Tag Archives: bellagio

Las Vegas Trip Report: Is That a Rat?

Good morning from the Bellagio hotel!  When we last left off, I was having an issue with redeeming my free play reward from MyVegas.  I figured I could go try again this morning.

I stopped for some photos of the Bellagio conservatory.  One poor bear was getting brain surgery.

bellagio las vegas conservatory christmas brain surgery bear

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Bellagio Las Vegas Christmas conservatory bellagio las vegas christmas conservatory north pole bellagio conservatory christmas las vegas Bellagio Las Vegas conservatory Christmas Bellagio Las Vegas conservatory Christmas bears

When I finally make it to the Player’s Club booth, the same woman who denied me last night, was behind the counter again!  How is this even possible?  So I kind of stood off to the side, playing with my phone, until someone else was free.  I was able to get the free play and two buffets loaded.  With the holiday black outs, today is the only day of my entire trip the Bellagio buffet reward is available to  use.

I then head over to the buffet.  There is a woman on line behind me, who wants to be on line in front of me.  Nope.  We had both paid and were waiting to be seated.  She then walked a couple of feet into the buffet and began screaming to someone in Chinese.  That person then came over, took this woman’s water bottle, got it filled from inside the buffet and brought it back out to her.  What the hell.  You can’t do that.  And no one is stopping her.

I am next in line to be seated.  This woman is just dying to be next in line. Her entire life is now focused on the one goal of being next in line at the Bellagio buffet.  She is trying many methods, most of which involve physically pushing me out of her way.  Not today, lady.  I will be the victor.
I am then called to be seated.  Oh hey, look!  I am seated next to the woman who gave the filled bottle of water to the woman who…wait a second, what is going on here?  WHY IS THIS WOMAN SITTING WITH ME.  That’s right.  The woman who was behind me, who wanted nothing more in life to be in front of me, is now sitting across from me at my table.  What the fucking fuck is this?  I didn’t even have time to think before my mouth acted on it’s own “NO. NO NO NO NO NO.  NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO.” I also realized I was wagging my finger at her.  The server seemed completely confused as to how this woman got there.  “She is not with me.”   The life’s goal woman acts as if  this is not happening.  She runs away to get food as the server and I just stand there absolutely dumbfounded.  I tell  the server I will happily move to a new table, as this one is next to this woman’s friends and I don’t want to be anywhere near these people.  She tells me no, it is okay, she will move them.

As this drama kept unfolding, I become convinced that this woman did not pay.  Her and her buddies are now appearing at different tables in the buffet.  I am pretty much an “in and out” type of buffet diner so I was done before most people were getting started.  As I am on my way out, a man came to get a server to say “They are over there now.” I watch the server as she bolts towards a table so far away, where this party has now taken up residency.  I don’t know what the outcome was because I left.

I want to use my $25 free play on Cleopatra Keno.  Bellagio for whatever reason (probably a mistake) has the second highest paytable for Cleopatra Keno that I have seen in Vegas.  (First is Rainbow casino in Henderson.)   I love this game, I love this machine.  And there is someone on it.  I have to play on the other side of the bank, which I am fine with.  For some reason THIS machine plays a brief trumpeting fan fare intro when you hit the bonus and I love that.

I played for-EVER here.  I kept doing that thing where you have to get up and cash out because every $20 bill in your wallet has been doubled and you are out of cash.  In some cases they were tripled and twice I had cashed out at $100.

On my last cash out before I had to go get more cash, the paper ran out or jammed or something.  The machines starts beeping and calling for an attendant.  I cash out and come back, still not fixed.  I am not playing any machine other than this one so I wait. When the attendant comes over, he asks me how much he owes me.  No, it paid me…er no wait, it didn’t and you owe me $3000.  I am sure I made his day with this hilarious joke that I am sure he has never heard before!

Next thing you know, my full cigarette pack is empty.  I look at my phone and I have been sitting at this machine for six hours.  Oops?

I go to the room and shower, because I didn’t earlier because I had not been planning to be out that long.  On my way to my room, I pass a door that has placed this sign on their doorknob.  Bellagio guests are fancy ya know.

eat a dick

After showering, I go back to the Bellagio buffet for dinner.  This time the line is insane. It is 7:00 and I need to be out of here by 8:30 to go see Mystere at Treasure Island.  After half an hour I begin to realize that I am not going to get inside before 8:30.  i stick it out though because today is the only day I can use this MyVegas reward as it is blacked out for the holiday starting tomorrow.

