Sin City 2007

A brief encounter with North America's mecca of consumerism in the desert.


Sin City 2007

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by Rockyhorror1978 on November 24, 2007

Las Vegas is a city that has something for everyone! It is the oasis in the desert. We went for only 5 days and are already planning a trip back next year to see the things that we missed. Some of the most memorable moments that we had in Vegas were not based around the casinos, but just people watching and taking in the numerous activities that Vegas has to offer. My personal favorite was definately the Eiffel Tower in Paris. From the top of the tower, you get the best view of the strip. You can appreciate the neon lights that adorn the casinos and resorts in one sweeping view. From Vegas, you can also take a trip to the Grand Canyon, AZ and view one of the most magnificent wonders of nature. To see pictures of the Grand Canyon does not do it justice. Just be prepared for a long day that starts at 6:00 am and ends at 10:00pm! ${QuickSuggestions} Las Vegas can be done on a budget (one of the reasons we choose to do it this year). You don't have to spend a lot of money to have a good time. I have written sections about how to do Las Vegas on a budget and some helpful tips that we thought were important to know before leaving! Even if you are doing Las Vegas on a budget, be sure to splurge and see a Cirque du Soleil show! They are fantastic! We didn't buy the most expensive tickets and were still able to enjoy the show!${BestWay} The best way to get around Las Vegas is by foot. Wear good shoes and be prepared to walk miles! If you are traveling longer distances, Las Vegas has a great bus system. From the strip, you are able to take a bus for US$2.50 to Fremont Street and other areas of interest outside of the strip. If you want to quickly get from one end of the strip to the other end, there is a monorail that travels behind the casinos (i.e., Imperial Palace). This ride is a bit more pricey at US$5.00 per person for one direction. You can however buy day passes and multiple trips that reduce the price.

Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Rockyhorror1978 on November 24, 2007

The Imperial Palace and Casino is not the most glitzy hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, but it is certainly the best price for location. It is located right in the center of the Strip, across from Caesar's Palace and beside the Flamingo and Harrah's. The rooms are basic and offer regular amenities (i.e., towel service, hair dryer, cable TV, etc), but do not go above and beyond that. We were offered the option of upgrading to a refurbished room for an extra $20 per night, but declined. We also paid a dollar a day surcharge for phone and internet usage. Having read other reviews, this seems to be a standard hotel charge.
It is also worth noting that this is the only hotel on the strip with balconies. My boyfriend and I had a great time just hanging out on the balcony people watching before heading down to the Strip to have some fun.
The staff were friendly and the check in time was very fast! This hotel has a tower at the back of it, which can be quite a hike. The check in staff are more than happy to try and accommodate you by looking for a room in the front tower overlooking the street. We stayed in a room facing the Strip and although it could be quite noisy, it didn't stop us from sleeping!
Overall, this is the perfect hotel for someone traveling to Las Vegas on a budget and doesn't want to blow it all on accommodations.
Imperial Palace Las Vegas
3535 Las Vegas Blvd. SO
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89109
(702) 731-3311

The Cheesecake Factory

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Rockyhorror1978 on November 24, 2007

I am an avid fan of the Cheesecake Factory and consider myself a Cheesecake Diva. My boyfriend on the other hand was a Cheesecake Factory Virgin and had never experienced the deliciousness of a Cheesecake Factory slice before.

As a seasoned pro, I found the service at this Cheesecake Factory to be phenomenal. Our server was incredibly friendly and even offer to see if she had any VIP passes for the clubs on the Strip for us!

As always, the standard menu is inclusive and types of foods ranged from a grande burrito that is the size of a serving dish to a classic hamburger. The proportions are huge and nearly as soon as you are seated and have drinks a complimentary bread basket is brought to your table.

My 'Cheesecake Factory Virgin' boyfriend was incredibly impressed by both the service and the food. He had the Spicy Chicken Chipotle Pasta and found it to be of both good taste and a huge proportion size.

The grand finale of any Cheesecake Factory Experience is a slice of their Cheesecake (to share or pig out on your own - it's okay... it's cheesecake). We split the Brownie Sundae Cheesecake. It is AWESOME! Brownie chunks in the crust, lots and lots of chocolate, topped with a generous helping of whipped cream and a cherry. The only thing better then their cheesecake is... well you know.

