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Tell me all about Las Vegas, please :)

(31 Posts)
Hulababy Thu 18-Jun-09 20:49:03

We (me, DH and DD who will be just turned 8y) next May half term. Not yet booked but we are going over for my sister's wedding at the Luxor. DD is to be bridesmaid.

Have you been?

It looks like it will be a fun hectic holiday and we are already looking forward to it.

What are the highlights?

Where did you stay?

And DH and my dad want to go to the Grand Canyan - did you do that? How? Was it worth it?

TIA!

inscotland Thu 18-Jun-09 20:59:53

oooh I love Vegas and would go back in a minute!

OK. The Luxor is at the bottom of the strip so be prepared for lots of walking or taking taxis which is pretty cheap. Are you planning on staying at the Luxor too?

It will be a hectic holiday. Be prepared you need to walk through a casino (some of them very smokey) to get pretty much anywhere and your DD may get a bit fed up of this (actually can't recall if they are even allowed to walk through) so my tip would be to spend half a day at the pool just so she can have some time for herself.

Shopping is amazing.

The fountains at the Bellagio are a must but not until at night.

There are loads of places that will fly you up to the Canyon for the day but it is a long trip. If you can at all then hire a car and go up for the night. We wished we had done that as the organised trips go with their schedule and for us a 2 hour unnecessary lunch in a horrible hotel!

We stayed at Signature at MGM and loved it.

We also didn't go with too many plans. We just headed out everyday with an open mind. We made sure we did all the big hotels just to say we'd done it. The rides at the Stratosphere are good - according to hubby but I was too scared!

bellavita Thu 18-Jun-09 21:05:14

Oh thanks for starting this thread Hula, we go to Las Vegas in August, staying slightly off strip at the Monarch Grand Vacation.

We are not planning on hiring a car, just getting taxi or the shuttle bus from our resort complex.

Like you inscotland, we are not going with too many plans, we obviously want to do Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam.

The only thing I am not looking forward to is the drive back from Gatwick airport... will be a long one for us

Hulababy Thu 18-Jun-09 21:09:48

inscotland - no idea where we are staying yet.

I don't want to do the Grand Canyan - the thought of some little plane or, even worse, a helicopter, is enough to put me off! So that will just me DH and my dad, and maybe my brother too.

We are used to hectic - recently got back after a busy weekend in New York. We like hectic.

DD will enjoy time by the pool though. Rides sound good too grin and I am sure we will fit in shopping.

Obviously one day will be taken up with te wedding.

I suspect we will spend most of the time walking in and out of all the big hotels having a look.

Wigglesworth Thu 18-Jun-09 21:13:39

Myself and DH got married and stayed at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in June 07. It is right next door to the Luxor and is without a doubt the BEST place I have ever been to. The Mandalay Bay is stunning and our wedding was beautiful.
Las Vegas is fantastic and there is loads to see and do. It will be very hot in May BTW. We flew to the grand canyon on a helicopter and it was breathtaking, I cried when we took off it was so overwhelming. It didn't take that long-about 40 mins each way and we had a picnic lunch in the grand canyon. I would defo recommend going on a helicopter, the views are spectacular.
All the themed hotels are fab, the shopping in Ceasers Palace is ace, the Venetian and the Bellagio are out of this world. The roller coaster going through the New York hotel is good too.
If you want to gamble but don't want to spend a fortune in the casinos on the strip (minimum bets are usually at least 20 dollars) go to Freemont Street at night, it's the old Vegas and is a cheap and cheerful night out. The street is under cover and the roof has a light show on it every hour or so. The drinks are really cheap too, sure it isn't as classy as the strip but you can have a fun night out for next to nothing.
I could bang on about Vegas forever and I don't think you can fully appreciate it until you go there. It really isn't tacky like people imagine, too much money has been spent building the place, it's just spectacular.

tribpot Thu 18-Jun-09 21:19:22

The Mandalay Bay is lovely and has a fab aquarium too. We did a helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon, really good stuff.

I think - and it was a while ago - at the time I thought the best kids'-themed hotel was the Excalibury one, not sure if that's what it's called?

