This is my first attempt at a trip report, but figured I owed it to the site for all the great information I picked up in the past couple months. Iâ€™ll apologize in advance for the length, but I typed this up at work on a slow day, so I needed some way to kill the time. Plus I typed it out in Word, so the longer I spent on it, the longer it looked like I was doing real work to the casual observer. Meaningless, made-up nicknames will be used for the sake of anonymity. We headed down February 21-25 for my buddyâ€™s bachelor party, 10 of us from Canada (Slim, Butterball, and Prole on Wednesday, me, Darkness, and Dr. T on Thursday afternoon, The Groom and Nicky coming late Thursday night, and J.J. & Andy driving down sometime Thursday) with 3 more (Gin&Juice, SL500, and E. Dominguez) driving up from LA. From the group, Prole â€“ so named due to his seemingly never-ending poverty - was the only Vegas virgin. Our flight left Thursday morning, with a short layover in Vancouver. Since we had some time to kill, we figured we might as well get a head start on things, so we picked up a bottle of Bacardi at the duty free shop and proceeded to covertly mix our own drinks in one of the terminalâ€™s restaurants. I wasnâ€™t so sure about this but Dr. T insisted and, as he is a trained medical professional, I didnâ€™t argue. In hindsight, this wasnâ€™t the best plan since midday drinking tends to make you sleepy by the time the evening rolls around. Regardless, we got a good start to things which managed to make the Vancouver-Vegas flight much more interesting. Plus they were playing the Bourne Ultimatum on the plane, and that movie kicks ass. So we get off the plane at LAS and walk into the terminal only to find J.J. & Andy standing there waiting for us, drinks in hand, quite inebriated to say the least. I guess they had gotten in earlier than expected and decided to surprise us at the airport. First things first, Andy hands me the car keys and tells me that Iâ€™m driving. That was probably a good idea. Once we get our bags, we jump in the car and head over to the house we rented. We originally planned on staying in a hotel on the strip as usual, but because this was a special occasion and a much larger group than weâ€™d normally head down with, we figured we would try to do something a little different for this trip, give it a different flavour. We rented THIS HOUSE, which ended up being around the same price per person compared to staying on the strip. The house itself exceeded our expectations, the company was easy to deal with, the house was more spacious and much nicer than the pictures, it came equipped with all the comforts of home (closet full of towels and linens, kitchen filled with cookware, dishes, silverware, etc.), and the heated pool was absolutely brilliant. For a large get together, it was a fantastic idea. We were able to have all 10 of us (the 3 from LA stayed on the strip) under one roof, gave us a place to hang out, jump in the pool, fire up the bbqâ€¦things that would have been impossible in a hotel. The downside of course is the location; while the house was fairly close to the strip (directly behind the Las Vegas Outlet Center on Las Vegas Blvd), it was still a short cab ride away (around $10-12). Overall, considering the advantages of the house vs. the inconvenience of being off the strip, I think we made the right decision. After dropping off our bags and checking out the house, we decided to head over to the Vonâ€™s a couple blocks over to get some supplies. A few hundred dollars later, we had enough liquor, mixers, and burgers/hot dogs (for the bbq) to last the weekend. By now everyone but The Groom and Nicky were at the house, since their flight wasnâ€™t due to arrive until after midnight. To pass the time, we went to work on the drinks and jumped in the pool. The Groom actually didnâ€™t know about the house yet, we had him convinced that we were staying at the Imperial Palace to save money. Once his flight landed, we headed out to go pick him up. He was pretty confused about where we were going since we were heading away from the strip. Once we got him there, he was quite shocked to find a giant house with all his friends packed into it, waiting for him. So far things were off to a good start. After hanging out at the house for a few hours, we decided we needed to go out somewhere. Naturally, being a bachelor party, the idea of hitting up a strip club came up. So there we were, at 4:00 am, heading over to Spearmint Rhino. We needed to call a couple of cabs to get us there, which was a bit of a hassle because they apparently had some trouble finding the house, so it