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Trip Report - April 13-15 -Paris

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Tausha, Apr 17, 2003.

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  1. Tausha

    Tausha Tourist

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA

    My Trip Report

    My husband and I just got back from 3 very busy days in vegas. It had been 5 1/2 years since the last visit so as you can imagine there was lots to see!! Took the Southwest(SW) Vacation Package from San Jose - staying at Paris. Got a good price. However, do not pay for the round-trip transportation through SW. They charged $9.00 however, the Showtime shuttle they use quotes a price of only $7.50 round-trip.

    Arrived at Paris by 8:30am and couldn't check in. They said come back at 11am. So we checked the bags and headed to Bellagio. Wow that hotel is beautiful. We hit our first bit of luck as we passed to box office for "O". I had already checked before we left and found out they were sold out for the nights we were there. But as we walked by we decided to check, and lo and behold, the wonderful girl behind the counter was able to find 2nd row dead center seats. Now I know they reserve seats hotel guests and there are last minute no shows, but we had even told her we weren't staying at Bellagio and we were still able to get them. So it never hurts to ask!!

    Next we headed to the Sterling Brunch at Bally's. We decided to try it after reading Dave Berman's glowing review. I was very impressed with the wait staff and the selection of items. However, I was disappointed with the small size of the lobsters (only a few ounces each) and the texture. They were very mushy! But the chilled shrimp, mozzarella and tomato salad, saffron potatoes, and many other dishes were excellent. Did I mention the champagne? They were serving Perrier-Jouet - it was fantastic. The dessert selection was very good, but then our waiter Eduardo brought a special dessert to our table only - no one else. It was the most heavenly dessert I have ever had. It was Grand Marnier ice cream. It was so light and fluffy I could hardly believe the texture. Overall I would recommend this Brunch and while it is pricey at $140.00 for 2 people with tip, it was well worth it. I am from the SF Bay Area and I am used to paying high prices for food in SF so this was definitely worth it for us.

    We were then able to check in at Paris. Based on advice from several members to this message board I asked for a "P" room which they were glad to give us facing away from the strip. In order to get a strip veiw there was a $50 per night added charge. However, this included access to the concierge suite on the 31st floor which included a continental breakfast (fruit, yogurt, bagels, cream cheese, bread, cheese, cereal, pastries, OJ, assorted coffees and teas) and nightly appetizers (shrimp, mini-sandwiches, fruit, cheese, soda, etc.) So we paid the extra, figuring we would not have to buy breakfast for either of the next two days. However, a room was still not ready for us until 2pm. So we took the time to explore the Desert Passage shops at Aladdin. I have to say that the whole idea of the Forum Shops, Grand Canal Shops, and those at the Aladdin are a bit overdone. I really don't want to extensively shop while on vacation. But at least the Forum and Canals shops are better themed than the Aladdin. This was barely above the mall back home:( Just more overpriced.

    I was disappointed with all the construction walls up around Ceasars - you would think with the addition of Celine and trying to attract people to the property the would have either finished it before her debut or waited until after spring and summer to add yet MORE forum shops. Just my opinion. They huge Ceasar's sign has been taken down.

    Once we finally go to our room it was worth the wait. The larger corner "P" rooms are fabulous.
    There was so much more room than the standard rooms. They brought our luggage to our room but managed to misplace our large "golf" umbrella which was attached to one of the pieces of luggage. They eventually found it.

    We rested up for the rest of the evening. We had some problems getting our room keys to allow us access to the 31st floor. It took 4 different people, including the Assistant Hotel Manager - who was worhtless - for us to get the keys properly coded to allow us up to the 31st floor. Once we got up there we were given free champagne for the trouble but no other comps were offered for our trouble. Based on this experience, my husband says we will not be staying there agian. He was more impressed by Bellagio and the Venetian - but I imagine these types of problems happen in every hotel.

    We later had dinner at Postrio (Wolfgang Puck) at the Venetian. We sat in the St. Marks Square "outdoor" seating. There were performers playing music in the background and the food was very good - the salad with gorgonzola cheese was excellent. We then took a cab back to Bellagio for "O". The show was incredible and I would totally recommend it to everyone. FYI - I saw a sign posted that said tickets were going up at the end of June from $121 to $150 for the up front seats. Every level of seats ws going up at least $15. We were literally too tired to gamble by the time we ended back at Paris at 1:15am - we had been up since 4am.

    The next day we ventured to south strip to check out Mandalay Bay and other new changes. I was very impressed with Mandalay's layout and restaurant selection. I like how they let you check out the different retaurants (they keep their doors open) even though there are only open for dinner. The wine tower at Aureole was amazing. However, since we were there about noon or so, there was not a whole lot going on at this hotel. I imagine that it is a great place to be at night with all the clubs and restaurants open. I hardly noticed any new changes to Luxor, Excalibur, NYNY, or MGM other than the lion habitat and some new dance clubs at NYNY.

    The M&M factory was so terribly packed with people that we hardly made our way to the top floor where we quickly took the elevator back to the bottom. I guess we hit the store at the wrong time.

