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Sort of a TR, thank you for tips, and places we tried

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Geogran, May 4, 2016.

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  1. Geogran

    Geogran OTD Tea Sipper

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    My Trip Report

    Sort of a TR, 4/27-5/3, plus thanks,places we tried

    Just back from our trip. 6 night stay split between Aria (1[SUP]st[/SUP] time) and Cosmo (2[SUP]nd[/SUP] time).. I’m a huge Mirage slot fan and mixed emotions about skipping it this trip, but traveling with friends who wanted to try these two places to stay.

    Caveat: NO PICS – so maybe none of this happened! Not really a trip report cause those are interesting. This is a mish mash without a name. Probably one big yawn for you experts, but I wanted to say thank you to all who offered tips and advice on restaurants/VP/ etc and to share our view on restaurants that some may be considering.

    Arrival and Check in at Aria
    Was smooth - room available at 9:30AM - great start to the day – loved the corner suite and panoramic view from the bedroom – husband just soaked up the views of Cosmo and Vdara pools daytime and seeing Vegas at night all lit up with fantastic views reminded us why Vegas is so special – whenever my husband went missing, I knew where I could find him…he really soaked up that view (no binoculars, lol)…My favorite thing about the Aria room was the bed and pillows – I believe whatever floating on a cloud might feel like best describes it for me..zzzzzz. We had generous FP and Resort Credit to spend and spend it we did!

    BTW re Aria Resort Credits:
    I can’t speak for all offers, but the offer we had only permitted Resort Credits to be used at Aria – no other mlife properties and none of the Crystal restaurants except for one which I now cannot remember the name of…(we stay at Mirage most of the time and on every offer we’ve ever received there we can spend our RC at any mlife property in Vegas and have done it many times – so I guess Aria is different in how they handle it – our friends offer had to use their RC at Aria only as well. We asked several different Concierges and hosts and always got the same answer.

    Slots at Aria were not kind to us - just couldn’t make it happen. Hubby spent a lot of time on Buffalo and $5 dollar slots. Ditto for me on dollars and $5 slots. Friends traveling with us, she played penny Zeus III almost nonstop with a little buffalo thrown in, she won $1136, $340, and at least a dozen times over $200. She was ahead when we left Aria. Pennies bore me after 5 minutes, but I gave them a try and failed there as well.

    VP – thanks to those who pointed me to VP machines at Aria and Cosmo.
    I did not have any luck at 107 or 108. Played some 25c JoB and held my own, nothing big. But then found a 5 cent STP Double Double Bonus three lines (a few rows in front of mlife desk, on left side when facing mlife desk) – played max several nights and held my own, several 4oak’s. On 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] night, yes, I got a Royal Flush – A,Q,J of spades, drew the K and 10 – miracle of miracles – won 4000 credits – NO PIC so it didn’t happen, never the less, I cashed out that $200 ticket. I’m liking this VP thing – but still more practice and studying before comfortable – spent a LOT of time just looking and evaluating payouts on various games and machines – I don’t know how you guys make it look so easy – this took some effort and work on my part, plus looking up the various websites for more assistance. But I did enjoy it!!

    Restaurant we tried from your tips – thanks again to all for your input – couldn’t try everything - need another week
    Not adventurous foodies or otherwise – B O R I N G – yes it’s ok to say it….our sincere apologies to all the foodies
    (I’m allergic to cilantro, so somewhat limited choices). Plus bland palate – ditto for the couple traveling with us – 4 peas in this pod.

