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Old 05-23-2012, 09:32 PM   #1
Riverman
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Hotel Review Thread

Since there are so many questions about hotels, I was thinking it would be useful for people to post the hotels they have stayed along with reviews of the rooms, service, restaurants, poker rooms, etc. There are of course tons of sites on the internet with this info, but this will hopefully be poker and food-centric in keeping with the 2+2 demographic.

My experiences as follows:

Cosmopolitan: Rooms are, IMO, the best in Vegas. If at all possible get a fountain view room, they all have balconies and the views are tremendous. Wraparound suites are super sick but pretty expensive. Everything is very modern so if you're into the traditional look this place is not for you.

Restaurants are terrific. Wide range of options. Pricey but not totally outrageous. STK, the steak place, has a club-type vibe and is loud. The buffet is small plates, very unique. Holsteins has amazing burgers. The fish place has a lunch deal that is the best in Vegas, a 3 course meal for 20 bucks. I have not eaten at the other places but have heard from several people that Jaleo (tapas) is excellent. Would like to hear others' opinion of Blue Ribbon, the sushi place.

No poker, table gaming is pretty meh. This is a party spot more than a gambling mecca.

Bellagio: Solid all around. Rooms were getting dated and have been / are being redone - I haven't been in the new ones. The amount of tourists has always annoyed me here for some reason. Always dumb people blocking the walkways and taking pictures and ****. Tons of Eurotrash.

Restaurants seem fine but are overpriced (Yellowtail, Fix). Haven't done Picasso yet, everyone loves it. The snack bar is right next to the poker room and the food is pretty good and fairly quick as long as you don't go at lunch.

Poker room is very nice but floor and staff are terrible. They are condescending and blatantly favor regular players for lists and rulings. If you grease them you can skip lists. Action generally good and has good mid-limit NL holdem.

Wynn/Encore: Very nice hotel. Incredibly clean and well-managed. Have always received exceptional service here - once had them coordinate an in-room birthday meal / dessert / cocktail for my wife and it was perfect.

Much like Bellagio, restaurants are good but significantly overpriced. Their deli next to the poker room has an incredible $15 reuben sandwich that I get at least once a trip.

For some reason their poker room seems to be dying. It caters to nits I think, which drives away action players. Also they don't seem to be as player-friendly as Venetian and Aria.

Venetian: Rooms are enormous and very nice, but too expensive IMO. I have found the service here to be weak. Have had to wait like 30 minutes for bags to show up, was placed in a double beds room after confirming a king, etc.

Restaurant selection is second to none with reasonable prices. I have always loved Delmonico, Emeril's steakhouse. Get the mushrooms. Wow.

Poker room is huge and excellent. Good tournaments and exceptional customer service. Smoking hot drink girls and fast service. Competent dealers.

Only negative is that this whole casino smells like Vanilla ****. I hate it.

Aria: Have not stayed here but I'm sure the rooms are nice. Only ate at the buffet and it was awful.

Poker room is great. Best drink service in Vegas, good service, competent floor, good tournaments, really hot cocktail girls.

Mandalay Bay: I don't usually like pools but this place has the best pool I've been to in Vegas. Really fun spot. Anyway, rooms are surprisingly nice and there are lots of fun food/party options.

Poker room is small and poorly run. Only 1-2 nl I think.

MGM: Rooms are getting old, think they are being redone. Craftsteak is nice for steak. OK service generally.

Poker room is big but in a horrible spot with annoying noises all the time. They might be moving it?

Mirage: Rooms are meh. Pool is meh. Restaurants are meh, though BLT Burger is awesome. This whole place is meh. Including their meh poker room.

I think those are the only places I've stayed. Would love for others to share their opinions and experiences.
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Old 05-23-2012, 10:00 PM   #2
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Re: Hotel Review Thread

Planet Hollywood

I've stayed at ~10 strip hotels but I had a notably good time last trip at PH so that's why I chose it. I'll post a Vdara review next month.

Standard room was clean and pretty nice, one step up from the MGM Grand, Harrah's, and Monte Carlo range as far as quality. Prices are good and go down ~20% with minimal Total Rewards action. There's a Walgreens right on the corner of the building which is really convenient for stocking up the room, plus for some reason that one has a pretty solid walk-in beer cooler for selection.

The location on the strip is perfect, IMO. Exit to the north and you can walk right across the street to the Bellagio. Exit south and you can go across the raised walkway straight into Cosmopolitan. There's a full shopping mall attached if you want a break from your girl(s). I hear the pool is just OK, but I didn't check it out.

