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TR 2-9 August. MGM, MSS, Bellagio

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by dcfc, Aug 12, 2007.

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  1. Hope this isn't too long I've tried to include enough detail to make it interesting but keep it short enough to be readable

    My first report - hope you find it interesting

    This TR is our first visit to Las Vegas although we’ve toured Florida 5 or 6 times and done New York, Boston, East Coast etc. We’ve been intending to visit Vegas for a number of years and actively planning for the last 10 months – thanks to everyone on the board for helping us make the most of our time in LV

    Neither of us is much of a gambler, the purpose of the trip was to experience as many of the sights and sounds of the city as we could in 7 days and I think we did pretty well mainly due to the enormous amount of information I picked up from you guys

    Details August 2-9 , just me and the wife (L)

    Flights Maxjet from Stansted UK. Got a great deal on this ‘all business class’ airline at £599 each return (at the time of booking Virgin economy was £605) and everything was good – especially at the UK end. Fast track security, private lounge with great food and drinks, fun crew and I drank champagne all the way on a 10.5 hour flight. Still good on the return but Terminal 2 at McCarran is a bit of a dump, no private lounge, and crew OK but not so friendly. Still with 60†legroom managed to sleep for 5 hours of the 9.5 hour return flight.

    All in all tremendous value and would recommend to all UK visitors to the US

    Hotels First 2 nights (Thursday & Friday) MGM Grand on Ultimate Escape 37 for $69 & $129 plus tax in a Grand Tower deluxe room with 2 free drinks in the West Wing bar and a $25 food and beverage credit. Checked in around 5.30pm Thursday – not too busy, picked up my Players Card first in case the clerk asked for it, tried the $20 trick and was offered either West Wing room or Grand Tower strip view. Went for the latter and got a 21st floor room looking at NYNY, Excalibur, Luxor, MB & Tropicana – definitely worth $20 to me but maybe not to everyone. Great room, all furnishings seemed new, spacious and an outstanding bed, probably the biggest and most comfortable we’ve ever slept in

    Second 2 nights (Saturday & Sunday) Main Street Station from their website at $50 & $40 plus tax. Had requested king bed, high floor, odd number but all that was available at Noon was 14th floor, two queen bed, highway side so took it. Nice room – better than I expected, no problem with road noise and fantastic at those prices

    Final 3 nights (Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday) Bellagio summer offer at $149 per night plus tax. $20 trick got me either deluxe with lake view, or tower deluxe mountain view, took the lake view and very impressed with the room although in our opinion the bed and linen were not quite as good as MGM. To sit in the room listening to Channel 31 watching the fountains on that first day at Bellagio was a dream come true

    Overall really happy with the deals we did on hotels and enjoyed them all. MGM a nice place, big and lots going on. MSS quaint after MGM but well kept and great value. Bellagio everything we hoped for. Thanks to Shock for the MGM and Bellagio info, and for the advice to book early and often which saved us a chunk of $. The only minor problems were in cancelling an Ultimate Escape 35 reservation with MGM as it has to be done on the telephone with Casino Marketing and can’t be done via the website. The first 3 phone calls I was on hold for 3-4 minutes before I cut off, finally got through on the 4th call which is no big deal but calling from the UK can get a bit expensive

    Drinks Discovered the pleasure of 99c Margaritas at Fremont, Bills & Casino Royale and enjoyed them to excess! Enjoyed West Wing bar & Rouge at MGM, both stylish, margaritas at Isla bar in TI were top notch, best cocktails though were at Parasol Down in Wynn. Best brew pub definitely MSS but beer at Ellis Island and 4 Queens good too. Dicks Last Resort at Excalibur truly bad, only went as we had a ‘buy 1 get 1 free’ drinks coupon but the beer was so bad we didn’t stop for the free one! Enjoyed vibe and service at Peppermill Lounge but drinks (martinis) and food just OK

