Best Luxury Hotel Bargain In Vegas

The Venetian Las Vegas
The Venetian

Hotel rooms at The Venetian and The Palazzo offer the best prices among luxury hotels in Las Vegas according to the most recent Average Daily Room (ADR) information.

The property’s (Cosmopolitan) average daily room rate of $273 topped other high-end properties. For example, Wynn Las Vegas and Encore reported ADR of $258, while The Venetian and the Palazzo reported a combined ADR of $211.

Hotel room prices in Vegas are very flexible because they fluctuate between prices being advertised to the public and what’s offered to existing customers through players clubs. So you’ll see a wide range of prices for any hotel room in Vegas.

The order of these hotels makes sense if you look at their popularity by younger customers who are a little less discerning when it comes to price. If you’re dropping $1,000 for a bottle of Grey Goose at XS or Marquee why not spend the extra money to crash at those hotels too.

This is good news to me because The Palazzo is one of my favorite places to stay in Vegas for a lot of reasons.

  1. Suites – I love that all the rooms are suites. When I’m on vacation I love the extra room. I feel like I can actually sit in the room and relax as opposed to most hotel rooms which are about half the size. Also, 3 TV’s.
  2. Lagasse’s Stadium – Easily the best sportsbook in the world.
  3. Dining – The options for fine or casual dining are great and between The Venetian and The Palazzo there are almost 10 coffee places.
  4. Casino – The Palazzo isn’t the most popular casino so it’s usually not very crowded. Much like my hotel room, I like having space in the casino.
  5. Atmosphere – While The Venetian is overrun with families The Palazzo isn’t as crowded and there’s enough space where you never feel cramped. It’s one of the most relaxing hotel casino combinations.

Rockhouse Now A 5 Star Dive Bar

I was invited to the grand opening of Rockhouse at The Venetian and since I visit The Venetian and The Palazzo pretty often I figured I’d check it out. Between the two casinos I like the sportsbooks, dining selections, coffee options, craps at The Palazzo and wifi accessibility at The Venetian (The Palazzo stopped free wifi last year).

Rockhouse Sign

 

Rockhouse is litterally located in between both The Venetian and The Palazzo in the Grand Canal Shoppes. Across the hall was First Food and Bar which was considered to be a part of The Palazzo. More than anything I was curious how the idea of a dive bar could possibly be a reality at a luxury hotel.

Rockhouse used to be located at Imperial Palace but it closed last year when renovations began turning IP into The Quad. Rockhouse isn’t a dive bar any longer…it’s an “Ultra-Dive Bar“.

WTF IS AN ULTRA DIVE BAR?!

The marketing was such a turn off that before I went to the opening of Rockhouse I was skeptical that there was any way this place could be cool. I was right and I was wrong. Rockhouse is not a dive bar. It’s located in a luxury resort and sells drinks that are competitive for the Vegas strip – not a dive bar. However…

Marketing aside Rockhouse is pretty cool!

Rockhouse Bar

Rockhouse is a bar. No more, no less. This awesome Grey Goose and soda was poured by a bartender that had must have had lead in her wrists (STRONG DRINK). I rarely feel the effects from one drink but this one hit me pretty nicely. In fact, this was the only drink I had at a totally open bar. Thanks Rockhouse, this was perfect. I hope that you can replicate this drink when I visit again.

The decor and name Rockhouse lead me to believe that I would be hearing some awesome rock jams. Unfortunately I heard no rock. The party played the most obnoxious mainstream pop music. I heard Pitbull three times in 20 minutes and I wanted to hurl. I like Pitbull but this was a bit much. The decor makes me think that there will be rock music for me when I return to Rockhouse in the future. Check out this sweet pool table.

Rockhouse Pool Table

The bartenders were I met were all nice and all good looking. There was only a short wait for drinks at a packed open bar. That’s impressive for just 3 bartenders. The back room of the bar has a few tables with views of the strip, mechanical bull, VIP area and a DJ booth. Not quite dive bar-ish. The front room where the pool table above is located has beer pong tables a nice selection of beer on tap and plenty of big TV’s.

Rockhouse has a $50 all you can drink all day deal which isn’t as bad as it sounds. The deal lasts from open to close and if you’re a boozer you and have more than 6 drinks or so this is probably a value. With all of the new TV’s and it being a new bar this might actually be a good deal to watch March Madness. Unfortunately your $50 won’t get you a sweet guitar full o booze.

UPDATE: The day before March Madness Rockhouse raised their all you can drink prices to $125.

Rockhouse Guitar Drink

$35 seems like a lot for a super sugary drink. If I’m getting a souvenir drink I prefer a 22 ounce skull of beer for $10. I walked into Rockhouse with a chip on my shoulder because of the marketing and expected to hate Rockhouse but I enjoyed it. Rockhouse isn’t a dive bar but it is a pretty cool bar away from the family chaos at The Venetian.

Now that First Food and Bar is closed I think Rockhouse will fill the void of a good out of the way place to have a meeting at The Venetian.