Earl of Sandwich is really solid and it's right there when you walk in from the South entry, and right around the corner from the elevators. Planet Dailies had good quality diner food, but it's a little overpriced IMO. The buffet is supposedly good, I have no experience with it though.

Fun fact: they had each of the "Hilton Grand Vacations" sign letters laying out on a roof below our room. Over the first two days we watched them being lifted and installed where the PH Westgate sign used to be. My buddy opened the curtain and said "Yo there's a giant letter 'n' outside our window".
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Old 05-23-2012, 11:13 PM   #3
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Re: Hotel Review Thread

When I was there in April, the MGM poker room had been moved from between a bar and the sports book to an area north of the former lions exhibit.

I never played in the room when it was by the sports book, but I did play in the new spot and I liked it.
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Old 05-23-2012, 11:14 PM   #4
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Re: Hotel Review Thread

Aria

Stayed at Aria for three nights on Memorial Day Weekend in 2011 for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights. Had a regular room with 2 queen beds.

Hotel is awesome and fairly luxurious but not over the top. The crowd is mostly between 25 - 55 years of age.

The room is pretty good with an excellent bathroom, really good technology, and a amazing bed.

Poker room is great and was always busy.
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Old 05-23-2012, 11:15 PM   #5
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Re: Hotel Review Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Riverman View Post
Wynn/Encore: Very nice hotel. Incredibly clean and well-managed. Have always received exceptional service here - once had them coordinate an in-room birthday meal / dessert / cocktail for my wife and it was perfect.

Much like Bellagio, restaurants are good but significantly overpriced. Their deli next to the poker room has an incredible $15 reuben sandwich that I get at least once a trip.

For some reason their poker room seems to be dying. It caters to nits I think, which drives away action players. Also they don't seem to be as player-friendly as Venetian and Aria.
All true. Service is amazing here. Mrs. FRGCardinal loves the pool here.
Quote:

Mirage: Rooms are meh. Pool is meh. Restaurants are meh, though BLT Burger is awesome. This whole place is meh. Including their meh poker room.
That's about right, though I thought the pool was very respectable. And Carnegie Deli is pretty good, too. But, yeah, skip the poker room and cross the street to the V.
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:53 AM   #6
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Re: Hotel Review Thread

Vdara Stayed here six months ago with the fiance. Check in was very quick, didn't take longer than 10 minutes. We were booked for three nights at the standard room, and $20 trick got us upgraded to 53rd floor with a great view but same standard room.

Hotel room was incredibly clean, bathroom was great, room was big, and bed was super comfy. It was absolutely everything I could ask for in just spending a little time in the room.

No real restaurants were with a damn. The market downstairs provided sufficient hangover medicine with expensive Fiji waters, Gatorade, and various egg sandwiches. I would go to the nearby casinos for dining.

Actual hotel was calm b/c there's no gaming. However, the location is perfect if you wanna go to Cosmo, Aria, or Bellagio. I would absolutely recommend Vdara to anyone and will definitely stay here again.
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:08 PM   #7
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Re: Hotel Review Thread

I play at MGM all the time... the temp spot sucks, but is better than no poker at all. it will be moving back to it's original location some time soon. I DO like that regular location even though I hate the bar noise. MGM has the best rail in vegas IMHO
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:35 PM   #8
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Re: Hotel Review Thread

I am heading over from England in August with the family for a week.
Staying in the Wynn, so I take it from these reviews I will not be disappointed!
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Old 05-24-2012, 02:59 PM   #9
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Re: Hotel Review Thread

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Originally Posted by m453Villa View Post
I am heading over from England in August with the family for a week.
Staying in the Wynn, so I take it from these reviews I will not be disappointed!
If your family includes baby strollers then this might not be the place but if your kids are ok to walk then it's probably the best family place imo.
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Old 05-24-2012, 03:34 PM   #10
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Re: Hotel Review Thread

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Originally Posted by Riverman View Post
Mandalay Bay: I don't usually like pools but this place has the best pool I've been to in Vegas. Really fun spot. Anyway, rooms are surprisingly nice and there are lots of fun food/party options.
Anyone going to Mandalay Bay should sign up with Restaurant.com because most of MB's restaurants (Mix, Strip Steak, Aureole, RM Seafood, Fleur, Mizuya, Noodle House, and Raffles Cafe) participate in the program. Restaurant certificates normally sell for $10 and are good for $25 off food with a minimum purchase of about $40 or so ($50 including tax & tip), but Restaurant.com regularly has these certs on sale for as little as $2. When they do, I buy a bunch of them because there is no expiration date. The only limitation for locals is that you can only use a certificate in the same restaurant once every 30 days.
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Old 05-24-2012, 03:50 PM   #11
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Re: Hotel Review Thread

Riviera:
Pro: Best and largest 3* hotel room on the strip. Walk-able to the Wynn and north part of the strip.
Cons: Everything else, restaurants are terrible, poker room is always dark and casino is empty. Pool looks like a holiday inn but without any eye candy at all.
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sect7G View Post
If your family includes baby strollers then this might not be the place but if your kids are ok to walk then it's probably the best family place imo.
I would say that Venetian is the best family hotel. There are far more areas minors can spend time, rooms are more spacious, there are more shows/entertainment options and of course the Canal shops.

