View Full Version : vegas?

24-03-2009, 05:01 PM
Has anyone been to vegas recently? We'd both like to try it but no idea which of the many hotels to stay in, what to see and do. Is a week long enough?

24-03-2009, 06:11 PM
there is lots to do in Vegas, i personally wouldn't want to spend a week actually in Vegas but there are things that you can travel to- grand canyon, hoover dam etc etc- how do you feel about a driving holiday starting and ending in vegas? that's what we did and it was one of our best holidays.

we stayed in the mgm grand and it was lovely. We had the room above the basic- can't remember what it was called. The buffet in the hotel was great.

there are shows, fun fairs, zoos, dolphins, not to mention all the themed hotels.

25-03-2009, 02:37 PM
Las Vegas is fun, but I wouldn't recommend it if you have young children--not much for them to do. A shade better for teens, but you wouldn't want them going out alone. It isn't WDW! Keep in mind that the resort pools (on The Strip) close early, so even that isn't an option at night for the young ones. Some do have spectacular pools, though.

That said, it's an incredible place to visit. The Strip--which is what most people consider to be "Las Vegas"-- is gaudy, irreverent and plain old every day fun--for adults. You must be age 21 or older to be in a casino, even if it's just to watch. Younger folk can walk through if accompanied by an adult, but security or staff will urge you on if you stop on the casino floor. Their gaming licenses could be at stake--and that's one gamble they won't take! :)

As Julie said, it can be a good base for other sightseeing. While you won't need a rental car on the strip, you would need one or a car service off the strip. You also might be able to arrange ground transportation as part of various sightseeing packages.

There are many places to stay on The Strip--and off! Rates vary constantly, but usually it's less expensive Sunday through Thursday. If there is a convention or three in town, that will affect rates--they can be any where from double to 10 times the standard room rate at any other time. :eek: I've seen the same room that typically is $60 per night become $300+ during a convention! Tourism is off a bit now, so rates have been a bit more stable than in recent years. The more elegant--and expensive--resorts tend to be Bellagio, Caesars, The Venetian and sister resort Palazzo, Wynn and sister property Encore. Mandalay Bay and Luxor are at the south end of The Strip (Las Vegas Boulevard) and are connected to the Excalibur (great location and usually lower rates) via a free monorail. A little less convenient if you are planning most of your activities in the central area of The Strip. Stratosphere is at the far north end of The Strip and not particularly convenient unless you have a car. The Hilton (not really a Hilton--International Resorts operates it these days) actually is off The Strip, but is connected to The Strip by monorail--which is not cheap these days! They hooked us with really good prices when it opened. :( But it is a good option if staying at The Hilton or Sahara and not driving. The monorail runs from The Hilton to the MGM Grand. I'm thinking the stops are The Hilton, Convention Center, Sahara, Harrah's/Imperial Palace, Flamingo, Bally's/Paris Paris, and MGM Grand. I could be off or missing something, but it's pretty close! :lol:

The next cluster of resorts is Wynn/Encore, Mirage/Treasure Island, Venetian/Palazzo--plus a large mall. The name escapes me at the moment. Perhaps Fashion Show? :rolleyes: The next group is Imperial Palace, Harrah's, Caesars, Flamingo, Bally's, Paris, Bellagio. Planet Hollywood (formerly Aladdin) is next, followed by MGM Grand, New York New York, Excalibur and Tropicana (may have changed names/owners by now--it's been rumoured for a while, but I haven't been following it). I've probably missed a major property or two, and there are smaller properties scattered between the larger resorts, particularly in the north and south end of The Strip. Some areas were under development my last visit (2006) and I don't know the current status of them. They also developed a lot of condos and time shares during the past few years. Again, I haven't paid attention to them, so I'm not familiar with them. When I visit Las Vegas, it's usually for a convention or just plain fun and I prefer to stay at one of the casino resorts.

If you enjoy shopping, you'll be surrounded by it. From the Forum Shops at Caesars to the outlet malls (beware: not everything is a bargain!) north and south of The Strip, there are a lot of shopping venues. Every resort has at least a gift shop, with most having several specialty shops as well. Bellagio, Venetian and Wynn all have elegant shops leading to the hotel entrance from The Strip. Some actually are reasonably affordable, other are wonderful for window shopping (love Fred Leighton at the Bellagio) or a splurge. :)

Just as when visiting Orlando, you need to decide on a budget and what you really want to do. It will take more planning than Orlando, as things are spread out a bit. If you want to ride the Manhatten Express, you go to New York, New York resort. The Stratosphere has--I think!--three thrill rides with age/height restrictions. Circus Circus--I knew I forgot one! It's in the vicinity of Stratosphere--has an indoor amusement park, but definitely not WDW standards. MGM Grand has a lion habitat--definitely logical, considering its symbol! I think Mirage still has the tigers from Siegfried and Roy, but I'm not sure. The volcano outside erupts several times each evening (free). TI has the Sirens show several times each evening (or did in 2006--check the website to be sure) for free. Flamingo has penguins/flamingos habitats and one of the most spectacular pools (designed after a Hilton hotel in Hawaii). Mandalay Bay is know for its wave pool (open to resort guests only) and its see and be seen atmosphere.

This is strictly a tourist view of The Strip--those who live in Henderson or in the vicinity of Las Vegas have a different view. But as with visiting Orlando, I rarely do the same things I can do at home when I'm on holiday. So The Strip is the attraction for me. It's unique and crazy--and I'm ready to go home after three or four nights! :lol:

Remember, Las Vegas and vicinity is located in the high desert. It can be hot to scorching May through September, with uncomfortable levels of humidity in July and August. Lower than Orlando, but the higher temperature makes it even more uncomfortable. There tend to be brief, fierce thunderstorms in the afternoon to early evening at that time of year. Winter tends to be relatively mild during the day, but can be wicked cold at night/early morning. Mid-September to mid-November and mid-March to the end of April or early May the weather tends to be warm and gorgeous. :)