After a stressful few days of not knowing whether our trip would go ahead or not, due to the volcanic ash, we finally made it to Vegas. The Flights Our US Airways flight from Manchester was delayed by 1 hr 20 mins and we arrived at Philadelphia to find we had just missed our connection to Phoenix. We were told the next flight to Phoenix would mean a wait of nearly five hours but the nice man said he could get us onto a flight straight through to LV, leaving in two hours time. Wonderful, we would actually arrive a little earlier than the original flight we should have been on. Had a bite to eat then went to the gate to find there was a delay of 2 hrs 30 mins. The flights passed quickly enough for me, I'm one of the lucky ones who can sleep on planes but my poor husband had developed man flu and a nasty, irritable cough which kept him awake. (Apologies to the man seated in front of my hubby, who turned around to glare with disgust every time he coughed, he didn't do it purposely to disturb you.) We finally arrived at the hotel approximately 28 hours after leaving home. Hotels We checked into Imperial Palace and was given a Deluxe room next to the lifts, on the 17th floor. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the room - it was much nicer than I was expecting; a decent size, nicely furnished, a massive king size bed and spotlessly clean. The bed was made up and towels and toiletries replenished daily and even though we hung up the towels so they could be used again, they were still replaced with clean ones every day. I was a bit disappointed that we had no view, other than the balconies of the rooms facing us but it didn't really matter as we don't spend all that much time in the room anyway. I expected to hear quite a lot of noise given the proximity to the lifts and other properties but any sounds we could hear sounded muffled and far away. Overall, we were very impressed with the IP and thought the $100 we paid for the four nights was excellent value and wouldn't hesitate at staying there again. We moved to Fitzgeralds on Fremont Street for the weekend and I was so worried about staying at this hotel after reading some terrible reviews, saying it was filthy, had uncomfortable beds and even some reports of bed bugs. I almost cancelled it to stay elsewhere but we decided to stick it out as it was only for a couple of nights and had only cost us $78 in total for the two weekend nights. It was just after 10 am when we arrived but there was no problem with checking in early and we were given a room on the 14th floor. I needn't have worried, apart from being a little dark and dingy due to the dark green and beige colour scheme and dark wood furniture, the room was fine and had everything we needed, including a partial view of Fremont Street and a great view of the mountains. The two queen beds were lovely and comfy, (in fact, more comfortable than our own bed at home) and on very close inspection, definitely no signs of any bed bugs. Again, we were impressed by the cleanliness and the housekeeping; even the previous day's soap was replaced with a new bar and the lamp that didn't work when we went out, was lit when we returned even though we didn't report it. We would have no problem with staying at the Fitz again. For our last four nights, we moved back to the strip to stay at the MGM Grand. Again, we were early for check in but were given a Grand Tower Room on the 20th floor, straight away. The first thing I noticed when we entered the room was a blue M&M on the floor. The room was very nice, better furnished and slightly more luxurious than the rooms at IP and Fitz and the two queen beds were pillow tops and so very comfy. The room safe wouldn't work properly and had to be reported twice before it was seen to. Although we couldn't hear any outside noise, I was dismayed to find that we could hear every sound from the corridor and even more so that we could also hear every sound from the room next door, athough the occupants weren't particularly loud or noisy. Between the pair of them, my husband and the man next door kept me awake for hours with their snoring. On our second day, the maid knocked on our door just as we were leaving to go for breakfast but when we returned about 7pm, the room still hadn't been serviced and was just as we had left it. On the other days, the pillows and top covers had been straightened but the beds were not properly remade. In the bathroom, used towels on the rails were not replaced, although those left on the floor were and the used toiletries were not replenished. When we left after four days, the blue M&M was still on the floor. Considering the price of the MGM room was almost double what we had paid for both rooms at the other hotels and although the room was nicer, we felt that the noise and housekeeping let it down somewhat and that the cheaper hotels were better value. Buffets and Restaurants We tried Harrah's 24 hour buffet offer and enjoyed our breakfast at Harrah's, intending to have lunch at Flamingo or Paris and dinner at Planet Hollywood. However, the lines at Flamingo and Paris were so long, we ended up at Caesars Palace instead. It was OK but not great and not a patch on the selection at Harrah's. After returning to IP, we fell asleep and by the time we awoke, we had to rush to get to Harrah's before the buffet closed.The next day we decided that all day buffets were not for us, as the previous day seemed to be centred around food rather than other things and that a good breakfast and dinner would suit us better. We did take advantage of the 2 for 1 buffet offer at MGM though and were really impressed by their dinner buffet. Other restaurants where we enjoyed meals included Hard Rock Cafe, the Mexican place next to M&M, Denny's, the Courtyard Grill and Buffet at the Fitz and Hennessey's Tavern. I think the only meal we didn't enjoy was Magnolia's at the Four Queens. Other Stuff Although I didn't plan a day by day itinerary, I did have a long list of things to see and do but we just didn't get around to doing a lot of them, partly because I have arthritis and can only walk short distances before having to take a rest so it took us ages to get anywhere and partly because we would get waylaid by other things along the way. We did manage to visit most of the casinos and attractions though. Highlights for me were looking around the Venetian, Paris, Bellagio Fountains, Flamingo's Wildlife Habitat and the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage. I also loved the Hawaiian Marketplace, where we spent a few pleasant afternoons just chilling out, taking in the great atmosphere and watching the bands. We didn't get to go on any trips or see any of shows so next year, I shall book for the Grand Canyon and a Cirque du Soleil show before we go. We were so glad that we decided to spend the weekend Downtown even though we had been advised not to.. Not only did it give us a slower pace than on the Strip which gave us the chance to recharge our internal batteries, we loved everything about Fermont Street, especially the lightshows and bands. We will definitely stay a couple of nights there again. We are not gamblers so if I said that we spent $20 on the slots between us, I would probably be exaggerating My hubby won $40 and I won $5 though. I know that some people find it offensive but I liked it when we were called sir or ma'am by the youngsters. In fact, I found that most young Americans were much more polite and respectful to their elders than the youngsters here in the UK are. We lost count of how many times we were asked if we were from Australia - do Americans normally get mixed up between Australian and English accents, or is it more likely that our broad Yorkshire accents confused them? Home Again Thankfully, the flights home were all on time and as we only had an hour between each flight, the journey seemed much shorter and of course, I slept for most of it. The IFE for our seats wasn't working so hubby was bored and not very happy until the steward offered him a few free beers to cheer him up. All in all, we had a brilliant time and I'm already planning our trip for next year, when at least one other couple will be coming with us. I can't wait!