    Julian Serrano – Lunch – really good food, service ok – not crowded but after initial order, waiter absent until bill requested, food delivery staff prompt but spoke so fast could not understand description of food and quickly disappeared - that was a little disappointing. Favorites: Stuffed dates – medjool dates/goat cheese/crispy Iberian pork/tomato marmalade – THIS! Ordered 2[SUP]nd[/SUP]’s – I could eat the tomato marmalade by the cup! The Empanada mallorquina sobrasada/cheese/puff pastry, Beef/cheese/mushroom/honey walnuts tapas and the Spanish chicken croquette were really good. Beets salad was just ok.
    Carbone – Dinner – now we’re talking! Loved this place. From the attentive waiters, one of whom ribbed DH all night about sitting with his back to the door, to really helping me order exactly what I wanted even though it wasn’t on the menu (pretty basic – angel hair pasta with tomato sauce, lol) as a side. We split a gorgonzola lettuce salad. DH had Lobster Ravioli – he liked the lobster, blah on the ravioli. I had the Veal Parmesan ($64). Our waiter tried to talk me out of it saying it was way much more than one person could eat, and offered meatballs in its place, but I prevailed. Alas, he was right - it was enough for 3 people, so hubby helped me out but the rest? …..sorry just could not finish it. Was it good? OH – YES! Worth every dollar. A brand new favorite for me. New York cheesecake for dessert – I loved it, authentic with a hint of sour cream and lemon. At end of meal they bring complimentary rainbow (Neapolitan) cookies and limoncello – an acquired taste – this was developed 105 years ago in the Amalfi coast region and a traditional end of meal there. Hubby not liking the limoncello. We thoroughly enjoyed the old Vegas almost Godfather feel of the place, dark, fairly loud Italian music with a lot of 80’s music mixed in – we think we spotted Vito Corleone in a dark corner sipping soup and whispering to the waiter, but we could be wrong about that. A really fun time and excellent meal.
    Javier’s – Lunch - this was our friends’ favorite, we enjoyed it too. Very attentive and helpful waiter guiding us through our selections – he was able to accommodate my cilantro allergy and penchant for ‘mild’ food. Chips and salsa were a good start. Enchiladas de Mariscos (shrimp & Dungeness crab), Quesadilla de Mariscos, Enchilada and Beef taco (taco shell was very hard, not crunchy, filling was good), Pollo Asado with cheese stuffed poblano chile were dishes we tried and everyone left full and satisfied. Really flavorful sides of beans and rice. Would do again.
    Aria Café – tried it for breakfast and was enjoyable – service was friendly and helpful, if a bit slow, but no negatives – basic, well prepared, café food. Pancakes were excellent, eggs cooked to order, food was served hot. Would eat here again because the man who travels with me wherever I go – I can’t seem to ditch him – likes breakfast above all else – good, bad or somewhere in between. Thought about going to Bouchon but it was a walk too far that day.

    Tip of the day from my helpful VMB friends
    Schlepping the luggage from Aria to Cosmos – was right on…
    Out the NORTH Valet doors, turn right, walk across the pedestrian bridge (over Harmon street below) to where the VDARA building begins, look to your right towards the back for a large metal door which is the elevator to the lower street level. Down one level, walk a few feet to the crosswalk, cross over, walk along the Cosmo building which is one of the taxi/limo/self parking entrances. Careful crossing as cars are exiting, walk across that driveway, slight left and continue across more traffic lanes using the pedestrian marked crosswalk. After crossing, go left walking towards the valet area – hotel lobby entrance is on your right. Took us 7-8 minutes door to door. Thanks everyone!

    At Cosmo –
    Mix up with the room – took a while to get it corrected but ended up with the one thing that is important to us at Cosmo – West side Terrace Fountain View on a high floor. DH loves the terrace view and hangs out there hours on end – see the pattern here? Give him a room with a view and he is a happy camper. Me – I live in the casino. Staff is very helpful and friendly here – our slot host touched base with us twice, got nice FP and Food and Beverage, everything ended up being comp’d, plus offered us a car to airport – so the four of us left in style at the end of our trip.
    The slots at Cosmo were not friendly this trip (last trip left Vegas with some nice money) – no such luck this time around – but that didn’t stop us from trying…and having a good time losing – really? What the heck – it’s only money – and we certainly can’t take it with us….being older than dirt and retired has its privileges…but don’t tell the kids.
    Did not play much VP at Cosmo – too many other activities with our friends wanting to do some casino hopping - I tried a few machines outside high limit slots – won a little; will try playing more on next trip there.. did see quite a few hand pays inside and out of high limit slot area – but didn’t look close enough to detail here.

    Previously covered restaurants on our first visit to Cosmo – quick recap: China Poblano - again – 20 vegetable fried rice, golden pigs, avocado (hubby) were all good. Estiatorio Milos – again – lunch special $25 - very nice– tomato salad and the salmon were excellent, dessert just ok. Wicked Spoon – again – 2 for 1 dinner – not my favorite – food ok but no stand outs. Probably done with that buffet. The Henry is ok for a bite of breakfast, haven’t tried late night there yet. Looking forward to when the new place ‘Egg Slut’ opens.
    New ones we tried: Holstein’s – 1[SUP]st[/SUP] time – really liked this busy, happening kind of place – friendly waiter, loved the Poutine (French fries/cheese curd/shredded short rib/stout gravy. Burgers are huge and really thick – cooked just as ordered – consider sharing one unless you have a big appetite. DH liked his Urth burger and plain vanilla shake – he is a shake freak.
    STK – 1[SUP]st[/SUP] time – a little noisier than we expected – lots of conventioneers that night. The four of us started with Burrata and salads, then butterfly filet medallion, bone in rib steak, and glazed beef short rib with sides of sweet corn pudding and wild mushrooms. All in all very good food and fun time. Nothing really stood out but solid steak place.
    Next trip will try Jaleo for sure – we ran out of time…

    Tip of the day from fellow VMB’ers:
    Shake Shack – outside of NYNY – super crowded – great inexpensive fast burger and fries (with cheese) and shakes.
    We did the mlife platinum card special line – THANK YOU VMB – we skipped the huge line, went inside to the special skinny mlife line next to a column, walked up to the front, flashed my card and lady at counter immediately waved me over. Was worth the trip – and watching hundreds of folks doing the burger thing.