was a long wait. The inconvenience of being off-strip was being realized. First off, let me just say that strip clubs arenâ€™t really my thing; to be honest, Iâ€™ve always found them a bit boring, which was also the consensus of most in our group. However, since this was a bachelor party, we felt obligated to go at least once. Once we got there I completely changed my mind. Even at 4 in the morning, it was completely packed â€“ standing room only â€“ with gorgeous, scantily clad women everywhere. It was absurd. I really hit it off with one dancer there. She told me how handsome and special I was, so I gave her my phone number and credit card information. I assume sheâ€™ll call any day now. I have a feeling this is the start of something really special and genuine. Finally, at around 6-6:30, we get out of there and decide we need something to eat. We ended up just jumping in a limo at the Spearmint since it worked out to be the same price as two cabs, getting him to drop us off at the IHOP near the house. We walked home afterwards, finally getting back just after 7:30 am. We were still pretty wired, so we jumped in the pool again, had some beers, until everyone finally started getting tired around 9:00 am. My problem is that I canâ€™t really sleep when itâ€™s daylight out, so I spent a while laying in bed, tossing and turning, before finally giving up around 11:00 and going to watch some TV. I managed to get in a 20 minute nap while lying on the couch, which at this point was all the sleep Iâ€™d had in around 30 hours. Butterball went outside to bbq some burgers while Prole and me were both on the couch, watching TV, drifting in and out of consciousness, with the rest of the guys still asleep. Then we heard some female voices in the backyard, which naturally got our full attention. Apparently it was the new owner of the house next door, a pregnant ex-stripper who was checking out the neighboring houses along with her friend, a dancer from Spearmint Rhino. Because all the houses in that cul-de-sac have identical layouts, they were curious what our yard/pool was like so they figured theyâ€™d come over and have a look. It was definitely a peculiar thing to wake up to. And who knew that ex-strippers could afford $1.2 million houses (although to be fair, she apparently only paid $800K despite the much higher asking price). Good for her I guess. Around this time, the other guys started waking up. After a quick bbq and another dip in the pool, we decided to walk over to the Las Vegas Outlet Center up the street. With the exception of 1-2 stores, it was completely useless. Iâ€™m told the Premium outlets north of the strip are a much better choice, but these shops were just a couple minute walk from us, so I suppose it was worth a look. For Friday night we had VIP entry and bottle service booked at LAX in Luxor. Me and a few others were ready pretty early, so headed over to the strip ahead of everyone else to grab some food. After being in Vegas for over a day, this was our first trip journey to the strip, which I found somewhat amusing. We wandered from Mandalay Bay to Luxor, looking for a decent place to eat. I wanted to try Burger Bar, but there was too long a wait to get a table, so we kept walking. We finally ended up near LAX, so decided to try out Company American Bistro. Since we werenâ€™t 100% sure about our booking at LAX (SL500 assured us it was taken care of, but we werenâ€™t convinced), we figured if we ate there, we would at least be able to skip the line to get into the club afterwards. Naturally, we had no reservations, but they were very accommodating and managed to find us a table after a few minutes wait in the lounge. No complaints from me since the waitresses in the lounge were gorgeous, so I could think of worse ways to pass the time. Looking over the menu, it was pricey, but definitely had some interesting choices. I ended up ordering salmon, with most of my friends ordering the burger (I think it was made with Kobe beef?). The waiter was a complete ******, very pretentious and condescending, but luckily the rest of the staff (hostess, busboys, etc.) were very friendly and helpful. When the food finally arrived, I was shocked by the tiny piece of fish on the plate in front of me. It definitely didnâ€™t look like $30 worth (or whatever the hell it cost, I canâ€™t remember now). As soon as I took the first bite, I quickly changed my mind. It was fantastic. Even with the miniscule portion, I was surprisingly full by the end of it. Everyone else at the table had similarly good things to say about their food â€“ some even going so far as proclaiming it the best burger