SLS Las Vegas just announced that they will be opening a week earlier then schedule. Opening date for SLS Las Vegas is now August 23rd. The hotel is being built using the bones of the Sahara which closed in 2011. The hotel towers remain in tact but will be renovated. The same can’t be said for the casino, showroom and restaurants. That building was gutted and will have a new floor plan. Let’s look at what to expect from SLS Las Vegas when it opens later this summer.
SLS Las Vegas has three different hotel towers each with a different type of room. The Story Tower has the smallest rooms. These rooms start at just 325 square feet. That’s about as small as you’ll find on the Vegas strip. The design work in these rooms should make the rooms feel slightly larger. The World Tower will feature mid-sized rooms. These rooms will be as large as 400 square feet which is around the size of your average hotel room in Las Vegas. These rooms were designed by world famous French designer Philippe Starck. If you’re familiar with SLS hotels then you might feel most comfortable in the Lux Tower. This tower offers your more traditional SLS-style rooms. These are the largest rooms starting at 425 square feet.
If you’re looking to step up your vacation SLS Las Vegas will offer multiple types of suites from 600 square feet. Unlike many hotels in Las Vegas they will offer suites with two queen beds in one bedroom instead of just one king.
There are a lot free things to do in Las Vegas. A lot of the free things to do in Las Vegas are inside but there are still many things to do outside. Since it’s the beginning of summer we might as well head outside and enjoy the beautiful weather!
There are free things to do day and night on the Vegas Strip, in the mountains and in Downtown Vegas. The best part of these free activities is that they are completely free and fun for the whole family. Here are 12 of our favorite free things to do all across the Las Vegas valley.
Be Cliche – The “Welcome To Las Vegas” sign is iconic. It’s outside near Mandalay Bay and is a place that every tourist should stop by. Nothing says VEGAS! more than this sign.
Bellagio Fountains – The Bellagio Fountains are the most popular free attraction in Las Vegas. Enjoy a free show of the dancing waters every 15 – 30 minutes during the day and at night. There’s a different feeling to the shows when the sun goes down.
First Friday – Enjoy the art, music and culture of the Las Vegas arts community outdoors on the first Friday of every month. First Friday is a free event for singles and families to enjoy. Get weird.
Flamingo Wildlife Habitat – Head inside the casino and to the rear. Once you reach the section of the casino that’s farthest from the Vegas Strip you’ll see some of the most crisp landscaping that you can touch on the Vegas Strip. A short stroll and you’ll enter the free Wildlife Habitat at the Flamingo. This is one of the most serene areas on the Vegas Strip.
Last year MGM Resorts announced the beginning of “The Park”. The development includes renovating the Monte Carlo and New York-New York restaurant offerings and renovating the area between the two hotels. When complete this Park concept will go from the Vegas Strip to behind each hotel where there will be an arena. The 20,000-seat arena is set to break ground later this year but MGM has revealed more of what The Park will offer.
When it opens in 2016 in conjunction with the arena, The Park will create an immersive outdoor destination spanning more than eight acres. Both New York-New York and Monte Carlo will transform their park-facing facades with a series of unique indoor/outdoor dining and entertainment venues, cultivating a vibrant patio culture that encompasses The Park’s landscaped spaces.
To create a harmonious feel between resorts, Rue de Monte Carlo, the adjacent street providing access from Las Vegas Boulevard, will be realigned as a gently curving, tree-lined parkway: a grand approach to the new arena. New cobblestone walkways in front of New York-New York and Monte Carlo will lead guests into The Park from both directions and blend seamlessly with the mosaic tile patterns that canvas the space.
The Park hasn’t announced all of its retail outlets just yet but they have offered a look into the bars and restaurants coming to Las Vegas in the next year or two.
You can find a lot of free and cheap things to do in Las Vegas yourself just by visiting Las Vegas and finding new discounts during your travels. It happens every day and thankfully people share those tips. You can also read awesome blogs like this one if you’re not in Las Vegas very often. We like to share. If you have time and like to play with the google, as my mom would say, you can search different terms and find a few gems hidden deep in the interweb. Today I believe I found a money saving tip that few people think about when visiting Las Vegas.
