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HELP!! Going to Vegas for our first time and dont know where to begin!!!

Discussion in 'LV Strip Hotels & Casinos' started by klantz, Feb 15, 2016.

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  1. klantz

    klantz Newbie

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    Hello All!! :)

    My husband and I are both virgins to vegas! Our first trip will be March 26 thru March 30. We have our plane tickets taken care of, but I have NO IDEA where to get the best rates for hotels and which one to stay at. We are trying to do this as frugal as we can, but get as much as we can out of it (arent we all?! lol) From the research I have done over the past day or two looks like Ballys is best bang for buck and a good location??? But when I go to smartervegas to find promos its still like 60 a night before hotel fee? How do I get all these hookups like I see everyone getting? free rooms, dinners, drinks etc?? what am I missing out on? Can everyone give their BEST Vegas suggestions to me for good deals so I can hurry and book??

    TIA!!!

    :)
     
  2. Hogman

    Hogman VIP Whale

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    Unless you have a local casino that you go to, then the first trip to LV will be on your own. Just get the best deal either at hotel website or website such as Expedia. Everyone here that gets comps has a history with the casinos, through a rewards card. In my opinion, if you are trying for a frugal trip then you are not going to get much if any free stuff this time. If you get a rewards card and gamble with you may get some offers for free room or reduced rates for the next trip.

    Just have a good time go see all the casinos as a first time visitor should. Some people one the board know about casino books/guides you can buy that might have some deals that might help a little.
     
    First Trip 2017
  3. Loparo34

    Loparo34 Low-Roller

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    Play myvegas on Facebook and earn gold to get free comps. Look at the myvegas thread on here.
     
  4. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Ballys, Harrahs, Flamingo, Paris are all good bets.

    Go to their website and check rates.

    But - AND MOST IMPORTANT.

    Scroll down through most of the postings here from the last two months. You will LEARN LOTS!
     
  5. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Free rooms and food come with a history with a particular property, based on the level at which you gamble in the casino. Unless you have a relationship with a casino from another region (ie, Ceasars) that won't be much help on your first trip.

    Can you give us an idea of your budget for the room and the things you're looking for in a hotel? That would help people to give you suggestions.

    Bally's is a good location at center strip. You might also check out Flamingo as their rates seem pretty competitive and is in the same sort of Center Strip location. Tropicana sometimes has good discounts, but they are on the far south end of the Strip, so I'm not sure if that would work for you. You're going to want to stay on The Strip for your first trip if you can, because there's a lot of wandering and gawking to be done by a couple of Vegas Virgins. :)

    Give us a little more info on what you are specifically looking for and hopefully someone will have some suggestions for you.

    Thanks and welcome!
     
  6. C0usineddie

    C0usineddie VIP Whale

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    I have been to vegas lots of times. i dont gamble that much so I dont get free rooms.

    i once git a buy one night get a second noght free deal downtown so it really only saved me about $30.

    What i do is I select my dates, seems like you have that covered already.

    Next i check the hotels websites to see what the price they are charging.

    Then I check out expedia or travelocity, that sort for the same places. Can be sometimes cheaper, sometimes not, just depends.

    Either way, I book the cheaper of the two.

    Keep in mind you have to add about $30 per night for the resort fee no matter where you book.

    You really cant go wrong with any strip hotel. Stay away from Circus Circus and strat as they are too far away from the action and you will be fine.
     
  7. jtdestef

    jtdestef Tourist

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    Join MLife and Total Rewards. Just being a member gets you a discount at Caesars and MGM properties, which is most of the strip. Looking at it through that, you can get a room at Monte Carlo for your stay for 49 a night. I'd also suggest playing the MyVegas app. For a rookie, it's the only way you'll be able to get freebies.
     
  8. hotreds

    hotreds VIP Whale

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    Welcome! I hope you end up loving Vegas. Many do, but some don't. I suggest going to vegas.com- they are an all-in-one site that will list hotels, shows, and other things to do with prices. You may or may not get the best prices there, but if you see something you like you can always search for a better price on a site such as smartervegas.com. There is tons of great information here, alas, like most forums the "search" function is not very good so click on the "Forum" box and look for a thread that interests you. The folks here are so very helpful that you won't go wrong parking here and absorbing information. To reiterate: hotel pricing does not include that much beloved(ha!) "resort fee" of about $30 a night, so that $40 price is actually $70. And the FIRST THING to do once you are settled in is to go to the TR- Total Rewards- desk and get a players card. Or, an MLife card if you stay at one of those properties. Ideally, get both. Even if you only gamble a little bit, these will garner you all kinds of offers including much cheaper room rates. I am partial to CET properties; Caesar's Entertainment- whose loyalty program is the TR. Bally's Flamingo, Harrah's and the Linq are all CET properties near center strip. And all are "cheaper." By and large, looking north, CET properties are on the right side of the strip(notable exception being Caesar' itself!) and MLife properties on the left. Start at Vegas.com and go from there. Good luck!
     
