This was my fifth trip to Las Vegas. I first went when I was 24 in December 2011, flying into LA to visit with friends before making the famous drive through the desert and stayed at Harrah's. My last trip was a solo, no car, late March trip at Bally's for Sweet 16/Elite 8 weekend. This trip was with my dad, our third trip to Vegas. Since he insists on renting a car for day trips around the Southwest, that gives us freedom to book multiple hotels. We ended up with this itinerary: 12/29 - Monte Carlo MyVegas comp 12/30 - Monte Carlo regular booking 12/31 - Hyatt Place, free night for 8,000 HGP points 1/1 - Cosmopolitan Identity Gold tier comp night 1/2 - Cosmopolitan Identity Gold tier comp night Monte Carlo: Despite my Mlife Gold status (thank you Hyatt), this was my first time staying at an MGM Resort. We had the basic "deluxe room." Did not get a Las Vegas Blvd view, but more a view of Aria and CityCenter, which was fine with us. Room - A little nicer than the basic room I had at Harrah's years ago. Perfectly comfortable. It wouldn't stop me from staying here again. Casino - Nothing special, no real complaints. Sports Book - I'd put about on the same level as PH and Rio. It's no Aria or Mirage, but better than Bally's/Harrah's. Location - This is what would draw me back to MC. Really nice to have a free tram instead of paid monorail. Restaurants - I didn't get to try everything but these are my kind of dining options. The Buffet was really disappointing though. Overall - For a sports bettor/VP player on a budget like me, this is a solid option. Hyatt Place: This really impressed me. A very nice room, with lots of space to stretch out. Pluses: big screen HDTV, L-shaped couch, fridge, wet bar, dining area and free breakfast. The proximity to Hard Rock and the strip shuttle makes this a great off-strip option. We were perfectly happy with our view of the strip fireworks from Hard Rock's Breathe pool. Cosmopolitan: Room - I was comped two nights and had the option of a city room with two beds or a terrace studio with a king. Paid to upgrade ($90 total) to a terrace studio with two queens. Worth it. Great room, two HDTVs is a nice touch. Room view was CityCenter/Aria again, but we were happy to have a room available at 1:30 p.m. on New Year's Day, so we took it. Casino - This is my favorite floor to gamble on in Vegas. The video poker machines here have been kind to me lately. Last trip I hit a 4 Aces, this time a straight flush on my last night. Location - My favorite spot on the strip with the bridge to PH and the short walks to Aria/Bellagio. Perfect location IMO. Sports Book - Didn't really use it. I made my New Year's bowl bets at other books. On 1/2 I used the outside betting window for two bets before eating at Holstein's. Restaurants - Really impressed with Holstein's and Secret Pizza. Wicked Spoon isn't quite Wynn or Aria buffet to me, but at 2-for-1 for Gold members, I'm about it. Overall - Would love to stay here again, but it will be tough to downgrade to a city room when paying for a room out of pocket. SportsBook: I started out 1-7 at the SportsBook betting bowl games. In an attempt to get it back, I put a lot on Oregon -4.5 in the first half. For those of you who watched the game, you can imagine how much of a roller coaster that game was for me. With less than a minute left, my bet looked safe - Oregon up 18-13 with the ball. Then Mariota threw that pick at midfield. I considered my bet dead with FSU's kicker reputation as Mr. Automatic. Then he kicked it, and...it hit the upright! I literally jumped for joy. I also hit Ohio State +5.5 in the first half, bringing me up to only 110 in the hole. On my last day I hit a Tennessee -3.5, over 51.5 parlay to get back on the plus side. Spearmint Rhino: I can't go to Vegas without a strip club visit. The night of the 1st I decided to go to the Rhino. My friend from a year ago didn't seem to be working, but I ended up meeting a nice latina named Carmen who gave a great dance on the floor and convinced me to get a private half hour. I had a lot of fun in VIP, and was very pleased that she didn't beg for more time, try any upsell, or whine when time was up.