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Low Rollers in the Penthouse Suite

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Candy Apple, Aug 24, 2012.

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  1. Candy Apple

    Candy Apple VIP Whale

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    My Trip Report

    BACKGROUND:

    I began planning this trip and purchased airline tickets way back in February. This would be my 17th trip to Vegas, but first in 5 years. My sister and her family live in the glittery desert. My 25 year old son accompanied me so it would be the first time he was legal to gamble in Vegas. This trip went through about 100 different versions with multiple dates and hotel changes. I asked a lot of questions on this board and I thank you for your help. This was going to be a budget trip since my job situation took a turn for the worse shortly after I booked the plane tickets. I finally decided to spend the first two nights downtown at The D and the next three nights at Bill’s Gambling Hall. I had previously stayed at Bills…well, the Barbary Coast…in ’04.

    GETTING THERE:

    Wow, those airline tickets were expensive…almost a grand for the two of us…but hey, no baggage fees with Southwest, right?! Our flight from Cleveland took 4 hours and 5 minutes, which was 25 minutes ahead of schedule. It arrived at 10:40 a.m. on Sat., Aug 18. Upon reading advice from Dewey and jimbo, we decided to give the Wax bus a try. We sprinted through the airport and were able to make the 11:05 bus with ease. For a measly $4.00, we rode downtown in an ice cold bus with a very friendly driver and were on 4th & Carson a half hour later. The $25.00 we saved by not taking a taxi could be put toward meals.

    THE D:

    We arrived at The D at 11:40 a.m. to find no check-in line and the nice clerk handed us keys to Room 2816. I had booked one of the remodeled rooms for Saturday and Sunday nights for just under $100.00, including tax. It had two very comfortable beds, a flat screen, and lots of vanity/counter space in the bathroom. (I told my son to expect a much smaller bathroom at Bill’s.) If you’re a light sleeper, be aware that you can still hear the outside music even in the remodeled rooms. We’re the type that if we’re tired we can fall asleep with background noise, so it didn’t bother us.

    DOWNTOWN EXPERIENCE:

    We picked up B Connected cards at Main Street Station and used our buy 1/get 1 coupon for Saturday champagne brunch. It was only around $12.00 for the two of us. I had eaten their dinner buffet years back and I know the MSS buffet continues to get very good reviews. The hot food was decent. Our favorite item was the enchilada. We both have a sweet tooth and there was a very large dessert selection so we were excited. We tried blueberry pie, cherry pie, pecan pie, cheesecake, carrot cake, etc. It was as if the flavors were screaming to come out but something was holding it back. Nothing tasted bad, but it wasn’t delicious either. However, the service, coffee, and mimosas were very good. The waitress even encouraged us to take mimosas to go and I was too happy to do that. My son doesn’t like them but I made him take one for me. We played a few machines and went on our way.

    From there we walked over to The Mob Museum. I got a yearly membership for me for $25.00 and my son was able to get in at the locals price of $10.00. It was as good as I heard it was, interactive with lots of things to look at. We spent two enjoyable hours. Walking back toward the canopy we came upon The Gold Spike. I hadn’t been in that dump for about 20 years and wanted to see it since it was remodeled. When we stepped inside, a clean smell hit us, not the usual beer and stale cigarettes. It looked much better. We played a machine for a little bit and was not winning, nor were we offered a drink, so we left. The pool at The D is open until 11:00 p.m. so we went down there later that night. We fell asleep around midnight, which was really 3:00 a.m. to us.

    The bedding was cozy but there was a thicker comforter on the bed than I use in January, so I actually woke up too warm a couple of times. I’m an early bird and by 5:30 a.m. I had enough shut eye. I let my son sleep and got ready quietly. We knew we didn’t want another buffet early in the morning so I went to the Dunkin Donuts at Fremont. They were washing the streets at 6:30 a.m. Four donuts and an iced coffee came to $7.97 and it hit the spot.

    We left the room about 8:00 a.m. and headed out getting free drinks and playing penny slots all over downtown. We started at the Plaza and worked our way back under the canopy. Passed by the Heart Attack Grill and stepped on their big scale outside. I had only been in Vegas 24 hours and already gained two pounds. It had also been quite a few years since I stepped inside El Cortez. For some reason my son likes Aliens and he discovered a penny alien machine. He put $1.00 in and bet one penny at a time. A short time later he had an $18.00 voucher - not bad! We went directly back to the Plaza and played some more. I’m sure it was in the 90’s but it only felt like the 80’s.

