Viva Las Vegas

New Poll: I’ve been looking at our Vegas hotel options and now I’m all in a muddle. Should we spend a lot of money on someplace really nice – Did you know that the Luxor‘s elevators travel diagonally?? – or stay somewhere downmarket and have more cash to spend on activities? In other words, how should we “do” Vegas? Register your vote down on the right.


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  1. if you time it right, you can get pretty damn cheap rates for a lot of the nicer hotels… ESPECIALLY in the winter months. or, you can also stay at some of the lower caliber ones that are actually ON the strip (harrah’s, flamingo hilton, etc)… that’s what i’d recommend the most – make sure you at least stay on the strip… that way you won’t have to spend money on cabs and whatnot, which ends up saving you a lot. all the things you’d want to see are ON the strip. old town vegas is a lot cheaper, but it’s so far away from the fun stuff. i would say maybe try the sahara or one of those… they’re cheaper and on the strip (ok, a little off), and also the gambling (read: FREE DRINKING) tends to be WAY cheaper, too. sahara has $1 blackjack, whereas you won’t find cheaper than $10-15 tables at the nicer places.

  2. Vegas is “the happiest place on earth” according to my husband. Thank God we don’t live there because I would be living with a gambling addict.
    We have been there numerous times. I also recommend staying on the strip because it is near everything you are going to want to see. Take a cab to old vegas when you want to go there. The hotels are not as nice and it is away from the strip where all the action is.

    We have stayed at the Luxor (hated it) Bilagio (loved it, but is expensive), Mandalay Bay (my fav.), and Caesars Palace. They are pricey, IMO, so worth it. The casinos there are gorgeous, the lobbys are incredible. You can get great deals for those places so it won’t be rediculous.

  3. Absolutely agree that you should stay on the strip for ease of access, but somewhere less expensive, because you won’t be spending that much time in your hotel room anyway. I’ve only been once, stayed in the Luxor, didn’t love or hate it, but do remember thinking I didn’t feel anything strange or different when riding in the diagonal elevators! Then sightsee to the various big hotels, and what’s the slogan — see the world in a single city? … have a fab time!!

  4. Thanks guys. My criteria right now are 1) on the strip, 2) someplace I’ve heard of before, and 3) less than $100 a night. Within that range it looks like our options include the Imperial (cheap but looks a little run down), Circus Circus (which Rodd likes from the Bond movie “Diamonds are Forever”), and the Sahara (which I like from “Swingers”). So it’s probably down to those three unless some fabulous deal pops up in the next month or so. I somehow doubt it. We’re going to be there the weekend before Thanksgiving and it seems to be the busy period. Snookums was disappointed to learn that we’re missing COMDEX by, like, a day. He wanted to hang out with the nerds and stalk Bill Gates. (Incidentally, a lot of the Vegas sites mention that the casinos hate COMDEX, because computer nerds don’t gamble. “They know the math.” Instead they spend all their time at the strip clubs. Ha!)

  5. Imperial Palace is more centrally located than the others by far, but it is a little weird. It has some Asian Mongolian theme going on that I don’t totally understand. It is like right across from Caesar’s though, so which is good. The others are way farther down. Also, there are plenty of $5 tables at the IP. And O Shea’s is right there which does have $2 Blackjack and cheap craps, too. Also, Flamingo Hilton is a couple doors down and they have a cheap but good crab legs buffet. It’s totally true that you’re not in your room much, so check out the locations on those hotels and see what you like. Also, it’s pretty easy to get comped free buffets at the IP, but the buffet’s not very good at all. Oh, and they have a pretty cool free antique/collector’s car show there, too.

  6. This site has always been very helpful for hotel/gambling reviews:
    (notice how IP is closer to the “nice hotels” – and that small distance on the map is actually pretty FAR for walking)
    (how funny, their review of the IP was close to mine)

    I would say your decision would be between Sahara and IP. Oh yeah, also definitely go to Casino Royale if you stay at the IP. It has lots of cheap gambling, and you get a ton of free stuff if you join their players club (it’s free to).

