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Orleans, TI .... good times

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Don, Nov 26, 2003.

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  1. Don

    Don Tourist

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    Location:
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    My Trip Report

    Plan was Mesa-Tucson-the Grand Canyon-Lake Mead, then onto Las Vegas for Nov. 17 and 18 (reservations at the T.I.)

    So there we are at the Grand Canyon campground on the morning of the 16th, waking up around 7 to find ... snow!! [​IMG] Time for us heat-seeking Easterners to turn those RV tires and get out pronto. Scratch the Lake Mead plan, and head straight to L.V.

    Called the visitors bureau for rates and got the Orleans for $55 that Sunday night. What a great find -- we'd been there once before for the buffet and light gambling, but never stayed overnight. It's a tremendous value. The spa isn't quite as ornate as the Luxor or T.I.'s, but it's excellent nevertheless (and cheaper if you're paying ... the Orleans funbook had coupons, tho, so we were in free).

    And the outdoor hottub is more of a Disney-style grand creation than a mere Jacuzzi -- it WAY outdoes the T.I.'s or Luxor's. It's a huge circle with a tiny island (topped by a tree) in the center, and there's enough room for a couple dozen people, I'd guess. At 8 a.m. it was empty and the PERFECT place to relax.

    Overall quick check-in, large and immaculate & attractively decorated rooms, and a staff with the cheeriest attitudes in town. Getting a room well away from the elevators was worthwhile. The buffet wasn't bad at all. We'd stay at the Orleans again in a second, despite the off-Strip location.

    Off to T.I. on Monday. Our group had booked three tower deluxe rooms; two were corners with decent views and extra space. Ours - 28085 - wasn't a corner, and was no bigger than a standard. But it had an unbelievably stunning view facing straight down the Strip - day, night, dawn or dusk, it was an attention-grabber.

    T.I. has superbly comfortable yet firm beds, and elegant decor. Yet the room seemed a bit smaller than Orleans' and storage space was definitely less -- partly because a HUGE amount of room was wasted by an oversize TV. (The absolute LAST thing I'd spend precious Vegas time on). The $79 Temptation package had a 2-for-1 buffet deal, but no break on the spa. We paid the $20, and also sprang for massages. My wife found the massage to be terrific; I'd say 'mediocre and thus overpriced.' The spa facilities are magnificent, but not up to Luxor's levels (and the hours are far more restricted).

    Check-in lines at T.I. were a bit long, but they had a sort of 'triage' worker greeting people and steering them to the right clerks ... it seemed to speed things a bit.

    Gambling here is always a no-win, and slots and VP ate up a couple of $20s plenty fast. D'oh. Plus, there's a dangerously convenient and overpriced Krispy Kreme counter at tram level - squandered too many $$ and calories there. The T.I. buffet for lunch was perfectly OK; nothing special.

    Away from the hotel .... bopped through Bourbon Street on Tuesday night. Don't think I've ever seen a casino so deserted. E-m-p-t-y. [​IMG]

    Barbary Coast wasn't doing much better, and Aladdin's Desert Passage wasn't what you'd call crowded, either. I KNEW Comdex's numbers were down, but this is ridiculous - Paris, Trop, Bellagio and the Mirage were all looking pretty light. Stopped at San Remo just to look around, and resolved not to return.

    Le Village at Paris was an excellent dinner buffet - probably a half-notch above Spice Market for elegance and sophistication of the menu. Still, I'm more comfortable with Spice Market.

    Tuesday night dinner was the HOB atop Mandalay Bay, courtesy of a cousin-in-law. The ultimate Vegas view is the balcony off this bar. Extra tres-$$, though, and I expect this was a visit not to be repeated.

    Trip to the airport was the usual 1,000-mile shuffle ... sigh. Can't wait to be back.

    [ November 26, 2003, 05:25 PM: Message edited by: Don ]
     
  2. Little Bob

    Little Bob Low-Roller

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    Don, Tell me more about the dinner buffet at Paris. We always eat breakfast there and find it to be top notch. We are heading to Vegas in May and I think we might try an evening buffet again. I agree with you that Orleans is a fun casino to visit (last place I ate a dinner buffet at). Glad you had a great time. Thanks for your trip report!
     