Luckily, someone comes and pulls anyone off the line who is willing to be seated at the bar.  That would be me!

There is a slight issue with paying for the meal.  The bartender first mistakes that I am with the people next to me and charges them for me.  Then he does not know how to run a MyVegas reward.  He goes up to the register and I wait for him to come back.  If anything goes wrong, you can be damned sure I am not paying money for this buffet.  It costs $39.99 with tax.  Only when he is back do I go and get food.

I am in a rush because I have to leave so I do not gorge.  I hurry up, get out and begin walking to Treasure Island.

I wish I could show you fabulous photos of the Strip from my walk.  But I did not bring my camera on this trip.   A good blogger would have.  But after spending a month in Nepal/India with this thing wrapped around my neck, choking me, only to then discover there is a crack on the (insert terminology for that thingy across from the mirror on the inside) that made a mark on all my photos, I am over it.  I hate my camera.  It will be awhile before I can stand to look at it again.

I do have a couple though.  You can barely tell Casino Royale exists any longer.

white castle las vegas strip treasure island las vegas treasure island las vegas pirate ship

As I am walking, I spot movement on a ledge near the fountains outside Caesars Forum Shops.  Oh fucking FUCK it is a rat.  That is a rat.  MOTHER FUCKER THAT IS A RAT.  I try to take a photo of it, which is difficult as I am shaking with fear.  I move (not really) closer to it.  Between me and the rat is maybe five feet.  Behind me is about 879423746237 feet of open space.  So everyone walking by has to ignore that wide open space, to wedge themselves between me and my rat.  This scares him and he bolts into the bushes.

(Insert Rat Pack jokes here.)

I do find it amusing that this rat was hanging out at Caesars.  If you are familiar with social media accounts that are aimed at Las Vegas addicts, you have no doubt seen the vast amount of people who love to cut down others who do not have as much money as them and tend to take trips that are more bargain friendly.  It disgusts me that this is socially acceptable.  That cutting down people about this is totally fine, but calling someone an asshole for cutting people down will get you yelled at.  Well guess what?  This is my blog so I can tell you:  If you cut people down for staying at any hotel that you feel you are too good for, you are an asshole.

There are hotels in Vegas that are absolutely fine, but are not five star hotels.  People love referring to these places as “dumps” and going on about how the rooms are filled with mythical roaches and rats.  I know they think it makes them look like a better person because MONEY.  But to me, it just makes me sad to see someone who puts so much value on money.

A three star hotel in Las Vegas is not a dump.  This hotel in Tibet is a dump:

Dege China disgusting bathroomI would not trade all the crappy, filthy hostels I have stayed at in the world if it came with giving up my life experience.  Including the experience of seeing this bathroom, saying “nope” and high tailing it to a new hotel.

So the next time someone tells you that your perfectly fine hotel in Vegas is a shit hole and “if you cannot afford a better hotel, you should rethink going to Las Vegas”, feel free to let them know that their precious Caesars is housing rats out front.

<end rant>

I got to Treasure Island just in time to get on the line that I could not get on because it never ended. It literally did not end.  It was snaked all through the casino.  I kept trying to find the end, but the end kept growing before I could get there.  I would see it, walk towards it, more people would enter it, and I would have to keep walking.   Finally when I get on it, we move.  Then someone tries to cut the woman in front of me.  She turns to me, makes a face and motions to them.  Don’t worry, I’ll take care of this.  “YOU KNOW THERE IS A LINE RIGHT?” as the offenders skulk off without even pretending that they didn’t notice that the 23894732847 people lined up were doing so because LINE.

If you have seen Mystere, you know to get there on time.  If you have not, just trust me on this.   My section is in the furthest section on the left if you are facing the stage.  My seat is the first seat on the left in the row.  I am as far to the left as I can possibly be.  The rest of the section seems to have been ticketed on the right side of the section.  So I am all alone over here, surrounded by so many empty seats.  An soon as the show starts, an usher beings yelling to me that I can move if I want to.  Given that I am so obviously isolated from the rest of the audience, and the fact that the usher is yelling during the show, makes me first think I am unknowingly about to be made a part of the show.  So I stay put for a few minutes before moving.  All clear, whew.