theyâ€™d ever had. All in all, it was a fairly positive experience at Company American Bistro. By the time we were done eating, all the other guys had shown up to Luxor, so it was time to go to LAX. True to his word, SL500 did have a table booked, so we walked right past what was easily a 2 hour line right into the club. I had pretty high expectations for this place after all the buzz I had heard. Frankly, it was disappointing. The entire place was set up for VIP tables and almost nothing but. Our table was upstairs, overlooking the so-called dance floor, which was nothing but a tiny area roped off between VIP sections. The waitresses were absolutely stunning, but oddly enough, the rest of the crowd (and Iâ€™m talking about hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands, of people) was ugly. Seriously. It was the ugliest crowd Iâ€™d ever seen in a nightclub. The music was just ok, pretty much what youâ€™d expect, no surprises. I didnâ€™t drink much that night since I had gone pretty hard the night before, not to mention the fact that Iâ€™d been awake for 40 hours now. I was having an ok time (not great, just ok, probably due to the sobriety and lack of sleep, which was starting to hit me pretty hard at this point), but all the other guys were enjoying themselves. Later on in the evening, things definitely took a turn for the worse. Apparently no one had tipped the bouncer who was overseeing the VIP entry in our section. It was just an oversight, we all just assumed that SL500, who booked the tables (and we had given the money to), was going to take care of it. Because no one tipped him, this bouncer (I think his name was Hugo?) decided to do everything in his power to ruin our evening. He started off denying entry to any of the girls my friends tried to bring into the booth, which hadnâ€™t been an issue earlier in the evening. When they asked him what the deal was, he responded with comments such as â€œyou donâ€™t show me any respect, I donâ€™t show you anyâ€ and â€œthatâ€™s what happens when you donâ€™t care of meâ€, etc. Seated next to us was a bachelorette party who we were mingling with all evening. They apparently had a couple of bottles they hadnâ€™t touched yet, so they offered them to us. Hugo then walked over, grabbed the bottles, and told us that there was no sharing of bottles allowed. Instead of giving them back to the girls, he just had them taken away. By this point, I wasnâ€™t fully aware of what a prick this guy was being, and The Groom was pretty much done for the night â€“ practically falling over and whatnot. Me and Darkness took him outside, figuring that it was time to head home. Once we left the table, I guess there was a few minute period where everyone had left for various reasons (bathroom, dance floor, etc.), so our VIP area was completely empty. Prole met a couple girls and brought them back upstairs, only to have Hugo tell him that because we left, they had sold our table to someone else. At this point we had left maybe 3-5 minutes earlier. Prole tried to reason with him, finally giving him $50 to let him back into the VIP area. Hugo took the money, let them in, and then a few minutes later came back and kicked the girls out. What a classy guy. I missed that whole spectacle but I donâ€™t doubt that Proleâ€™s recollection of the events was anything less than accurate. Anyway, we jumped in a cab and decided to call it a night. Woke up pretty late the next morning, decided to head over to the strip for lunch and to do some shopping. Went to California Pizza Kitchen in The Mirage, which was fantastic as always. I really wish they had CPKs in Canada; I always eat at them whenever Iâ€™m in Vegas or California. We walked over to Fashion Show Mall to do some shopping and because some of the guys wanted to buy gifts for their girlfriends. Iâ€™d never actually been in that mall before and was really surprised by how big it was. Definitely a lot of good shops. After an hour or two there, we walked to TI to pick up tickets for Mystere that night. Then came some more shopping at the Forum Shops. Managed to find some good deals, spent another couple hours there before it was time to head home. We relaxed at the house for a bit, jumped in the pool, had a couple drinks, and then got ready to head back to TI for Mystere. We needed a quick bite to eat first, so ended up at Canterâ€™s Deli. All we wanted was something quick and cheap, so it seemed to fit the bill. I ordered a hot dog and was surprised by how good it actually was. I didnâ€™t think it was possible to make such a low quality piece of meat so delicious. Well done, Canterâ€™s. Headed into the theater