One of the top tips I often recommend to people looking to visit Las Vegas is to travel when it’s less busy. Mid-week and off-season are my personal favorite times to vacation in Vegas. To this day my friends from all different parts of the country come to Vegas the week before Christmas. It’s easy to get time off of work and it’s crazy cheap in Vegas. Now, if I had a friend with a birthday during that week we could get a free breakfast at Denny’s in Downtown Vegas, pizza pie from Grimaldi’s at The Palazzo and free birthday cake at Yolie’s Brazilian Steakhouse on Paradise.
THEhotel at Mandalay Bay was closed earlier this year for renovations. Renovations to the hotel tower formerly known as THEhotel will be drastic as the space will become Delano Las Vegas and operate as a hotel within a hotel. Opening this Fall, Delano Las Vegas will function similar to Four Season at Mandalay Bay. There will be separate check-in, valet, entrance and restaurants that you can access from Mandalay Bay but you’ll be in a separate environment.
The Delano Las Vegas will be the newest outpost for the luxury boutique hotel originally based in Miami, FL simply known as Delano South Beach. Delano is owned by Morgans Hotel Group which also operates Light Group which runs Light Nightclub. Not coincidentally, both the nightclub and hotel will use the same entrance near the parking garage end of Mandalay Bay. Now that you know the background of Delano Las Vegas, let’s look at what it will offer.
1. Play MyVegas – Earn a few complimentary items ranging from hotel rooms to dinners from this Facebook game.
2. Enjoy Free Activities on the Vegas Strip – Walk up and down the Vegas strip. There are plenty of freebies all the way from Wynn to Mandalay Bay.
3. Leave The Vegas Strip – The Vegas Strip is made for tourists and besides the free activities there’s a upcharge for everything. Besides prices being lower there are plenty of free activities off the strip.
4. Use Free Or Cheap ATM’s – Not everyone walks around with dollar bills falling out of their pockets. Save a few bucks each time you need money by using these ATM’s.
5. Spend Less Than $20 On Activities – Here are 15 fun things to do in Vegas under $20. Spending thrifty isn’t cheap it’s smart.
6. Maximize Comps – Your comps will go farther if you use them in less luxurious hotels. Compare comps and get the best value for your time. A comp dollar will get you more in a mid-range hotel rather than a luxury hotel.
7. Go On An Art Tour - There are free art exhibits all over Las Vegas. This is a great way to spend a day without spending any money. It’s also a great way to beat the heat in the summer.
8. Take The Road Less Traveled – Las Vegas is bigger than anyone who doesn’t live here realizes. There are lots of cheap things to do when you explore the outer limits of Vegas.
9. Make Resort Fees Work For You – These fees are added on to your reservation on top of your nightly bill. At least the hotels offer something in return. Make use of those “benefits”.
10. Be Early And Save Money – Happy hour is a great way to save money on dinner and drinks in Las Vegas. See an early show instead of the more expensive prime time shows.
We all want something for nothing or at least we don’t want to pay too much. When you visit Las Vegas you can depend on your nice smile and good looks and ask the desk agent for a free upgrade to the hotel room you reserved or you can stack the deck. Depending on the day both can work. However, stacking the deck will work more often. The $20 trick in Las Vegas is real and still works. What is the $20 trick? Glad you asked.
In brief the $20 trick is simply sliding the desk agent $20 in hopes of getting an upgrade to the hotel room that you’ve already reserved. Here’s how it works: When you check into a hotel place a $20 bill with your credit card and drivers license when prompted by the desk agent. When you hand the “sandwich” over with your $20 just ask “Do you have any complimentary upgrades available?”. That’s it.
The $20 trick works and so does the $50 trick and $100 trick. If you’re staying for a weekend you probably want to stick to $20. If you’re staying for a week you may want to offer more. Ultimately the $20 trick will save you money on a nicer hotel room in Las Vegas. If the hotel is booked solid and can’t upgrade you or the front desk clerk isn’t interested in your $20 this won’t work. If the desk agent can’t help you they’ll usually return your $20. These are tricks – not guarantees – so there’s some risk that you might lose your investment. Las Vegas is a gambling town and you should never risk more than you can afford to lose.
