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TR: Staying @The LINQ with a detailed review & more, Nov 14-16

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by cuteje, Nov 20, 2014.

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  1. cuteje

    cuteje Tourist

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    My Trip Report

    Days after DH and I returned from our 8-day-long Vegas trip (which you can read about here, an old friend contacted me and announcing she’s getting married in Vegas! So we looked through our last minute offers and called around for a comp’ed stay. Everywhere was “sold out” and we were more than happy to take on a promotional drawing offer to stay at the newly renovated hotel The LINQ.

    Day 1, Friday

    It was recommended to drive from Koval instead of the Strip to enter the LINQ’s parking structure so we did. The signage could’ve been done better. We passed through the parking lot and found a blue sign for self-park at the structure. The stop signs were confusing and the intersection looked dangerous. To make matters worse, many many employees seemed to love using a highly traffic 4-way stop intersection inside the structure to do drop-offs, which was very annoying as it happened almost every time we drove in and out of the structure.

    Once we got passed that, it was easy to find parking spaces. Its casino entrance was close to the Monorail station. We then walked past restrooms and guest elevators in the hallway and entered the casino. With Diamond, we checked-in at the VIP service room next to hotel registration. Inside they had comfortable chairs and refreshments such as bottled soda, Evian, Keurig machine for coffee, and cookies. Nice touch. I picked up a bottled Pepsi and it was good. Time was about 3:30pm and we waited about 10-15 minutes for our room to be ready. On the phone we were booked on one of the few remaining double-bed basic rooms. It was delightful to get a King-bed room upon request at check-in.

    Because the guest elevators were along the busy walkway between the casino and the monorail station / parking structure, it was weird. A security guard was checking keys before allowing guests enter the elevators. Also, it almost appeared the elevator call buttons were exclusively reserved for them to push. Our room was on the 17th floor in the green zone. The color zoning wasn’t very obvious so I’m not sure of its effectiveness.

    This is our view:

    [​IMG]

    The renovated room was bigger than I imagined from the photos circulated online since its Halloween weekend opening. I’m going to compare my room to a recent review here on Vegas Chatter mainly because I forgot to take photos of the room lol

    Negative differences:
    - Our room was missing the cushioned chair at the floor lamp
    - We didn’t see the hat + mustache + glasses thing on the mirror in the bathroom
    - The closet did not have any curtain
    - No robes in the closet
    - None of the body wash, shampoo and conditioner pumps were installed
    - No board game in sight

    More cons:
    - There was no clock; I had to rely on my cell phone while charging at the nightstand.
    - The curtain in the shower simply does not work well to stop the water from leaking out. They were too cheap to install a proper glass door.
    - Desk space is very limited.
    - The towel rack was only a couple feet above the toilet therefore you can’t really get them to dry properly. I don’t personally enjoy the sight of used towels touching the toilet.
    - No international or foreign language TV channels available, for those who care about them.
    - I was unable to find the hotel directory or room service menu in the room. I think I opened all the drawers…

    Because there was no pump installed inside the shower, we had to use our own body wash, shampoo and conditioner. It was okay for me as I always carry my own body care products when travel, after a hives outbreak at Paris LV a few years ago. DH had to use the facial bar from the sink for his shower needs. The absence of body lotion did not bother us considering we bring our own body butter to Vegas every trip.

    Now I have the negative stuff out of the way, here are some positives:
    - LOVE the charging stations at the desk and on the nightstands
    - Nice flat-screen TV; bright lighting; comfy bed; strong showerhead

    My overall impression of the room was… It was not ready. The hotel decided to sell the room anyway.

    Somewhere online people were concerned about the noise from the partying downstairs and early AM construction. We did not encounter any noise issues during this weekend trip.

    Does anyone know if The LINQ will plan on building a Diamond lounge? There was none so we decided to drive out to Cosmopolitan for an early dinner.