Mystere is by far my favorite Cirque du Soleil show.  I love this show so much.  I love the choreography and the baby!  Oh how I love the baby.  I was laughing so hard I had tears pouring down my face.

After the show, I played a bit of Cleopatra Keno at Treasure Island.  I had a lot of fun, but had no big wins.  Eventually I got up and left, stopping at CVS for water, paying in all change.  Yet I still have fifty pounds worth of change left.

Back to the room and in bed by 2:00 am.

Gambling Day: + $260
Gambling Trip: + $490
Miscellaneous: (tips, water): $11
Comps used: Nope
Coupons: Nope
Freebies: $65-ish? on two Bellagio buffets. I am not sure of the cost after tax on breakfast, $25 free play at Bellagio.  These were all MyVegas rewards.

My itinerary that gambling got in the way of:

Monday, December 19, 2016
Breakfast: Bellagio, 7-11 MyVegas
Palace Station t-shirt MyVegas/Stations 10 slots/6x VP
Lucky Dragon
Lunch:
Dinner:
Bellagio, 3-10 MyVegas
Mystere 9:30
El Cortez 10x Buffalo 10-midnight

Las Vegas Trip Report: I’m Moving to the Bellagio!

Good morning from the wonderful Orleans hotel and casino, located in fabulous Las Vegas.  If you are just joining us, you may want to start at the beginning of this report, which you can find here.

I slept with the bathroom door closed, which meant the bathroom window did not wake me up by screaming “LOOK AT ME!  THE SUN IS OUT!”

I had intended to get up early, go use a MyVegas reward for breakfast, and then come back and check out.  Instead, I gambled.

I stopped at Java Vegas, where the line was so very long.  GIVE. ME. MY. COFFEE. PLEASE.

I gambled around Orleans and did not win anything because only winners win and I am a loser.  I said a last goodbye to all my favorite machines and went upstairs to grab my stuff.

I looked at my bill on the television and I owed $1.87.  I went and counted out $1.87 in change to pay at the front desk.  That is a thing I have noticed while in Vegas, the accumulation of change.   Once I started getting comped everywhere, I stopped using cash daily.   So all that change you collect when you play slots and cash out with change, just grows and grows.  I used to use it to pay change on bills at restaurants, gift shops, etc.  Now I just use my slot card and watch as my wallet grows fatter in the wrong compartment.

As I get ready to hand over my $1.87, the guy at the front desk asks if I want to use my points to pay for the charge.  YES.  Oops.  I guess I will use this change to pay for the bus.

I go outside and walk to the bus stop.  You walk the entire parking lot, which is ginormous.  Then you cross Arville, which is easy peasy.  Then you cross Tropicana, which takes forever.  And of course, during the time you are waiting for the light to say “walk” your bus comes and leaves while you just stand there on the wrong side of the street, watching it pull away without you.

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And the bus, OH THE BUS.  Last year, my “act like it isn’t happening” meter broke and I just about snapped about the bus system in Las Vegas.  I got so tired of the bus being “right across the street” and having to walk one mile to get there.  The most infuriating example I can give of this is the bus stop outside Longhorn.  The bus going towards downtown is right across the street.  But the street is Boulder Highway.  And once you get across this, which can take about ten minutes depending on how long you have to wait for the light, the stop is then nowhere near the corner. And I promise you, as you are talking this insanely long walk from the corner where you crossed, to the actual stop, a bus will pass and you will curse up a storm.  Why is the bus stop nowhere near the corner!??

But today, Las Vegas has outdone itself in public transit mishaps.  Oh yes, yes you did.

I take the bus to the Strip. I am going to Excalibur.  The bus does not stop on this side of the Strip, it stops on the opposite side.  Why not stop at both?  Because HATE.

I get off the bus at Tropicana, nowhere near the corner.  I then attempt to take the pedestrian bridge across the Strip to get back to Excalibur.  Except it is closed off.  I do not mean the escalator was not running.  I mean the walkway to the pedestrian bridge from Tropicana was completely fenced off.  I could see guys working on the bridge, but for the life of me, I could not figure out any way to possibly get there.  I decided maybe they got onto it from the Excalibur side.

