Trip Report â€“ 12 June to 23 June 05 Part 2 Hotels We visited most of the hotels on the strip and gambled in quite a few too but we mainly spent our time in the MC, Paris, Bellagio, NY NY and MGM. These were within staggering distance of our room and didnâ€™t involve too much â€˜dodging of the porn slappers,â€™ after a night of fun. From all the hotels we visited I think that I would like to stay at the Mirage next time as it had a really nice atmosphere to it. It is also in a great location and would mean that we would probably do most of our gambling and drinking at Caesars, the Venetian, TI and Wynn. If I canâ€™t get a good deal on a room rate at the Mirage then I would probably go back to the MC. I was impressed with the Wynn but it did feel a lot like a replica of the Bellagio, which is one of my favourites from my last trip. I thought the staff (and security) at the Wynn were continually sizing everybody up and dividing the hotel visitors in to â€˜those who could afford to stay there and those who couldnâ€™t.â€™ I didnâ€™t feel this in any other hotel and I may have just been a little paranoid after one too many cocktails. However, I felt a little better after Lesley and I turned $20 in to $200 in a couple of minutes. Still not enough to buy a Ferrari but thank you Mr Wynn. I just want to add that I tried to spend some time in the Excalibur but I didnâ€™t last more than five minutes. Between the kids running about and the strange smell, which was like a mixture of boiled cabbage and used diapers I had to leave. Here is a couple of random pics of hotels. I don't know if these hyperlinks are working but you should be able to open the attachments on this TR. Bellagio & Caesars: http://www.travel2vegas.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=24&stc=1 NYNY: http://www.travel2vegas.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=25&stc=1 Paris: http://www.travel2vegas.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=27&stc=1 Excalibur (What's that smell?): http://www.travel2vegas.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=26&stc=1 Dining My intentions before the trip were to try out as many of the fine dining establishments on the Strip as possible. However, I found that when it came around to dinner time I wasnâ€™t that hungry. This was because we were either still full from the breakfast or lunch that we had eaten earlier. (Alcohol may have also been a contributory factor as well). From the places we ate at Iâ€™ve given my brief views below. All costs include tip and tax: Nine Fine Fishermen @ NY NY: Lesley had the shrimp in beer batter and I had the rib eye with mustard mash. Overall the quality of the food was good but it seemed like standard fare for Vegas. We both had a beer and the meal came to about $80.00. The service was okay but I donâ€™ think that I would go back as better value can be found elsewhere. Brew Pub @ Monte Carlo: Lesley had the NY strip steak and I had the full rack of Prime Ribs. We also split a jalapeno popper starter. The food was really tasty and well presented. Our server was really good and always made sure that I didnâ€™t have to wait for my drinks. I tried most of the beers on the menu and I thought that the pale ale was really good. The bill came to about $90.00 but you can factor in about seven beers for me and two Vodkas for Lesley. I donâ€™t think that our server charged me for all the beers I had which was a bonus. Burger Bar @ Mandalay Bay: Lesley had the lamb burger and I had the Kobe beef burger. I love my burgers and I was really looking forward to this meal but I must say that it was a big disappointment. The burgers werenâ€™t cooked very well and lacked taste. The service was also quite poor and at one point somebody who I believe to be a supervisor or manager of the restaurant started shouting at one of the employees right next to us! We both had a bottle of beer and the bill came to $65. To be honest I wish Iâ€™d just gone to McDonalds and saved myself the expense. La Salsa Cantina @ The Aladdin: We both had a Taco salad. I believe that this is a restaurant chain but I have to say that I was very impressed with both the service and the food. I wish they would open up a few restaurants over here. We had a few beers and the bill came to about $50.00. We also watched the free show in the square in front of the theatre which involved a young Russian girl sliding up and down what looked like silk curtains. Some of the acts she performed brought tears to my eyes and almost put me off my beer for a couple of minutes. Mon Ami Gabi @ Paris: Lesley had the hung steak in burgundy sauce with caramelised onions and a mango sorbet for dessert that I ended up finishing. I had the NY steak in burgundy sauce and I was very impressed with the quality of the food and the service. We washed the meal down with a couple of glasses of red wine and the bill came to a very reasonable $100. CafÃ© @ The Monte Carlo: I was a bit dubious about eating in the CafÃ© as it doesnâ€™t look up to much from the outside. However, as we both werenâ€™t that hungry and only intended to have a light and the fact that we were in the vicinity we thought we would give it a try. After seeing the menu we were both impressed with the selection and reasonable prices so Lesley ordered the deep fried shrimp and I had the rib steak and shrimp with Tequila & lime. The food was really good and after a beer each the bill only came to $50 which was excellent value. The service was a bit slow but they were very busy so I didnâ€™t mind too much. On our second visit I was going to try the red snapper and Lesley was going to have what I had previously. We got seated quickly and the place didnâ€™t seem that busy. We sat for about fifteen minutes before our waitress / server came across to ask us if we wanted a drink. We ordered our drinks and food at the same time and the server disappeared off in to the kitchen. Ten minutes passed and our drinks had not arrived so I got the attention of one of the supervisors and she just shouted over that our drinks were on their way. Another five minutes passed and our server brought us our drinks and asked us what food we wanted to order even though she had taken it previously! We sensed that all was not well so we just ordered a couple of grilled sandwiches hoping that this wouldnâ€™t be too difficult to rustle up. The next thing we know is there is a shouting match going on between our server and one of the guys who had been clearing tables. I didnâ€™t quite catch what they were saying to each other but it wasnâ€™t pleasant and both of them were dragged off in to the kitchen by the supervisor. Twenty minutes passed and I was all set to leave when the supervisor came to our table to say that our food was on its way. Iâ€™m not the kind of person to complain so I just said thank you and we waited for about fifteen minutes before our server arrived with our food. It was clear that both our meals had been sitting under a heat lamp for some time as they were dried out and tasteless. At this point I was a bit pi**ed off to say the least but I bit my tongue and ate about a quarter of my meal. Once we had finished eating I caught the attention of the supervisor and asked for our bill. Another ten minutes passed and no sign of the bill so I put down $50 on the table (way more than the meal should have been) and stormed out of the restaurant. Itâ€™s a shame that our second visit was so terrible and I realise that they may have had staffing problems but at no stage did anybody apologise for the delays. When they did speak to us you could almost hear contempt in their voices and I just wish I had said something but I had already wasted enough time in the place and I couldnâ€™t be bothered arguing. Hopefully they have sorted out their problems now because the place did seem to offer really good value. Breakfast Buffet @ Paris: I had read a lot about the buffet at Paris and we made a point of getting up early one morning to go and check it out. I was very impressed with the selection of food available and the quality was excellent. The service was also really good and we didnâ€™t have to wait for coffee or fruit juice refills. Dinner Buffet @ Paris: I was that impressed with the breakfast buffet that I thought we should try the dinner buffet and we werenâ€™t disappointed. I stuffed myself with king crabs legs for starters and had two large main courses, mostly consisting of the prime rib and kebabs. I also had two desserts and afterwards I could hardly get off my seat. I think for the variety and quality of the food the buffet matched, if not exceed the other meals we had in other restaurants (incl. Mon Ami Gabi). I only wish we had realised how good the buffet was at the beginning of our holiday as I would have visited it a few times. I was that impressed with the experience that I tipped the waitress $40. She was quick to bring us our drinks and I could hear that she was getting a bit of grief from a table full of older gentleman behind us so I thought I would bring a tiny bit of happiness to her evening.