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We Still Like Element Las Vegas, But Wouldn't Hate An Update

Where: 10555 Discovery Drive [map], 89135
July 9, 2014 at 1:32 PM | by | Comments (5)

We loved the Element Las Vegas in Summerlin long before President Obama slept there, but on a recent stay at the (way) off Strip hotel, this writer was left a little disappointed.

I had a small hiccup at check-in when I was sent to an accessible room. It turns out I booked the cheapest rate for a one-bedroom (of course), but did not notice the accessible designation on the rate listing. The hotel was able to put me in a smaller studio room. Not what I booked, but since it was my bad, I didn't make a fuss.

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Public Service Reminder: Even Off Strip Motels Charge Fees

July 7, 2014 at 5:57 PM | by | Comments (2)

Most people either hate them or take them with a 'whatcha gonna do' shrug, but resort fees are at their most maddeningly when there's nothing resort-like about the business that's tacked the charge onto your tab.

While they're pretty much inescapable at Las Vegas' mega-resorts, it can be a rude awakening to discover your run-of-the-mill, off-Strip motel is charging them, too. VegasChatter reader Scott C. wrote us to alert us that the Mardi Gras "Hotel" & Casino on Paradise (shown above) has a $5 resort fee. The holder of 2 1/2 stars on Yelp, the property offers an airport shuttle, in-room coffee and WiFi in exchange for the fee. Although, the wireless Internet, according to one Yelper, hasn't worked on any of his four previous stays. Four!

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Caesars To Rebrand The Quad As The LINQ Hotel And Casino

July 1, 2014 at 8:24 PM | by | Comments (27)

Another long-time rumor has become reality.

The Quad, which replaced the Imperial Palace on the Las Vegas Strip in December 2012, is already getting tuned out.

Caesars Entertainment has announced that The Quad, as part of more than $200 million worth of additional renovations, will emerge in November as LINQ Hotel & Casino, capitalizing -- of course -- on the adjacent LINQ shopping, entertainment and dining district (read: outdoor mall) next door which culminates in the soaring High Roller observation wheel.

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Then And Wow: Remembering The Transformation Of Bellagio's Rooms

Where: 3600 Las Vegas Boulevard South [map], 89109
June 25, 2014 at 4:28 PM | by | Comments (12)

Way back in 2007, our sister site HotelChatter was not impressed with the rooms at Bellagio, one of the premier (obviously) hotels on The Strip. For all the talk about Bellagio being the best in town, we found the room decor to be nondescript, non sequential, and non-stylish. It was dominated by a massive brown armoire which overpowered the room. In the bathroom, we found some very questionable wallpaper. We also noticed a stain on the headboard. See for yourself just how "BLAH" this room was in 2007 in the video below.

Well, it took a few years, but Bellagio finally upgraded their guest rooms in 2011 and, boy, was it an improvement.

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Another El Cortez? Plus, Fancy New Keys

Where: 600 E. Fremont [map], 89101
May 15, 2014 at 3:58 PM | by | Comments (2)

It’s always exciting to find a piece of Las Vegas while away from Las Vegas. We were surprised when we discovered multiple world’s largest gold nuggets outside of Vegas. And, just last month, we were delighted to find our favorite Vegas horse racing game up in Lake Tahoe. During a recent overnight stay in Reno, this writer was stunned to find something even bigger, a second El Cortez.

This hasn’t been a great year for El Cortez Las Vegas. First, they added an $8.95 resort fee. Shortly after, gaming legend and former El Cortez owner Jackie Gaughan passed away. El Cortez continues to thrive, however, and remains one of my favorites in Downtown Vegas. When I came across a hotel and lounge that shared its name, I couldn’t resist exploring.

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So, Like, 'Sup?: What to Expect from The SLS Las Vegas

May 12, 2014 at 7:48 PM | by | Comments (14)

Last week, we got to the tour the most ambitious SLS Hotel project yet -- the SLS Las Vegas Hotel and Casino at the north end of the Las Vegas Strip, where the old Sahara casino used to be.

For "old" Vegas fans, there's not much of the original Sahara left, aside from the bones of the room towers and casino building. But if you want a thrilling new way to do up Vegas, the SLS will satisfy small and large spenders alike. Sorry, we got carried away with SLS-speak. What we meant to say is, there will be something for everyone here. You may not need to leave the SLS, at all.

THE ROOMS
As we mentioned on Friday, there will be three different room towers, each with a different category of rooms inside.

The World Tower will feature SLS "lite" sort of rooms. These rooms are no bigger than 400 square feet (with the exception of a suite) and they are more functional rather than over-the-top luxurious. Rob Oseland, president and COO of SLS Las Vegas, told us these rooms were designed by Philippe Starck to be "cost effective chic."

There's an exclusive SLS bed (called Sleep Lying Still from Beauty Rest by Simmons Hospitality), 300-thread-count bedding, down pillows and a comfy little couch at the foot of the bed. There's also the SLS-branded Saints & Sinners minibar goodies as well as a desk and rolling chair and a flat-screen TV.

And, instead of putting in a lot of luxury layers where room technology is concerned, Oseland said SLS will simply boost the cell reception and install a fast WiFi network which, at the end of the day, is really what guests want. The World Tower rooms start at $149 a night . Yet if you want some luxurious settings, you should upgrade up to the Lux Tower.

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VegasChatter Questions: The Perfect 40th Anniversary Room (With Restrictions)

Where: 89109
March 26, 2014 at 5:01 PM | by | Comments (6)

Nothing says romance like an in-room whirlpool tub, are we right?

Time for another VegasChatter Question! This one comes from Mayor Rusty who needs hotel help for a special occasion. Do you have a question about Vegas, too? We bet you do. Send it to us and you just might see it here on VegasChatter!

