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TR: December 15th-22nd-My Top 10 List

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by SnertAlert, Dec 23, 2005.

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  1. SnertAlert

    SnertAlert Toast Smuggler

    Joined:
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    My Trip Report

    Hi all! SnertAlert here. Long time lurker...first time trip report poster. I just got back from 7 days in my favorite place in the world. Vegas, baby. In search of good value, I spent 4 nights at the IP and 3 nights at the Barbary Coast. I gambled, drank alcoholic beverages, and in general just wandered around and soaked up the vibe. Mostly “G†rated stuff. If you want to read about that hot night club, my latest sexual conquest, or a tryst with three strippers, this is the wrong report. I pass no judgment on those who love the Sin part of Sin City....but that just isn’t me.

    The whole trip is a jumble of days that seem to blur together, so a proper trip report isn’t really possible at this point. However, I thought it would be fun to put together my Top 10 values for this trip. Many of these things on the list I learned about right here, so many thanks to all those who have provided valuable insight and made all my trips that much more fun.

    So without further delay, here are my Top 10 values from this trip.

    1. Barbary Coast ($35 a night through Travelworm.com)-After 4 nights at the Imperial Palace, I moved over to the Barbary Coast for 3 nights. What a difference! I have stayed in standard rooms at about 15 properties in Vegas, and these rooms were probably the nicest I have seen. They renovated the last of the rooms in October so they still smelled of fresh carpet and bed linen. My non smoking room still had the odor of a non smoking room. It was large by Strip standards and laid out very much like the rooms at the Orleans, right down to the little window in the shower you could open to allow steam to escape and look at the common people below :). There was a huge 35†plasma screen TV on the wall....very cool feature to a guy that doesn’t own one. The bedding was white with a nice runner on the bed to protect it while you were watching TV with your shoes on. Everything just looked classy, which is to say it looked nothing like the outside of the building. I really liked this place even if I didn’t gamble much here. It is close to the Flamingo monorail stop and the Strip location is great. The staff was professional and friendly much like my experience at the Orleans. Coast Casinos seems to be doing something right. I would recommend staying in one of thier rooms before the smokers of the world defile the place.
    2. Ellis Island Steak Special ($4.95)-I had this a couple times and it has been discussed at length on the board, but I feel it still deserves props. For those of you not familiar with this location, the Ellis Island is located behind Bally’s on Koval and is an easy ¼ mile walk from the Strip. Three of us stopped by on a Friday night and were seated within 15 minutes. Not bad. Service was prompt and about as good as you can expect at a coffee shop. To open my steak special, I got a typical garden style side salad and a roll with butter. On came the steak dinner, an inch thick “filet cut†sirloin cooked very close to the medium rare I ordered, a nice side of garlic green beans, and my potato of choice. I liked the mashed potatoes, as they were more smashed than mashed, which I prefer. I like some texture to my taters. Anyway, the sirloin was better quality than I remember and was fairly tender for a $5 steak. We used the 2 for 1 meal restaurant coupon and the 4 free beers coupon from the 2006 American Casino Guide. I almost felt guilty leaving with dinner for three guys at under $20. Almost.
    3. Wynn Keno Lounge (Free with Keno play)-One of the guys in our party heard the Wynn’s keno lounge was the best in Vegas. Wow...was he right! For you hard core gamblers who hate this game know Keno has over a 25% drop. It’s not gambling so much as wishing. The odds of winning are dreadful, but if you are getting killed at the tables as we were, it is good cheap entertainment. The Wynn keno lounge is unlike any other I have been in. It isn’t an afterthought wedged in some obscure and unused part of the casino; rather it is its own separate room, wedged in some obscure and unused part of the casino. Plush high back chairs in bright colors are arranged in about 4 separate semicircles with a low table in the center of each. Every chair has a dark marble topped end table within reach to set your drinks. The room is very well lit and feels open and friendly. You feel like you are in a rich friend’s living room having drinks. Steve Wynn, you amaze me.
    4. Commander’s Palace $18.88 Lunch and 25 cent Martinis-As some kind of promotion for their 1888 origin in New Orleans, the Commander’s Palace in the Desert Passage mall serves a 3 course lunch special. You get to choose from two preselected appetizers, lunch meals, and desserts. Also, you can get 25 cent Smirnoff martinis Monday through Thursday as part of another promotion. We made reservations for 12:30 and finished lunch around 2:00pm. I had the beet soup as an appetizer, the smoked sausage and smashed potatoes as a main course, and bananas foster for dessert. The food was excellent. The flavors were complex and complimentary. We each had a few martinis and were feeling no pain when the bill came. The service was better than I am accustomed to. We had at least 3 guys waiting on us and it took me a while to figure out the role of each in the meal. It was nice to see how the other half lives. Thanks to a Restaurant.com gift certificate, the total bill with tip for two was under $25. And almost half that was the tip. My hat is off the staff at the CP.
    5. Bellagio Fountains (Free)-Best free show in Vegas. Bar none. The fountain show set to the composition “Time to Say Goodbye†by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman is still my favorite. Please, MGM execs, if you are reading this....stop using trendy music to sell the show to the masses. Country music does not belong in a Bellagio fountain show. Ever.
    6. Golden Gate Shrimp Cocktail (99 cents)-Larger than average shrimp in a very spicy cocktail sauce. Good portions. Excellent drunk or sober.
    7. Orleans Liquor Store ($18.45 fifth of Crown Royal)-This trip I grabbed a fifth of Crown Royal at the liquor store in the Orleans. It was about 10 bucks less than I saw on the Strip. I hate walking around sucking on the ice of an empty drink because I can’t get a cocktail waitress or I am in between casinos. I carry around a small daypack with me everywhere, so why not have a fifth along for a much needed Crown Rocks? As a matter of fact, I am finishing off the last of the Crown as I write this report. It has so many uses.
    8. Westin Casuarina Happy Hour ($1 Craps and 25 cent Roulette)-From 5pm to 10pm Monday through Thursday the Westin Casuarina has low limit gambling. A single odds $1 crap game and 25 cent roulette game is fun without risking your entire bankroll. It’s a short walk from the Barbary Coast to the Westin on Flamingo. The casino is small with friendly craps dealers. A pretty classy place.
    9. Las Vegas Monorail ($25 3 Day Pass)-I love the monorail. I probably ride it 6 to 8 times a day. Usually we rent a car, which I did a couple days while two buddies were in town, but I prefer to take the monorail and drink freely.
    10. Matinee Movies ($6.50)-The UA theater near MGM (and I assume the theater in the Orleans and Palm) has a matinee special before 6pm. I rarely go to the movies at home since it feels weird to go to the cinema without a date. However, it seems completely normal to do anything alone in Vegas. I saw King Kong and Harry Potter: Goblet of Fire. It was a nice change of pace from the full throttle tempo of a Vegas gambling and drinking binge.