    Later that afternoon my sister and her oldest daughter met us under the canopy. With our B Connected cards, this time we got buy 1 get 1 free buffets at the Fremont, so the four of us were able to have dinner for about $25.00. I remember the Fremont having good food in the past and it did not disappoint. It was better than the MSS buffet. The selection wasn’t as big, but it tasted better, particularly the desserts. After we ate we spent a couple hours playing in the Fremont. OMG, it was so smoky in there and really burning the eyes. I did discover the penny Jackpot Party machine and had a lot of fun with it. We watched light shows and listened to bands. It was busier than Grand Central Station. After a fun evening we were all tired so we parted ways at 11:00 p.m.

    On Monday morning we went back to MSS to use yet another buy 1 get 1 buffet coupon. We figured that even if it wasn’t great, it’s hard for two people to eat breakfast for under $10.00. Well, breakfast turned out to be better than dinner. You can’t go wrong with a made to order omelette. The waffles were good as well. It was time to gather our belongings and take a taxi to Bill’s.

    To be continued….
     
  2. jgates8

    jgates8 VIP Whale

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    Can't wait - enjoying it so far!
     
  3. AliGee

    AliGee Low-Roller

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    Keep it coming, I'm really interested in how your stay a Bill's went.
     
  4. Candy Apple

    Candy Apple VIP Whale

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    NEXT HOTEL:

    We really enjoyed our stay downtown. Now it was time for Part II of our trip. Three nights on the strip. We see a taxi and I ask for “Bill’s Gambling Hall - no freeway please”. The driver said, “There’s a LOT of traffic on the strip but it’s up to you. It will be about $22.00 either way.” I do an invisible eye roll and agree to the freeway. $22.50 later + tip and we’re at Bill’s. So we go to check in at Bill’s around noon only to be told that they moved us to the Imperial Palace. The Imperial Palace was the VERY FIRST hotel I booked back in February and CANCELLED IT DUE TO CONSTRUCTION. Are you kidding me?! We haul our luggage past Flamingo and under the scaffolding to the IP to find a long check-in line and “Legends“ performing in the middle of the casino with music blasting. It must drive the check-in clerks crazy. After shouting, I understood that the room would not be ready until 3:00 or 4:00. They also gave us two free buffets for our inconvenience of having our hotel switched on us. Ugh - we ate the IP buffet once before and it was HORRIBLE! Oh, we can have Harrah’s? Fine, we’ll take that one. We weren’t hungry yet though so we killed some time in the Flamingo casino and used free coupons to get into the antique car show at the IP. At 3:00 the room still wasn’t ready. There is even a sign indicating their strict 4:00 check-in time. We sat down at the penny slots in IP and got a few free drinks. The IP casino is just as I remember it - good drink service but very warm in the back.

    Finally, at 4:00, we were given keys to the PENTHOUSE SUITE! It was worth the wait! For the same price that we had booked Bill’s, a mere $35.00 a night, we had a living room, dinette, wet bar, three flat screen TV’s, balcony, and each had our own room with king size bed and large private bath. I had the master suite which had a huge round tub with lights and mirrors and double sink vanity that had to be at least 15 feet long. The furniture was older, but so is mine at home, and this was bigger than my house! There were enough towels that we could have stayed there for a week and not needed new ones.

    After calling my sisters and telling them all about this, we were hungry so headed next door to get our free dinner buffets at Harrah’s. I timed it so I could finally see and hear Big Elvis, which I missed even when I stayed at Barbary Coast years back. The piano bar was small and crowded. Yes, he has a good voice, but why does all the music have to be so LOUD? The sound system was better suited for the Rolling Stones at Yankee Stadium. We only listened to two songs and then left to eat. The dinner buffets were getting better every day.

    We went back to the casino at IP and then the Flamingo. In the Margaritaville casino I found a Super Jackpot Party penny machine. I parked myself there and my son had pretty good luck at the machine next to mine. The free strawberry margaritas and daiquiris they brought were delicious. We were tired early so decided to go back to our suite at 8:00 p.m. in time to watch Hell’s Kitchen. After that I enjoyed the first bubble bath I had in years. The A/C was so cold that I had to put one of my son’s big T-shirts over my nightgown and was still able to cover all up in bed and sleep like a baby.

    To be continued….
     
  5. Motorhead

    Motorhead Low-Roller

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    Do you have any pics of the suite? Please post if ya do. Very nice TR, don't leave us hanging :cry: :banana:
     
  6. Dpin300

    Dpin300 Low-Roller

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    nice TR! I read the title and was wondering how you ended up in a penthouse suite. I thought you might have hitted a big jackpot
     
  7. Candy Apple

    Candy Apple VIP Whale

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    I'm catching up on stuff and will continue writing this afternoon. Sorry, I won't be getting my pictures on a CD to upload for probably a week. I can always come back to add them later.
     
