After our most recent trip to Vegas I thought it might be helpful to share some tricks and secrets we have discovered. Over the next few posts I will be sharing these. I would love to hear yours too!
#1 Secret- You can stay in a large suite on a budget.
If you are willing to put up with a couple inconveniences like extra walking to casinos and restaurants- you can live like a rock star (well, at least for a weekend). On our recent trip we had four couples and wanted to get rooms that would allow for privacy and room to stretch out without breaking the bank. Our solution? Planet Hollywood Towers-A Westgate Vacation Club Resort.
We were able to book two 2-bedroom suites for LESS than the cost of individual rooms. The suites included full kitchens, two bathrooms, a washer/dryer and state of the art technology.
As you know from our previous Bellagio post, We consider the Bellagio our Vegas home and we have had some problems when we tried to stay other places. So I was a bit nervous to try the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas on our recent weekend trip. We chose the Cosmo for two reasons…it is the hippest spot (right now) on the strip and the location is amazing. Well…I have to say we have a new Vegas home! The place was fantastic and we had a great time.
To start, check in was quick and our room was ready early. The Terrace Suite was our own Vegas condo with a full kitchen (yes, stove, full fridge, microwave), living room, bedroom and a washer/dryer. It also had views of the Bellagio Fountains. See the video here:
The only minor issues were the high tech room features which included lighting and temp control through our tv. This is great in theory but they are still working the bugs out. Our room was not hot by any means but we could not get it as cold as we like. The remote for the tv worked intermittently. I stress these are minor issues that will be worked out.
We spent most of the trip exploring the onsite activities and restaurants (restaurant report to follow in separate post). Walking through the halls is an adventure in itself with interesting and sometime interactive art around every corner.
While we rarely visit pools in Vegas, we could not pass on the Boulevard Pool. This adult playground overlooks the strip and has free foosball, ping-pong and pool tables scattered throughout the complex. The pool itself has a large ‘shallow’ area that enables you to lounge in the water with your drink. The hottest club in Vegas is the Marquee Day/Night Club at Cosmo that also has a pool. However, the ridiculously long lines (2-3 hours starting at 10:00 am) kept us from visiting it.
Overall, we loved this resort and cannot wait to return. It is safe to say that the Cosmo is our new goto Vegas spot.
The Four Season is widely rated as one of the number one hotels in Vegas. For this reason, we decided to try it even though it is located on the far North end of the strip far from our usual stomping ground. From the moment you arrive you do not get the Vegas Strip feeling. A reception employee warmly greets you in the quiet, elegant reception area. Unlike many Vegas reception areas, check in was quick and easy. unfortunately our room was not ready so we were told they would phone when we could pick up our keys. Unlike the Four Seasons reputation, we never received the phone call and after two hours went back to ask and find that our room was ready.
The room was definitely the highlight of the trip. As you can see from the video, this 180 degree strip view suite lived up to its name with an entire wall of windows running along the strip side. The room was expansive to say the least, you could easily host dinner for eight or a party of 20. The bed was another highlight, with crisp white sheets and a fluffy mattress pad it was a welcome haven after the massive walking we do in Vegas.
The problem with this location can be summed up with three words…location, location, location. The hotel occupies the top of the Mandalay Bay Resort which could be good because it offers many dining and entertainment options, but usually was annoying because it was easy to get turned around and not be able to find the Four Seasons lobby. Also, unless you are willing to travel the Mandalay Bay casino is pretty much your only option. We do give a big thumbs up for the house car that is available to guests and will take you (for free, except tip) anywhere within reason. We were suitably impressed when the new, sleek black Mercedes picked us up and the friendly driver took whisked us to the Hard Rock.
So, in summary the Four Seasons is elegant and peaceful, but for the money, We would recommend Bellagio.
As self proclaimed Vegas addicts, D and I have often pondered what it would be like to be a high roller. However, our cheap…uh…frugal gambling strategies have yet to even earn us a buffet meal. So, we decided to purposely ‘buy’ the high roller experience. We selected the Bellagio as our destination because we always had wanted to stay there…and where else would a high roller stay?
The adventure began in the airport where a tuxedo clad driver was waiting with a “The Bellagio Welcomes…” sign just for us! This perk was included with the penthouse suite we booked. The driver was very helpful and attentive, and even made a stop at the store for us on the way to the hotel. When we pulled up the door was opened by a valet and we were greeted by name. Whoo Hoo let this fancy pancy treatment continue…
He escorted us to the “invited guests” line and then took us to the super secret VIP elevators to our room. Seriously, they are unmarked doors and there is a security guard just inside to ensure that you are truly a VIP…I felt like Wayne and Garth when they got the back stage passes.
The room was everything I imagined and more…let’s start by noting we had a doorbell…if you need a doorbell in your hotel room, it has to be good! Other notables were the automatic push button drapes that opened to a stunning view of the fountains. Note here that the fountain music is also available through the televisions (all 4 of them) for optimal room viewing. The room had three bathrooms including a Jacuzzi tub with a view of the strip.
The Palms continues to be one of our favorite Vegas hotels. It is small enough that you can easily find your friends, yet big enough that you feel like there is action. The also have enough restaurants/services that there is really no need to leave the property unless you want to. The gambling is great with moderate table limits and friendly dealers. They have a wide variety of eating choices from a food court with McD’s to an upscale steak house. The property also features a hot pool (in season), a spa, workout facility and nightclubs. The one tip we have is to request a room in the new tower. Our room, a junior suite, was a nice size with an amazing view but the décor is becoming somewhat dated.