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"Feeling" of different hotels

Discussion in 'LV Strip Hotels & Casinos' started by lsiunsuex, Jul 16, 2012.

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  1. lsiunsuex

    lsiunsuex Tourist

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    The wife and I are planning our 2nd trip to Vegas, first week of September (her 30th birthday)

    We got married in Vegas just over 2 years ago and we haven't been back since. That being said, we don't want to be let down so we're trying to decide on a hotel, intelligently.

    When we got married we stayed at Mandalay Bay and we loved almost every aspect of it. The way I looked at it, being at the end of the strip, if you weren't staying there, you really didn't have a reason to be there. So my morning walk across the casino floor to get starbucks and then out to have a smoke by the pools and watch the sun come up was awesome. One of my favorite parts of the trip.

    The only thing I didn't like, Mandalay Bay being more kids friendly, is there were a lot of kids by the pools. Not a big deal but we don't have kids (yet) and I suppose I didn't listen to the people that told me, its more kids friendly :)

    On this trip, we're very on the fence. On the one hand, we don't want to be let down at another hotel and want to stay at Mandalay Bay again because we know what to expect / loved it there. On the other hand, we're not sure when we'll make it back after this trip, so we feel we should try something new.

    We don't gamble so the casino floor is of no significance to us; we (I) love to sit by the pool so a nice, big pool is important to us. Restaurants and the like don't matter so much as we'll rent a car to visit restaurants and shows at the other hotels as we see fit (she wants to goto area 51 one of the days).
    We'll go shopping, but again, with a car, going to Caesars / The Forum Shops is no big deal. Valet!

    Our possible list this year is:
    Caesars
    Bellagio
    THE Hotel
    Cosmo

    So my biggest problem is, other than THE Hotel, all of these casinos are in the middle of the strip. Every casino we went to on the last trip, they were all packed during the day. I mean, almost wall to wall people the closer we got to the middle of the strip.

    Do you / did you get the same feeling when you stayed at these places? Any comments on these hotel's pools? Mature feeling? Kids running around?

    Opinions welcomed.
    -Mario
     
  2. Polemarch28

    Polemarch28 Tourist

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    If you don't gamble, you might consider properties like the Mandarin Oriental or Vdara. These are both very nice properties without a casino, and both are located center strip (Citycenter), so you'll have easy access to several other properties for dining and shows.

    If I were planning to pay for a room (i.e. not gamble), I think the Mandarin Oriental would be my first choice.

    Knowing your price range is an important part to this, though - so you may want to clarify that.
     
  3. lsiunsuex

    lsiunsuex Tourist

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    This is actually a gift from a friend I have / been doing some work for. I didn't feel right charging him for the work, so hes decided to send my wife and I on a week vacation to vegas. "Tell me where you want to stay and when and I'll buy the tickets"

    So... I don't want to be rude and say Encore or Venetian (I know those are a bit on the expensive side) but within < $2500 - $3000 for 6 nights, 5 days? (with flight, will probably book through Southwest - they fly direct from NY)
     
  4. Polemarch28

    Polemarch28 Tourist

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    Since your airfare is unknown to me...we'd have to make some guesses. But if I had to guess, airfare from NY will probably run you $400-500 a person, depending on the dates (unless you see a great sale).

    So, if $1,000 for airfare is subtracted from your $2,500 - $3,000 budget, that leaves around $1,500 - $2,000 for your hotel. For 6 nights, that works out to $250 - $333 per night, inclusive of all taxes/fees/resort fees.

    I ran the numbers on the Venetian website for that week, for 6 nights starting 9/2, the total was $1,337.28, plus a $20/night (+tax) resort fee (which they don't include in the total for some nefarious reason) = $1,469.

    Encore is going to cost you a little more: $1,763 + $25/night (tax) resort fee = $1,928.

    Mandarin Oriental = $1,299 (not to push that one on you - it's not a megaresort like the others, just a nice 5-star hotel, but given your description, thought you might want to consider it).

    For each property, I selected the basic room. Nicer, larger rooms with views might be a little more.

    Long story short, I think you can stay just about wherever you might want to within the budget you stated.
     
  5. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    If I had a rental car, didn't gamble and was planning to be sober enough to drive most of the time, I'd probably be taking a look at off strip resorts. You pay a premium to stay at strip resorts that has as much to do with location as the quality of the resort.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2012
  6. VermonterJohn

    VermonterJohn Low-Roller

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    Such as Red Rocks?
     
  7. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Red Rock, GVR, Lake Las Vegas, JW Marriott.
     
  8. lsiunsuex

    lsiunsuex Tourist

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    all great recommendations guys but what about atmosphere? like, i look at pictures of Cosmo and I just feel like its frat boy city. A lot of goofing around, etc...

