We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

1st timmer looking for advice

Level Contributor
59 posts
37 reviews
Save Topic
1st timmer looking for advice

I am planning a trip for Jan.10 thru the 15th, Sun. thru Thur. I choose these dates to try and get the best room at the best rate. The more I read up on the trip I find opinions can very alot.

First off, we are not big gamblers but want to see strip and do a Hoover dam tour and catch a good show. I am currently looking at the Paris, Mirage, and the MGM Grand as potential hotels. Would even consider a more upscale place (wynn) if view and comfort level offset the cost. Am I better off to book through the hotel or expedia? I read where you are more likly to get a room upgrade if you book through the hotel. Is this true? A view of the strip is a must..

Should I get show tickets in advance or will there be better deals or coupons once I get to my hotel. I read of booths where you can get 1/2 priced tickets the day of the show. Is this true? I really want to see O.

Tours...Is pink jeep the best way to go? I think their prices are a little steep but for the smaller size of thr groupings I think it is worth it. Would it be worth my time to call them directly and try to get a 2 for 1 if I take multiple tours?

I know no 2 trips are alike and alot of it will be being in the right place at the right time but any vetern advice will be welcome.

Forgive my spelling and grammer. I am not the most educated fellow in the world book wise but I hope you folks can educate me better on my planning this trip...Thanks, Don

Muskegon, Michigan
Level Contributor
6,863 posts
39 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: 1st timmer looking for advice

Welcome, Don. K, to answer some q's:

- do book directly w/hotel.In most cases, rates r refundable. Upgrades n comps easier too.

-Wynn will def. be superior to others you listed.Service,beds,class...

Muskegon, Michigan
Level Contributor
6,863 posts
39 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: 1st timmer looking for advice

K, more...

- Strip view rooms are best at higher floors, so do ask 4 those when booking.

- 1/2 price ticket booths exists indeed. Worth the time to check out 4 deals.

-Hoover Dam: Pink Jeep is gr8.

Level Contributor
711 posts
22 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: 1st timmer looking for advice

And for a first timer, Caesars is great (if you are in one of the newer/refurbished towers)- everything under 1 roof, more "vegasy" and in a central location.

Otherwise Ballys, Flamingo, Bellagio and Planet Hollywood, (in addition to those as stated). When booking, confirm a strip view!

There is a debate over the merit of location, but IMO location for a FIRST TIMER it cannot be understated as you will want to wander about. So the Wynn, is probably a bit out!

Also depends what you what to do when you are there: are you a foodie, gambler, clubber, single, married, like art, bars, magic, shopping!

tips in response.

1. Book with hotel

2.Go and see O, or Love, both excellent. The Cirque shows are probably best booked through the box offices of the hotels.

3. good luck and you will Love Vegas,

Level Contributor
31,600 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: 1st timmer looking for advice

Wynn is the best hotel of those mentioned, but it is on the north part of the strip. The next best- Mirage. A lot of people do like MGM (I don't ) on the south part of the strip but for a first visit I always recommenda central strip hotel so you can walk to the south and north casinos without having to bother with a painfully slow bus, a useless monorail or cab fare.

If you book directly with the hotel- you can contact them if the rate drops to get the lower rate (assuming it is not a non-refundable deal). You can also cancel (within the cancellation period) if you find something better. I don't think anyone really knows if you are more likely to be upgraded if you deal directly with the hotel rather than Experia. Everyone has an opinion on that- but nobody can really tell you one way or the other. Many people have gotten upgrades (just by smiling and asking politely) using both options.

Yes, there are discount kiosks in Vegas- although not necessarily 50% off and the shows offered each day vary. If there is a show I definitely want to see- I always get tickets in advance rather than take a chance they won't be offered on the day or time I want to go or the seat I want may not be available. Try these sites:

www.smartervegas.com www.travelzoo.com

www.goldstar.com www.broadwaybox.com

Here are the discount kiosks:


I can't really recommend a tour company. The best way to see off strip places is to rent a car and drive yourself. It is easier, cheaper and you can see what you want to see on your own schedule. You can also extend your trip to include Valley of Fire (to me a must see) after you see Hoover Dam.

You are doing fine. I am sure you are going to have a fantastic time in Vegas.

Edited: 24 December 2009, 16:04
Level Contributor
59 posts
37 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: 1st timmer looking for advice

I am married and 48 years old. I guess we are sightseers and people watchers. We will splurge on a really nice meal one evening and play the rest of the feedings by ear. I also would like to spend an evening alone with my wife looking out over the strip so I really don't want a room that is run down. That scares me about some of the Paris reviews I've read. I read where the Mirage and MGM are more likly to up grade but what are the chances of that? I thought of calling the hotel and telling them I am booking through them to get a better room at the expedia price. I checked all the airfares hotels etc... and expedia is 150 - 200 dollars cheaper. They are offering me a 183. dollar discount for booking through them. If I call the hotel will they work with me or screw me because I am making them work?

Level Contributor
1,961 posts
61 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: 1st timmer looking for advice

The MGM is a nice hotel but it is at the one end of the strip so you would have a good walk to head down the strip while the Mirage is more central located. My sister stayed there last year and loved it.

Book directly with the hotel. Call them, tell them the best overall price you have found on line with the web site address and such. I have yet to not have a hotel match that price. PLUS if by the time you go, you find a better price on line, you can call back and see if the hotel will go lower and match.

Seeing Hoover Dam is incredible and especially now as you will see the incredible HD bridge that is being built. If possible DO NOT USE A BUS SERVICE. Get a rental car and drive out. It is an easy drive, I did it my first visit to vegas and no problems finding my way out and back. The key is go early, get up and get there by 9-10am to avoid the traffic, but do see it.

As for shows, get up each day and see what the cheap tix places have available. I have seen about 11 shows on my visits and only 1 would I say was unwatchable (X Burlusque at Flamingo) all others were great. If you want the old school vegas show see Jubilee. It's a good price and a wonderful show. If you want STUNNING, then go with a Cirque show. Overall you can't go wrong, it's just depends on how much you want to spend.

The KEY to seeing vegas is this...No matter what you do, don't rush. See what you can, enjoy it and understand that you can't see it all. Even if you don't gamble, go inside and see the inside of the casinos/hotels. Relax and enjoy and wonderful city.

London, United...
Level Contributor
17,856 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: 1st timmer looking for advice

If you want to spend one evening in your hotel room, then I'd make sure to book in one of the nicer hotels. For what you want, I'd try to get a Lakeview room at Bellagio................nothing like it! And the location is wonderful, right in center strip, you can walk anywhere from that. If I didn't stay there I'd stay at either Wynn or Palazzo, well worth the price to stay at a nicer hotel IMO!

Level Contributor
15,119 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: 1st timmer looking for advice

Of the hotels you list, I think you'd get the best Strip views at Paris. You probably don't want to book MGM Grand because they do not allow you to reserve a Strip view room ahead of time.

I always recommend comparing the prices of hotel/air packages vs. booking direct to be sure you get the best deal. Generally, the best hotel rates can usually be found through the hotels' own promotions, but sometimes a package can save you enough on airfare that it's a better deal overall. Whether you book through the hotel or a third-party site has no impact on your chances of gettign a room upgrade.

While many shows are available at the same-day discount ticket booths, for a Cirque show I would get your tickets ahead of time.

Happy holidays.

9. Re: 1st timmer looking for advice

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 23 June 2010, 05:19