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Vegas Baby! Sept 14th - 24th

Discussion in 'Full Las Vegas Trip Reports' started by LynseyKelly88, Sep 10, 2017.

  1. LynseyKelly88

    LynseyKelly88 Bronze

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    4 days to go…


    We’re off in 4 days to spend 10 days in our favourite city. I’ve never done any trip reports or anything before but thought I would try and keep a log of our trip this year – what I can remember anyway!

    We are both working right up until Thursday so today (Sunday) is the last day to get organised.

    Bit of background:

    This will be my 6th visit to Las Vegas and my husband’s (James) 5th (I went when I was 16 for a school trip – no joke!). We got married in Vegas 5 years ago for James’ 30th and fell in love with the city. We’ve only ever been to Vegas in August/September/October so used and looking forward to it being busy. That being said, I’m not against going any other time of year let’s face it! We like to drink and we like to gamble (slots and video poker mostly but going to give craps a go this year mostly for the social aspect of the game). We are not high rollers by any means - gambling budget is around $300 per day depending on how well we do. We love exploring during the day or chilling by the pool and really enjoy going for a mega fancy meal but anything goes really. I’ve planned some things like spending the day casino crawling downtown and the drag brunch at Senor Frogs (some laugh – I’m a big RuPaul’s Dragrace fan), dinner at Prime, a cabana day plus a wee visit to Ellis Island for some karaoke fun and banter but we like to play most things by ear and generally get up to mischief and have a good time, it’s Vegas and I’m on my holidays!

    Travel:

    Flying American Airlines from Glasgow to Philadelphia and then on to Vegas, think it’s about 19 hours door to door, arriving in Vegas at about 6.30pm. I’m not the best traveller but see it as a necessary means to an end, J is totally fine and very laid back so he’s a great travel companion. Flight on the way back is British Airways to London then onto Glasgow, shorter and easier to ease the pain of leaving.

    Accommodation:

    Staying first 3 nights comp at Excalibur – we have loads to do so won’t be spending much time in the room at all, suits us fine. The rest of the trip we’ll be based at MGM Grand – we love it here, location is great, shops close by, excellent pool and the atmosphere is electric, they’ve always been great with us customer service-wise also. 3 of those nights are comped but I don’t know which ones.


    I will try and post each day as a reply in the morning so if anyone needs anything looked into let me know and I can find out. As always, any suggestions, hints, tips or stuff to research are welcome!

    EXCITED! :) :):D:D
     
  2. MNSlotLover

    MNSlotLover Ainsworth Whisperer
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    Wow....the 19 hour trip is tough! I can see why you're staying 10 days. Hope you have a great and profitable trip! I plan on following along.
     
  3. Elf70

    Elf70 Palladium
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    Have a wonderful trip. I arrive in Vegas on the 14th also so I'm counting the days down right along with you. Good luck!
     
  4. Eileen

    Eileen Bronze

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    Safe travels and hope you have a wonderful trip!
     
  5. Texas Steph

    Texas Steph I think I'm addicted to Vegas...
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    It's always exciting to have a trip coming up soon... hope you have a blast and good luck!
     
  6. aprilroncincy

    aprilroncincy Palladium

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    It sounds like you have a variety of things you'd like to do and plenty of time to do them! At least you have relaxation time built into your pool visits. I agree, MGM has a fantastic pool complex. We like to sit under the shade of the trees by the lazy river. Have a great trip!
     
  7. LastOneHome

    LastOneHome Bronze

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    I look forward to your trip and report! You're concerned about not remembering things (hmmmm.....) but I found, when I did my first "live" trip report in July, that quick posts throughout the day were quite easy using the Tapatalk app, and then the next day I could look it over to help remember what I did. Just saying. Have a blast!
     
    momnkid and Tessa QC like this.
  8. tringlomane

    tringlomane Theoretical Video Poker Addict
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  9. jmacaz

    jmacaz Gold
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    Have a great trip, we arrive on the 22nd :)
     
  10. LynseyKelly88

    LynseyKelly88 Bronze

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    So I know I said I would do a day by day but that clearly didn’t happen… Vegas happened!