The menu is reasonably priced for the amount and quality of food. The only reason I put the price range so high is because you just can't go to the Cheesecake Factory without getting a slice of cheesecake. The price per slice ranged from US$7.00 - $8.50; but based on the size of the slice it's worth it!
Cheesecake Factory at The Forum Shops
3500 South Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, 89109
(702) 792-6888

Imperial Palace Buffet

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Rockyhorror1978 on November 25, 2007

We did both breakfast and lunch at the Imperial Palace Buffet. This is one of the cheapest buffets in Vegas, and if you sign up for the Imperial Palace Players Club, you can get $5 off lunch or dinner, making it even cheaper.

This is a basic buffet and covers all bases: salads, hot foods, and desserts. The food was functional: it filled your gut. While it was not horrible food, it is definately not a meal you are going to brag to your friends about years to come.

For breakfast, the buffet offered eggs, toast, pancakes, breakfast burritos, sausage and bacon. It also offered salads, deserts and soup (just in case you wanted brunch?!). My boyfriend had the eggs and noted that they were a bit rubbery (probably from sitting under a hot lamp). If you dig eggs for breakfast, it's probably worth the wait to have a chef make you an omelette on the spot.

As for lunch, there were a variety of salads and soups in addition to french fries, rice, shrimp, a carving station for roast beef, and other basic hot foods. The food was fine and left us feeling satisfied. Both being vegetarians, we both had a bit of difficult time finding foods to eat that didn't require some picking of food out. The variety of foods was also limited, despite your eating habits. The buffet had 2 lines of hot trays on each side of the carving station. Instead of offering different foods on each side, they were identical.

If you are doing Vegas on a budget and are just looking for food, this buffet will suit your need just fine. If you are looking for a dining experience, you might want to search elsewhere!
Imperial Buffet
Imperial Palace Hotel & Casino
Las Vegas, Nevada

California Pizza Kitchen

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Rockyhorror1978 on November 25, 2007

This was a fun place to eat. My boyfriend and I didn't were looking for a quick bite to eat and stop here on a whim while in the Fashion Mall.

It was fantastic. We split an appetizer of spinach dip with tortilla chips and then I had the white pizza and he had a chicken Caesar sandwich with Scheshwan coleslaw. Both the appetizer and the main courses came out quickly and were hot! The portion sizes were large and filling.

Our server was friendly and funny! The atmosphere was very cool - very cafe/bistro like. We were able to sit outside of the restaurant in a "patio" in the mall. It was great for people watching and just enjoying the sights.
California Pizza Kitchen - The Mirage
3400 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89109
(702) 791-7111

Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Rockyhorror1978 on November 25, 2007

This was the funnest bar to be in. The bar staff were awesome, funny and friendly. The margaritas were the best I have ever had... I could actually taste the tequila!

My boyfriend and I both got a 'Big Rita' each so we could have a souvenir glass to take home. It was a great deal. Margaritas were usually around $7-8 and for $12.95, we got a huge margarita in a take home glass.

If you like Jimmy Buffett, you will love this bar. It plays none-stop Jimmy Buffett music. This bar also features stilt-walkers that will come to your table or the bar. These people are very friendly and will stop for a good 10 minutes to talk to you! There is also a small performance in which a 'hiker' goes hiking up the volcano at the top of the bar, falls in and then comes down the water slide. Not a major attraction, but adds to the campy fun of this bar. This bar closes pretty early so it's recommended to go early in the evening to start off with a nice tall and cool margarita!
Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville
The Flamingo
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89109
(702) 733-3302

La Salsa Cantina

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by Rockyhorror1978 on November 25, 2007

First and foremost, in the style of Simpson's Comic-book Guy: Worst service ever. We were seated promptly, but then ignored for the rest of the evening by our server. He came to our table three times: to take our entire order after waiting 20 minutes, to drop off our food and appetizers at the same time about 20 minutes later, and then to drop off the bill half way through eating, in the style of 'get out.'

We had stopped at this restaurant on a whim. We were wandering the Miracle Mile Shops and were hungry. We had stopped to look at the menu and overheard another person say that they had eaten here before and really enjoyed it. In person recommendation: can't go wrong right?!

