A July 2005 trip
to Las Vegas by MKRose
Quote: Everyone should experience Vegas at least once. It is a town like no other and offers a lot of inexpensive travel opportunities while staying at 4-star+ accommodations.
Attraction | "Aladdin"
Rooms were large, with two double beds, and an impressivly large bathroom with large tub, shower, and seperate toilet area. Everything was very clean, and maid service was very accommodating about scheduling a convenient room cleaning time. The location on the Strip is excellent, situated between the Paris and MGM Hotels. In my opinion, it is right in the middle of the main action on the Strip. Everything is in walking distance, and even in 115-degree weather, we made the trek to each end--the new Wynn at one end and Mandalay Bay at the other.
Desert Passage Shops are attached to the hotel and casino, offering typical chain retail shops, although I felt that the quality of the shops is on the decline from when it first opened. Two swimming pools are located on the 6th floor. Lifeguards were friendly, but pool attendants are not available after 4pm (about the time you really wanted a cold refreshing drink). The pool closes at 6pm and sometimes shuts down earlier in extremely hot weather (the concept of closing a pool in hot weather when that is when people want to enjoy it the most is unclear to me).
We stayed mid-week, and the rates were very reasonable but varied each night: Monday $79, Tuesday $89, Wednesday $99. I would recommend it for location; however, if you want other amenities like a fabulous pool and dining options, other hotels rise far above the Aladdin.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 20, 2005
Aladdin Hotel Casino
3667 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
Hotel | "Mandalay Bay"
Large parrots are in the lobby and check-in was easy. Mandalay is at the end of the strip, but has so much to offer with the incredible pools, bars, clubs, restaurants, and shark adventure. Specifically we chose this hotel becasue of the wave pool, lazy river, and ultimate water park expereince. The pool area does not disappoint and we wished we were staying another day to enjoy it more.
In the evenings we enjoyed the clubs and nightlife, like Rum Jungle. However, the free live band entertainment playing in the casino was just as fabulous. Mandalay is connceted to the Luxor and Excalubur via a free tram, but staying here we did not want to go anywhere else.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 20, 2005
Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino
3950 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89119
The pool is below the Eiffel Tower. The central location in th middle of everything on he strip makes this hotel easily accessible to all other Vegas activities. The casino seems smaller than hte other large hotels, but I feel that is a plus becasue it is easier to find your way around. It seems the Paris does not need to make you lost to stay inside this hotel--unlike the others--it is so classy you don't want to leave.
The small cobblestone boulevard of shops are very true to the Parisian theme, except for the occasional vegas souvenir shops. Located amoung these shops is a boulangerie (French bakery), the perfect place for coffee, a chocolate croissant, and relaxing along the faux outdoor streets.
The room rates are resonable, and this hotel, I feel, is the best place I've stayed in Vegas.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 21, 2005
Paris Las Vegas
3655 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
Hotel | "Hilton Grand Vacation Club Flamingo"
The rooms are large and have a guest room feel with large funishings and home like ammenities instead of the typical hotel room. The bathrooms are good sized and have the option of opening large door above the wirlpool tub to the entire room or keeping it private. This is a great place for a family to stay since they offer two bedroom, one bedroom, and studios. The two-bedroom includes a living room and is very comfortable, with a large couch for a larger family. With the kitchen amenities, you need not eat at a buffet or other typical Vegas-style eateries 24 hours. We took advantage of this and kept breakfast foods and snack items in our fridge.
The club offers guests full use of the Flamingo pool, but also has a smaller private pool within the private gated entry. The staff was attentive; however, like all timeshares, if you are not an owner at this location, they'll want to sign you up for the timeshare sales pitch. Overall, it's a good place to stay with great family attributes and a good location.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 21, 2005
Hilton Grand Vacations Club at the Flamingo
3575 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
While enjoying specialty cocktails and extensive wine selections, you can watch the Vegas nightlife stroll by. In the evenings, the Bellagio dancing waters entertain you with different songs every half-hour. It is so spectacular that fellow diners applaud some performances.
By far, this is a dining experience that cannot be missed, and it is better than any show in Vegas. The food is excellent, with very large portions. The steak with a blue cheese sauce was fabulous and accompanied by fries that overflowed the plate. Everyone in our party of eight enjoyed their entrées. My only regret is that the meals were too filling and we had no room for dessert. From my experience, service in Vegas is slow and unimpressive, but at this restaurant, slow service is accepted because you want to enjoy the ambience and don't mind the extra time here. I'll return every time I visit Vegas.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 20, 2005
Mon Ami Gabi
Las Vegas, Nevada 89019
From appearances on the Strip, there is not much to see, because a large, fake volcano and cave blocks the lively atmosphere of the inside dining area. We stopped for lunch without reservations and had a short 10-minute wait in the middle of the day. With the beeper that flashes when your table is ready, the wait gives you just enough time to visit the gift shop full of parrot-head paraphernalia or sit in the cave, which is a pleasant, cool escape from the 110+ degree heat we were experiencing in July.
The interior is filled with an eye-catching Caribbean sail-boat motif. Ship hulls and fishing boats double as eating booths. Kids would enjoy this atmosphere. Of course, if you are not a Jimmy Buffet fan, this is not a place for you to eat - large screens and loud music blast through the entire time and the crowd sings along during Margarittaville.
The food was satisfactory pub fare. The salads are large and creative, and the crab cakes were the favorite of the group I dined with. I would not recommend the seared ahi appetizer and suggest sticking to the salads or pub fare-like burgers. The service was okay for a large, open restaurant. A fake volcano erupts frequently, but we were unimpressed and think taking the volcano out would improve the atmosphere and open the restaurant’s view from the Strip. The fudge brownie dessert and key lime pie were good, too.
We were told that in the evenings they often have live bands. Later that night, when we walked by, the bar was hopping, even though it was midweek. The location in the center of the Strip makes it a very convenient stop for a margarita or two.
Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville
3555 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109