The Linq opening for business is probably the biggest deal on the Vegas Strip right now. There are restaurants, bars, concert venues and the world tallest observation wheel. There’s a lot to do but it seems as if people don’t have much of an idea of what it is beyond “that place with the big ferris wheel.” It’s an entirely new concept to the Vegas Strip so it’s understandable that it will take some time getting used to it. Well, it looks as though the confusion will continue throughout this year and into 2015.
Right now there are two options when telling people to find The Linq. 1) It’s across the street from Caesars Palace. 2) It’s in between Flamingo and The Quad. There have been rumors discussed that the latter reference will be changing in a few ways. Caesars Entertainment is the company that owns and operates both The Linq and The Quad. Vital Vegas noticed something that makes me think that those rumors may be true. In a recent post they noticed that every Caesars hotel was represented in a mural at the High Roller – except for The Quad.
Where there’s smoke there’s usually fire and rumors continue to spread that Caesars is considering a name change for The Quad. The Quad name isn’t even two years old and most people are just getting used to it. There are some that still call The Quad by its previous name, Imperial Palace. Others call it The Linq hotel.
The newest casino and hotel, The Cromwell, opens this week. You may be familiar with area The Cromwell was built as it sits on the same plot of land where Barbary Coast and Bill’s Gambling Hall once stood. While Barbary Coast and Bill’s were considered small casino-hotels, The Cromwell considers itself a boutique hotel. It’s probably more accurate to call The Cromwell a boutique party hotel and casino. Here’s a look at what The Cromwell offers.
Each of the 188 hotel rooms features luxurious accommodations in an intimate, Parisian-inspired atmosphere. Whether it’s the hardwood floors, plush furnishings or romantic lighting, each room gives guests a glamorous experience. The hotel’s blend of modern and vintage design is another unique element. Exclusive amenities include hallway coffee and tea service, steam showers and Muk bath products.
The casino will be small but practical. The 40,000 square foot casino will feature 66 table games including blackjack, craps, mini baccarat and Pai Gow poker and 440 slot machines. There will be two small high limits rooms of three tables each. One of the high limits rooms, The Abbey, will only be available for players that reserve it. There won’t be a poker room or sports book. Sports bettors can use a sports betting kiosk or head next door to Flamingo.
There’s only one formal restaurant at The Cromwell but it’s a doozy. It will be Giada De Laurentiis’ first and only restaurant. The restaurant is simply called Giada and will feature Italian cuisine with light and refreshing, Californian influences. Don’t expect a heavy bowl of spaghetti and meatballs here. Featured menu items include lemon spaghetti, chicken cacciatore, marsala herb chicken meatballs, rosemary focaccia and lemon flatbread and vegetable Bolognese rigatoni. There will also be family-style options, along with a vegan and gluten-free menu. Giada will be located on the second floor and should have some stunning views of the Vegas Strip.
Everything in Vegas is at your finger tips. Great service may seem like a lost art in many cities but that’s one of the things that separates Las Vegas from anywhere else in the world. It’s almost impossible to take a step in Vegas without someone offering to help you. The great service is a blessing but it can become costly. Tipping for great service isn’t mandatory but it’s a way to show appreciation for good service. Tipping is optional but if you are one who likes to tip for good service you might want to plan for it. Today’s tip isn’t about saving money, rather it’s a planning activity so you know what you’re in for.
When I go out in Vegas I’ll spend a few minutes at a bill changing machine or at the casino cage filling my pocket with singles and five dollar bills. I’m a tipper – scratch that, I’m an over-tipper. Great service goes a long way to a good time for me and I like to make sure that the people helping me have a good time are thanked. A dollar goes much longer today than a simple “Thank You”. I’m also an over-preparer and like to be ready for any situation that may come my way. That’s my prerogative, not everyone tips the way I do and that’s fine. To each their own.
Even if you receive a comp meal, limo ride or room from a hotel you’re still responsible for a tip. Generally, you should tip on what the full value of the item would normally be. If your meal would have cost $100 you should tip based on that amount. Tips are not included in the bill so just tip what you normally would. I usually throw a few extra bucks down for the tip if the service is great, which it often is. Same thing goes for a limo or car service provided by the hotel. You can easily find price approximations for rides. Not everyone tips the maids in a hotel but a few bucks can get you better service if you need something.
