Surprising Facts about Las Vegas Hotels and Casinos

If you are planning on your first Las Vegas trip there are a couple of facts and or tips about hotels you should be aware of. There are extra costs or surprise fees that you might not be aware of.  Many visitors to Las Vegas are often shocked at resort fees, lack of in room fridges and coffee makers in their hotel rooms. These are all just normal facts about Las Vegas. Lets have a look at some of the surprising facts about Las Vegas Hotels and Casinos.

Surprising Facts about Vegas Hotels and Casinos

      • Mini-Fridges – Mini-fridges in most Vegas hotel rooms are not for personal use. They are stocked with expensive snack and drink options and have no room for your personal items. The fridges will often work off of pressure sensors that charge back to your room when an item is taken out. The hotels will often charge you if they catch you with your personal items in the mini-fridge. You can order a personal fridge in most hotels but that of course comes at an extra expense. It’s best to check with your hotel first to see if they offer a fridge. Treasure Island for example, has personal fridges in their rooms as well as higher end suites in most other hotels. We basically purchased as collapsible cooler from Amazon which is easy to pack and large enough to keep our stuff cold.

Las Vegas Hotels

      • Resort Fees – Resort fees are always a shock to first time Las Vegas visitors. Most hotels will charge you an extra daily fee per room on top of your posted rate. The fee is for WiFi, gym use and other things you will never use in Vegas such as boarding passes and newspapers. The fee is paid directly to the hotel. If you are booking via a third part site such as Expedia and Travelocity you will still have to pay this fee to the hotel at the end of your stay. It varies but can range from $20 – $40. Resort fees are rarely waived unless you are a higher tiered member or high roller. You can see the fees in our Current Las Vegas Resort Fee Guide.
      • Coffee Makers – Much to the dismay of many Vegas hotel rooms do not include a coffee maker. The casinos do not want you in the room drinking coffee. They want you on the floor playing or spending money in their shops. Every hotel has a coffee shop or Starbucks but it is not cheap. Prices are generally pretty high. Many people who insist of having coffee bring a smaller coffee maker with them or even pick one up when in Vegas. We detailed a few coffee places in our Where to get coffee in Vegas post.

Coffee in Las Vegas

      • ATM Fees – ATM Fees at machines in Casinos and along The Las Vegas Strip can really vary from place to place. It’s best to check first as some along the strip can be as high as $10. The Walgreens and CVS stores are reported as being respectable at a few dollars. The best is Casino Royal located beside Harrahs at only being $1.
      • Snacks and Drinks – Buy your snacks and drinks anywhere besides a Casino store. The prices are often very over inflated. The best spots are again The Walgreens and CVS stores which are located all over the strip. You will be very surprised what a Casino store will charge you for a simple bottle of water. We always buy a small case from Walgreens or CVS.
      • Not so Cheap Breakfast – The days of finding a cheap breakfast at most of the casino restaurants is long gone. Every casino and hotel will have a breakfast spot on site. The problem is that the cost of that breakfast is way over priced. We tried a couple of places in hotels and were shocked with a $60 bill for a regular breakfast for two. We would have been better off with the Breakfast Buffet price and food wise. You can still find a McDonald’s or Denny’s on the strip for a cheaper breakfast.  The area around Casino Royale has a few cheaper fast food breakfast type spots or we recommend Hash House at The Linq or Peppermill Lounge. If you want to dine cheap you will really have to do your homework.

Las Vegas Photo of the Week April 20th, 2019

Pool season in Las Vegas is right around the corner. This weeks Las Vegas photo of the week is a shot of the pool at Treasure Island in Las Vegas. The photo is from our May 2017 stay at Treasure Island. We had an amazing view of the The Strip and view of the pool area. We ended up renting chairs right in the bottom left corner which was a perfect viewing spot for the day. The chairs at Treasure Island were only $10 which is a bargain compared to most other pools. If you are looking for a quiet relaxing pool experience in Las Vegas this pool might not be for you. It had a pretty decent party vibe. We have quite a few pool pictures which we will include in a future post.

