89101 Travel Guide
You know us. We love to be one of the first people inside a new hotel and that's what we're doing at the just-opened Downtown Grand hotel in downtown Las Vegas. The hotel has been soft-opened for about 10 days but it's official opening in 11.12.13. (See what they did there?)
The Downtown Grand has transformed the old Lady Luck into an "industrial chic" hotel and casino. But perhaps more importantly, DTG has also helped revitalize the block surrounding the property, nicknamed Downtown3rd, adding several restaurants across the street from the hotel. We were so impressed with the hotel's stylish boutique look and innovative eatery options, we almost forgot there's a 25,000-sq.ft. casino here too. This seems to be the way of Vegas these days with revenue from gambling constantly shrinking while revenue from shopping, restaurants and nightclubs keep growing.
But enough about that. Now onto the guest rooms at DTG....
There's a new resort on the verge of opening in Las Vegas. And, chances are, you've never heard of it. It's because this hotel-casino isn't headed for the famed Strip. No, this multi-million dollar property is about to debut in Downtown Vegas.
While every traveler can instantly picture the Vegas Strip, not as many can do the same when it comes to the city's downtown. That part of Las Vegas has long been home to cheap drinks, cheap gaming, and cheap rooms (see where this is going?) as well as a more relaxed 'everyman' attitude, but isn't usually on the must do list of most Vegas visitors who are more attracted to the (pricier) flash and dazzle of Las Vegas Boulevard.
Ahhh...we all remember what it's like to be young and in love on a cross-country road-trip staying in a different hotel each night. Or maybe not. For those of you who never got the chance to drive across America after college, we've got a special Summer Road Trip series from Teddy Worcester, a recent Wheaton College grad who's making his way out to San Fran for a tech job. Along the way, he's hitting up about six hotels and reporting back to us on each one. So grab your iced beverage of choice, settle into your lawn chair and let the sprinkler run.
We arrived in downtown Vegas yesterday at around 3PM from Utah, where we stayed the night before. Sally was incredibly skeptical about staying in Vegas (she was a Vegas Virgin) but I convinced her that downtown Vegas was much cooler than the Strip. And I knew immediately that we should stay at the Golden Nugget.
The Tank at the Golden Nugget in Downtown Las Vegas is just one of many reasons to consider booking a room away from the Strip. Can you slide down a waterslide through a shark tank on the Strip? No, you cannot. You can only do it at the GN.
We popped into the Golden Nugget's pool scene today and had a blast watching folks shoot out the slide. We even got a pic of someone sliding through. Yup, thar's a person in that slide thur on the left! Which reminded us of this photo that was given to us by the hotel to illustrate how the slide works. Hmmm...yeah...ok.
While we absolutely recommend hitting up the Golden Nugget for an overnight stay (particularly a room in the new-ish Rush Tower), just don't expect to be able to ogle frightened beauties as they slide through the tank. The sharks, however, are very real.
P.S. You can watch some scuba divers cleaning the other massive fish tank at Golden Nugget here.
Viva Vegas / Starwood Hotels / Hotel Construction / Marriott Hotels / Hilton Hotels / Hyatt Hotels / → All Tags
In our latest edition of Viva Vegas Hotel Construction Updates we have two pretty big developments, both which - not surprisingly - are caused by the credit slowdown that's affecting everyone nowadays.
First, Elad Properties has announced that they are delaying the construction start of The Plaza until "sometime in 2009" (we won't hold our breath) but are still fully committed to finishing the project.
We hope to never set foot in a high stakes gambling lounge (because let's be real, that's just financial ruin waiting to happen). But now that we've heard a certain Las Vegas hotel/casino's high roller HQ is the place we might be able to get our hot little hands on a possibly-addictive new gadget, we're reconsidering...
Behold the Cantor Gaming eDeck, a WiFi-equipped handheld device that lets players walk around gambling with real money. They "interface directly" with servers in Las Vegas casinos and are currently being tested in The Venetian's high stakes gambling lounge.
"The Grand" is a pretty much a straight-to-video movie starring some big names like Woody Harrelson, Ray Romano, Cheryl Hines, Richard Kind David Cross, and Chris Parnell.
Despite its limited theater presence, the Grand is actually pretty funny if not a little too long. Woody stars as a fuck-up heir to an old-school casino, The Rabbit's Foot, and due to his excessive drug use and poor management style, the casino is in peril.
A mega-Vegas hotelier/developer named Steve Lavisch (hah, get it?), played by Michael McKeen, wants to demolish it and build One Lavisch Plaza. One Lavish Plaza is actually a skyscraper hotel that consists of just one room, available for for $10 million a night. Hah.
