Viva Las Vegas!

Las Vegas is America's playground. This journal contains reviews of race tracks, buffets, and hotels.


Viva Las Vegas!

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by Cekimon on March 3, 2004

We travel to Vegas once a year to see races at the Las Vegas Speedway. Then there are other social trips throughout the year. My favorite things to do are eat at the many buffets, spend time gambling, and do some sightseeing. I also like to check out the many shopping venues to get away from the casinos. Fremont Street Experience is also a must see.

The most memorable moment out of all my Vegas trips is when my best friend was proposed to on the bridge by the Bellagio right above Las Vegas Blvd. ${QuickSuggestions} The casinos are huge, so they look really close together, but don't be fooled -- if you try to walk, it is a LONG distance.${BestWay} I would suggest renting a car or driving to avoid having to take a taxi, but if you plan to do a lot of drinking, stick to the taxis and keep the roads safe. They are in the process of building a monorail system and they were testing it on my last trip, so I'm unsure if it's up and running just yet!


Harrah's

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Cekimon on March 3, 2004

On our last visit to Las Vegas, we stayed at Harrah's. There was some serious confusion with our reservations because we had made reservations through Fairfield resorts and the representative at Fairfield was very rude. It was a bad experience for us because no one was taking responsibility for our lost reservations. The good part is that the staff at Harrah's was very friendly and apologetic and also gave us a $30 credit to use at the hotel towards any hotel expense. That was very generous since it ended up being Fairfield's fault.

Harrah's also upgraded our room to a view room, which was nice. The rooms are typical hotel rooms. They do not have separate rooms or kitchen/dining areas. The first night we stayed in a room with one queen sized bed and a television. The second night we requested another room with two beds because we had some friends flying in and needed another bed. The staff was very quick to meet our request for a different room.

The second room was on the same floor and also did not have kitchen/dining area. There were two beds, a television, a desk, a phone, and a bathroom.

The hotel staff was also good enough to locate our room on the same floor as another couple traveling with us.

Harrah's is a good place to stay, but not the most luxurious place to stay. The hotel has a restaurant, casino, and buffet. I don't remember it having a pool because I rarely swim while I'm in Vegas!

Harrahs Las Vegas
3475 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89109
(702) 369-5000

Bally's

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Cekimon on March 5, 2004

I stayed here on a trip to Vegas in August 2001. I was very impressed with the new modern look of the rooms. They had just undergone a remodel and they had this really cool sofa in the room. The rooms were worth the price paid. Our room had two queen beds, a sofa, a TV, a bathroom, and a cool desk with a phone that had speakerphone, which was fun when we'd call room to room to other members of our group. It's the only hotel I remember having a speakerphone!
Bally's Las Vegas
3645 Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89109
(702) 967-4111

The Scintas

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Cekimon on March 3, 2004

This show is most appropriate for those in their 30s and up.

The show consists of two brothers and a sister paying tribute in a musical/comedy type variety show to great performers of the past. One of the most touching moments was a tribute to George Burns. It really brought tears to my eyes.

But there are a lot of laughs as well. One of the brothers is really talented and it's amazing how many excellent impersonations he can do. Some of the songs sung by the Aladdin were a little cheesy and over the top for me. But the other performances and comedy made up for a few slow moments in the show.

Photographers take your photo before the show and you can purchase the photo in frames after the show so be ready for that.

Scintas (The Show)
Rio All-Suites Casino Resort / 3700 West Flamingo Road
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89103

Las Vegas Speedway

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Cekimon on March 5, 2004

If you are planning to go to a racing event, don't take a taxi. It would be more worth your money to rent a car because it is quite a trip out to the racetrack.

When we go to the races, it's always the end of November or beginning of December and it's VERY COLD, so do bring gloves, scarves, hats, and a blanket. You will need them!

We've only gone to the Dirt Track Nationals -- Friday is qualifying and Saturday is the main events. Friday nights don't have as much in terms of snacks and food, so eat dinner before you go or bring your own. I guess they don’t expect a lot of fans on Friday night.

Although I'm not a big auto-racing fan, this is an event my fiancé and his dad never miss. My future mother-in-law and I go shopping instead, but I have gone to the races and I can say one thing -- it is cold at that time of year, so dress warmly!

Las Vegas Speedway
Just outside of Las Vegas
Las Vegas, Nevada

Desert Passage Shopping Mall at the Aladdin

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by Cekimon on March 3, 2004

The Desert Passage contains many retail shops, eateries, and galleries. Some major familiar retailers are the Gap and Bath and Body Works.

The mall is in the shape of a circle. Entrances can be located adjacent to the Las Vegas Strip, the entrance to the casino at the Aladdin, and also to the parking garage of the Aladdin.

My suggestion is to take a trip on one of the bikers who will give you a trip around the entire circle of shops. You can check everything out and then walk back to what stores you'd like to see. We had a really good biker who gave us a good tour explaining each area has a different motif. The exterior of the stores are decorated amazingly.

There is also a small area where they have a fake storm and "rain" from the ceiling falls over a small pond. The show times are listed. On the weekends, there are more showings.

I like this themed shopping mall a little better than the Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace. I have also seen "street" entertainers there performing like dancers and acrobatic performers. Those "shows" are free but of course, the performers gladly accept tips after the show. It's a great place in Las Vegas to take children for a few hours if they can be patient enough to do some shopping or window-shopping. I'd rank it as one of Las Vegas' must-see shopping venues.


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