 

 

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Pool season around the corner @tivegas View from our room. #lasvegas #lasvegasstrip #vegasbaby #vegassavvy #vegasstrip

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Bellagio Fountains Game of Thrones Theme

The Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas are featuring a Game of Thrones theme until April 13th, 2019. If you can’t make it to Las Vegas in time to see it we have the video for you to watch. We wish the Fountains at The Bellagio would do this more often. This theme is pretty amazing and you can hear the crowd loving it. Even if you are not a Game of Thrones fan you should appreciate the beauty of this Bellagio Fountains show.

Bellagio Fountains Game of Thrones Theme

New Eiffel Tower Light Show at The Paris

There is a new light show taking place at The Eiffel Tower at The Paris in Las Vegas. The Paris has added a new light show that lasts 5 minutes and runs every half an hour between sunset and midnight. The Paris in Las Vegas has added the show to honor their 20th Anniversary. The project which has been in the works for the past few months includes over 1,000 new lights. Sources state that there will be upcoming renovations to the rooms at The Paris as well. Read more about the Eiffel Tower Experience at The Paris in Las Vegas and see pictures from out visit to the observation deck.

New Eiffel Tower Light Show at The Paris

Las Vegas Photo of the Week March 3rd, 2019

This week’s Las Vegas photo of the week is one the more popular bars on the Vegas Strip. The Chandelier Bar at The Cosmopolitan. There are actually three parts to the bar as they are located on different floors within The Cosmo.  The bars are located on the ground level, 1.5 and level 2 and each has different hours of operation as well as a unique cocktail.  For example. “The Flower Drink” is a favorite drink enjoyed by many at the level 1.5 bar.

Las Vegas Photo of the Week

 

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Las Vegas Photo of the Week Feb 2, 2019

This update of our Las Vegas Photo of the Week we bring you a shot of the Eiffel Tower at The Paris. We happened upon this mid morning in December as we were crossing the bridge from The Cromwell to Bally’s Casino. The sun had set just perfect behind the Eiffel Tower and reminded us of some ritual or event from an apocalypse movie. We have some great GoPro footage of the event but haven’t had time to clean it up yet.

Las Vegas Photo of the Week

Resort King Room Walkthrough Bellagio

Video walkthrough of a Resort King Room at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. This is a basic room at The Bellagio that we recently stayed at. Our room number was 9031. This Resort King Room is located in the Main Tower with a pool and mountain view. This is a typical room that you would get at The Bellagio with no upgrades.

As we were not concerned with any upgrades or did not care about the view we used Mobile Check In process to avoid the long line at check in and get our room earlier than 3:00. We checked in before noon and our room was ready within the hour. The room is automatically assigned so again I would suggest using this only if you are not concerned about upgrades or view.

Resort King Walkthrough at The Bellagio in Las Vegas

The basic room at The Bellagio is very stylish. You get a nice roomy seating area near the window with two comfortable chairs. The bed is nice and soft. You get a separate soaking tub and stand up shower. Only one sink though which was the only let down. Look in the closet for your Bellagio bath robe.

Resort King Room Walkthrough Bellagio Las Vegas

Bellagio Las Vegas Room

Bellagio Las Vegas Pro Tips

  • The Main Tower is closest to the Front Lobby. The rear tower (Spa Tower) can be quite a hike from the main lobby.
  • The North Valet is close the elevator banks for the Main Tower and using this is arriving in ride share and taxi will save your a longer walk.
  • The Conservatory is less busy a night giving you a better opportunity to take photos unobstructed.
  • There are limited inexpensive food choices and even more so a night. If you are heading back to your room and looking for a late night snack you would want to grab something before heading back to the hotel.
  • At the rear of the hotel is a Free Tram that will take you down to the T-Mobile Arena.

