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.

First Timers

Discussion in 'LV Strip Hotels & Casinos' started by Georgienba, Jul 9, 2014.

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

    Georgienba Newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    0
    Hi everyone,

    A little about us...

    My husband and I (mid 40s-he's an engineer, I work for our public schools-elementary level) are planning our first trip to vegas July 28-31(3 nights) *I know it's gonna be HOT* We are not 'clubers' but do enjoy music and a relaxed cool bar scene occasionally.
    I don't care about the pool scene b/c let's face it, after 3 kids and 18 years of marriage I no longer have my 20something body but may lounge at a pool in the mornings, so I'm looking for a location that I'm not gonna feel like a beached whale(I'm a sun bunny here at home with the mentality that tan fat at least looks better than pasty fat :eek: at least on me) if I do decide to take a dip.

    We aren't really interested in seeing shows. We aren't making plans to go here or there but rather taking it moment by moment and winging it. No plans to pound the pavement during the afternoons,husband works nights so he will sleep most afternoons, hence my possible visit to the pool.

    We are considering these 3 hotels

    Flamingo
    Harrahs
    Ballys

    For price & location(signed up on their websites for specials via email). I've read reviews on TA until my eyes are crossed. Seems like some of the reviews were overly critical.

    What I want is a clean room, comfy king bed(I know that everyone's idea of comfy will vary,we have a memory foam mattress and if I can wake up without my back going out well that's a bonus, I have some minor back issues) I'm not expecting luxury 1000 count Egyptian cotton sheets but non scratchy sheets would be nice. Not sure if a view is all that important or not, I mean how much time is actually spent in the room aside from sleeping/showering? Your in Vegas!
    A cool casino vibe would be nice but being center strip I understand that with a 15-30 minute walk we can be in another casino enjoying their vibe. A coffee maker would be bonus for me but not a deal breaker. Wifi, I'd like to have access to it again not a deal breaker.

    Really don't want to spend more than $250 but would go to $300 including resort fees for the 3 nights. We prefer to spend our money on the casino floor. All 3 of the above properties fall into that price range category with the current specials they are advertising.

    Getting from airport to hotel, cab or bus? Our flight arrives @ 3:20pm. If we take a cab I know to not act like a first timer and ask for no tunnel but the hubs is saying a friend told him to take the bus. Advice?

    Food, not big on buffets but hubs loves them, I'm more a grazer and like unique non chain restaurant/pub food. So one not to miss buffet rec, and some cool only in vegas food options you think we should try. Reasonable prices-I know reasonable is subjective. We don't eat 3 meals a day.

    So after getting to 'know' us does one particular property/room seem to be a better fit than the other for our age,likes etc? We are pretty easy going and laid back, we aren't the rush rush gotta cram it all in types. My husband could care less about the hotel so this post is more for me and just needing a little reassurance and advice from seasoned, like minded visitors to Vegas.

    Sorry it's long but wanted to give you as much info as I could, to help you, help me.

    Appreciate you taking the time to read this and offering your advice!

    *Georgie
     
  2. sybgal

    sybgal VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Messages:
    5,129
    Location:
    Indiana
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    29
    Sounds like Bally's might be a good fit. The pool is just average but it is more folks 40-60 than most & seldom see kids. Drink service is good and easy to get a lounger. We enjoy it since we go just to bask in the sun & take a few dips in the pool. The rooms there are bigger than most hotels & the staff is always great. Coffee makers in rooms & try $20 trick to get in the Jubilee Tower. There are so many good food options nearby...since it connected to Paris (love Mon Ami Gabi) & close walking distance to PH & MM shops with other good eateries. The casino is not "cool".... more old school but others are just a quick walk. There is construction out front but doesn't cause a problem getting around.

    if you want just 1 buffet....the one at Caesars is fantastic! Good luck & hope you have a great time!!

    Oh - forgot....the linens in the Jubilee room we had in March blew us away....had to be a very high tread count....best we've had in any hotel ever!!
     