    A/C in December!?
    Will give them a try!
  9. RockyBalboa

    RockyBalboa VIP Whale

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    Check out the SmarterVegas site for discount promo codes for hotels. You can book this directly through whichever hotel you're staying at.

    For example, prior to our first trip, my girlfriend and I were having the same information overload as you are. I looked at every hotel about forty times. I joined the board here and asked a ton of questions.

    Finally I found a code on SmarterVegas and booked through The Mirage.

    Booking directly through the hotel is always better in my opinion because it gives you much greater flexibility with your reservations versus booking on a third party site.
     
  10. IM ALL IN

    IM ALL IN Low-Roller

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    Before I got hosted many moons ago, I would book directly with the hotel, rather than expedia etc. Getting a players card is a must and charge EVERYTHING to the room. If you play you may be able to get some comped off your stay. Good luck!
     
  11. vegasvic

    vegasvic VIP Whale

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    This. You can sign up online for most of the clubs and you'll get discounts right away. Just be sure to log into your account when you look at rates on their sites.
     
  12. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    OK... I get that 'first-timers' would want to stay on the strip... but from a practical point of view, it is the most expensive with the worse 'low-roller' gaming in town.
    My advice (for what it's worth) would be this:
    Book your room at the Gold Coast... it's right next door to the Rio, and only a 5-minute free shuttle ride away from 'center-strip'. You'll pay about $50/night, total, and have very good blackjack conditions at the $5 & $10 level. (3:2, double-deck 'pitch, H17 with DAS).
    For 'frugal' gamblers, you will be stuck with 6:5 blackjack on the actual strip... you do not want to play this game...ever.

    Another option would be to book at the Westgate (the old Las Vegas Hilton). About the same pricing as Gold Coast. Then buy a multi-day monorail pass. There is a station right at the hotel, and it has multiple stops along the strip, all the way to the MGM.

    All of the 'touristy' things to see on the strip can easily be accessed from either property.
    As others have mentioned, be sure to get 'player's cards' from every casino, but especially from CET (TR or 'Total Rewards').
    So long as you do some gambling, CET will almost certainly have 'comped' room offers for you when it's time to book your next trip.

    Gold Coast is a Boyd property...they also have a very generous comp/offer program ('bconnected'). You will almost certainly have 'free room' offers from them after one trip as well.
    Good luck & have fun!
    :beer:
     
    Seems like forever from now, but the flights are booked, so it counts!
  13. Alpine33

    Alpine33 Newbie

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    My suggestion is not what you'd term "frugal," but you might consider the Wynn/Encore. Occasionally, the rooms priced affordable and if you can find one of these days, go. I find most Vegas properties to be dingy, smelly, and overcrowded (that's Vegas). Most of them will nickel and dime you and kick you in the nuts on the way out (Clark Griswold, anyone?), but Wynncore is a breath of fresh air. Oh, they'll nickel and some you just as much as anywhere else, but you'll get serious bang for your buck. I feel like I'm actually getting what I pay for when I stay there. Service, decor, food, and amenities are all up to snuff, and honestly, if you choose wisely what to spend on within the hotel, quite affordable. Check out the lesser-visited areas of the hotel such as the spa, golf course, and some of the fine dining restaurants. I think Costa has the best Italian around. Have fun!!
     
  14. jr7110

    jr7110 VIP Whale

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    I agree with RockyBalboa - great discount codes can be found on smartervegas. I would book directly with a hotel instead of a site like Expedia because if anything should happen with your reservation, you could be standing right in front of the hotel check-in desk and they will not help you - you will have to call Expedia to fight it out. This happened to me once when I booked a vacation package through an airline when The Wynn first opened. I had reserved a Tower Suite but the hotel had a different class of room on file and I had to spend two hours on the phone with the airline's travel department fighting it out, all the while in the check-in area of the Wynn, unable to check in. NEVER AGAIN. I always booked directly with the hotels and airlines from that moment on and have never had a problem.

