on March 16, 2012
We stayed at Bill’s Gamblin Hall and Casino on two separate occasions during our recent road trip in America on the recommendation of a fellow reviewer (thanks Rosebud2001!!) and thoroughly enjoyed the excellent value for money and great location that the hotel offers. There is an abundance of rooms available in Las Vegas, so the competition is strong but Bill’s Gamblin Hall well deserves it title as ‘Best Strip Deal’. ===Location, Location, Location===The hotel is located at the corner of the East Flamingo Road and Las Vegas Boulevard (otherwise known as ‘The Strip’). The entrance, if you are arriving by car, is actually on East flamingo Road to the side of the hotel. It’s immediately on your right as you head down the road so you have to be prepared to turn pretty much straight away. The car park is covered and has CCTV so is pretty secure and also has the added bonus of being free to use. There are plenty of spaces and we never had trouble finding one.Aside from the price, the location is absolutely the best thing about this hotel. It is right in the centre of the action and within walking distance of all the main sights. It is right opposite the Bellagio and we could actually see the famous fountain show from the window of our room – OK so you have to crane your neck a little bit, but that isn’t the point! Caesar’s Palace is across the road on the other side too, so shopaholics will be pleased to know that you are only a few minutes’ walk from The Forum Shops which includes a great range of high street favourites. If you want to go a bit further afield, there is a bus stop right outside of the hotel, so you can get pretty much anywhere in Vegas easily.===Checking In (And Out)===Checking in is super easy. As Bill’s Gamblin Hall is one of the smaller hotels on The Strip, there aren’t the massive checking in queues that you find in many of the more famous hotels. The check in desk is located right at the back of the hotel on the ground floor behind the casino floor (you’ll notice that a lot of the things you need in Las Vegas are at the back of the casino floor!). The staff give you the big American welcome and are competent and friendly. You get a little booklet that is full of discount vouchers that you can use at various places in the Harrah’s chain. Some of the vouchers are much more useful than others – there is half off tickets to see Penn and Teller as well as quite a few discounts on restaurants and buffets, which are obviously handy.Checking out at the end of your stay is just as easy. We actually asked about late check out to give us more flexibility and it wasn’t a problem at all – and reasonably cheap at $10 to extend our stay from 12 noon until 4pm. Very handy and well worth the money.===Four (Hundred Foot) Rooms===The rooms are huge. There is no other word for them. They include either a king size bed or two queen sized bed (we had the latter), either of which is absolutely swallowed by the 400 feet of floor space in each room. The beds are huge and comfy with nice firm pillows. My husband and I both slept brilliantly every night.Each room has a (somewhat unnecessary, I thought) 42 inch plasma TV which has a full range of channels including optional pay per view ones. They also have the usual furniture – a desk and chair, a wardrobe and an armchair. All pretty standard but everything you need. The only thing that was missing that we could have done with was a safe. We opted to lock valuables in one of the cases and had no problems with that, but it would have been nice to have a safe for peace of mind. The rooms are perhaps a little dated, much like the rest of the hotel. The whole place is perfectly clean and well maintained, but the décor is dated and it clashes brilliantly. To be honest it wasn’t a problem for me at all – I thought it added to the charm of the place and to the loose theme. It is one of the oldest hotels on The Strip and still maintains that old school charm that made the city famous. I loved the hotel and its décor because it put me in mind of what Las Vegas used to be like before the big hitters took over and made it the brash city that it is today.===Amenities? You Bet!===Like every building in Las Vegas, the hotel centres around its casino floor where you can play poker, craps, blackjack and roulette or you can just spend your time playing the slots. I am no experienced gambler, so I spent my time on the slots and won a couple of $100 plus jackpots, which is always nice! If like me you are a novice to the tables, there are lessons each day on craps so you can learn whilst you are there.There is a restaurant at the hotel which seems to serve an odd combination of steak and Chinese food. Despite this oddness, it is ridiculously popular (probably because of the rock bottom prices) and there was at least an hour waiting list all the time. This was just one of the reasons we decided not to dine there (that and the fact there is no shortage of places to eat in Vegas), but just in case you do want to wait, you don’t have to stay in line – they don’t want to missing the opportunity so they make a call out across the casino floor when it is your turn to eat.Aside from that, there aren’t many other amenities to speak of, although you can use the facilities at the flamingo next door, which is part of the same chain. The Flamingo has four pools as well as a couple of hot tubs which you can use by just showing your Bill’s Gamblin Hall room card. The pool area was actually closed for the season when we arrived at the end of October, which was a shame because it was certainly still hot enough to sunbathe and swim, but the pools looked to be large enough to accommodate all visitors.===Come On Down, The Price Is Right===So it all sounds great, but what about that price that I have been hinting at? Is it really that good? Yes it is! We paid £25 per room per night for a room only basis. To be honest, that is cheap even if the hotel were in a rubbish location and it was a dump, but it isn’t. It is just brilliant because it is such good value for money. The prices do go up at certain times – for example when there is a big event on – but even then it is still the cheapest place to stay on The Strip. We booked it directly with the hotel at www.billslasvegas.com. I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending this hotel to anyone – sure it doesn’t have the abundance of facilities that some of the bigger ‘resort’ hotels offer, but it is so cheap and you can still use all of the facilities in the other hotels for free anyway, so with Bill’s Gamblin Hall, you get the best of both worlds.
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