  8. btodd

    btodd High-Roller

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    wow!! Guess the penthouse suite made up for the hotel switch?? Did they tell you why you were moved to the IP? Great report.
     
  9. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    I'm enjoyin' the read... thanks for sharin'
     
  10. Candy Apple

    Candy Apple VIP Whale

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    Bill's told us they were overbooked. They could have called a few days prior and let us know. What if it was someone handicapped or with a huge amount of luggage? We were able to move there with no problem though.

    I've been busy all day and shortly I need to feed my son and drop him off for work. Will continue this later.
     
  11. Candy Apple

    Candy Apple VIP Whale

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    Here's the rest of it

    OUT & ABOUT:

    Woke up Tuesday morning and planned to get the 9:30 shuttle at Bill’s to visit Gold Coast and Palms. First we stopped at Flamingo to get our tickets for Nathan Burton to find that the box office doesn‘t open until 10:00. OK, back to the Super Jackpot Party machine for a while and then got the “free” tickets, which were really $10.00 apiece, but I was ready for that. Got the 10:30 shuttle to Gold Coast and immediately walked over to the Palms. It felt a bit hotter today but not bad. Mexican food is our favorite. I had read good reviews about Gardunos so wanted to eat their lunch buffet before they closed down. We liked the looks of the Palms inside. Got player cards and sat down at a nickel blackjack machine. We passed a line for the Bistro Buffet as we made our way to Gardunos. When we got there it was open but dark and deserted. Not one other customer in the place. Before we even sat down I had my son take a look at the buffet. He said it looked like “make your own tacos/burritos” and that’s it…not the spread I was expecting.

    I knew we could get a buffet discount with our cards so that’s where we went. The regular price of the lunch buffet is already a reasonable $12.99, but we got $5.00 off apiece with our cards. The Palms buffet was OUTSTANDING! The selection and taste was by far the best of the week and we kept raving about it. We both wanted to come back again tomorrow. We’ve been to the buffets at Bellagio, Planet Hollywood, and Paris in the past. All are much more expensive and get mixed reviews. We figured that, at best, those would be “as good” as the Palms, but at 2-3X the price.

    We walked back to the Gold Coast, inserted our B Connected cards and played some penny slots. The cocktail waitress didn’t come by in the 40 minutes we were there. We got the 1:30 shuttle and had to ride to the Orleans first before returning to Bill’s. Then we made our way, via escalators and bridges, over to Bellagio and sat down at some slots. I had heard about the peach bellini and wanted to try one but after 20 minutes we weren’t offered a drink here either and I had to summon a cocktail waitress. I got the bellini, which was good but somewhat small. My son got a large daiquiri with ripe strawberry and whipped cream. Then we visited the conservatory and took some photos. We went back to the Flamingo for the 4:00 Nathan Burton show. It was enjoyable and worth the $10.00.

    After that we headed south on the strip stopping in Paris . I wanted to see, but not eat at, the Sugar Factory. Meh, no big deal. No luck on the slots there either. Then we walked through Planet Hollywood and the Miracle Mile shops and saw colorful fountains. We were starting to get hungry again. I had a Restaurant.com certificate for Fresh Bar & Grill, but that didn’t interest my son at all because he eats sandwiches every day. OK, I also had a certificate for the Harley Davidson café. Stepped inside and heard music blasting, looked at the menu and saw higher prices than I had online, and decided we didn’t want to stay.

    A ha, there was a McDonalds next door. Had a buy 1 get 1 coupon for a quarter pounder. Two burgers for $4.00. That hit the spot. Went back to the Miracle Mile shops again to get a large cookie for dessert from the Nestle store. Took some photos on the strip and saw the Bellagio fountains. Back to Flamingo to play Super Jackpot party and have another strawberry margarita. When we stepped out it was raining so we headed back to our suite. We didn’t mind hanging out in there until bedtime.

    Wednesday was our last full day in Vegas and we awoke to find it raining cats and dogs. My son still wanted to go back to the Palms for the lunch buffet but I vetoed it. It was time to choose an alternative and it had to be nearby. We could stay dry by eating at the IP but we’d rather get wet than eat that garbage. I read that the breakfast buffet at Flamingo was the best of the meals so we chose to try that one. As we were about to exit the IP and walk under the scaffolding, we found that it was flooded several inches deep. Oh, great. What do we do? We saw another lady traversing using the metal gates to stay out of the water so that’s what we did. Then we sprinted the rest of the way and entered through the closest Margaritaville doors and were still quite wet.

