First Time in Las Vegas

As a first time visitor to Las Vegas, my expectations were not disappointed by the magnificent hotels/casinos with all the lights and variety of themes. We're not gamblers, so we spent our days in Vegas touring places, as well as visiting the Hoover Dam and Lake Meade.

Imperial Palace

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by karenkayp on April 12, 2004

As stated before, the Imperial Palace does not stand out as one of those "magnificent" places on the strip. However, it does offer a comfortable, clean, and friendly place to stay. The best part is the location! According to the Imperial Palace website the standard rooms are either one king-size bed or two double beds. We had a king-size bed which helped with space. The room was equipped with an iron and ironing board, a hair dryer, and a regular-size TV.

Even though we had read about the perils of renting a room facing the strip, that is exactly what we did. We enjoyed the sounds of the strip (yes, even the loud music late into the night), the view of the strip, and the ease of getting around since we were located so centrally.

We found the breakfast buffet at Emperor's Buffet tasty and thought the price to be very reasonable(see review). We also enjoyed the Pizza Palace (see review) the first night we were there. Even though this hotel doesn't have a lot of shops, we did find some good souvenirs.

We were pleased with the friendly staff, not only at check-in and check-out, but all the casino and shop employees.

I would recommend the Auto Collections at the Imperial Palace, an auto enthusiast's dream. It is a little difficult to find, but well worth the time.

If you aren't looking for the glitz and glamour, this is a nice place to stay.

Imperial Palace Las Vegas
3535 Las Vegas Blvd. SO
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89109
(702) 731-3311

Emperor's Buffet

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by karenkayp on April 13, 2004

The Emperor's Buffet is located conveniently on the third floor of the Imperial Palace. Although we did not dine there for lunch or dinner, we did eat one breakfast. They are open daily from 7am - 11:30am, and you can have it for the fair price of $7.25 (kids $5.25). Lunch and dinner are reasonably priced at $8.50 and $9.50. Lunch is served daily from 11:30am - 5pm, and dinner daily from 5pm - 10pm.

For breakfast they had a variety of hot and cold cereals, fresh and canned fruit, waffles, pancakes, scrambled eggs, omelets, sausage, bacon, etc. Plus, they had a nice variety of muffins and pastries.

Emperor's Buffet
3535 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89109

Pizza Palace

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by karenkayp on April 13, 2004

The Pizza Palace is a very quiet and charming restaurant tucked away on the second floor. We weren't looking for anything heavy to eat the first night in Vegas and happened to “scout out” the restaurants on second floor at the Imperial Palace. We were pleased with the friendly atmosphere and great service. Our waiter even recommended a cost-saving pizza from what we originally were going to order. If you are looking for a fast, light lunch or dinner at a reasonable price, this is worth checking out. They also had pasta and a variety of salads on the menu.
Pizza Palace
3535 S. Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, Nevada
(702) 731-3311

Bally's Big Kitchen Buffet

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by karenkayp on April 13, 2004

The reason we chose to try the Bally's Big Kitchen Buffet was because it featured many different varieties of seafood. I especially enjoyed the crab legs because I didn't have to work to eat them. They split them in two for you so that it is easier and faster eating! This buffet is a little more spendy, but well worth it. The cost for the brunch buffet (7am - 2pm) is $12.95 and the dinner buffet is $17.95 (4pm – 10pm).

The dining area is very elegant and the serving area is just what the name says -- a big kitchen. The waiter was very attentive with drinks and clearing dishes. I also witnessed him helping an elderly woman and how caring both he and the host were in handling her disability.

Big Kitchen Buffet
3645 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89109
(702) 736-4300

Mandalay Bayside Buffet

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by karenkayp on April 16, 2004

The Mandalay Bayside Buffet is open daily from 7am to 10pm. We went to this buffet around 5pm for an early dinner. We were glad we had scheduled this early as when we left there were long lines waiting for seating.

This is one of the best all-you-can-eat buffets, from salads to a fantastic selection of desserts. Most appealing to us, as seafood lovers, were the snow crabs and scallops! The prime rib and other main food entrees we tried were also very tasty. Be sure to save room for dessert -- you'll want to try more than one! They not only have scrumptious bread pudding, but also offer a large variety of sugar-free desserts. The atmosphere is very elegant with white tablecloths and napkins. The wait staff is very attentive with drinks, clearing dirty dishes, and bringing additional utensils, such as crab leg crackers. Even though the price was more than what we usually pay for a buffet, it was well worth it!

Mandalay Bayside Buffet
3950 Las Vegas Blvd. S.
Las Vegas, Nevada
(702) 632-7402

Venetian Canal Ride

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by karenkayp on April 13, 2004

What a relaxing, romantic journey on the gondola ride at the Venetian. You can have a choice of an inside or outside ride. We opted for the inside, and I must admit it was a "short" (8-10 minutes) ride with a price of $15.00 each. But sometimes doing something out of the ordinary is worth the price tag!

Our gondolier was a handsome young man with a beautiful singing voice. Although we were partial to "our" young man, we heard many beautiful voices as we watched and listened to other gondoliers perform.

Same-day reservations are accepted; the ride wait was approximately half an hour. The gondola seats four people; parties of two or less must share with another party. However, it was not a very busy day, so we had our own gondola for the two of us. Private gondolas can be requested, at $60 for the indoor gondola ride and $50 for the outdoor gondola ride.

The ride is open from 10am to 11pm Sun-Thurs. and 10am to midnight Fri. and Sat. The outdoor ride operates on a weather-permitting basis.

The Venetian Gondola Rides
Grand Canal at The Venetian
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89109
(877) 883-6423

The Auto Collections

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by karenkayp on April 16, 2004

The Auto Collections are located on the fifth floor of the Imperial Palace parking facility. This isn't any ordinary antique auto show. The Auto Collections are an ever-evolving showplace for antique autos, classic cars, special interest cars, and jukeboxes.

There are about 350 pieces of "history on wheels" not only to see, but if you want to spend more than the admission fee, you can also buy most of the cars. We also enjoyed the variety of jukeboxes and other memorabilias displayed throughout the museum.

The exhibit is open daily from 9:30am-9:30pm.

The Auto Collections at The Imperial Palace
3535 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89109
(702) 794-3174

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