Tag: Resort FeesView All Tags
Active Vegas / Fitness / Fitness Center Fees / Amenities / Resort Fees / Spas / Healthy Vegas / → All Tags
We at VegasChatter like to keep you informed of the most current trends. While we were preparing this article for a post-Thanksgiving publishing date, the New York Times ran its own piece on exercise and wellness in Las Vegas. Clearly, weíre onto something big. Sin City isn't just a place to ďeat, drink, and get married.Ē Itís also a place to keep yourself in top physical shape while still having lots of fun.
We often hear people say ďI donít come to Vegas to workout.Ē Our usual response is ďwhy not?Ē We all love the indulgences of Vegas, but usually regret the tightness of our clothing (and the belly pokes from coworkers), afterwards. Enjoying free cocktails and expansive buffets doesnít mean you canít work in a fitness plan as well. A couple of exercise sessions, along with some smart decisions, and youíll have one less thing to feel guilty about. And, with all of the Vegas residents who are acrobats, performers and dancers, you can be assured Vegas has some terrific exercise facilities available.
VegasChatter Reviews / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / Downtown Grand / Lady Luck / Hotel Rooms / Resort Fees / Renovations / Openings / Name Changes / → All Tags
Remember the old Certs commercial? ďItís two (click) two (click) two mints in one!Ē Here at VegasChatter, weíre going retro and doing the Certs version of Downtown Grand room reviews. Two opinions from back-to-back stays (with a one-night break in-between to recharge our objectivity). And, just like that breath mint, the former Lady Luck is now as fresh as a mountain spring and as yummy as the tastiest candy. But, is that enough to lure people away from the beer-and-onion breath (if you will) of Fremont Street? Letís take a peek behind those guestroom doors and find out. First, a review of the hotel-casino's Premium rooms. Tomorrow, we'll check out the Grand's Deluxe guestrooms.
Weíve been spending a lot of time at the Downtown Grand, both in person and by way of our site. If youíve been reading our updates, youíd think we havenít yet stayed. Thatís not the case. We've actually spent a lot more time there than we'd planned to, especially this particular writer thanks to an unpleasant flu/cold/fever thing that kept me in bed for much of my stay. And, when youíre feeling miserable, youíre especially aware of your surroundings, no? Thank goodness the first four nights of my visit were in a 450 square foot corner Premium Room on the top floor of the Casino Tower. (Cue the deja vu music to remind you of my review of the corner petite jacuzzi suite at Eastside Cannery just a few weeks ago.)
Iíd like to think it was my dazzling smile and always irresistible Brut 33 splash that got this writer moving on up from a bottom-tier room to a dee-luxe corner room in the sky. (Hey, itís worked before.. maybe..) But, more than likely it was the fact Iíd received a special media rate for a VegasChatter meet-up and they were hoping to make a good impression. After a slight delay coupled with a pleasant and unexpected greeting by the VP of Operations, my reservation agent escorted me to a elevator banks where I was whisked to the top floor of the Casino Tower (room 1802, to be precise).
Resort Fees / Downtown Vegas / Downtown / Golden Gate / The D Hotel / Vegas Observations / Hotel Rooms / → All Tags
The ĎNo Resort Feeí era of Downtown Vegas came to an end over the summer when Golden Gate and The D introduced $20 a night charges. CEO Derek Stevens didnít sugarcoat the decision, explaining it was necessary in order to compete on third-party travel search engines that sort hotels by price. Competitors like Plaza, who were already using resort fees to make their nightly rates appear lower than they really were, have been consistently outranking those hotels that donít charge such fees. Golden Gate and The D took the if you canít beat Ďem, join 'em approach and introduced their own fees, while lowering their displayed rates, in August.
While we hate the resort fee game, it clearly makes a difference for hotel operators. Since tacking on the $20 upcharges, both The D and Golden Gate have slashed their room rates and are now dominating listings on travel sites like Priceline and Orbitz. We checked Priceline for the cheapest room we could find next week and The D came out on top. Its $11 advertised price will actually be closer to $35 once the resort fee and taxes are added on.
Downtown / Downtown Vegas / Downtown Grand / Resort Fees / Openings / Grand Experience Fee / Deals / → All Tags
The biggest complaint most have about resort fees is that you really don't get anything out of it. Who cares about local calls when you have a cell phone, or gym access if you were planning to divide your time between the casino, the bar and the closest restaurant, right?
But, when Downtown Grand told us they would, indeed, have a resort fee -- or, as they phrase it a Grand Experience Fee ($11) -- they said an accompanying coupon book would hold real value to guests. And, it's true. For the most part.
A friendly front desk agent let us peek inside the Grand Experience Pass that's, umm, passed out upon check-in. And, if you only end up redeeming just two of the coupons inside, you'll likely still make your money back, so to speak. Here's a complete list of the offers:
The standard resort fee mostly includes amenities we can understand like gym usage and Internet access. While we may grumble over whether or not tacking on an additional mandatory charge is fair, some services can be considered useful and are things we'd -- begrudgingly -- say, "okay," to. There is one amenity, though, that leaves us scratching our head. Faxing.
While some young'uns may not know what a fax machine is, we're well aware of the machine and its uses. We just don't run into many opportunities for it, these days. Now, that doesn't mean some of us don't have a number we can receive faxes at; we just have it set up online to direct to our email when we need it. When this writer first saw faxing as a listed amenity, I had to do a double take and ask the front desk agent how popular of an amenity it was.
