/ / / / / / /

If You're Staying at Imperial Palace, We Suggest You Bring a Hazchem Suit

Where: 3535 Las Vegas Blvd S [map], 89109
July 14, 2010 at 3:57 PM | by | ()

Right, here it is. We’ve processed the trauma, learned how to swallow the little bit of sick that pops into our mouth when we think about the room of mirrors, and so the time has come to bring you our review of our stay in Imperial Palace last week.

Now, we had been hoping – nay, praying – that we’d have some kind of Circus Circus-style Road to Damascus moment at IP. We told ourselves that our friend who likes nothing more than to stay at Gold Coast and hit up O’Sheas, but who said IP is the one place he checked out of early, was being prissy when he said “it’s just disgusting”. We hoped. A lot.

Reader, we hoped in vain.

Check in (1):

Let’s move on from the fact that IP’s garage is up there with Aria’s for its excruciating un-ease of parking, and talk about check in. It was a Tuesday night, people. It was 11pm, fer goodness’ sake. There were even three people on duty for a queue of four – and yet, the check in team, bless ‘em, managed to string out the process into the most unnecessarily drawn out process possibly ever seen in a Vegas casino. We waited a good 10 minutes to get to the desk. Remember: four people already there (ie only one waiting in front of us), three staffers. Insane.

We asked for a nice room with a good view, and were told that we could choose between a quiet room looking onto the parking garage or a Strip view that would be “a bit noisy” till 4am. We were going out anyway, and figured we’d rely on air con/drinking-induced deafness, so plumped for the former. You already know how that turned out. We swiftly went downstairs and asked for another room.

Check in (2):

We saw a different lady at check in, who initially told us that the hotel was fully booked and there was nothing she could do. Apparently the quiet rooms which we’d been offered 10 minutes ago had all gone, although she said we could upgrade to a suite for $40 which would put us in a quieter tower. No, we said, we paid $28 for our room (including taxes), and that was $27.50 too much (one has to give them credit for nickable Gilchrist & Soames toiletries).

Then she offered us the upgrade for $20. We said no, and asked to speak to a manager. She went off, came back and said he was busy, but she could upgrade us to a “minisuite” for free. She told us how to get there (it was out by the carpark and directions were complicated) and we took the map and went out to our party. When we came back, it took us 30 minutes to find the room, because she’d written the obscenely difficult directions down wrong and given us the wrong floor. Thanks lady!

Room Reaction:

Simply breathtaking. If we’d been location scouts for a film about a couple checking into a grotty hotel to make a skeevy sextape but actually getting themselves snufftaped, we'd have hit gold with Tower 4, room 127. The carpet was filthy (there was even a bit of rubbish on it). The bed was super-creaky. The bottle of body lotion was partly used.

All we can say about the bathroom is that it had carpet running up the side of the washbasin. All we can say about the shower is that it spewed out water OK. We didn’t use it – we didn’t have our hazchem suit with us after all – but we checked and the water was flowing.

And all we can say about the bedroom is that it was disgusting. It had a Jacuzzi big enough for eight (but sadly, not cleaned well enough to take a Dickensian street urchin), out of date furniture, hadn’t seen a dust-down in several months, smelt stale, had grease marks on the table, oh, and if you looked really carefully, a couple of ominous smears on the ceiling mirrors.

Yes, you already know about the mirrored ceiling over the bed and the Jacuzzi. You don’t need us to tell you that they caused some involuntary retching.

Not to mention that the tower faces the IP’s noxious carpark and because we were on floor one, when, the following morning, we tried to open the curtains and get some natural light into our dungeon, we found ourselves making awkward eye contact with self-parkers.

Amenity Madness:

A half-used body lotion and Gilchrist and Soames shampoo and soap. This is the first hotel in Vegas where we haven’t stolen the toiletries, or the notepad or even the copy of 944 magazine. But we didn’t it was worth risking fumigating our home.

No minibar to fuel your 70s shagathon, either.

Internet Connect:

There is WiFi but we were too depressed to try it and see how much it cost. We assume it’s along the $12.99 lines of most Harrah’s properties.

What We Liked:

Well, technically it’s cool to have stayed in a grotesque porn room that hasn’t been changed or perhaps cleaned since the mid 1980s. Isn’t it? Also, flatscreen TV (though there was no way we were fiddling with the remote).

What We Didn’t Like:

Everything in all its filthiness.

Bottom Line:

We paid $25 ($28 including tax) which is the weekday rate IP has for their Twitter followers. On reflection, it was a full $28 too much, because we didn’t dare risk taking the toiletries home. We do have a fond spot for the casino here, but these rooms would look better as imploded dust.

Archived Comments:


I have a soft spot for the IP casino as well.  I've played with friends there and had great times, but goodness, I puked in my mouth just a little bit simply from reading the description of the room.  I'm not too picky either.  I've stayed at the Strat and the Sahara.  This takes the cake, though.  As grossed out as I am, it also makes me a little sad for the property.


it's sad. i did 3 days without issue at the strat last year, and sahara was fine this year. but this was just unacceptable. i felt for the people who'd booked it for a week

you brits!

your terminology is always just slightly diff from american english. i would have used hazmat suit here but no matter, you will need either one to sleep at IP.


sorry. that just takes the biscuit - um - i mean, takes the cake


I've been in the IP once in the nearly 20 years I've been visiting Vegas.  On one trip finally said to myself it was time to at least check out the casino.  I took one whiff and retreated.  You can tell from the outside the place is a sh**hole.  It should be imploded forthwith!


I attended a conference held there 20 years ago. Three friends and I decided to quad up at Treasure Island instead of double at the IP, and when we saw the rooms other friends were staying in, we were very happy about our decision, despite being a bit crowded.  It was terrible then, I can't believe people continue to keep this place in business.

Staying there isn't a vacation, it's a weekend in hell. But then again what do you expect when they are charging not much more than the homeless shelter.