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Old 03-03-2010, 01:50 PM
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If you consider the Rio consider a rental car.
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Old 03-03-2010, 02:30 PM
Location: Tucson/Nogales
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I'm a traveler who absolutely insists upon having a balcony. No balcony, not interested!

And not many hotels here offer them. But some do:

Imperial Palace, the older tower at the Sahara, some rooms at Bally's and Riviera and the older tower at Caesar's.

The Cosmopolitan isn't open yet, but when it opens, there'll be lots of balcony offerings there.

I get claustrophobic in rooms with hermetically sealed windows. Won't stay in one even if it's a 5-star facility offering $25 rooms.
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Old 03-05-2010, 09:27 AM
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I've seen a few rooms at the Imperial Palace, and you couldn't get me to stay there if it were the only hotel in LV. Blech!
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Old 03-08-2010, 06:27 AM
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We are also thinking of going and here are our choices of hotels. Any insight would be great - and may also help the OP:

Venetian or
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Old 03-10-2010, 08:44 AM
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We are also thinking of going and here are our choices of hotels. Any insight would be great - and may also help the OP:

Venetian or

.................................................. ..................................................

I've been in Las Vegas many, many times over the years and I have stayed at a wide variety of hotels along the Strip. I'll review these and some other hotels as well.

Expensive category:

Mandalay Bay. Overhyped and overpriced. Plus it is too far out at the west part of town, so the location is poor. It is next to the Luxor which I shall also review in a bit. The hotel does have a lazy river swimming area which is fine. None of the restaurants here are particularly appealing either. The theme is Asian. Its a poor value for the money.

Luxor. This hotel was something when it was first built. It, of course, is the famous pyramid that shines a light brightly into the sky at night. Originally, they used to even have a river inside the hotel! You could go on a boat cruise that simulated a journey through the pyramids of Egypt. I guess it was either too expensive or unpopular. Years ago, they dug up the river and its alot like other hotels now. The pyramid shape of the hotel is unusual and an elevator ride can be strange because you don't go straight up. You go up and sort of inwards. Perhaps, the best part of the hotel are the gift shops. They sell Egyptian type stuff that is kind of fun. You can take some good pictures here too. A tram connects Luxor to the next property down, the Excalibur.

Paris. Comes with its own model of the Arc de Triumph and the Eiffel Tower. I haven't stayed there, but I would like too. The shops, of course, have a French theme. One of the best things about this hotel is the "Village Buffet". All the well-prepared French food you want. It is expensive ($25), but in my opinion worth it for the vast array of food choices you can make.

Venetian. This is in the center of the strip and location is definitely better than Mandalay Bay or Luxor. The rooms resemble suites and have marble fixtures or fixtures that look like marble. Staying here is definitely not cheap, but very pleasant. I highly recommend this hotel. They have an Italian buffet and a boat ride inside the casino on Gondolas. You walk through the shops along walkways meant to resemble Italian streets and you end at a place meant to resemble the Piazzo in Venice. You are reasonably close to the Caesar's Forum Mall and some important areas of town.

Wynn's. Haven't stayed there. Walked in. Seemed kind of boring. Maybe others feel differently.

Bellagio. Haven't stayed there. The lake outside is a great place to a water show with lights in the evening. I notice someone else here says the quality of Bellagio is deteriorating. He probably is the one to listen too.

Moderately expensive:

MGM. I like this hotel. It is a greenish black structure that really stands out at the corner of Tropicana and Las Vegas Boulevard. The theme--obviously--are the movies. Go stroll down the Starlane Gift Shops until you find the characters from the Wizard of Oz: Dorothy; the Tin Man; the Lion; and the Scarecrow. Definitely worth a picture. The rooms are nice, but certainly not excessive. You can get on the monorail here, if you wish and travel way down the Strip or over to the Hilton Convention Center Hotel. The MGM has a glass cage on the main floor where they keep lions. The breakfast buffet is particularly recommended. You are very close to the MM plant and the Coca Cola factory if you have kids with you.

Flamingo Hilton. Not as good as the MGM Grand, but a solid choice. The buffet is good and the swimming pool outside is nice as well if you are there in the spring or summer. For history buffs, this is the sight of Bugsy Siegel's famous "Flamingo Casino" which he built after the end of World War II. The location is good as well. Its almost at the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo.

New York/New York. Also, located at the corner of Tropicana and Las Vegas Boulevard. A very impressive hotel. The centerpiece of this hotel is a huge rollercoaster that runs along the entire outside of the building. Not for the faint of heart. If you love coasters do it, if not stay away! Also outside is a replica of the Statue of Liberty and boats in New York Harbor. Part of the complex includes a small replica of the Brooklyn Bridge that you can walk across. There is a Galagher's Steak House inside and, of course, a Nathan's Hot Dog Stand. The gift shops offer plenty of souvenirs representing New York City.

The Mirage: A good choice near Caesar's Palace and Treasure Island. The Mirage is famous for the "volcano" outside that lights up at night. Rooms are nice, but not fancy. The Mirage used to have huge aquariums with tropical fish in them. I'm not sure if it still does.

Treasure Island. This is the place where they have pirate battles in the lagoon that has been specially constructed in front of the hotel. Beware though, the battles are popular and people will literally jam the sidewalk in front of the hotel while the battles are going on. Rooms are good. The buffet is decent. Perhaps, the best feature at this hotel is to grab a drink and sit on the specially constructed verandas and watch the pirate battle as it goes on.


The Excalibur. In my opinion, the best of the cheap hotels. I've seen rooms advertised here as low as $27 a night during weekdays. Its a huge complex. I think there are about 4000 total rooms in both of the towers. They have a nightly jousting show with knights that they hold downstairs. The show includes dinner and costs about $65 for adults if I remember correctly. One drawback. Since the recession, they've laid alot of staff off. You may wait longer than you want for service at this hotel.

The Stratosphere Tower. Not a bad choice. But most of what is good about is at the very top. They have several thrill rides which are just unwordly when you consider that they are 1100 feet above the ground! There is a nice pool there too.

Imperial Palace. Too old and the rooms are too small.

Circus Circus. Too kids oriented and older rooms that need more renovation.

Sahara. It has a nice roller coaster for the kids. However, the rooms are dated and the food at the restaurants (particularly the buffet) is poor quality.

Finally, no place "downtown" is worth considering.

I would add just a couple of tips for all choices. Unless you want to be confined to your hotel and a short distance around it than rent a car. And, when checking in at the hotel use valet parking. It will save you alot of time over self-parking options.
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Old 03-12-2010, 12:54 PM
Location: SD
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Wow - great thanks to the last poster!

We enjoy visiting Las Vegas -- we mostly go with our kids.

I personally hate MGM. It's a great hotel with a great location but it always feels very very congested with people. Also - you have to walk through the casino to get anywhere and it is so smoke filled. Every time we've stayed there, I've gotten sick and I'm positive it's from the smoke.

We enjoy Mandalay Bay -- I get that it's on the other side of the strip and far from things but that's why they invented cabs.

Bellagio is nice - especially the buffet. Our friend loves the spa there. I always enjoy visiting the Venetian but we've never stayed.

We LOVED stays at The Wynn and The Encore. I can't rave enough about The Encore. It was high end and classy. We loved it and would stay there again -- in a second (without our kids!)
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