Checking Out Trevi At Caesars Palace Forum Shops

You may remember the blogger meat up I wrote about last year from Ranch House. These meetups are always a good time with good people and sometimes include good food and good drinks. This time it was all of the above. We met up at Trevi which is inside the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. Trevi is one of the first restaurants you’ll see when you walk into the Forum Shops from the Caesars Palace casino.

Trevi at Caesars Palace

I’ve been to the Forum Shops over a hundred times and never noticed Trevi but I’ve walked by it every time I’ve been there. To my defense I’m usually in a rush heading somewhere in the netherworld deep inside the Forum Shops. I get lost almost every time I’m at the Forum Shops because I don’t pay close attention and I’m not directionally inclined. Back to Trevi.

Trevi has dining inside and “outside” of the restaurant. The “outside” dining is a fenced of part of the forum shops which seats you close to the pretty fountains. If you sit too close to the fountains you’ll realize how loud they can be. The airy feeling is nice but head inside if you don’t want to be seen or would prefer less noise.

Grey Goose Trevi at Caesars Palace

While everyone else was sampling the fancy cocktails or some wine I decided to fix a craving I had with a perfectly made Grey Goose Orange and Soda. This picture looks so good that I want two or three more like I had at Trevi. Right. Now. This was the perfect way to begin the night.

Meatballs at Trevi at Caesars Palace

We ate family style and the first course brought the excellent meatballs at the top of the page and this very cool chicken parmesan appetizer. What could make chicken parm cool? Look at the picture…the cheese is in the middle. There was little sauce which is just the way I like it and this made the dish very neat and easy to manage. That’s not always the case with chicken parm.

Dessert Trevi Caesars Palace

Between the meatballs and chicken parm I barely touched the main courses. I wanted to keep room for dessert and I dipped into something called gooey chocolate cake. The outside may look dry but when I dove inside and grabbed some of that hot fudge everything was all good. The fresh berries made for a perfect palate cleanser.

The small plates above shared with a friend would make for a perfect happy hour. Trevi’s happy hour is called Trevi Time and they offer similar plates for $6. Not bad.

Happy Hour At Trevi At Caesars Palace

This wasn’t an ordinary day on the Vegas strip. You may remember the tragic shootout last week where three people died and a car blew up. That closed part of the strip so I decided to cut my travel during the day in two. This is why traffic didn’t seem too bad.

I worked from The Venetian food court for a couple hours before heading to dinner. While drinking one of the best latte’s ever I noticed this incredibly animated dude sitting across from me. Unfortunately he took off shortly after I took this picture and we didn’t meet but I think I’d like to play craps with him some day.

This Guy At The Venetian Food Court

Note: The food and drink were complimentary but my thoughts are my own. If you want to see more pictures from dinner at Trevi, check out the tumblr.

 

Downtown Vegas is Rocking!

Downtown Vegas is rocking and there are lots of people knocking.

when April’s numbers came out last week, it was downtown’s revenues that raised more than a few eyebrows. Downtown’s casinos raked in more than $48 million, a nearly 25 percent jump over April 2011.

If you follow any Las Vegas blogs you have had to notice a shift of news from the strip to downtown. Besides The Linq, there’s not much exciting being built on the strip. Downtown Vegas is another story. There has been non-stop rejuvenation over the past few years. Right now major hotel renovations are happening at Golden Gate and the D, which used to be Fitzgeralds.

If you follow my writing on Vegas Chatter, you may remember the article I wrote about “The Growing Separation of The Strip and Downtown Vegas” and that difference may be seen in this gaming growth.

While the strip shuns gamblers to attract people looking to drop $1,000 on a bottle of Grey Goose, the gamblers are heading downtown to be with other gamblers. And the hipsters are heading to the cool Fremont Street Bars.

I love the strip, but I’ve been spending more and more time downtown. It’s much more relaxed downtown. It feels fine to eat pancakes at DuPar’s for every meal when I’m staying downtown. When I’m on the strip I, almost, feel forced to enjoy a more upscale meal and stay.

Both are great and both are different but not everyone can afford the upscale prices. This separation has always been in Vegas, but with downtown being not being a dump any longer it’s a real viable option for many.

While downtown probably shouldn’t expect 25% gaming revenue increases every month, they should expect that growth to continue while the strip continues to shun gamblers.

Worlds Largest Margarita? Too Bad It’s Not Grey Goose

I rarely see a press release that seems ECG (AC2LV) worthy, but the Flamingo in Las Vegas is opening the Margaritaville casino next week and coinciding with that they will attempt to make the worlds largest margarita for the Guinness Book of World Records. It’s a fitting and fun promotion.

After six months of planning, the mixing of the colossal 8,500 gallon beverage, appropriately named “Lucky Rita”, will begin on October 11, 2011…it will take over 300 man hours working around the clock to mix the concoction, concluding with the public “Topping Off” ceremony on October 14, 2011. Surpassing the previous record holder by 873 gallons, Lucky Rita will feature 2,125 gallons of Margaritaville Gold Tequila, 708 gallons of Triple Sec, 5,667 gallons of Margaritaville Margarita Mix and Lemon-X sour mix and 22,667 Lime Wedges. Lucky Rita will sit at 30 feet tall and will serve over 181,333 margaritas from October 14th to October 23rd coinciding with the 7th annual Margaritaville street party.

