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The Cromwell 10/21-10/24

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by troe, Oct 27, 2015.

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  1. troe

    troe Tourist

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    Location:
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    My Trip Report

    I've never done a TR before, but I thought I would write one (a looooong one) so others can live vicariously through my most recent trip as I do with other's TRs! I booked this trip for my wife and I back in August, using a comp for 3 nights at the Cromwell, plus a $100 dining credit.

    My wife and I flew to Vegas on Wednesday afternoon 10/21. We arrived in Vegas at 5:00PM, luggage was delivered to the carousel quickly, and we were headed out to get in line for the rental car center shuttle. I used to live in Los Angeles and drive to LV a lot, so I know my way around pretty well and prefer to have my own transport while in town. I was surprised having to wait for the rental car shuttle for about 15 minutes this trip. I've never had to wait in the past, as there is usually one there loading or waiting to load when I come out of baggage claim. In any event, we took the shuttle over, picked up the car from Hertz, and were on our way to CW for our first stay at the property. I was last in Vegas in November 2014 and was impressed with CW, so my wife and I wanted to give it a shot. We usually stay at Caesars for the location and out of habit. I've stayed at Caesars most trips since I turned 21, some years ago.

    Check in at CW was a breeze--no line and courteous staff. They brought my wife and I bottles of water during check in. I handed the desk clerk my platinum TR card, whereupon he told me that the resort fees would be waived. I knew that this policy had changed to include only diamond and 7* members, but I thought maybe this was a Cromwell policy for platinum guests. I asked for a lower-floor room, given that I had read many complaints about the noise coming from the Drais club on the roof. We were originally put into a 5th floor room, but then told that the room was unavailable as it had been blocked for another day. The only rooms left were on the 8th floor, below the club. The desk clerk told us to call if we had any issue with the noise and they would re-accommodate us (not sure how given this was the only room they had). We were shown to our room and entered into the luxury king room with a south-facing strip view. We could see Bally's and the fountains at the Bellagio. The room was exactly as pictured on the website--hardwood floors, king size bed, 55" tv, shower only with dual shower heads. My wife enjoyed having the make-up vanity in the corner of the room as well.

    Since we were still on east coast time and hadn't eaten, we decided to go out for dinner Wednesday night. My wife loves to watch the Bellagio fountains, so she wanted to go to Mon Ami Gabi at Paris. However, upon arrival, there was a massive line/wait to get in, so we decided on Hexx instead. Also at the Paris, and with a view of the fountains, we were seated immediately. Unfortunately, the food was average at best, but we enjoyed the atmosphere. We wanted to stay up late to adjust to pacific time quicker, so we headed to Caesars to hit the craps tables. Luckily, every table was open, with plenty of $10 min tables. We bought into a table with only 1 other player, who had just hit his first point. He proceeded to hit 7 more points and many more numbers, including a 5-point fire bet. Since we bought in after the roll started, we missed the FB opportunity, but still made a nice chunk of change to start our trip with double our initial bankroll. We walked over to Flamingo next because we both wanted to play a little longer, and the Caesars table cooled significantly after the initial shooter. We bought in at an 80% full table just as the shooter had hit his first point. This man on the end got very vocal about us buying in after the roll had started, but at the time, it was the come-out roll to set a new point. I’m not superstitious, so I don’t get the “you affected the roll” mentality. Still, it’s not like I walked up to the table and said “seven” or stuck my hands out to hit the dice. This guy was mad solely because we joined the table. Inevitably, the shooter set a point, rolled 1 number, and sevened-out. This guy continued to vocally blame my wife and I for the poor roll. After a couple of quick point-seven-outs, we had given some money back to CET and left irritated with the cold table and belligerent man. We headed back to the room to get some sleep.