Now, back to VeagsChatter reader Mayor Rusty (seriously, he's a real mayor!) who is planning a trip to Las Vegas for his 40th wedding anniversary and needs help finding the perfect hotel room to celebrate those 40 years. He has just a few constraints for his search:

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The Cromwell to Bestow Special Perks on Its Hotel Guests

March 21, 2014 at 7:15 PM | by | Comments (6)

We're officially two months out from the opening of The Cromwell and we've been getting a steady stream of info on the casino, the suites, the restaurant from Giada de Laurentiis and the plans for Victor Drai's night and day club extravaganza. Now, we've got a few tidbits on what being a hotel guest gets you at The Cromwell.

· Privacy: The guest elevators at The Cromwell will be keycard access only. So if you're not a guest, you need to be with a guest to get up to the rooms.

· Complimentary coffee and pastries: We already told you about this but the coffee and danishes on the guest floors are a nice perk. It's no nonfat skinny iced mocha with whip but it's coffee and you can walk out in your robe to get it.

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Las Vegas Resort Fees: The 2014 Guide

January 21, 2014 at 12:07 PM | by | Comments (24)

2014 could be the year Las Vegas loses the last handful of resort fee holdouts. We've lost one already. Last year, 15 new hotels began tacking on the extra fees in a generally stated 'you asked for them' or 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em' mentality. Caesars Entertainment's Las Vegas properties and downtown's Golden Gate and D hotels being the most surprising resort fee about-faces of the year.

The biggest bummers we discovered upon updating this guide for 2014? Venetian and Palazzo deciding there would be no more declining their resort fee and that downtown's El Cortez will be adding one in February.

In 2013 (January through November), room rates on the Vegas Strip averaged $120 night compared with $69 a night downtown. Just like last year, that's up from the year before with occupancy about the same at 85 percent. So, same amount of people being asked to dig deeper into their pockets with not just slightly higher room rates, but the addition of $5-$25 extra a night in fees, too. And, that's before taxes are added into the mix. And then, there are the Vegas hotels happy to charge you for a guaranteed room type, two beds, early check-in, late check-out or an express check-in, too.

Last year, VegasChatter feared Sin City resort fees might cross over into the $30 a night territory. That didn't happen, but could it in 2014? Perhaps. Some 20 Las Vegas hotels, from Aria to Wynn, are currently billing fees at the $25 mark. And, many of those were at that rate due to a $5 increase from the year prior. Could another $5 bump be in the future? We wouldn't be surprised to see a Vegas hotel test the threshold this year, and for others to follow suit if public outcry doesn't seem to impact the bottom line that much.

While some travelers hope the FTC will take a harder line against 'drip pricing' in 2014, we're not holding our breath. But, we will do what we've done for many years now, provide you with a comprehensive guide to resort fees in Las Vegas. We hit the Internet and the phone to compile the latest fees and what they'll get you in return. If you come across a new addition to our list, or see an increase we need to know about, email us at tips@vegaschatter.com.

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Riviera's Not Quite Ready for Life Support

Where: 2901 S Las Vegas Blvd. [map], 89109
January 17, 2014 at 3:37 PM | by | Comments (20)

Rumors of the Riviera’s demise have been greatly exaggerated, as the tired cliche saying goes. The old gal isn’t quite ready for the coroner, but we’ll keep the paramedics on speed dial. She’ll need some well-trained attention in order to survive the crucial years ahead.

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We Don't Know If There's A Bigger Fan Of MGM Grand Than This Guy

Where: 3799 Las Vegas Boulevard South [map], 89109
December 13, 2013 at 8:41 PM | by | Comments (5)

This year, several Vegas hotels marked major milestone anniversaries with little public hoopla aside from, perhaps, a passing social media mention or two.

Luxor marked its 20th anniversary on October 15. Bellagio witnessed its 15th anniversary on October 15 as well. Trump welcomed its fifth anniversary on March 31 while Encore will mark its fifth year of operations on December 22. But first, on December 18, MGM Grand will note its 20th anniversary.

Right around now is the time you're thinking, 'wow, I can't believe those resorts have been around for that long.' And, that's probably why there were no (nor will there be any) epic parties, brilliant fireworks displays, or corresponding 5, 15, or 20 percent discounts at the buffet. Vegas loves the spotlight, but Lady Luck is just like any other dame when it comes to disclosing her age.

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Have You Ever Requested The Same Hotel Room in Vegas Before?

October 14, 2013 at 8:10 PM | by | Comments (6)

Most of the time when this editor is booking a hotel room in Vegas, I'm booking it based on these three factors:

1. Price
2. Location
3. Things To Do

More than I'd like, the price factor ends up being the deciding factor when booking my Vegas trip, especially now that, on average, resort fees cost an extra $20 plus tax a night. But, occasionally, location wins out as I need to be close to a certain end of the Strip and I don't often rent a car. (Although, the last two times, I have because I cannot deal with Vegas cab rip-offs.) And, while I do love exploring different hotels every time I'm in Vegas, I like knowing my hotel also has a fun pool scene, great restaurant options, a spa, a lounge to drink in and a nightclub to dance in. Oh, and.. duh, a casino.

But, on my last trip to Vegas, something different happened. I found a room that I wanted to come back to over and over again.

Now, because I'm superstitious and paranoid, I won't tell you the exact room number. But I will tell you that it's on the 36th floor of Vdara and it has a king bed, small kitchenette, a little table for two, a pull-out couch and a partial view of the Bellagio fountains. I was able to get it for $109, before taxes and resort fee, during the week and I would happily pay that rate again and then some.

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