Flew out of PHL on USAirways. Good flight, almost on time. Picked up a rented car (Dodge Caliber...absolutely loved it, very utilitarian) for the week. Stopped at Albertson's for some fruit, water, and chips for the room; I make my own fruit basket! Had a lot of offers in LV but skipped some of the nicer hotels for various reasons.
Stayed at the Venetian for two nights, March 14/15; my first time there. I've been to almost every other hotel on the strip. The Venetian definitely has the nicest regular rooms on the strip. The hotel drips of old European charm and would easily cost $800-900/night if it was situated in a European city. You kind of expect a young Audrie Hepburn to come walking down the lobby with a big wide-brimmed hat on. When I showed them my Harrah's diamond card, they graduated me to a Venetian Gold Card for some extra amennities. They have a complimentary gold club room that I enjoyed reading the NYTimes, USA Today, having wonderful cut up fruit (melon/strawberries/etc), muffins, and the best coffee I've had in LV every morning of my trip, all free. I enjoyed the slow start to each day of my vacation. The pools were open and I enjoyed them as the city was having a heat wave (90 degrees!!) while I was there. What a fabulous winter!
The third and forth day were at Harrah's, March 15/16. Very standard room, actually very small. Because this was Friday and Saturday night during NCAA weekend/Spring Break, these were the only comped rooms I could get. They went for $840 online at casino rate! Geesh, who would pay that?
The fifth and sixth nights, March 17/18, were at NYNY. I was upgraded to a 'spa room'. Didn't really know what to expect, but when I got there, I found a huge jaccuzi in the bedroom next to my bed. My final night for dinner I had a pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream and a quart of strawberries while sitting in the jaccuzi and watching a 42" plasma tv. Just decadent ;-).
These were my room offers:
Venetian - 2 nights free with $70 free slot play.
Harrah's - 2 nights free.
NYNY - 2/3 nights free with 'spa room' upgrade and $150 in free chips.
MGM Grand - 2/3 nights with $50 chips and buffet
Red Rock Casino - 2 free nights.
Green Valley Ranch Casino - 2 free nights
Paris - 2/3 free nights with BJ tournament and $50 food voucher.
Rio - 2/3 free nights with Slot tournament.
Arizona Charlies, decater - 2 free nights
Palace Station - 2/3 nights
LMAO...when I list all of these I realize I could friggin' move there for a month and live off of room service!
Although Red Rock's rooms are my all time favorite (even moreso than the Venetian or the NYNY Spa Room) I gave in to the free money...what can I say? For Fri and Sat I stayed at Harrah's over Paris even though Paris is nicer because my fantastic host was able to get me into the tournament at Paris anyway and I just love the 'Cheers' feel I get at Harrah's. I can be gone for 6 months and yet when I get to the craps table I get a big, "Hi, Stu" from the craps' dealers. It's a homey thing.
I ate light (even lost weight) and only had a few big meals. Paris buffet for lunch; good, but better for dinner when they have the good seafood out and worth the difference in price. (I was comped). Lunch at Mon Ami Gambi out on the patio watching the crowds go by on the Strip, excellent, and with wine it had a very European feel to the afternoon. Loved it. Also had the steak special at Ellis Island on Harmon Ave. This is a hit or miss dinner, but when it's a hit it's great! Wow, what a great dinner for $4.95! Got that one from www.lvadvisor.com. Also had the prime rib dinner at Terrible's for $7.99. A little more, but the atmosphere is better and a beer is included. Also was very good.
No news on the club scene as I try to stay close to East Coast time so that the transition isn't so bad when I get home. That means up to the room for bed around 10:00 or 11:00pm and wake-up calls at 6:00am. Also, I can't see paying more for a well drink than for a steak dinner. Last good reason for this time schedule is the low table limits in the morning hours and the inflated table limits at night.
I did get to do my favorite things. Drove out to Red Rock National Preserve to watch the sunrise into the beautiful red stripes of Red Rock. Glorious. Saw a bunch of jack rabbits and listened to the coyotes while I waited for the sun to rise. Also drove along Horizon Rd. at night (in Henderson) for my favorite view of the city. I love this drive. Did a bunch of shopping at the Outlet Mall just south of the city on the Strip. Saved enough to cover the cost of the car rental for the week. Also had a very nice massage at Harrah's.
Play-wise, I won enough to cover all of my costs (not many, actually) and about an extra $300 to take home. This is the second time in a row this has happened to me. Wow, a free trip to LV!!
My costs:
Car at airport parking: $45
Rental car: $145 (Thrifty weekly rate including taxes!)
Gas: $40
Food: $120
Tips: A lot, maybe $100 or so.
Rooms: comped
Airfare: comped (points from Harrahs)
Massage: comped (points from Harrahs)
Had some other fun not suitable for this forum...but it was fun. Looking forward to my next trip later this year.
Stu