to watch the show, but went to pick up a pina colada from their concession stand first. It was as overpriced as youâ€™d expect, but reasonably strong so I wasnâ€™t complaining. The show was fantastic, unbelievable acrobatics, some lighthearted comedic bits now and then, very well put together. If thereâ€™s supposed to be a plot, it was lost on me, but I was entertained regardless. There was one scene where two very fit, nearly naked men were balancing on top of each other. Obviously it took a great deal of skill and strength, but I couldnâ€™t shake the feeling that it was one wine cooler away from turning into gay porn. After the show, we were standing in front of TI, trying to decide what to do that night. We didnâ€™t have any set plans, so were trying to figure out what club we could get into without any VIP entry already set up. Just then, we hear a voice calling out â€œhey, you guys wanna come with us?â€ It was some hot girl getting into a limo. Naturally, we found the proposition to be intriguing. So we go and jump in the limo to find itâ€™s filled with girls for a bachelorette party, almost all of whom were quite attractive. That worked out pretty well. So it turns out theyâ€™re on their way to Tao in the Venetian. We get to Tao and thereâ€™s already a huge line. Luckily the girls were on the guest list, so we were able to skip the line. They got in free, but all us guys still had to pay the $30 cover. Not too big a deal, much better than having to wait 2 hours in line before paying the cover anyway. So we go inside and Iâ€™m already having a much better time than at LAX. The music was great, it was a nice layout, friendly bartendersâ€¦ a very well done club. It was still early enough that the place was fairly empty, so we bought a few rounds for us and the girls to get warmed up, also to thank them for getting us in. By then the place was starting to get packed, everyone was having a good time. One thing I was amazed by was how effective it is to tell girls that itâ€™s your buddyâ€™s bachelor party. As soon as I said that, theyâ€™d be tripping over each other to throw themselves at him. Of course, it doesnâ€™t hurt that The Groom is a good looking, well dressed guy whoâ€™s always been quite the charmer with the ladies. We decided from now on, every time we come to Vegas, weâ€™ll pretend itâ€™s someoneâ€™s bachelor party and just take turns being the alleged bachelor. Then again, weâ€™re all in our late 20â€™s, so I suppose weâ€™re at the age where there will be a legitimate bachelor party pretty often. All in all, it was a great evening which ended in some much needed and greatly appreciated sleep â€¦.after a quick dip in the pool, of course. We only had the house booked until Sunday morning, so we needed to be out of there by 11:00 am. Nickyâ€™s flight was in the morning and I had booked a 7 passenger SUV to help move the rest of us and our luggage from the house to the Bellagio, where we were spending the final night. Nicky and me headed over to the airport so he could check in and I could pick up the car. Itâ€™s been a while since Iâ€™ve rented a car in Vegas, so I had no idea there was now a separate rental car centre off site. Took the shuttle there and was pretty happy with this new rental process. It was very quick and efficient. Picked up a Jeep Commander and noticed it only had the one row of seats in the back. I assumed the third row was just folded down, so I didnâ€™t bother looking further into it. Drove back to the house only to find that the third row wasnâ€™t folded down, it was non-existent. So now we had 7 people to move in a vehicle that only fit 5. I wouldâ€™ve gone back to switch it for another car, but for how much time and effort it wouldâ€™ve taken, it probably wasnâ€™t worth it. Besides, J.J. and Andy werenâ€™t due to leave town for a couple hours and they had a car, so we decided to just split up into the two vehicles to go to the Bellagio. The house was only booked until 11:00 am, so we needed to be out right away, but J.J. was taking forever to get ready. The guy brought SEVERAL bags of clothes along with him for a 3 day trip, yet wore the same thing every day and STILL managed to take hours to get ready. I donâ€™t get it. Check-in at the Bellagio wasnâ€™t until 3:00 pm, so we just dropped our bags at the bell desk and decided to do some off-strip shopping. J.J. and Andy were going to drive back home now, so we said our goodbyes to them and had the remaining 7 of us pile into the Jeep â€“ 4 in the backseat, Prole in the trunk. For some reason, whenever this type of situation arises, itâ€™s Prole who always ends up in the trunk. After a quick stop