1. Welcome to VegasMessageBoard
    It appears you are visiting our community as a guest.
    In order to view full-size images, participate in discussions, vote in polls, etc, you will need to Log in or Register.

Trip Report (7/19-7/26)

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by JR Swift, Jul 31, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. JR Swift

    JR Swift High-Roller

    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Messages:
    752
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    33

    My Trip Report

    Ok...here we go...this might just end up being part one if I run out of energy. I think I took reasonably good notes. This may get a little long but we'll see how it goes. Though this was my eleventh trip to Las Vegas in the last 8 1/2 years, I learned a lot on this board that made this one good. Hope you enjoy this.

    Flights:

    SW flight 359 from KC to Las Vegas
    Depart: 12:20PM
    Arrive: 1:10 PM
    Date: July 19

    SW flight 1997 from Las Vegas to KC
    Depart: 7:30 PM
    Arrive: 12:15 AM
    Dates: July 25-26

    Notes and thoughts:

    Left my home in Lawrence, KS about 9:30 AM after printing "A" boarding pass and headed to Kansas City Int'l Airport for my 12:20 flight. Dropped car in Economy Parking and took the shuttle to terminal B. Friends JT & Kenny has mistakenly booked an earlier flight but I manage to find them waiting to board and wish them a good flight. No problem with security. Tried a couple of tricks I'd picked up online. Before I went through the screening I emptied my pockets into a ziplock bag and stuck it inside my carryon. Didn't wear a belt on purpose. Much easier process. Also, I have a problem with my ears adjusting to altitude so I tried wearing earplugs and it seemed to work well...no ear popping or discomfort. Flight out was about half empty and had a whole row to myself. Always shoot for a window seat far back on the right side and got it without a problem. Good flight, one gin n tonic to start the week and, with a few bumps, an ontime landing at McCarran. Shuttle to the Orleans for $6 from Bell Trans. Was OK...didn't have to wait too long.
    Return trip took a cab from the Riviera...$12 with tip. Lost my boarding pass ("B") in the airport but someone turned it in to customer service and so I got it back OK. Flight back was fine...plane 85% full but no one sitting right next to me. Spent return trip taking notes from the trip. Arrived a bit late and didn't make it home until 2 AM. Was back at work 7AM. Tough turnaround time.

    Hotels:

    Orleans: July 19-21
    Plaza: July 21-23
    Riviera: July 23-25


    Notes and thoughts:

    The Orleans lived up to its billing. I really could have spent the whole trip there and could easily have spent the first two days there without going anywhere. My friends were staying at the Luxor so I ventured out both days but really enjoyed the Orleans. Room was very comfortable, quiet and spacious with a great view of the strip from the Strat to MB. Bed was huge and I found it very comfortable. Had a nice sitting area next to the window. Construction noise was noticeable during the day and mostly around the elevators. The new tower seems to be coming along nicely and I am happy to see this hotel expanding and prospering as it should. Employees were all very pleasant and I must say that the cocktail waitresses were the most attractive, most scantily clad and friendliest I encountered on my trip. (Maybe that's why I didn't want to leave). Had free buffet coupons given to me at check in and ate there Monday night and Tuesday afternoon. Good but not great...nice selection, particularly for dinner but, while most everything was edible, it didn't seem great. Did try a raw oyster for the first time at the buffet Monday night and liked it. Also ate at the cafe late Tuesday for the $1.99 Steak and Eggs. Friends joined me for this one and all agreed it was one of the best Steak specials we had ever had, particularly at that price. Seattle's Best Coffee was "breakfast" both mornings. Not much else around the Orleans but the shuttle service was very efficient and I used it on a couple of occasions. All in all, a big thumbs up.

    Plaza was...well, the Plaza. Nice big room in the south tower with a good view of the city. Ended up with 2 double beds instead of one queen/king but that turned out to be a good thing in the end. Everything here a little worn but generally pretty clean. They did miss a potato chip that fell into the a/c vent but I kind of liked my ice cold ripple chip...gave the room character. Bathroom is very small and so is the TV...everything was old but it all worked. No complaints for $17 a night. Didn't eat a thing there except for morning coffee at...what a coincidence, Seattle's Best.

    Riviera was a bit of a nightmare. Stayed there a couple of times about 5 years ago and really kind of liked the place. This time was not so good. Arrived about 4 PM Friday afternoon and waited over an hour to check in. Self check-in is a joke and just slowed everything down further. Finally got through to a real person and ended up with a nice King room in the Monaco tower...bit of a long walk but not too bad. Room itself was just fine and never had to wait much for elevators. Most everyone here actually seemed to be trying pretty hard and the employees were nice but the place is definitely slipping. Just had a couple of foot longs in the nickeltown snack bar (OK) and the late night Steak n Eggs buffet (Don't do it!!!). The latter experience (or was it the HO DOG---maybe both) left me with quite a final morning getting to know the "throne" in the fabulous Riviera bathroom.
    There is literally no place to just sit and have a drink here...they have turned what was a nice lounge area into another "showroom" where they want to charge you $30-$40 to watch mediocre talent. A few years ago it was a very nice place to have a couple of drinks and had some good free entertainment...now it is walled off and it really detracts from the place. As I said, buffet is awful (as I remembered it) and the food court just disgusts me for some reason. If I stay on this end of the strip from now on, I'll stay anywhere else (except CC, Westward Ho and the Sahara). A side note---this place seems to live off of strange conventions and meetings. I had the pleasure of the company of a dart convention, a karate competition featuring hundreds of children, a large gathering of some black sorority and a transsexual beauty contest. I have to say that some of the transsexuals were quite a wonder of modern medical science and, compared to some of the other patrons, a welcome sight. Casino was mostly dead at all hours of the day and night and had no fun atmosphere at all. Skip this one is my advice.

    ...end Part One
     
  2. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2002
    Messages:
    11,671
    Location:
    Twin Cities
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    18
    Nice reviews. I'm thinking seriously of the Orleans for the next trip, been a lot of positive comments on it.

    The Riv lounge that was "walled off", is that the one that has a long bar around the outside of it? That's not a bad bar, but the 'Dust has a nicer lounge, and the Ho, well, at least has a lounge.

    p.s. there are allegations that the winner of the transsexual beauty pageant turned out to not quite, er, qualify. (I'm not making this up)
     
  3. JR Swift

    JR Swift High-Roller

    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Messages:
    752
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    33
    Yeah...the walled off area by the main bar as you walk in off the street. Don't know when they walled it off and turned it into the "Le Bistro" showroom as I hadn't been inside the casino in several years before staying there. Stardust does have some nice lounges, very good sportsbook, etc. Also, next year it will have a very good location close to Wynn Las Vegas. Might have to try it again...though I think I'm just becoming a downtown/off-strip kind of guy.
     
  4. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2002
    Messages:
    19,131
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    16
    Yes, I've been following the saga of the transsexual in Norm Clarke's column....
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.