The Vegas Strip is beautiful. There’s nothing like it in the world. No matter how many neon signs Times Square put up in New York City there’s nothing better than the memories and beauty of the Vegas Strip. That said, there’s more to Vegas than the strip. We’ve given you some of the best places to eat and drink with a view of the Vegas Strip and now we’re going to take you off the Vegas Strip for some of the best views of Vegas off the strip.
You don’t have to be on the Vegas Strip to have a great view of it. Ghostbar at Palms Hotel and VooDoo Lounge at Rio All Suites Hotel have amazing view of the Vegas Strip from about a mile away. Ghostbar and VooDoo Lounge are both on Tropicana and sit at or near the tippy top their respective hotels. Each has ample views from large windows and both have decks where you can grab a drink with a great view of the entire Vegas Strip. Ghostbar’s deck even has a window looking down to the ground below. If you’re afraid of heights you might want to stay to the sides and away from this unique view. Besides, the best view are in front of you – not below.
When you head to Downtown Vegas you have two great views of the area with very different perspectives. Coincidentally both great views from Downtown Vegas are from steakhouses. Binion’s Steakhouse is at the top of the casino (the hotel is closed) and offers views of the Las Vegas valley above the Fremont Street Experience. Oscar’s Steakhouse sits on the outermost edge of the Plaza Hotel on the 6th floor with amazing views of Fremont Street and its experience. Both steakhouses are among the best in Downtown Vegas but the views are really what set each above the competition. Literally.
Some people visit Las Vegas for a crazy weekend of fun while others enjoy Las Vegas for a relaxing vacation destination and plan long trip. If you’ve been to Las Vegas often and are looking to break up a long trip you might want to take overnight trip to a nearby city. Traditional Vegas is great for most people but if you’ve been to Las Vegas often taking an overnight trip to nearby Mount Charleston, Laughlin, Primm or Pahrump is a great way to change things up. Here are some highlights and reasons to make an overnight trip during your Vegas vacation.
Mount Charleston is the closest of the “out of Vegas” overnight trip destinations. Mount Charleston is under an hour away from the Vegas strip but it feels as if you’re in another state. Temperatures here are often 20-30 degrees less than the Vegas Strip. In the winter you’ll find the mountains packed with snow. Yes, it’s amazing that you can go skiing or snowboarding so close to Vegas. During the summer the mountains are a nice respite to the desert heat. The beauty of the mountains is wonderful no matter what the season.
Laughlin, Nevada is probably the most popular day trip destination from Las Vegas. The drive through the desert is just under 2 hours long but goes pretty quickly since it’s so desolate. Laughlin is similar to Las Vegas because it has a designated strip where you’ll find most of the casinos. Despite the older feel of the casino decor many enjoy the fact that they’re right on the Colorado River. The more laid back nature of being on such a beautiful body of water goes right into the casino. If you have some time on your overnighter to Laughlin from Las Vegas make sure you stop in Searchlight, NV for a unique western experience.
There are never too many things to do in Vegas – especially when they’re free! There are a lot of things to do in Vegas for little money (here are 15 under $20) but if you have a rental car there are a lot of free things to do just a few minutes off the beaten path. Here are 6 free activities to enjoy off the Vegas Strip.
1. Pinball Hall Of Fame – The Pinball Hall Of Fame isn’t as much a museum as it is a play space with games throughout history for you to learn about and explore. The Pinball Hall Of Fame is 10,000 square feet made of of pinball and arcade games that you can play. There are games as “new” as Super Mario Brothers from 1985 along with wooden pinball games from the 1940’s. This is a fun way to spend a day off the beaten path. Any profits made from the games goes right back into the Hall of Fame.
2. Aquarium (Silverton) – The Aquarium at Silverton Casino is a few miles south of the Mandalay Bay Shark Reef exhibit and totally free to watch. It’s a cool place to visit when you’re hanging out in the casino but the daily fish feeding (1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.) and mermaid show (about every 30 minutes) offer some fun to the giant fish tank in the middle of the casino. The Shark Reef may be a mammoth exhibit but the Aquarium at Silverton is free, interactive and right on the casino floor.