    I also have to respectfully disagree with the suggestion of staying at the Gold Coast or elsewhere off the Strip, at least not for a first time visit. The Gold Coast is only accessible from the Strip via a shuttle (which runs on a schedule but if you can't get on due to capacity or miss it, you will have to wait for the next one) or by cab which can get expensive going back and forth. For your very first trip, you want to be in the center of the action, where you can see as much as you can in the few days you are there. Once you know your way around Vegas a little you can explore the off strip places on your next trip. The first time I went it was for seven days and I did not see everything because Vegas is sensory overload.

    Once you find a hotel you are interested in booking, go on tripadvisor and look it up - there you can see what people who have stayed there are saying about it. This is important because even though a property may have a familiar name or be right on The Strip doesn't mean that the rooms haven't fallen into disrepair or that the service isn't shoddy. The opinions of other guests will help you make the decision that is best for you.

    You definitely have to get all the Player's Cards (MLIfe, Total Rewards etc) because you will be on the radar for future discounts and deals.

    Most important - have fun! You trip is just a few weeks away and you will have the time of your life!
     
  15. Tahoejoe2

    Tahoejoe2 High-Roller

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    Not sure where you are coming from? If you are flying in on Southwest Airlines, their flight and hotel packages are pretty good.
    Definitely stay on the strip your first time. We love Bally's
     
    Superbowl Baby
  16. RockyBalboa

    RockyBalboa VIP Whale

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    Agreed on not staying off-strip the first time. There are plenty of deals to be had on the strip and when you take your maiden voyage that is where you want to be...in the action.

    And it cannot be said enough about booking through third party sites....good anecdote there that properly illustrates the struggles that can arise when doing so. I have heard many people at check-in arguing over issues and all the hotel can do is say to call Expedia/Priceline/whomever and have them correct it.

    Also when it comes to room upgrades or even room placement the third party site bookings can sometimes lead to getting poor room location or quality.
     
  17. The Stig

    The Stig VIP Whale

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    If you are considering stopping off Strip, I can recommend Tuscany Suites and Casino on Flamingo Rd East. Its a about a block behind Ballys, I have always found room rates good and the rooms are very spacious. The casino is not the biggest but I have always found it ok.
     
  18. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    We are no longer fans of the Strip and stay downtown. However, for first time travelers, I think a stay on the Strip is mandatory. You have to embrace the Strip and all that goes along with the experience.
    Granted, higher room rates, more expensive drinks and crappier odds while gambling, but still, you have to do it the first time.
     
    Christmas
  19. paconomad

    paconomad Tourist

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    Agree with the consensus that you aren't going to get any real hookups without establishing some play. That being said...

    I love to use hotwire. The worst thing about Hotwire is you can't cancel once you've booked, so make sure your dates are locked in. After putting in your dates, choose which areas of Vegas you want. I'd tend to go Center and South strip, but throw North in there for fun (just be careful not to get the Strat, Circus Circus, or SLS-nothing against those properties, but probably too far away from the action for your first time in Vegas), and sorting by price high to low. You can immediately see what's in your budget. A lot/most of the time, if you click a result, it will give you the hotel name, and you are really likely to get that hotel. If the name isn't given, you can cross reference with betterbidding.com and still be 80-90% sure of what you are getting. For your dates, hotwire was giving me TI for $62, Monte Carlo for $47; Luxor for $39; Linq $49 and Bally's for $36. Of course factor in taxes, resort and other fees (all shown on the purchase page), but those seem to be really good prices. Do the $20 trick, tell the front person it's your birthday/anniversary (or whatever you are celebrating) and that it's first time in Vegas, and ask if they have any upgrades available. Research on here and on the properties website on what rooms they offer in case they ask you if you have anything in mind.

    My other frugal tips are for you and your husband to download all 3 myvegas apps and play them like crazy.. I don't know how much you can accumulate in a month, but you should be able to get some of the cheaper BOGOs or something. I love the Portofino BOGO for 9K points.

    Also, travelzoo, livingsocial, and groupon can all have good deals. Look on those sites and cross reference with this site and yelp/tripadvisor to get a general feel of how good the restaurant or show is.
    Have fun!!!!
     
  20. WestTexas

    WestTexas Low-Roller

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    If you take a cab from the airport, make sure don't get tunneled. Cabbies like to pull that on newbies. Just look for the quickest route on google maps. Tell them what streets you want them to take.
     
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