to stand under the hand-held shower, shivering, and try not to splash water all over the bathroom floor. I hated to use that shower and found myself procrastinating every day because it was so awful.

    Aside from the bathroom, there was one other issue that I just couldn’t get past. The music coming from the Hogs and Heifers bar at night was irritating as hell. On a Friday or Saturday night, I could sort of understand. But why would a bar be this loud in the middle of the week? I was on the 18th floor, but it sounded like my room was right on top of the bar. The bass was pumping and thumping until the wee hours every night. I guess I’m the only one who actually expects to sleep in my hotel room.

    The pool area was nice. The water in the pool was so cold, I actually asked if it was refrigerated (no). The times I spent time at the pool were uncrowded. But that only made it more frustrating because the cocktail service was inexplicably slow. I don’t know where the cocktail server kept disappearing to, but it seems she was rarely around when I wanted service. And when she did finally come, the $12 drink was slow to make its way back to me. $12 is fine for a pool drink on the Strip, but that’s not what I expected to find at the DTG.

    We ate at their 24-hour café, Stewart and Ogden, as well as the Commissary, Pizza Rock and the Triple George. I have no complaints regarding the food or service in any of their restaurants. In fact, I was so amazed at how good the food at Triple George was, it will now be one of my “must do’s” on any future trip to Vegas. It was truly delicious, the service was excellent, and the prices were extremely reasonable. Highly recommended.

    As for the casino, cocktail service was spot-on. Bartenders were always right there to offer a drink. Dealers and bosses alike were friendly and engaging. Unfortunately, the video poker pay tables are crummy. (6/5 bonus poker, anyone?) Nevertheless, I like to play where I stay and played a good bit over the course of five days, at least 10,000 dollars coin-in. I certainly got tired of hearing their choice of music repeated ad infinitum, day after day. I’m pretty sure there are more than two dozen contemporary songs that could have been played over the sound system.

    On the night before I was to depart, I visited the player’s club and inquired whether I had played enough to have any of my room charges taken care of. Now, I am no high roller, but I played hours and hours of Ultimate X VP at $3.00 per draw (10-cent, triple play, 10 coins per hand). I had also played lots of slot, blackjack, and 25 and 50 cent VP. I figured they would at least be able to take care of a meal at the café or a margarita or two at the pool that had been charged to my room. The guy at the player’s club really had no idea what I was asking, and instead offered me a set of logo drinking glasses. I politely refused the cheap giveaway gift and insisted that he contact a casino host. He dialed several phone numbers, finally locating a host after many attempts. (I asked if the host had an office I could visit and was told that there was not one.) I waited a very long time for the host to show up. I asked the host if he could please look at my coin-in and let me know if I qualified to have any of my room charges reversed. He just kept insisting that I wait until check out, which made no sense to me. I knew the front desk would not have a clue, that the process would be time consuming, and that it would be best to take care of this the night before. I asked politely again, and again, the host rebuffed my requests. He wouldn’t even take the time to pull my account up on the computer to look at my play.

    The next morning, as instructed, I asked for the casino host at check-out. Of course the lady at registration had no idea which host was on duty. She dialed phone number after phone number, even disturbing one host at home on their day off. The line of hotel guests behind me grew longer and longer. Finally, after being unsuccessful at contacting a host, she took my name and player’s club number and promised that she would have a host contact me by telephone. Anyone want to guess whether I ever got a phone call? Insert the sound of crickets chirping here. The issue is not whether I qualified for any comps. If a host had simply taken the time to look at my play, even if I didn’t qualify, I would have been satisfied to have been evaluated. Needless to say, this casino will not be getting any more play from me.

    Would I stay here again? No. Not just no…hell no. Frankly, the Downtown Grand can suck it. :Þ For my next trip to Downtown Vegas, I’m going back to the Rush Tower at the Golden Nugget.
     