One of the most annoying expenses that you’ll run into in Las Vegas are ATM fees. It’s almost as if the hotels, casinos, bars and clubs don’t want you to access your money with how high the fees can be. ATM fees in Las Vegas can be anywhere up to $9.99 at certain adult establishments. Casinos and hotels have a more respectable charge between $2 and $5.
Since most of us are locked into the hotels there’s little choice to get money at no charge if we need it. Thankfully there are a few options for lower cost ATM’s.
FREE ATM’s on the Vegas Strip
Free ATM’s on the Vegas Strip aren’t for everyone but if you use Bank of America you can find free ATM’s at the M&M’s Store and inside the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. BoA is one of the larger banks in America so this should be a good option for many people across the country.
Chase Bank customers will find Free ATM’s inside some of the CVS pharmacies on the Vegas Strip. You’ll find CVS in between Aria and Monte Carlo.
Wells Fargo bankers can find an ATM in between The Quad and Harrah’s on the Vegas Strip. Additionally, you’ll find a host of Wells Fargo ATM’s at McCarran Airport. If you’re a Wells Fargo customer it might be wise to grab money at the airport before heading to your hotel.
There are bookstores in Vegas, though you might not notice at first. Hotels know that reading is an activity often enjoyed in your room, and if you’re in your room, chances are, you’re not spending your money at the tables. Plenty of readers (and even writers) do live in the city, though, so there are bookshops around to cater to their needs. And, because this is Vegas, you can find an eclectic bookstore to suit almost every taste and personality. Whether you need a book to improve your poker game, a poolside potboiler, or an antique for your collection, one of these shops should fit the bill.
Bauman Rare Books
3327 Las Vegas Blvd S (702) 948-1617
Located in the Shoppes at the Palazzo, The 230 square-foot gallery at Bauman’s is practically a museum for books–but everything is for sale. While only serious collectors will want to shell out for the rare first editions of books like The Great Gatsby, you’ll still enjoy browsing among the thousands of centuries-old rarities and historical documents, many of them signed by notable people
Alternate Reality Comics
4110 S Maryland Pkwy (702) 736-3673
Comic book lovers will feel right at home in this shop. Owned and operated by the super-friendly Ralph and Kate, a couple of fans themselves, Alternate Reality dispels the stereotype that comic store clerks are surly and unhelpful. The collection of comics includes underground comics as well as the popular stuff, and the selection of graphic novels and ephemera is vast. The prices are pretty nice, too.
Great Wall Bookstore
4255 Spring Mountain Rd (702) 876-8875
This Chinatown shop isn’t your regular bookstore — in fact, it’s really more of an Asian-themed gift shop. If you read Chinese, though, there’s a huge selection of books, comics, and magazines in the language, and even books on learning Chinese. The store also has a selection of beautifully-bound blank books and journals.
Every week we try to give a specific idea of ways to save money in Las Vegas. Today we’re going to simplify that idea and look at 15 things to do on the Vegas Strip for under $20. One of the great features on Travel Vegas is the coupons and discounts section where you can find ways to save before you reach Las Vegas. Planning is great but if you’re already in Las Vegas you may not want to check your computer for deals. Here are 15 activities in Las Vegas that are always under $20. You don’t need a coupon or ticket purchased in advance. Just walk up and have a good time.
1. Welcome To Las Vegas Sign - This iconic symbol of Las Vegas is always available for you to see and snap pictures with. You don’t need to look for human celebrities as this sign has appeared in more movies than any person you’ll find..
2. Bellagio Fountain Show – This is the 2nd most famous free activity in Las Vegas. The show is different every 30 minutes (15 minutes on weekend). There are 4 different water shows set to different songs so you can easily spend 2 hours geeking out on the beauty. Like the “Welcome To Las Vegas Sign” this is a great place to take a picture of you and your loved ones.
3. Bellagio Conservatory - After the fountain show at Bellagio head inside to check out the conservatory. This free activity changes floral arrangements every few months to mark specific holidays and/or seasons. The conservatory is sometimes a high traffic area so grabbing pictures may be difficult.