The food was awesome! I had the Chipotle Shrimp Salad and my boyfriend had Chicken Burritos with Mexican Rice. Both of us agreed that the lousy service was overshadowing what could be a great restaurant. The meal is also served with complimentary salsa and tortilla chips, which would have been nice as an appetizer while waiting for our food, but was brought with the meal instead.

All in all, if you don't care about service and are looking for good Mexican Cuisine, La Salsa Catina is the restaurant for you. If you are looking for service, skip La Salsa Cantina and find another place to eat.
LaSalsa Cantina - Take Two
3785 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, Nevada
(702) 240-6944

Pure

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by Rockyhorror1978 on November 24, 2007

My boyfriend and I tried to go to this club on the Tuesday during our visit. We were able to procure VIP passes from a hawker on the street and therefore would not have had to pay the $25 cover charge. You are however expected to buy at least one round of drinks in your party (avg. drink price is $7.99).
We dolled up and went down to stand in line. While in line we were turned away because my boyfriend was not wearing appropriate footwear. While we had been told that individuals wearing running shoes and work boots would not be admitted, we were not told that footwear had to be specifically dress shoes (i.e., black and shiny), not casual footwear.
Despite not being able to get into the club, we able to observe the pussycat dealer's pit in the front of the club. This dealer's pit had scantily clad women in go-go boots, short shorts and bustiers dealing blackjack and poker. Highly fitting considering one of the lounges within the nightclub was the Pussycat Lounge.
We will definately try again during our next stay in Vegas... with the proper footwear!
Pure
Caesars Palace
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89109
702/212-8806

Mystere

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Rockyhorror1978 on November 24, 2007

Mystere was the first Cirque du Soleil show to call Las Vegas home. Having read previous journal entries on Rough Guides, we had determined that this was the most traditional show and a great introduction to the Cirque du Soleil family of Performances.

The show was phenomenal, including dance, traditional acrobatics and wonderful music. Each act was separated by a short comic interlude of traditional clown humor often involving the audience.

Although the show started at 9:30, it was worth getting to the theater half an hour before the show. Photographers are wandering around the auditorium taking pictures of couples and groups. These pictures can be purchased after the show for approximately US$40. We purchased one as a souvenir for the experience. If you are an attention-seeker, show up 10-15 minutes before the show starts and see what happens.

I definately agree with previous journals on the Rough Guides site, that this is a great introduction to Cirque du Soleil.
Mystere at Treasure Island
3300 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89109
(702) 796-9999

Casino Royale

Member Rating 1 out of 5 by Rockyhorror1978 on November 24, 2007

This is the worst casino we went into. The service was insultingly rude. Whenever we had to deal with the staff (i.e., bartenders, servers, customer service) we felt like it was a major inconvenience and/or a group of cattle being shuttled from one area to the next. The staff were lifeless and unfriendly. This was apparent by their obvious disinterest in the customers.

One of the advertised features of this casino is $20 of free slot play when you sign up for their Players Club Card. This is an obvious scam as only a limited number of slot machines were allocated for inclusion. Other than the free slot play, there was no other initiative to gamble with these machines. Playing the lottery is more fun and thrilling than these machines.

This casino did not have the aesthetic appeal of the other casinos along the strip. It was one of the only casinos to smell of smoke and seem very run down and in need of a serious face lift.

The final encounter we had at this casino was at the bar. Another promotion with the Players Club Card was $1 margaritas, that were probably slightly alcoholic slushies. The bar tender was incredibly rude (I can't emphasis this enough) and again we were treated like a patron of the soup nazi: line up here, speak in short sentences, give money, move on.

If you are looking for cheap black jack tables, this just might be the casino for you. If you are sightseeing and not in Vegas for the Casinos, you can definately skip the Casino Royale and spend the extra time somewhere worthwhile.

The Imperial Palace

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Rockyhorror1978 on November 24, 2007

Since we were staying at the Imperial Palace, this is probably where we spent most of our time gambling. Not being big gamblers, we stuck mostly to the penny slot machines. We did however venture the tables to play with the Dealertainers. Where else can you have Tina Turner deal you blackjack or Madonna spin the wheel at roulette?! The dealers were incredibly friendly and willing to help explain the rules of the game or suggest how the game is played 'by the book.'

