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Staying at Golden Nugget for 1st time - tell me what I need to know !

Discussion in 'Downtown Hotels & Casinos' started by kevthegrad, Apr 20, 2015.

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  1. kevthegrad

    kevthegrad Tourist

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    I've stayed on the Strip about 13 times since 1995. For the first time we have decided to try Freemont Street. We tend to gravitate to the "smaller" casinos when we are playing blackjack or gambling in general....I figured why stay at Harrahs or The Mirage when we always ended up at places like the Riv or Sahara to play. So this time we are going to try staying downtown. I've visited Freemont but never spent a world of time there and never stayed.

    We are planning to stay at the Golden Nugget in early June. Can you fill me in on:

    -Self parking (we are renting a car)
    -the pool(s)
    -must sees/dos on Freemont
    -what to avoid in your opinion
    -thoughts on Carson tower vs Gold tower

    Let me know anything you think a normal strip-goer should know before staying downtown for the 1st time.

    Kevin
    Toronto, Canada
     
  2. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    OK...first - it's Fremont, not 'Freemont'... just one 'e'.
    I'm not a grammar nazi, but that one just bugs me...

    Carson Tower... let's just say it's the longest walk from the room to the casino in all of downtown. I would pick the Gold tower.
    You'll like the pool at the Nugget.
    Plenty to see/do on Fremont. Check some of the many threads in this section on that very subject.
    What to avoid? Hmm... attempting to sleep any earlier than about 1AM on a Friday or Saturday night. The bands on FSE can be quite loud...and they play late.
    They have self parking, but I think you can valet for no additional charge if you're a guest....someone else can confirm or refute that...I'm not certain.
    Sign up for a Landry's card & it will pay for itself on the first day.
    The Nugget is the most 'strip-like' casino downtown. I think you'll like it. Just be sure to explore the other casinos for gambling & for dining too.
     
    Seems like forever from now, but the flights are booked, so it counts!
  3. MikeOPensacola

    MikeOPensacola VIP Whale

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    I've stayed at the GN many times. Like Top said the Carson tower is the furthest walk to the casino, a good five minutes. Th Gold tower rooms are probably better than the Carson tower rooms - I've only stayed in the Carson tower and Rush Tower rooms. I love the Rush tower rooms.

    The pool is great. Get there early if you plan to stay there for a while, especially on weekends.

    Claim Jumper is a decent 24/7 restaurant. If you ask for a booth by a TV they'll give you one, even if you're alone, if one is available. You can also request any channel that you want.

    Buffet is fine for breakfast, okay for lunch, rather blah for dinner.

    Gold Diggers offers a great viewing spot for concerts held right across Fremont Street at the First Street stage.

    Not sure about VP. Good BJ at the $25 games.

    I always get the $25 VIP (per stay, not per day) package. Extremely fast check in, and you can stop in all day until about 8:00 pm and get lots of bottled water to take up to your room. This pays for itself for me during a week long stay.

    Rush Lounge offers a good band each night. Drinks are good and run about $8-$10.

    I've had mixed results with the $20 trick at the GN.

    I've heard they have/are remodeling the Carson Tower rooms. If your budget can handle it I'd go with the Rush Tower rooms, the entire tower is non smoking.

    If you want to take in a show you could do a lot worse than Gordie Brown.

    Have fun!!!

    :peace: :beer:
     
    Annual Summer Bliss in the Land of Milk and Honey!!!
  4. bwatson23

    bwatson23 Low-Roller

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    Agree with Mike, the Rush Tower is well worth it.
     
  5. kevthegrad

    kevthegrad Tourist

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    Appreciating all this feedback, that's great. Not sure the budget will hold the Rush so Gold Tower may be the way we go.

    It's been about 4 years since my last trip to Vegas. Am I going to have trouble finding $5 blackjack tables or are they still plentiful? I remember I used to be able to walk the Strip and between Ballys to the Riv be able to find plenty of open $5 limit blackjack tables - $3 at the old Imperial Palace. Just curious if I'm going to struggle to find $5 tables downtown?
     
  6. fugsworth

    fugsworth Tourist

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    Downtown they're still pretty widely available, although they seem to be disappearing there too. On the strip they're all but gone, unless you're playing some combination of horrible rules/off peak hours/low-end property.
     
  7. sconnie

    sconnie Downtown Kinda Guy

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    The Boyd properties (MSS, Cal and Fremont) all usually have plenty of $5.00 BJ tables with 3:2 payouts. Usually $5.00 at Golden Gate too, but rules there can be a bit less "decent". Last visit daytime on weekend saw $5.00 at DTG also.

