Las Vegas Journals

Las Vegas: Details you may not have heard

A November 2005 trip to Las Vegas by emerald78

Mirage Buffet Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada More Photos
Quote: I want to give you descriptions of the things no one ever told me about Vegas and what to expect. I loved my trip, but there were certainly some surprises and things I would have done differently.

Venetian Resort Hotel Casino

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Hotel | "The Venetian Part One: The Room"

Venetian Resort Hotel Casino Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
We stayed at the Venetian for 7 nights in November 2005. We enjoyed our stay very much, but there could have been improvements. Here is all the information on the room.The hotel is beautiful. All rooms are suites. The standard room is 650 square feet. The rooms all have a high-speed Internet connection at $9.95 per day. Each standard suite has two televisions and three two-line phones. The sunken sitting area has a pullout couch, two side chairs, a desk with a chair, a coffee table, an end table, and a game table with three chairs. The bed a touch too soft. The pillows are really lumpy. Parts of the room did look a little worn. The bathroom was beautiful, but the dressing table was very dinged...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 11, 2005

Venetian Resort Hotel Casino
3355 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
(702) 414-1000

Venetian Resort Hotel Casino

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Hotel | "The Venetian, Part Two: The Facilities"

Venetian Resort Hotel Casino Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
In this section I would like to tell you about the facilities available to you at the Venetian. The hallways and entrances to your rooms are beautiful. Some of the floors have enormous fresh flower arrangements right off the elevator. Much to my husband's dismay the doors closed loudly. It kills him when you close your room door and it slams instead of lightly closing. He is a pretty light sleeper, and was woken by this.There are over 20 restaurants to choose from at the hotel. One restaurant is on the 7th floor in a courtyard, on the casino floor, near the convention area and some are located within the grand canal shoppes. Your elevator will take you directly to the floor they are lo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 17, 2005

Venetian Resort Hotel Casino
3355 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
(702) 414-1000

Circo

Restaurant

Circo Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
With a view of the fountains and a beautifully appointed Tuscan restaurant, what's not to love? I'll tell you. First of all, we truly enjoyed our meal and service, and the view wasn't bad. Waiters were a touch on the snobby side. They seemed aghast that I was not going to order a $15 salad that was the size of my fist. Our main dishes were the homemade crab tortoli and spinach ravioli at $27 each. Both were superb! It was the best-tasting meal we had in Vegas. The portions were small, about six tortoli and maybe nine small ravioli. Make a reservation early and ask for a view of the fountains. You can see most of the show from the dining room. Some trees do block a touch of the ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 7, 2005

Circo
3600 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
+1 702 693 8150

Spice Market Buffet

Restaurant | "Aladdin Spice Market Buffet"

Spice Market Buffet Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
Rated #1 in 2005 by Las Vegas Mag. for buffets. I would have to agree that this was the best all around buffet we went to.The amount of food is almost overwhelming. What I loved was the different ethnic choices: Mediterranean, Asian, fish, Mexican, and Italian. I'm probably missing some, the place was huge. Seating is adequate, usually a small wait. The quality of the food was very good. Most everything that I tried was very good. Unlike buffets with tons of choices, but nothing is really all that good. The prices were just a touch above average. We were there for lunch and it was $23.00 per person. We were certainly full, and had many, many things to choose from.Our service on...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 7, 2005

Spice Market Buffet
3667 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
(702) 785-5555

Mirage Buffet

Restaurant | "Mirage Buffet (Cravings)"

Mirage Buffet Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
We were in Vegas in November 2005, and stayed right across the street from the Mirage at the Venetian. We ate here for lunch - prices were $17.95 per person. Lower than some buffets on the Strip for lunch. Cravings is the name of this buffet, and it is beautiful inside. Nice booths, the chairs unfortunately are overly hard. The selection was pretty large, with ethnically based stations. Everything was ok, but nothing was really great. It was kind of like they put tons of effort into choices, and skimped on the actual food. The gelato was really good, and available lunch and dinners. All the other food was bland. You really ended up not eating as much as you expec...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on November 7, 2005

Mirage Buffet
3400 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
+1 702 791 7111

Bouchon at The Venetian

Restaurant | "Bouchon (at the Venetian)"

