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Trip Report 7/27-7/31 Stratosphere

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by stezieb, Aug 3, 2009.

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  1. stezieb

    stezieb Newbie

    Jul 19, 2009
    Trips to Las Vegas:

    My Trip Report


    Name: Evelyn (Female)
    Occupation: Police Dispatcher
    Married, No kids, occasional drinker, no smoking, moderate gambler, likes shows, magic/comedy/cirque

    Name: Don (Male)
    Occupation: Police Dispatcher
    Married (to evelyn), No kids, casual drinker, nerd, no smoking, gambler, roller coaster enthusiast.

    Name: Steven (Male)
    Occupation: Police/Fire Dispatcher 911 calls
    Dating, no kids, no drinking, no smoking, no gambling, roller coaster enthusiast, like comedy/magic/hypnosis shows, hates cirque.

    Name: Megan
    Occupation: Student
    Dating (steven), no kids, no drinking, no smoking, no gambling, animal lover, nerd, any shows.

    We are all related, with the exception of Megan officially, but she has practically been family for 3 years so no awkwardness there.

    Day 1
    Arrived via driving my personal car, from Denver via New Mexico/Arizona.

    Checked out Hoover Dam on the way in, extreme temps felt as if though we were melting, but great views, a must see for sure. Traffic wasn't bad, just drove through, we did no tour as we had a party that broke her ankle a week before and was on crutches.

    Check-in at The STRAT was pretty decent, only about a 20min wait, this was at approx 5-6pm.

    $20 trick did not work, there was a young-middle aged african american woman, who offered to upgrade us to suite for $70/day and returned the $20, or offered to deduct it from the amount owed. We declined the upgrade.

    For dinner we went to Main St. Station buffet and had a great meal at $10.99/person. Well worth it. Berlin wall, and antique piano's/slot machines are neat to check out as well.

    Back at the hotel room, it was sub-par, very small with the closet/tv entertainment center combination furniture in the room. There is no fridge, microwave, or coffee maker. There were very few channels to watch, and movies to watch were expensive as expected. The hotel was clean and room has all new eco-friendly soap and shampoo, looks modern and fancy, we never got around to using it as we always bring are own. Air conditioning was always at the lowest possible setting, and room was barely kept cool. Wasn't terrible, but would have preferred a little bit of relief from the heat.

    While downtown, we went to Fremont st. We saw the $1million, then we caught the Queen Freemont st show, and an excellent street saxophonist.

    After this, we went back to the strat.

    Day 2

    The strat has very nice black-out curtains, and after the long drive, we slept in very late.

    After a shower with a faucet that seemed to take forever to get warm, literally around the 5min range, we were off for the day.

    Just as a side-note, the Stratosphere bathrooms do not have the fan function that keeps most bathrooms steam free, or at least reduce the showers steam. Taking a hot shower made the whole hotel room feel hot and humid for a good 30mins, we finally resorted to opening our main door and getting some more air in.

    The strat also has a poor option for renting a wheelchair. The one that we received (for $20/day) was rusty and did not move well, we exchanged it on day two, but the exchangee wheelchair wasn't much better.

    We obviously had my personal car, so we drove to MGM via the strip. We did valet thing.

    We checked out the lion habitat, and gift shop there. I recall grabbing some starbucks and $4 bottled waters before walking over the bridge to the NYNY.

    At the NYNY, we rode the coaster, and snacked on some NY pretzels, we took the opportunity to take a couple of pictures walking over the faux Manhattan bridge, which was pretty neat. I do not recommend the roller coaster here, it was over priced, short, and very bumpy as if it needed some major maintenance.

    From the NYNY, we walked over the bridge and to M&M world, and Coke world, then to the Excalibur. We checked out the scenery, and moved on to the Luxor.

    At the luxor, we were getting hungry so we stopped to eat at the Tacos & Tequila place. It was packed and there was actually a wait, so we went down to the buffet, but there was a decent size line there as well. It was near 8:30, and after talking with a Luxor employee, wee settled on just eating at the Luxor food court area. I had an amazing philly cheese-steak from Nathans, it was around $12 with a drink/fries.