  3. wam

    wam Low-Roller

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    don, great report. we also enjoy the orleans. styaing there for one night this friday, then going over to the venetian for three nights. got a great rate at the venetian(119), could not pass that up. how is the spa at the orleans?? and discounts in the coupon book for the spa?? i also have enjoyed the paris breakfast buffet, i think it is the best on the strip. interested in what you have to say about the dinner buffet there. thanks again for the information.
     
  4. bigdogmom

    bigdogmom VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the report, Don!

    Wam, I think Don went to the spa at TI, but I can tell you about the Orleans spa. It's very nice and reasonably priced. I think a 1 hour massage goes for about $60. The coupon book has a free spa admission in it, as well as some free drink coupons and a coupon for 2/1 show tickets. There's some other stuff, too but those are the best ones.
    :cool:
     
  5. wam

    wam Low-Roller

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    thanks bigdog, that is very reasonable. anyone have information about the canyon ranch spa in the venetian. i hear it is fabulous, but very pricey. haven't been to the ti in a long time.
     
  6. Don

    Don Tourist

    Joined:
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    BigBob --

    Le Village is a very attractive buffet room -- actually several small sections divided off from each other, giving a much quieter and more intimate feel than the usual buffet's single large room.

    The five serving areas are decorated as a French marketplace, with each one supposedly featuring cuisine from a different section of France. I'm not qualified to say how authentic that is. But each of the entree dishes, including upscale items such as veal, lamb and duck, were appealing. Rich - yet delicate - sauces were prominent with each of the entree items I sampled.

    I'm not a big cheese fan, but the cheese area had a very extensive display. Desserts were mostly pastries and pies, and unfortunately didn't include Napoleans (at least on our visit).

    On a scale of 1-10, I might rate this a 9.5 compared to Spice Market's 9 (And the 8 for Luxor or Orleans, 7.5 for Treasure Island, 6.5 for Main Street Station). Of course, you pay for the extra elegance - Le Village at dinner ran $187.75 for seven people, before tip or drinks.

    Overall, my favorite value remains Spice Market. Le Village has a slight edge for flair and the gourmet flourishes, but is also perhaps a shade colder and less relaxing than Spice Market.
    Just my opinion, of course, and ymmv.

    Wam - We visited both Treasure Island's spa and Orleans' spa. (And last trip, we enjoyed Luxor's). Again, it's all just opinion - but Luxor's ranks at the top with me. Orleans might be the best value, though.

    All three have hot tubs, saunas, exercise centers and extremely well-appointed showers & sink area -- every type of shampoo, conditioner and shaving item you could think of. Juice, fruit, and iced towels are usually available, along with some quiet areas to read or rest. All of those facilities are included with the basic price, but massages, facial treatment, personal trainer sessions & such are extra (LOTS extra).

    Luxor charges, I believe, $20 a day for hotel guests. Our package included two one-day admission coupons.
    Orleans is $10, T.I. is $20.

    The HUGE advantage at Luxor is that the spa is open 24 hours; so you can buy a pass at 1 a.m., say, and return as often as you want for the rest of the day and night. I like heading there to start the day, then perhaps return at mid-evening to freshen up and revive for the night ahead.

    Orleans and T.I. both have much more limited hours.

    Also, Luxor's facilities were just pure jaw-droppers: On the men's side, there are two or three huge jacuzzis, a small waterfall, a tiny cold-water pool (to revive from the hot tubs), and a remarkably hot steamroom and sauna. The decor and attention to detail stunning, and EVERYTHING here is top-shelf. So the overall atmosphere was perfect for indulgent relaxation.

    Treasure Island was a couple notches more modest, and Orleans a couple notches below that. But even so, Orleans provides everything you need for a very good spa -- and at a lower price. It's facilities are superb, and out-do what you'd find at many upscale gyms. But you won't find the flourishes and extras that you get at Luxor.

    Hope that's of some help.
     
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