I have a few trips coming up and even though I am happy with my arrangements, I always keep an eye out for new offers. This is especially true when I am meeting up with a group of people in Las Vegas and I’m looking for offers that the general public can use.
While checking rates I came across an offer for the Rio. The code is IRFNF. The offer has been around for a while but they keep extending it. This offer and a number of similar offers can be found on the Las Vegas Advisor’s website. When I plugged in the dates for my trip, the rates through the offer were $20 per night higher than the rate with no offer code. I tried this with a few other codes found on the Las Vegas Advisor site and had the same result. The one oddity was the IRBOT offer code which gives you a free bottle of alcohol and was the same price per night as it would have been without a code. I have had similar experiences with most casinos. I recently had an offer for the Hard Rock Hotel where the ‘offer’ price was almost twice as much as the regular rate for the nights I wanted.
This isn’t that unusual, but it is something a lot of people don’t seem to consider.
Just remember when you are shopping around for room rates to check the regular rates on the casino website as well. They might be better than those of the ‘special deal’. This is especially true if you have a players club card for that casino. If you log in to your account and make a reservation, the price you get will usually be at least a little lower than what you will find elsewhere.
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.
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.
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→
The Rio currently has a very good room sale going on. The rates do fluctuate, but right now they are better than the negotiated rates for a number of upcoming conferences. You get a room for an average nightly rate of $60 for one upcoming conference.
The Rio does not charge resort fees either, so the rate you see (plus 12% tax) is what you actually pay.
The Rio opened in 1990 as a locals’ casino. The Masquerade tower and casino expansion (featuring the now closed Masquerade Show In the Sky) opened in 1997. It was purchased by Harrah’s Entertainment (now Caesars Entertainment) in 1999.
It is one of those places where I can spend 3 days and not have to leave the hotel. That is a good thing, since it is off-Strip. It has good dining options, a lively casino and fun nightlife options that are good for the non 20-something crowd. The pool area is nicely themed, too.
The Rio is officially called the Rio All Suites Hotel & Casino. All of the standard rooms are 600 square foot suites. For reference, a typical room on the Strip is 350-450 square feet. Each room at the Rio has a spacious sitting area, refrigerator, safe, hair dryer, iron and ironing board. Rooms also have wired and wireless Internet access covered by the resort fee.
Picture taken from the entryway.
Another shot of the desk area.
Part of the the sitting area and desk as seen from the edge of the bed.
Picture of the bed. Taken from the couch in the sitting or ‘lounge’ area.
Armoire. This hides the TV. The TV does pull out a swivel a bit, but it is kind of an odd angle to watch from the bed.
Bathroom and vanity area.
Empty refridgerator, safe and extra pillow in the closet.
View of the pool from a Masquerade Tower room. Note the Strip in the
The Rio has two hotel towers; the Ipanema Tower and the Masquerade Tower.
The Masquerade Tower is the more recent tower. It features Strip views from most of the South facing rooms and pool views for North facing rooms. The elevators for the Masquerade Tower rooms are located just off the Masquerade casino floor. This is a long way from the front desk, valet, Carnival World Buffet and convention areas, but puts you near the VooDoo Steak & Lounge elevators, Chippendales Theatre and most of the more active dining and nightlife spots. Music from the VooDoo Lounge’s rooftop deck can bleed into rooms on the higher floors. Staying in the Masquerade Tower gives you convenient access to the Masquerade self parking garage. If you are here for a vacation, the Masquerade Tower is the one you want.
The Ipanema Tower is older, but was renovated in 2005. It is a three-wing hotel tower with 1/3 of the rooms facing West, with a view of the mountains, 1/3 facing North towards Fremont Street, and 1/3 facing East with pool and/or Strip views.
The Ipanema Tower elevators are directly across the lobby from the front desk. This puts you closer to the convention areas, valet and the Carnival World Buffet. If you are here for a convention or plan on spending most of your time somewhere other than the Rio, this is the tower you want.
The Rio website does not clearly delineate this, but a “Deluxe Suite” is typically in the Ipanema Tower and a “Premium Suite” is usually in the Masquerade Tower. The Rio recently added a PetStay option where small dogs are permitted in specifically designated rooms for a higher price. For more details on the PetStay rooms, visit their website.
The Rio recently added the VooDoo Zipline. I’m not a big fan of it since it is more like a ski-lift than a traditional zipline and it faces away from the Strip. It still qualifies as a thrill ride, though.
The Rio charges a nightly resort fee of $29 ($32.48 after taxes) which covers internet access, fitness center access and all local calls.
The Rio also offers a discount of up to 15% for Military, First Responders, Students & Teachers.