Coffee at The Palazzo

I love coffee.  If you follow me on twitter, you see me talk about it just about every day.  So, with that being said, I always have an eye out for coffee when I travel.

Back in September I was listening to one of my favorite Las Vegas podcasts, Five Hundy By Midnight, when I swear I heard a caller say that there weren’t any places to get coffee at the Palazzo.  Needless to say this sent me into a mini tizzy with a trip upcoming.

I’m happy to report that coffee options were good and plentiful!

My first stop and the place I would get coffee from most was The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.  There was a location right at the room elevators.  Great location.  This is just a walk up location so there wasn’t anywhere to sit down.  I stopped here at least once per day.

One of my favorite ways to nurse a hangover is with iced coffee.  It goes down so easily is very refreshing.  They combination of caffeine and ice does wonders.

Of course, my first night in Las Vegas I drank way too much and mixed too many different drinks.  I needed more than the iced coffee above.

It took so long for a cocktail waitress to wander over to my where I was playing 5 cent Double Diamond slots that I ordered two cups of coffee.  A few notes here:

1. Palazzo cups of coffee are pretty large.  I lost my $20 before I could finish the 2nd and 3rd cups.
2. Palazzo coffee is damn hot.  Like damn hot.  Consider yourself warned.
3. Casino coffee usually isn’t great and these cups were no different.
4. This was the only time I had an extended wait for a cocktail waitress in my 4 days at Palazzo.

One morning I was wandering in the casino and came across Espressamente Illy in the walkway towards the Venetian.  I like Illy coffees so I stopped in for a large latte and banana nut muffin.  Both were good, but the $11 price tag was sticker shock.  That started me off on a bad foot and a losing morning of gambling.

Since I woke up from a nap and lost my friends I decided to wander the Shoppes.  That’s where I found Cafe Presse.  They provide Lavazza coffees and have a nice selection of muffins and sweets.  Cafe Presse is located right outside of the room elevators on the second floor.  There are a couple of tables out in the the mall and I believe they get free wifi.

In order to get my head together I had a latte and banana nut muffin.  The price was more reasonable than the Illy coffee and the muffin were both fantastic.  Unfortunately, this place was out of sight and therefor was out of mind.

The final coffee I had was in my room.  No the Palazzo suites do not have coffee makers.  I ordered a wonderful breakfast from room service on my last morning.

The Palazzo serves Starbucks coffee with room service.  I didn’t expect anything special and this wasn’t.  However, it was good enough that I drank the whole pot.

Overall, there are plenty of choices to grab a cup of coffee at the Palazzo and, outside of the casino coffee, they are all pretty good.  Being that you’re at a casino don’t be surprised when you are paying more than you normally would pay for coffee.

Slot Machines & Video Poker: Slant Top vs. Upright

I’ve noticed a lot of incoming searches that are inquiries about slant top and about upright video poker machines so I decided to share my thoughts on each type of game.

igt_quickquadspoker_g17upright

Upright Machines

I see more upright machines at casinos than slant top models.  The machines are placed on cabinets to place the games at eye level.  It’s nice to sit upright and have everything right in sight.  These machines promote good posture because of the line of sight.  Because there is this direct sight line there isn’t a real desire or need to slouch.

Some will put their feet up and lean back while they play poker.  When I was a kid my mother made me nervous about falling down if I lean back, so I don’t do that.

I don’t mind these games, but if I’m drinking something I’ll typically have to stop playing to pick the drink up or put it down.  It’s a small thing, but I don’t like the pause while I’m playing.

igt_gamekingpoker_g22_slant

Slant Top Machines

There aren’t as many slant top machines in casinos nowadays.  It seems to me that many of the slant tops are older games – specifically slots.  I stay away from the slots because most of them are old, although there seems to be some newer games coming onto the market.

The seats are lower to the ground because the games are set lower to the ground.  There’s a tendancy to lean foward to the game because of the arm rests.  I find these games to be have more room than the uprights.

The real reason I like slant tops is because I have easy access to the buttons on the game as well as my drink.  There’s little pause when I play these machines.  Specifically, I enjoy playing video poker on these machines early in the morning over a cup of coffee.

The type of machine doesn’t really matter to me.  When playing video poker the pay tables matter more than anything else.  With everything being equal, I would choose a slant top game.  I enjoy being lower to the ground and I don’t mind the posture as long as it gets me access to my drinks quicker.

What do you prefer?