The drinks service was awesome as well. The waitress stopped by frequently to see if you needed another drink and often brought you a drink if they noticed you were running low.

The Dealertainers were just totally fun. One of them would often leave the table briefly to do a performance on the stage in the center of the Dealers Pit. I highly recommend sticking around to see Tina Turner or Whitney Housten perform.

All in all, this casino is one of the oldest and not the flashiest, but it is definately one of the friendliest and relaxed.
Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino
3655 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89109
(877) 796-2096

Lookout Tours

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Rockyhorror1978 on November 25, 2007

We took the tour from Las Vegas to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon where the visitor center and lodges are. This is a long day. We were picked up from our hotel at 6:00am and taken to the Lookout Tour office where we given a small breakfast and had the tour explained to us. We decided to add the IMAX Grand Canyon Movie to our package at this point (an extra US$12.00/person).
We then boarded the buses and started our day to the Grand Canyon. Our first stop was at the Hoover Dam. We did not do the tour, but were able to stand at the top of a look out point that gave an excellent view of the Dam.
Between the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon, we made a brief pit stop to stretch our legs and buy provisions (buy lots of water!). Between the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon, the view of the desert is spectacular. The bus driver pointed out interesting things to see along the way. We also saw a couple of videos about the history of the grand canyon.
Once at the Grand Canyon, we were dropped off at 3 viewing points and left to wander at our leisure. It was definately nice to be able take our time and appreciate the canyon.
At approximately 6:00pm, we boarded the buses to head home. Another pit stop was made and we were dropped off at our hotel.

This is a long tour but definately worth the drive. Our tour guide was friendly and helpful. This made for a great day and a good break from Las Vegas.
Lookout Tours

Las Vegas, Nevada
(800) 566-5868

Grand Canyon IMAX movie

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Rockyhorror1978 on November 25, 2007

The Imax movie is a 30 minute introduction to the Grand Canyon at the National Geographic Visitor's Center just before entering the park. It costs $12.00 per person and is well worth the money. By viewing this movie you are able to see parts of the canyon that you will never see from the Rim and are given a brief history of the Grand Canyon.

The visitor's center in which the movie is located also has a few exhibits showing the original boats that were taken down the rapids of the Colorado River and the gear used today to do the same trip.

We both felt that we had a better appreciation for the Grand Canyon and the buildings that developed around it as a result of this movie.

The Eiffel Tower Experience

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Rockyhorror1978 on November 25, 2007

This is one of the best ways to see Las Vegas, especially at dusk and the back drop for all of your photos can be the sun setting over desert foot hills that surround Las Vegas.

From the top of the Eiffel Tower, you are given a 360 degree view of the City below. We got some of our most awesome pictures of the strip from this view. We were also able to view the Fountain Show at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino from the top of tower. This is the best way to see the show. You can still hear the music faintly and able to see how high the water shots up at some points during the show.

You are given an unlimited amount of time to spend at the top of the tower, so be patient and you will be able to photograph everything that you want to!

TIP: If you get the Total Rewards card from any of the associate casinos (Ballys, Paris, Caesars, Flamingo, Harrah's), you will receive a coupon to get 2 for 1 admission to the Eiffel Tower!
Eiffel Tower Experience at Paris Las Vegas
3655 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89109
(702) 946-7000

Fashion Show Mall

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Rockyhorror1978 on November 25, 2007

This is a really neat mall to visit. By combining indoor and outdoor elements (i.e. putting escalators outside), it's difficult sometimes to determine whether you are in the mall or not. This mall has all the brand name stores available to shop at. This is not an outlet mall so be prepared to be regular price. It was great to wander in and out of the stores and see all of the merchandise for sale (especially at the stores that we don't have at home). It's also a great place to take a break from the casinos for people-watching. The staff in the stores were incredibly helpful and friendly. We only shopped at Payless Shoe Store, but were impressed by the service provided.
Fashion Show Mall
3200 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89109
(702) 369-8382

Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Rockyhorror1978 on November 25, 2007

This is an awesome place to see the White tigers and white lions. These animals are kept so well and are active and healthy because of it. We were able to watch the animals interact with each other, as opposed to lying around as seen at other zoos.

