89169 Travel Guide - Page 2
Off Strip / Wyndham Grand Desert / Wyndham / Hotel Alternatives / Vegas Condos / Tips / Survival Strategies / VegasChatter Reviews / → All Tags
Recently, we talked about the benefits of renting a condo over a hotel room while in Vegas as part of a group. The story came about after this writer happened to make the Wyndham Grand Desert on Harmon my home for a weekend as part of a bachelor party.
After settling into a two-bedroom unit -- with a full kitchen, living room, large dining room table, and two full baths -- with a group of friends, here's what I liked and didn't like about the Wyndham Grand Desert:
I've already gushed about how I enjoyed the extra space to lounge and hang out as a crew during downtime. The Wyndham is a mile off the Strip, but the trip was a breeze thanks to a hotel shuttle that ran to Harrah's multiple times per hour. And, because Las Vegas Boulevard is only a mile, we could have walk, if we had wanted. The neutral location also put us in walking distance to the Hard Rock in the other direction, which took about 15 minutes. Don't take this to mean there was no view: We had a great one of New York-New York, The Signature and MGM Grand.
During our last night at Silver Sevens, we found the new Premium rooms to be well-appointed and an overall great value. The Premium rooms are the most recently renovated at the hotel, so we were surprised to learn that they go for the same rate as the older Tower rooms. Even more surprising was the discovery that Tower rooms often sell out well before Premium accommodations. Determined to get to the bottom of this mystery, this writer booked a two-night stay.
My Silver Sevens Tower room was just $30 per night on the weekdays I selected. Even with the $3 resort fee, a room for under $35 is hard to beat. Checking in was a breeze, just as during my last visit. After receiving my keys, I once again had to request and then wait as my free coffee vouchers were retrieved from a back room. This is despite the fact that they are clearly advertised as being included in the resort fee, and also despite the fact that the free coffee is pretty lousy. As I sipped my cup of lukewarm swill (I’m determined to get full value whenever I’m gouged with a resort fee), I headed through the maze of blinding slot machines towards the Tower elevators. While further away from registration than most of the Premium rooms, they are still a very short walk.
The first thing I noticed as I entered my fourth floor room was the carpet. It was worn and dirty. The Premium room which I occupied during my last stay had attractive carpeting which appeared to be very new. Here, I found a threadbare and stained floor that made the decision to leave my shoes on easy. Strike one for the Tower.
Hard Rock / Off Strip / The Joint / Events / Music / Entertainment / Vegas Residencies / Guns N' Roses / → All Tags
Blabbermouth pins May 21 through June 7 as the exact dates of a second GnR residency. Tickets go on sale this Friday, February 21 at 10 a.m. The information is confirmed on the Hard Rock's website via this embedded tweet which, strangely, can't be seen on Twitter.
Off Strip / Silver Sevens / Dining / Eating / Buffets / → All Tags
Wikipedia tells us National Potato Month falls in September, while National Sweet Potato Month appears to be in November. American Beer Month is held in July, and “Lager Day” is in December. None of these are even close to February which has us perplexed over Silver Sevens decision to choose this month to host its Spuds and Buds special event buffet.
What is Spuds and Buds, you ask? It’s pretty simple, really. It’s the standard Silver Sevens buffet with a bunch of potato options tossed in. They’ve got baked potatoes, tots, fries, sour cream potatoes, roasted potatoes, potato soup, sweet potato pie, and well, that’s about it. The Spuds and Buds menu is a bit spud heavy, however, the only “Bud” that’s included is a single Bud Light draft. Perhaps Spuds and Bud is a better name?
VegasChatter Reviews / Music / Events / Hard Rock / Metalachi / Vinyl / → All Tags
This writer loves Mariachi music.
I just can't help it. After reading a book by Elijah Wald called Narcocorrido some years back and, subsequently, diving into the history and culture of Mexican music, I somehow hooked myself.
For a guy who came up on a steady diet of midwestern punk rock and heavy metal, this is a bit unorthodox. Maybe, it was the years working in restaurant kitchens that sparked the interest. Recently, after being offered a chance to review Hard Rock's new(ish) Monday night act, Metalachi, and looking them up on Google, I couldn't say “yes” fast enough.
Off Strip / Silver Sevens / Dining / BBQ / Eating / Steakhouses / → All Tags
Silver Sevens fell off of our list of cheap dining destinations after their café really let us down. The steak and lobster special, priced at $7.77, should never be repeated. The price hike on the BBQ ribs put Ellis Island way ahead in the race for baby-back value. We still haven’t made it to the buffet, but from what we hear, we’re not missing anything. Silver Sevens was slipping further and further from our thoughts, until we saw the sign:
“Baby Back Ribs $9.99.”
Maybe our complaining worked. Or, perhaps it was a pre-planned effort to boost October BBQ sales. Whatever the case, we are glad to see order restored to the universe. At $9.99 for a full rack of baby back ribs, this is once again an exceptional value. Just as before, it’s not listed on the menu. You’ll need to ask for the deal and it also requires a (free) A-Play card.
Off Strip / Silver Sevens / Terrible's / VegasChatter Reviews / Hotel Reviews / Hotel Rooms / Hotels / Housekeeping / → All Tags
Last week, we shared some of the disappointing changes to the dining options at Silver Sevens hotel and casino. This week, key card in hand, we jaunt further within the property and explore the property's renovated premium guestrooms.
