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July 2nd - July 5th (Bellagio)

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by RizzyDizzy, Jul 7, 2003.

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  1. My wife and I (we're both 32 year old attornies) went to Vegas for a little gambling and fun. It was our first time, and that plus a $139/night rate for 7/2 and 7/3 for a lake view room persuaded us to splurge and stay at the Bellagio.

    I'll break this up into sections, to make it easier for people to pick and choose what they might want to read.

    THE HOTEL - The Bellagio was spectacular. Be prepared for lots of people in and around the lobby taking pictures, more so than in other hotels. The set up was nice, as were the convenient walkways to Bally's and Caesar's.

    Be warned that you need to carry your key at all times, since the hotel wisely requires people to show their keys before gaining access to the hotel elevator banks.

    The staff was superb. I waited in the Concierge line twice, and both times a representative came out from behind the desk to ask anyone if they had a quick question. Very nice touch in my book.

    ROOM - We were in 21036, which was very far from the elevators, but had a wonderful view of the lake/fountains. The room itself was very nice, especially the bathroom. Everything was fancy, but not snobby, which was perfect for us.

    We didn't need to pay extra for the lake view (it was part of a promotional code), but I'm not sure whether it'd be worth it to pay $75 extra for lake view. It probaly depends on how much you'll enjoy seeing the fountain show, which, by the way, is as spectacular as advertised.

    We tipped $3 per day, and received plenty of towels in return.

    FOOD - We stuck to the buffet in the morning and evening plan. Both evening buffets were at the Bellagio. Great selection and quality. There are always long lines, but things move fairly quickly if you get there before 8pm.

    For breakfast, we did Ballagio one day and Flamingo the other. Bellagio was again great, but Flamingo held its own. I did notice some small flies around the food at Flamingo, so I stayed away from those items. Still, I was not worried about the quality of food.

    Lines tarted foming at both breakfast buffets around 9AM, which, fortunately, was right about when we were leaving, not arriving.

    GAMBLING - I play blackjack, craps and 3-card poker. I lost pretty much everywhere, but had a great time doing so.

    In general, I saw a few 6-5 BJ tables, but much more routine was dealer being required to hit on soft 17. Almost all craps tables wer 3-4-5 odds.

    Here are my comments on each casino:

    Bellagio - very reasonable limits and some of the most favorable player rules on the strip. I was impressed. Probably the only noticeable drawback was that there were often too many loud patrons at blackjack tables and people who had no clue how to role at craps tables. There were ALWAYS $10 minimum tables to be found, with some $5 tables at off hours.

    Bally's - plenty of $10 craps tables, but $10 blackjack tables were hard to find, and if you did locate them, they had unfavorable rules.

    Caesar's - Beautiful casino, but we saw $25 and up minimums, at that was at 10AM! We didn't give them any action.

    Barbary Coast - A pleasant place with reasonable limits. Always had $5 and $10 minimums, but dealers had to hit on soft 17, which was a common theme at most low limit tables. Some novice (i.e., slow) dealers on craps tables. Somewha of a strange, but still pleasant crowd.

    O'Shea's - I was in there very briefly, but it seemed friendly. $3 craps, $5 BJ and 3-card poker all over the place. Never too crowded.

    Imperial Palace - My favorite place by far. Best mix of rules, limits, dealers and patrons. Lots of fun people that know the rules, yet are friendly and supportive. Everyone at the tables was rooting for one another and chatting it up. Only drawback was slightly unfavorable rules, with dealer hitting on soft 17.

    Paris - probably my favorite casino layout and atmosphere. Decent limits and options, but I didn't play there long due to time limitations.

    Flamingo - I didn't get a good vibe here. Limits were surprisingly high, and players and dealers were a bit surly.

    Rio - absolutely the worst. It personifies everything I hate about gambling. Limits were outrageously high, and rules did not favor the player. Everyone was drunk and loud, but not in a fun way. Dealers were rude and scolding to novices. Avoid this place - plenty of better options on the strip.

    MGM - just too big. Dealers were nice, and lots of $10 tables (even on the evening of the 4th). My only complaint (besides the size) was that there were too many clueless and surly players.

    SHOW - We saw Penn & Teller at the Rio, and it was lots of fun - well worth the ticket price. As advertised, they pose for pictures and sign autographs after the show. I think the show is appropriate for kids, but probably not those younger than 12.

    FLIGHTS - We flew US Air. One of our connecting flights was early, and the other was late. They only gave us drinks, but we could buy $10 stuff from Einstein Bagels. Decent room in coach, and the crowd was a mix of people. Fortunately, not too many crying babies.

    BELLAGIO SPA & POOL - I did not go, but my wife did and raved about both of them.

    OTHER THOUGHTS - Being in Vegas on the 4th was fun, except for the added crowds. Believe it or not, a sense of patriotism did permeate sin city. If we were to go again, we'd probably aim for a less crowded weekend.

    The much maligned porn peddlers were out in full force, but they weren't as invasive as many have made them out to be.

    There were very few public misting areas, which was surprising given the HEAT. My wife and I had no trouble, but we saw some elderly folks and overweight people that seemed to be struggling.

    RECOMMENDATIONS - If you can't stay at the Bellagio, stay somewhere nearby. That part of the strip was much nicer and more interesting than the other end near the MGM.

    If anyone has any questions or would like me to elaborate about anything in my report, please post a message and I'll try to write a follow-up posting in response.

    Take care,
    -Rick
     
  2. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Nice report, Rick, especially the thoughts on casinos. Sounds like I'll have to give IP another try, I didn't get a good vibe off it myself, but that may have just been from the hustlers out front and the lousy strip entrance.
     
  3. HurricaneMikey

    HurricaneMikey A-List Buffoon

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    Hey Doc...

    Give it another shot... I LOVE the IP! Love it. I think it's the best place to gamble mid-strip--yeah, I know I can walk down to Casino Royale, but I rarely put over 10x odds down on the craps table, anyways. And they always have $3-$5 blackjack tables that are dealt from a shoe. Of course I'd prefer if the dealer stood on 17, and of course they could crank the AC a little and cool the place off, but overall, it's a great casino.

    Rizzy--

    Thanks for all the info--I may throw a dollar or two at the 'B' in a couple of weeks.

    Mikey
     
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