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Luxor & Aladdin, Working trip to Vegas 2/12-19

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by HoyaHeel, Feb 21, 2005.

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  1. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

    Feb 24, 2002
    North Carolina
    Trips to Las Vegas:

    My Trip Report

    Vegas Trip Report
    Luxor (2/12-2/16) & Aladdin (2/17-2/19)

    [I'm working on getting the photos online too]

    Fly out Delta, RDU to CVG, CVG to LAS. On time flights, watched Vegas Vacation and first episode of Charmed, drank from our private stash of mini bottles. Arrived in Las Vegas around 2:15. Sound turned off on airport slot machines. I miss getting in and hearing the “ding ding dingâ€. Boo! Got our bags, got in the taxi line, which was HUGE but moving quickly. Probably waited about half an hour in the line. Cab to Luxor was $14 with tip I think. Check-in lines weren’t long, but had been earlier—a couple of large conventions in town, one of which we’re attending. Tried to get a Jacuzzi suite in the pyramid but didn’t want to pay to upgrade. Couldn’t get a king non-smoking in the East tower so we ended up with a 2-queen non-smoking in the East Tower. No view (looking down on the casino roof and out at the pyramid.) Close to the elevators and the ice machine though. After we got unpacked we went over to the convention center at Mandalay Bay so we could make sure our crate arrived for the show—it had, we brought the soda & beer we had shipped out back to our room. Starting to get a little hungry so we clean up and decide to try the sushi bar at the Boardwalk for a quick dinner—Fujiyama, still there, still decent quick sushi. We got the sampler tray for $27, plus 2 beers. Total with tax & tip was $45. Crossed the street to check out Gameworks (hubby is checking out pinball machines—for our game room and to write reviews for some board on the internet). We also checked out the two nearby half-price ticket sellers. Then we walked back to Luxor, stopped for a fresh Krispy Kreme at the Trashy Castle, played a little at the nickel slots, and went to bed early.

    Mileage on pedometer: 4.65 (only started wearing to dinner and back)

    Sunday 2/13/05
    Up way too early, showered, breakfast at Pyramid Café. Decent breakfast, fantastic service. Still too early for the convention floor to be open so we gambled a little, had drinks, then just before 8 went over to the Mandalay Bay convention center again. We set up our booth, walked around our area a little, then left. Mandalay Bay doesn’t have an arcade, hubby checked out Luxor and I came back to the room to do a little dissertation work. When he came back, we decided we’d do a quick grocery shopping trip to get lunch for the show days (it’s just the two of us and it’s hard to leave the booth for too long). So we walked to Tropicana to wait for the 201 heading east. Got off at Maryland Parkway and walked half a block north to eat lunch at In & Out Burger. Our first, and damn was it good!! Glad we finally made it there!!! Back to Tropicana to the Von’s grocery on the corner, picked up a Styrofoam cooler and some sandwich fixins, and back on the bus. Hubby went to NYNY to check out their arcade and I brought the food back to the room. Played a little more slots (I’m still playing on the first $5 I put in, and cocktail service has been great at Luxor!!) Back to the room to work on my dissertation more.

    We left for dinner at Rosemary’s about 5:30 pm (our reservations were for 6:30 and we weren’t sure how long the cab ride would take. It took about 20 minutes and cost $25 or so) Before we left, hubby gave me my Valentine’s gift—black pearl earrings. I LOVE them!!! He gave them to me early so I could wear them for dinner. We arrived early so we had a drink at the bar—hubby had a Maker’s Mark manhattan and I had a glass of red wine—Monastrell Olivares “Altos de la Hoya†Jumilla Spain (2002). Yes, I wrote that all down on a napkin because it was good and I knew I’d never remember it all J Sunday night, all wines are half-price at Rosemary’s so my glass of wine was $4. Our table was ready before we finished our drinks so we brought them with us. The restaurant is small and cozy, with unique art and lighting fixtures. Table placement was nice—not too close to your neighbors. They also had a nice bar overlooking the kitchen—would be like eating at a sushi bar, watching the chefs prepare your dinner. We had the tasting menu with wine pairings—had always wanted to do something like that. I think the meal was $264 with tax & tip (I think the tasting was about $90 each, with the wine). This was the menu:

    Amuse bouche: asparagus bread pudding with chai cream and micro greens
    1: Seared sesame ahi with asian slaw and dressing, served with a reisling.
    2: Black pepper seared scallops with mushrooms and orzo in a white truffle emulsion, served with a Becherelle Chenin Blanc.
    3: BBQ shrimp with Maytag blue slaw, served with a zinfandel
    4: Roasted leg of lamb with balsalmic reduction and kalamata mashed potatoes, served with Flor de Pingus temperanillo (2000)
    Dessert: Chocolate sorbet, mango sorbet, raspberry sorbet, crème brûlee, goat cheese-cake, lemon cake, chocolate flourless cake, served with a muscato-brushcetto blend

    I loved EVERYTHING. I don’t eat lamb (3 weeks in central asia eating not so good lamb has biased me against it) but I still enjoyed the way it was served at Rosemary’s. Dane’s favorite were the scallops—he kept asking me why MY scallops never tasted that good. I don’t think I could pinpoint one thing I liked the most because it was all so good. Having the wines paired by people who know what they’re doing makes a difference—we drink a lot of wine, but I rarely will match the wine to more than one dish of the meal I’m serving. But now I might have to try because when it’s done right, it is SO RIGHT. The portions were nice—we were left full, but not stuffed. They called a cab for us when we were ready to leave, took about 20 minutes and we went back to Luxor and to the room.

    Mileage on pedometer: 6.5 miles (took off before going to dinner)

    Monday 2/14/05 Valentine’s Day.
    When I got up I went to the Trashy Castle for donuts & coffee. $7.99 for a mixed dozen. We had breakfast in bed and watched local news—tv ads in Vegas seem really different than those at home, and I can’t pinpoint why. Just having a lazy morning—wrote up the dinner descriptions while I can still read the notes I made last night—I was not very sober. Gave hubby his Valentine’s present—an led headlamp. Oh, and a massage—we’re both going to the spa this morning. Spent 4 hours in the spa—1 hour at the gym (lots of treadmills, a few tvs but no headphones, some stationary bikes and stairclimbers, 1 or 2 ellipticals?) Then a bunch of free weights and weight machines, water & towels. Glass fronted, looks out over the pool area. Then I showered, relaxed in the whirlpool for a little bit before my massage. Had a 50 minute Swedish massage with Janet, it was wonderful! Then spent another couple hours relaxing on the loungers, in the sauna and whirlpools (didn’t go in the steam room—though since I came down with a cold, I probably should have). Took my final shower, primped, then left to have lunch with hubby. He had a Swedish massage as well, but didn’t spend the hours relaxing in the spa that I did—he went to check out the arcades at NYNY and Excalibur, so we met back in the room with salads & sandwiches for lunch. We relaxed in the room a little bit—I took a nap, NOT because I was hungover, as my husband accused me, but because I was getting sick. Got dressed and left around 3:00 to go to the discount coupon place, Gameworks, then take the monorail to the Hilton. Walked to the half-price ticket booth inside the Gameworks/Coca Cola/M&M place. Pete Rose was there signing autographs. Pete Rose, in Vegas. Hmmmmm. We wanted tickets for the Star Trek Experience, which they had. This was the list of shows available the day we were there:
    David Brenner
    Howie Mandel
    La Cage aux Folles
    Neil Diamond Tribute
    Platters, Drifters & Coasters
    Sandy Hackett
    Second City
    Steve Wyrick
    Rat Pack Tribute
    Star Trek Experience
    World’s Greatest Magic Show
    Amazing Jonathan
    American Superstars
    Aussie Angels
    Ba Da Bing
    Clint Holmes
    Crazy Girls
    Riviera Comedy Club
    Fab 4
    Forbidden Vegas

    We bought our 2 Star Trek tickets (service charge was a couple bucks per ticket) We got a voucher we turned in at the ticket counter at the Hilton.

