Just got back from 6 nights at the Rio and thought I'd share a little of my impressions. This was our second stay at the Rio, the first being a year ago. I like the Rio, but I'm not as enamored of it this year as I was last. We got to the Rio around 11-11:30 a.m. on Friday. The check-in line was short and a very helpful desk person upgraded us to a premium from the deluxe just for asking, though I think the wife did have a $20 showing. We were in a corner room (1423) of the Impanema tower, facing the strip. Lovely view of both the pools and the strip. We didn't mind being all the way down the hall. This room was laid out a bit differently than the room we had last year and appeared to be more recently renovated. Friday evening, we went to Buzio's for our anniversary dinner. Initially, we waited just a little too long for our waiter to come take our drink order and when he did, he was a bit sarcastic. I didn't particularly notice, but it must have been worse with other patrons, as another waiter delivered our drinks and took our order and mentioned that the other waiter was being sent home. I did notice that somebody was figuring his timecard and paying him. Since it was a Friday, I don't know if he was getting paid for the week or getting his final paycheck. Either way, they apparently have standards for behavior of the staff. I had the parmeson-crusted tilapia with the fried squash and mushrooms. The food was all great. However, the Rio was having air conditioning problems. I overheard somebody on the staff say that there was some sort of power surge and the entire system went down and had to be re-started. Whatever the problem, it got warmer and warmer as we ate our meal. I had sweat trickling down my sides, which did damp our enjoyment. There were a couple of old guys who were evidently diamond card holders, complaining as they drank their pricy water. They left without ordering food. I didn't see what good complaining would do as the problem affected the entire hotel. What can your waiter do about that? We did catch one of the showings of the show in the sky, something we had missed the year before, not being there on a weekend. I know the Irish pub was open sometime during the weekend because we stopped in so the wife could ask whether they would have live music. I didn't notice if it was open during the week as we ended up spending most of our evenings over on the strip. We ate at All-American Bar & Grill a couple of times. All of the food we had there was fairly solid, good food. Nothing to write home about, but nothing to complain about either, unless it is the high prices. However, if you order the fish and chips, there is enough fish for two people. I think I did see that there is a plate-splitting charge. The lines at the buffet were very long just about every time we passed, so we didn't risk it. One morning we had breakfast in the cafe that's in the convention center hallway. Once again, the prices were high, but the food was good and the service/friendliness was great. Though we thought the layout, cleanliness and view, the room had two major drawbacks that may well keep me from returning. The mattress and pillows were not the least comfortable I have slept on in a hotel, but they rank right up there. Also, it turns out that the first night when the A/C was not working may actually have been a blessing. The air from the unit smelled as if it is filtered through the ashtrays in the casino. I expect that the public areas will smell like cigarette smoke. I even expect the room to have leftover smell from somebody smoking in a "non-smoking" room. But the air from the A/C was something else. I thought about trying to switch rooms, but figured that the problem might be systemic and inescapable. The free shuttles to Harrahs and Ballys are mostly a win. However, there is little semblance of order or a line outside of the drivers allowing diamand/seven star cards on first. The hotter it is outside, the more people just mash towards the doorway. Inside the shuttles, they keep them pretty clean and the A/C does not smell like smoke. Drink service in the casino seemed a tad slower than last year, though I didn't gamble as much due to the even worse pay tables on VP. There is also an added wrinkle that I didn't encounter last year. Some of the CW now have ipads that they use to put your order in. Two or three times, I had one CW take my order, but another one deliver it. I think it may be causing some sort of tipping issue. I noticed that one guy would kind of hang around for 30-45 seconds after taking the order, as if he was waiting for a tip. Then somebody else would deliver the drink and receive the tip. I was going to talk to one of them about the new system, but didn't want to hold them up since it appeared that they were very busy. The new system made it hard to judge if they were getting by with fewer CW than last year. In retrospect, we probably should have complained about the smoke smell. If there wasn't something they could do, maybe they would have given us a little something for our trouble. Next time, we'll likely stay somewhere on the strip. There are a number of people on the staff that we remembered from last year and we enjoy talking to them. We went in liking the Rio, but I think we came out liking it less.