    Food Stage Deli bagels in MGM nice, Ellis Island $4.99 steak special was outstanding for the money. Fatburger breakfast burgers much better than McD! 2nd Street Grille at Fremont was good – T-bone steak for me, Mahi Mahi for Laura. Golden Gate shrimp cocktail had to be done, breakfast in the Bay City Diner there was great. Champagne Brunch at MSS phenomenal for $10.99, Shrimp Caesar and Chilli at MSS both tasty and again unbelievable value. MAG very enjoyable on the patio – steak for me, quiche lorraine for L. Businessman’s’ Lunch at Palm in CP as recommended by Ken2V was very good – told the waitress we were there on a recommendation from this board and the manager came over to see us, was very friendly and said our wine was on him! The only (and very minor) food disappointment was Bellagio buffet that didn’t quite live up to my expectations, the only dish with a wow factor was the chilli and soy seared steak and I knew afterwards that I should have chosen Olives or Pinot Brasserie

    Weird Stuff Only 2 things really qualify as weird. Waiting for the bus to the Outlet Mall outside MSS on Sunday morning around 11am and a bag lady is walking towards us from Fremont Street. Halfway along the California she stops and leans against the wall, the next thing a stream of water is running down her legs, past her ankles and across the pavement!! A minute later she shakes herself and carries on walking towards us! We avoided her eye and jumped in a taxi!!

    That was (kind of) funny but on our last night at Bellagio L woke me around 4am and whispered “there’s someone in our bathroom†We’d had a couple of drinks that night so I was a bit woozy but said that was impossible and turned over. The next thing I heard was the toilet flushing, the bathroom door closing and the room door being opened then shut! Must have been hotel staff to get in the room – door was closed but we’d obviously not put the deadlock on, certainly wasn’t someone trying to be discreet or they wouldn’t have flushed!! Still, didn’t fancy running naked down the corridor after them so just turned over, and went back to sleep

    Shows On Thursday night walked by Excalibur lounge and stopped to watch a couple of numbers by a good band with a fine singer. Went by again on Friday – they’re called Rita Wright & The Jewellery Box and Rita has an excellent voice

    IP Auto Collection – can I call this a show? Used free tickets and found it very interesting, L less so and so we only spent 30 minutes in there, I could easily have done 1-2 hours

    Big Elvis at Bills Gamblin’ Hall was an experience, worth seeing especially as the host comes around before the performance taking requests and we got a namecheck

    Neonopolis Cinema – saw the Bourne Ultimatum (not released till 16 August in the UK) for $12.50 for 2 tickets. Great film, good cinema, great price

    FSE – saw 4 different shows, all good. Enjoyed the motorbikes in the cage show too

    Got Rat Pack tickets for $27.99 at the 4Q location of Tix4-2nite and got the taxi to pull into Greek Isles to collect the tickets on our way to Bellagio. Greek Isles is a strange little place but the show was enjoyable and felt really ‘old vegas’ in a good way. Tipped the maitre d’ $10 and got a second row booth

    Saw Mac King on the “$7.99 plus tax including 1 drink†tickets that they hand out, so less than $19 for a 1 hour show and 2 bottles of Heineken is great value. An enjoyable time but would suggest the 1.30 performance might be quieter than 3pm, we started queuing at 2.15, got into the theatre at 3pm and I queued for the drinks till 3.25 – Mac came on at 3.15

    Mystere tickets in section 205 row cc were available on the $50 offer and, although I wasn’t particularly looking forward to this it was one of the highlights of the week. We’ve never seen a show like it and at the end felt drained as there was so much happening in so many places all the time. Impossible to describe but I’d advise anyone who enjoys spectacle to see this show

    Forum Shops animated statues – WTF??!!

    Purple Reign (Prince tribute band) perform each Wednesday at the MC Brew Pub, we arrived around 9.15 and got seats at the bar, the show started at 10pm and with a 20-25 minute break continued till 1am! The show also includes a Morris Day & The Time impersonator whom we were introduced to and he name-checked us in his act. Tremendous performance and incredibly like Prince with all the right moves and a very tight band.

    After Purple Reign we moved down to NYNY and the duelling pianos bar where the atmosphere was great, people were paying over $100 to get a song played but we got a song and a name-check for $5!!