Ready to blow your rebate check in Vegas, over Memorial Day Weekend, with some change left over to gamble on the slot machines? Then book a room at The Golden Nugget.
TravelZoo is offering an unbelievably low rate of $49 for the nights of May 26 & 27. Room rates jump up to $99-119 if you plan to tack on extra days beforehand, May 23-25.
Visitors planning to book rooms should do it now, before the deal expires on May 20 (use Code TZGV10). This is a pretty good steal because it also includes a two-for-one breakfast and lunch coupon deal, and $20 gaming credit to get you started.
There's also a $20 voucher for the Golden Nugget Spa. Prices aren't cheap, but the voucher covers an entry fee, which includes "all day usage of sauna, steam, locker room amenities, lounges, and fitness facilities." Good deal.
The 'Nugget also has a mambo pool with a colossal shark tank and a three-story water slide. There are three restaurants, a buffet, three cafes, and a Starbucks, in case your adrenaline wanes on the casino floor for a split second.
(If you win the jackpot, they'll put your photo up on their website, but that's another story...)
[Photo: Roadside Pictures]
Howto / Room Comps / Tips / Las Vegas Hotels / → All Tags
A tipster who probably read our feature article, How to Get a Comped Hotel Room in Las Vegas, offers up a new place to hit up that we hadn't considered before. Laban writes:
I was a small time player for the last few days at the Plaza Hotel and Casino downtown. I started with a mere $20 initial bet [on the roulette table] and spent 2-3 hours a day going up and down. After initially doing well I probably sent most of the time with only about $10-20 dollars on the table per spin. For this small effort I was comp'd a buffet meal, a $20 voucher for the gift shop and got the impression that if I was staying longer that I might have been able to get more.
The Plaza Hotel, while less desirable than the Bellagio, is off the strip and as with most hotels off the strip and with less foot traffic, the chances of getting comps are greater because they want you to stay there longer and play/spend/lose more money. However, is a comped room really worth a chance of sleeping with bed bugs? It's up to you.
· How to Get a Comped Hotel Room in Las Vegas [HotelChatter]
You know the scene. You open the door to your brand new hotel room, run over to the window, open the blinds and bam, you are hit with the anti-view. Maybe you are looking down a dirty alley, witnessing a drug deal, staring at an air shaft in the face, or seeing a brick wall. Whatever you are viewing it is not extremely pleasurable. Help out your fellow hotel mavens by uploading your anti-views to the HotelChatter/Flickr photo pool, or by sending the photo along to us. Remember to tell us the name of the hotel and the room number with the not-so-easy-on-the-eyes view.
Perhaps topping the lists for worst room views are New York and Vegas. New York because most of the anti-views look out at other buildings and dirty air shafts and Vegas because well...they just suck.
Looking out our windows and slightly to the right allows one to see this view. Too bad my wife isn't a lesbian and I don't go for strip clubs (I like my porn to be private and shameful). See how close we are? Now imagine how much fun it is listening to the loud music they play all night long while you lie in bed trying to get some sleep.
What is actually impressive about this shot is that he took it from his Sidekick 3.
· Golden Gate Hotel reviews [TripAdvisor]
We know it can sometimes be hard to find a hotel that has good bacon, but is that really worse than checking into a room so noisy that the highway itself might be quieter? Unfortunately, that seems to be the situation at the Main Street Station Hotel in downtown Vegas, which in all other regards looks to be a great deal.
A recent guest just checked in with a report:
The room was nice and large , but it was very noisy being right next to the freeway. We had to leave the heater on all night long to block out the noise...I will go back to gamble and eat but would not stay there again
Lest you think she's oversensitive, another guest had the same gripe:
It is very close to the interstate, we were on the 17th (top) floor in a King room, that overlooked the interstate, and it is loud
At least it will drown out the sound of canvases tearing on the Strip.
[Ed. Note: It seems that Las Vegas is the newest hotspot for Bed Bugs. This latest incident occurred at the Plaza Hotel in the city's downtown. As always this is one person's side of the story and he seems pretty angry.]
My short weekend trip has turned into a nightmare of the week! My fiancee and I are covered in bites all over our bodies. I am so itchy that I cannot sleep. I even have bites in my genital area!! This hotel was so poorly maintained. Sure it was an older hotel but health still needs to be a priority.
I must also mention that no light switches worked. Therefore I couldn't even inspect for bugs. Who really knew that "Don't let the bed bugs bite" actually meant something?!?! My shower was cold. I did not have any hot water. My shower tub would not drain and collected with 6 inches of water without a plug.
I couldn't even use the air conditioner because it was frozen over with ice. I have to pay FULL PRICE!!!! I also had to pay for a trip to URGENT CARE!