Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

First Trip to Vegas - Flamingo vs. others and Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon in a day

First Trip to Vegas - Flamingo vs. others and Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon in a day

Old Feb 2nd, 2004, 10:32 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 75
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
First Trip to Vegas - Flamingo vs. others and Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon in a day

My husband and I are taking our first trip ever to Las Vegas - flying to Las Vegas 2/7 for 3 nights. We need some help!

I've booked at the Flamingo for an average of $60 a night as a package that includes 2 for 1 Second City admission, standard room. Since this is our first time, we would prefer to be in the vicinty of most casinos in order to walk to each one and I've read that Flamingo is a great location for this, especially for a first timer. On the other hand, I've read some pretty bad reviews on the Flamingo so I'm worried about the room. So even though cost does weigh into the decision, there's a balance when it comes to wanting to stay somewhere nice as well.

Here are the other choices - We can stay at the Flamingo Saturday night for $95 (all other hotels are outrageous for Saturday night) and move to another hotel for Sun and Mon nights. Here's how it stacks up:

Bally's - $90 each night, Sun and Mon, with a package that includes $50 match play.

Mirage - $100 each night, Sun and Mon, with no extras.

Aladin - $70 each night, Sun and Mon, with no extras.
Caesars and Paris were too high.

Can anyone give me their opinions on each of these hotels vs. the Flamingo, and also the location pros and cons of each.

Is it okay to ask for an upgrade at the desk when you check in. Do they ever give these free, or for a small price. Would an upgrade for a minimal price at Flamigo give us a better chance at a decent room? Do you tip the front desk agents?

Second part to this posting. Is it too far to plan a trip to see the Grand Canyon for just the day, leaving around 8a and getting back that night?

I know this is a long posting and a lot of information so I really appreciate any responses I receive! Thank you!!!!
DJCV is offline  
Old Feb 2nd, 2004, 12:23 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 153
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I stayed at the Flamingo for the first time recently, and liked it very much. The rooms were fine (although ours was very far from the elevator) and the location is unbeatable. The casino itself is pretty good too.

That said, the couple we traveled with had a room on a different floor that was not in very good shape. It had some peeling paint and was quite a bit smaller than ours. Luck of the draw, I guess.
jende is offline  
Old Feb 2nd, 2004, 12:31 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 37
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well let's see...I've stayed at all of them, so here's my two cents worth..A move to Bally's would be easy, Aladdin or Mirage a little more complicated (distance) I frequent Bally's b/c I get great offers from them and find their rooms very acceptable. Flamingo is at the epicenter of the strip, Bally's, then Mirage, then Aladdin, but all are great. Some Flamingo rooms are dated, but generally they are of good quality. Your package offers are average, but if you want some LV experience - either gambling (Bally's) or a show (Flamingo) stick with one or the other. My own rating of the hotels you cite place Aladdin first (newest (and cost as you note) so if room age is of concern to you go with Aladdin); Bally's (offers me everything I need) Flamingo (location) then Mirage (nothing memorable about my stay there other than the pool, but Feb isn't exactly pooltime). Others will have different opinions, but none of the hotels you've listed would be a poor choiice. Once you check into the Flamingo if you find the room not to your liking request a change. Good luck!
beachpup is offline  
Old Feb 2nd, 2004, 12:42 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,620
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Stick with the Flamingo, you will be happy with it and likely not spend much time in the room regardless of quality or location. You can find bad reviews on any Hotel of you read enough.