    Honorable Mention:
    Main Street Station 777 Brewpub Porter ($3 or so)-A very good beer. Oddly enough, I think it tasted better in the plastic to-go cup than in the glass. Not sure why.
    2006 American Casino Guide (about 12 bucks from Amazon.com)-Coupons used in Vegas saved many times the book price.
    Fiesta Henderson Craps Table ($3 5X odds table)-I almost never lose in this place. Cocktail service is great and the dealers are friendly. If you have a car, I recommend checking it out. I liked the Reserve better, but all things must change.
    Monte Carlo Brewpub Pepperoni Pizza (about $15 for a pizza and beer)-Wood fired pizza and very tasty crust. Good beer. Need I say more?

    Merry Christmas!
    SA
     
  2. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

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    Nice TR, Snert. Bunch of gems you hit on there. :thumbsup:
     
  3. SnertAlert

    SnertAlert Toast Smuggler

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    Thanks Al. Also hit my first royal flush on a multi-hand penny VP machine at the Casino Royale. A big $2.50 win. :)

    One sad fact is that there are only 2 Sigma Derby horse racing games left in Vegas that I saw. New Frontier and the MGM have the last. Excalibur and Luxor have removed thiers in the past 6 months. Boo.
     
  4. Jimbucc

    Jimbucc VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the good info. I have to check out The Westin happy hour and Wynn's keno lounge. So has BC done away with the red look in the rooms?
     
  5. vegasbound

    vegasbound Moderator

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    Sounds like a nice time was had. Wynn's keno lounge is very plush, it's nice to grab a seat and just relax for a bit.
     
  6. stuffic

    stuffic Tourist

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    Thanks for your TR, SnertAlert. A couple of interesting things of note:
    you are at least the second person I've heard of who has used the restaurant.com certificate at lunch time at CP, even though it states on it that it can only be used at dinner time. Good for you...$25 was a steal!
    Also, I just heard they will increase the fares of the monorail. I believe the 3-day pass you wrote of will be $35 starting 12/29/05. Luckily you made good use of it while you were there.
     
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