Last edited by Thousand Tigers; 05-24-2012 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:35 PM   #13
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Re: Hotel Review Thread

Is the MGM poker room still in the temp spot?
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:15 AM   #14
Doug B
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Re: Hotel Review Thread

If you are playing the MGM poker room - who cares about the location, it is still the softest game in town. (LOL)
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Old 05-26-2012, 09:22 AM   #15
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Re: Hotel Review Thread

Wynn
Really an excellent resort. Everything is first class, standard rooms are very nice, service is exceptional, good selection of restaurants with my favorite being SW. Pool area is very nice. Poker room is good with good staff and dealers but not really the place if you want to play higher than 2-5 NL. The 5-10 NL game is full of nits and regulars. But you can easily walk across to the Venetian poker room. The only thing I didn't like about the place was their show La Reve. Although im not really a circus show kind of guy. Also the waitress spilled champagne on me but the manager was really good and picked up the dry cleaning tab.

Venetian
This place has a too big too touristy vibe for me. Always seems crowded with a lot of foot traffic. The rooms are nice but a lot have no view whatsoever and when i stayed there the bathroom was really dirty. And even after I complained about the bathroom they wouldn't change the room only send someone to clean it.
I┤d heard good things about Delmonicos Steakhouse there but for me it was only okay.
The big plus here is the poker room. Good selection of games and tournaments. Also enjoyed the Phantom show here.
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Old 05-26-2012, 12:10 PM   #16
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Re: Hotel Review Thread

Recent stays:
MGM Grand Overpriced and rooms are a bit dated. Not awful, but not grand. Definitely not worth the price and the damned resort fee. Poker room gets lots of foot traffic, so lots of casual players. Almost entirely $1/2NL, though. They occasionally spread $2/5, but never anything higher, and only other game is tiny FL. If you want to play here, though, I'd stay at the Trop and get as good a room for much less and probably be closer to the MGM poker room than the average MGM room.

Paris Rooms are a bit dated, but location is awesome and it's a great alternative to IP/Bally's when you are in grinding mode but spouse/girlfriend is in vacation mode. Book through the Total Rewards site (no card required) for best deals, ime. Nicely done theme, good restaurants at reasonable prices (esp Mon Ami Gabi). Pool is meh but pretty quiet if you are a lounger more than a partier. No poker room, but basically every big room (except MGM Grand) is in walking distance.

Yesterday's news:
Excalibur King Arthur's Castle, if King Arthur built with Legos. All theme stuff here is very cheesy. When I stayed there a few years ago (not by choice, airline overnighted me) the room seemed to fit the medieval theme, it was dark, close and depressing. Service was almost non-extant. I would love to hear that this place has been upgraded, but based on the prices and reviews I see, I doubt it. Poker room is small, but I hear games can be very soft here. Location is meh. Not far from MGM, but again, if I want to stay at this end, I'd go with the Trop.

Treasure Island When I was last staying there, rooms were awesome. This was a decade ago though, and I don't know how they've stood the test of time. Casino floor is loud and caters to a younger crowd. Poker room is small. It's well run, and I'd like to see it succeed, but it seems to just keep scraping by. Right across the street from the V, though, which is a great room. Also close (and trammable) to Mirage, but that room is dying.
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Old 05-28-2012, 08:29 AM   #17
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D (Fitzgeralds)

Any idea if the room renovation is complete? Am there 3 days before moving to Rio for the WSOP. Thanks.
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:29 AM   #18
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Re: Hotel Review Thread

I have stayed at a bunch but thought I would review some off strip ones


Southpoint

Yes off the strip but very clean and nice rooms. Great food at budget prices. Nice pool also. They get some good 1/2 games going. Have a daily shuttle to the strip and back at certain times.