    After dinner we moved on to Mandalay Bay, with the ultimate goal of checking out the aquarium. We got there around 10pm and they were closing up. We pretty much just wandered around mandalay bay checking things out, and eventually to the monorail/tram thing.

    We took the monorail/tram to NYNY, and then walked over to MGM, valet was quick and we headed back to the strat.

    The adults with in our party gambled a touch at the strat, they got a few free things from their rewards cards (t-shirt/1 buffet comp). They came back to the hotel room around 1am.

    Day 3

    We were tired from all of the walking and again those damn curtains made us sleep through half of the day again.

    I woke up and stepped outside of the room to make a phone call. There was a sheet of paper dated 7/27, stating that on 7/28 there would be maintenance done to the Strat water system and from noon-2:30pm there would be no water in our room. I found this to be interesting that it was falsely dated the 27th as we didn't get back to the room until 1a the night before, and there was no paper there. Despite being upset, we bought bottled water to brush our teeth with until the water was turned back on, around 2p. We showered and once again got a late start.

    Several of us had mcdonalds for breakfast, a couple had the mexican food place both from the strats retail level. Food was decent.

    We started this day off at the Palazzo, because of a wrong turn I made. We did valet here. This day we checked out the Palazzo, the Venetian, and the Venetzia.

    We moved over to Madame Toussades, but at $50/couple we decided to skip this.

    We went on to Paris which was neat, took lots of pictures and then walked over to the Bellagio.

    Just as we crossed the street, the Bellagio water show started, and it was completely unplanned, but we caught the show, with an awesome area to view it from.

    We checked out the Bellagio conservatory, and then Ceasars Palace. We missed the statue show, and rushed back to the car at the Palazzo so that we could drive for dinner.

    We had planned on visiting the Stratosphere's updated buffet at least once this trip, this was a huge mistake. Seeing as how 2 people in our party were under 21, they paid $16.99 for dinner, when the buffet all day is only $19.99. The adults got the rewards card discount which brought it to $12-$14.99.

    The buffet at the Stratosphere is terrible, 100% disgusting and over-priced. The plates were dirty, the soda was flat or extremely carbonated. The salad vegetables were warm, and had not yet ripened, many were bitter and un-edible. The salad dressing tasted like some home made concoction, and was 90% water. The only meat available, was disgusting taco meat, lemon-pepper chicken, and the most fatty beef brisket I have ever seen. The chicken was undercooked, and after we told that the to male that was carving it, he took it off of the cutting board and went to prepare some more (Half of the place was already eating this chicken by this point). The chicken was fatty, heavily spiced in some areas, and not spiced at all in others, and had large sections of pink under-cooked areas. We never did see that new chicken they said they were making. The beef brisket was terrible, and did not get eaten because of the massive amount of fat attached to it, and a strange odor that was nothing like beef. Overall we ended up eating a small amount of fresh fruit, and dinner rolls until we had our fill. No one in our party had any meat whatsoever, and even the ice cream machine was spewing out a strange, freezer burned substance.

    After a very disappointing dinner, we went to the retail level and bought some mcdonalds. We ate and stayed at the strat until around 11:45pm, then we left to Sam's Town. We checked out the little town display, it was neat, just very dark because of the time. We came here to bowl, $1 games, and $1 shoes was an awesome price since I am used to paying $7.50 for shoes, and $32/hr for bowling at home. We played a couple of games before heading back to the strat. The only downside of Sam's Town bowling was that the concession stand was closed when we were there, so no snacks. After bowling we came back to the strat and went to bed.

    Day 4

    We started this day fairly early (around noon), we all got ready and we went to Dennys on the North end of the strip between main st/las vegas blvd. There is an awesome waiter there named Val or Valente, after some mediocre service everywhere else, this guy was great, and even convinced us to come back once more before our trips end. The food was decent overall, just slightly inflated Las Vegas Dennys prices.

    After breakfast/lunch we headed to treasure island, we valet here. We walked on to the bellagio, and had some Gelato, which was cheap at about $4/person in a waffle cone, and it was some of the best I've ever had. I really recommend getting some gelato here and not at Ceasars for double-triple the price.