So now for me to get “right across the street” from where I am, I have to: Take an elevator up a different pedestrian bridge.  Walk around the side of MGM to their pedestrian bridge.  See the escalator there is out of order, because of course.  Wait for the elevator for a few minutes before a guy in a Spiderman costume comes and tells me that it is not working.  Then I carry my luggage (because oh yeah, I had checked out of Orleans and had luggage with me) up the steps.  Cross the pedestrian bridge.  Walk into New York, New York.  Veer all around idiot tourists who love to just suddenly stop walking without any concern that people may be behind them.  Say “excuse me” about seven times to people who are so engrossed in their phones that they do not realize they are blocking the entire walkway.  I make it outside, cross another pedestrian bridge.  Then once I hit Excalibur’s property line, I am on another bridge, and a very long hallway, and then finally, I am at my destination.  I don’t know exactly how long this all took.  It had to take at least twenty minutes.  To get to where was literally right across the street from where I started.  YAY.

I also noted that Excalbur removed the banner advertisement for Dick’s Last Resort in the window that used to belong to the wizard.  I hope they bring the wizard back!

excalibur-las-vegas

I check my bag with the bell desk, get my MyVegas buffet reward added to my card and play a bit before eating.

excalibur-vegas-four-of-a-kind-sixes

Then I get to the buffet.  There are zero people on the line, which is weird.  The buffet normally comes to $21.78. but for me, it is free because I am using a MyVegas reward.  Score.

The Excalibur buffet has self serve drinks and they have the holy grail of drinks, Sobe Lifewater.  They also have red velvet pancakes.  This place has certainly improved since the last time I was here fifteen years ago.

On my way out, I spotted this store.  I exhibited self control by not purchasing anything but promised to be back later in my trip to purchase everything.  This is an excellent way to control your spending in Vegas.  Every time you want something, do not buy it that second.  Instead, tell yourself you will come back.  You will never come back.  Everything that is “right there” in Vegas takes a minimum of eleventy billion years to walk to.  You will never, ever come back.

pug-bags-excalibur-las-vegas

On my way back out, I play some more and win some more.  I always have to play the machines with the annoying glare.  I don’t know why.

excalibur-las-vegas-fourf-of-a-kind-jacks excalibur-las-vegas-four-of-a-kind-eights

Now it is time to make our way to Bellagio.  I walk because I am from New York and in New York, we walk.  I only took a couple of photos.  I didn’t bring my camera on this trip.  I have grown to hate my camera.  I hate carrying it, it is so heavy.  I hate that I will never find the most perfect bag to carry it in.  And as I discovered after taking 2389438924 photos in Nepal and India, it has a tiny crack in the mirror so all photos have a scratch mark on them.  So I decided to do phone only for this trip.  And I loved it.

new-york-new-york-hersheys-las-vegas

While walking, I pass this.  What is this?  It is where New York, New York ends. What used to be there?  How is it possible that this is taking up so much space on the Strip and I have no clue what used to be there?

las-vegas-strip

One thing I learned on my walk is that Cosmopolitan now has a Starbucks.  Upgrade!

I get to Bellagio and check in.  I am here on a two night reward from playing MyVegas.  The cost of this room had I paid for it, would be $139/night + tax = $155.68 per night.  So for two nights, my pre-resort fee cost would be $331.36. Most people would put this amount in the list of money they saved by playing the game.  I do not as I would not be paying $311.36 to stay here at all ever.  If anything, this reward is costing me $71.68 because if not for the reward, I would not be paying the resort fee.  If I sound like I am being negative about this, I really don’t intend to.  Of course I am willing to pay $71.68 to stay at the Bellagio.  I just don’t consider it a savings if I am not actually saving anything.  A really cool freebie, yes. A savings, nope.

While I was checking in, I fantasized about beating the life out of these two horrible bitches who were screaming at a manager.  It seems their room was not ready when they tried to check in.  So they did the check in process, and were told they would receive a text when they could come back and pick up their keys.  They had gotten the text, but their names were not on the room.  One of the two women’s  husband had made the reservation.  He had done the check in, given his wife’s number for the text.  But he neglected to put his wife on the actual room.  So she could not pick up the keys.  Instead of being mad at him for being an asshole, they just kept screaming at the manager.  As I was walking away with my keys, the husband showed up and now the women were demanding compensation for their horrible experience and now ruined trip.  That manager deserves a medal for not calling the police and having them escorted out.