    Thursday morning, we woke up early due to our bodies still adjusting to pacific time. We decided to walk next door to the Flamingo for breakfast and then head downtown for some craps. We have always been fans of the Downtown Grand since it opened, and were anxious to see what had changed after hearing of the table games being moved to the back room. We were surprised to see the two craps tables had been moved out of the old high limit room and back onto the main casino floor. Granted, they were still in the back, but not in that small area. I asked the dealers about the change and no one seemed too pleased about the changes, saying the craps tables only stayed in that room for about a week. Unfortunately, the DG table was cold and we moved on after only about 30 minutes of play. We headed next to the Golden Gate, where the $5 table was hopping and seemed to be paying out. Again though, we ran through our buy-in quickly and decided to try our luck somewhere else. Finally, we ended up at the Golden Nugget. I’ve always been a fan of the Nugget dealers, as they remind me a lot of the dealers at Caesars. They’ve been there a long time, have a lot of stories, and are all around fun to play with. There’s nothing like having a good time at the table, shooting the breeze with the crew, and winning money. My wife decided to try her hand at blackjack while I played craps. I played for about 3 hours and she was still grinding it out at the same $5 BJ table the whole time. When I finished, she was up about $50. I jokingly told her she should put her winnings on one hand. She’s not a big gambler, but to my surprise, she did it! She was dealt an 11 against the dealer’s 6. She doubled and got a king! The dealer busted and she left the table up $150. As we were driving back down the strip from DT, she asked if I had ever been to the SLS. I said not since it was the Sahara. She wanted to check it out! We strolled in, hit the craps table on an otherwise empty casino floor, and quickly blew through our buy in. We were now back to even from our win at Caesars the previous night. We left the SLS to head back to the CW for our dinner reservation at Giada.

    We got to Giada about 10 minutes before our reservation. Not enough time to go upstairs and change, but we were still dressed nice from our day out. We went to the bar while they waited to seat us. The hostess shortly came to get us, and took us to a small 2-person table in a corner by the bar. Now we’ve been to Giada on our previous trip and thoroughly enjoyed the food. We knew what to expect, and hoped for a nice table to view the Bellagio fountains. When we asked if another table was available, she said she would check. She left us standing in the middle of the dining room while we waited. We noticed another couple get up from a 2-person table directly in front of the main windows looking over the strip. When the hostess came back, we asked if we could have that table. We were told, “that table is reserved for people who spend at least $100 per person.” My wife and I were extremely irritated. Who was this hostess to judge us or how much we would spend. She would not give us the table and instead sat us by the window looking toward Caesars, but with these large wooden blinds which blocked most of the view. The food and service were otherwise fine, but the experience left us soured on Giada. Nevertheless, our bill was $240. Guess we should have demanded the good table or left.

    Once we left the restaurant, we headed to Caesars for some more play. The $10 craps table we bought into was hot, and we were making money quickly. I asked one of the dealers, who I will not name, if they still gave out the Caesars medallions that they wear as part of their dealer uniform. He said that CET will no longer let them give any out. I told him I’ve always wanted to get one since I first came to Caesars. He told me that he had an extra one in his locker, and when he went on break, he would get it for me. About a half hour later, he came back to the table and slyly passed me the medallion. This made my night—in addition to winning at the tables.

    We headed back over to the CW, where there was one empty $10 craps table. We decided to try our luck again before heading up to bed. The table was ice cold. I blew through half of what I won at Caesars in 15 minutes. I hate ending the night with a loss, but we headed up to bed, dodging the drunk 21 year olds coming out of Drais on the way.

    Friday morning, we were late risers. My wife had been wanting to go to the Bellagio Café in the Conservatory for breakfast sometime during the trip, but getting out of the room at 11:30, we weren’t feeling like breakfast that day. We decided to head to the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars so we could get brunch. We had been to the Bacchanal twice before, but found it to be disappointing this trip. It was an odd mix of food, and myself, having a shellfish allergy, was looking forward to the Asian station, only to find most of the dishes I wanted having shellfish in them. Afterward, we left Caesars and decided to walk off lunch. My wife had never been to the Wynn before and wanted to walk through. She was amazed by how pretty the property is and remarked how much it reminded her of Bellagio—what a coincidence :) We left Wynn and headed back south to play some more at the CET properties to build our comps. We stopped at Harrah’s, as it was the first place we got to. I hadn’t played in Harrah’s in years, but we were pleasantly surprised. The number of tables was impressive, and $5 too. We bought in, played for a few hours, chatted up the friendly dealers, and walked out ahead--a great experience. We then headed south to the room for a pit stop.

    After dropping off some bags at the room, we went downstairs to figure out our next playing destination. I wanted to go back to Caesars, but my wife wanted to play BJ at the $5 table at the CW. Due to frigid conditions at the CW table the night previous, I was reluctant to buy in at the craps table, but did so. The table was staying about even, no real hot streaks. Until, one man, shooting from stick left, hit a 5-point fire bet, as well as about 9 points total. I had a $5 fire bet, netting a cool $1,250. My wife, luckily, had a bad run at BJ and came and joined the craps game in the middle of this man’s roll—producing a hefty profit between the two of us. At the end of the roll, the entire table colored up and beat feet to the cage. I went up, put cash in the safe, and felt good knowing we were leaving Vegas up, no matter what else happened. Later that night, we played at Caesars, Bally’s, and back at CW, but never could get much going. We went to bed fairly early knowing the next morning we had to pack, get out of the room, and get ready to head to the airport for a 4:00PM flight home.

