I'm back from a week in Vegas and life is, again, boring. This was my first stay at the Gold Coast and want to share with all who may be interested. If you have any questions, please let me know! I don't think I covered nearly as much as I wanted to! The Gold Coast is not one of the glamorous and overpriced Strip hotels that charges you an extortionist and laughable "resort fee" for your stay plus Strip prices. You'll get the Gold Coast for about $35/night (Sun-Thu) and a reasonable $3 resort fee. I've been to Vegas over 50 times as a budget traveler who doesn't want to pay to be in the latest trendy hotel with hot clubs (and $400 bottle service) and a $60 pool fee. If that's your thing, then move on. The Strip hotels love you. Pay on. This was my first time at the Gold Coast. Having stayed a dozen times over the years at other Boyd properties (Sam's Town and Orleans) I can easily compare the properties. I would certainly rate the Gold Coast as my favorite Boyd property thus far. However, if you have children and want room size, you will want to head to the Orleans for the bigger pool and larger room size. Sam's Town is great for a central location and casino size. Sam's Town pool is small like the Gold Coast. I'm going to rate the Gold Coast on property alone and not the casino. As an avid video poker player, the best you're going to get is about 99% on Loose Deuces, which is just okay. I'm rating this on the hotel alone. I always get a rental car and go to the properties that offer 100%+ video poker. Sorry Boyd...you can do better for the locals and video poker players. I don't partake in cocktails much, but the free cocktail offerings were about 10mins apart throughout the casino. Location This is an off-Strip hotel. It is next to the Rio and across the street from the Palms. There is a shuttle (that I did not utilize) to the Strip. I always use a rental car. Based on observation, the shuttle can quickly fill up and you may have to wait over an hour to get a ride to the Strip. You can walk to the Strip, but it is at least ½ miles and across a freeway that I wouldn't consider safe by any means. As for location, the Gold Coast is a quick drive (or cab) to the Strip, a rental car ride to McCarran, and also a quick (5 mi?) to downtown. I'm a frequent visitor of the Henderson properties and this is a bit longer by car/cab (20mins or so), but, with a rental, this is no big deal. Check-in As with Sam's Town and the Orleans, I was able to check in early (before 10am) without an additional charge and I think that's just awesome. The gal at the front desk was delightful and told me that the only room available at the time was at the very end of the hall. I was so happy that she pointed that out and the walk didn't bother me a bit. There was NO line at approx 10am on a Sunday. Woo-hoo! Take that Strip properties! Gold Coast gets an A+ for their check-in. In my experience thus far, ALL the Boyd properties have fantastic check-in/out staff. I hope that continues. Read the reviews about the Hard Rock Hotel and you'll see how bad it can get. Who stays here? The Gold Coast has an interesting mix of locals, 40+ gamblers, and asians who love table games (pai gow poker and baccarat). I stay on weekdays between Sunday-Friday. The fratboy 20-something overflow from the Strip, Palms, and Rio MAY stay here on the weekends, but I don't know for sure. During weekdays, however, it's definitely a 40+ American and asian crowd. My Room I booked a Premium room, which runs about $5/night more than their standard rooms. As with most Vegas properties these days, you'll pay a bit more for a room that is actually in the 21st century. Having stayed at both Sam's Town and the Orleans dozens of times, these rooms are significantly smaller at 360 sq ft than the other Boyd counterparts, but have a nice contemporary and asian theme and are somewhat nicer. Sam's Town rooms run about 720 sq ft and Orleans run about 450 sq ft. All the current pics for the rooms are accurate, so I didn't bother uploading more. I think all three properties are fine depending on your tastes and size preferences. You actually get a single serving coffee maker. I did not try the coffee, but it appeared to be instant. If that's your thing....go for it. I chose to pay for the Java place that served Starbucks. The room does not have a closet, but has a small armoire that was enough for a single person, but probably small for a couple. The shower has the oversized showerheads and was very nice. There is NO bathtub in the Premier rooms. The water was nicely HOT during the morning. However, I noticed on two afternoons that the water did not get above tepidly warm. Not a big deal for me, but if you love hot showers...the hot seems to run out. During the winter, this might be a problem. The room does NOT have a safe like the Orleans (I don't recall Sam's Town having one either), but you can use the Casino cage safe to store your valuables if you want. Air Conditioning I was on the 9th floor, which is the smoking floor, so lower floors may have better results. This is VERY important during Vegas in the summer and hugely important to myself. I've noticed that, over the years, the Vegas hotels have REALLY let the A/C quality go by the wayside with central A/C and horrible lower limits on A/C (75F+ during the summer that can't maintain 80F). When it's over 100F outside, the A/C becomes important. The Gold Coast has wall units (as opposed to central air). I stayed in the room as a single adult and, having set the A/C to 71 degrees from the first day, the room maintained about 76 degrees when the temperature outside was about 103F and could attain 71F when the temperature outside was about 90F. With two people in the room, the temperature would be at least 2F higher. If you're comfortable at 78F during the day with 100F+ outside, then that's fine during the high heat of summer. Otherwise, the A/C simply wasn't enough and you should look elsewhere. PLEASE consider the A/C because Vegas hotels are very cheap these days when it comes to air conditioning. I was delighted that the curtains were cut to accommodate the A/C. If you've been to a hotel that you needed to move the curtains above the A/C, then you know what I mean. You can move the curtains to have almost blackout in the room. Just great! Not Kid-Friendly I prefer hotels that don't cater to the screaming, drooling, wall-licking children that so many Strip properties seem to love these days. Sorry if you're one of those parents that thinks Vegas is Disneyland. Sorry, the Gold Coast is not for you. There is no daycare that I'm aware of and the pool is very small. If you think your children should be in the smoke and alcohol-filled Vegas, this is NOT the hotel for you and your little cherubs. Please check out Circus Circus and other reviews. For me, this hotel was heaven. I saw less than a dozen rugrats in my whole trip and I thought that was just awesome. Buffet and Restaurants I'm a buffet fiend and, having tried many buffets over the years, I have to admit...the Gold Coast is hugely better than both the Orleans and Sam's Town. The meats are generally not completely cardboard and the veggies were very fresh. I'll write up more on the buffet and restaurant reviews separately. No, this is not a Wynn or Bellagio buffet, but for Value...the Gold Coast is AWESOME. Summary GREAT value hotel for 40+/asian/no-children crowd. A/C may be an issue during the summer.