    P.S. Can you tell I went to Vegas a LOT while I was in LA. I love me some Blackjack and Craps and free drinking…

  7. All I remember of Circus Circus is from when I was there w/ Mom and aunt Eula 14 years ago and even then I was pissed off by all the little kids. The last time I was there (and this weekend), we stayed @ the MGM and it was very nice. If you stay @ the Luxor, make sure to request one of the outside rooms so you can use the fun elevator. Other than the room, though I remember it being very dirty.

    This whole topic is just making me more excited. Thanks!

  8. My husband and I went to Vegas at the beginning of this month ~ he was on a business trip, I was there for the sights and sounds. His company put us up at the Flamingo, the original Bugsy Siegel Vegas hotel, right across the street from Caesar’s. The location was great because it was in the middle of the strip and close to everything. The room was nice and big with a comfy king-sized bed. Since his company paid for it, I haven’t a clue what it cost. I visited several of the other hotels in the area. Circus-Circus is cheesy and very child-oriented. The Bellagio is BEAUTIFUL, you must visit there. The Mirage has the white lions and tigers and Mandalay Bay has a shark reef. I took a sight-seeing flight over the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead and the Grand Canyon. If you can find the time, it is money well spent. Visit this website for a list of the 100 things to do while you’re there. Wherever you stay you will have a great time ~ Viva Las Vegas!

  9. Kel – Did you drive out from LA? That’s probably what we’ll be doing and I’m wondering how much of a headache that’ll be…

  10. It’s not too bad… I would sometimes drive, and sometimes fly (there were $55 RT flights from SWA at one point). It’s a pretty easy and boring desert drive from LA… between 5-6 hours, usually. On the way, there are some great stops – the world’s largest thermometer, an awesome Gyros place called the Mad Greek, and the diner where some of Sheryl Crow’s Tuesday Night Music Club CD cover art was taken from outside of Barstow. Ok, they’re not THAT great… šŸ˜‰

    P.S. Hey, slight chance Jen and I might be headed Down Under in a week or 2. Can we crash w/ you for a few days? It’s a longshot, but we want to take a vaca and there are $500 flights to Sydney and I have enough miles for one free one, so there’s a chance we might try it. There, an Alaskan Cruise, Vancouver, St. Thomas, or Mexico are our main options right now. Lemme know…

  11. What, no way! Of course! That would be awesome. If you can swing the dates, we’ve got a long weekend on June 12-14 (for the Queen’s birthday). I’m taking Thursday the 10th off anyway for the Harry Potter movie, so if you guys were to come then I’d just take Friday too and have five days off! Otherwise anytime is fine. We’re firmly into Autumn now so it’s definitely cooler than the last time you visited. (Mostly in the sixties.) Ooh! There’s one cool thing about visiting now: whale watching. ‘Tis the season. Sometimes they swim right up into the harbour. Otherwise you can take a boat ride out into the ocean to see them. And remember Luna Park, the closed-down amusement park right under the bridge? It’s open now! We haven’t been yet, so that would be a fun group activity.

    And actually, the world’s largest thermometer sounds like EXACTLY the kind of thing us nerds would like to see. šŸ™‚

  12. Ouch! That sounds sore if you had to shove the thermometer up “you know where.”

    Maybe it’s for elephants?

  13. Hey – Ok, we decided on my fave little place in Mexico – San Miguel de Allende. So, no Oz for now. But sometime soon, I swear. Thanks for offering to put us up, though. I’m sure we’ll take that offer sometime!

  14. I was just wondering where the phrase, “I’ll put you up”, comes from?

    hmmm…off to hunt it down.

  15. Aw man, you know that Roba nd I were married in Vegas, right (Treasure Island FYI). I have got a few places for you. But I think we may need a few drinks for this conversation…..I’ll ring ya.

  16. Mexico? Aww, you can go there anytime! Flights to Sydney are NEVER that cheap! šŸ™

    And Amy, yes, ring me! I’ve got no credit on my phone but we should chat and discuss your birthday shindig too…

  17. I like Excalibur. Reasonable price with solid rooms. I get a car rental so I can drive to wherever like the Rio, Palace Station, (nice steak/sea food called Broiler) downtown Vegas and other strip locations. Plus with the rental I can drive to shopping areas that most tourists don’t go to.

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