    What I’ve done is broken down everything that I think might be useful, if anyone needs more detail, just holler!



    ACCOMMODATION

    14 – 17 – Excalibur Royal Tower room

    I was a little apprehensive about staying at Excalibur having only ever stayed at the MGM, Cosmopolitan or a suite at the D downtown. I was pleasantly surprised! The room on the 25th floor was just as big as the MGM grand king or felt as big, the bed was the same and it was really clean. The levels of customer service in Vegas in my experience is top notch everywhere, we were treated just as well at Excalibur as anywhere else. Managed down to the pool area for a quick refresher and although not as nice or exotic as some other hotel pool areas, it was just as good as I would expect if not better than any European holiday I’ve been on. We were comped for the 3 nights but they waived the resort fee when we checked out so the bill was $20 for the 3 nights (charged a couple of coffees to the room). Bargain of the century!

    17 – 24 – MGM Grand King room

    We have stayed in the MGM for the last 4 trips to Vegas so love this hotel and these rooms. This time with a strip view on the 24th floor. It was great, the rooms are big, the bed is super comfortable and the service is quality, they have always been brilliant. We rented a cabana for the Monday 18th for $200 (min food and bev spend that I paid for in advance via the website) our waitress Heather was brilliant, so good that we spent over the $200 credit haha! We must’ve had at least 6 massive cocktails each, breakfast and lunch. Total bill was $200 inc tip. We were very burnt but worth it. The MGM pool area is amazing, to be honest I think that’s the main reason I stay there.

    2 nights at the MGM were comped - total bill for the 5 remaining nights was just over $1000.

    No doubt we will stay here at some point next year.

    TRANSPORT

    We flew American airlines Glasgow to Vegas via Philadelphia – first flight was great as we had a spare seat in our row and we are both tall so was much appreciated. The second light was a bit of a nightmare as it was packed and by that point you kinda just want to be in Vegas!

    Going home was British Airways Vegas to Glasgow via Heathrow – no delays, everything was fine and pilot managed to save time so got home quickly, no complaints. All in flights this year cost £525 each. Bargain.

    From the airport we just take a taxi as Excalibur/MGM is super close to the airport. I just say to the driver I’ve been travelling for 20 hours and if he can get me there asap there’s a good tip in it. This year he managed to get us there in 6 minutes. $20 inc tip.

    Getting around Las Vegas really is down to preference, over the years we have used, taxis, ubers, the deuce and monorail. This year we opted for the 7 day monorail pass purchased in advance for $52 each. I love the monorail, it’s so quick and handy (if you are staying at MGM Grand) and you don’t need to think too much! We used it several times a day as I’m ginger and it’s too hot to be walking the strip during the day… It was hot as hell by the way.

    GAMBLING

    Excalibur & MGM offered us $150 freeplay for the trip – It’s always worth signing up to the players club, you just never know! We mostly play slots but have branched to video poker this year which I’ve found is better for making your money go further if you stick to a strategy. It’s worth reading up on if you can be bothered. Either way we made $100 each last us about 5 hours of constant playing ($1.25 or $5 a hand) and free drinking at Luxor and walked away up. Had a few slot wins with Harley Davidson, Sphinx 3D, quick hits and The Simpsons, The relationship with these slots was very love/hate. The Cosmopolitan was very lucky for us video poker wise and slot wise with a couple of big wins on Jaguar (James supports Jacksonville). Grant was the bartender in the Cosmo and kept us fed with crafted cocktails all night, he was brilliant! I hit the $1000 on Wheel of fortune $2 bet in MGM on the last night which was brilliant – paid for the hotel!

    Because we mostly play at Mlife Casinos, we reached Gold status this year so that gives us a few perks and possibly some nice comp offers for next year.