  3. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2002
    Messages:
    19,131
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    16
    While the bus is certainly possible, I wouldn't recommend doing it as a newbie, nor with luggage, and REALLY not during the hot summer. Personally I take a taxi on the trips I'm not renting a car - it's easier & shorter than the shuttle and not that much more expensive than a shuttle. But your financial & other priorities can dictate your own choice in the matter.....
     
  4. feeltheheat

    feeltheheat Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2013
    Messages:
    287
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    Treasure Island or MGM Grand would be my choice.
    Not a CET person here.

    TI had deal yesterday on twitter... up 35%off and 2-for-1 mystere ticket.
    MGM has great regular prices. MGM is huge.
    ...back to soccer.
     
  5. Ty

    Ty ?

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    2,388
    Location:
    Mid Ga
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    22
    I agree with Hoya, take a cab to the hotel. $20 should cover the ride and the tip. The cab will drop you at the bell hop, the bus is going to dump you on the street, likely in a crowded area. Then you'll be pounding the pavement for sure at 4:30 in the afternoon. For returning to the airport, if the hotel has a shuttle that's about to leave when you're ready I would take it (usually $7 or 8 each).

    Hotels, I would scratch Harrah's, we stayed there last November and seemed like it was getting a little run down. If the rates are roughly the same I would pick Bally's.

    Pools. Just my opinion, if you get plenty of pool time at home skip it in Vegas. Three days is a short Vegas trip, there's so much to do especially for first timers.

    Food. We had the Bellagio lunch buffet last week for the first time. We thought it was very good, plus you'll want to check out the garden too. Fun to see and free.
    https://www.bellagio.com/attractions/botanical-garden.aspx

    Be sure to get the Total Rewards card (free) and have it in the machine even if you don't expect to play much. CET seems pretty loose with giving free room offers for you to come back.

    Welcome to VMB.

    (You're making me think back to our first trip, 1994.)
     
    Christmas Trip. Sam's Town & MSS
  6. jamesxnj

    jamesxnj VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2009
    Messages:
    1,089
    Location:
    FL
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    17
    Welcome to the Board!...By the tone of your post I'd bet you guys are gonna have a great trip no matter where you stay,you're not too picky at all..
    Sorry I can't offer an opinion of your 3 hotel choices,but you guys may like Carnival Court at Harrahs for music and drinks..Others may chime in with the best time to go for 40+ music etc..

    But a question for you,have you considered the Rio and check the prices there? Pool for you,I'm 99% sure you'll have a Kuerig coffee maker already in room,and the resort fee should include the Wi-Fi..
    With the 2 shuttles running to the strip,One to Bally's/Paris and one to Harrahs 10 am til 1 am or so..Also all the rooms have a mini-fridge.Easy walk to the Palms or Gold Coast evening once things cool off a bit...
    And yes nix the bus from the airport for your first trip,soak in the feeling of meeting a person you have to trust or not trust in 60 seconds ...:)...,but the deuce is fine if you want to see Downtown some night...and some sights to see for sure you've probably never seen in OK haha
    But whatever you decide.have a great trip!!
     
  7. Georgienba

    Georgienba Newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    0
    Feeltheheat I looked in to TI but being our first trip I really thought center strip would be our best option, yanno being newbies and all....Perhaps on a future trip for lodging we can venture north,south,or DT. I appreciate your reply! Of course being first timers we have NO loyality to any casino,we have no expectations other than enjoying ourselves.

    HoyaHeel and TY31088 that's what I was thinking...cab it and pretend we know what we are doing...I just needed someone to confirm that for me, money isn't the issue,a few extra bucks for getting me right to the hotel means more than riding a bus and stopping along the way and me going WTF! Thank you for your response!

    It's sounding like Ballys is gonna be my choice, I know that getting sun at home is one thing but honestly my husband will be sleeping during the day and it's going to be way hot, I'm not going exploring without him(if I did that I'd wind up on HBOs bunny ranch show asaguest, I'm guilliable), I'm not hitting the pavement in the afternoon, I'm crazy but NOT that crazy :) and I just want a pool that I can relax at without feeling overly self conscience for a few hours while he sleeps if I so choose. I can appreciate the age group of Ballys now that I have a firm confirmation from a regular visitor. Thank you sybgal!

    Ill be honest I was all set for Harrahs, I'm so glad I stepped out of lurker mode and asked some more questions, I really value a regular visitors perspective/advice.

    Not sure how comfortable I feel with the $20 trick, I'd rather just book the room I most prefer, again, perhaps after I get one visit under my belt it will be different. At this point I'm just trying to get in a taxi and not be tunneled, I'd consider that a success :)

    Okay so I've signed up online for TR, when we do get to the hotel we should go to the TR station and get an actual card or are the TR and check in one in the same? will my info already be in their system since I joined online? then proceed to checkin, correct? We have a hard rock casino locally so I'm not a complete idiot when it comes to players cards, but I just want to make sure I do it correctly...here we get our card first then check in if we are over-nighters. If not staying the night we just put our card in a machine or let the Boss know and go. This is where I feel the least knowledgable as to which way to proceed once we arrive.

    Thank you for the buffet/restaurant reccomendations. I've read about Ellis Island, a good choice? Dive joints with good food?

    Again I so appreciate your replies, I will come back and post a trip report, can't leave Las Vegas junkies jonesing for a report hanging- I expect after this trip we will be LV junkies...jonesing!

    Nothing quite like raising your kids,taking every family summer vacation imaginable, then...finally getting to do an actual adult trip that's all about you and not where is the next kiddie ride or cotton candy station...no offense to cotton candy lovers! :)

    Thanks y'all!
     
  8. RockyBalboa

    RockyBalboa VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Messages:
    4,081
    Location:
    Houston by way of Philadelphia
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    Welcome to the board...you'll get a lot of great advice here. I joined four years ago prior to our first trip and I learned a ton here. And I still continue to learn from people here each day even after 9 trips.

    I see you're from OK...the heat in Vegas is nothing compared to the heat in Texas/Oklahoma/Louisana area. Vegas is that dry furnace like heat. So hydrate a ton, take moisturizer, eye drops (for contacts if you wear them) and some nasal spray (some people dry out and get nosebleeds).

    Of your three hotel choices I would suggest Bally's because I believe the new Jubilee Tower rooms will fit your criteria. That's the pro for Bally's...the con is the pool isn't great. Flamingo has a better pool scene but will be crowded. If you chose Flamingo then you'd be better off making sure to book a GO room.

    An outside the box suggestion here would be The Mirage. Great beds, comfortable rooms (get a tower deluxe on the 24th/25th floor as it has a bigger bathroom). It also has an awesome pool.

    I sound like a shill for The Mirage but that was where we stayed on our first trip and it was great.

    I just plugged in your dates beginning 28 July and the rates are pretty sweet. $85/$79/$75...add in taxes and resort fees and you're into the budget you mentioned.

    Good luck!
     
  9. TomTWI

    TomTWI High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    928
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    40
    Welcome, If you do stay at Bally's then it's an easy walk to a little dive casino off strip called Ellis Island. This would be good place to eat and get the feel for a locals dive casino. they also have their own brewery. Enjoy your trip if your like me you will be back.

    TomTWI
     
  10. gradytripp

    gradytripp Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Messages:
    414
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    14
    Welcome! I'm 44 and just discovered Vegas 3 years ago. I think the forties are a good decade for it--we're older, wiser, and comfortable in our own skin.

    Lots of good advice already. I concur that Bally's would be a good choice for you. I've stayed there for three of my eight trips. Especially in July, especially if your husband will be snoozing during the day, you'll appreciate being connected to Paris. I spend a lot of time just wandering between those two properties taking in the Vegasness of it all. I haven't stayed at Flamingo or Harrah's. Flamingo has a lot of fans here but my experiences there (food, casino) have all been frankly subpar.

    Even if you don't want to try the $20 trick, mention at the front desk that it's your first trip. What I do is hold a $20 so that it's visible (instead of making a $20 "sandwich" with my driver's license and credit card, which strikes me as kind of silly). Then ask if there are any complimentary upgrades. They're used to it, and I'd bet you could get upgraded to the Jubilee tower.

    During the winter (when Bally's pool is closed), Bally's guests can use the Paris pool. I don't know if that's the case during the summer. But frankly I agree with TY30188 that on your first trip--in the middle of the summer, at sort of blah pools--the pool is very "skippable." Now, when you come back, sometime you should splurge for Bellagio and Aria. Those pools are lovely, relaxing places to hang out in the mornings. And trust me, you'll see every conceivable body size and shape in Vegas, including at the pools.

    I'm a huge fan of Ellis Island. It's about a 10 minute walk out the Bally's side entrance (by the sports book). The walk is unpleasant, but it's worth it. You'll find threads here about the EI steak special and BBQ. My wife and I went there three times on our most recent (four day) trip. The trip before that, my dad and I stayed at Bally's and walked to Ellis Island every morning for $5.99 steak and eggs. You don't say much about gambling, but Ellis Island is where I first played blackjack ($5 minimum, 24/7) and it was a good place to learn.

    Transportation. Cab it from the airport, for sure. There are many threads complaining about taxi longhauling here, but compared to a lot of big cities I've been to, Vegas cabs are very reasonable. I've had mostly very good interactions with cabbies, again in contrast to a lot of the reports I read here and elsewhere. I've had good conversations with a lot of them--they work long hours and have come from all parts of the world. Just smile and be excited (it's your first trip to Vegas!) and don't assume they're out to rip you off.

    Buffet. There's endless debate about this, too. The best I've been to is Bacchanal buffet at Caesars. This would be a splurge. You'll probably have to wait (although I've read they give you a pager to cut down on wait time.) I also enjoyed Wicked Spoon at Cosmpolitan, which is cheaper and probably has a shorter line. And you should check out Cosmo, anyway--it's beautiful, and full of the Beautiful People. (I'm not one of them.) The buffet was strangely hard to find, for some reason.

    Have fun!
     
  11. downtowndonna

    downtowndonna Tourist

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2014
    Messages:
    34
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    8
    I was also thinking about Bally's but was talked out of it, because I was informed that Bally's is doing major construction work and tearing down a tower. I'd check first to see if this is true. Maybe that is why they had $26 rooms plus $20 food and beverage daily? If you want to save $$ on airport transport, try grey lines?shuttle, I paid $12 round trip.
     
  12. Georgienba

    Georgienba Newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    0
    Jamesxnj- thanks for your welcome to the board. Yes I have considered every single hotel whether on/off the strip or DT. But like I said above, being our first trip and I'm certain I will be all in awe bright lights n all....center strip is gonna work best for this first trip. I'm fully prepared to get 'the vegas bug' and return again and again...and get our home base...thanks again for your advice!

    RockyBalboa, yep we're Okies, Go OU! and I'd take your dry heat over our humid,can't cut it with a knife heat any day of the week. I have family in the Tucson/sierra vista/tombstone area of AZ. I know Chapstick and H2O are a must :) but appreciate the reminder! Thank you for taking the time to check prices on a viable lodging alternative but like I said above I'm pretty sure I've narrowed down my top three due to location and price...and it being our first time.

    TomTWI thanks for the info on Ellis island!

    Gradytripp...Thank You, Thank You for your advice and tips! Can you come be my tour guide? :)

    This board is really awesome and I appreciate the advice!
     
  13. phade

    phade Low-Roller

    Joined:
    May 24, 2013
    Messages:
    334
    Location:
    Western NY
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    5
    Some good advice given here. I really like the suggestions for Mirage and TI, but also understand your merits toward center strip. Flamingo is nice, navigable, and easily on the strip in 5 minutes from your room. Ballys sits a little ways back, and I am not sure what the state is with the construction. Ballys is building a line of shops/stores that lead to it from the strip. Someone who has been there recently might be able to update. Flamingo's knock is that while the pool is WAY better than Bally's, the age/crowd might not be to your liking. The rest of the casino is nice, not overdone/fancy, but manageable. Harrah's I believe is probably the last in line for your needs. Pool is not great, I find it rather smoky than most casinos due to the ceilings. The good thing is the three are within a very short walk of one another so you don't really have to "pound pavement" for more than 5 minutes. Harrah's has the best buffet of the three in my opinion (not the brunch at Ballys though), and has a couple nice, easy eats (KGB, TKs).

