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June 16-24 Visit

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by VermonterJohn, Jun 26, 2009.

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  1. VermonterJohn

    VermonterJohn Low-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    This is a report of our 8 day trip to Las Vegas from June 16-24. My wife and I are both 60, and have taken one trip a year to Las Vegas for at least the last 25 years. We are middle class working people who travel to Las Vegas for fun, relaxation and good food more than for gambling. Thus, the focus of this report will be on where we stayed and where we dined more than about the gambling we did.

    Responding to some of the great offers we found on this site and others, we spent the first three nights (Tues-Thurs) at the Wynn, Friday and Saturday nights at the MGM Grand, and Sun-Tues at the Mirage.

    HOTELS:

    This was our first time staying at the Wynn, and we found it to be just as classy as we had hoped…with the exception of the check-in.

    We tried to check in around 1:00 and were informed there would not be a room available for us until around 3:00. Now I fully realize that official check-in time isn’t until 3:00, but this was a Tuesday and I know the hotel was not fully booked. It was a little hard for me to believe that no rooms were available. I then asked if she was going to have a nice room for me, and she said all the rooms are the same and yours is going to be on the 9th floor. I told her that the woman in Casino marketing with whom I had booked the room told me she was requesting a Panoramic View room for me. The clerk quickly responded that she could upgrade me to one of those for $25 a night and that the regular price was $50.
    I already knew that was coming based on my internet intelligence gathering, and politely declined.

    My next move was to express my disappointment to a gentleman in a suit who was floating around the lobby. I don’t believe he was a Manager, but more a guide. I explained to him that we had planned on staying elsewhere, but were lured to the Wynn by an offer from Casino Marketing that carried the implication of a high floor strip view. I also told him we were disappointed we couldn’t get into a room now as we had had a long trip and were quite tired. He promised to look into it for me and went behind the counter to talk to a different clerk. He waved me over to her and she said she was working on it and to check back in 30 minutes. I returned in 30 minutes and she told me there was still nothing available. I again complained to the guy in the suit who seemed surprised that I still hadn’t been helped. Eventually…a little after 3:00…they came up with a room for me: 28th floor, strip view.

    My wife and I found the room at the Wynn to be very nice, but we both agreed we would never pay $300 or more a night for it. At $99 it seemed like a good deal. We enjoyed the hotel, found the people to be nice, and thought the Casino was also quite nice. Of course being a weekday in the middle of this recession, the hotel was not at all crowded. In our three days there we probably fed $800 or so through the slot machines. It will be interesting to see if that’s enough for them to want to get us back.

    Next stop was the MGM for $69/night on Friday and Saturday. We knew the place would be packed, and didn’t even try the $20 trick. Instead I just asked the 35ish male clerk if he’d do the best he could for me, and wound up with a 22nd floor room facing NYNY and Excalibur. Nice view. No complaints.

    The MGM was packed on the weekend, and one of my pet peeves surfaced as just down the hall from us there was a single room with more than 20 people staying in it. I’d guess 4 families, each with 4-6 kids. Sleeping bags covering every inch of the floor. Obviously the hotel doesn’t care, as the more people they have staying there, the more gambling revenue they are likely to take in. But from my perspective, it kind of sucks.

    Sunday it was off to the Mirage for the $120/night tower suite with the $80 resort credit and the free passes to the dolphin show. Got there about 1:00 and guess what…no room available! Once again, told they wouldn’t have a room available until around 3:00. “Concierge Level Service†was defined as “stand in that long line over there with all those other guests and someone will store your luggage until your room is ready.†We declined, and wheeled our luggage into the sport book where we sat and watched golf until 3:00.

    Finally got into our tower suite on the 26th floor and it was a beautiful suite, though well worn and tattered. Rugs were ripped and frayed, paint peeling, hole in the ceiling in the bathroom, and 25†CRT televisions that must have been among the first color sets manufactured. Disgraceful! Still…beautiful suite, awesome views! (We were lucky enough to get a corner room).

    Despite the aged and worn condition, the tower suite was wonderful and we would certainly return again, though perhaps not until they remodel or at least upgrade the TVs.

    Unfortunately the check-out was screwed up. I never got my $80 resort credit and now have to slug it out with them from back home. Also never got the free dolphin show tickets.

    GAMBLING:

    As I mentioned, we’ve been to Las Vegas every year for 25 years and I’ve never seen the slot machines as tight as they are now. I challenge anyone to tell me they made money on the slots! In addition, what’s with the “1 cent†slot machines that really require you to play anywhere from 90 cents to over $3.00? My only success was on the good old $1 Double Diamond Deluxe machines. I still lost money, but not as fast.

    DINING:

    We only eat one meal a day, and here’s how it went…

    Day 1 was the dinner buffet at the Wynn. Very nice, as usual, but had a run-in with a snotty woman who held up the crab leg line for 7 minutes while she picked through every leg looking for who knows what.

    Day 2 was our first trip to Maggione’s Italian Restaurant and this was our “find†for our 2009 trip. Terrific food, large portions, comfortable seating, excellent service, reasonably priced. I especially recommend the Caesar Salad.

    Day 3 we caught the lunch buffet at Mandalay Bay. I thought it was great, but my wife was less impressed. What does she know! Take my advice and try it sometime. I put it just one notch below Wynn and Bellagio.