    Mandarin looks really nice; never considered Vdara - now the choice got harder :(

    Mandarin's and Vdara's pools look to be really small
     
  9. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    I don't remember anybody ever really saying Mandalay Bay was "kid friendly"

    How many kids are around really depends on what time of year you go - if you are there for any major long weekends/holidays or go from mid May until the Labor Day long weekend you are going to encounter lots of kids in Las Vegas.

    And speaking of Labor Day there aren't any dates given in the original post other than "first week of September."

    If your stay will include part of the Labor Day long weekend that would be good to know for the people that can help find good hotel rates - hotel rates can get really high for long weekends (and as mentioned there will be kids no matter where you stay).


    All that said, if you really liked Mandalay Bay the first time around I'd consider staying there or THEHotel. Because it is down at the end of The Strip its usually less people around and the room rates are pretty good - so you can get a really nice room for a decent nightly rate.

    For the other places on your list: Cosmopolitan and Bellagio have nice rooms, but location is also factored in to their price (more people want to stay in the middle of The Strip) so you can end up paying a lot more for rooms there than at THEHotel or Mandalay Bay.

    For Caesars thats a place I wouldn't stay at unless I was the one doing the booking just because the quality of rooms there can really run the gamut depending on what type of room you book. They do have nice rooms there, but they also have some rooms that are really run down or showing their age - also if you are there for the Labor Day long weekend: this place is the biggest kid magnet on The Strip, even over Excalibur, when it comes to holiday long weekends.
     
  10. lsiunsuex

    lsiunsuex Tourist

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    Sorry guys, I probably should be more specific

    Looking at Sept 5th through 11th

    We like shows (will probably see Beatles Love again, saw Le Reve last time) - she's making a wish list of what she wants to see.

    We love eating out at higher end restaurants

    Love Shopping

    And a nice, big pool (one of the reasons we loved Mandalay - lay river, 3+ pools, awesome)

    Don't like huge crowds - gambling not a requirement.
     
  11. redsdog

    redsdog Tourist

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    I would agree with this - I dont recall seeing hardly any kids round the pool at Luxor the times I've stayed there either.
     
  12. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Venetian/Palaz is not that expensive, most dates. It does offer the shopping, canal, etc. Mirage across street (LOVE). More shopping just up the street. Lots of options without dealing with driving.

    Since gambling is low on your list, I assume you will do lots of walking around. Different hotels will give you different options.

    Mandarin is wonderful, but have no idea if that is in your budget or comfort zone.

    M-Bay in Sept will be much better this time around, as school will be in session. Will be a totally different atmosphere.

    Bellagio does give you a nice situation as well. Rates for those dates are getting up there. Not sure how they compare. I would look at the rate calendar for a handful of hotels.
     
  13. ardee

    ardee VIP Whale

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    From reading some recent posts on this board, I've noticed a lot of good things said about Aria.
    I know they have some great dining choices and it's been mentioned that there are NOT a lot of children
    running about. You might want to check out their prices and see what you can find.
     
  14. Polemarch28

    Polemarch28 Tourist

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    I'm not sure "nice big pool like Mandalay" and "not too many kids" and "not too crowded" are compatible. Every nice hotel/resort in Las Vegas has some combination of these attributes, but you need to determine which has priority.

    If you want a nice big pool, with a somewhat more adult-themed atmosphere, I would recommend the MGM or Mirage. MGM has a lazy river which, in my view, is pretty much a moving party. It's not all that lazy. Core demographic is late 20's early 30's. My girlfriend and I have a blast there every time. Mirage is also a beautiful, huge pool area. Both of these can get crowded, seeing as how they are the better pools around.

    Not too many kids - you can find this almost anywhere. Most of the resorts, particularly the more expensive ones, will have a minimum of young children.

    Not too crowded - this one is really at odds with the others. By definition, the nicer places with better amenities are going to be crowded. I have noticed that Wynn/Encore doesn't seem to get a ton of traffic. It's also among the most expensive of the options, but it seems to hit a lot of what you want.

    As to your comments on Mandarin Oriental and Vdara (I am glad you checked them out!), they are more boutique hotels, so you aren't going to get the mega-resort giant pool. They are smaller, quieter, modern. Closer to what you'd expect to find in any major city - not particularly Vegasy.

    I am forced to question whether or not Vegas is really where you want to go anyway - or more to the point - specifically what you like about it. As someone who gambles, I struggle sometimes to understand why non-gamblers would take their vacations there, but I do realize there is a fun atmosphere, great dining and shopping, nightlife. So I guess I just wonder which of these are your priorities? Knowing this might uncover what style of hotel/resort is really right for you.
     
  15. lsiunsuex

    lsiunsuex Tourist

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    If i had to recount all my memories from the last trip...

    Thats exactly what we like about it. Shopping, restaurants, shows, pools and night clubs. From the Forum Shops at Caesars, to the shows, pool in the morning, dinner at dinner time. The weather, the (to us) beautiful hotels. Bellagio's fountains.