    Travel/Walking Time difference from the UK meant that we were out of the room at 7am on Friday, quick breakfast at Stage Deli and on the strip by 7.30am. Walked as far as Venetian and back down the opposite side calling into every casino on the way – it got a little warm by 11am!

    By the end of the week I think we had been in every casino from Plaza to El Co downtown and every one on the strip except Stratosphere even though we’re not gamblers

    Taxis are cheap compared to the UK but it seems we paid a lot more money to sit in traffic than we ever did to make the journey!

    Deuce is useful but very, very, very busy. They need to double the number of vehicles on the route

    Only used the Monorail once to travel from Hilton back to MGM but quick and clean

    Shopping Premium Outlet Mall downtown has some great shops and with their coupon book and some additional online coupons I found we spent a lot and made some good savings. Fashion Show Mall didn’t live up to our expectations, Macys especially disappointing we’ve done good shopping there at other US locations but it was very quiet but Saks 5th OK

    Wanted To but Didn’t Do Ran out of time to get to Rio, Palms & Hard Rock. Walked around Venetian twice but never had a meal or drink there. Didn’t eat at any Bellagio restaurants except Buffet and only 1 drink at the Sports Book bar. Cleopatra’s bar at CP closed both times we passed it. Wanted to see the Comedy Stop at Tropicana but ran out of days. Craftsteak $55 5 year special was on the itinerary but whilst we were at MGM we were still adjusting to Vegas time and food wasn’t a big thing for us then. CBS TV research at MGM. Downtown bars – Icehouse couldn’t find, Beauty Bar looked closed, Dinos & Atomic Liquor too scary! Loads and loads of other restaurants we’d have liked to try but I guess we’ll have to wait till next time

    Didn’t Like Not much, but... Sirens of TI show, way too busy on the pavement to see properly and a pretty embarrassing spectacle. Circus Circus, Slots a Fun & Riviera all seemed run down and unwelcoming to us. Luxor is ready for the revamp. Mermaids & Le Bayou very downmarket. Very busy around Venetian construction both on pavement and road.

    Big Ups £1 = $2 means everything is cheap. Bed at MGM. View from Bellagio room. Palms lunch. Atmosphere in NYNY. Rita Wright at Excalibur. Mystere. OK, basically just about everything!!!

    Notes It’s been suggested once or twice on the board that the walks from Ellis Island to the strip, and from FSE to El Cortez are quite a long way and maybe dangerous but we didn’t find them so. The “wear comfortable shoes†advice must be taken!

    The plan was to take a week and see everything we possibly could on the strip and downtown and I don’t think we could have fitted much more in – that’s down to all the info and advice picked up on the board over the past months and we’d like to thank you all for sharing your knowledge with us

    Questions and comments appreciated
  2. BrokenAlice

    BrokenAlice Tourist

    Sep 6, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    I feel the same way... LOL

    This was a great TR - it sounds like you had a lot of fun. I'm glad you got to see Purple Reign, that's a show that shouldn't be missed in my opinion. So much fun!

    I loved the stories about the bag lady and the person in your bathroom. Absolutely crazy and a little terrifying as well!
  3. FL Mary

    FL Mary Low-Roller

    Feb 4, 2006
    FL Panhandle
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    [​IMG] Excellent report! I loved all the details! Thanks!
  4. Leeza14

    Leeza14 VIP Whale

    Mar 4, 2007
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Wow! What a great report! Thank you so much; I enjoyed every word. :thumbsup:
  5. gmoney590

    gmoney590 VIP Whale

    Jul 8, 2006
    Tacoma, WA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    One of the problems we found with the room doors at the Bellagio was that if you don't make sure that you've closed them; they're not closed. So, any drunk who's gotten off on the wrong floor can slip their card key into the card slot and think they're in their room.

    It sounds as though you had a really great time. You got to see and stay on the strip and downtown and experience both. You also got to see a real piece of Americana with the bag lady. With the exchange rate the way it is Vegas becomes a real inexpensive trip for our cousins across the pond. I'm glad that you both really enjoyed your time in Vegas.
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