Tag Archives: Hotels

Caesars Entertainment: Check In, Get Coupons

When you check in to any Caesars Entertainment property* in Las Vegas, you will get a coupon sheet. The sheet has 2 coupons for every Caesars Entertainment property in Las Vegas EXCEPT the property you are staying at.  At first, this seems a little odd, but it is just a ploy to get you to visit their other properties.

The coupons are usually dining and entertainment oriented, but the current sheet includes entry into a slot tournament at the Imperial Palace (now the LINQ Hotel) and $5 in Reel Rewards (Free slot play).  A few that are fairly consistent are the Eiffel Tower 2-for-1 and the various buffet discounts.  The picture below shows the current offers received when checking in at Planet Hollywood.

Coupons tend to be good for 4 month blocks.  On my recent trip to Planet Hollywood, the coupons were good for May 1 – August 31.  Earlier this year I received coupons good for January 1 – April 30.

* Caesars Entertainment owns Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, Paris, Bally’s, The Cromwell, the Flamingo, The LINQ Hotel, Harrah’s and the Rio.


The Gold Coast. A Pleasant Surprise

A few weeks ago I spent a night at the Gold Coast. It had been a while since I had been to the Gold Coast and I was expecting the casino to be smoky and run down. I had never stayed there, but knowing that it was an inexpensive, low-roller type place I wasn’t expecting much from the room either.

I was happily surprised on both counts.

First, the casino is using some kind of air freshener in their ventilation system so that the casino doesn’t smell like smoke and actually has a semi-tropical scent (similar to what Strip properties like Mandalay Bay and the Mirage do).  It makes a big difference. I had just come from the Imperial Palace (which is rather smoky) and the Gold Coast was quite literally a breath of fresh air. The casino has the usual array of table games starting with $5 minimum bets, good video poker pay tables for most versions and denominations, a lot of reel and video slot machines and a 720 seat bingo hall. It does not have a poker room.

The rooms are small and utilitarian, but work very well for a no frills night’s sleep. They are 360 square feet, which is on the small side for a basic Las Vegas room. It has a very standard bed, dresser, table and 2 chairs layout. There is no closet, but there is a place in the bathroom area to hang your clothes. That and the sink are open to the room. This is a lot like some of the Best Western rooms I have been in across the country. They get a few extra points from me for having separate shampoo and conditioner instead of a conditioning shampoo more typical of lower level hotels. They also include a single cup coffee maker.

The Gold Coast is off-Strip, but still fairly close. It is on Flamingo Road with the Rio on one side and the Palms on another. It is a local’s casino, which means you can usually find low room rates, dining deals (they have coupon in the American Casino Guide that gets you a free buffet with very little play), low limit gambling with better slot payback percentages and better table game rules (where applicable).

They offer a free shuttle to the Strip (center Strip drop off at Bill’s Gambling Hall) as well as their sister property, the Orleans. The Palms and Rio also have shuttles to the Strip and might actually be a bit more convenient.

The ATMs at the Gold Coast charge a fee of $3.50 instead of the usual $4.99 on the Strip. As usual, these ATMs are not affiliated with a particular bank, so you may also have to pay whatever your bank charges for using for using an ATM.
The Gold Coast does charge a resort fee of $3 which covers local phone calls, in-room coffee, fitness center access and shuttle service. I took the shuttle twice and they never asked for a room card.

While is it not as fancy as most places on the Strip, I’d definitely consider staying at the Gold Coast again when I want a low key, relaxed trip.

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.


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

How to choose a hotel for your trip

For my first Blog post, I am going to tackle something kind of big.
How to choose a hotel for your trip.
There are so many things that actually go in to this that one post isn’t going to cover it all, but hopefully it will help you make the decision that works best for your particular trip.
The first thing you need to decided is the purpose for your trip. Is it for a convention, to see a show or special event, gamble the night away, visit a spa and relax, or just to take in as many of the sights as possible? Are you looking for high energy / hustle and bustle or do you want a slower pace?

If you are going for a convention, stay at one of the hotels that is an “official hotel” for your convention. Shop around for a rate since you can often find cheaper rates than what the convention has negotiated, but don’t stay at a different hotel just because it has a lower room rate. You will be spending more in time and additional transportation than you would have saved by staying at the cheaper hotel non-convention hotel. This is especially true if your convention is at an off-Strip hotel like the Rio or at the far North end of the Strip like the Stratosphere or Riviera.

If you are visiting Las Vegas for a vacation, remember that your room is where you start your day, plan your adventure for the day and recover from your day. Even if you only consider it to be a place to sleep and shower, you want it to be comfortable and you don’t want to dread going back to your room. You also don’t want to have to travel very far to get back to your room at the end of the day.

If you are looking for relaxation and pampering, try a hotel with a great spa. Qua at Caesars Palace and Canyon Ranch Spa at the Venetian should be at the top of your list. You don’t want to have to walk or catch a cab to get back to your hotel after your spa time.

If you are looking for a more relaxed, low-key trip without pampering, stay downtown. All of the downtown / Fremont Street casinos are within easy walking distance. Their table games have lower minimum bets and the slots tend to payback more. The hotels and hotel rooms are not fancy and some don’t even have irons (you have to call housekeeping to get an iron for an hour at the Fremont Hotel and Casino). You are not going to find the hottest nightclubs, a Cirque du Soleil show or a Celebrity chef here, either.

It gets harder to generalize once you get to the Strip, so I am going to save specifics for later posts. Location does play a big part, though. How easy is it to get from your hotel to any other places that you want to go? That might not be as obvious as it sounds.

Hopefully this gives you a starting point for your Vegas Vacation!