Silver Sevens is located just a mile east of The Strip at Paradise and Flamingo, across from the Hard Rock. Like the Gold Coast on the west side, Silver Sevens is a locals-oriented casino that isn't far from the action of Las Vegas Boulevard. Some visitors even opt to make the trek on foot, although this isn't recommended during the blistering summer heat. As expected, the Off Strip location allows for considerable discounts on room rates. This writer booked a weekend stay at under $50 per night, while most hotels on The Strip were starting at twice that.
Checking in, even on a Friday afternoon, was painless. The registration area and player’s club share a single space. This set-up would be a disaster at any mega-resort on The Strip, where lengthy registration lines typically greet soon-to-be-frustrated visitors. With just 330 rooms and an efficient staff, Silver Sevens is able to keep waits to a minimum. As I selected my room preferences, I was treated to an entertaining dispute regarding a player’s club promotion at the next counter over. An elderly gentleman claimed he had driven 45 minutes to get here because he was promised $5 in free slot play, which he was now being denied. He was demanding to speak with the general manager regarding the issue. I got my keys before it was resolved and left wondering what type of vehicle he had that allowed him to make a 90-minute round trip for $5 and come out ahead.
Upon entering my third-floor room, I was welcomed with some complimentary banana-flavored cookies that had been left on the desk. Not quite up to DoubleTree chocolate chip standards but, nevertheless, an appreciated treat. Aside from the cookies, the room appeared identical to one I had stayed in six weeks ago, just prior to the re-branding from Terrible’s to Silver Sevens. Only the desk flyer advertising the dining options had been updated. This was not surprising, however, as the premium rooms were renovated less than two years ago and are still in excellent condition.
My single king room was well furnished. The 42” wall-mounted TV was among the best I've seen in a room below $100. The desk was fine to work at and I love that they provided an actual rolling office chair. From my experience with the budget hotel market in Vegas, it seems as if desk chairs are an afterthought and they typically end up throwing in whatever random chair they can find. This leads to a real mismatch, in which chairs are the wrong height or width, or are completely inappropriate for use at a desk.
The bedding was all new and the mattress perfectly comfortable. The pillows were a bit too thick for my liking, but that wouldn't stop me from visiting again. Bedside lamps had built-in power outlets, a very convenient touch. Beside the TV was a beautiful panoramic photograph of The Strip. Blackout curtains over the windows hid the view which, in my case, was of a parking lot. During my previous stay, I had a poolside view. It’s a bit noisier during the day, though, so avoid that side if you prefer to sleep late.
The bathroom area is split in two with the sink separated from the bedroom area by a frosted glass window. The sink and countertop here were included in the renovation and were up to the standards of the rest of the room. The remainder of the bathroom, unfortunately, was lacking. The fixtures all functioned properly, but were very basic and worn. I did appreciate the curved shower bar, which allowed some breathing room to move around under the disappointingly low shower head. The tile was reasonably clean, but would be better off being replaced.
I called upon housekeeping to provide an iron and ironing board shortly after checking in. Silver Sevens offers these at no charge but, unlike most hotels, does not store them in guestrooms. While delivery was swift, I consider this a housekeeping blunder. The iron arrived looking as if someone had previously used it to take the wrinkles out of a cactus. I decided to test it out on a pillowcase. It warmed up fine, but once I set it down I found that whatever black substance was caked on the front was now melting. Sorry about your pillowcase, Silver Sevens, but next time don’t give out irons that were previously used to melt sneakers.
Off Strip / Silver Sevens / Terrible's / Dining / BBQ / Eating / → All Tags
It’s been just over a month since Terrible’s officially became
Tolerable’s Silver Sevens. With a month of scooter giveaways and $7.77 steak and lobster specials now in the bag, we thought it an appropriate time to check in. Our destination? The former Bougainvillea Café, a wallet-friendly restaurant with consistently slow service. Now operating as The Sterling Spoon Café, the décor has improved greatly. Has anything else?
On the way up, we snooped around for any lingering Terrible’s signage. Silver Sevens did a thorough job with the transformation in late June, prior to making things official, and everything from the door handles to the parking garage signs had been updated. We miss Mr. Terrible and hope he finds a nice home at the Neon Museum.
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.
We can say we were there. Yes, indeed, we even got the t-shirt. Silver Sevens officially, finally, took over Terrible's with a sign lighting last night. Rather, a marquee lighting. And, we witnessed the actual millisecond it happened. Want proof? Dig this:
As the primary emblem of the new image, name and outlook, it's actually really nice. And, it frequently changes color. It will even be themed for holidays. A nice clean vibe.
Ladies, if sarongs and cover-ups never make it into your Vegas bag, why not flaunt what you've got in the hopes of scoring a jackpot that doesn't require you pour money into a Strip casino first?
Rehab will kick off its 2013 Bikini Invitational tonight at the Hard Rock. But, that doesn't mean you've missed your chance to sign up. Just head online between now and July 15 to create a profile. From there, it’s all about attending events and marketing yourself. A queen will be crowned at the end of July. The winner gets $25,000 and entry to the Miss USA State Pageant, but we consider ourselves, the viewers, winners, too.
Free Vegas / Deals / Hofbrauhaus / Drinking / Bars / Off Strip / → All Tags
Three ways to celebrate your 21st in Vegas? Make that four.
Off Strip Hofbräuhaus wants to toast patrons
trading fake IDs for legit ones celebrating their right to drink with a free liter of Hofbräu beer on their 21st birthday. We're sure quite a few will drink to that. But, if that ship has already sailed for you, here are some other Vegas deals you might want to redeem: