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Golden Nugget 1/2/07-1/6/07

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by HoyaHeel, Jan 8, 2007.

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  1. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    My Trip Report

    January 2 – January 6 Las Vegas
    Golden Nugget


    Photos: http://travel.webshots.com/album/556897714sIqEhx

    The Brief:
    Hotel: Golden Nugget, suite 538, north tower.

    Food:
    777 Brew Pub, Main Street Station
    Carson Street Café, GN
    Asian Café (Name?) at Primm Outlet Mall
    Triple George, non-hotel restaurant downtown
    Binion’s Coffeeshop, Binions
    Chicago Joe’s Brew Pub, Four Queens
    Ming’s Table, Harrahs
    Shrimp Bar, Golden Gate
    Careful Kitty’s, El Cortez
    Second Street Grill, Fremont
    Grotto, Golden Nugget

    Spa: Neck & shoulder massage, Full body relaxation massage at Golden Nugget spa:thumbsup:

    Main Activities:
    Gambling (mainly at GN, craps, VP & slots)
    Shopping (outlets in Primm, hobby shops for rc helicopter parts, Zappos outlet, Forum Shops at Caesars)
    Eating (see above)
    Show (Improv @ Harrahs)

    Guess I’ll do a chronological report since it’s still somewhat fresh in my mind. Feel free to ask any clarifying questions! It might be boring to some, but hey, it is what it is ;-) We flew out on Southwest from RDU to LAS, non-stop. (love that DING! Fare—got very cheap tickets) We rented a car from Budget—first time we’ve ever rented a car in Vegas, and it’s highly unlikely we’ll do it again—we used it for the things we had planned to do this trip (like go to Primm and go to a couple specialty hobby shops) but otherwise it makes no sense for us to do it again. We HATE driving in Vegas. And we like to drink in Vegas. So, cabs, walking & bus for us ;-) We got in around 3:30, and after we arrived and got our car, we stopped by a grocery store for some wine & rum, soda & water for the room, and worked our very slow way through stoplight traffic downtown to the Golden Nugget where we dropped off the car with valet and our bags with a busman.

    So a couple weeks ago, Mikey gave a review of the main changes from the renovation at Golden Nugget under its new owners, Landry’s. We had a blast this trip—our best Vegas trip in a long time, if not ever. We just LOVED staying at GN (our second stay there—first was at least 3 years and 3 owners ago ;-) Originally we were scheduled for a suite on Tues. & Wed. night and had a 2nd reservation for a regular room for Thursday and Friday night. We checked in at the VIP lounge – very nice not to have to wait in line! We asked about keeping the room the entire stay and she couldn’t do it but put a note in our reservation and said they’d call if anything changed. On Thursday, we stopped in VIP services on our way back from breakfast and asked again, and the girl working the desk said all the suites were booked, so I thanked her and asked what would be the best time & way for me to make the switch to our regular room with the least amount of hassle and waiting in line, and she picked up the phone. Don’t know who she talked to, but she got off the phone and said “OK, you can keep the room, same price Thursday night and a little more on Friday.†Um, OK!! So we had a suite for $159 Tues, Wed & Thurs, $229 on Friday. Photos are posted. Basically, they took two larger rooms in the north tower and open the connecting door (still there, so you can close it off when you want to) and make one room the bedroom and the other room the living quarters. So we had a bedroom with a seating area, tv, bathroom, closet & dressing area with mirror & seat for doing make-up, hair, etc (including a lighted makeup mirror and nice hair dryer. Also, the safe was in the closet). In the other room, there was a wet bar with a mini fridge, dining area (table, 4 chairs) couch & 2 side chairs, and another bathroom (this one had a steam shower, the other had a jetted tub). We liked it a lot. We usually spend some time in the room, so we appreciate a lovely room. I’m not always willing to pay for it, but in this case I think we had very good value for our money!! (regular rooms in the south tower during this stay were around $60-70 I think) The rooms have been renovated in the past couple years (the clerk told us but neither hubby nor I can remember the order—they just finished one tower last year and are working on the other tower now—a chunk at a time so they don’t take too many rooms out of service at a time. When they finish the tower they’re working on now, they’ll go back to the other tower—the clerk said there’s an almost constant round of renovating going on.)

    Our bags arrived quickly, we unpacked (I learned that from hubby—he HATES to live out of a suitcase for more than one night, so….) I banished him to the second bathroom with the steam shower (and a tv!!) and claimed the jetted tub & makeup mirror bathroom as my own. We showered and headed to Main Street Station for some dinner. We ate at 777 Brew Pub. The beer was very good and not expensive ($3.50 for 22oz). I was not impressed with my meal. We had a crab appetizer that was extremely bland. I ate blackened mahi that was spicy but oddly bland. Does that make sense? It had a little heat but no other seasoning to give any depth. Hubby had fish & chips which were good but too greasy for him (not soggy though, crispy—he just didn’t think the grease sat well on his stomach.) Total was $33 ($7 of which was beer) After dinner we were a little early to meet CoasterKikky so we played some cheap slots. Dane hit for $100 on a penny machine and it took FOREVER to print the ticket. I went in to meet CK and Dane met us in there as soon as his ticket printed. We didn’t need any snacks so we just had another beer and sat and chatted at the bar for a while, hearing some stories of previous meets (not to worry, all those MM stories are still in “the Vaultâ€â€”we just got some general stories, nothing incriminating:wink2: ) Given the time change and my general “early to bed†lifestyle, I started to fade and headed back to the room. Dane gambled a little and I headed upstairs without him. We were thrilled to learn our old player’s club cards still work at Golden Nugget. Like I said, we hadn’t been there since MGM owned the place, so that’s impressive!
    Wednesday:
    On Wednesday, I actually managed to sleep in to a “regular†time (always a problem for me—not so much this time) This was our big shopping day, so we got ready and had breakfast in the hotel—Carson Street Café. I had an egg white vegetable frittata (a little greasy but flavorful) and Dane had a basic breakfast—eggs, bacon, toast & hash browns. We charged it to the room; our total was around $15. After breakfast we got the car from valet and headed to Dane’s hobby shops on west Sahara. He found what he needed and we continued south to the Zappo’s outlet (shoes!!! It’s a shoe website that I just found out has an outlet in Vegas!!) It’s in an industrial mall across the street from the Silverton casino. I found 2 pairs of shoes and we continued south to Primm. I found some stuff at Williams-Sonoma and we ate a lovely lunch (with a couple beers) at an Asian café in the mall (cannot remember the name, but it wasn’t in the food court) We played $5 in the Primm casino slot machines then headed back to our hotel. Happened to hit lovely Vegas interstate traffic. Ugh. Eventually made it back to GN but no time for a nap. Shower will have to suffice. Mikey (HurricaneMikey) came up to our room at 6:00 and we had drinks & chatted for a while, then headed over to Triple George around 7:00 for dinner. WOW! This place was GREAT! It’s a non-hotel restaurant around the corner from the Fremont hotel. It’s on 3rd street. Website with menu is: http://www.triplegeorgegrill.com . I had the shrimp bisque, which was very smooth (a titch bland, maybe my taste buds had been killed by the mahi the night before?) and the boys ordered calamari, which everyone agreed was the best calamari we’ve ever had. The waiter told us they marinate it in milk so it doesn’t turn rubbery when cooked. I ordered spicy seafood linguini, Dane had a house specialty – Shrimp George (butterflied shrimp stuffed with crab, lightly breaded and broiled) and Mikey had broiled scallops. We were all thrilled with the food! We ordered a Chilean merlot and loved that as well (2 bottles, so I wasn’t as loving the following morning…) Mikey had a chocolate chip cookie with vanilla ice cream for dessert and Dane and I shared an espresso chocolate pot de crème. I don’t remember much after that….Dinner was $188 for 3 (including wine) then $40 tip. The restaurant is cozy – HUGE horseshoe shaped bar, dark woods, little side rooms for privacy. Some sidewalk seating for warmer weather. I’d go back in a heartbeat!! My husband tells me Mikey came back to our room (I knew he had to—I burned the new Buffett cd for him and he had to pick it up) and we talked for a while more before he headed home and we fell asleep.
    Thursday:
    Thursday Dane slept in a bit more, but I couldn’t go back to sleep after around 7:00 - we were both hungover and not happy about it. I closed the bedroom door and read a book in the living room, drinking diet coke. We eventually got ready to brave the outside world for breakfast (we had a coffee maker in our room and that helped get us ready to go out!) We decided on Binions coffeeshop and eventually found it. Looks like they’ve been doing a lot of renovation in the Binions casino—new carpet & laminate floorings, paint job, etc. I had biscuits & gravy (this will become a theme) and Dane had French toast. I still wasn’t feeling great and the gravy was very bland and flour-y. Which should have been good for me, but…not so much. Total was around $10. We headed back to GN and went to VIP services to find out about the room. I was so happy about being able to stay in the suite—I really really liked having the space and would have hated having to pack up and change rooms. After getting that settled away, we went to the spa to see if we could get appointments that day. Dane wanted a head & shoulder massage and I wanted a full body. They could get Dane in at 11 and me at noon, so we left to get ready. They did ask if we had a gender preference—we both said no, give us first available—Hubby had a female and I had a male and we were both pleased with the service! I went back with Dane and used the gym for an hour. The spa & fitness rooms may have been updated a little, but the general layout is the same. A service charge of 18% is included with your treatment price. My massage was $120 (50 minutes) and Dane’s was $65 (30 minutes) I used the facilities ahead of time – after the gym I showered & used the steam room, sauna & hot tub, so I was really relaxed and ready for my massage, which was just wonderful! After my shower, I went back to the room. Dane had been gambling a little while I was in the spa, but he met me in the room and we headed to Four Queens for lunch – ate in the brew pub, Chicago Joe’s. I had a pizza, hubby had a quesadilla, we both had a beer, it was very nice. Total around $32. We checked out the half price ticket booth but nothing grabbed our attention—I wanted a comedy show, preferably at Harrahs because we wanted to go to the Forum Shops and that was close by. We went back to GN and I went to take a nap while hubby gambled more (he had started to play craps). He came in and out of the room and just about when I wanted to wake up, he wanted to nap, so I had some wine and read while he slept. Around 5:30 he got up and we got ready and decided to get a cab to Forum Shops (hit more rush hour traffic, oh joy). We had two shops we wanted to get to—watch shopping/ drooling at Tourneau and then lotions & potions at Kiehls. Mission accomplished, we wanted a little something to eat before the comedy show, so we headed over to Harrahs. Bought our tickets for the Improv ($27 each) and had a little snack at Ming’s table – 2 beers, wonton soup, California roll, and spring rolls. Total around $43 [dang expensive beers]. We had a little more time to kill so we played penny slots for a while. I hit for $100 on a penny Texas Tea. Yippee! I was having a hard time figuring out the “units†so Dane had to tell me how much I made. We went to be seated at the comedy show and ordered drinks. The show was funny but short – an emcee, opening act, and headliner, total time just over an hour. The showroom had plenty of space (unlike Riviera where I was completely claustrophobic!) and of course, there’s no smoking anymore. After the show, we walked down to Wynn because we still hadn’t been inside. We walked through, then grabbed a cab from their queue back downtown. We dropped off my bag from Kiehls in the room and headed down to the casino. I was playing slots & VP (not great VP, but VP nonetheless ;-) and Dane was alternating between craps and slots. Around 12 I started looking for him and couldn’t find him—called him and he had headed back to the room—so he came down and we went to Golden Gate for a snack. I had shrimp cocktail (original, 99 cents) and he wanted nachos with the cheese paste ($2 something) and we each had a beer. Listened to the piano player, had a little refreshment, went back and played some more at GN. I went up to bed around 1:00 and Dane came in…later ;-)
    Friday:
    Um, Friday. The longest day of gambling I’ve ever had. I stayed at a craps table so long I have a GAMBLING INJURY:confused2: . Yes, that’s right. I got a blister on my elbow from leaning on the table. What a dork I am!! We did sleep in late, thanks to the late evening the night before. I decided on Careful Kittys at ElCo for breakfast, based on the recommendations from the lovely degenerates of the T2V board, and let me tell you—they did NOT steer me wrong! :thumbsup: That was the best breakfast we had all week, and possibly the cheapest as well. I had biscuits and gravy; Dane had a combo with a little bit of everything, total around $13. Biscuits & gravy best I’ve had—certainly the best I had that week in Vegas, and I had them 3 mornings in a row ;-) They were peppery, flavorful, the sauce was creamy but not too rich, and the biscuits were moist but still flaky. Perfect! After breakfast we hit the Walgreens for more water and some souvenirs. I wanted to check out the menu of Second Street Grill but we were too loaded down so we just went back to the room. After dropping off, we went to the internet kiosk by the starbucks ($5 minimum) and checked in for our Saturday flight. Then we went to the casino and started playing. I started off with slots and hubby went straight to craps. He was doing well when I passed him on my way to the bathroom, so I watched for a bit and then bought in. A couple hours later, I was a little fatigued. Dane had bought in on a $5 table but by the time I joined it had gone up to $10, but I held my own at that rate and finished about double what I started with. I needed a break (and a bandaid for my blister…) so we had some leftovers from a couple nights before and Dane headed back to gamble more. I took a shower then fell asleep (I planned to take a bath in the jetted tub but was too sleepy! I would have drowned…) Dane came back an hour or so later and made fun of me, then he fell asleep…We got ready to go out, gambled a little, then headed over to Fremont for dinner at Second Street Grill. We arrived at 7:00 and were seated in a booth without a wait – sadly this place was almost empty while there was a line outside Tony Romas…Oh well. Better service for me, right? They brought us bread – lovely sourdough – with butter or an eggplant tapenade, which was delicious. House salads came with our meals, as well as sides with the entrees (I had some mixed veggies and white rice) Dane ordered a ribeye, I ordered the ginger infused whole red snapper. Wow, again. This was possibly the best fish I’ve ever had. I did ask them to remove the head before they served it, which they were happy to do. It was so moist & tender, and the ginger was so gentle—never overpowering! I have to find a recipe to replicate this (it was lightly breaded and – I think – flash fried?) Dane’s ribeye was also lovely, with some shoestring fried onions served on top. We had a couple glasses of pinot noir with dinner but no dessert. Bill was $78, $20 tip. Stuffed, we meandered back to GN and hunkered down at the craps table for the next 5 hours, taking a quick break around midnight for a small pizza at the Grotto bar ($15 because I got the most expensive one—most were $10-12. After 11:00pm, they only serve pizza at the bar—the rest of the place is closed). The table was $10 again. I had played briefly at $5 (before dinner) and did much better the times I played at a $10 minimum. Who’da thunk it? It was a little scary for me at first, but I knew I had my budget and I just did it…And the table had some great runs (including my personal longest roll ever) I learned to buy the 6 and 8 instead of making come bets, and that seemed to work well for me. Who knows what will happen next time, but I thoroughly enjoyed the craps table this trip. We had a couple of especially friendly players, and the dealers seemed to perk up when our end of the table was vocal in our enjoyment (and our tips). I also enjoyed the music played in the casino (80s, mostly). Dane got his first banana chip (and immediately complained it wasn’t exactly yellow…) We headed to bed around 2:30, knowing our alarm was set for 6:30. Ugh.

    About the renovations, etc: I never made it into the pool area. Every time I walked by, it was closed. At one point, Dane said at least the Dive Bar was open but he didn’t have his camera with him. Eventually, he ended up taking some photos through the glass. The pool apparently still leaks (after being drained and “fixed†twice already) It seems exceedingly crowded to me – too many chairs, the cabanas went up and take away a lot of the visual space & light. Parts of the pool do look awesome—the fountain sprays from the first layer of cabanas into the pool (watch out when it’s windy—they did eventually turn off the water on Thursday & Friday because of the wind) and there are some loungers in a shallow section of the pool that will probably be wonderful during the Vegas summer. The aquarium looks nice, and the water slide—well, Dane is afraid that will attract families to downtown, and to be honest, we go to Vegas because it’s one of the few places we’re guaranteed NOT to see kids (as long as we stay in the casino). I didn’t notice the casino was any more crowded than any other downtown casino (I don’t think it’s fair to compare to the Strip, since they just don’t have the space). The cocktail service at the tables is great, and at the slots was spotty.

    Saturday:
    Got up, got ready, had breakfast at Carson Street Café again. A little hungover and working on very little sleep. I had the biscuits and gravy and they weren’t great. Too rich and bland. Dane had eggs & bacon. Total around $14.
    Got to the airport, got the car dropped off at Budget (we had a Chevy Malibu, 4 nights, Costco rate, $153 total including all taxes etc). No problems at all with them—no line to pick up the car or drop off, with the receipt immediately. Got to the airport, lovely lines at Southwest as you might expect, but we were in the “express†line to use a kiosk just to check bags and it was moving quickly. Security another long line, especially because we got picked to do the “special†screening with the airpuff machine that takes three times as long as the regular x-ray. Oh well. We were there plenty early. I bough some burritos at a grill (I’ve had them before—they’re great) and we waited in line for the flight. Got our “upgrade†of having an aisle to ourselves, watched some Bewitched episodes on dvd, read a couple books, Dane took a nap, then we got home. 50 degrees warmer than when we left Vegas….Dang it, where’s my winter?? Do I have to go back to Vegas for some cold??