    Personally, I love the $5.00 pitch games at MSS and The Cal.

    JW


     
    2 Guys Take on Down Town
    Make Up Trip With My Wife
  8. FXT

    FXT VIP Whale

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    Buy a Landry card and book a gold room directly through GN. You will get upgraded to either rush tower or a gold suite. We were 3/3 doing this our last trip on my room and my friends rooms (they don't check which name the card is under). Also enjoy $25 of food at any Landry restaurant after free of cost. We used it at Red Sushi and their hamachi nigiri was on point. I'm a big fan of yellowtail.
     
  9. Sipsey

    Sipsey Tourist

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    I guess Landry's still owns GN. If not, the next part is not relevant any more.

    Two years ago we stayed at the GN. First we got a Landry's card, which cost $25 I believe, for each of us. They send you a certificate, on your birthday I believe, for that amount. So it's a wash. But the good part was they gave us an upgrade to the Gold Tower. I have nothing against Carson Tower, it's very nice and quiet. But as already pointed out, it's a ways to the casino. At least by downtown standards. Compared to outlying towerrs on the strip, maybe not.

    The pool is the nicest downtown. Get there as early as possible and stake out your spot. When I went it was always full except early in the day, so I never got to use it.

    Food: I haven't eaten at GN. I like the places at 4 Queens next door. And at the Golden Gate But I try to eat cheap and save money for gambling.
    I thought Oscar's (in the Plaza overlooking the FSE) was overpriced. Nice setting, however. 777 brewpub in the Main Street Station I also like.
     
  10. lesson4u

    lesson4u Tourist

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  11. lesson4u

    lesson4u Tourist

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    And don't forget this-->
    As of January 19, 2015, the Golden Nugget will have a $20+tax/night resort fee. The resort fee includes: access for two to the Fitness Center daily (does not include the wet areas), basic, in-room daily Internet access for 2 devices daily, two bottled waters, daily (waters will be located in the guest rooms), complimentary parking, complimentary airline boarding passes printing via the Front Desk or Box Office 24/7, complimentary newspapers in your respective tower lobby from 6am to 10am daily plus downtown destination coupons.
     
  12. MikeOPensacola

    MikeOPensacola VIP Whale

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    You'll probably see some $5 BJ at the GN during weekdays, but be careful it will most likely be 6:5. Plenty of 3:2 $5 BJ downtown though. The Boyd properties BJ games don't offer DAS though. El Cortez has some good $5 BJ.
     
    Annual Summer Bliss in the Land of Milk and Honey!!!
  13. hail2skins

    hail2skins Low-Roller

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    Until recently, I think the Gold Tower and Carson Tower rooms were basically the same, with the only difference being the proximity of the Gold Tower to the casino. They have recently renovated the Gold Tower rooms in the Rush Tower motif, but still have the smallish bathrooms, which is the only real drawback to the standard Nugget rooms.

    Other positive about the GN's pool area is the gaming area. Unfortunately, the blackjack is 6/5, but they do have a small craps table which is a lot of fun.

    Overall the GN is a great property. You should venture a block off Fremont to the Downtown Grand area and enjoy a meal at the Triple George Grill next to DTG. Also go to Dupar's at Golden Gate for the great shrimp cocktail.
     
  14. iluv2fish

    iluv2fish Tourist

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    If there is not a big price difference, I would go with the Gold Tower instead of the Carson Tower. The Landry's card is a great deal. It hasn't gotten us upgrades because we were booked into the Rush Gold Club room, but it does get you vip check-in no matter what room you're in as well as money to use in the restaurants. We really enjoy the Chart House. Happy hour there offers some good deals. There are Keurig coffee makers in the rooms; bring your own K cups! They charge you $10 for theirs! You will have to ask for clean coffee cups, or bring your own mug, as they don't replace them if you're using your own coffee. I wonder if there are refrigerators in the Gold Tower since the renovations. Maybe someone else knows.
     
  15. Italladdsup

    Italladdsup Tourist

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    I prefer the Gold tower, just because it drops you right into the casino. The Landry's card will only get you an upgrade now if you book directly with Landrys. I don't know if they offer the great deals of the internet, I will be calling soon to compare.
     