    Then we went to Gameworks so hubby could check out their pinball games. We had extra money on his card so we played a few other games—hubby beat me at air hockey, crashed on the surfing machine, destroyed his fighter plane, and I rode a mechanical bull. My thighs were killing the next day! After we spent all the money on his card, we headed to MGM. Had a devil of a time finding the monorail station—couldn’t find any signage. On our return, we did find signage, so it was there in some places but not all. When we got to the Hilton, we went to Quark’s bar and had a warp core breach. Wow!! Quite good, though my taste buds were starting to go. Watched a wedding party and some assorted characters come through.

    Then we went to the Star Trek experience—first the Borg, then the Klingon. “This is a lot less cheesy than I thought it would be†(Hubby—whose idea it was to go to the Star Trek thing in the first place) So hubby enjoyed it, I think I liked it but I was dead tired and sick at this point. After we shopped a little we went to the buffet. $15, free wine & beer, plus soda. Small buffet, but decent. I didn’t feel like eating or drinking so I did not take full advantage. Took the monorail back to MGM and eventually found our way outside the building, hubby hauling my butt at this point. I went straight back to the room and crashed (about 10:00).

    Mileage on pedometer: 6.0

    Tuesday 2/15/05
    Trade show today, up at 6:00, shower & get ready. Take Zicam to ward off horrible cold (hubby now starting to get sick, finally believes I wasn’t hungover on Monday, but getting sick!) Ate breakfast at the Pyramid Café again—oatmeal for me, eggs, bacon & taters for hubby. Show lasted until 6:00, lots of standing, trying not to shake hands or breathe on people. Rested in the room for a while to regain our strength, then had some sushi & soup (miso & ramen) at Hamada at Luxor. Hubby gambled a little, I went to bed early.

    Mileage on pedometer: 5.0

    Wednesday 2/16/05
    Sick still, working again today. Show open from 9-6, longest day. Hubby is about 12-15 hours behind me in the sickness, so he’s feeling worse and I think I’m on the upswing. Breakfast at Raffles in Mandalay Bay. Prices a little more expensive than the café at Luxor—seemed to bring an entire loaf of bread for hubby’s French toast, but he said it tasted better at Luxor. Actually made it out of the hotel for dinner—over to NYNY and ate Mexican at Gonzalez y Gonzalez. I had a spicy shrimp taco, hubby had a quesadilla. Good, though we could barely taste things. Stopped at the drugstore for more cold medicine, having exhausted the supply in our travel kits, then back to Luxor and bed.

    Mileage on pedometer: 5.59

    Thursday 2/17/05
    Last day of the show. Packed up and dropped our bags off at the bell desk, checked out of the hotel, then ate again at the Pyramid Café at Luxor. Show ended at 1:00, by 3:30 we were in a cab heading for Aladdin. There was no line at check-in, easily got a non-smoking king with a decent view (regular room—called the “deluxe†on the website—though we prefer to stay in the Resort room, the cost was about double and we couldn’t justify it for this trip) Our room looks out over the southwest pool and the southern corner of the Bellagio fountain. We REALLY prefer Aladdin to Luxor—the rooms are so much nicer, better laid out and the bathrooms are far superior—larger, separate water closet, nicer soaking tubs. It just felt so nice dropping our bags in this room. Though we did decide for the trip next year, when we bring my sister for her 21st birthday, if we stay at Aladdin we’re getting the bigger room!! Sis can sleep in the small one though J I’m finally starting to feel a little better, took a nice bubble bath. It’s Thursday night, so we decide to get pizza. Mikey found a recommendation online for a place called Presto Pizza next door to the helicopter tour place between Bellagio and the Seven nightclub, and since we can see it from our room at Aladdin, we decide to try it. We ordered a large Italian sausage, hubby went next door to the convenience store for a couple of beers, and we ate there. It was REALLY good pizza. Eating there smells a little of jet fuel, but we think it was worth it. They seem to do a booming business on slices to go. Our large pizza was about $18. After dinner we walked to watch the Bellagio fountain show, then went to Aladdin to gamble a little bit. We were still feeling under the weather so we didn’t last long in the casino before we went to bed.