Bouchon at The Venetian Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
We ate here during our stay at the Venetian in November 2005. It was rated the best breakfast in Vegas by a local publication, so we decided to give it a shot. The bacon and sausage was very good. However, our breakfast was nothing out of the ordinary. But they did have options for French frites (French fries) for breakfast served in a silver cone. We did not opt for them. The pastries are quite wonderful, and a chocolate croissant, so rich with Nutella, should not be missed. The ambience of the restaurant is lovely. It is located in a courtyard on the tenth floor of the Venezia towers. The floors are tiled, and everything looks crisp and clean, like the linens. ...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on November 7, 2005

Bouchon at The Venetian
3355 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
+1 702 414 6200

Fellini's Ristorante at The Stratosphere

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Restaurant | "Fellinis - Mange! Bellissimo! Stratosphere"

Fellini's Ristorante at The Stratosphere Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
We visited the Stratosphere in November of 2005 and discovered this wonderful little restaurant. What a find! This restaurant is tucked in the back of the casino on the main floor. You could certainly walk right by Fellini's and not even know it was there. We could not get into the "Top of the World" restaurant and decided to eat here. We were VERY pleasantly surprised by the menu, food, service, and atmosphere of this little gem. Prices were about the same as an Italian chain restaurant. We believed it to be a good value for the portion size. It is a Disney-esque-decorated, Italian-themed restaurant (in a good way). There are lovely murals on the walls of different...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 8, 2005

Fellini's Ristorante at The Stratosphere
2000 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89104
(702) 380-7777

Golden Nugget Buffet

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Restaurant

Golden Nugget Buffet Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
We visited Vegas in November 2005. My husband in past years has spent a lot of time on the old strip, or Fremont Street as it is now called. He loves this hotel. I have to admit that I was much more attracted to the flash of the new Strip, but the service here was the best we had in Vegas. We ate lunch here for $7.99 per person; breakfast is $5.99 and dinner, I believe, was $10.99. Prices for the buffets are much cheaper on Fremont Street than the new Strip. They are smaller and have less selection, but if you want to get just as fat and happy, they work splendidly. The servers that work here have been here forever and are very attentive. They seemed to know exactly what you were abou...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 8, 2005

Golden Nugget Buffet
129 East Fremont St
Las Vegas, Nevada 89101
+1 702 385 7111

Grand Lux Cafe

Restaurant | "Grand Lux Cafe (Venetian)"

Grand Lux Cafe Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
We visited and stayed at the Venetian in November of 2005. We had a comped meal at the Grand Lux and enjoyed it very much. Our service was okay, but our server was a little distracted. I think she was ready to go home. Our meals were so different, with tons of different styles of cuisine. I had a Thai dish and my husband has pasta. Both were delicious. They are owned by the same people as the Cheesecake Factory. The meals were blessed with huge portions; the dessert would have served a small country! This restaurant is 24 hours and right inside the casino at the Venetian. We had dinner, but they have an extensive breakfast, lunch, and after-hours menu. Everyone in your family o...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 8, 2005

Grand Lux Cafe
3355 Las Vegas Blvd. S.
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
(702) 414-3888

Jean Philippe Patisserie

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Restaurant

Jean Philippe Patisserie Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
We visited Jean Philippe Patisserie at Bellagio during our November 2005 visit. What a neat takeout dessert place! There were a few tables scattered around if you wanted to eat there, but most everyone had their desserts and coffee to go. This little spot has the largest chocolate fountain in the world, and it is not to be missed. It is made up of cut-glass islands with milk, dark, and white chocolate free-flowing over them all day long. It starts at the ceiling and hits about 15 cut-glass islands all the way down. The chocolate is then cycled through and sent down again. This item was worth the trip for that alone, but the desserts are wonderful! My husband and I had crepes...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 8, 2005

Jean Philippe Patisserie
Bellagio
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
(702) 693-7111

Bertolini's Authentic Trattoria

Restaurant | "Bertolini's"

Bertolini's Authentic Trattoria Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
We visited the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace in November 2005. This restaurant was located two doors down from Spago. We looked at Spago's lunch menu, and nothing looked very appetizing. We decided that Bertolini's had more options for us. We had a short wait, about 10 min. for a table at lunchtime on a Saturday. There is a large "outside" eating area. The smoking area is located next to the "fountain of the gods" in a courtyard in the forum of shops. It kind of looks like it is outside, even though you are still in the forum shops mall area. Inside is the non smoking area. It was pretty loud, dishes clanging and hard surfaces. My husband loved his canneloni; my panini was ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 8, 2005