    DH recently made Sterling at Cosmo so we made use of the perk of BOGO at Wicked Spoon that night. You need to go to Identity desk first in order to use it. A year or so ago we tried the brunch there and thought it was overhyped and overpriced. At half-off ($43 for 2), we totally felt different. Very good Shrimp and Grits. Most food items were unique and delicious, with a few misses due to temperature drop from sitting out for too long. With that said, I would not pay full price or wait in a line for this buffet. After the heavy meal, we played some slots and headed back to The LINQ to sleep.
     
  2. cuteje

    cuteje Tourist

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    Day 2, Saturday

    Saturday was my friend’s wedding at the South end of the Strip and reception off the Strip. After the gathering, we drove back to the hotel. First, DH had to register for the promotional drawing at the Flamingo in order to earn entries. Easy walk as The LINQ and the Flamingo are right next to each other. We then noticed the TR desk had no line, so tried to get the 2 free Diamond show ticket vouchers for Defending the Caveman. Maybe because I asked DH, “Where is the Harrah’s box office?” out loud, the lady behind the desk informed us we could get the tickets and seat assigned around the corner right at the Flamingo. It was a first to us that we did not need to go to the actual show’s box office to claim the physical tickets.

    Luck was with us that evening. There was one 20% off coupon of BLT Steak sitting right there at the ticket counter. DH and I decided to grab it because we had already made advanced reservation there for dinner that night! What are the odds?

    We caught the 7pm showing of Defending the Caveman at Harrah’s. Like many other CET shows we’ve been to, the usher upgraded us to VIP seating. The show was an hour long and entertaining even though some of the jokes were nothing new to me. DH found it pretty funny. It takes a married couple to really appreciate the gender jokes.

    BLT Steak at Bally’s was fantastic. Just a month ago we celebrated our anniversary there and had a fabulous meal. We just couldn’t wait to return. I suggest you type in the TR card number when making reservation through OpenTable.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    We were treated as VIP. Food was so good, however, DH thought the dressing of the tuna tartare a little too pungent. The honey in the Brussel sprouts made the side dish shine. The truffle mashed was very rich. The dry-aged bone-in NY Steak was just as good as before. At the end, they brought out complimentary mini-chocolate desserts and two very yummy gourmet lollipops. BLT Steak is our new hidden gem and from now on, we plan to visit it often if having TR points to burn. The coupon saved us $20 and the rest of the bill was paid with Quick Rewards with no issues.

    After dinner, we walked over to Paris for some slots action. There was one I particularly liked and I was back and forth for a long time. The character on the slots looked like me. Haha. We headed back to The LINQ and DH did the Millionaire slots spin and won 5 dollars of free play.

    That night I went online out of the blue and read about the marathon! There I read about how it was going to be a nightmare with street closures.
     
  3. cuteje

    cuteje Tourist

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    Day 3, Sunday

    It did not make sense that I woke up early and super hungry. DH and I went downstairs to Hash House A Go Go for some breakfast. Once you got up the escalator, you saw a huge crowd waiting for tables. The atmosphere was pretty daunting. Thank goodness there was a Diamond line. Wow. Just like our experience at Gordon Ramsay BURGR from the last trip, we were seated right away. We felt slightly bad for those in the regular line, and pretty sure by the time we were out the door, most were still waiting.

    [​IMG]

    DH wasn’t hungry so we ordered the Kokomo Special, a meatloaf scramble, to share. He got a glass of freshly squeeze OJ, which tastes homemade and a bit tart. Our server tried to upsell us. Other than that, it was okay. There was a whole room of empty tables in the back and I was wondering what the owner would think if he/she sees that and the line outside. Quick Rewards took care of the bill.

    We checked out of the room early, with an intention to return to The LINQ in the afternoon to check on the winners of the promotional drawing and for our free Millionaire free spins. The coffee machine at the VIP Service was out-of-order.

    SLS was our next destination. I went straight to the Code desk and asked if they were still running the 500-point slots promotion to get 2 free buffets, knowing the buffet was closing that day. The guy was nice enough to inform me that due to the buffet closing, they were offering restaurant credits of $76 once 500 points were earned. How generous. We reached 500 points in no time.