    After waiting in a long line we finally got to the buffet and coughed up almost $35.00. That’s the most we paid to eat all week so it better not suck. And it didn’t. Breakfast was very good. We stayed nearly an hour killing time and trying to dry off and then they brought out lunch. Lunch was decent but we liked breakfast better. We stayed in the casino and played a while. It was extra busy because no one wanted to be out walking the strip. I couldn’t even get on my Super Jackpot party machine. Flamingo is quite generous with the drinks, though.

    It was early afternoon and we went back to the IP. By this time the rain was lighter and it wasn’t flooded as badly under the scaffolding but we still didn’t feel like walking down the strip. At the last minute we got tickets to the 2:00 show at IP, “Jeff Civillico’s Comedy in Action”. He had done a 15 minute bit during the Nathan Burton show. Jeff interacted with the audience before the show and then spent his time on stage juggling and on a unicycle. The show was not even quite an hour, but it seemed longer (in a good way). It was funny and entertaining, well worth the $10.00 each.

    We went back to our suite to decide what to do and saw that it was clearing up. Out we headed to the north to visit The Mirage. We’re big Beatles fans and saw “LOVE” several years ago. We hung around the Beatles section and then my son found an Alien machine that he played while listening to Beatles music. We liked the atmosphere in the Mirage and he asked about staying there. I said that I had checked (I checked them all!) and it was too expensive. After leaving the Mirage we went over to the Venetian. We had visited the wax museum once before and *almost* did it again with a buy 1 get 1 coupon but then passed. We wandered around the canal shops and used buy 1 get 1 coupons for hotdogs and pretzels. Before leaving Vegas, we went over to the Flamingo once last time. I went to my Super Jacket Party machine (and some others) and got two or three margaritas.

    GOING HOME:

    We retired to our room early to pack for our 6:00 a.m. flight. We would have to get up at 3:00 a.m. (yawn). That is THE worst time because no matter what you do, you’ll be tired. If you have a 9:00 a.m. flight, you’ll go to bed and get up at 6:00. If you have a 3:00 a.m. flight you’ll just stay up. I’m an early to bed/early to rise person so I went to bed. My son is late to bed/late to rise so he stayed up. We were both tired! L

    We got a taxi outside the IP and said, “Airport, no freeway please”. “OK”. It was only $12.50. I was happy not to get an attitude from him so I gave him $20.00. We had to change planes in Chicago but everything went smoothly. All flights arrived a little early.

    In summary, we had a blast! I was also happy to stay way under budget, particularly on food. If you have any questions, let me did. I did get my photos today so I’ll try to get some up.
     
  12. Blonde_4_ever

    Blonde_4_ever "The Welfare Queen of Windsor"

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    Wow...it sounds like the hotel change worked out well.
    Lucky you!
     
  13. Candy Apple

    Candy Apple VIP Whale

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    At first we were put off by the change...and the long wait to get to the room...but it was worth it!
     
  14. Candy Apple

    Candy Apple VIP Whale

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    I have the photos on the computer. I clicked "copy" on one of them but then when I tried to put it here there was no option for "paste". ??
     
  15. gongoman

    gongoman MIA

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    Thanks for trip report:beer:
     
  16. zamboni

    zamboni VIP Whale

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    I can't wait to see what their suites look like!! Do you have a photobucket account? That might be easier to upload the pics to that then put them on here.
     
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  17. Candy Apple

    Candy Apple VIP Whale

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    I have them loaded up to Walgreens photo center (for the first time - I normally use Snapfish). I don't know why "paste" is not an option when I right click after I've "copied" one.
     
  18. jgates8

    jgates8 VIP Whale

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    If it works the same as Shutterfly, then right click on the photo when it's in viewable mode & select 'Properties' from the very bottom of the list on the pop-up that comes up. It will come up with a box titled properties & you have to highlight the URL address dead center in the box. (you will have to drag a bit when highlighting as it doesn't display it entirely). Then right click & copy the highlighted section. Then when posting here, click the Insert Image Icon & delete the http: in the box & right click & paste your entire URL you just copied.

    And by the way - Awesome! At least they did right by you by giving you a fantastic room. I'm another one that doesn't need brand new furnishings. Everything is better than what I have at home!!! I don't have a flat panel TV, etc. As long as it works - that's the key!!! I also really enjoy the Flamingo buffet at breakfast. The only thing it is missing is the good hash that Paris has - they just have canned hash at Flamingo.
     
  19. Dpin300

    Dpin300 Low-Roller

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    I might have missed it but where did you get all the (2 for 1) coupons from?

    Again good report, thanks for sharing!
     
  20. jbl1253

    jbl1253 Tourist

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    Staying at the IP in October- is there much work being done inside the casino or is the major mess on the walkway outside?
     
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