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My Vegas Review: non-wedding

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#1 Rachelle E.

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    Posted 13 August 2008 - 11:49 AM

    I just got back from a week long trip to Vegas and thought I'd share about the places we went - specifically the restaurants and such - just in case it comes in handy for those of you planning a wedding there.

    I actually have been to a wedding in Vegas on a previous trip. It was at a really cute chapel at the end of the strip called Little Church of the West Wedding Chapel. It's really small but fun and cute and it's just across from Mandalay Bay. Not sure how the pricing is, or how they are to work with since I was just a guest...but it was a really cute and fun wedding.
    World Famous Little Church of the West Wedding Chapel - Las Vegas

    Last time I went I stayed in the Hilton Grand Vacations Club on the Strip. It's at the far end of the strip - about a block past Circus Circus. So it's pretty far from most things if you're looking to do a lot of walking. However it was a great hotel and the rooms are more like suites. They are equipped with kitchenettes, a small washer/dryer and everything. We had 3 girls staying in one and had plenty of room - we loved it! Definitely a nice option for an extended stay, families who need more room/amenities (like fridge/microwave and such) or something kind of inbetween the main area of the strip and "old" downtown Vegas.
    Hilton Grand Vacations Club® on the Las Vegas Strip Hotel

    This trip we stayed at both Mandalay Bay and the Venetian.

    Mandalay Bay: Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino - Las Vegas Resorts, Hotels & Casinos
    We really liked this hotel! It's at the far end of the strip near the airport and it's HUGE. We stayed in their basic room and were totally happy with it. They have his/hers closets, spacious bathrooms (w/ small flat screen tv above sink area - my dh thought this was great), the alarm clock also has an adaptor to play your iPod and there's plenty of room. We definitely didn't have that cramped, hotel room feel. The room service was pretty quick and the food was great! Also, the staff at the hotel were super nice anytime we called for anything. Esp. the staff at the desk that helps with dinner/show reservations - they were SO helpful! Sadly we didn't get a lot of pool time - but it looked really cool. I did walk past their wedding offices and they looked really nice. There are a TON of great restaurants there and I'll review a couple of those next. I think the only "con" for me was the Loooooong lines checking in and out. They had tons of lines open but for some reason we couldn't seem to check in/out in under 30-45mins. More frustrating upon check out as we were trying to fit in some last minute stuff before our flights. But again, the staff were all extremely nice and seemed to be working as quickly as they could. On the upside, you definitely don't feel rushed by them and they are more than happy to answer questions. .. I guess that just makes the process take longer though. Overall we were 100% happy with our stay and would absolutely stay there again.

    The Venetian: The Venetian - Resort, Hotel, Casino.
    We ended up staying here by "accident". Our flight out was cancelled and we couldn't get anything until 4pm the following day. SO...we decided to embrace the situation and stay somewhere fun! Our AmEx concierge service found a room at the Venetian and the rest is history! ;-) Honestly it was perfect. The hotel itself is obviously impressive with the shops, gondolas etc. But the rooms are to die for! We stayed in a King Luxury Suite...which I think is basically their standard room w/ king bed. My understanding is that it's an All Suites hotel. Anyway, the room was seriously gorgeous and huge! The decor is just beautiful, the bathroom is really large and also has a small flat screen tv above the sink (like Mandalay) but my fave little perk was that the lights are on dimmer switches...I dimmed them down and crawled into the bathtub with a big glass of wine. It was perfect! There are flat screen tv's in both the bedroom and living areas of the suite and a dvd player in the living area. I had fun with the roman shade and curtains that are controlled by remote! haha! The living area of the suite is pretty large and has plenty of seating with an L-shaped sofa, desk w/ chair (incl fax machine) and small dining table w/ chairs. We got room service here as well and it was fast (they quoted us 45mins and we got it in 30) and great! The food was delicious and the guy who brought it actually put a table cloth on the dining table in our room and set it all up, opened the wine etc. Kind of a nice change from the usual "here's your cart of food!" kind of thing. It felt more like a proper meal that way. We hung out at the pool before our flight and appreciated that there were a) plenty of chairs and B) that they don't let you save them indefinitely. That's a pet peeve of mine...I hate when people throw a book/towel on a chair at like 7am and then don't actually come use the chair until like noon! lol! Anyway, the pool area was really nice and we had a great time just chilling out there. I may be forgetting something, but I think that's most of it. The Venetian was wonderful and you should stay there if you get the chance!!

    Next Post will be Restaurants!

    #2 RaydensMama

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      Posted 13 August 2008 - 12:29 PM

      Great hotel Review!! I agree with everything you said about Mandalay Bay (except the lines, we actually had no line checking in or out. But we did check in at like 10pm.lol) and the pool is amazing!! Cant wait to hear about the restaurants!

      #3 Rachelle E.

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        Posted 13 August 2008 - 12:32 PM

        Peppermill: Peppermill Las Vegas
        (on the strip - not too far from the Wynn) absolutely the BEST late night munchies or hung over breakfast place in Vegas. I've described it as "The Cracker Barrel meets old school Vegas diner". . .which only makes sense if you know (and love) the Cracker Barrel! lol! But anyway, this place cannot be beat for cheesy decor and awesome, casual food. I swear their omlettes feed like 3 people easy and they make some damn good coffee. This is the place I tell everyone to try while they're in Vegas. I think I eat there at least twice per trip! lol!

        Tao: :: Tao Restaurant, New York ::
        (at the Venetian) We ate here our first night in Vegas. Fun, lively, great service and great food! We all ordered a bunch of different stuff to share/try and I'd definitely reccomend doing it that way. It seems like most of the menu is set up to be served like that. Not really the traditional entree per person type set up. My favorite of all that was tried was the sushi. It was just sooooo good! We tried a bunch of stuff and it was all great, but the sushi was definitely the best IMO.