    TI runs a TV ad special where the resort fee is optional, so you could get a great deal there for the days you are staying. Plus, I believe there is a tram to Mirage, so you can travel easily to it if the husband is sleeping and you won't get in too much trouble traveling solo. There is also a nice indoor mall right across from TI, where you could spend some time. TI is known to have some decent beds and there are a couple bars there that aren't necessarily night clubs, and might fit your style, including Gilley's, a country bar/dance floor.

    I don't think TI is that bad location wise. It's obviously not center strip, but it's close to some of the nice properties on the strip.

    Bally's or TI would be my suggestion, but you'll have fun no matter what!
     
  14. Ford-stu

    Ford-stu Tourist

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2013
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    London
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    1
    Hi there. Ti is a great shout I reckon. Me and the wife stayed at the venetian which is across the road from ti and mirage. As someone mentioned gilleys is a fantastic bar with a very wide spread of age groups and fun music for all.
    It's also quite a nice layout unlike the venetian it's not that easy to get lost in.
     
  15. DonnyC

    DonnyC VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2012
    Messages:
    2,137
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    8
    With the whole new Quad and Link area I would choose the Flamingo...in fact I did!


    Is it the nicest hotel? No.

    But the rooms are very adequate and the pool is fun - you get all ages and shapes at the pool.

    The casino has never been a deciding factor for me...as you can just walk to a different one, same with food choices.

    I don't go to Vegas to stay at the property that I sleep at, I go to go into all the properties.
     
  16. gradytripp

    gradytripp Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Messages:
    414
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    14
    You could make a very good argument for Flamingo for just that reason. But I think for someone's first trip, Bally's is better. From there you can do the Great Circle route of center-strip Vegas: Bally's to Paris to Planet Hollywood, across the street to Cosmo and Bellagio. Then you can either cross back to Bally's or go on to see Caesars and then cross back to the Cromwell. You can do that circle during the day for one vibe, then at night for the lights and a different vibe altogether.

    Now, there is construction in front of Bally's. They are not tearing down a tower but building a ridiculous Grand Bazaar. I'm a big fan of Bally's but not thrilled by the Grand Bazaar. It does make walking from Bellagio back to Bally's a little less comfortable because you have to walk on a sidewalk between the construction and Flamingo Road for a block. But if you do the whole Great Circle route mentioned above and come out through the back of Cromwell, you miss that construction.

    Other than that, my experience two weeks ago was that the construction impact was minimal. I didn't stay at Bally's, though, but just walked through many times. You'd want to double-check when you check-in, something like "please put us away from the construction," I suppose. And if you wind up in the north ("Indigo") tower, you're not anywhere near it anyway.
     
  17. OKC Gal

    OKC Gal Low-Roller

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Messages:
    142
    Location:
    OKC
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    40
    And, as a woman (and from Oklahoma too I might add), don't be afraid to go by yourself in the daytime to the areas nearby. I go on solo trips all the time. There are lots of things to see - and frankly, just viewing each property is very fun. A must see is the Bellagio and their conservatory, and the Cosmo is a must see - both are close to Bally's.
     
  18. Georgienba

    Georgienba Newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    0
    Well apparently my husband got tired of waiting on my decisionally challenged self and booked a strip view room at The Mirage last night while he was work.

    Thanks again for all your advice and help! It is appreciated!
     
  19. gradytripp

    gradytripp Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Messages:
    414
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    14
    Well, that'll be a really nice room as well--definitely a notch or two up from the places you were looking at, and a classic property and still quite close to "the center of the action."

    From there, if you want to go to Ellis (you should!) just cab it. Should be about $10.
     
  20. KellyLovesVegas

    KellyLovesVegas certified personal trainer/retired space nerd

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    Messages:
    1,506
    Location:
    Houston
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    59
    You should be happy at the Mirage. Don't forget to sign up for your MLife card!
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.