Vegas Report – Thursday – Palace Tower Petite Suite at Caesars Palace

…After a nice cab ride to Caesars Palace we walk into the main check in area.  I tend to always over pack, so I was lugging around a 40+ pound suitcase and a laptop.  We look around, but cannot find Diamond Check In.  We were shown the way by a very nice employee on her way toward the Augustus Tower.  I haven’t seen the gaming area yet, but already realize how big this place is.  Diamond Check in and the Augustus Tower are pretty far from the rest of the casino.  Check in was a breeze and I was upgraded to a petite suite in the Palace Tower as opposed to the Augustus Tower room I reserved.  I love hearing the word suite!

After what felt like a 20 minute walk through the casino we found the Palace Tower.  After a day learning the grounds it wasn’t so bad.  The good news is that it’s right by the pools.  Only 3 of the 5 pools are currently open.  Here is the view of the pools from my room.

cp-pools

Now for a photo tour of the petite suite.  Open the door to the nice entry hall filled with huge closets to the left and two bathrooms and a vanity to the right.

entry

If I were to nitpick I would mention that the TV was too small and did not have HD programming.  The actual decor of the TV area was very nice.  However, I had to chuckle at the $6.50 bag of kettle chips that cost $1 anywhere else.  Truth be told, I would have eaten them if I was drunk and hungry.

tv-area

The room was pretty spacious and, again, decorated very nicely.  The general room decor is modern.  I’ve mentioned before how much I like and prefer clean line design.  Doubling back we head to the bathrooms.

toiletbidet

The larger of the two bathrooms included a single sink with a granite top, a water closet (shown above) with a bidet and toilet as well as a huge jacuzzi tub (not shown).  The smaller of the bathrooms had just a sink water closet.  No complaints with that, just not exciting enough to take a photo.  The bathrooms were connected by jack and jill style showers.

showers

Since the showers have glass doors my friend and I couldn’t both use the bathroom at the same time if one of use was using the shower.  I’m not sure that this was the best design idea, but it was ok.  Having a double shower was pretty cool.  The shower was huge.

neverending-hall

Overall, I was pretty happy with the room.  The bathroom design was semi-dated but kept with the roman theme of the hotel while the main space of the room was spacious and modern.  The room was almost all the way at the end of the hall, which felt like a long haul on the first day but wasn’t really that bad.

Next up:  Time to get up and go…

Vegas Report – Thursday – Departure

Last week I ventured off to my favorite destination in the United States – Las Vegas.  I’m going to recap the trip in a number and variety of posts.  I’ll be jumping from “I” and “we” as I took the trip with a good friend, but we weren’t always together.  We’ll begin the journey from my house.

I’ve always been a nervous airplane traveler.  I tend to get to the airport 2+ hours before a flight just to be safe – especially when going out to Vegas for fun.  My flight was scheduled for 1pm.  My car service was about 15 minutes early so I gladly departed at 10am.  I upgraded to first class and check in was a breeze.

There was about 2 hours until boarding so we got a quick bite at McDonald’s.  I haven’t had a McDonald’s breakfast in a while.  I’m happy the meal was uneventful.

I remembered I passed a Wine Bar so I wandered back towards the gate and decided to give it a shot.  I try not to go to the bathroom mid flight so I don’t tend to drink much before a flight.  I decided on a flight of California red wines while I caught up with work before I took off.  The wine bar was nice and relaxing.  One of the wines was a pinot noir that was perfect.  I could enjoyed the rest of the bottle if I had time.

The flight out was overbooked and Continental offered a nice package to those willing to wait on their flight – $300 voucher + food vouchers + first class on the next flight + (I think) access to the captains lounge during the wait.  This was quite an offer, but not enough for me to delay my trip to Las Vegas by 7 hours.

First class on this airplane was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before.  I believe that the plan was a Boeing 757.   Leg room was insane.  I couldn’t reach the seat in front of me with my feet.  The seats reclined more than any other seats I’ve had before.  There was a foot rest that popped out when reclined and lumbar support.  There was an individual entertainment center located in each seat.  It had TV shows, video games, movies and music.  I thought only Virgin Atlantic had something like this.  It was awesome.  I knew my coach flight back would suck.

1stclass

Surprisingly, I didn’t bother with the entertainment center.  I had my ipod and tried to fall asleep with a few more glasses of wine.  When that didn’t work, I had a Grand Marnier.  I knocked off for a little while after my burrito lunch and then it was on to skyy vodka and club soda.  I felt nice by the time I got to Las Vegas and didn’t even care that I was 20 minutes late.