    Its everything we're into (dining, pools, shopping, shows) within a couple mile strip - be it walking distance or take a car.

    All that being said, if all I wanted to do was shop, I'd goto NYC. All I wanted to do was sit by a pool, I'd goto Florida or the Caribbean.

    To us, Vegas offers a lot of the things we like to do, in a very short radius.

    You don't need to gamble to have a good time :) Like wise you don't need to get drunk to have a good time at a club. Different strokes...

    I may have over exaggerated with the the crowdedness. It wasn't an issue and in most situations wasn't bad. I just recall being done with brunch at Bellagio and there had to be over 1000 people in the general lobby area going from place to place. Which, in retro, probably wasn't as bad as i thought.
     
  16. Polemarch28

    Polemarch28 Tourist

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    Gotcha - and thank you for the clarification. From your first couple of posts, sounded like you were pretty particular on those items, but now it sounds like you just don't want to deal with Bellagio style crowds. From my experience, the Bellagio seems to be like that every day, all day, so that might be an outlier.

    I really think MGM or Mirage would be great options for you. Both seem to fit your general demographic/age, both have awesome pool areas, and neither property is crushingly crowded (besides the pools, which are!). Plus, they are both very affordable. If you book MGM, be certain to get one of their new upgraded/modernized rooms. Night and day difference from the old ones.

    Or on the higher end of the price range, anything in the V/P or Wynncore family will be high quality and give you some of what you want.

    But I really am leaning towards MGM/Mirage for you. The benefit of MGM is that there's really a lot under one roof, and like I said, the lazy river is really enjoyable in my view. Also, it is on the south end of the strip, and doesn't get a ton of street traffic - it seems to be one of those places people come to and never really leave. Mirage has the advantage of being close to several worthwhile places, like Caesars, V/P, Wynncore. So you have a lot within a reasonable walk. Only comment on these - get to the pool early if you want a decent spot.
     
  17. KellyLovesVegas

    KellyLovesVegas certified personal trainer/retired space nerd

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    Since you have stayed at the Mandalay Bay property and enjoyed that experience, you may wish to consider Four Seasons. It is on the top 5 floors of Mandalay Bay, with it's own private elevators and Lobby. As a guest at Four Seasons you may choose to use the Four Seasons pool (very quiet) or the Mandalay Bay pools. Four Seasons is entirely nonsmoking and very upscale. Four Seasons is definitely not a frat boy hotel :nono:

    Good luck finding the perfect hotel for your upcoming visit!
     
  18. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    I would agree that you can go to Vegas and not gamble. Not for everyone, but it can be done. My wife LOVES Vegas and probably spends $20 total. She is happy walking, drinking, eating, shows and a little shopping.

    For the folks here to really help you on hotel though, you need to tell us more. Are you a Red Roof, Hilton, or Ritz Carlton sort of person. Would you be happy with $5 Mc-d for breakfast or $80 room service.

    As to location, we personally try to avoid the whole rental car thing. Just too many hassles starting with the airport shuttle, then hotel parking a mile away or waiting for valet. Traffic and drinking just add to that.
     
  19. Polemarch28

    Polemarch28 Tourist

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    Also - I meant to comment on this - I really don't recommend the rental car. I've never seen Vegas as a rental car city; cabs are extremely easy and not that expensive. On my average trip I probably spend $40 a day on cabs, which is more expensive than a rental car, but I also never have to wait for my car to be retrieved or deal with a parking lot, I never have to know my way around, and I can drink without worry. It's a vacation - having the car isn't worth it for me.

    Now, if you're planning to drive off Strip, or to Red Rocks or something - then I guess you need the car. But that's not my bag.
     
  20. lsiunsuex

    lsiunsuex Tourist

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    My wife wants the rental more than I do - to goto Area 51, maybe red rock canyon, etc... we got a car when we got married - we flew our photographer from NY out to Vegas with us for wedding photos and it was nice to take pictures at Red Rock and not be tied to a taxi. They actually won a photography award for a photo of us in Vegas.

    We're not Ritz people but we're not Red Roof in either. We like nice things and can recognize value when we see it. When we went for our wedding, we got each other a wedding gift and my gift was an Louis Vuiton wallet (she got jewelery). So... do i do that every weekend? No. But we have good taste and if dinner for 2 costs $200+... ok. (we're not big drinkers, not at dinner anyways - $200 for dinner is nothing, but when you both have small appetites...)

    That being said, a big reason we don't gamble is we see it as a waste of money. I'd rather take the $2k i might blow on gambling and go buy a Louis Vuiton laptop bag for myself. I'll have the bag for years; gambling, $2k will last what... hour max depending on the table? Everyone values money differently.

    We went to Mirage to see Beatles Love; I honestly just didn't care for the decor. One of my bosses loves it there and stays there when he can; it just seamed very dark to me.

    The decision is getting harder now haha.
     
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