    Day 4 we tried the Prime Rib Loft at Orleans. We found it to be only average and agreed we would not go there again. Too many better choices!

    Day 5 it was good old Billy Bob’s Steakhouse at Sam’s Town. We always eat there at least once, and feel it is a good value. The large portions attract some BIG people, and at 6’1†and 240 pounds I felt like a dwarf at that place.

    Day 6 we did the Grand Lux Café at Palazzo and really enjoyed it. Please feel free to believe the stories about the large portions there. The Caesar salad alone would feed four people.

    Day 7 we did the Prix Fix at Kokomo’s in the Mirage. We both enjoyed it very much and would return again any time they want to give us a 3 course meal for $30.

    Day 8, our last meal, was reserved for one of our favorites – Mon Ami Gabi at Paris. Arriving at 5:00 and expecting to have to wait to get in as usual, we found the place virtually empty (except for the patio). Had the usual great meal, but remained shocked over how empty the dining rooms were. Perhaps this was the greatest proof of how empty Las Vegas is now during the week.

    SHOWS AND ENTERTAINMENT:

    I found it interesting that the hotels and restaurants are all offering discounts, but not the shows. So we didn’t go to any. Really wanted to see Jersey Boys but even at the discount ticket booths the cheapest tickets were $125. More than a 1200 square foot suite at the Mirage? No thanks!

    Took an interesting ride to see Lake Las Vegas. Quite fascinating! Walked into the Lowe’s Resort trying to look like we belonged there. Very nice! My new lifelong dream is to play a round of golf at the course that winds around the resort.

    AIRLINES:

    Much to my shock, no issues and no complaints. Burlington (VT) to Las Vegas on United via Chicago, and return flight on Delta via JFK. All flights more or less on time and no lost luggage this time!

    CAR RENTAL:

    Used Alamo via deal found on this forum. Smooth and easy, no problems.

    That’s about it. Back again next year, Lord willing.
     
  2. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

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    Nice job.

    Sounds like you kinda lucked out with your flights, considering the way the weather's been the past week. Good thing you didn't fly through NY or BOS on the way out.
     
  3. sailor53

    sailor53 Tourist

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    Thanks for an informative report. Too bad about the hotel delays. Thanks for posting!
     
  4. VegasDiva

    VegasDiva VIP Whale

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    lovely trip report, TY for sharing

    Where is Maggione’s Italian Restaurant ? I love Italian Food sooooo

    :beer:
     
  5. NickPapageorgio

    NickPapageorgio OG of the Sal Sagev Hotel

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    I'm betting on him meaning Maggiano's at Fashion Show across from the Wynn. Excellent quality and portions are the norm there.

    Nick:beer:
     
  6. DBear

    DBear VIP Whale

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    Nice TR!
     
  7. Strudel3460

    Strudel3460 Tourist

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    Nice trip report (well written too!). I'd be quite bitter and twisted about the check-in issues though. Our first trip to Wynn's was a nightmare checking in and out, however, recently we've not had so much of a problem. If I were you, I'd email customer services for both Wynn and Mirage and moan about your experience (and lace it with the compliments you outlined). Be interesting to see how they respond...
     
  8. VermonterJohn

    VermonterJohn Low-Roller

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    Yes...I was referring to Maggiano's in the Fashion Show Mall. My strongest recommendation for authentic Italian dining at a very reasonable price. For those who don't know, the Fashion Show Mall is directly across the street from the Wynn and is the next structure north of Treasure Island.
     
  9. ODCaloney

    ODCaloney Tourist

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    Thanks for the great report!
     
  10. Dean Martin

    Dean Martin VIP Whale

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    Enjoyed your TR John. I was also looking at that suite special and even had one booked for $120/night but ended up cancelling it since we had a comp'd TD room. I've always wanted to try a suite there but after reading the threads re; the condition of the rooms, I decided it wasn't worth the $600 versus free:rolleyes2:

    One tip, the next time you stay at the Mirage, have the bell hop take your bags when you arrive out front. He gives you a ticket and if the room lines are huge or your room isnt available, you just go have a drink or gamble (w/o lugging your bags around) and when you get your room, just call the bell desk and they bring them up. It's $5 (tip) well spent IMO. I tip them out front and when they bring it to the room but that's your choice.

    Vegas is a tipping town and I truly believe that a few tips here and there can make all the difference in the enjoyment factor of your trip.:thumbsup:
     
  11. marsdude

    marsdude High-Roller

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    Great TR! I will definitely try Maggiano's this fall. Thanks for the tip. :thumbsup:
     
  12. gmoney590

    gmoney590 VIP Whale

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    We had the same problem with check in at Harrah's. We got there at 9am and nothing was available. We finally checked in at almost 5pm.

    We finally ate at Maggiano's and I totally agree with your opinion.

    The Mirage was supposed to update/remodel those suites but the economy tanked so that's been put off indefinitely.

    Most of the suites we've stayed in the past three years that have been discounted have the old CRT televisions and look a little bit frayed.
     
    Back where we belong
  13. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

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    Thanks for posting. Good informative TR. We had a meal at Maggiano's in June. You're right - great find.

    later, GVJ
     
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