We were also able to watch the dolphins at this center. We were able to observe the newborn baby dolphin with it's mother. These dolphins were not forced to perform tricks, but we were able to see random play with the staff. Every time the staff interacted with the animals, a demonstrator was explaining what the staff were doing and why.

This is definately one of the highlights of our trip and a must see for anyone traveling to Las Vegas.
Siegfried and Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat
Mirage Hotel, 3400 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89109
(702) 791-7188

The Miracle Mile Shops

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by Rockyhorror1978 on November 25, 2007

This mall is nearly like any other mall in North America or Las Vegas for that matter. The stores are the same as at any other mall. The only difference is: it's attached to a casino.

This was previously the Dessert Passage at the Aladdin Casino and it is the only part of the casino that has been untouched. I'm sure that it will be revamped as part of the take over by Planet Hollywood sometime. This mall does have a theater in it and we didn't attend any of the shows. There is also a rainstorm that is pretty neat to see. You can actually see the sky above the location fill with dark clouds and slow rumbles of thunder as the storm approaches. At the top of the hour, the storm breaks and it rains and storms for 5 minutes over a small pond in the shopping center. While this would have been cool as it was part of the dessert theme of the Aladdin, it was cheapened by the fact that it didn't jive with the rest of the planet Hollywood theme.

The retailers at this mall were not as friendly as the Fashion Show Mall. At one kiosk we were asked to try an Aloe cream. When I asked for information to take home and research the product, the sales person began to speak very rudely to me and insisted that if I didn't know a good deal that I should just move on... so I did.

The Mirage Casino

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Rockyhorror1978 on November 25, 2007

This was my favorite casino. I might be biased because the first pull on a penny slot machine earned me $15 dollars!

The previous theme of exotic animals and scenery has been replaced by the psychedelic decor of the Beatles. This includes the Revolution Lounge that plays 24 hours of original and remixed Beatles songs and the Cirque du Soleil production Love. Being a huge Beatles fan, this was also a very cool experience for me: winning $15 dollars with Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds playing in the background.

This casino definately is trying to appeal to the Baby Boomer Generation that has money to spend. The one downside of this casino was the drink service was VERY slow. Whereas in other casinos, the waitress appeared within 2 - 3 minutes, the waitress didn't show up for 15 minutes.
Mirage Hotel and Casino
3400 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89109
(800) 374-9000

Treasure Island - TI

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Rockyhorror1978 on November 25, 2007

This was my boyfriend's favorite casino. I can't imagine why. Perhaps it had to do with the scantily clad Sirens or perhaps it has to do with the $5 he won on a penny machine. This, however, was not my favorite casino. It offered nothing novel or new. The only feature that was available, the Sirens of TI performance, in front of the hotel was closed for maintenance. This was very disappointing. While it was neat to wander around and look at the casino, when you stopped to watch a table game, you were made to feel like you were invading someone's privacy or something like that.
Treasure Island Hotel and Casino
3300 South Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89109
(702) 894-7111

The Flamingo Habitat

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Rockyhorror1978 on November 25, 2007

The Flamingo bird habitat is a neat outdoor exhibit of different species of wild birds. Some of the birds are not housed in exhibits and are free to wander around the space. We actually had pea-fowl walk up to us for a photo moment!The flamingos are housed right near the front of the exhibit and are fascinating to watch. It's like a large flock of lawn ornaments hanging out. The one warning I have about this area is it is covered in bird poo! So if you sit to take a picture or to relax, be sure to look before sitting.
Flamingo Las Vegas Wildlife Habitat
3555 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89109
+1 702 733 3111

The Lion Habitat at the MGM Grand

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Rockyhorror1978 on November 25, 2007

This was one of my favorite casino exhibits. I could have stood and watched the lions interact all day. The MGM Grand is currently housing two young lions in their habitat. These lions were fun to watch as they played together. We were not able to see the Lions from the front of the exhibit, so we went into the underground passage that went below them. From there, the lions were directly on top of us! It was awesome to see the lions so close up. We stood for about 15 minutes and watched them play fight and chew on the largest rawhide bones we had ever seen (approximately the size of house cats). This is an animal-lover's dream!
Lion Habitat at the MGM Grand
3799 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89109
+1 702 891 1111; +1