We stayed at the Luxor, was v nice although terribly claustrophobic in that you could go days without seeing daylight, altho that's true of all Vegas hotels.

If I was going to do long haul with ds Vegas would definitely be a potential destination, hope you have a great time.

feedthegoat Thu 18-Jun-09 21:24:06

I've been and seem to be the only person who isn't keen on Vegas!

We stayed at the MGM which was really nice and well located. I did like the bars in NewYork NewYork, particularly the duelling piano bar. I also enjoyed Fremont Street for the retro feel although it was much seedier than the strip.

We didn't go to the Grand Canyon (possibly a mistake in hindsight) but we did go for a drive round Red Rock Canyon nearby which was well worth it and scenic.

It just all got abit too surreal for me with gondolas in hotels by the end!grin

goblincandoa5k Thu 18-Jun-09 21:30:47

Are you staying at the Luxor? If not, with a child i would stay over the road at the MGM. It has a great pool area with a lazy river - "see here las-vegas-hotels.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g45963-d91891-Reviews-MGM_Grand_Hotel_and_Casino-Las_V egas_Nevada.html"

Also has the monorail running out the back, which is handy for going up the strip. Visit the Hilton for the Star Trek Experience if you are at all geeky like us (grin)

The fountains are great, the Eiffel tower is good too, although maybe a bit expensive - great view of the fountains from the top though (smile)

Fremont Street if you like neon !

Wandering through the big casinos is an eye opener, although beware when out on the strip that there is quite a lot of 'dodgy' material being given out - having a child or partner with you will not stop them either.

In the past few years Las Vegas has swung away from the family image back to the adult playground market. Treasure Island has gone from showing a pirate themed show, to scantily clad sirens - maybe not what you want your 8yo to see (wink)

As for the Canyon, it is stunning and worthy of at least a night. It will take you 5hrs each way.

The "Skywalk www.grandcanyonskywalk.com/" is closer but is not the GCNP, IMO it is a tourist trap.

Hire a car and get out of Vegas for a couple of days. You could see Rte 66 in Flagstaff and the new bridge at "Hoover Dam www.hooverdambypass.org/" should be open in May and Sedona for beautiful scenery, etc.

I shall go now as i have waffled on, sorry (blush)

bellavita Thu 18-Jun-09 21:37:46

Do you mean get a helicopter from Vegas to the Grand Canyon? or drive there and do a helicopter around the Canyon [dim emoticon]

Wigglesworth Thu 18-Jun-09 21:41:41

I meant get a helicopter from Vegas, you fly over the strip on the way back too, it's just amazing.

inscotland Thu 18-Jun-09 21:56:20

Take the car to the Canyon. You can get great views on 2 feet!

When in the casino if a waitress asks you if you want a drink they are free in most places as long as you are seen to be gambling. You just need to tip your waitress - that is how she makes a living. It doesn't need to be high end gambling either. Just the slots is fine.

Hulababy Thu 18-Jun-09 21:58:19

Thanks all; this is fab

Still have to decide on hotels. My sister is getting married at the Luxor, and she will be staying there too.

I think DH was looking at flying to the Grand Canyan by helicopter from Vegas.

inscotland Thu 18-Jun-09 22:00:21

You can see the Luxor when you come into land too!

bellavita Thu 18-Jun-09 22:02:21

Am getting excited now grin

Btw - did you book the helicopter thing before you went, or did the hotel arrange it?

mrsbabookaloo Thu 18-Jun-09 22:05:50

I wouldn't agree that it isn't tacky: it is apallingly so, and yet that somehow becomes appealing after a while.

Don't go expecting glamour and high rollers in fancy frocks; it's much more sad old people on the slot machines and large people in sports clothes

BUT...I still think it's great. There's just something about it that's like nowhere else.

I would say: you have big culture shock when you get there, then you start to really enjoy it, but not for more than a few days: definitely have some other activities planned.

We have just been talking about my SIL (from california) getting married there next year!

Circus Circus is supposed to be the place to go with kids, but I've never been, so can't say what it's like.