    FOOD AND DRINK

    There were farrrr too many drinks and bars to go into detail – that and I don’t remember lots of them but there’s photographic evidence! We did, however, in between fast food manage some civilised meals at some lovely places:

    Prime @ Bellagio

    This was our fancy dinner for the trip. I usually do my research when it comes to our steak dinner. We have previously had dinner at Old Homestead and PJ Clarkes in Caesars, Del Friscos and Eiffel Tower restaurant in Paris for our Wedding meal but this year I decided on Prime. It’s down an escalator just after the beautiful shops in Bellagio. The hostess was lovely and the place was busy! This was on a Wednesday night so I have no idea what it’s like at the weekend, I made the reservation a couple of weeks in advance. She said our table wouldn’t be long so we went and had a drink at the bar. James had an old fashioned and I had a Cosmopolitan, both were excellent and strong! The hostess gave us the option of dining indoors or on the patio. It was a lovely night so we went for the patio and it really was stunning. When the fountain show started I was so excited, it really was so special. The service was outstanding, bread basket looked the part but I couldn’t touch it because I wanted the bacon wrapped shrimp appetizer. We shared the app because it was just too tasty, the shrimp were massive and went so well with the cherry mustard and avocado. For mains James had the 18oz aged bone-in rib eye and I had the 10oz fillet mignon, both medium-rare, both cooked to perfection. Side of fries and they brought us 3 amazing sauces, one was a rice wine-soy type sauce that was out of this world awesome. James had a glass of merlot and I had a glass of sauvi b with dinner. No room for dessert unfortunately so a couple of double espressos finished the meal. I usually like to try a different steakhouse each visit but we may need to revisit Prime. Top notch. Bill was $360 inc tip.

    Morimoto @ MGM Grand

    I love spicy tuna rolls, they are one of my favourite things to eat in Vegas so since Morimoto was a new addition to the MGM, we thought we would give it a bash. We ordered the spicy tuna, soft shell crap and the crispy salmon skin rolls with a carafe of sake and a couple of their cocktails. The sushi was really delicious and presented beautifully. The cocktails were strong and unusual but really tasty. We had never tried sake before thinking I’d hate it but the waiter was really knowledgeable and ever compared it to whiskeys we drink at home. We learned that sake is very dangerous; the waiter even brought us extra glasses after we paid the bill. It’s safe to say we left Morimoto a little tipsy. Would definitely recommend. Bill was $200 inc tip.

    Peppermill

    The peppermill has been on my Vegas to-do-list for years and we’ve just never got round to it, this year we finally managed! Got the monorail to Harrahs and walked from there, it’s just past the Wynn/Encore on the strip, just keep walking past them and you can’t miss it! It was breakfast/lunchtime when we arrived but they serve breakfast 24 hours a day and we hadn’t eaten so it was pancakes, sausage, bacon and eggs for James and I got Joe’s San Francisco special which was chilli beef with scramble and spinach on a hash brown, both come with toast or a bagel with cream cheese. As we were slightly rough I opted for 2 giant mimosas (they were amazing!) and James was on the cucumber cocktails. Service was excellent, food was fantastic and the bill was $80 inc tip. Will be back.

    Ellis Island

    This place gets a visit everytime we come to Vegas, it’s an amazing wee casino just behind Ballys (come out the side door beside the sports book, turn right and you’ll see it at the bottom of the street). They are undergoing construction of their new beer garden at the moment but its not effecting any of the casino. Aside from great gambling and awesome karaoke in the evenings, they do the best BBQ food I have ever had. James got a full rack of ribs and I got half rack and half a chicken. Meals come with corn, garlic bread, beans, slaw. Too much food - $13 each. Ridiculous.

    This year, we decided to take a jaunt over for breakfast to try the café that everyone raves about. James got steak and eggs with an iced tea and I got a Denver omelette with a pepsi, both come with fried potatoes and toast. Service was excellent as it always is in Ellis Island. bill was $35 inc tip.