    Mileage on pedometer: 4:38

    Friday 2/18/05
    Finally slept in late, then went to the Paris breakfast buffet. Can’t believe we finally made it there!!! Yes, it was worth it and yes, I would recommend it to others. We’re still not huge buffet people, but the breakfast buffet at Paris is really good and well worth the $13. The coffee was fantastic, as well. We had the made-to-order crepes (they had gas problems and the omelets & crepes were down for a little bit, but they fixed the problem quickly) I had a sausage sampler, lox & bagels, little French breads & cheese. My appetite is finally starting to come back but we’re still not feeling back to normal. After breakfast we walked over to Caesars Palace. Did I mention it’s pouring rain and quite chilly?? Yeah, not the Vegas we’re used to, since we usually go in August, September or October. Hubby and I agree that Caesars Palace construction is WAY out of hand, there’s no symmetry at all and it’s a cluster fuck to look at. That said, the new shopping area is gorgeous, the spiral escalators are really cool, and we had a fun couple hours. Hubby bought a new watch (well, a vintage Tag, at the Tourneau store) and I got some lotions and potions at Kiehls. The shopping and a yard long mudslide at Fat Tuesdays on the way back through the original Forum Shops went a long way towards improving my mood. Went back to our room and changed, rested a little, then tried our luck at the craps table finally. Should have spent our money in the stores because the gambling gods were NOT good to us. We got clobbered at the craps table ($5 table) It was really choppy, no good rolls. Drink service was decent, and THANK YOU to whomever told the board about Malibu and pineapple because I drank that all week (figured I was getting some good vitamins for my cold, right??). Switched to slots for a little while—that didn’t go well either. Drink service at Aladdin slots was abysmal. Tried craps again and again we got our butts kicked (but we did get drink service). Finally threw in the towel and went to the room to rest, shower, pack, think about dinner. (since we ate breakfast late, we didn’t have lunch and were only starting to think about dinner around 6:30) We decided to walk around all the restaurants and look at menus to see if anything looked good. We ended up at the Oyster Bar in the Desert Passage shops. Dane had fish & chips and I had crab angel hair pasta with a light red cream sauce. Delicious!! After dinner we wandered around the mall a little bit and then went to the room. Finished packing and watched tv before falling asleep.

    Saturday 2/19/05
    Ate breakfast at the Zanzibar Café (24 hour coffee shop at Aladdin) then checked out and headed to the airport. We got to the airport very early and checked in at the kiosk, got through security with no lines, and waited for about 3 hours—our flight was late because our equipment was late getting in. We made our connection though and had no problems getting home. All in all, this was probably our worst Vegas trip. We were both sick, had to work more than half the trip, and the gambling wasn’t good to us. On the plus side, we had some good food, it was still VEGAS, BABY, and we love to travel together.
  2. Coaster Kikky

    Coaster Kikky Tourist

    Jan 8, 2003
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Nice, Hoya, although sorry you spent far too much of your time sick.

    I'm impressed that you have your own brand of wine now. We should each be able to order something with our "name" on it.

    And I definitely agree with you about the construction at Caesars' although I hadn't come up with quite the head-on-the-nail description you did! :)
  3. kitson

    kitson VIP Whale

    Apr 20, 2004
    thanks for the report, it is so nice to read the real thing. sounds like rosemarys needs to go on our list, and i was surprised by some of the shows that were on the discount list!

    if you dont mind saying, was the trade show part of the MAGIC, mens apparel guild in california, set of apparel trade shows, or what else was at that time?
  4. HurricaneMikey

    HurricaneMikey A-List Buffoon

    Jan 25, 2002
    Southeast of Sin City
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Glad to hear that you made it back ok, Hoya, but I'm sorry to hear that the craps gods weren't looking out for you this trip. I'll have to have a word with them about that.

    Hope you're feeling better!

  5. RossW

    RossW North of the 49th

    Nov 1, 2003
    Ontario, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:

    Nothing worse than being sick for a few of the vacation days. That sampler meal sounded great.
    $264.00 - that's a mortgage payment for me, but one has to "live a little", always nice to do a real "high end meal" for a treat. :cool: Bummer on the craps run, get 'em next time. I hope the work side of your trip was successful.

