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Las Vegas Oct 12& 13 and Oct18, 19 & 20

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by George, Oct 22, 2001.

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    To Rent or Not to Rent

    We rented a car, as we were initially spending only two nights in LV and then heading to Utah and finally back to Vegas for two more nights. However, even if we remained in Vegas, we would definitely rent a car again. There are some great deals on the Internet or through AAA. Be aware though that there are no cars at the airport! From Terminal 1 or 2, you take a bus (Rental Car name is plastered all over the bus) to their offsite location; however, most of them are within five minutes. We went with Hertz and found the process very fast and smooth including checkout.

    If you have a car, you can drive everywhere and park at no cost at any of the hotel/casinos. We visited almost all of them, spent nothing on cab fares and had the flexibility of staying at an "Off Strip" motel for two nights at the end of our trip. This gave us the opportunity to find some great shopping and provided a few more interesting restaurants and sights at reasonable prices.

    Treasure Island

    Spent the first Friday and Saturday here and were very impressed with the room. Because of leads from this site, paid $99 for each night and considered it to be a good deal. We were actually offered one additional night's stay for $59 but had commitments in Utah. We enjoyed the hotel and had a good breakfast at the coffee shop. Did not have much luck at the casino and didn't really enjoy the atmosphere there.

    Hampton Inn & Suites, Henderson, Nevada

    We returned to the Vegas area on the following Thursday and decided to stay off the strip at this new (opened in January 2001) motel for $71 per night for Thursday & Friday . What a deal!!! This motel and the adjacent Holiday Inn Express were both built at the same time and are apparently alike in price and amenities. While we didn't use the pool or business centre (internet access) or the fitness room we did take them up on the free continental breakfast, which was varied and very complete. The staff was all very friendly (free chocolate chip cookies at night) and the rooms with their high ceilings) were immaculate. Coffee makers and hair dryers are included. They do not charge for local telephone calls.

    The ground floor rooms are actually accessible through both an interior hall door as well as a door next to your parked car---very handy when you have major luggage to move. One thing I miss in hotels is fresh air. At this place you can open your window and at least exchange the air for a while.

    Travel to the strip takes 15 to 20 minutes but shopping is very close. We found some major stores such as a new Costco and Wal-Mart and some good deals in the close by Galleria Mall. In addition we discovered countless decent restaurants and fast food chains for people who feel they are getting gouged on the Strip.

    Places to Eat
    Grand Lux Café: From a tip received from this site, we tried the Grand Lux Café at the Venetian. I thoroughly enjoyed the baked pizza while my wife loved the lettuce wraps. Next time though, we'll time our visit there before 5pm, as there are some great afternoon specials.

    Plaza Food Court-Fashion Show Mall: We were shopping there (next to Treasure Island) and were starving. After a quick walk-around through this cafeteria-style food court we wasted no time in leaving. What a dump! I'm shocked that the Mall, which seems pretty classy, would allow a mess like this to cater to their shoppers.

    Harrahs: While I can't remember the name of their steakhouse we did eat there to the tune of about $70 and enjoyed prime rib and a filet mignon. The restaurant overlooks the strip and seems geared to the older crowd who probably regularly attend. The dining room looks like something you'd see out of a 40's movie but I don't think they planned it that way-it just needs renovating. Both the food and the service were excellent.

    The Old Spaghetti Factory-Henderson: What a find!!! This is a chain, which provides a nice atmosphere and good food for ridiculously low prices. They have a few things other than spaghetti but when I return I'll probably eat the same spaghetti dish again. Very friendly service. Two meals including one beer and a large tip cost me less than $25.

    The Mask- Rio Suites: Another good find where we will return some day. Reasonably priced Chinese, Japanese and Thai food which we quite enjoyed along with friendly service.

    Wild Oats-Henderson: While we didn't eat at this place, we would have, had we been in Henderson at lunchtime. If you are into healthy food, this cafeteria style deli inside a health conscious food mart offers a lot of good items. There are tables and chairs both inside and outside.

    By the way, we like drinking bottled water and often walked long distances along the strip. While you can't always carry a bottle with you, it's amazing that you can buy a cold one from Wal-mart for a quarter yet have to cough up a buck seventy-five along the strip and two bucks in the hotel machines. If you are going to be there for a while, buy a cheap Styrofoam cooler and a case of water and leave it in your car. Sometimes it's the principle!!!


    We didn't visit all of the major hotels as we saw some on our previous Vegas trip.

    When we saw Venetian, I kicked myself for not jumping on the deal that was previously announced on this site. Venetian and Bellagio are really indescribable and would be fun to stay at if you want to pretend to be rich and famous. They are luxury at its best and are musts to see if only through a stroll which won't cost you anything. Bellagio's musical water show is very engaging and can be viewed from the street. Venetian's gondolas are also fun to watch.

    As far as casinos, the place that I read about most often on the Internet was Harrahs. Their slot return is as good as anyone's and while I did not take advantage of their "Slot Club" I understand they basically guarantee your first 30 minute loss up to $100. Sounds good to me next time. We also enjoyed the "70's" group that was playing adjacent to the casino. While playing the slots, we had full view of the group, heard all the music and I got free beer more frequently than in any other casino.

    Paris was another casino that we enjoyed. When we first walked in we thought we were outside. The ceiling with its overcast sky is neat. They also had some entertainment, which we enjoyed.

    On our last night, while killing time awaiting our midnight flight, we went to Rio. I have both heard and read a lot about this off strip hotel/casino; however, was really surprised by how much fun we had in the casino. These people are really out to ensure their casino customers enjoy themselves with a major show every hour. They replicate festivities in Rio de Janeiro with overhead live entertainment, lots of color and music and even have their performers tossing beads to the customers. You can't help but not have fun there and I felt I received good value for the money I left in their slot machines. The only regret we have is that we didn't spend more of our time there.

    In summary, we have decided to stay at Rio next time if we can find a decent deal. Venetian would also be nice but probably beyond what we are willing to pay. If we can't stay in on the strip we won't be too disappointed with staying at The Hampton Inn & Suites in Henderson again.

    I hope this hasn't been too detailed for this site; but I wanted to share our experiences in thanks for the very helpful information I received from this most valuable web site.
  2. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

    Nov 28, 1999
    Western Washington
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Thanks for sharing, George. It wasn't too long, I loved it. [​IMG]

    I was very fond of the Rio, but I haven't had as much fun there the last couple visits. I hope it turns around because I really would like to spend more time there.

    I love the Old Spaghetti Factory! I haven't been to one in ages. Sure it's a chain, but if it's anything like the one we used to have a billion years ago in California I'm sure it was great. I may have to go look for it one of these trips. [​IMG]

    Sounds like you had a great trip. Thanks for sharing it.

  3. stacy67

    stacy67 Low-Roller

    Oct 14, 2001
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Thanks for the great trip report! Your info. will be very helpful when we go next month. We will be staying at the Venetian and thought we would eat at the Grand Lux for lunch on the Sunday that we get in. What time do the afternoon specials that you mentioned start?
  4. George

    George Guest

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by stacy67:
    Thanks for the great trip report! Your info. will be very helpful when we go next month. We will be staying at the Venetian and thought we would eat at the Grand Lux for lunch on the Sunday that we get in. What time do the afternoon specials that you mentioned start?

    I believe they start for lunch at 11am & continue 'til 5pm. I'm guessing at the start time---but am sure it ends at 5pm.

    Have fun
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