I don’t drink tequila (bad things happen) so this sounds disgusting to me. I love vodka, but I don’t think I’d even drink vodka that has been sitting for 10 days. As nasty as the drink sounds this is a very appropriate and fun promotion idea. Whatever the case, I look forward to checking out the new casino.

If you’re bored you can watch the building of Lucky Rita. Or buy this frozen concoction maker.

Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker
Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker

 

Queens of the Stoneage at Cosmopolitan

The reason for my mini stay at home Las Vegas vacation began because I wanted to see Queens of the Stoneage at the Boulevard Pool at Cosmopolitan. I haven’t seen this band in years and I figured that the setting of the Boulevard Pool on a warm summer night would be amazing. As soon as I bought tickets I immediately went to Caesars.com to get a room because this isn’t the kind of band I want to see sober and I’d rather not pay for a cab – most rooms are cheaper or even free. The best I could muster was a room at Harrah’s, which wasn’t so bad after the upgrade.

After the room was booked I mentioned my excitement about how awesome the show would be to a friend and they booked a flight from the east coast. The game was on! What started as one night of raging became 4 nights of raging. R A G E !

I’ve seen Queens of the Stoneage before but it’s been a while. In the last year I’ve gotten back into their catalog. In fact, I’m listening to R as I write this. Side note: I wrote a comparison between the Boulevard Pool and watching a band at the pool at Red Rock Casino on Vegas Chatter last week and the main difference is the setting.

Watching Queens of the Stoneage (QOTSA) on the Cosmopolitan rooftop was awesome. The views we stunning and the sound wasn’t bad – especially for an outside venue and the setlist was great! They even played some songs I forgot about (like “Little Sister”).

Regular John
Avon
The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret
3’s & 7’s
If Only
Sick, Sick, Sick
Better Living Through Chemistry
In My Head
Into the Hollow
Make It Wit Chu
Little Sister
(Intro Jam)
Burn the Witch
First It Giveth
Go With the Flow
You Can’t Quit Me Baby
Encore:
No One Knows
A Song for the Dead

It was almost like a greatest hits set, but it was kind of what I wanted. I got lost in the show and atmosphere a couple of times. Once alone when I found a seat towards the back of the pools looking at the stage with The Harmon in the background. Nice advertising for Viva Elvis.

QOTSA Back
QOTSA Back

I had another moment again when I was up closer watching the show and taking in the Vegas strip skyline. To be super honest, it was moving. That’s what Cosmopolitan has been banking with everything they do and the Boulevard Pool is a success there. I rarely have moments like this so this night will remain special for a long time to come.

QOTSA Side
QOTSA Side

One of the most stunning parts of watching a band on the Boulevard Pool at Cosmo is the marquee. It’s a great piece for the bands to have at their sides when they play because it makes watching the band easier if there are a lot of people or you just want to be in the back. The big screen is viewable for just about anyone on the strip (no audio though) and is visually stunning if you don’t want to be close enough to see the band from stage.

QOTSA Marquee
QOTSA Marquee

Speaking of being in the back, the Cosmo flickr has a bunch of professional pictures from the show which are way better than my iPhone pictures. If you’re into concert pictures you’ll notice there’s nothing take from less than 200 feet away from the stage. Still nice pics, but that’s the difference between nice and awesome and ZOMG!

Anyway, the people there to watch the band were cool, but that only accounted for about about 40-60% of the crowd. This show was easy to spot who was there to see the band and who was just there. QOTSA is the kind of band that is definitely more fun to watch with people that are into the music as they get into the music and everyone feeds off of each others energy.

Less cool was the fact that beer prices were about 20-30% higher than in the casino. My can of Fat Tire was $10. I don’t think I’ve ever paid more than $7 for a beer. My Stoli and Soda was about $13. I’m pretty sure that’s the price of Grey Goose at Book and Stage. I drank for “free” at Harrah’s beforehand so this wasn’t too big of a deal. (I say “free” because I know my gambling spend allows me the Diamond Lounge access)

The most uncool feeling was the feeling that the casino didn’t want any rock people hanging out after the show. Everywhere we went after the show had some kind of AWFUL pop-dance-remix music pumping. I get that people like that kind of music, but it would have been nice to be eased back into that after the high an awesome rock show. Especially since the casino usually plays much cooler music. I can only imagine that indie snobs going to the Cosmo to see bands will never return or would just leave right away without spending money. I ended up walking to Planet Hollywood to get a cab back to Harrah’s since the line was at 20-30 minutes.

Bottom line is that QOTSA was an amazing show, but it came across that the club (Cosmo) wanted a different customer that evening. I’m not sure “the curious class” isn’t being taken over by “the douchey class.” More on that another time.