A stay at The Bellagio is definitely an upscale experience. The room and amenities will make you feel pampered and spoiled from the moment you arrive. It is however quite busy with tourists from other hotels stopping by to see the fountains, conservatory or property in general. We found the casino a little hectic with the site seeing gawkers. Overall we enjoyed our stay and we hope you do as well.

Best Bars in Vegas with a View

You are headed to Las Vegas and you are looking for that perfect place with a great view to enjoy a drink. This review of the best bars in Vegas with a view should help you. There is nothing like having a cocktail and getting looking over the Las Vegas Strip. Surprisingly there aren’t as many places to get a good strip view as you would think. For a town with as many sights and lights as Las Vegas you would think you would have dozens of options but that’s not the case. Still there are some real solid options to get a drink and enjoy the Vegas skyline. We were going to set a price range for each place but just count on expensive. A view isn’t cheap in Vegas, or is anything else.

Updated 2018/09/03 – The Mandarin Oriental has been purchased by The Waldorf Astoria.

Best Bars in Vegas with a View

Many people ask what is the best time to witness the Vegas skyline and that really is a matter of preference. During the day you really get an idea on how massive the buildings and attractions are. It’s something that at night is almost hidden or obscured by the lights. At night obviously the lights are an amazing sight to see and a must do when in Vegas. A third great time is at sundown itself. There is something really special about watching the strip lights come on as the sun dips behind the horizon. We will show you a few photos of each prospective.

Skyfall Lounge at The Delano

The Skyfall Lounge sits atop of the 64th floor at The Delano at the south end of the Vegas strip.  The lounge gives you an amazing 180 degree of Vegas from the south.  The video above is not ours but it gives you a great shot of the view.

  • Location: 3940 S Las Vegas Blvd Las Vegas, NV 89119
  • Hours: Daily 5 pm – 12:00 am
  • Dress: Smart Casual
  • Cover: No
  • Website: Skyfall Lounge

Foundation Room at Mandalay Bay

foundation room vegas photo
Photo by fictures

The Foundation Room sits on the 63rd Floor of Mandalay Bay at the south end of the strip. Not exactly a club or a bar it’s described as more of a high end lounge. The photo above is a typical view that you will expect to see from the balcony view. Your view is looking down towards MGM and up the strip towards the bend at The Paris. There is a cover charge which you reportedly do not have to pay if you dine there.

  • Location: 3950 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89119
  • Hours: Daily 5 pm – Close
  • Dress: Smart Casual which means no shorts, sandals, hats, T-shirts, sweatshirts, sports apparel, tank tops, sneakers and athletic shoes.
  • Cover: $30, Reported free access if you dine at the restaurant.
  • Website: Foundation Room

Sky Bar at The Waldorf Astoria

The Mandarin Bar has been renamed to The SkyBar as the property has been purchased by The Waldorf Astoria. The SkyBar is located on the 23rd floor of the The Waldorf Astoria hotel which sits just in front of the Aria Hotel and Casino. While it may not sit as high as the two bars to the south the view is stunning. The glass to ceiling walls give an impressive view. There is also a tea room located next door if you are looking for a different experience with a view. Not our video we found this gem on YouTube.

  • Location: 3752 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89158
  • Hours: Sun – Thurs (4:00 – 1:00 am), Friday – Sat (4:00 – 2:00 am)
  • Dress: Casual but not set. People report that you don’t want to be undressed as in flip flops and a tank top.
  • Cover: No
  • Website: The Waldorf Astoria

107 SkyLounge at The Stratosphere

Does a 360 degree view from the 107th floor of the Stratosphere have you interested? You won’t catch another view of Vegas like this. The Strat is located fairly north of the strip and not a good idea to walk to at night. It’s a short Uber or Lyft. Admission is free and it’s highly recommended to visit at happy hour and see the sun set over Vegas.

