In the past few months, I’ve been staying in some of the fantastic Las Vegas casino-hotels. It took some time to feel comfortable staying in hotels again but I’ve modified my visits for the current environment. That means less time hanging out drinking and gambling. There will also be more time in the hotel rooms. You may remember my working holiday at Delano last year. This year, I’ve already stayed in two different Las Vegas casino resorts. In fact, I’m writing this in a hotel room with a view of the Bellagio.
This year I’ve stayed in nicer hotels since I’m spending more time in the room than usual. I’m also working a good amount of the time so my scheduling neurosis is in high gear. It’s no coincidence that I have ridiculous plans for trips heading out to Las Vegas.
Now that I live in Las Vegas, things are slightly different today than when I lived on the east coast. I don’t have to plan for a car service/parking or flight anymore. Instead, I have to make sure parking is available and that the room has fast wifi.
The rest of the plan is the same and might be helpful for anyone visiting Las Vegas as coronavirus continues to linger.
I hate packing so I pack pieces in advance and create a pack list. For example, I have separate travel chargers for my devices. Those are packed in advance. Now that I live in Las Vegas I pack a few snacks. Not only are my raw cashews and almonds healthier than a candy bar and they save a few bucks. I toss ¾ cup of the treats in ziplock bags prior to packing. This can be done in advance.
All of my clothes are on hangers so that’s always quick and painless since I create a grid of what I want to wear. I do laundry just before leaving and pack some clothes as soon as they’re out of the dryer. This is a bit easier now since I’m typically eating in the room and there are no clubs or fancy restaurants in my plans.
Planning the pack and pre-packing sounds insane but when it comes to the final pack, I’m done in 10 minutes since everything is prepared. This saves the stress of packing last minute and possibly forgetting something.
Today I was packed in just about three minutes since many of the pieces were prepared in advance.
I don’t mind eating in a restaurant since all seem to be taking proper coronavirus precautions. However, I find myself eating in the room when I’m at a casino for a couple of days. Not all restaurants are operating with normal hours so I like to prepare.
I check casino websites to see if there are different hours than usual. I also check if there are to-go orders available. Many casinos are offering more grab and go options than ever. I’m also checking if Happy Hour deals are still on in case I’m in the mood for a midday drink and/or snack.
I had specific plans on where to get food on this visit to the Cosmopolitan. I planned breakfast one morning outside at Mon Ami Gabi across the street at Paris. My other breakfast was a choice between District Donuts and Eggslut.
I repeated this plan for all meals. Not all plans are so specific but knowing the available options creates less stress.
I chose midweek casino visits because I don’t want to be around large crowds. The lack of people around made me feel a little more comfortable spending time in the casino.
I like to drink when I play table games. Sadly, I haven’t played any table games since coronavirus hit Las Vegas.
My choice not to play tables has less to do with other people than drinking. I hate pulling my mask down every time I want to take a sip. This is petty but I did it once and didn’t like it. It’s my visit and I’m going to enjoy it on my terms.
There are still gambling options without table games. I don’t tend to drink when I play machine games so I banged around a few video poker and slot machines. The experience is pretty normal for me.
I miss the tables but not as much as I expected.
I don’t like shows so it’s not a big deal that most are closed. My entertainment is taking place mostly in hotel rooms. No, I didn’t order in entertainment advertised on the side of a vehicle on the Vegas Strip.
I saved up podcasts for my ears and watched sports most of the time.
Do research on your hotel if you plan on streaming. The wifi at Delano and Cosmopolitan was fast and worked nicely. On the other hand, the wifi at Circa was very slow. Circa offers higher speed wifi for an additional $5 but I decided not to use it. The slow speed could have been an issue but I spent most of my time working in the room or drinking at one of the bars.
As always, check TravelVegas.com for the latest deals and discounts on everything Vegas.
Marc Meltzer covers Las Vegas, gaming and men’s lifestyle for various outlets. Check out his blog at Edge Vegas.
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