Red Rock

My favorite Vegas hotel 5 stars all the way. Yes way off the Strip in Summerlin but just first class all the way. Great Poker Room and pool

Sunpoint

Like to stay here for cheap accomadtaions and a 4 star hotel. Close to all the golf and if you want poker a short trip to the Red Rock. Poker room not great. Mainly Limit
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Old 05-28-2012, 12:56 PM   #19
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Re: Hotel Review Thread

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I have stayed at a bunch but thought I would review some off strip ones


Sunpoint

Like to stay here for cheap accomadtaions and a 4 star hotel. Close to all the golf and if you want poker a short trip to the Red Rock. Poker room not great. Mainly Limit
You mean Suncoast
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Old 05-28-2012, 02:15 PM   #20
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Re: Hotel Review Thread

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Aria

Stayed at Aria for three nights on Memorial Day Weekend in 2011 for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights. Had a regular room with 2 queen beds.

Hotel is awesome and fairly luxurious but not over the top. The crowd is mostly between 25 - 55 years of age.

The room is pretty good with an excellent bathroom, really good technology, and a amazing bed.

Poker room is great and was always busy.
+1. Had a comp that I gave to a friend. Standard room was excellent.
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Old 05-28-2012, 02:38 PM   #21
jan81
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Re: Hotel Review Thread

Any one stay at Harrah's?
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:03 PM   #22
mitman25
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Re: Hotel Review Thread

Stayed at Harrahs a few years ago, it was fine. Nothing special, but not bad at all. For price and location it is good. I think it is nicer than IP and usually pretty comparable in price and basically same location.
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Old 05-28-2012, 11:17 PM   #23
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Re: Hotel Review Thread

^ That is really subjective upon if you're booking a package, or directly through the hotel, or your tier status on rewards card. Just a quick look on Orbitz, a 1 week stay flying out of LA is almost double that of Imperial.
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Old 05-28-2012, 11:35 PM   #24
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Re: Hotel Review Thread

Planet Hollywood

Pros: Bathroom is great, tub and separate shower and a separate toilet. Resort is great tons of poker action and great looking cocktail waitresses. Restaurants I tried are also good.

Cons: Room is not that great for a 4*, too small. Overpriced most of the time.

Bottomline: If you can get a good price it's a great deal.
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:55 AM   #25
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Re: Hotel Review Thread

I'll post up quick thoughts on each hotel I've stayed in. Depending on what you want to know further feel free to PM or ask questions here. I tend to get my company to pay for rooms so "value" isn't really something I can guage.

In a decent order of my favorite to least favorite stays:

Cosmopolitan:
--Misc: My current choice hands down but I've never paid to stay here. Either booked it on my company's dime or paid with Marriott Points. So take that into account when reading review. I've probably spent 7/8 nights here. I'm Marriott Platinum and get treated as VIP at Cosmopolitan. I'm sure that helps me like the place. (guaranteed comp. room upgrade, 4 free breakfast buffets daily, VIP check-in, no waiting in lines, etc).
--Location: Can't be beat IMO. Center strip.
--Rooms: I've stayed in the wrap-around suite, as well as a fountain view terrace. Wrap around suite coolest room I've ever stayed in, but pricey. Fountain view terrace very well appointed, comfortable, modern, and view can't be beat. Definitely helps when trying to close at the club.
--Casino: Bars and restaurants are pretty sick. Flashy/luxurious decor all around (bordering on too much to some). I'm only playing as high as $15 min blackjack/craps and found it hard to find a table in that range. Never during primetime. The bars are definitely a place to meet nice looking ladies, but IME they are the type that go for guys with money.
--Pool: Haven't been yet during the day. Seems pretty cool from a tour at night. Will be there 31st-4th this coming weekend and will edit.
--Clubs: Haven't been to Marquee yet, but definitely gets some serious talent from watching the 4am parade.

Aria:
--Location: Almost perfect for an MLife grinder.
--Rooms: Very cool, well appointed and technologically interesting. Definitely modern and very comfortable.
--Casino: "New Vegas" all the way. I like the decor and the gaming experience. Don't think I need to comment on how nice the poker room is on this forum. One of the hot spots.
--Pool: Very nice pool, comfortable, upper-class clientele. A little too quiet for my tastes though. No real music playing, definitely not a "party".
--Clubs: Haze- had a great time here one night. Mainly after meeting a Light Group promoter who took care of us for no real reason at all. (no line, no cover, VIP access). Gold Bar- great for drinks before going out (2-for-1 coupons handed out all day), but not good for meeting anyone.

Mandalay Bay:
--Location: Sucks. Complete south end of strip.
--Misc: Only stayed here one night before the rest of the group arrived the next day.
--Room: Nice room, well appointed. Can't really remember much but I left wanting to go back.
--Pool: Best pool on the strip by my experience, hands down. Huuuuuge with real sand entry and many different areas to find what you are looking for.