    Off the record observations: Please don’t move this to after dark – it’s not x rated…
    Hookers galore at Cosmo from early evening to early morning breakfast time – lots and lots of hookers – husband was approached for a threesome as he was leaving our elevator bay at 6:00AM – he is a magnet for these lovely ladies, they also approach him at Mirage and Venetian. I’ve seen it firsthand. Laughable – yes – if you met my husband you would laugh too. And I mean that in the nicest way. If I told you how many years we’ve been married you would know for sure we are indeed older than dirt.

    Panhandlers at Cosmo seem to get away with a lot – security seems scarce in moving them out. I followed one guy , yes I’m nosy but discreet; he only approached men, and every single guy but one, gave him money – some $5 and some $20 – he must have scored 8 or 9 times before I lost sight of him – he was really slick. I was thinking of trying it for some extra slot money but….

    Dogs, dogs, and more dogs – Cosmo is a very dog friendly place. I love dogs – at home. I don’t like them sitting next to me at a slot machine, or at my feet at a slot machine, or having to listen to their whimpering (sad). I counted at least 17 dogs over our 3 night stay….just a bit much for me.. did what I could to avoid them.

    Aria was the smokiest casino of our entire trip – and we visited Aria, Bellagio, Cosmo, Monte Carlo, NYNY. The smoke just hung in the air the entire time. Surprised at that as it is a huge, high ceiling-ed casino.

    Well, that’s it – if I missed thanking anyone for all the help you offered, give me a shout out.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2016
  2. martinr

    martinr High-Roller

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    Great report. Thanks for the time it took to put it together. No pictures...no problem.
    A few takeaways: your husband just appreciates a beautiful pool and it's amenities, as most men do. Brave of you to choose the cuisines at a couple of restaurants with your specific issues. Dogs and hookers...Cosmo has more than their share! I'm surprised at the Aria smoking comments. They were supposedly designed to prevent the smoking issues present at most other casinos. I haven't experienced that problem there but I've rarely played there very long.

    Keep it coming!

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  3. Sparky4

    Sparky4 Low-Roller

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    I agree with you on the dog situation. I'm a dog lover, but if your dog isn't a service dog I don't understand why you need to bring it to Vegas.
     
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  4. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    thanks. Nice report and I don't seem to read that many.
    Will be at Cosmo this summer on a Sat night. Will enjoy the hooker attention. Married too long to mess that up.
     
  5. spicole

    spicole Low-Roller

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    Great trip report! Sounds like you had a great time. :)

    EDIT: I am surprised to hear about the smoke level in Aria. I typically find Aria to be the least smoky casino in Vegas.
     
  6. jagdan61

    jagdan61 Low-Roller

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    This was a great report! I'm staying at Vdera in August. You just gave me some good reviews of close by restaurants!! Great Job


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  7. TIMSPEED

    TIMSPEED !địt mẹ!

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    nice report!
    but I have to ask two things..
    1.) Your royal only paid 2000 credits??
    2.) You play $5 slots (with a 10% HE)...but then only NICKLE video poker??? (which has only ~5% HE) I see that a lot axtually ($100 BJ players..who onky play nickles video poker) Just curious for the reasoning...
     
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  8. Ty

    Ty ?

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    Enjoyed the TR, thanks for sharing.
     
    Christmas Trip. Sam's Town & MSS
  9. Geogran

    Geogran OTD Tea Sipper

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    I was surprised too - we had played there a couple of times before, but first time staying there - it seemed most noticeable by the main lobby area of the casino. Not as bad near the players club area. Hopefully it was a temporary thing, but all four of us noticed it, it was more of an acrid smell of old smoke; we are accustomed to smoke in most casinos...cause we hang out in a lot of them...just thought it unusual at Aria....would we stay at Aria again? Oh yeah...
     
  10. Geogran

    Geogran OTD Tea Sipper

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    Timspeed - you assume this slot player uses reasoning when gambling? ha ha.