        STRIPSTEAK: Strip Steak - Mandalay Bay - Best Las Vegas Steak House Restaurants
        (at Mandalay Bay) This was my favorite restaurant of the trip. It's a steak place, but doesn't have that old school stuffy steakhouse feel. We celebrated dh's 30th b-day here and it was perfect. Everyone in our group LOVED their food and raved about it afterwards. The service was great, all the reccomendations made to us by our server were right on, the sommelier was very helpful and made suggestions that suited our group prefectly and I just can't think of anything we didn't love about it. The fries w/ dipping sauces they bring out to start are fun and delicious. My filet was perfect and dh said his porterhouse was to die for. I had the mashed potato trio for my side...not realizing how big it was. You could (and should) definitely order this to share. Everything was fantastic! They brought out a chocolate dessert w/ "happy birthday" written on the plate for dh at the end...it was a rocky road something and it was soooo good! THEN before we left they gave us all individual packages of some chocolate drizzled caramel corn - I totally ate that in the hotel room a couple mornings later! lol! It was great. Overall my fave dining experience during our stay, I highly reccomend it!

        BOA: B O A
        (At Caesar's Palace) Another steak place - nice, modern and delicious!! Again the service was great - we were a pretty energetic/chatty table and our server was so good about it. :-) All the food was great - dh's crab legs that he ordered w/ his steak were amazing!!! I'd probably reccomend STRIPSTEAK over this one, but honestly, it was really really good! Definitely worth checking out if you can.

        Red Square: Red Square - Mandalay Bay - Best Las Vegas Russian Restaurants
        (also at Mandalay Bay) I think this was our 2nd favorite restaurant of the trip. It's famous for being a vodka bar and is worth it just to go for cocktails if you can't for dinner. They also have a vodka vault that you can go in if you get bottle service (I think the bottles start at $200?) that looks really cool. It's literally freezing in there, so they give you coats to wear - military jackets for the guys and "fur" coats for the girls. From what I've heard it's a fun experience - maybe nice for a party, it would be a great place for a co-ed bach party especially I think. They make a killer gibson (my choice), dirty martini (dh's choice) and one hell of a perfect bloody mary (friend's choice). Really, if you like vodka, go here. We actually just came here orignally for drinks and apps before a dinner reservation we'd already set. We had so much fun that we cancelled our other reservations so we could stay here! We had the shrimp cocktail (YUM! huge shrimp!!) and the Siberian Nachos (omg amazing!!!!) for apps. Most of us had steak for dinner again, but someone ordered pasta w/ crab and it was delicious. Dh said this tied STRIPSTEAK for his fave steak. I give this place two big thumbs up!!!

        (The Venetian - by the pool) Normally I wouldn't bother to mention a random poolside restaurant, because normally they just aren't that good. But this one was. It's open for breakfast and lunch only and I can at very least confirm that breakfast was delicious! Dh and I weren't expecting much and were just looking for some quick food before hitting the pool. This was actually very good. I had the smoked salmon w/ herbed cream cheese and bagel - perfection! Dh had their traditional eggs and potatoes type breakfast and loved it as well. Those potatoes were extra yummy IMO. Definitely go for breakfast if you're in the area. I know they also do food through a "pick up window" for eating poolside - we didn't try that but if it's anything like the breakfast it's probably something worth trying. :-)

        #4 Rachelle E.

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          Posted 13 August 2008 - 12:36 PM

          Great hotel Review!! I agree with everything you said about Mandalay Bay (except the lines, we actually had no line checking in or out. But we did check in at like 10pm.lol) and the pool is amazing!! Cant wait to hear about the restaurants!
          Thanks!! yeah, we were checking in/out at "prime times" I think. Checked in at 4pm on a Sunday (which I didn't think would be busy, but it was) and checked out at 1pm on Thursday...we asked for late check out to give us more time (and hoping it wouldn't be as hectic since regular check out is at 11am) but it was crazy! I think maybe a lot of people were checking in for the weekend?

          #5 ACDCDCAC

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          Posted 13 August 2008 - 01:56 PM

          great reviews chelle :)

          #6 Jen5372

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            Posted 13 August 2008 - 06:50 PM

            Awww I bet you were there when i was-I just got home today-we were there from the 5th til wel today! LOL

            We stayed at bellagio and the Wynn....and now I can say Ive stayed at sall the 4-5 start hotels and the Wynn blows them all away!! i thought Bellagio was the best-well not after the Wynn!! WOWZA!! Ill be posting pics in my wedding review soon!!

            #7 Rachelle E.

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              Posted 14 August 2008 - 07:56 PM

              Congrats!! We were definitely there at the same time! I was there the 3-8th! Can't wait to read all about the Wynn! We actually tried to get a room there that extra night when we were stranded but they didn't have one available. :-( It's on our list for next time for sure!

              #8 Andi


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                Posted 16 August 2008 - 09:36 AM

                Thanks for the review! FI and I actually just booked a weekend trip to Vegas for next month and we will be staying at Manadalay Bay too! Perfect timing!

                #9 Jen5372

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                  Posted 17 August 2008 - 07:05 PM

                  I cant wait to go back to Vegas-I was almost in tears leaving. It was the best days of my life! I could really move there!

                  #10 atlcatlover

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                    Posted 18 August 2008 - 12:53 PM

                    Thanks for all the great reviews.

                    And congrats jen! Looking forward to the pics, and your review of the Wynn since that is where we are getting married!

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