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First Timer with questions after doing research...

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First Timer with questions after doing research...

OK I'm planning on taking a trip to LV for the first time, as a graduation gift to myself for completing my MBA.

I plan on staying five nights from about May 20-25, and in addition would like to do a full day trip or an overnight trip to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

I don't mind paying a little premium for quality... but realistically the poker room is a huge variable for me as I do love to play. I also want to see a Cirque show, which will likely be "O" or "Ka."

1) Signature at MGM - seems to be relatively luxury for the price, nice reviews, etc. Only real problem is that the g/f is a smoker and they appear to be non-smoking rooms only. But MGM has a Cirque show, a nice poker room, and appears to be a nice price for the quality.

2) Bellagio - Looks nice, would like to see the fountain show as well. Read some questionable reviews and appears that it might not be as "modern" as i like.

3) The Venetian - don't feel like I know much about this one.

4) Wynn - appears to be very nice, but again I know little about the poker room.

5) Mirage - recommendation from a coworker who I respect.

6) Mandalay Bay - little knowledge.

Also, with regards to the GC trip ... I have read a lot of reviews relating to some of the different package trips, companies, etc. I understand to see the GC in a day trip requires a flight (not helicopter) ... but I do want a package option that includes a helicopter ride through the GC once you take the plane ride to the South Rim. I was leaning towards Maverick. Any thoughts??

Any other thoughts for a first-timer!? I haven't booked yet and just have lots of flexibility...



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1. Re: First Timer with questions after doing research...

For a first timer it is all about the location, location, location...

You picked a good list of hotels, all nice, but from your list I would go with the

Mirage or Bellagio - pretty much based on location

I personally think the Bellagio is a little stuffy, very nice and I visit everytime, but not my style. I more prefer a good mix of cheap, mid-range, and upscale restaurants, shops, etc. Mirage meets that where the Bellagio is all upscale.

In terms of the poker room, as long as your on the Strip your never too far from one. Sure, it can be nice to have one located in the hotel but one is never far away so I wouldn't totally let that influence you decision.

As for your Cirque show choices, I preferred O over KA. KA was my least favorite Cirque show that I have seen. Not bad, but it didn't have much of the acrobatic elements that I enjoy.

Birmingham, AL
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2. Re: First Timer with questions after doing research...

I've got a few thoughts for you.

First congrats on your MBA! A trip to LV will be a great reward.

We've been to Vegas a dozen times and stayed at various hotels. You mentioned "modern" rooms. THE HOTEL @ Mandalay Bay may be just what your looking for. Check out their pics on this web site. Lots of good feed back. Great spa. MIX lounge. Connected to Mandalay Bay for Casino action and an amazing pool. And this is not a smoke free property like Signature. Check out www.cheapovegas.com for a great review of their poker room.

We've seen all the Cirque shows and my hands down favorite is O. Hubby loves Mystere @ TI. Can't go wrong with either.

Have fun!!!

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3. Re: First Timer with questions after doing research...

Thank you both for your responses, and thanks for the "congrats" on the MBA program... what a real grind :)

I'll certainly look into THE HOTEL at Mandalay. Location is a big issue as I want to fit in as much as possible in 5 nights. I also want to be somewhere where I can literally walk in and out as many poker rooms as possible just to feed my "poker chip collection." I am from the east coast, near the Borgata in Atlantic City, and seriously I have never seen a casino come close to that. So if anyone is familiar w/ the Borgata and how "modern" it is, you'll have a great feel for what I would love in LV.

Also, seems like "O" is consistently one of the favorite shows... so I'll probably go with that one.

Does anyone have thoughts on going from LV to the GC? I was considering just adding an additional night or two after LV but I'm a bit inexperienced in organizing trips like this ... is it feasible to lug everything from LV to the GCNP for a night or two? Or would it be easier to schedule something like this prior to LV?

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4. Re: First Timer with questions after doing research...

IMHO Skip the Grand Canyon and go another time. You will want to stay in Vegas especially if it is your first time. Sound like you would like the Wynn. Poker room is supposedly really nice.

Have Fun

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5. Re: First Timer with questions after doing research...

Also most men prefer Mystere for a Cirque show.

Destination Expert
for Las Vegas
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6. Re: First Timer with questions after doing research...

What kind of Poker do you want to play, and who do you want to play against? Like hotels the poker rooms are different and attract different players.

For instance: I would automatically rule out Signature for myself, and I've never stayed there. Partly because the condo-type hotel is not the experiance I look for in LV. But also because the MGM poker room is not right for me. But maybe it's exactly what you are looking for.

Las Vegas
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7. Re: First Timer with questions after doing research...

Hi Mike,

If you know you will be playing a lot of cash poker--not tournaments--ask about the casino rate which might save you money. If you play enough you might even get comped 100%.

These are the 2 best websites for Vegas poker rooms:



Venetian is the top room in Vegas but if you like to play for very high stakes, Bellagio and Mirage might be better for you assuming you don't mind possibly losing a ton of money.

As far as Cirque goes, either O or KA will be great shows. I think O might be better for you and your girlfriend. If you are want a concise overview of Vegas entertainment, try the vegasmadeeasy.com website.

Have a great Vegas vacation!

1060 W Addison...
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8. Re: First Timer with questions after doing research...

As you say, Signature is non-smoking, so that's not a great choice for your GF. And the decore in the Bellagio certainlly won't feel "modern" if that's important to you.

Be sure to spend time reading up on www.allvegaspoker.com to learn about the various poker rooms. Remember that you can play anywhere, not just where you are staying. Wynn and Bellagio have the biggest "rep," but are generally not great for new-to-Vegas players.

The Venetian and Mirage would be my picks of your choices for you. Nice rooms, modern furniture and good access to a lot of excellent poker rooms. Mirage has "Love" on-site. Venetian has fairly easy access to Love. Both have good access to Mystere. O is a short cab ride away; Ka a slightly farther ride.

Between the two, the Venetian has a bigger, better room and good access to shopping/food. The Mirage has the better pool.

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9. Re: First Timer with questions after doing research...

Also, let me suggest a hotel that's not on your list: Planet Hollywood, due to your comment about "modern" style.

PH has arguably the most "modern" casino on the Strip, and the rooms follow that decor too, especially the Hollywood Hip and Resort Vista rooms. Also has a well-reviewed poker room, and the attached Miracle Mile Mall may be of interest to your and/or your g/f.

Location is pretty good, better located than Sig or MB, I think. Immediately next door to Paris, which connects to Bally's. And directly across the street from Bellagio.

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10. Re: First Timer with questions after doing research...

Hi, congrats on the MBA ! I just looked up the Borgota and by looking at the pics, I think Mirage, Wynn, TI,and Palazzo fit your bill. I think you should stay mid- strip. I think you'd be better off scheduling the GC for an overnite at the very least. It is quite amazing to see it at different times of the day. I remember how much fun it was in college to plan our vacations. Now, back to the books.