    We’re hoping to go back this summer—we’d love to bring some friends with us –we’re working to change her impression of downtown and think staying at GN might help. Especially if we get a suite again:thumbsup:
     
  2. Coaster Kikky

    Coaster Kikky Tourist

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    Nice report! I'm glad you decided to enjoy Second Street Grill.

    BTW, Zappos is based in Henderson. I've seen some jobs listed for their corporate headquarters on monster... if I worked there, I'd be having all KINDS of friends come to visit me.

    At least Sin has promised to visit me regardless... :wink2:
     
  3. DonD

    DonD Super Moderator

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    Great report! Thanks.:thumbsup:
     
  4. sageblue

    sageblue High-Roller

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    Thanks for the great report: after my trip and now yours, I may slowly be converting into a Downtowner--and now I have to try those biscuits and gravy!
     
  5. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

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    Now that's a gambling degenerate!

    Glad Kitty's treated you well.
     
  6. HurricaneMikey

    HurricaneMikey A-List Buffoon

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    Nice report Hoya.... It was great seeing you guys again, and thanks for the dinner! And the Buffett CD.

    Oh, one thing for those that may have been put off by the bill at Triple George. Yeah, it might've been $188, but that included two bottles of $40+ Chilean Merlot (soooo good!). So without wine, for the three of us, it was only about a hundred bucks before tip--and that included a soup, an appetizer, three entrees, and two desserts.

    I purposely didn't write about this place over on my site because Hoya mentioned that I always trump her because I can go home and write a report the same night, where she has to wait until she gets home from Vegas, so this time I refrained.

    But I can also give the Triple George Grill a very enthusiastic recommendation. The service is excellent, the food was much better than expected, and the prices weren't too bad. And we were ordering from the 'pricey' part of the menu. There were plenty of other entrees available for less than $20. But you can't beat those broiled scallops for $23. Oh hell yeah.

    Also, had we not been so tired that night, and loopy from the wine, we would've loved to hang out and try their attached lounge, called The Side Bar, which looked very cool in a retro-martini sort of way. I will definitely be going back. As far as a downtown destination goes, I can picture a few of our degenerates here really digging that place.

    Mikey
     
  7. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    The website I posted for Triple George does have the menu with prices listed, so you can double check that a meal would be in your price range....Plus, sides are included with the entree, so that helps with the overall price....I'm drooling thinking about it again:thumbsup:
     
  8. Beach Crazy

    Beach Crazy Hostess With the Mostess

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    First of all, Congrats to Dane on the elusive banana chip!!! :thumbsup:

    Nice report. So if CK is writing a book about soup then you must be writing one on biscuits and gravy. [​IMG]

    Gotta admit, the place really does look nice. Thanks for the photos, they are great. I guess I’ll have to head downtown in March and see if the pool is open yet. Nice to see you enjoying yourself. You may have had a gambling injury this trip but at least you weren’t sick, like last year. ;)
     
  9. vegasbound

    vegasbound Moderator

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    Well done! Glad to hear you had an enjoyable meal at Triple George. My last visit wasn't up to par, but previous experiences were pleasant. Sounds like they're back on track. The suite looks lovely. We took a stroll thru GN yesterday, we were very impressed with the changes. The shark tank is awesome. We plan to stay over the summer so we can give the slide a whirl. Good to know your stay was so enjoyable.
     
  10. SH0CK

    SH0CK Stylin' and Profilin' Quasi Tech Admin

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    Ditto!

    Nice trip report and pictures Hoya :thumbsup:
     
  11. rdrfn70

    rdrfn70 Low-Roller

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    Nice TR do you workers comp for that blister?
     
  12. gmoney590

    gmoney590 VIP Whale

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    It sounds like you had alot of fun at the GN; but, you gotta stay away from the biscuits and gravy.
     
    Back where we belong
  13. BigStogie

    BigStogie Tourist

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    Hey, glad that you guys enjoyed the new GN as much as we did. Hope to meet up with you sometime.

    -Stog
     
  14. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    Stogie--we're hoping for a summer trip with some friends--trying to get them to stay downtown. We just sent them a cd with all the photos of our room and the pool at GN:thumbsup:
     
  15. anniep

    anniep Tourist

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    Hoya, Great TR..Thanks for the info and directions to Zappos, will be sure and visit there in my upcoming trip...I LOVE Zappos..:thumbsup:
     
  16. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    Annie--though I was able to find a couple pairs of flats, most of the women's shoes in stock appeared to be heels. Prices were either $20 or $30, depending on brand. Good luck!
     
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