    In a Sunday afternoon, there were only a few restaurants open: buffet, Griddle café, Umami Burger, and 800F Oven Pizza. We decided to go back to the buffet, which turned out to be very disappointing. The girl at the Code desk said the buffet would be just as good as before even though they were closing. I really enjoyed the buffet before. This time, I was very much let down by the quality of the food. Maybe the cooks (of the hot food mainly) had given up. I’m gonna spare the details, considering the buffet is now gone.

    I wonder what it takes to get free room offers from SLS. DH is now quite curious of their rooms.

    Because of the marathon, traffic jams were everywhere. It took us a very long time to head back to The LINQ from SLS via Paradise. Back at The LINQ, we found out DH did not win any of the drawings so we tried out the Millionaire free slots spin. I won a BOGO of the High Roller, good for a week to redeem, while DH won a free well drink.

    We were so ready to head home. In order to get on I-15S, cars from the East of the Strip had to drive on Paradise Rd, passing the airport tunnel to get on I-215W. That took forever but I believe it was the best way still. There was no traffic once we got on I-15S till all the way home. DH joked that maybe everyone else was still stuck in Las Vegas trying to figure out how to get on I-15.

    In conclusion, it felt like a very short trip and I was super tired until the last day we checked out. The way I enjoy Vegas is to relax so spending an extra night would make it more ideal. The LINQ is a nice establishment winning with its location. It’ll be even nicer if they build:
    - a Diamond lounge,
    - an Asian comfort food restaurant (Forget FAME),
    - a coffee, pastry shop for quick breakfast,
    - an updated spa with modern amenities (Not that I’ve made a visit), etc…
    Sometimes I just don’t feel like walking outdoor to the promenade.

    Thank you for reading!
     
  4. Funkhouser

    Funkhouser In Charge of the Big Door

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    Rumor is they are building out a diamond lounge now, and it will open next year. I have it on good authority it will be off the casino floor towards the back area and Flamingo's may close.
     
  5. cuteje

    cuteje Tourist

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    Neat! Along the hallway to the parking structure had glass walls and doors installed but I couldn't see what's inside. Could that be the upcoming Diamond lounge? Harrah's kinda has it tucked in the back as well. Why would they want to close the Flamingo one? I've yet visited that location. Is it bad enough to need a revamp?
     
  6. Tree DA

    Tree DA High-Roller

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    Wait, the SLS buffet is closed permenantly?
     
  7. cuteje

    cuteje Tourist

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    It's closed until early next year. The girl at the Code desk said they're gonna renovate and expand the food selection.
     
  8. zolar31

    zolar31 Low-Roller

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    Thank you for the great TR. Question about the rooms at the Linq.

    What did they do with the sliding doors to the balconies ?
    Did they just bolt them shut (like Ballys North tower) , or replace them with a window ?
     
  9. cuteje

    cuteje Tourist

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    When I took the photo of the view, I didn't notice any balcony or sliding door. The curtain was pretty much kept close at all times.
     
  10. Funkhouser

    Funkhouser In Charge of the Big Door

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    They stripped out the balcony. If you look at the photos the balcony walls / concrete railings, are gone on the remodeld towers. Even back in the day, they were like two feet by 4 feet in size, I called them the smokers lounge.. The sliding doors got permanent windows, and they repainted the former balconies in funky colors.
     
  11. IHeartDancers

    IHeartDancers Low-Roller

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    Early Next Year? Darn. I'll be there Jan 2, I doubt they'll be open by then.
     
  12. REELmoneySlotFan

    REELmoneySlotFan High-Roller

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    Thanks for the TR and all the pics. Guess I have to add BLT Steak to my "to do list" for our next trip to Vegas.

    Thanks for sharing!
     
  13. jgates8

    jgates8 VIP Whale

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    With the quickness of getting from Flamingo into Linq now, it seems silly to have two Diamond Lounges. Paris & Ballys operate on one. Employee wise it would be a lot more economical to run just one. It only takes a couple minutes to get into the other property now with the great new entry by the buffet (LOVE THAT ENTRY - no crowded sidewalk traffic!)
     
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