    So now we need to come to Ellis island at least twice every trip!

    Sterling Brunch @ Bally’s

    Another Vegas must-do in my opinion. The sterling brunch is worth the money alone in the unlimited champagne. With the UNLIMITED champagne you can also help yourself to as many lobster tails, caviar, top quality sushi and fillet mignon as you so desire. It’s awesome! Our server Roxy never let our glasses go empty and we were there for about 3 hours! We met some lovely friends and had a fantastic time, please go, you won’t regret it. I booked this a few months in advance, the day we were there, people were getting turned away so book to avoid disappointment. Bill was $250 inc tip, worth every penny.

    Yardhouse @ Linq

    Stopped in for a late lunch one day around 4pm, service was a bit slow but we weren’t in a hurry. We shared the spicy tuna tower (kinda like a deconstructed spicy tuna roll but without the rice and lots of avocado – delicious), fried calamari and James wanted a vampire taco, all washed down with a couple of mojitos each. Everything was good, there wasn’t a game on at the time but I reckon this place would be a great spot to watch the football, especially if they had drink promos. Bill was $90 inc tip.

    Ramsay Burger @ Planet Hollywood

    This was our second time to Ramsay’s Burger. I’m not a big burger guy (too many burger places about these days!) but the hell’s kitchen burger is amazing! James got the farm burger which was messy but really good. We got a side of fries to share and a couple of strong cocktails each. Would go back for that burger, seriously. Bill was $100 inc tip.

    Bacchanal Buffet @ Caesars Palace

    I purchased a groupon for half price VIP line pass and buffet entry for 2 for $55 I think. With that you also got 2 drinks each but our waitress just kept pouring the mimosas so that was welcomed as we were very rough that morning. It may have been due to roughness but I wouldn’t pay full price for the bacchanal. The variety was amazing, there were sooooo many things to choose from and it all seemed very fresh. I liked the dining room as it seemed more like a traditional restaurant set up than a buffet. I think the normal brunch price would be around the $45 each mark and for that price I’d probably rather go for a non-buffet brunch, plus the line if you didn’t have the vip line pass was crazy! The Groupon made it a bargain though so no complaints!

    Fizz @ Caesars Palace

    This was another bargain but from travelzoo this time, 2 hours of unlimited champagne for 2 for $70. Fizz is a champagne and cocktail bar located next to the coliseum, across from the food court in Caesars Palace. They do have small appetizers on their menu which sounded amazing but we had just eaten. Service was fantastic, our waitress never let us go dry, the champagne was delicious and the bar itself is stunning with contemporary artwork. Normal price is $45 but if you go online to www.fizzlv.com you can book in advance and save a few pennies. I would definitely do this again.

    Margaritaville @ Flamingo

    Yet again we found ourselves pretty rough trying to recover from the night before so something salty was required. I suggested margaritas and James loves nachos so we nipped into Margaritaville before some shopping across the street in the forum shops. We ordered 2 frozen margaritas that went down a treat with the Volcano nachos. The nachos were enough to feed 4 people but they were insanely good. Really hit the spot and saved our lives. 2 more margaritas and we were back on track and ready for some shopping. We obviously then ordered another one in a to-go glass this time. Volcano nachos and 6 margaritas, bill was $85 inc tip.

    Hexx @ Paris

    Travelzoo also had a deal on for Hexx for a pitcher of cocktail and a couple of desserts for $30. We have eaten lunch here before and tried the cocktail pitchers so knew this was a good deal. We were a bit peckish so ordered the buffalo calamari to pick at while we tried the cocktail. I picked the flamingo one and the punch bowl it came out in was the same size as our waitress, it was massive but also very beautiful, like a big rose gold metal flamingo with a big brass ladle, people kept looking as they passed on the strip! This restaurant is also excellent for people watching as you are sitting right on the strip outside Paris. The Calamari and the cocktail were both delish. The punch was really strong so I don’t really remember much about my dessert except it was a passionfruit mousse and James had something that tasted like black forest gateau, both were super nice but the flamingo punch was the main event. I can’t remember how much the calamari was but we didn’t get any additional drinks or anything so would be that plus tip.