    Time must have really escaped us, because we caught the 7pm Ceasars statue show. This was decent, just a touch hard to hear. It also started pretty late (almost 10mins).

    After the forum shops show, we went to the 8p mirage volcano show, which with the whole tribal beat was pretty cool. We bought some $1 bottled waters, from some street vendors who were making their way through the mirage crowd. These guys were later arrested for soliciting by LVPD right behind us. I recommend this volcano show to anyone who has a couple minutes and is in the area, I don't think I would go out of my way to see it though.

    We moved north up the street to treasure island for the 8:30pm show. We nearly got in a fight because of how the crowds were so large. Several people were pushing us and knocking in to the rented wheelchair. We managed to stay for the show, really we just couldn't move out of the crowd. The show really wasn't very good, and we regret dealing with that large crowd just to see it.

    After the terrible strat buffet experience, we decided to go back to Main st. Station for dinner. Lucky us it was steak/shrimp scampi night, and the food was awesome @ only $13.99/person. We had our fill in delicious steak, and I got my 2nd chance to pee on the Berlin wall.

    The buffet closed at 10pm, the only negative thing I have to say about this place, was that come about 9:35, there wasn't a scrap of food left out. Since we were here sort of late to begin with, this meant not really any seconds, or dessert.

    After dinner we went and got our free strat tower tickets and went up to the top. The night view was pretty neat and a good experience, after walking around the place once, we went downstairs and to bed.

    Day 5

    Check-out was at 11a, so we had to wake up the earliest then we had all week. We woke up, got ready, and got tickets to go to the top of the tower to check things out during the day time.

    We went to the top of the tower for a bit and then left for food.

    We ate at the Sahara's Nascar Cafe, during the day they sell food from the Paco's restaurant. A couple of people in our group ordered some shredded beef taco's from paco's via the nascar cafe. They were the most salty disgusting inedible things that any of us had ever tasted. At nearly $15/person for this taco platter we were sort of upset. We didn't say anything about the taco's because our waitress was super nice, and because we had ordered enough other food to supplement the inedible stuff.

    After letting our food settle we went on "Speed; the ride" it was an awesome roller coaster that I could have ridden all day long. The only downside is it is not very popular and the attendants only run it every 10-15mins depending on how many people show up for it, in our case, there were 2 people total on the coaster. It was sort of expensive at $10/person for a 30 second ride, but I still think it was worth it. This is a must do while in vegas.

    After the Sahara we went to the atomic testing museum, this is an absolute must do. They have lots of interactive equipment, and their theater that has a rumbling floor, and compressed air shots is a cool experience.

    After the museum we headed home overall it was a fun trip. We had no big gamblers with us, and our hotel was $30/night+resort fee. The 4 of us shared a room.


    Hotel only review

    Close to Denny's
    Free Tower admission (we got 8 tix total)
    Fancy Eco-Soap
    Easy rewards card member prizes to attain
    Generally central for what we visited
    Quick Housekeeping (for extra towels)
    Mcdonalds on retail level
    cheap souvenir shops on retail level
    Comfortable beds
    Lots of parking
    Cheap Room
    Credit card acceptor on Coke machines
    Quick Check-in

    Loud Valet for premier rooms, car horns honking all night.
    Expensive Tower Rides
    Expensive Wheel Chair rental (no multi-day discounts)
    Mold in Bathroom
    Worst Buffet ever
    Bugs crawling on the wall in Pretzel shop on retail level
    Broken elevators
    slow check out


  2. NickPapageorgio

    NickPapageorgio OG of the Sal Sagev Hotel

    Jul 11, 2007
    Yuma, AZ
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Neither the Strat nor Sahara are known for their gastronomical delights.

  3. VegasDiva

    VegasDiva VIP Whale

    Apr 23, 2009
    Calgary , Alberta , Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    ty for the TR

    great detail :)
  4. Sklem211

    Sklem211 High-Roller

    Jun 20, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    OMFG I would have freaked out if my shower head looked like that!!! Strat is such a shame, HORRIBLE ROOMS and amenities, but I loved the casino
  5. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

    Jan 16, 2004
    South Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Thanks for posting your TR.

    later, GVJ
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