In general: Seemed like it wasnâ€™t the busiest time of the year. Luxor in particular had a lot of unused tables in the casino. OK by me, I got onto the low-limit games I wanted. Also, we went intending to see the town with a cocktail in hand and hit the tables when we â€œfelt the loveâ€, gambling was a sidelight on this trip, so the casino notes double as bar/lounge notes. Also, it was my first trip (second or third for my buddies) so take these as the impressions of a vâ€¦ uh, newbie. The Room: We got a 23rd floor strip-view standard pyramid room just by asking for it, overall pretty nice. Tried to get something looking north out of the tower(s), but they said that those rooms were not in service? Must have been time of year or something, but I think the view would have been better (than looking at McCarren, mostly). Plenty of hot water, very quiet room (maybe you should ask our neighbors insteadâ€¦ ), except for a toilet that would suck down a Buick if you left it too close. If you donâ€™t like heights (me), be advised the hallways are open to the atrium in the center of the pyramid except for a 42â€ high solid barrier . Seems like a liability case waiting to happen, but other folks will find it really cool. If youâ€™re wondering about riding in the inclinator (elevator that goes sideways and up at the same time), well, it makes you stagger sideways a little, but otherwise, its an elevator. Pool area is just ok. At this time of year, pool bar was closed, most of the pools were closed. Theyâ€™re only wading pools anyway, although in the summer, with the bar open and a lot of folks out, it could be fun. Front desk service was ok. We asked for an extra blanket that never came. Then there was the phone, started ringing once or twice every minute or two over the period of a half hour starting at 7 AM! Called the front desk, they put a stop to it (immediately), said they were going to trace the source, but we never heard back. Also, I had rebooked over the phone to get a better rate, and they had the old rate down on my reservation. However, I showed them my notes from the phone call, and they put that rate in. In my mind, though, these are quibbles. We generally had a great stay. Food: San Remo: The $5 prime rib or steak and eggs was great, and just on the other side of the Trop from the strip, its a good south strip resource. Grand Lux (Venetian): Excellent. We ate at the bar and had the four cheese pizza and barbecue duck potstickers, both were excellent. Great bartender there too. Luxor CafÃ©: I didnâ€™t go there myself, but my buddies said they had the worst bacon theyâ€™ve ever had - rubber. Harley-Davidson cafÃ©: The Harley Hog pulled pork sandwich was pretty good, and my buddy had the hottest wings heâ€™s ever had. Also, they had some brand new bikes going around the restaurant on sort of a conveyor, Iâ€™m not a huge motorcycle fan but those were some nice looking bikes. Also lots of shots of Harley-owning celebs ( Martina Navratilova??). Orleans buffet: We went for the seafood, especially crawfish, which were ok, but I understand theyâ€™re supposed to be hotter (spicier). The jambalaya (spelling?) was great, also went through a lot of peel-and-eat shrimp. Nothing else looked all that interesting. $12, a decent deal for a dinner buffet. McDonalds: Look, in the mornings, when I didnâ€™t want to spend money, and I needed a huge OJ to get well, this place (Luxor food court) was my best friend. Also: if Krispy Kreme is your thing, there are two places in the Luxor that sell them, one in the food court, one by the front desk. Or you can hike over the Excalibur to get to the source. Casinos, Bars and Lounges: Luxor: Did okay here. Felt the love right away at the blackjack table . They have double-deck tables, but I found those only after discovering that dealer hits soft 17 on pretty much all tables, which wasnâ€™t the game I wanted. Decent place for craps, $5 limit tables were available when I wanted to play. Overall, came out farther ahead here (craps, blackjack) than any other casino we hit. Nice casino area, decently lit and decorated. Good to very good bartenders that treated us well. If you want to play VP at the bar and get comped drinks, you may have to push the point a little, they generally seemed to assume if you are at the bar, youâ€™re paying for your drink. We generally werenâ€™t playing VP at the bar, so it wasnâ€™t a problem for us. Also kudos to the waitresses who keptâ€™em coming for us low-rollers on the nickel slots and VP when it came time to milk the comped drinks. Mandalay Bay: Generally $10 limits, but I found a $5 craps table and felt the love here too. Friend of mine sat down at a empty roulette table while he was waiting for me and got probably the nicest dealer we had all trip, sociable too. One of the greatest bars/lounges we found was the one in the middle of this casino, we spent a lot of time here. Casino Royale: A little dark, but if you want a low-limit table on the strip, canâ€™t complain too much. Watch out for the hand-dealt blackjack, pays 6-5 on blackjacks. This is where I started paying more attention to table rules. Orleans: People were having a lot of fun at the craps tables here, maybe just a looser crowd than the â€œplayasâ€ at the Mandalay Bay. I didnâ€™t do too great here, especially when I sat down to the lightning-fast blackjack dealer. Had a good roulette dealer who was pretty patient with us despite the fact that we couldnâ€™t seem to remember to keep our hands off the table until he was done with the payouts. Bartenders were a crapshoot; had one of the greatest bartenders here, who set us on our way to the crawfish and gave us some other info, even though he was pretty busy; others were average. Monte Carlo: didnâ€™t play here, but there was at least one single zero roulette table. Bellagio: not my tax bracket, but even the slots area was classier than other casinos. One quibble, if I was going to sit down to a blackjack table to toss out $100 chips, Iâ€™d want a hand-dealt game, not a six-deck shoe. Pretty good people watching, though. MGM Grand: Studio 54 is a great space, right up there with the Mandalay Bay casino bar. Big, open, casino and lounge are integrated. There was a group doing covers of Tina Turner, Neil Diamond, Elvis and the like, a lot of fun even if they pushed the crowd-participation thing a little too hard. Downtown: It was the last night, I was short on sleep and long on cocktails when we hit downtown so Iâ€™m not super clear on what all we did. We did some blackjack, craps, possibly roulette at the Fitz based on our cabbies recommendation. Blackjack dealer seemed a little snippy. Came out ahead here, but not by much. Actually, getting out of the Fitz proved to be a chore, seemed like the exits were off in a side room. Didnâ€™t gamble at Binions and really wish I knew why. Went to the Gate for the obligatory shrimp cocktail, which was good. Both the Gate and Binions (and the Nugget) had nice looking bars. In general, with the canopy and all, downtown seemed more like one big open party than the segregated strip places, weâ€™ve got to hit this place earlier in the trip next time. And the light show was cool, but it would be cruel to take someone there if theyâ€™re all strung out . A word on trams: Not as useful as you would hope. The Excalibur/Luxor/Mandalay Bay one doesnâ€™t stop where you want it to, dropping you on the South end of the Ex instead of going up to the station by the corner of Tropicana and Las Vegas Blvd. And from the stop at the corner, you have to go to the MB before you can get to Luxor, so we didnâ€™t use it but once. The MGM Grand monorail stop is a looooong hike from the front of the casino, but it covers a pretty good distance up to Ballys, and Ballys has the people movers to help get you from the casino to the strip. Iâ€™m not 100% sure what the point of the Bellagio/Monte Carlo tram is, again itâ€™s a hike to get to it compared to how far it takes you. How about one tram that goes the length of the strip? Yes, there are buses, but Iâ€™ve lived in Chicago and trains beat buses any day. Other transport: Cabbies (on the whole) were great, fun to talk to, and didnâ€™t jerk us around. We didnâ€™t take a car and given the traffic on the strip we didnâ€™t want one (thereâ€™s also the cocktail factorâ€¦).