  16. MisplacedTexan

    MisplacedTexan Low-Roller

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    You've got lots of tips already. I'll add my 2ยข and say avoid Carson if you can. The rooms are fine, but the rooms in Gold and especially Rush are better. Assuming y'all are nonsmokers -- Rush is completely nonsmoking. Plus you won't have to run the gauntlet of the timeshare people who are camped out near the Carson elevators. Man, those people can be SO irritating.

    The garage is at the back of the property -- if there is a "back." It's on the northwest corner of the property. I think you just show your room key and get waived out at the booth. But it's been a LONG time since we self parked. Valet service is usually good. Better at the Rush tower valet than at the front valet, but if you're in the Gold tower, the front valet is a slightly closer walk to the elevators. Unlike some other Vegas properties, you can call the valet desk from your room and have them bring your car around.

    Grotto and Chart House are great. My wife REALLY likes Lillie's Asian so we always eat there. I agree on the buffet assessment -- good for breakfast, meh for lunch and dinner. Drink service can be iffy in the morning. I always order coffee, water and juice in case the wait staff doesn't get around to us fast enough.

    The "downstairs" main pool can get really crowded. Get there early. Because of the way the buildings surround the pool, it's sunny in the middle and part of the west side in the morning, then sunnier on the east side in the afternoon. The sun dips behind the far tower in the afternoon. The shark tank never gets old for us. I'd think the upstairs pool would have more sun, but I'm cheap and it galls me to have to pay for a lounge, so we've never been up there except to walk around. That said, if the bottom pool area was packed on a day we REALLY wanted to have a pool day, I'd pony up the money.

    Check out all Fremont has to offer, to be sure. But if you're interested in stretching your legs, I highly recommend strolling down to Eat for breakfast/brunch. It's on Carson at 7th Street, less than a 15 minute walk from the GN. And afterwards, you can check out the Container Park, the back of which is right across the street. It's an easy walk but probably not worth the bother of trying to find a place to park.

    One more thing -- if you're interested in getting familiar with the property ahead of time, you can find a map here ... http://s427445329.onlinehome.us/images/propmaps/gnmap.jpg

    Have a great trip!
     
  17. DickTater

    DickTater Low-Roller

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    Since you mentioned blackjack, there may be a few $5 tables in the daytime at the GN in the summer, but its mostly $10 and up. Don't be discouraged though because if you take a right on Fremont and walk 3 blocks, you'll run into the El Cortez, the last real old time Vegas BJ casino. There are always $5 tables, including a $5 single deck, 3-2 table. If you prefer playing by yourself, there is a $25 single deck table that most people don't play because of the $5 table. Plenty of $5 double deck games always available. Across the street from the GN is the Fremont which advertises a $3 game, but I assume it must be 6 or 8 deck. I have never personally played it.

    In June, there are plenty of $5 tables at 4 Queens, the D, the Golden Gate, Cal, Main Street Station besides the ones I already mentioned. Downtown Grand doesn't have decent BJ and even has a 6-5 table. So, take a stroll and see which casinos you like. Word of caution, though, if you are a little gray around the temples, you may not like the D or Golden Gate because the music is so loud at night you can't talk to the person next to you. On the other hand, you may very well enjoy either place at night since the dealers are, how shall we say, quite stunning. Remember to look up at their face once in awhile..
     
  18. kevthegrad

    kevthegrad Tourist

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    Can't tell you how much I appreciate every single reply to this thread. It's helping us get very excited for our trip and I'm noting ALL of this amazing advice and feedback.
     
  19. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    Note about blackjack at the El Cortez: Yes, they have a 3:2 single deck...but I think it's double on 10/11 only.
    Their 2-deck game is, in my opinion, much better...and the best you will find downtown: 3:2, H17, DAS permitted, 67% penetration (pre-set cut point).
    This is a two-deck shoe, allowing an observant player to notice the values of all of the cards as they are dealt. The only one you have to wait on is the dealer hole-card, and any hits along the way.
    Plaza, Golden Gate & LVC have the same game: two-deck shoe, 3:2, H17, DAS permitted...but at higher minimums -
    Golden Gate: $15
    LVC: $10
    Plaza: $25 (sometimes lowered to $15 in the daytime).

    As mentioned - there's plenty of $5 3:2 two deck 'pitch' available at the Boyd casinos (Fremont/MSS/Cal), but none of them permit DAS...but still - a decent low-limit game.
     
    Seems like forever from now, but the flights are booked, so it counts!
  20. merlin

    merlin VIP Whale

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    The el-cortez single deck has never been double on 10 or 11 only, unless if they changed very recently. You might be thinking of the 4 queens, they have tables with that nonsense.
     
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