I am put in a room at the top of the spa tower.  My view was pretty much only the sun glaring into the window.  The spa tower is a million miles away from the casino, but I am also right near the tram to Aria.  This is a good thing because I can go there to smoke without having to go to the casino.  Bellagio only has one floor for smokers and there was no room for me there.

The Bellagio may be the most famous hotel in all of Las Vegas.   I just don’t get it. Maybe if I had a fountain view or something, but there really wasn’t anything special about my room.  It was just a room.  A very nice room, yes.  But just a room.

bellagio-las-vegas-spa-room-tower bellagio-las-vegas-spa-tower-room bellagio-las-vegas-spa-tower-room-soaking-tub bellagio-las-vegas-spa-tower-shower

bellagio-las-vegasI did laundry in the sink because obviously this is the first thing I would do in a five star hotel.  Then I went out.  I went “right across the street”, meaning I left the spa tower, walked a million miles to the casino, then through the enormous casino, out the casino and down another very long hallway, to a pedestrian bridge, down an escalator and bam!   I am now right across the street!

I stopped at the new Starbucks at Ballys.  This place is enormous so only two people were working.  One at the register, one making drinks.

I then went to Cromwell to visit the Ultimate X video poker machine that was so nice to me last year.  Of course, they moved the machines around.  I think the one that was my machine, is now occupied by some guy who is playing ten play quarters.  If someone has to be playing my baby, I am consoled by knowing he is at least treating her well.

I sit down to play at a nickel SuperTimes Pay machine.  I realize I do not have my player’s card with me.  I get up and go get a new one.  Sit back down.  Now I realize I did not grab a pack of cigarettes before I left and my pack only has three cigarettes in it.  I am not going to buy cigarettes.  I am still smoking cigarettes I bought at the duty free shop in the Delhi airport on the way back from India.

So I play and lose $40 and decide to go back “home” to the Bellagio.  I stop there and go to the player’s club to get my $25 free play reward from MyVegas loaded on my card. I am told I cannot do this as I am there on a MyVegas room reward.  Yes I can.  I am told the rules have changed and you can no longer do this.  I ask when the rules changed and she tells em “Months ago.”  Nope.  But arguing is not going to get me anywhere.   I go online and verify that the rule has not changed, my free play is indeed good.  I agree to go back and try when this person is not there.  Except she is always there.  I guess I’ll try again tomorrow.

So I end up playing with cash.  My cash.  Which was only mine temporarily until the Bellagio Cleopatra Keno informed me it was her cash.  So I gave it to her and slumped away defeated.

I was in my room and in bed by 11:00.

Daily totals:

Gambling Day: – 200
Gambling Trip: + $230
Miscellaneous: (tips, coffee, bus, trip to CVS): $19.11
Comps used: $1.87 for the room charge at Orleans
Coupons: Nope

Freebies: $353.23 for my two night stay at Bellagio, and my brunch buffet at Excalibur.  These were MyVegas rewards

My itinerary is hilarious:

Sunday, December 18, 2016
Breakfast: Excalibur 7-3 MyVegas
Check into Bellagio
Bellagio $25 free play MyVegas
Lunch:
Dinner:
Sunset Station 4-9 MyVegas / Sam’s Town 200 points ACG
Sam’s Town 15X Buffalo, 11x reels or 7x VP
115 bus to Longhorn play $10 get $5 ACG
Ellis Island play $5 free shirt ACG
Tuscany earn 300 $10 free play ACG
El Cortez 10x buffalo 10-midnight
SLS 10x points

Best Las Vegas Hotel Room Vs. Worst Las Vegas Hotel Room

I have been to Las Vegas more times than I have been anywhere else in the world.  I don’t keep a running count, but if you held a gun to my  head and made me answer, I would yell out “THIRTY!  DON’T SHOOT!”

I am in the process of a very intense project of uploading so much Vegas stuff on here.  But in the meantime, I will be doing some shorter posts.