Fountains of Bellagio

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Rockyhorror1978 on November 25, 2007

This site is best seen at night as the fountains light up. Watching the fountains is like watching firecrackers. While music is played, the fountains dance by shooting straight into the air or waving back and forth. We saw the fountains perform to "Luck be a Lady Tonight" by Frank Sinatra. It was awesome to see during the climax, the fountains shoot what looked like the height of the hotel. The sounds of the fountains shooting was also very cool and sounded like fireworks. We saw this show twice, once from the ground and once from the Eiffel Tower at Paris Hotel and Casino. Both views were spectacular and both views should be seen!
Bellagio Fountains
3600 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, Nevada
(702) 693-7111

The Volcano at the Mirage

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Rockyhorror1978 on November 25, 2007

This is an awesome sight. It was the first casino/hotel free show that we saw. While real lava is obviously not spewed from the volcano, the water is lit up in reds and oranges to simulate the lava. Fire is spewed from the top of the volcano and loud claps of noise simulating a volcano exploding make for a reasonably realistic experience. My boyfriend and I both agreed that this was one of the coolest free exhibits on the strip and went back a second time to see it!
Mirage Hotel and Casino
3400 South Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89109
(702) 791-7111

Manhattan Express Roller Coaster

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Rockyhorror1978 on November 25, 2007

This roller coaster is probably one of the longest roller coasters I've been on. It goes around the casino's outside and ends in the casino. It is at the back of the Coney Island Emporium so it seems like it is part of a huge theme park. The line up to get on this ride was not long and we only waited 5 minutes to get on. Once you have paid for your initial ride, it is only $7 to ride again. We would have done the ride again, but it was our last day and there was so much more to see. We will definately do this ride again next time we are in Vegas.You are not able to take anything on the ride and have rent a locker to put your stuff in for 50 cents.
Manhattan Express Roller Coaster
3790 S. Las Vegas Boulvard
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89109
(702) 740-6969

The Flamingo Casino

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by Rockyhorror1978 on November 25, 2007

This casino is most like every other casino on the strip. It doesn't offer anything novel or entertaining. If you love the colour pink, you will love gambling at this casino, otherwise you would probably be better off gambling at another casino that offers more in the way of entertainment. The drinks service at this casino was good. The waitress was attentive and was quick to approach us when we first sat down. Neither my boyfriend nor I won any money at this casino.
Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel & Casino
3555 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89109
702-733-3111

The Forum Shops

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Rockyhorror1978 on November 25, 2007

This is a very cool mall to walk around... even if it will take 3 years salary to buy anything. Featuring a Roman theme, the forum shops are an extension of Caesar's Palace. The theme is carried through the Mall perfectly. No detail has been left unnoticed including a cloudy sky that adorns the roof of the mall.



There are a few cool attractions at the Forum shops that we really enjoyed. This first is the talking statues in the centre of the shops. These are good campy fun. The statues talk and move about. They seem a bit dated as they are probably part of the original forum shops and not part of the additions. The second attraction is the F.A.O. Schwartz Trojan horse. In front of the store is a massive Trojan horse that you can go into. Both my boyfriend and I thought it was a highlight of the mall. The final attraction was the Atlantis Fish Aquarium. While it is probably not as impressive as the one at Mandalay Bay, it is definately the most elaborate aquarium to be found in a mall.



If you look online before leaving, you can get a VIP booklet that features coupons for discounts on the boutiques and a free gift.
The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace
3500 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89109
(702) 893-4800

Grand Canal Shops

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Rockyhorror1978 on November 25, 2007

The Grand Canal Shops are much like the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace: high end boutique and designer fashions. The difference between the two malls is the Venetian features canal ways through out the mall with Gondoliers guiding their boats up and down the canals. Throughout the mall, you can also hear the gondoliers singing arias and other operatic pieces. This mall is definately romantic!




In addition to the Gondoliers, there are also moving statues through out the malls. It is amazing to see how long an actor can hold one position before moving to another. It reminded me a lot of the statues in Covent Gardens, London. If you tipped these statues a dollar, they would incorporate you into their pose for a picture.



We both found this mall to be a quiet oasis on the Las Vegas strip. It was relatively quiet and the sounds of the gondoliers singing made for a relaxing break.
Grand Canal Shoppes
3355 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89109
(877) 883-6423

When In Vegas...

