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Need some help to "one-up" our last trip

Discussion in 'LV Strip Hotels' started by corgilady2011, Feb 23, 2017.

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  1. corgilady2011

    corgilady2011 Tourist

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    Hi everyone. A long time lurker but I decided to try and get some help as we plan and book our next trip.

    My husband (31) and myself (28) have traveled to Vegas several times. Our latest trip was last September where we stayed at the Aria Sky Suites (1 BR strip view). We loved the amenities of the suite, although the strip view left a bit to be desired at the price point.

    We are planning to visit Vegas again at the end of May (arrive on Memorial Day, May 29 and stay through Thursday or Friday (6/1 or 6/2). But I am having one hell of a time trying to sift through all of the information out there to try and surprise my husband with an even nicer trip or experiences than what we did during our last trip.

    I originally (and currently) have 2 nights at Mandalay Bay comped through MyVegas and was planning on maybe 2 additional nights at the Cosmopolitan (fountain view).

    I am personally a bit worried that the MB experience will not be anything near or close to what was experienced at Aria. I had gotten the comped MB rooms in thought of a nice "pool trip" but now that I am seeing that I would have to lay down $300-400 on top of F&B for a cabana there (we average around $300-400 daily tabs after tip at the pool).. it's gotten me open to other options as the difference in price of the cabana for one day could put us at a nicer resort. It seems that Cosmo, while they have not finalized their cabana prices for this pool season, are moving away from their F&B min cabanas as well (the agent told me when I inquired that they are changing their pricing structure so I am assuming a little here). A cabana is not a "must" but I just want a nice pool experience - nice chair, some shade, wait staff etc.

    We also want to try our hand at gambling a bit heavier this trip and I'm interested in trying to put my foot down somewhere where we could start a good loyalty relationship as this will not be our only trip to Vegas this year (we are also planning to come out again in October/November). I have been quite disappointed with my experience with MLIFE (for reasons to discuss in another thread I suppose).

    In terms of budget, I am flexible. I really just want to make the trip special. I have $1,100 available for use towards rooms in my Chase Rewards portal to put towards the rooms, but I also have no qualms in paying for the room out-of-pocket (seems MLIFE rooms are much cheaper, in terms of hundreds of dollars a day cheaper to book direct vs. through Chase's TA portal, while Wynn and Cosmo are very closely if not identically priced to their direct prices). My total budget out-of-pocket all in for 4-5 nights would likely be $5-7K range, but this would include our bankroll for the trip of around $2-3K.

    Other things of importance to us, we are big foodies and enjoy multiple fine-dining dinners while vacationing in Las Vegas so having a multitude of nice options in resort would be great (e.g. we did Gordon Ramsay Steak, Bardot Brasserie and Julian Serrano at Aria last trip).
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2017
  2. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

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    IMHO, you need to prioritize what is important to you:

    1)Lodging (Is a view, jacuzzi tub, pool area, etc. important?)
    2)Meals (you can always travel to restaurants, but are you looking for free/reduced price meals)
    3)Gaming (what is your daily/trip budget
    Also,
    Do you like to travel to different casinos (within the same casino group), or "stay put"
    Do you rent a car?

    That would help (at least me) how to advise.

    Mandalay Bay is at the end of the strip. Unless I could get a comp there and nowhere else, I wouldn't stay there, since I like to play at different casinos, even the smaller ones, such as SLS and Lucky Dragon.

    I always (except on same day trips) rent a car so I can do downtown.

    I am older (way older) than you two, and single, so unless I have a female guest accompanying me, a room is just a place to "lay my head".
     
    Mental Health trip. Playstudios "custom" comp at Bellagio
    Asia closed, Canada closed, I'm left with Boston, AC, Philadelphia
  3. corgilady2011

    corgilady2011 Tourist

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    Well.

    I would say the most important thing to us will be restaurant experience, but I do want to caveat that with we really want to try and stay put as much as we can at a single resort. We stayed at Aria last time and the only time we left was to go to dinner at Gordon Ramsay at the Paris. In hindsight, we probably would have been even happier just staying within the resort for that meal. Not necessarily looking for a "free lunch." We were looking at E by Jose Andres within Jaleo at the Cosmo potentially for our splurge evening, if it helps give you a better idea of what we may be looking for.

    Lodging would probably be the next of importance as we really want a more impressive view than what we had at Aria last time. A nice pool area is a definite plus and the next in line, but above all -- we overall love to feel exclusive while in Vegas, while also trying to relax where we can.

    Gaming, not as important to us, as we were not big gamblers on our last trip - but are going to give it more of a go this upcoming trip. Would probably be looking at $500 for each of us per day max for gambling budget.

    We do not rent a car while in Vegas.
     
  4. Geogran

    Geogran Whooo. Whooo.

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    Based on this criteria, I'd choose Wynn based on lodging and dining - but I'd also include some dining forays across the street to Venetian/Palazzo. Followed by Cosmo or Venetian/Palazzo.
     