    Saturday morning, we didn’t get up as early as anticipated. Rolling out of the hotel room about 11:00, we went downstairs to check out and put our bags in the car. At checkout, I was presented with our bill, which included 3 nights of resort fees and no food charges removed for my dining credit offer. I raised these issues with the desk clerk. She told me that the check-in agent had told me incorrectly and that I would have to pay resort fees. She then said that my dining credit was only good for 4 different restaurants, and not any of the places we had eaten, despite eating exclusively at CET properties. I told her no one at check-in or at the Total Rewards booth mentioned exclusions when I inquired about the offerl. After some arguing and speaking with a host, they comped one night of resort fees, $100 in dining, and an additional $200 in charges. We paid only a little over $200 for 3 nights and all the food we ate. I was satisfied.

    We left CW and headed over to the Bellagio for breakfast at Café Bellagio. Unfortunately, the line was so long on a Saturday morning, that we scrapped that idea and decided to head to the MGM and see what we could find there. Neither of us had been to MGM in years, so we thought it would be interesting to see what’s changed, find food, and be close to the airport. The MGM was unimpressive. Little had changed since the last time I was there in 2005. We ate at a mediocre Mexican restaurant in the back (near the CSI experience) for lunch, and headed to the craps table to spend our last 2 hours in Vegas. The table was so cold, we were there about 20 minutes tops. We decided to get out of MGM and check out somewhere else on South Strip, considering we spend very little time in this area. I am not a Luxor or Excalibur fan, and my wife does not like NY NY, so we decided to visit the Trop. We were pleasantly surprised with how open and bright the casino is. We bought in at the craps table, both walked away up, and enjoyed the friendly dealers and pit staff. We said we would definitely make the Trop a stop next trip. Considering they were just bought by Penn National, which owns the Hollywood Casino here in Columbus, we will soon be able to earn points there too.

    We left the Trop, dropped the car off at Hertz, caught the bus to the terminal, and 4 and a half hours later, landed back in Ohio.

    I will say, it’s always fun to leave Vegas up, but this was all around one of my most enjoyable trips to Vegas. Would I stay at the CW again? Maybe. I liked the size and coming out of the room elevators right in the middle of the casino. The room was comfortable and had plenty of room for 2 people. I never really noticed the noise coming from Drais, but my wife said she did a little. Still, it never kept either of us from sleeping. Regardless, I have always enjoyed staying and playing at Caesars, so I will probably end up back there next trip.
     
  2. casinokid68

    casinokid68 Low-Roller

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    Thanks for the great report!!! Glad you guys came home winners, always a great feeling. I have stayed in the CW twice already, and loved it as well. Just get off the elevators and you are right in the middle of the casino. They used to serve free breakfast to guests, but since Giada started serving breakfast, they discontinued that idea. But the check in guy was wrong. Platinum members do have to pay resort fees, I am Platinum as well, and they charge me the resort fees as well. Usually though, at the end of the trip, they take them off if you play enough.
     
  3. M0rtyC

    M0rtyC Low-Roller

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    Very nice report. Congrats on a full and winning trip
     
    Annual end of the rodeo trip
  4. retiree52

    retiree52 Tourist

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    Loved your report? Great to hear that the Cromwell has nice rooms.
     
  5. Dr Nostron

    Dr Nostron Low-Roller

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    Great report thanks for sharing
     
  6. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Nice report! Sucks about the Giada experience, espeically since you did actually spend more than $100/person. Maybe next time you need to point that out beforehand, even though you shouldn't have to? :confused2:
     
  7. Tbone3336

    Tbone3336 VIP Whale

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    Great report and congrats on a winning trip! That Giada's experience is something else and is ridiculous requirement. We have an upcoming reservation there and hope it ends up as good as the first time. Glad you had a great winning trip overall and thanks for reporting!
     
  8. misterlv

    misterlv Low-Roller

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    How insulting of the hostess @ Giada's. A true headscratcher how she's in that position. Unfortunately things like that are more common in the current corporate LV.

    Glad you still enjoyed your trip & booked a win! - Last laugh = yours.
     