    That night we had dinner reservations at Delmonico's Steakhouse at the Venetian. Excellent food and service. Some of the best steak we have had since we ate at Morton's of Chicago and Ruth Chris' Steakhouse - and both of those places cost $50 more than Delmonico's. The service was impecable. I truly enjoyed this meal and the grand marnier souffle was to die for.

    After dinner is started to rain - really hard!! And the wind was blowing - so this cancelled our plans to see the pirate show, the volcano and go up in the Eiffel Tower to watch the Bellagio fountain show. So we took a cab back to Paris and had 2 for 1 champagne at Napolean's champagne bar. There was s coupon in the Park Place coupon book we received upon check in. I was dissapointed in this book. I was told by several people who had stayed at Paris in the past that it offered 2 for 1 in the Eiffel Tower and 2 for 1 at the Village Buffet, but neither of those were offered this time.

    We gambled that evening with very little good results. The blackjack dealers worked a little too fast and were not very personable. They only had 3 $10 limit tables which were, of course, packed. The pit bosses were not all that friendly either. Overall I think I would play elsewhere like Bellagio or Mandalay from now on.

    Our final day there was much better weather wise. We headed to north strip - and quickly realized that other than the Sahara there is not much new to see. We rode the coaster, which is the best on the strip. We then headed to the Rio and Palms. I was not impressed by the Rio and quickly left after a few minutes. We couldn't find any signs directing us to where the parade was held. We walked to the Palms which seemed like a great hotel. Again I think that it would be a much better place to visit in the evening when the Ghostbar and other restaurants are open.

    Now that we have seen all the new properties I know where I want to spend my time when I go back. The only inside news I heard was from one of our cab drivers who said that Steve Wynn (mastermind behind Bellagio) is building a property on the Strip that consists of upscale condos and timeshares. He is planning to put in a lake four times the size of Bellagio's. The cabbie said that when he was interviewed about the property he said that his development of the Bellagio was simply a "warm up" for this property. We will see. Also, the owner of the Frontier is looking for funding to implode the hotel and replace it with a San Francisco themed hotel. It seems I have heard this rumor before, but no solid funding has come on board yet.

    Overall this was a fun yet tiring trip. This will teach me to wait so long between visits. There was just too much to see in 3 days. If anyone wants more specifics, just let me know.

    Tausha
     
  2. milehiman

    milehiman VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2002
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    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Great trip report. You hit two of my favorite restaurants in Vegas - Postrio and Delmonico's.

    I like the "outdoor" seating at Postrio and haven't had a bad meal there once.

    Of course Delmonico's consistently serves a great meal. The bone-in rib steak is my favorite dish. Was this your first time you've eaten there? The reason I'm asking is because every time we go back we get a "welcome back" treat i.e. some sort of appetizer, but don't remember if we got it the first time we were there and if it was called something else. Just curious...
     
  3. GGecko

    GGecko Tourist

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2002
    Messages:
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    Great trip report, thanks for sharing.

    Was the concierge suite on the 31st floor worth the additional "charge," or was the $50.00 basically for the strip view?
     
  4. Tausha

    Tausha Tourist

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    This was our first time at Delmonico's. We will certainly go back. It will be interesting to see if there is the "welcome back"..

    As for the additional $50 - I would say it was worth it. We were on floor 8. I would like to have been higher to see more of the fountains at Bellagio, but the view was gret nonetheless. We made use of the lounge on the 31st floor 2 days for breakfast and once for appetizers. I figure it saved us daily breakfast at $25-$30 for two people. We would have eaten at the Village Buffet instead so that would have been about $30 or so. So I would say that is was well worth the extra $50!!
     
  5. milehiman

    milehiman VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Thanks for the answer. You should get your welcome back treat the next time you go since Delmonico's customer service is amazing! It's a different treat every time - we've been there five times in the last two years.

    One of the last times we went I had forgotten how much info their database has. We went with some Vegas newbies and when we checked in with the hostess the conversation went like this "Welcome back, we're glad you enjoyed your dinner in January and you've decided to dine with us again. So how do you like your accomodations at the Aladdin, is it better than the your stay at the Luxor? We have your table waiting for you, right this way." Needless to say the newbies were very impressed.
     
  6. Tausha

    Tausha Tourist

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
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    17
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    Wow - thanks for the heads up. My husband wondered why they had asked where we were staying. He thought maybe you got something special if you were staying at the Venetian, but I guess you get something special regardless of where you are staying:) nice to know that a restaurant can truly take service to the next level. We will definitely go back!!
     
  7. RhythmicVibe

    RhythmicVibe Tourist

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2003
    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Sounds like a good trip overall! I'll have to check those places out too!!

    That's odd about the keys problem though. This technical problem can happen at any business & they compensated you for a minor problem. Did they not apologize or did you just want to juice more out of them?

    I'm also kind of curious about the check-in time as well. Most hotels have their check-in between 2pm-4pm on average.
     
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