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by Rockyhorror1978 on November 25, 2007

These are a few tips and suggestions that we would have liked to have known about before going to Vegas!



1. It's Dry: Yep, Vegas is in the desert and only gets approximately 4 inches of rainfall a year, making a dry terrain. This can have a devastating effect on the body if you aren't prepared. Make sure you bring your sunscreen, aloe or oatmeal based lotion and some chap-stick with you. We didn't and by the end of 5 days we were both rougher than sandpaper and our lips were dried and chapped. If you're drinking, remember to drink water between drinks, otherwise you will have the pasties in less the 10 minutes.



2. You're Living an Infomercial: Everywhere you go someone will try and sell you something: hand lotion, timeshares, packaged vacations, cars, you name it. These people are pros and have the rap down pat. If able, they will draw you into a long schpeal about the product and will try and get you to buy it by having you test-drive the latest and the greatest. Wear your second skin and remember to say 'no.'



3. Money Talks: Remember to tip the servers and anyone else providing a service if you think they deserve it. As a general rule, everyone we met in Vegas was extremely friendly and helpful, often going above and beyond to make us happy. This is worth at least 50 cent or a dollar. When you tip at the casinos, the free drinks will keep coming and elsewhere it will ensure that you are getting the best service. Just as an example, when were offered VIP passes to Pure, we gave the guy $10 because this is his livelihood and it would have cost us $50 to get in the club. After the tip, he couldn't give us enough nightclub VIP passes. We had a VIP pass for every night we were in Vegas.



4. When in doubt, dress up: Vegas is about the money and you better look the part. This town is run and built on cold hard cash. If you don't look the part, you are often not included. This is often the general rule for clubs and restaurants. Check the dress code before leaving the hotel... or your city for that matter!



5. Don't play in traffic: The local government of Vegas decided that too many tourists were getting hit by cars on the strip every year and built these nifty foot bridges that span over the street. These bridges are a great way to avoid being smucked by a rented Lambourgini. They are located at most of the hotels or within a short walking distance.

Las Vegas on the Cheap

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by Rockyhorror1978 on November 25, 2007

Las Vegas is the mecca of consumerism. The money flows freely on the tables and in the stores. Every high-end fashion name has bought their corner of Vegas. This doesn't mean that you have be a high roller to have a good time. Here are some tips to do Vegas on a budget... and hopefully stick to it.



1. Plan how much you are going to spend on gambling and stick to it. Not being big gamblers (i.e., we can't rip up a $20 bill and not cry about it), we only planned to spend $50 - $70 on gambling. This is also part of your drinking budget since as long as you are sitting in front of a machine or at a table, drinks are free!



2. Get the Players Club Cards. Just for signing up for a comp card, you get freebies, discounts on tickets, meals and souvenirs. We got a lot of promotions that were well worth the 5 minutes in line. This includes: $5 off buffets, 2 for 1 tickets to the Eiffel Tower, free playing cards and sweatshirts, and free tickets to a magic and a comedy show. These were just the promotions that we used!



3. Do a Timeshare Tour. These tedious 2 hour sell-fests are notorious cash grabs, but if you don't plan on buying in, go for the freebies. Timeshare companies want you to see their stuff and to get you there, they will entice you with freebies. For a 2 hour tour of a timeshare, we got free tickets, coupons for discounted shows and $75.



4. Look for What's On Magazine. This magazine is a tourist's bible for Las Vegas. It lists all the shows, attractions, restaurants, etc for the time that you are there. In between the advertisements are coupons for cheap meals, free swag, and discounts. Tear them out and use them.



5. Do your research before going to Vegas. Just by researching online, I was able to get a lot coupons for free admission to the Auto Collection at the Imperial Palace, Money off the roller-coasters at the Stratosphere and New York, New York, and information about a 2 for 1 tour of the Grand Canyon (from a fellow rough guide community member!). Some coupons you'll find online will cost money, but don't pay for them. They are all free in most magazines and online. Vegas.com and the Nevada tourist board are also an awesome site full of information. Send them your information and they will send you maps, tourist guides and lists of attractions.

http://www.igougo.com/journal-j69369-Las_Vegas-Sin_City_2007.html

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