I love visiting the newest and best hotels and restaurants in Las Vegas but I also like to do Vegas on the cheap. There’s a middle ground to my desire to want the best but do it on the cheap. Something I practiced more in Atlantic City before Las Vegas was being the big fish in the smaller casino pond.
All casinos and hotels want to cater to their biggest spenders and being the “high roller” at a less luxurious casino goes a long way to saving money. The same $100 (for example) you spend at a three star hotel is looked at in a better light than the $100 spent at a five star hotel. See, the luxury resort is made for big spenders so the majority of their customers are spending $100. Meanwhile, the mid-tier hotel doesn’t see that kind of spending as often. In an effort to keep your money in their hotel the mid-tier resort will offer more perks to keep your business.
Being the big spender at the lesser hotel in Las Vegas can bring more discounted dinners, shows and free hotel room upgrades. Some of the best hotel rooms I’ve ever had have been when visiting mid-tier hotels in slower times. My gaming and dining budget would get me a basic room for free just about anywhere but at a small hotel I was able to get one of twenty 5 room suites that had a balcony. Seriously, it was the biggest and most well appointed hotel room I’ve ever stayed in. And it was free. It was a room that I could never afford and one that I’d never see again. I asked for an upgrade based on my previous spending with the casino and just happened to be visiting during a slow period. I never forgot that hotel room and would visit this hotel often because there would always be a nice perk like this suite heading my way.
The Super Bowl was just played but sports fans are already looking ahead to the next big sports weekend in Las Vegas. Super Bowl weekend has been the busiest sports weekend of the year in Las Vegas for years but that may be changing. The first weekend of the NCAA College Basketball Tournament (AKA March Madness) is charging hard for the #1 spot to be the busiest time in Las Vegas for sports fans. Not only does March Madness have a lot of excitement for sports fans but it falls on or around spring break and Saint Patricks day. If you’re not hitting the beaches for Spring Break then you might as well have a little too much fun in Las Vegas!
The first weekend of March Madness takes place March 20-23 this year. Thursday, March 20 and Friday, March 21 each have 16 games taking place beginning at 9am. During peak periods of each day there will be 4 games happening at once. It truly is madness for sports fans. The action slows down a little on Saturday and Sunday when there are only 8 games per day. The relative tepid pace will only reach 3 games on at once.
The game action of these 4 days absolutely shreds the 4 hours that the Super Bowl is played. If you like chaos in the casinos these are a great four days to be in Las Vegas. The energy is really incomparable to any other sports weekend in Las Vegas. Why? One word – youth. College basketball and spring break attract a more youthful crowd than the Super Bowl. It makes sense.
There’s a lot more to Las Vegas than what most people normally see. Earlier this week discussed exploring Las Vegas beyond the Vegas Strip and Downtown Vegas. There’s Red Rock Canyon, Boulder City, Henderson, the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, horseback riding, golf and so much more. Just hop in a car and you’ll find a lot more in Las Vegas than you would ever think about. That’s part of what makes Las Vegas great. Venturing off the beaten path isn’t only a great way to find new things but it’s also a great way to save money. In this manner Las Vegas is no different than any other city you might visit.
Tourist areas in every city are always more expensive than where the locals hang out. If you’re in New York City you’ll pay more money for a slice of pizza in Times Square then you will when you head downtown for a slice. Las Vegas isn’t very different. You’ll save up to $1 on a cup of coffee just by visiting a Starbucks away from the tourists spots. In fact, most places you eat and drink away from the Vegas Strip will be cost less. Not only will you save 50% on a steak at Herbs & Rye during happy hour but you’ll find that dining at many restaurants away from the Vegas Strip or Downtown Vegas will cost less for similar or better quality dishes.
Resort fees stink. The only people that like resort fees are the hotels that are charging them. Resort fees are unadvertised fees for Las Vegas hotel rooms that are added to your nightly bill. The $100 hotel room you booked may actually cost you an extra 25% more per night after the fees are added to your bill. No bueno.
Most hotels in Las Vegas charge a resort fee so there’s very little you can do to avoid them. Rather than sit and complain about Las Vegas hotel resort fees it’s more useful to break down the resort fees and see what we can and can’t use. See, the resort fees include amenities that may or may not be useful. We might as make the best of the hand dealt to us so let’s look at ways to make the best of things.