Las Vegas Journals

Vegas Take 3 - CES 2005

A January 2005 trip to Las Vegas by cowtown

Quote: Flights from heck and some great eating finds.

Vegas Take 3 - CES 2005

Overview

Quote:
One highlight of this trip had to be the Cheesecake Factory restaurant in The Palace Forums shop. They had great service and excellent food. For the money, it was a great place to eat. Next up would be the Fashion Show Mall, which has great shopping, and if you are not from this country, lots of stores you wouldn't normally see. Finally, I'd have to say the House of Blues in Mandalay Bay was a highlight. There were great food deals, excellent food, and good service.Quick Tips: If you like sea life, check out the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay. Buy the ticket that includes lunch at the House of Blues restaurant in the hotel. It's only more per ticket for the lunch, and you get a full and v...Read More

Excalibur Hotel & Casino

Hotel | "Excaliber Hotel and Casino"

Quote:
Certainly better than places like Circus Circus, Excalibur is a step up in quality from my previous stay in clown heaven. The rooms were clean and well-attended. Our toilet ran, but it was only a minor annoyance once we learned its quirks. We would have gotten it fixed, but we were too busy running about Vegas. A nice bonus--a non-smoking room was, in fact, a non-smoking room. The hotel itself is a bit light in some of the nicer amenities, compared to other hotels, but it's very close to NY, NY, which helps fill the gap. The casino was okay, but waitress service was brutal. My wife went 4 hours without a drink while gambling, and it was spotty at best in the poker room, which was adequate enoug...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 17, 2005

Excalibur Hotel & Casino
3850 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
(702) 597-7777

Cheesecake Factory at The Forum Shops

Restaurant | "Cheesecake Factory"

Quote:
Great service and excellent food. I've always enjoyed eating here. The staff is so pleasant, and for what you pay, it's just a great place to eat--nice and relaxing. I feel it's one of the better eating deals on the Strip if you're into good food and not buffet garbage.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 17, 2005

Cheesecake Factory at The Forum Shops
3500 South Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas 89109
(702) 792-6888

House of Blues

Restaurant

Quote:
If you're going to the Shark Reef in Mandalay Bay, get the entrance deal that comes with lunch at the House of Blues. For only $7 more, you get a full lunch with dessert and drink at the restaurant. In addition to this, if you eat in the restaurant, you get 20% off in the gift shop--very cool. Food was very good, dessert was excellent, and the service was quite nice. It wasn't overly loud or busy when I was there, but I can see it being boisterous in the evening.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 17, 2005

House of Blues
3950 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89119
(702) 632 7600

Roundtable Buffet at the Excalibar

Restaurant | "Excalibur Hotel Buffet"

Quote:
Like many buffets in Las Vegas, it's not worth the money spent. I believe it was $15 per person for the dinner buffet. The only food I found adequate was the prime rib, and it's hard to screw that up. The rest was limp, overcooked junk. If you are into gorging on buckets of food, prison-cafeteria-style, then head here. Otherwise, your $15 is better spent at a food court in the mall or in a restaurant like House of Blues or Cheesecake Factory.

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on January 17, 2005

Roundtable Buffet at the Excalibar
3850 Las Vegas Blvd. S.
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
(702) 597-7777

Excalibur Hotel and Casino

Attraction | "Excalibur Hotel"

Quote:
This was a decent enough casino--one could do a lot worse. However, the drink staff was horrible (it took 4+ hours for my wife to get a drink). If you aren't winning (and their slots were very tight), you may as well get drunk while you're miserable. I'd suggest the Palms or Mandalay Bay for gambling--both a little nicer, despite the smoking.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 17, 2005

Excalibur Hotel and Casino
3850 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, Nevada
(702) 597-7777

Palms Casino Resort

Attraction | "Gambling at the Palms"

Quote:
Both poker rooms were kind of small and very full while I was there. Slots were good and up-to-date, with all the new toys. The casino area is actually small compared to others I've seen, as far as gambling areas go, but it helps to increase the impression that it's busy in there, when it actually is. There's a nice little 24-hour cafe there; service was mediocre, but a good-quality $1.99 breakfast at 11pm is hard to beat. The Ghost Bar there is ultra-trendy and a place to go if you're star-hunting.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 17, 2005

Palms Casino Resort
4321 W. Flamingo Road
Las Vegas, Nevada
(702) 942-7777

Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino

Attraction | "We Will Rock You"

Quote:
Great show, especially if you're a Queen fan. Even if you're not, it's funny, well-executed, and worth the money. The auditorium is actually fairly small, so even the cheaper seats, $50, are really close in and have excellent sight lines. Go on Saturday to see the main cast, though the understudies are supposedly quite good as well.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 17, 2005

Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino
3655 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
(877) 796-2096

Mandalay Bay Shark Reef Aquarium

Attraction | "Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay"

Quote:
Many exhibits have more detail on the free audio wands they provide. Overall, it's a neat way to spend an hour or so. The jellyfish tank is neat, and overall, there's lots of nice sea life, with some education thrown into the mix. It's certainly worthwhile to see if you're into animals and marine life. Also, if you are there around lunch, buy the tickets that come with the lunch at the House of Blues in that same casino. It's only $7 more and worth it, since you get a full meal, and it's a nice place to eat. It takes a bit of a walk to get to it from the front of the casino, so those with children should be aware.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 17, 2005

Mandalay Bay Shark Reef Aquarium
3950 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89119
(702) 632-7777