One perk of being in first class is that checked bags come out very quickly.  After gathering our bags it was off to the “Taxi Line.”  I hate this line, but it wasn’t so bad.  I’ve stood in a line 3 times as long.  Once in the cab I told the driver we were off to Caesars and to please don’t take the tunnel.  He sighed about that and went on to explain that taking the tunnel is how he makes his money.  Too bad – not my money.  We talked about the fight a bit and he asked who I was rooting for.  I told him Manny would probably win, but I just want a good fight.  The driver revealed that he was Filipino and rooting for Manny.

On to Caesars Palace next….

Vegas Trip Notes

I’m back from Las Vegas and had a great trip.  I stayed at Caesars Palace which was pretty nice but very big and a little mellow.  Below are the notes I took during the trip.  A lot of these were tweeted during the trip.  Full review coming in the coming days.  

Thurs

Car early
McD’s breakfast
Wine bar – Flight of CA reds. Awesome.
Plane overbooked – $300 + first class + food. 
First class – most leg room individual tv/game/movie unit. Wine, sky/soda, grand marnier, sleep.
20 mins late.
CP huge
Diamond check in on one side. Upgrade to petite suite in palace tower. 15-20 min walk from check in.
Room nice and big. Location not bad.
3 of 5 pools open.
Mesa grill – awesome salad.
Explore CP -$20 vp – loss.
Room – game 6 bulls/celts. Great game
Palazzo – club grazi. $50 sign up.
Nice casino. Machines were broken.
Bar $20 VP. Loss. 
Carne Vino – Awesome. PH for 2.
Downtown
Freemont exp – kiss.
Golden monkey @ golden nugget -$20
Mini pai gow – about 8 kettel/soda +$100
CP 3CP -$300
$5 JOB -$300
Sleep 3 something AM.
Awake 7am. Blech. 

Fri

Up @ 7.
Room for a while.
Coffee & croissant
Various penny slots. +
Crepe madam. Pretty good.
Back to room. Relax.
No Zappos visit
To MGM.
Weigh in packed. told we couldn’t get in.
Played penny slots. -$20
8/5 VP +5
3CP + 400
Closed circuit @ MGM sold out. Told to go to NYNY. Told it’s sold out. Buy CC tix @ Mirage.
Back to room. Change. To Bellagio.
Dinner @ Prime. Kobe strip. AWESOME. Sit outside.
3cp +$400 
To palms
A lot to drink.
3cp +$300
To Gold Coast
Now has TGIFridays. Couple apps. Pai gow -$100
Fun cab to CP
Sleeeeeeep!

Sat

Coffee and croissant
-$100 VP
-$700 various $5 slots
-$50 penny slots
Room. Relax. Shower.
Lunch @ Augustus cafe. Shake + grilled cheese. Not bad.
Diamond lounge. Nice. no buffet. Nice staff. Good drink. Watched kentucky derby. 
To mirage for for CC fight tix
3cp +$200
Explore mirage.
Fight is far away from casino. There’s some kind of miss viet nom thing lots of hotties.  Also some military ball.
Drink + 3 play VP +$24
Time for fight.
Nice set up. Banquet style round tables. GA. Sold out or closed to it. Many VIPs. Not me.
About 65/35 toward hatton.
manny destoys. Place goes nuts. Brits wimper out.
After most leave. We walk out with terry fator show ending.
Dinner @ Samba.
Still many ppl, not many gamblers. $5 BJ and 3cp. Open with seats.
To HRC
Packed
Rearranged floor since last trip. Go-go stage. More slots.
$5 3cp -$100
Lots of DB’s
Caesars. “Early crash”

Sun

Payards croisant/coffee/again/messy
gamble
5c Top dollar slot -20
Sports book
VP 9/6 BP -80
Hawks -5.5 +100 poor wager. Wanted 2 bet more.
Reds + cards parlay +$37. Cards rained out
Sports bar many drink 9/6 VP -20 25 c top dollar -20
Some 7’s slot +7. confused. left.
Forum shops nice
Cheesecake fact – sliders – eh
$5 9/6 job -300
$5 Top dollar +300
$1 WOF +150
Nap
Diamond lounge packed hot food
Craps -400
5 c top dollar -100
Augustus cafe grilled cheese & shake again
PH – rocking
Go go dancers
1c WOF wack -20
3 play VP @ Heart Bar -20
CP – rockin
$1 WOF +75
Crash

Mon

Late rise
Pack
See host – all charges gone
augustus – bacon chz omlt. Good
$1 WOF +75
$1 diamond slot even
Cashier got bitchy when I cashed tickets
Room to relax
Airport
Flight delayed 2 hours
Chilis
Can’t sleep