    1) you are right, I just noticed my mistake in my post - it was 4000 credits ($200), and I cashed out right after that! (will fix - thanks for pointing that out)
    2) Actually, I am a long time slot player, but pretty new to VP, have been practicing on line (free), playing a little bit of VP on previous trips, and getting good advice here from VMB experts. So my goal this trip was to play more VP to gain experience and competence. I did try dollar VP several times, but dropped to 25c and 5c VP so I could 'practice' and learn to enjoy the game at my comfort level (had to use a cheat sheet sometimes). I feel lucky indeed to have gotten a royal, but I'm still a nervous nellie when playing VP. But getting better.
     
  11. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    Congrats on the Royal Geogran. Sounds like hubby was very happy with the view from both Aria and Cosmo. I love my dogs way too much to bring them to a smokey casino. I have only ever seen one dog at Cosmo and it was sitting on his person's lap right beside me at the bar while I was playing VP. I took a photo of him.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2016
  12. casinokid68

    casinokid68 Low-Roller

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    Thanks for the report. A fantastic read, for sure!! I am arriving to Cosmopolitan on Saturday, and really looking forward to my stay. The hookers I don't mind.:drunk: But so many dogs in a casino? I love dogs just as much as the next dog lover, but in a Vegas casino? What is this world coming to? :soapbox:
     
  13. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    I see dogs in the casino from time to time, but not so much while people are actually gambling. And outside of Vegas, I don't think I have ever seen a non-service dog in a casino. Hell, I'm not even sure I've seen a service dog. If I have it's rare.

    As for the homeless in the morning, this is the second time I'm reading about this at cosmo lately. But if people were often giving them cash, can't say I blame them for hanging out there!

    Congrats on the Royal! Still waiting for one in Spades myself!

    Nice report!
     
  14. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    Here's the cutie I saw; doesn't look thrilled
    [​IMG][​IMG]


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  15. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the TR, I enjoyed it.

    I must say except for an occasional service dog, I have never seen a dog in the casino or any hotel in Vegas. I am really surprised over your experience.

    We love our dog that we have had for the last 12 years, but hell no, I am not bringing her to Vegas.
     
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  16. Geogran

    Geogran OTD Tea Sipper

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    Thanks tringlomane!
    Your ears should have been ringing from last Wednesday to Tuesday - whenever I played VP I was thinking of your and other VMB'ers tips and advice - felt like I had my own personal trainers looking over my shoulder and hoping I wasn't making too many mistakes. Surprised security didn't question me, between my notes and iphone searches on correct play, I'm sure I looked suspicious. I do like Super Times Pay DDB - but had to catch myself wanting to use JoB strategy since that is what I know best...now that I broke the ice, next time I will be playing with more confidence.
    Beginner's luck for me on the Royal! But I did play a LOT that night.

    I did notice Cosmo states they are a pet friendly resort and they have a dog run/dog play area near Bamboo Pool. Their online policy states dogs are not allowed in restaurants, food and beverage areas, casino floor, or gaming area. They obviously don't enforce this - the slot staff often talked and laughed with the pet owners as they held or had their pets at their feet. Not complaining - just opining that I don't care for non-service dogs in my casino.

    One lady playing across the aisle from me had a cute small reddish colored fluffy dog that was draped over her shoulder the whole time - at first I thought it was a scarf - but the lady kept stroking it - finally I see the little dog's eyes looking around. Even funnier was my friend who played Buffalo non stop at Cosmo and there was a guy next to her starting to make her feel uncomfortable because he kept stroking the area around his lower abdomen - she was ready to move away from her beloved machine - but she looked closer and sure enough he had his small dog laying across his lower abdomen in kind of a fanny pack and he was petting the dog - LOL. And I did actually see 2 service dogs this trip, one at Cosmo and one at Aria.
     
  17. Kobra2848

    Kobra2848 Low-Roller

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    Great report. We are staying the first two nights at Aria on our September trip before moving to PHO for the next five. It will be our longest trip to date.

    Mark
     
  18. Geogran

    Geogran OTD Tea Sipper

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    Sounds like a great trip - you will have plenty of time to do all the things you want to do that often are missed on a shorter trip.
    Hope you'll do a TR during or after your trip!
     
  19. ginmil

    ginmil Tourist

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    Great report!
     
  20. Elf70

    Elf70 Low-Roller

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    Thanks for the trip report. I'm staying at Aria and Cosmo during my June trip. It will be my first stay at both. Thanks for the restaurant reviews. I've never eaten at either place and enjoyed your reviews. During my April trip I stopped by Cosmo on a Saturday morning to check out the slot floor and saw several homeless looking people sitting at slots and one group organizing their possessions on the casino floor. I hope they step up their security soon.


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