  • Location: 2000 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89104
  • Hours: Daily from 4pm – 3am
  • Dress: Casual dress.
  • Cover: No
  • Website:  107 SkyLounge

VooDoo Lounge at The Rio

bar view voodoo lounge the rio

The VooDoo Lounge is located off the strip at The Rio Hotel and Casino.  The photo above is from our 2015 trip. We did VooDoo Zipline package from Groupon and had free entry to the bar. You get a great view of the strip from the rear.

  • Location: 3700 W. Flamingo Rd. Las Vegas, NV 89103
  • Hours: Sun.-Thurs. (8 PM – 2 AM) – Fri.-Sat. (8 PM – 3 AM)
  • Dress: Casual dress.
  • Cover:
    • Sun – Thurs –  $10 Women/$20 Men
    • Fri – Sat – $20 Women/$30 Men
  • Website: VooDoo Lounge

High Roller at The LINQ

high roller view las vegas

High Roller is a 550-foot tall Ferris wheel located at the back of the LINQ Promenade. We are including it because you can do the Happy Half Hour all you can drink package or from views buy a drink in the bar and take it with you. It takes a half an hour to rotate and you get a 360 degree view of Vegas from the west side of the strip. We have done the ride during the day, dusk and night. We enjoyed them all.

view from the high roller

  • Location: 3545 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109
  • Hours: 
    • Daytime Pass – 11:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
    • Anytime / Night Pass – until 2:00 a.m.
  • Dress: None
  • Cover: See website as there are different packages for day/night and drinking package. See Groupon or Travel Zoo for deals.
  • Website: High Roller

These are probably your best go to lounges, clubs and attractions for getting a great view of Las Vegas while enjoying a cocktail. There are many other places along the strip where you can get a lower view. Check out places such as The Eiffel Tower Restaurant at the Paris and The Giada at The Cromwell and the Beer Park.  Please let us know if we should add any more places.

Concierge Services in Las Vegas

One of the more overlooked services that hotels in Las Vegas provide is the Concierge Services. Every hotel that you visit will have a concierge services desk that are usually located near the main check in. The concierge is there to help you make the most out of your Vegas vacation. The average traveler is either not aware of concierge services or may think that they are more for higher end clientele. This is not the case, they are there to assist all hotel guests. Lets look in the how to make the most of your trip using hotel concierge services.

Concierge Services in Las Vegas

A hotel concierge performs a wide range of tasks for hotel guests. These would include making restaurant reservations, getting show tickets, planning golf outings, a spa day and even having flowers or special items waiting it the room when you arrive. It has beeen said that they try to get the impossible done for their guests. The concierge will use their contacts and connections to get you that special table or hard to get club tickets.

Concierge services are free but it’s Vegas. While you only have to pay for your tickets or yours special items it is customary to tip depending on the service. A typical tip could be anywhere between $2 and $20. If they are putting something big together for you and your group, you should show your gratitude.

It is advised to contact them with your request as soon as you can. You want to give them enough time to work their magic and get your request completed. As soon as you make your hotel reservations and you know that you are after show tickets, give them a call.

Personal Concierge Story

We had Terry Fator tickets for the day we were arriving in Vegas. They had to be picked up at The Mirage box office an hour before show time. With our arrival time at Aria and check in at the hotel we would be very rushed to get this done. The concierge at Aria had our tickets waiting for us when we checked in. There was no rushing around and we had plenty of time to get some dinner after check in.

If you want to try a local restaurant, get a reliable tour company for the Hoover Dam or try to get some tickets to a show give them a call. It is very easy and low maintenance to use their services. Vegas is always changing. What’s hot one day might not be the next. You want your Vegas vacation to be perfect. Why not get an expert to help you out.

