My Room Booking Process

I usually have a good idea about which hotel(s) I want to stay at for any given trip, but I don’t stop shopping around once I book my room.

I’m going to walk you through my standard Las Vegas room booking process.  I have an extended trip coming up where I will be mixing business with pleasure.  I am spending a few nights at the Las Vegas Hotel (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton) and the Imperial Palace while attending a conference and then moving to the Gold Coast and the Mirage to relax after the conference.

I booked the room at the Las Vegas Hotel after receiving an offer for 3 nights for $99 (total) based upon my history of playing a little bit of video poker there during conventions.  The room at the Imperial Palace is comped due to my history with Caesars Entertainment casinos (which the Imperial Palace is part of).  I was able to book a room at the Mirage for a discounted rate due to my Mlife membership.  I have no history with the Gold Coast but want to see what it is like, so I booked that room directly through their casino website at the going rate of $59.

I knew that I would not be able to get better rates at the Las Vegas Hotel or the Imperial Palace, so once I made those reservations, I stopped checking.  I had a feeling that I could do better at the Gold Coast and the Mirage, though.
A few weeks after booking the room at the Mirage I received an emailed offer from them that included rates of $39 and $49 per night for the nights I needed.  I called the Mirage, inquired about getting the lower rate and now I have 2 nights at the Mirage for under $100.  Since I have no history with the Gold Coast, I made sure to sign up for their emails and check the site from time to time.  I have received emailed offers from them, but nothing that was useful.  I checked the website on Monday though, and saw that the room I had booked for $59 per night was now $38 per night. I booked the new rate online and cancelled the previous reservation.

This process of booking and re-booking is one of the reasons why I only make my reservations directly through the hotel/casino instead of using a site like Expedia. Most hotels allow you to cancel your reservation up to 72 hours before your trip without penalty and many also have price matching guarantees so if you do find a cheaper rate on Expedia, you should be able to get that same rate through the hotel.  Booking through the hotel also means you only have to prepay the first night’s room rate as a deposit instead of paying it all up front.  Since I do gamble, booking directly with the casino means that they can comp part of my stay if I play enough.  If you book through Expedia or Hotwire the casino cannot comp your room later.

Secret, no name pizza at the Cosmopolitan

You may have heard the rumors about a secret, unmarked pizza place at the Cosmopolitan. Everything that you have heard is true, although when you get there you realize that they aren’t really trying to hide it or keep it a secret. It just doesn’t have a sign or a name.

It is located in the 3rd floor restaurant zone and is down the hallway immediately to the right of Blue Ribbon Sushi. They offer good, basic, readily foldable New York pizza by the slice for about $5.  You can also order a full pizza, but that takes a while. There are stools and a ledge that can accommodate half a dozen diners, so you are probably not going to be able to eat there. The Cosmopolitan has a lot of open space as well as a few very comfy sitting areas on the 3rd floor, so the lack of space at no-name pizza really isn’t a problem unless there is a long line to get into the Marquee nightclub (which is also on the 3rd floor). If you go on a club night, be prepared for long lines to get into no-name pizza, too. It does stay open late and is becoming the place to go after a night of partying at Marquee.

Social Savings in Las Vegas

Almost every casino has Facebook, TwitterFoursquare and SMS-text based platforms to let you know what they have to offer and to send you special discounts and promotions.

MGM Resorts has also created iPhone and Android apps with casino details and special offers. They are basically miniature versions of the casino’s full website (including property maps so you can find your way around!). The apps even let you make room and dining reservations. MGM Resorts has made a separate app for each of their casinos. If you are only interested in their shopping or entertainment options, they have the Shop MGM Resorts and the Entertainment of Las Vegas apps just for that.
Click here for the full list of MGM Resorts apps and links to the Android and IOS versions. Continue reading Social Savings in Las Vegas

The Luxor: Perfectly Adequate

Luxor Rooms and Overview:

The Luxor opened in 1993 during the “family friendly”, highly themed era of Las Vegas. It originally had a thoroughly Egyptian themed interior including a Nile River Tour river ride circling the casino and the King Tut’s Tomb and Museum exhibit in addition to Egyptian themed statues, artwork and games (like a camel race version of the old horse race mechanical game). The restaurants and bars also had Egyptian themed names like ISIS, the Pharaoh’s Pheast buffet and Nefertiti’s Lounge.
 In 2007, MGM Resorts acquired the Luxor and proceeded to de-theme it as much as possible. The only remaining evidence of the original theming is the pyramid itself, the large statues by check in and the obelisk and sphinx in front of the main entrance.

Today, the Luxor is a good, but somewhat generic mid-level resort. It is still one of my old standbys. I know the room will be clean and presentable. It isn’t fancy and has a AAA 3-Diamond rating. The rates reflect that. Even though the bars and cafes are less themed now, I like the modern feel of Centra and Aurora as well as the semi-private feel of High Bar. The buffet (now called MORE, the buffet) isn’t as impressive as it used to be, but it is still a reliable and affordable choice. I like the easy access to Burger Bar, the House of Blues and RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay. Evidently a lot of other people choose the Luxor too, since the check in line is consistently one of the longest that I see. They offer 10% discounts for AAA members and Active Duty Military when booking directly with the hotel. The Luxor is part of the Mlife players club.

Blue Man Group recently moved back to the Luxor. Carrot Top, Chris Angel and Fantasy also perform at the Luxor.

Rooms:

LUXOR pyramid deluxe floorplan
LUXOR Pyramid Deluxe

The Luxor has a variety of room types available to the public. The basic room is the Pyramid Deluxe room.
 The room is 420sq.ft. That is slightly smaller than the average base Strip room but it uses the space well. It is a single rectangular space and the bed (King or 2 Queens), armoire, table and chairs are balanced. The bathroom has a shower, but no tub. The floor plan gives a good representation of what is there. Continue reading The Luxor: Perfectly Adequate