    Always wondered what the Star Trek thing was like - Thanks for the review, [​IMG] I may check it out in March. What did you think of LVH? I was there in Nov and have 2 nites there again this March after the MM thing. I kinda like the "feel" of the place for some reason, always nice to get other's impressions as well.

    Thanks for writing it up and I hope you are feeling better. [​IMG]

  6. Vegas Addict

    Vegas Addict Guest

    rosemary's has a fantastic lunch special during the week. $20.05 (for the year 2005) for a 3 course price-fixe special. You can't beat this special anywhere in the USA. Just throttle down your wine selection and your bill will be nominal. We had 2 bottles of wine and lunch for 4 ended up around $260.
  7. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

    Feb 24, 2002
    North Carolina
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    No, we weren't there for MAGIC (though apparently 100,000 other people were) We were there for ARA--American Rental Association--about 11,000 at the convention, they said. We did pretty well at the show--took lots of orders, though there never seemed to be a lot of people in the aisles.

    As for the Hilton--I know my viewpoint is skewed because I was getting sick, but it seemed nice. We didn't gamble there, just walked through the casino en route to the buffet. We did sign up for the player's card and we spent a bit of time in Quark's bar and then, of course, going through the Star Trek exhibit. If our trade show were at the convention center again (the LVCC) then I'd stay at the Hilton--the monorail does make it much easier to get over to the Strip. I don't know anything about the rooms or the pool area or other restaurants, though.
  8. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

    Feb 24, 2002
    North Carolina
    Trips to Las Vegas:
  9. blackjack

    blackjack Monkey!!

    Mar 28, 2003
    North Coast
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Nice report Hoya & good pics. I have the same picture of me with that Klingon babe. It sucks to be sick in Vegas. My last trip was the worst as well. I spent more time in the room than in the casino. Hopefully I can make up for it this March.
  10. milehiman

    milehiman VIP Whale

    Sep 21, 2002
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Nice report. It's too bad you weren't feel 100% while you were there.

    Thanks for the information on Rosemarys. My friend called last night about where we are going to eat on Friday night and he mentioned Rosemarys.
  11. Thekiller

    Thekiller Tourist

    Jan 6, 2004
    Thanks for the report. Hope you & Mr. Hoya are feeling better. My last visit to Vegas was a working trip as well. Takes some of the fun out of it. At least you got a few good meals before the taste buds gave up on you.
  12. Bosco

    Bosco VIP Whale

    Apr 4, 2002
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Well, I was planning to hit the Hilton on the upcoming trip, just because I've never done it before and it will give me a reason to ride the mono. After seeing the pic of that giant drink....no question....must go!
  13. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

    Nov 25, 2002
    Twin Cities
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Nice report. No fun to be sick in Vegas, but sounds like it passed quickly and you could get on with it. Rosemary's has been on the to-do list (for the trip w/wife) for a while, glad to hear a good review.

    The pedometer was a good idea. Those are some pretty big numbers to be walking every day...

    We need a picture thread - "Me with a Klingon".
  14. paulalovesvegas

    paulalovesvegas Tourist

    Jan 2, 2005
    So sorry you were sick, that happened to me last year in Vegas I had the flu it sucked bad...... I am taking vitamins and all kinds of stuff to ward off the crap going around here ( I have a home daycare) I want to kick these parent who are trying to sneak in their sick kids .. I told one today If I get sick in Vegas when I get home you will no longer have a babysitter .. the kids were hacking coughing like crazy and were sent home in the afternoon with fevers :mad: sorry to go on ...

    I am glad you are feeling better and better luck next trip
  15. Billy from TX.

    Billy from TX. Tourist

    Jan 6, 2002
    Wylie, Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Great report and I like how you added the pics. Sorry that you were sick. It sucks to be sick in Vegas!
    I noticed the slot machines were turned off at the airport as well. They also give you a hand pay on everything wich I liked not having to mess with all the change, but it sucked waiting for the girl to come over everytime.
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