Concierge Services in Las Vegas

Current Las Vegas Resort Fees

If you plan on staying at most hotels or casinos in Las Vegas your stay will be subject a Resort Fee. The Resort Fee is payable directly to the hotel and is added on your bill at check out. If you have booked with a third party site like Expedia or Travelocity  you will still owe this fee to the hotel and it is not included in your quoted price. There is also tax charged to the Resort Fee.

In exchange for paying the Resort Fee hotels state you will get the use of a list of services like the gym or fitness center, property wide wifi, newspapers, local phone calls and being able to print boarding passes. The strangest service offered is under MGM Properties who give you access to a notary, not sure why you would need that. Some of the hotels like the Downtown Grande state you get complimentary free parking which isn’t really free if you are paying a fee for it.

**Remember the Resort Fee is not included in the fee you are being quoted on third party websites.

2018 Las Vegas Resort Fee Guide

This list is a guide to resort fees in Las Vegas but as of late is changing constantly. We will try to keep up, let us know if you find an error or want a resort added. We tried to publish generally what is included with each hotels fee but there could more specific inclusions per hotel.

MGM Properties (Property-wide high speed internet access (public spaces and in-room), unlimited local and toll free calls, airline boarding pass printing, and fitness center access for guests 18+.)

  • Aria, Bellagio, Vdara – $39 plus tax.
  • Delano, Excalibur, Luxor,  Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, The Mirage, Monte Carlo, NYNY – $35 plus tax.
  • Circus Circus – $32 plus tax.

Caesars Entertainment (Daily in-room high speed internet access, all local calls, fitness center access for two daily)

  • Bally’s, Flamingo, Harrah’s and The Linq – $35 plus tax.
  • Cromwell, Paris and Planet Hollywood – $37 plus tax.
  • Caesars Palace – $39 plus tax.
  • Rio – $32 plus tax. *Updated from $30 May 2nd, 2018

welcome to las vegas

Cosmopolitan -$35 plus tax. (Standard high speed internet access, 24 hour fitness center access, tennis court access, unlimited local toll-free and domestic long distance calls).

Hard Rock – $33 plus tax (Internet access, daily newspaper, fitness room, shuttle service to Fashion Show Mall, local and toll-free calls, unlimited domestic long distance calls, notary service, and printing of boarding passes.

The Orleans – $21 plus tax (In-room coffee, Wi-Fi, unlimited local and toll-free calls, daily access to the fitness center, and shuttle to Las Vegas Strip)

SLS Las Vegas – $32 plus tax. (Wi-Fi, local and toll-free calls, pool and fitness center access, concierge services, valet and self-parking).

Stratosphere – $33 plus tax (Daily unlimited admission for up to four guests staying in the same room to the Stratosphere Tower, access to the fitness center, in-room Wi-Fi, 2-for-1 discount tickets to see the PIN UP show, and all-day Thrill Ride pass for a discounted price).

Ellis Island –  $17.99 plus tax (Complimentary breakfast buffet, wireless internet, complimentary airport shuttle).

Treasure Island – $35 plus tax (High-speed internet access, access to fitness center, 2-for-1 cocktail , newspaper, local and toll-free calls, boarding pass printing, and a $25 future stay credit (one per stay.) Note: TV Ad Special booked online allows RF to be waived at check in.

Tropicana – $35 plus tax (In-room internet, daily fitness center, ticket discounts, BOGO cocktails, two bottles of water in-room per stay, faxes, copies, and boarding passes in the business center, local and toll-free calls and free valet and self-parking).

The Venetian/Palazzo – $45 plus tax (Access for two to the gym, in-room Internet access, boarding pass printing, unlimited local and toll-free calls)

Westgate –  $34 plus tax (Wireless internet, local and toll-free domestic calls, access to the fitness room and resort credit towards a future stay).

Wynn/Encore  $39 plus tax (In-room Internet, unlimited local and domestic long-distance calls, and two fitness center passes per day).

This covers most of the strip and some of the surrounding hotels. We will update with Downtown Fremont and the remaining hotels soon.