Lately, I've been spending time in Utah and Vegas legs are add-ons before my trip back home to Illinois. Considering that I was scratched up, bruised, dehydrated and emotionally drained from the most difficult hike of my life on Aug 18, some R & R was needed. After a quick flt from Salt Lake City to McCarran, I hopped on the 10:30 am shuttle to the M Resort, 10 miles south of town. My intention was to try out their highly-touted buffet, but I found a greater calling - a quiet pool area with shaded umbrellas, a hot tub and padded loungers. Even though I wasn't a guest, the pool staff didn't seem to care that I hung out. Very few people were at the pool that day and one extra outsider probably didn't matter. This place reminded me of the set-up at GVR. The biggest difference is the pool views from Green Valley are far superior to the M. Spending several hours at the pool brought reinvigorated my body and mind. If you looking for solitude, the M Resort is the place for you. I caught the tail end of the lunch and beginning of dinner at their buffet. There wasn't much difference, other than prime rib and some better grades of sushi. The best way to describe M's buffet is a cross between Rio and Mirage. Many, many selections and a lot of variety. It was neat to see Thai prominently displayed, with not one, but a couple curries. You will also find a few other items not normally seen on a Vegas buffet. The quality is not Wynn or Bellagio, or perhaps PH, but it's certainly in the next tier. One final comment on the M Resort as a whole - these folks are service-oriented. Everywhere you went, the staff was courteous and helpful. M has a shuttle to the Fashion Show Mall, which I took after eating. Hooked up with some friends at the Mirage and eventually made my way to my home base for the next couple of nights - the El Cortez. I booked a El Co pavillion room for $5/nite through Hotels.com , thanks to a tip from a T2V poster. By the time I got there, the pavillion rooms were all gone and I was upgraded to the Cabana Suites. Some history here. About a month before the Ogden House was converted to the Cabana Suites, I had the misfortune of staying there. The Ogden House was the absolute worst place I've stayed in my life. Thus, I had a good frame of reference for comparing the before and after. They call them suites, but it's not what you'd think of in terms of casino suites. They are on a much, much, much different scale than the ones Joe Schmoo talks of. But, they are a 1000 percent improvement on what the Ogden House was before. The rooms are relatively small, have green walls, flat-screen TVs, fancy bathroom fixtures and comfortable beds. It's kinda funkadelic staying there. The coolest part of my stay there was stumbling upon the reading selection in the lobby. There were about a dozen coffee table books that one could spends hours browsing through. I didn't have as much time as I wanted to, but did get a chance to peruse a fantastic montage of 1960's photos and interviews in a book whose title I forgot and the "50th Anniversary of Playboy". There was also a small, but respectable 24-hr exercise room and continuous fruit in the lobby. I felt so guilty at only spending $5/nite, that I proceeded to lose $100 playing single-deck BJ in about 10 minutes. Not on purpose, though - combination of bad cards and bad plays. Fortunately, got most of it back playing slots and craps, so it was almost a break-even at the El Co. As usual, went down to the Wynn for the outdoor table games and subsequent scenery at the European pool. The scenery was fine, but the vibe at the table games was missing. Only one set of tables was open, few people were playing and even the dealers seemed a bit down. In fact, a dealer casually mentioned that tips were down about 50% this year. I stayed less than an hour and left. The fun wasn't there, as it had been previously. Ended up the day playing some $3 BJ at the Gold Spike, touted by a T2V trip-reporter. Like my Cabana Suites, this place is an improvement over what it was like before. Up at 3:45 am to catch that dreaded 6:00 am flt back to Rockford.