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  5. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

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    OK, I can only speak to the CET family of casinos and Venetian/Palazzo, but you might consider the Augustus tower fountain view rooms at Caesars Palace. It's not the closest to the pool area, but a comfortable walk down a hallway.

    With Caesars
    Plenty of dining choices Rao's, Mr. Chow's, Nobu, and Giada's is across the street at the Cromwell.

    It's centrally located if you do choose to get out and walk around.

    CET is, IMHO, the "friendliest" for getting comp offers with "lower" play.

    Venetian/Palazzo
    I have had a strip view once or twice, but since I'm not there for the view, I don't take notice. In fact, I specifically request a non-strip view at Augustus Tower when I'm by myself, because the comp value is $60 less per night, and $60 is a lot of food.
    Plenty of good restaurants (Bouchon, Carnevino, Delmonico's) restaurants and Wynn/Encore is right next door.

    I cannot comment on either pool since I'm not a "pool kind of guy".

    I would like to see someone with familiarity with Cosmopolitan chime in on Cosmopolitan. I don't prefer it primarily because it's a single property, and I like to get out and travel to several properties each trip. It may move to be my secondary property (replacing Venetian/Palazzo)
     
    Mental Health trip. Playstudios "custom" comp at Bellagio
    Asia closed, Canada closed, I'm left with Boston, AC, Philadelphia
  6. UTHguy

    UTHguy Low-Roller

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    The Mandarin Oriental is a fantastic hotel. It's quieter than a casino hotel but it's right there with Cosmopolitan and Aria in the same complex. Of note:
    • The view from the bar is second to none (see attached).
    • The rooms are really nice. They're not huge, but they have nicely sized suites.
    • Suite rentals come with a complimentary limo ride to/from LAS (like the Sky Suites).
    • Their spa might be the best one in Vegas. You can spend the entire day in there.
    • They are having a stay 3 nights, get the 4th free through March and AMEX Platinum Travel offers room upgrades, early check in / late check out, free breakfast for two and $100 spa credit.
    • Twist by Pierre Gagnaire is on the 23rd floor. I had dinner there recently and it was fantastic. (I've done é and it is more unique, so if you can snag 2 Golden Tickets, go for it.)
    If you are looking for an incredible dinner also consider L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon in the MGM.

    IMG_5319.JPG
     
  7. TIMSPEED

    TIMSPEED The biggest Degenerate on VMB

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    I would second Mandarin Oriental, although Cosmo maybe a close second. (only for you because gambling isn't important)
     
  8. h0llywood

    h0llywood VIP Whale

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    Can you elaborate on the "experience" part. Are you looking for the gambling, food and entertainment suggestions or are you wanting more of the Vegas after dark experience?
     
  9. corgilady2011

    corgilady2011 Tourist

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    Purely food and entertainment (pool preferred). We are not too much late-nighters, we would prefer to be able to retire to the room with an outstanding view for nightcap. But we'll be early risers to hit breakfast then pool or perhaps a spa.
     
  10. betman4711

    betman4711 Low-Roller

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    How about Four Seasons at Mandalay. The strip view rooms have an amazing view. Their pool is wonderfull with great drinks and food. The whole property is very upscale i think. The Spa is also very good.

    Food options are very good with Charlie Palmer and Veranda at Four seasons in addition to the Mandalay restaurants. if you gamble enough you even can get comped a view nights or meals at the end of the trip.

    btw we will be there may 29th until june 4th.
     
  11. rgrif57

    rgrif57 VIP Whale

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    Like DaiLun said Caesars is a great choice. Love the Augustus rooms and the Bellagio view. The rooms are nice sized and have jetted soaking tubs also. Rao's for Italian is good and Old Homestead is a great steakhouse, and there are many great choices in the Forum Shops. Paris is a nice property and being renovated, an Eiffel tower and Fountain view is nice in a Red Room suite, we stayed in one and really enjoyed Our home casino is Planet Hollywood and we love the vibe there. We stayed many times at V/Palazzo and loved it, so many great dining options and beautiful rooms. Not a fan of Wynn's like some are but to each his own. We also now stay mostly at CET, as they have some nice midwest places we go to so are more knowledgable on their properties We have never stayed at Cosmo but it sure looks nice and love the balconies..............Rick
     
  12. TedCheddy

    TedCheddy Low-Roller

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    Depending on what a good pool experience is for you, you might want to take a look at Vdara. Wife and I wanted a pool trip last June but wanted a cabana because we hate getting up early to try and get a chair and don't want to sit in direct sun all day. We also don't care about day clubs or party atmosphere - we just wanted to hang by a pool with our own chairs, shade, and relax.

    Most places we checked the cabanas were running at least $350 per day. The Vdara cabanas were $190 and came with a few waters, fruit plates. Best part was they have semi-private plunge pools that only the cabanas can use, and there were 4 cabanas per pool. When we were there there was never more than one other cabana near us occupied so it was very relaxing. Again, there's not much (if any) of a "scene" here but we really enjoyed it.

    Vdara, if you don't know, is a non-gaming hotel with really nice rooms. Aria, Cosmo, and Bellagio are all quick walks from Vdara so you could make any of them your "home" casino.
     