    Grand Buffet @ MGM Grand

    We’ve eaten here so many times over the years but never after lunchtime. By the time we get up the buffet is usually serving lunch but it’s our breakfast. If you have an MLife pearl or above status you can skip the line which is handy because it does get busy. We only ate here once this year but the food has always been fresh and tasty. It has a good choice of different cuisines and is clean with great drinks selection. MGM’s buffet is not fancy by any means but when you are hungover and in need of a cure, the buffet can be the answer at just over $20 a pop.

    ENTERTAINMENT

    I didn’t plan any shows this year, in fact, I purposely didn’t plan very much at all for this trip. We really needed this holiday not just to enjoy ourselves but to also relax so I decided we can always rock up to a tix4tonight booth anytime and see what’s going on. It was during a stroll past the booth at Casino Royal where I seen a show I fancied ‘Sex tips for straight women from a gay man’ showing at Paris and it was only $36 each! Bargain! The show is at the Anthony Cools theatre in Paris. This is a pretty small venue which is great. The show requires a bit of audience participation so be prepared and its by nature pretty crude but obviously that’s to be expected. If you’ve seen Zumanity or Absinthe, you’ll be fine! Would be great for a hen do, group and was great as a couple. The actors were great and really funny. Recommended if that’s your kind of thing. Bring a drink in with you!

    Yet again I had to do the Senor Frogs Drag Brunch because it’s so much fun! I am a MASSIVE RuPaul’s Dragrace fan so it had to be done. It seemed that they have been doing well because the production of the show, the layout and even the brunch buffet has improved since last year. Our table was great fun, the service was outstanding, again, my glass was never empty (this seems to be a common theme in Vegas!) and the queens were brilliant, the whole show is just a real positive time with lots of singing, dancing and drinking! We love it!

    EXTRA POINTS

    It was HELLA busy and hot. We did come the weekend of the Canelo v GGG fight and Mexican independence weekend. The weekend after there were 3 music festivals going on too. None of this was intentional but we love Vegas when its busy. What I will say is, there were more kids and dogs in Vegas than I have ever seen! I’m not opposed to either, they were all very cute and well behaved but worthy of mentioning. Temperatures were high, I did burn but that was my own fault. Less porn slappers on the strip was another thing I noticed and the legalisation of mary jane has made no difference to tourists or the strip/casinos as far as I’ve seen over the last 10 days. You’ve always been able to smell it! The Hell’s Kitchen restaurant construction is the biggest difference I’ve seen since last time but I’m sure it will look great once its all done. As always, everyone in Vegas was kind, wonderful and up for a banter!

    It really was a fabulous holiday, maybe the best yet!

    It’s my 30th next year so… Vegas?
     
    momnkid, clr, Tessa QC and 3 others like this.
  11. tringlomane

    tringlomane Theoretical Video Poker Addict
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    Nice writeup, especially with the food! Sounds like you went somewhere different every night!
     
  12. kleland69

    kleland69 Silver
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    All that food sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing and for giving me new places to try!
     
  13. Texas Steph

    Texas Steph I think I'm addicted to Vegas...
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    Wonderful report with lots of details, thank you! Hope you get to vacay in Vegas again soon!
     
  14. SeattleHeart

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    Great write up! You had some awesome meals! Thanks for the TR
     
  15. clr

    clr Bronze
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    Seriously fun report, sad to see it end
     
  16. Wanker751

    Wanker751 Chairman
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    Do you know if you can used your Reward Credits with the groupon?

    You got around to a lot, love it!
     
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