Venetian:
--Location: Not that great IMO. Almost north end of strip.
--Room: Had a basic suite for 4 nights. Having to show your key card at elevators to a guard made having randoms stop by difficult, but we got over it. Very "old luxury". Took forever to walk to our room in whatever tower we were in.
--Casino: Had a very easy time finding $10 craps/blackjack tables. Also did very well there so I'm sure I'm biased.
--Pool: N/A. Was winter when I was there.

MGM Grand:
--Location: Not that great IMO unless you are MLife grinding. Ridiculously long walk to Planet Hollywood, it's nearest neighbor casino on that side of strip.
--Misc: My old stand-by. My yearly trip with the guys used to always end up here. They are all MLife grinders so we stay here for the pool/restaurants and they gamble mostly at NYNY where we get rated easier.
--Rooms: Have consistently been "nice but not noteworthy". Very comfortable, everything you really need. No frills.
--Casino: Basically same review as the room. Nice but not noteworthy.
--Pool: So far my 2nd favorite on the strip. Good/fun clientele, a bit of music playing, lazy river winding around the whole thing means your "scenery" constantly changes.

Somewhat more random order:

Flamingo:
--Location: Pretty good. Almost center strip, great for CET Total Rewards grinding.
--Rooms: Had a Go room. It was "oddly" decorated, felt like 70's porn. Nice and clean though. No complaints.
--Casino: Certainly not new and clean. A dump compared to the rest of the bunch I've reviewed.
--Pool: Seems to be a really nice pool and crowd and party atmosphere. Only problem was that all of the chairs were gone by 11:30am and you had to lay on the cement. Past that, pretty good.

Palms:
--Misc: Forced to stay here for a bachelor party. Never thought I'd venture off strip. It wasn't AS bad as I expected to be off strip, but was a pain to cab to strip everyday. If your crowd is all about clubbing and the pool, might be a good spot for you.
--Location: Sucks.
--Rooms: Standard room. Nice enough, no complaints.
--Casino: Didn't gamble much there. Restaurants weren't the best selection from my recollection.
--Pool: Not sure if they still run "Ditch Fridays", but they did when I was there. I haven't been to a Day-club like Wet Republic, etc yet...but this was the closest thing to it. A little more "Jersey Shore-ish" of a crowd, but they were all up for a good time. No cover for the pool for residents and a decent party atmosphere.
--Clubs: Got a booth for the bachelor party. Alex at the Palms took care of us and we had a great time at Moon/Playboy Club. Pretty sick views of the strip and a good crowd.

Monte Carlo:
--Location: Decent. MLife land.
--Rooms: Standard. No frills. Nice and clean.
--Casino: Decent enough. Not flashy at all. I actually like the poker room and usually clean up here against the very in-experienced tourists. I think lack of a game going 24/7 keeps the sharks away.
--Pool: Not a big fan of the pool. Small, not always easy to find sun during certain hours. Think there is a sand volleyball court if that is your thing. I think the wave pool attracts too many kids for my liking.

Treasure Island:
--Location: Not great IMO. Almost north end of strip.
--Room: No frills, nice and clean.
--Casino: Same.
--Pool: I was waiting for someone still playing in quickie poker tournament and hung out at the pool. Very small, but the crowd and DJ brought out a very MTV Spring Break atmosphere if you are into that. A couple girls were hammered and putting on a show usually reserved for Sapphire or Spearmint.

Paris:
--Location: Very good. Mid-strip. CET TR land.
--Room: No frills, nice and clean.
--Casino: Same.
--Pool: N/A. Was there in winter.

Harrah's:
--Location: Good. North side of CET TR land.
--Room: No frills.
--Casino: Little more dumpy than above reviewed places.
--Pool: Meh. Not a huge party atmosphere, not an experience of any kind. Square pool with water. Basic as it gets.

Rio:
--Location: Sucks (when not June/July).
--Room: Very big seeing as the whole place is suites. Otherwise standard. No frills.
--Casino: No frills. Not very pretty. Decent minimum bets though.
--Pool: Pretty decent from my memory. Good place to hang out. Not a real party atmosphere when I was there.
--WSOP: Obviously redundant on this forum, but there is no beating staying there when playing WSOP. Walking upstairs to your room or downstairs in the morning to start your grind is pretty priceless for your mental state, IMO.

Luxor:
Decent enough place for old Vegas. Perfect for cheap stays. Location not so good.

Excalibur:
Only stayed here one night (well technically a few hours) when a girl took me back to her room. Can't really say I'd ever stay there by choice.

Upcoming this week: Planet Hollywood to be edited in later.
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