Today, we will visit the top best and bottom worst rooms I have stayed in.   Please keep in mind, I am not stating these are the best and worst in the entire city.  Just out of what I personally have experienced.

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I am going to start with the best.  The Bellagio Penthouse suite.  Before my mother passed away, I would take her to Las Vegas once a year.  As it became clear that these trips would soon be ending as her cancer had reached the point where she was no longer going to be able to travel, I decided that I would make her last trip ever to Las Vegas the best one ever.   I booked a night in a Bellagio Penthouse Suite.

The room itself was fancy schmancy.  It had a living room, dining room, wet bar, three bathrooms (one guest, one his and one hers)

bellagio penthouse suite, las vegas, nevadabellagio penthouse suite living room - las vegas, nevadabellagio penthouse suite, las vegas, nevadabellagio penthouse suite dining roombellagio penthouse suite, las vegas, nevadabellagio penthouse suite, las vegas, nevadabellagio bed

But none of this mattered because of the view.  The view was incredible.  Note all the construction that was going on at the time that is now long finished.

bellagio penthouse suite view, las vegas, nevadabellagio penthouse suite room view, las vegas, nevadabellagio penthouse suite room view, las vegas, nevadabellagio penthouse suite view, las vegas, nevadabellagio penthouse suite view, las vegas, nevada

Then there was of course, the fountain view.  Oh except that of course, there is no fountain show going on because I spent more than one month’s rent on a Bellagio Penthouse suite and it was too windy outside for the fountain show to be running.   I am not even kidding.

bellagio penthouse suite room view, las vegas, nevada

My mother and I went outside and across the street and looked up at the Bellagio and picked out our room windows.  She got such a kick out of looking up at this beautiful building and being able to say “I am staying up there!”.  Even now, whenever I go back to Vegas, I always stop and stare at our room and think about that and I get all teared up missing my mother.

Later on at night, the wind died down and we were able to watch some fountain shows from our living room window.

bellagio penthouse suite view of fountains at night, las vegas, nevadaSigh.

Now on the opposite end, let’s talk about the worst Las Vegas hotel I have ever slept in. Binions.  At present time, Binions is not operating at a hotel at all.  But when they were, there were two towers.  One was an actual tower, and the other is what I like to refer to as The Creepy Tower.  The Creepy Tower was what was left over from the old rooms when the hotel originally opened as The Mint back in 1957.  These rooms were accessible via an elevator in the middle of the casino, that you would never even notice unless you were specifically looking for it.  Maximum capacity for this elevator I believe was three people.

When I walked into the room, the first thing that crossed my mind was the episode of Gilmore Girls where Lorelai and Rory spend the night at The Cheshire Cat.  The room was so busy and it seemed like every inch was covered in drapes.

(Don’t you hate it when people take hotel room photos with their stuff all over the place?  I used to do that.  I apologize and have since learned the error of my ways)

binions horseshoe - drapes of death - las vegas, nevadabinions hoseshoe - drapes much - las vegas, nevada

Adding to the ambiance of this room were the windows.  When Fremont Street stopped being an actual street, and turned into the Fremont Street Experience, these windows were permanently sealed and painted black to block out the light show.

binions horseshoe las vegas nevada

Even the shower curtain looked  like drapes.

binions horseshoe, drapelike shower - las vegas, nevada

What made this room even worse (yes, there is an “even worse” here) is that as I lay in bed, unable to sleep as I feared these drapes would choke me to death, the air conditioner was partially shielded by…drapes.  The vents were stuck in the up position so I could not get the air to flow into the room.  As the trip report I wrote to go along with these pictures says, that was actually a blessing in disguise since it meant I did not need to use a sheet or blanket to cover me.  The less of this room that touched, me, the better.

binions horseshoe - las vegas, nevada

Binions stopped operating as a hotel back in 2009.  I often wonder if these rooms are completely sealed off or if anyone regularly accesses them.  I picture a Stephen King-esque horror show going on behind these closed doors where the drapes have been growing continually for the past four years.

If you have a weirdo drape fetish and are drooling over the idea of staying here, maybe the hotel will reopen one day and you will get your wish.  Just be sure to pack light as this is the size of the closet.

binions shoe box closet, las vegas, nevada