  13. the nuts

    the nuts VIP Whale

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    LOL! This thread isnt making your decision any easier OP. My advice and others may not agree, but Im looking at your "one-up" comment in the title. There are many levels of one up. Let me explain, if I want to one up Excalibur, I can go to NYNY/MGM or I can go to Wynn. Those are two entirely different levels of "one-up". Are you going for the HUGE one-up here or the modest one-up?

    Based on your criteria above you have many choices, which is also evident by the many responses you have received. The major players here are:

    Wynncore
    V/P
    Cosmo
    MO
    Caesars
    Bellagio
    Four Seasons

    Those also happen to be the higher end Hotels on the strip so its a no brainer that there come up. At the end of the day those hotels all fit your criteria minus the MO (no casino). I like the question from hollywood that said elaborate more on experience/vibe your looking for because thats the only thing that separates those choices.
     
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  14. h0llywood

    h0llywood VIP Whale

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    I was going to suggest the Viagra thread in the Vegas After Dark area to "one up" but I didn't think that would be appropriate or funny :)
     
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  15. corgilady2011

    corgilady2011 Tourist

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    Yes.. we are on the RIGHT TRACK!! :)

    By one-up.. I do definitely mean.. are there any options to improve in regards to the room quality (views are of great importance) and ambiance of the Aria Sky Suites. I'm quickly finding out that it's going to be harder to top that than I originally thought as Aria is an extremely nice resort. It's not the whole "free limo to/from" or lounge with free cookies, but we want more that's important.

    We just want a lighter, livelier atmosphere than what we found at Aria. Don't get me wrong, was a great hotel and the service was fantastic, but the interiors to the restaurants - most felt "cold and dark" and during the day it was basically crickets on the casino floor and very few folks walking around. I get that we seem to go on extremely slow times during the week to Vegas generally, but when we took an uber to go to Paris and walked through Ballys/LINQ that area, there were tons of people gambling each night, felt like a high energy atmosphere (at least compared to Aria) and it was fun and we stayed out hours until the night. It felt like more traditional classic Vegas to us and pushed us to do things we normally wouldn't have.

    If there's someway we could find that lively atmosphere, while staying as upscale as possible, that would be the balance I'm looking to strike if that helps.

    My goal is really just to push myself and my husband out of our comfort zone a little bit. We aren't partiers at all, so we stayed at Aria last time for a more low key vibe.. but you see what our general feeling is coming out of that.

    It seems each time I have pushed us to do something a bit out of our ordinary, whether it be that I spent an extra few hundred dollars I wasn't anticipating to get into a nicer or different room/hotel, splurging on a dinner/show that we would have never imagined ourselves at, it's been really the highlight of our trip.
     
  16. the nuts

    the nuts VIP Whale

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    In response to your last message the choices seem clear. You need a place like Cosmo, Venetian, or Caesars (augustus). Not too stuffy, but has a lively atmosphere and will definitely top Aria. I know Aria is a nice place but as many would agree, its not that special compared to some of the options listed in this thread.
     
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  17. Geogran

    Geogran Whooo. Whooo.

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    Agree with @the nuts - based on OP's latest most recent comments, I would revise my first choice recommendation from Wynn to 1) Cosmo then 2) V/P then 3) Wynn. Wynn is top notch but may be too sedate. (not a Caesar's fan - way too much walking to get anyplace therefore haven't stayed there in quite awhile).

    Best of luck in striking that perfect balance - soooo many good choices!!
     
  18. UTHguy

    UTHguy Low-Roller

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    If you want lively and good food choices, Cosmopolitan is a great choice. Jaleo and é are there. So is Momofuku and I think they have the kinks worked out by now. The casino there is very "lively" - a bit too much for me. I went on a rainy Sunday afternoon and I kept getting run over by packs of roaming, extremely inebriated women..... not that that's a bad thing. But, when I sat down to play, I had to change tables because my tablemates were soooooooooo trashed. I blame the rainy weather. They started drinking too early and didn't pace themselves for a day that long. :goofy::beer::goofy:
     
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  19. corgilady2011

    corgilady2011 Tourist

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    Thanks everyone. We are starting to look a bit more closely at the Cosmo.

    I wanted to get some thoughts from you guys on which rooms you think offer the most impressive views.

    I can get a one bedroom fountain view for around $193/nt average during our dates and seems like a great value.

    But there is also a "Terrace Suite" for around $430/nt (it is hard to tell from descriptions on the website if this offers a fountain view) and "Wraparound Terrace Fountain View" for $500/nt. Worth the premiums for just 2 people? Keeping in mind, the fountain view is #1 priority.
     
  20. easy_money

    easy_money High-Roller

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    I've stayed in both the Terrace one bedroom and Terrace Suite. All the Terrace Suites offer fountain view. It's a very large one bedroom suite, I believe almost around 1000sqft and has a full kitchen. I like both the terrace one bedroom and terrace suite rooms. But since it's just you and your husband and the price difference is almost $240 a night, I'd say go with the terrace one bedroom with fountain view. You can't go wrong with either rooms.
     
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