at In-n-Out Burger, we headed over to Nordstrom Rack; always good deals at that store. We head back to the Bellagio around 3:00 pm to check-in. Darkness and me each booked a regular room with 2 queen beds. We figured it would be crowded, but not too bad for just one night, especially since we booked for only $149/room, which isnâ€™t too shabby for the Bellagio. After an agonizingly long wait in line, we finally got to the counter. The guy was quite friendly and helpful, offering us an upgrade to a 2 bedroom penthouse suite for $550, as opposed to the $300 the two rooms wouldâ€™ve cost us. According to him, that suite normally goes for $2,000/night, so this sounded good to me. At this point, all the other guys were still under the impression that we were staying in two basic rooms, so we figured itâ€™d be better to surprise them when we went upstairs. We walk back to the group and tell them that only one room is ready, the other one wonâ€™t be ready for another half hour, so we should just drop the bags upstairs and wait it out. This was my first stay at the Bellagio, so I wasnâ€™t quite sure what to expect. I knew itâ€™d be nice, but as soon as the elevator doors opened on the 29th floor and we stepped into the hallway, it was obvious that no expense or effort had been spared in this hotel. We enter the room and all the guys were blown away: this was definitely not the basic room they were expecting. The suite was around 2,100 sq. ft., so slightly larger than my house, with 2 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms. Each bathroom had an LCD TV, two had jetted tubs and two had steam showers. The overall quality and design of the furnishings, linens, countertops, etc. was amazing. One thing that I really liked about the Bellagio was the attitude of the staff. Most places you go, the staff acts as though a tip is obligatory and expected, whereas everyone I encountered at Bellagio - from the bellboy, to the valet, to the maid â€“ was very friendly and acted surprised and grateful when I tipped them. Whether or not this reaction was genuine or an overly rehearsed act, I found it refreshing. All in all, I have nothing but positive things to say about the Bellagio. We ended up hanging out in the room for a couple hours, a few of the guys headed out to go gamble or do some shopping. We decided to get everyone together for dinner before we all left the next day, so we called the concierge and had him make a reservation at PF Changâ€™s across the street in Planet Hollywood. We still had a couple hours until dinner, so me and The Groom walked over to Paris to get some crepes from La Creperie to tide us over. The crepes were as delicious as ever, but the price did go up a couple dollars since the last time I had them, so they werenâ€™t as good value as they used to be. Still, it was the perfect size snack to keep us alive until dinner later that night. After a bit more time hanging out at the Bellagio, we finally made our way over to Planet Hollywood for dinner. That was my first visit since it was the Aladdin and I have to say, this was definitely a change for the better. Planet Hollywood is a very cool casino with a young, party-type vibe, much like the Hard Rock. The Miracle Mile Shops were as mediocre as they were in the Desert Passage days, so nothing worth mentioning there. As for the dinner at PF Changâ€™s, it was good, but not remarkable. Even though everything did taste good, there was just something off about the flavour or spices in most of the dishes. After eating, some of the guys wanted to go and play roulette, so we went back to the Planet Hollywood casino. Like I said, itâ€™s a pretty cool place to hang out. We were playing next to the Pleasure Pit (but not actually in it, due to the higher minimums), so obviously the scenery was excellent. Prole and Butterball were doing most of the playing at the one table, both were up a few bucks, with Gin&Juice tearing up the table next to us. I think he was up something like $700-1,000. Since Darkness and Dr. T had an early flight and mine wasnâ€™t much later, a few of us headed back to the Bellagio to get some sleep while the other guys stayed in Planet Hollywood to (hopefully) continue their winning streak. Got up early the next morning, called down to the valet to have the car brought up front for me, and had to say bye to that amazing room. I felt more deeply for that penthouse suite than for any girl Iâ€™ve ever dated, so it was difficult to leave. Luckily, I wasnâ€™t heading home right away; I was off to San Francisco to spend a few days riding motorcycles with a buddy of mine, so that did make it easier to leave.