Bertolini's Authentic Trattoria
3500 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
(702) 735-4663

Isla Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar

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Restaurant | "Isla"

Isla Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
We visited Isla at Treasure Island in November 2005. The restaurant is conveniently located near the side Siren's entrance, just off the casino. Reservations were recommended, but we were able to walk in and get an earlier table than our reservation was for (we were hungry). The restaurant is quite lovely. The walls are tiled in a turquoise blue, with a blue neon light hidden above. Very nice artwork has been hung all around, and lively Spanish music was playing.The menu had many choices that looked wonderful. All tables receive a two-tiered tray of salsas and chips. Both the salsa and chips were homemade and very tasty. My husband had a sampler of all their appetizers. This it...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 9, 2005

Isla Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar
3300 Las Vegas Blvd. S.
Las Vegas, Nevada
702/894-7111

Mandalay Bay Shark Reef Aquarium

Attraction | "Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay"

Mandalay Bay Shark Reef Aquarium Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
The admission price for the shark reef is pretty pricey, but we found it to be worth it. The aquarium area is set in a rain-forest-type environment, and it is done kind of realistically, if maybe a teeny bit cheesy. Every exhibit has a voice recording that you hold to your ear to learn about the residents. The neatest area for kids is a touch pool. The kids and adults can touch horseshoe crabs, stingrays, and baby sharks. There was a very large jellyfish exhibit and a tunnel you could walk through. If you stopped at every exhibit and listened to all the information, it could take you several hours to get through. We went relatively quickly and spent about an hour and a half there. I would re...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 14, 2005

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

Water Show

Attraction | "Water Show-Bellagio Hotel"

Water Show Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
Every half-hour during the day and every 15 minutes at night the lake in front of Bellagio explodes with color, light, and water! We visited Vegas in November 2005, and this was my favorite thing we did. The first show I saw made me cry; it was so beautiful. The music was a mix between classical and Southwestern; it sounded like it was made just for that show. We stayed and watched about 10 different shows, and they were all wonderful. We never saw a repeat the whole time we watched the shows. The water is pushed up in the air to impossible heights and flows to the music. The shows last as long as the song and then start up again to the next song a few minutes later. The music was suited to all genres...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 15, 2005

Water Show
Bellagio Hotel / 3600 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
888 987 3456

Via Bellagio

Attraction | "Bellagio Hotel Shopping"

Via Bellagio Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
We visited Las Vegas in November 2005. There were so many shopping opportunities, it became almost overwhelming.

There were just a few shops at Bellagio compared to other hotels. They were high-end and lovely but would not be my top choice if I could only pick one place to shop. I would head to the shops at Caesars, where there is a bigger selection of shops and it is laid out much nicer.

The shops at Bellagio consisted of only a few very high-end merchants. I had to go because Tiffany's & Co. was among the list. I was not that impressed with the size of the storefront for Tiffany's. I guess I was expecting Manhattan. The lane of shops is very visually appealing but small.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on November 17, 2005

Via Bellagio
3600 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
(702) 693 7111

The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace

Attraction | "Forum Shops"

The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
We visited the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace in November 2005. I was really impressed by how large the Forum was. More than 160 stores comprise the Forum shops at Caeser's. We did not even get through all of them. There was such a diverse selection that everyone would feel right at home. If you want to go shopping for the high-end auto, there is a retailer just for you. If Abercrombie & Fitch or Gap is your style, you are all set. How about some toys? FAO Schwarz has everything your little heart could ever dream of. Looking for some ice? Bvlgari or Opals & Gems of Australia are there, among so many others to cater to you. Now, every lady is looking for shoes, if she knows it or not. Ever...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 17, 2005

The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace
3500 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
(702) 893-4800

Desert Passage at the Aladdin

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Attraction | "The Desert Passage"

Desert Passage at the Aladdin Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
We visited in November 2005. With more than 130 shops set in a climate-controlled dessert, what girl wouldn't be in heaven? The facade around all the shops looks like you are truly in the desert, with a "Vegas Sky" painted on the ceiling. There are affordable and exorbitant shops intermingled along this mall. This is where I fell in love with Sephora, by far the neatest cosmetic store I've ever seen. The greatest thing is that you can test EVERYTHING! Anyone would feel welcome in there, too, unlike Yves Chantre, where I feel like I need to be wearing my Prada to enter. This is a really neat place to spend an afternoon. It is not as busy as the Forum Shops at Caesar's. There is entertainment ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 17, 2005