  9. RTG10

    RTG10 Tourist

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    It's strange, it's almost like the casinos are gambling with customers. Hedging that they would prefer to secure a "high minimum spend up front" instead of having faith that good customer service will encourage people to spend more. Not sure I will try Giada's on the back of this comment on my upcoming trip.
     
  10. RM777

    RM777 Low-Roller

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    thanks for the TR, I really enjoyed reading it!
     
  11. Jaci2014

    Jaci2014 Low-Roller

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    Nice TR! Thanks.
     
  12. smerrian

    smerrian Low-Roller

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    Nice trip report. I enjoyed reading it.
    I don't believe a word of what the hostess at Gaida said to you. I believe it was just a bunch of hooey she said to save the table for someone that tips her for a good table or a host that walks in with a high roller. There is absolutely no way for them to know who is going to spend how much for their dinner. She sized you up and decided she could get more. Honestly, a POS...she's a friggin' hostess in a restaurant and she has the audacity to think she's in a position to judge you! Small people with a non-proportional amount of power in your life.
    As for check-in at the CW, this is a lesson that TR customers are hopefully learning quickly. If you are given a portfolio credit of any type (restaurant, spa, property) you have to find out EXACTLY what it covers at check-in. i.e.: which restaurants, which properties, does it have to be charged back to the room, etc.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 29, 2015
  13. troe

    troe Tourist

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    I agree--and live and learn. I actually had planned to confirm the dining credit offer and any limitations at check-in, but it slipped my mind. I guess chalk it up to being excited to be in LV. So, after check-in when I remembered, I went to the TR booth to make sure the offer was applied to my room/TR card. The TR rep said it was and I just needed to charge the dining costs to my room. Nothing was mentioned about any restrictions on selection. I even knew that some restaurants were not CET-owned, so we even tried to avoid those to stay within the parameters of the offer.
     
  14. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    I enjoyed your TR; congratulations on coming home a winner. Very presumptuous of the Giada's hostess!! I really enjoy Cromwell's Casino...I must make a point of staying there next year. I have Hexx on my list of places to try as I've never been and we are staying 2 nights at Paris in December.
     
  15. lemondrops

    lemondrops Tourist

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    I made a reservation at Giada prior to our September trip. On Open Table, I requested a window seat if possible. On the day of our flight, I received a call from the restaurant informing me of the $100 per person requirement to secure the coveted window seat. They actually emailed me a contract!! We had a couple of days to mull this over before committing to it. Really did sour me toward the restaurant and this was to be our third time visiting it. In the end, I signed the contract because I knew we would easily spend the $$$. However it should be noted that the view is just OK....no wow factor and Giada should rethink this contract/demand as it definitely doesn't sit well with patrons.
     
  16. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    Wow, I have not been there and did not know that. Seems ridiculous, especially in Vegas where there are so many restaurants with good (and better) views
     
  17. FuzzyDiceCraps

    FuzzyDiceCraps High-Roller

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    Great TR. From a fellow buckeye who occasionally shoots the dice at H'wood casino, maybe we'll run into each other there sometime.

    Your experience with Giada is why we cancelled a reservation we had made for our anniversary on our last trip. We had reserved a window seat on Open Table, and received the $100 minimum requirement phone call a few days before-hand. I had already seen the menu and knew my wife and I would easily spend that much, but the phone call really rubbed us the wrong way, so we ended up not even going. It just really indicated to us their priority as an operation was completely in the wrong place.

    But glad you came back a winner, just don't give it all to Penn right away :)
     
  18. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

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    Great trip. Thanks for writing. I will say that every time I've dined at Giada's (probably about 5 times thus far), the food and the service, once seated, have been great, but the women who initially greet diners upon arrival, have, each time I have dined there, left a lot to be desired from a customer-service perspective. It's been an issue each time and I've seen other guests treated in a snobbish way, so I have to attribute that to poor front of the house management, as well as some (not all) tacky employees.
     
  19. troe

    troe Tourist

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    Thanks Fuzzy! Our paths may very well cross at the Hollywood. :beer:

    As far as the minimum spend, as you said, it would be hard not to spend $100 per person at Giada. We certainly have done so in our two visits there. But, knowing the average check of diners, CET and Giada should not be pushing this policy on diners. The audacity to send reservation holders, like lemondrops, a contract is unbelievable.
     
  20. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Nice summary! And the other posters verifying the $100/person policy is crazy...sounds very short sighted.
     
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