The Bellagio fountains are great, and the Paris hotel casino is great: again such a tacky idea but somehow it works; ditto the Venetian. At Paris there's a lovely bar that does great free snacks with your drinks at happy hour.

Food is quite poor in general though. After a few days, you're dying for something healthy!

Wigglesworth Thu 18-Jun-09 22:07:22

We booked it on the internet before we went. It went from a helicopter place next to the airport which is opposite the Luxor, when I say opposite it is actually about a mile away really.

bellavita Thu 18-Jun-09 22:10:41

Wigglesworth, yeah, I get the picture about distances and being opposite something, we have done Florida a few times and California grin

chocolategal Fri 19-Jun-09 07:14:56

I love love love vegas! Been twice and going back next year

I have stayed in the luxur & the wynn. Luxor was nice and nice pools but probably more to do for 8 year old at MGM or circus circus.

We drove to the grand canyon stopping at Hoover dam on the way and it was a looooong drive. I world recommend the helicopter any day!

So many things to do, go see the lions at MGM,the m&m factory, a cirque du soleil show,bellagio fountains at least once a day,secret garden at the mirage....the list could go on.
It us somewhere that has to very seen to be believed. Hope you have a great time.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 19-Jun-09 09:43:12

Do not stay at Circus Circus under any circs. Basically its a dump. You'd be far better off staying at one of the newer hotels at the southerm end of The Strip. However, not all these hotels are very child friendly by any means (particularly the Bellagio in that regard).

The Forum shops at Caesars has to be seen. Look up at the ceiling!.

We did a Hummer tour that took us offroading out into the desert. Great fun!.

I have stayed at the MGM Signature as these are fully serviced apartments (so plenty of space for all) and is (unusually for Vegas) both a non gaming and fully non smoking facility. Its nicer for families like us all round and it would be ideal for the three of you. As goblin rightly pointed out also, Las V has gone back to the adult market from the family oriented one. MGM Signature does not cost the earth either unlike some of the others where you could get a tiny room for a largeish sum of cash per night.

Rubyrubyrubyinthegame Fri 19-Jun-09 09:52:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Kiwinyc Fri 19-Jun-09 10:12:19

I've been abut 6 times, most recently with a 5mth old baby. We stayed at the Wynn, which is a lovely, non-themed hotel, directly opposite Fashion Mall which was great (I did lots of shopping and ate cheaply in the Food Court). Our standard room was a good size and had plenty of room for the cot they provided, and we used a babysitter booked through the hotel (from an external co) for one evening as we were there attending a conference for DH's work. YOur DD is old enough to be able to appreciate all the themed hotels etc, you'll have a great time.

chocolategal Fri 19-Jun-09 10:27:43

Kiwinyc, do the wynn allow prams now? We we stayed there after it just opened in 2006 no prams/buggys allowed!

Kiwinyc Fri 19-Jun-09 14:25:18

You're kidding really? What were you supposed to do if you had a child then?

We were there Nov 2006 and had no probs, nobody mentioned anything! But your post makes me remember now, that one day on my way back in (we were there for 5 days) the security people called me to one side, to put a tag on the buggy to show that it had been 'checked' i think? That was all though, I wasn't delayed at all. I had a micralite, with a carrycot attached so that DD could sleep while I shopped! wink

I did like the Wynn, and all those fabulous mosaics and flower arrangements in the Lobby, and fruit arrangements in the COnservatory where the buffet breakfast was!

chocolategal Fri 19-Jun-09 15:42:49

We were lucky enough to spend 2 weeks there (before DC!) I loved everything about it. Hoping to go back for my 30th next year.
Maybe it was just in the high end shopping bit as someone definately got turned away from there with a pram.

Hulababy, you are in for a great holiday!

Hulababy Fri 19-Jun-09 16:59:24

Thank all; sounds like it is going to be great. It has this May's trip to New York to live up to - so hopefully we will love Vegas just as much.

Will def look at some of the hotel recommendations; def the ones near Luxor as well as Luxor itself.

Just have to wait 11 months now, lol!

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