Thatís the question we asked over a year ago after Hilton revoked its brand and left LVH with little more than its initials. LVH is still alive and kicking, making the answer (so far), yes. While the hotel is up and running, its TripAdvisor score has plummeted to an abysmal 47% as of this morning. To put that into perspective, consider that The Quad, previous recipient of our worst hotel award, ranks just below with a 44% rating. Thatís a long way to fall for a property that was previously ritzy enough for the likes of Elvis and Barry Manilow.
We went inside LVH and reviewed a room just prior to the name change. While we weren't overly impressed, we also didn't think things were too bad. LVH seemed like an adequate choice for visitors on a budget. The most recent guest reviews, however, donít seem to be in agreement. The headlines tell the story:
In June, Bally's execs announced that the property's South tower would be relabeled Jubilee and would feature renovated "ultra modern" accommodations. At the time, November 1 was the earliest available date for bookings, but that changed yesterday. There are now 756 redesigned rooms to crash in and each starts at $99 a night, according to a press release. While the rooms did not get any bigger, they do feature new flat-screen TVs, furniture, beds, carpeting and wall coverings as well as redesigned bathrooms, too. This, however, can not be said for the tower's suites, nor for the north tower, period. We're promised more news on the Jubilee tower's suites "later this year."
Back on the good news front, though, in-room safes are now "complimentary." We just ranted about the WTF $3 safe charge on top of the resort fee. Clearly, our work here is now done.
Sometimes, you shouldn't judge a hotel by its outside appearance. If you do, you risk missing out on something special. Casino Royale is a smoky dive, but when we checked into their Best Western Plus, we were pleasantly surprised. El Cortez is not much to look at, but its tower rooms are a great value. Unfortunately, this pattern doesn't hold true everywhere, and the outdated and bland stylings at Ballyís donít stop at the hotel room door.
Ballyís is working on changes, but lately there has been more bad than good. This year, we've seen them tack on a resort fee and then raise it not even six months later. New rooms are on the way, but up until recently, guests were still being given rooms like this. Out front, the moving walkways havenít been doing much moving. And, we've been waiting a long time for the Grand Bazaar to break ground, but nothing seems to be happening. Even though Ballyís isn't at the top of its game right now, this writer couldn't say no when offered a complimentary stay in one of the hotelís north tower deluxe rooms.
Resort Fees / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / Downtown Grand / Grand Experience Fee / Fun Books / Openings / → All Tags
This year has seen our list of resort fee-less hotels shrink from 26 to 11. Execs for hold-out hotels, like The D and Golden Gate in Downtown Vegas, honestly expressing the damned if you do, damned if you don't scenario they've found themselves in before joining the fray.
So, it will likely come as no surprise to hear that the soon-to-open Downtown Grand will, too, charge a nightly fee. We can't say we blame them, even if we do grumble about it. At least, they're not pretending to shroud the extra revenue stream in the it's not a resort fee claim the Golden Nugget still clings to with added exclamation mark.
Vegas Observations / Fun Books / Gambling / Shopping / Dining / Resort Fees / → All Tags
While we lament the addition of resort fee to the Vegas vernacular, one of the "amenities" that leaves us scratching our heads most is the so-called "fun book" with "hundreds" or even "thousands" of dollars in savings.
Hundreds? Thousands? Oh, yes. Or, at least that's the claim staked when we read over some of the room packages out there. Since this writer can't turn down a good deal -- and these books certainly sound like a good deal -- I began the arduous task of staying in hotels this summer to make my own little Vegas collection to see if fun books warrant the hype. Unsurprisingly, some of the deals and offers inside are better than others. And, while I haven't been able to use the offers to their full potential for lack of a jackpot or two, that doesn't mean I was unable to use them to add a little more to my stays.
We're heading towards the 20th anniversary of Pearl Jam vs. Ticketmaster. You may or may not remember when the rock band took Ticketmaster to court to fight over their ticketing monopoly and huge surcharges. (Here's an article from 1995 to refresh your memory.) It can be said that ticketing to concerts and sporting events has changed since the lawsuit. It can also be argued that ticketing hasn't changed all that much. Regardless of the price of Ticketmaster fees, at least they're all shown when you check out.
Let's transition the conversation to Las Vegas. Third-party travel sites like Expedia and Travelocity don't show as much detail as Ticketmaster when you're buying a hotel room. Expedia
hides groups their fees with taxes and doesn't even incorporate resort fees that will be tacked on to your bill when you check into a hotel. When all is said and done the LVH room below will cost much more than the $55 we have to pay Expedia.
In an email entitled, "Resort Fee Rant From A Hotel," an employee of Fortune Hotel, located on Flamingo near
Terrible's Silver Sevens, expressed dismay over the catch 22 every Vegas hotel is finding themselves in. Refuse to add resort fees and be a (profit-less) hero, or add one, be hated, but still beef up the bottom line while seeming competitive.
This is a Rant about Resort fees but from a hotel point of view. The resort fee craze that is at almost every Hotel on or around the Las Vegas Strip is forcing us to think about adding one also. It is hard for us to compete with Hotels offering $17.00 rooms. The $17.00 advertised room with resort fee of $15.00 now becomes a $32.00 room. If we advertise rooms for $32.00 with no resort fee but someone else advertises $17.00 rooms with a fee it's a loss every time for us.
Amenities typically part of the resort fee we already offer:
We have a remodel underway now that adds a Restaurant, Bar, and Gaming and unfortunately probably a resort fee as well.
It is going to end up either everyone charges a resort fee or no one does.