Desert Passage at the Aladdin
3663 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89019
(888) 800-8284

Fashion Show Mall

Attraction

Quote:
We visited this mall in November 2005. We could actually see it from our hotel room at the Venetian. The most eye-catching thing is the huge sign and funny dome structure in front.To look at this place from the Strip, it seems pretty small, but it is huge. There are over 200 stores. Unlike the casino shops, this looks like a real mall. The casino shops are all glitz and glam; this is just a mall, a very big mall but a mall.The fashion show mall is three stories, which is great to see what is going on below you. There are all kinds of shops that you probably would not have in your local mall, like Teavana (with more teas than you could ever drink in your life), A Pea In The Pod (ma...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 17, 2005

Fashion Show Mall
3200 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
(702) 369-8382

Grand Canal Shoppes

Attraction | "Grand Canal Shops"

Quote:
We visited in November 2005. I loved staying in the Venetian because I could spread out the Canal Shops over a few days. If my husband got tired from walking, I could sneak down to the shops and do a little more walking/shopping in the comfort of my own hotel. Honestly that was one of my favorite parts to staying at the Venetian. Having such beautiful things right beneath my room was wonderful!There are so many shops here. I thought I had gotten through them all, and realized there was an entire section I had missed. Stores like Jimmy Choo, Kenneth Cole, Burberry, Bernard K. Passman Gallery (with real live beefeater soldiers at the door) and Canyon Ranch even has a store here. One thing to kno...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 17, 2005

Grand Canal Shoppes
3355 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
(877) 883-6423

Top 10 Free things to do in Vegas

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Venetian Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
We visited Vegas in November 2005. Here is the top 10 list of free things to do in Vegas.#10 The Parasols and escalator at Wynn Las VegasJust on the outside of the casino, there is the world's only curving escalator. Above that are the most beautiful parasols you have ever seen. They are moving and spinning just enough to keep your attention. This sight is truly art in motion.#9 Treasure Island Siren's show. It runs ever hour and a half from 5:30pm to 10:30pm. In this show, there is dancing, fireworks, cannon explosions and a sinking ship. What more can you ask for for free?#8 Gameworks This is a HUGE two story building right on the strip...Read More

Canyon Ranch Spa Club & Gym

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
We visited Las Vegas in November 2005. We stayed at the Venetian, and I had treatments done at the Canyon Racy Spa Club & the Spa at Treasure Island.I am so spoiled now that no spa experience will ever be able to compare to Canyon Ranch.I used their fitness facilities twice during my stay. The equipment is great, and their classes are the best. I thought I was in shape, but after I took the cardo boot camp class I thought I would die it was so hard! It's $35.00 per day to use the fitness facilities. This includes all the free weights, aerobic equipment, all classes, Jacuzzi, steam rooms & saunas broken up by gender. The $35 also includes fruit, all the bottled water you...Read More

Treasure Island Spa & Gym

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
We visited Las Vegas in November of 2005. My husband treated me to some spa treatments while we were in Las Vegas. I had a facial here, and some treatments at the Canyon Ranch Spa at the Venetian (see my review).We were attending a conference in Vegas, so I had my treatment early in the morning before we started working. I worked out in their fitness facility before my treatment. The Fitness facility is small but pretty adequate. There were no lines for machines, and you could get a pretty well-rounded work out there.I also visited the hot tub area and steam room in the female locker rooms before my facial. The hot tub was pretty small and sort of in the middle of some tre...Read More

Transportation in Vegas

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
We visited Vegas in November 2005. I wanted to let you all in on the best way to get around in Vegas.Taxis: From the airport we asked our taxi driver to get us to our hotel as quickly as possible. If you are looking for cheap, that was the wrong thing to say. Ask them to get you there the cheapest way possible, and your fair should be between $15-$20 depending on the location of your hotel location. All taxi fairs start out with a set fee of about $2-5.00 you fair climbs from there. We were surprised how difficult it was to get a taxi. At our hotel the wait was usually about 45 min. to up to 2 hours depending on the time of day. The only way I would use them is if you are going off the str...Read More