Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Palazzo Review and Room Pics

The final 2 nights of the trip were spent at Palazzo in a Fortuna Suite. I needed to upgrade the accomodations from the Trop as Lisa would be joining me for the rest of the stay and neither of us have stayed at Venetian or Palazzo. They have been sending some decent email offers lately so we took them up on one and got the room for $179 a night. I am not a huge fan of the management of Venetian but I won't let that stop me from snagging a super sweet room on the cheap.

Check-in was a breeze on a Wednesday at 1PM. Only a 5 minute wait and I was on my way to my room on the 9th floor with a strip view. The elevators are on the opposite side of the casino from the front desk, which is a decent walk. The room itself was gigantic, at 940 Sq. Ft. There are 2 seperate seating areas, a wet bar and 3 TVs. Nice modern features include motorized drapes, a DVD player and Printer/Fax Machine. The bathroom was quite large with seperate tub and shower. Also, in addition to the double sink vanity, there was an additional make-up desk. It was definitely a strip view but because of the way the building is positioned, its was less than spectacular.

We really loved this room. The couch in the living area was big and very comfortable. The room was just perfect to hang out in. The size made it felt more like home than a hotel room. The furniture, carpet and electronics were in great condition and still had that "new" hotel room feeling despite being well over a year old and a smoking room. Housekeeping was great as they honored the "Do Not Disturb" sign but asked if we needed anything when walking out of the room and brought us towels in a matter of seconds. The only real complaint was
the heating/cooling system was a bit of a problem.. Though it had all the bells and whistles, it was hard to work with in full daylight and impossible at night since it didn't light up.

The rest of the hotel is as nice as the rooms. The first few times I walked through the casino, I felt it had a sterile feel but spending some time there, it grows on you. Aside from the distance of the front desk to the room, the place is laid out pretty well. There is a coffee place and gift shop right at the foot of the room elevators and the self-parking elevators are just a few feet further away. The pool area is very similar to the one at Venetian and are connected by a long walkway. There are several pools and hot tubs of various sizes as well as the new rage, an "Ultra-Pool." I don't quite get the concept of waiting in line at the pool to pay to hang out at another pool which just has more expensive drinks and louder music but different strokes I guess...

Palazzo along with Venetian have a lot to offer. There are a ton of top notch restaurants, several night clubs, a world famous Spa and a giant shopping mall. If they always were as reasonable on their room rates as they have been in the past few months and stopped jerking around their casino customers, I would stay there more often. However, their disdain for players coupled with the normally outrageous rates is the reason why we have never stayed there in the decade it has been open. Hopefully the new economic reality of Vegas will help the management of Las Vegas Sands see the light!

Coming soon... A new feature, Lisa's Spa Review. First up - Canyon Ranch Spa at Palazzo.

Check Out the Room Pics Here

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tropicana Review and Room Pics

The first night of the most recent trip was in an Island Tower room at the Tropicana. I booked the room directly through the website for $39 a night. The Island Tower is the large building in the back of the property and currently the only one open as the Paradise Tower is closed for repairs. I arrived at 3 PM on a Tuesday and there was zero line for check-in. Within minutes, I was on my way to my room which is a little bit of a walk through the casino and down a hallway over the pool. Considering the day and time, I was impressed with the amount of action in the casino. On my last trip through the Trop in December, the place was a ghost town.

Overall, the room was certainly worth the price. The first thing that strikes you as you walk in is the cheesy mirror and wood design on the wall and ceiling around the bed. It dominates the room! The furniture and carpet are on the lower end of quality but were in surpringinly decent shape. No major stains or burns anywhere. The bed was definitely one of the major downside, completely showing its age with a major sag in the middle. The bathroom is your circa 1985 formica single-sink vanity and interestingly large tub/shower angled in the corner. A few stray hairs that weren't mine made me question it's use but after throughly rinsing I hesitently decided to shower in it. Water pressure can be a concern in Vegas hotels and the Trop had something I never experienced, terrible pressure at the sink and fine in the shower. Often, its the other way around.

The pool area at the Trop was, at one time, the best in Vegas. It has long been surpassed by the Mandalay Bays and MGMs but it still is pretty large with a big nature area surrounding it. It pioneered swim-up Blackjack long before Hard Rock came along and even can be closed off in the winter making it one of the few indoor pools on the strip. The location is pretty good on the corner of the Strip and Tropicana, just across from MGM, Excalibur and New York-New York. Though the Island Tower is the furthest away from strip, there is self-parking in the back that makes for an easy in and out if you have a car. Hooters Casino is also a short walk out the back door.

Surprisingly, in all of my trips to Vegas, this was my first time at the Tropicana. It wasn't a 5-star experience in any way but consider the price, it was not disappointing either. If a large pool and a good location at a low price are important to you, it is a decent choice. However on most nights, for just a few dollars more, you can find better options such as Luxor, Flamingo or Monte Carlo.

All New Room Picture Page!!!

The Room Picture page has completely redone with every picture increased in size plus new links for easier navigation through the slide shows.

Check Out the Room Pics Here

Visit VegasCasinoInfo.com for the complete guide to Las Vegas Hotels and Casinos. Property maps of every major casino, 100s of pictures and a ton of other info all without annoying ads!