  2. Blonde_4_ever

    Blonde_4_ever "The Welfare Queen of Windsor"

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    Sorry your honeymoon accommodations were so disappointing.

    Your TR fits right in with today's article from Vital Vegas.
    http://vitalvegas.com/
     
  3. chonglosaxon

    chonglosaxon MIA

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    Sorry my friend. That stinks.
     
  4. hail2skins

    hail2skins Low-Roller

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    Depressing. The property seems to have so much going for it......the basic rooms generally are pretty decent, the personnel seem friendly, and, as the OP said, the eateries in and across from the DTG are very good. But this place really needs to get its stuff together or you wonder how long it can continue to function.
     
  5. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    Congratulations on your marriage! I'm really sorry to hear about your disappointing accommodations especially in light of it being your honeymoon. I'm a strip patron and also like high end accommodations. I was actually thinking of booking a night or 2 at The Downtown Grand in a top floor one bedroom city suite for my October trip but after reading your review, I'll stick with Cosmo.
     
  6. longnex

    longnex Tourist

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    Congrats on the wedding
     
  7. Gino

    Gino "The King of Inappropriate."

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    Sorry to hear that. If I hadn't racked up so many MyVegas points I'd probably would have given DTG a whirl for my November trip. I always stay at the GN. Hope they get their shit straight. 6/5 anything sucks ass.
     
  8. fossefritz

    fossefritz Low-Roller

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    Congrats on your wedding

    Hope they do get ahold of you

    Good luck
     
  9. kittyglitter_mm

    kittyglitter_mm Low-Roller

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    I stayed there last weekend. Although I would never book a hotel such as the DTG for something as important as my honeymoon, I loved the place. Everyone was super friendly, it has a very homey vibe, and the rooms, while standard, were adequate. And the person at players card desk was right. They can comp you right at check out. We had several charges on our room and they were all wiped out at check out. Never even spoke to a host.
     
  10. OKC Gal

    OKC Gal Low-Roller

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    I wish you had moved out to the M Resort. That place is wonderful. I am also concerned about the loud music, because I think this is becoming a trend. My recent stay at the PALMS had an issue with loud music on a Friday night (I was on the 18th floor). That's the "trend" right now, but there is really no reason to disturb a whole hotel of guests who might be in the room, to have it that loud.
     
  11. wilkenm

    wilkenm Newbie

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    I'll second your complaints on the noise from Hogs and Hefers. Yes, I understand, it's Vegas, it's not going to be quiet. But the amount of noise coming from that place is incredible.

    I also had a similar "We have no idea what we're doing" experience from the DTG casino. Before my trip, I called to set up a line of credit. I had their form all filled out and ready to do, I just needed to know where to send it. I got bounced around from the front desk to the casino floor to the cage multiple times, and no one could help me. At that point, I gave up, and they got almost no action from me.

    Just to make this not a bitch fest, I did think the rooms were nice for the price point.
     
  12. ExVegasLocal

    ExVegasLocal Low-Roller

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    I wouldn't have booked it for my honeymoon, but I have stayed at almost every hotel in Vegas at one time or another and wanted to try something new. I think that the rooms were "adequate" as well. If all you need is a clean room at a good price, the DTG will do. The employees (aside from the casino host) were all excellent and it is obvious they are trying hard. I hope my review felt balanced and that it was clear that I thought the hotel's employees were pretty good, for the most part.

    I'm in my late 40's now and I generally don't enjoy staying on the Strip anymore. The Strip's change in focus away from plentiful,fair gambling to nightclubs and shopping has pushed me out of their desired demographic. There are too many guys named "Dude" and I can't tell the prostitutes apart from the female hotel guests anymore. (Yeah, I'm old. Get off my lawn.)

    We are planning a "honeymoon redux". We will probably do Bellagio, Vdara, Mandarin Oriental, or perhaps Green Valley Ranch, M Resort, or Red Rock next time. Also, thinking about SLS, though I imagine it will rate 9 out of 10 on the "dude scale".
     
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