Keeping it relatively short n' sweet and focusing on the meat instead of the potatoes, as piles of work prevent me from writing the novel I want. (-;
This was a birthday trip for moi, with friends that joined me from California.
Hotel: Orleans. Rating: very good mid budget, caters to locals (every local I know loves this joint). Room: all rooms are gigantic, had a new rehabbed one on 20th floor (2087), worth asking for. Only downside is the 50" HDTV only shows analog so late night drunken viewing isn't as much fun...neither is watching sports. Had a 2 night comp to use so paid regular rate Thursday only ($35) for a 480 sq. foot standard room with all amenities on a nice quiet floor.
Food: dining options at this hotel are varied, from the one upscale joint (Canal Street) to a row of fast food options near the poker room and everything in between. 24 hour coffee shop is very good, 24 room service from there AND Fuddruckers. TGI Fridays offers 1/2 price appys all day in the bar. Don Miguels offers decent Mexican fare and good beer choices (99 cent margs from 3-5), and Koji does a wide Asian selection from standard Chinese fare to a fresh sushi bar.
Did the b-day dinner at Prime Rib Loft. Absolutely worth it and I highly recommend. Especially since they produce a quality product and don't gouge you on the price or stick you with all the acoutrements a-la-carte. Decent wine list too which is very well priced. Brought me free cheesecake for dessert, which was great - I'm a sucker for a nice dense NY style cheesecake.
Gaming: Lots of variety for everyone from the shoe clerks like me, to people who like to get more of their game on, and pretty much everything with old school odds and not the whacked out stuff you see so many places on the Strip. Never made a plug nickel this trip (for the sake of full disclosure) but managed to be entertained nonetheless.
Drink: Always available, never skimped on, and incredibly reasonable (was drinking vodka water with a twist for $3.50 when I wasn't getting comp ones, cocktails were same). Every bar has VP and no minimum betting to qualify for comp drinks, as long as you're betting you're drinking...they were topping off my vodka water with Grey Goose, so not a bad tradeoff IMO.
Entertainment: plenty to be had at this place (movies, hockey arena, band, karaoke) but didn't partake this trip on-site. Hit Bill's for the Big Elvis show on Friday (strong hint - arrive early if you want a seat or forget it - and by early I mean at least an hour).
Had also pre-booked Richard Petty Driving Experience for 03/13 AM run...worth every penny, I'm SO doing that again. Best adrenaline rush ever. And I'll probably do it again on any track I can find it at - this is a great tour.
1. Aria and City Center look like downtown Manhattan office buildings...all steel, no feel.
2. Could there BE any more Cirque shows?
3. Blueberry Hill is probably one of the best breakfast deals around (I favour the one on Flamingo east of M. Parkway). 24 hours a day and always packed day or night with locals and those in the know.
4. I dislike drunk and stupid spring breakers in Vegas just as much as anywhere else.
All in all came home lighter in the wallet, plenty more laughs and memories, and now need to spend a few days wringing out the liver before I contemplate another jaunt to Sin City. I admit the place just continues to grow on me the older I get. (-;Edited: 16 March 2010, 18:52