3 nights for a first timer is fine to get a feel for Vegas and try out some of what the town has to offer. I recommend passing on GC this trip. Your time is too short. If you want to get our of town, why not do the Hoover Dam instead? Can be done with travel, tour, etc. in 4 hours if you have a car.
placeu2 is offline  
Old Feb 2nd, 2004, 12:45 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,189
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If room quality is important to you, I'd go with Aladdin. First, the rate you got is excellent and Aladdin's got the best rooms of those you mentioned. Second, Aladdin's location is still in the heart of the Strip. Third, one of Flamingo's biggest pluses is its pool area--and we know you can't take advantage of that this time of year.
If Aladdin were $50-75 more per night than Flamingo that would cancel out much of its advantage. But at the price you quoted, I'd switch.
travleis is offline  
Old Feb 2nd, 2004, 01:37 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 14,632
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I was at the Flamingo in mid-January. The room was fine. It was very large and kept quite clean by the staff. The checkin was handled well. I ate in the hotel a couple of times and found the cafe fine and the Italian restaurant excellent. I never used a cab and walked to everything. For the money, I thought it was just fine.
cmcfong is offline  
Old Feb 2nd, 2004, 03:44 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 72
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My husband and I took a day trip to the south rim of the Grand Canyon during a four day trip to Las Vegas last September. The drive took about 4 1/2 hours each way. We left at 8 am and got back to Vegas at about 10 pm. We had enough time to grab a quick lunch at the third most expensive McDonald's in the world and then spent about an hour at the canyon before our 1 1/2 hour helicopter tour. Although we didn't spend that much time there, we felt we saw everything we wanted to see during the helicopter tour. It was a long day but definitely worth the trip. For us, we didn't want to be that close to the Grand Canyon and not see it. We also stopped at the Hoover Dam on the way. We didn't do the tour but again, we saw what we wanted to see.
posha is offline  
Old Feb 2nd, 2004, 04:48 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 923
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Another option for the Grand Canyon is to cross the Hoover Dam and continue on that road towards Dolan Springs Turn left off the highway toward Dolan Springs, passing that small village. A dirt road to the right 20 minutes past DS will you through the Joshua Tree Forrest and to the West Rim. This is called QuarterMaster ViewPoint and is a great way to see the Grand Canyon with a slightly shorter travel time (2 1/2 hours one way from Vegas). You must stop at the little gift shop and pay first ($4)as this viewpoint is on an Indian Reservation. A few of the tour buses go here from Vegas but not many. We loved it because it was so far from everything.
LilyLace is offline  
Old Feb 2nd, 2004, 07:19 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,023
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

Stayed at the Flamingo last December. Room was fine. Large,clean,great location and great price($49.00)
Check in at the airport to avoid long lines at the desk. Ask POLITELY for a recently refurbished room.
Good luck at the tables!!
John is offline  
Old Feb 2nd, 2004, 08:19 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,189
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Posha, I know you're probably just exaggerating for effect, but for reference, some economists actually use the price of a Big Mac in various countries as a way of measuring cost of living--an index referred to as McParity. Sounds silly, but it's true.

The US average for a Big Mac is $2.65 (2003 data).
The US dollar equivalent cost is $5.51 in Iceland, $4.56 in Switzerland (plus they charge extra for ketchup!).
Argentina: $1.18.

I don't think I've ever seen a $5.00 Big Mac in the USA.
travleis is offline  
Old Feb 2nd, 2004, 08:54 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 70
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have no idea why most said Ballys would be acceptable! That place is a DUMP! I would stay at Flamingo (okay for a old hotel) or Aladdin or Mirage. Out of the three, it would be Mirage hands down. Better rooms,location etc..

Anyone that raves about Ballys has some low-standards of living.

Good luck!
troyrobt is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2004, 04:51 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 37
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm pleased to hear that troyrobt is enamored with the Mirage! Perhaps it has re-attained the past glory it once had. As for Bally's, my personal expereince over perhaps 8 stays there, is the rooms are large, comfortable, quiet, and service (including usually check-in) is good.
beachpup is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2004, 06:35 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would say "6 is one, half dozen is the other" when it comes to the hotel rooms you mentioned.Flamingo is sorta worn out, but it will do just fine.Its the best location of all the hotel/casinos you mentioned.Ask for a room that gives you a view of the dancing fountains of The Ballagio across the street.
jreed is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2004, 08:21 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 45
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
A plus for the Flamingo is the Second City comedy club. We went and thought it was hilarious. Can't beat the location with the Flamingo either. Great pool and good breakfast buffet.
maslow is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2004, 08:54 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We stayed at the Flamingo in April 2003 and plan to stay there again in spring 2005 so you will guess that we recommend it.
The location IS perfect, right across from Caesar!|s in the center of the strip. The pool area is one of the best in LV. We were also on a budget booking. At check-in we asked for a room high up with a view of Bellagio fountains and were told there would be a ($10?) supplement. We said that would be OK but then the clerk could not find one so gave us the best she could without extra charge. When we got to the room is was perfect, about the 20th floor looking out over Caesar!|s and the strip with the Bellagio fountains off to one side. I don!|t know how good the supplement rooms were! Although the room was not !?super luxury!? it was more than adequate and excellent value. They have a wide range of rooms and views, some have been refitted more recently than others. Our clerk was great, certainly ask for an upgrade and I think if you are nice and explain your preferences you have a good chance of getting what you want, with or without a tip!

As to a drive to the Grand Canyon in a day it is possible but I don!|t think it would be fun. We went and stayed overnight at Williams. The drive would take well over 4 hours each way and the canyon is at it!|s busiest in the middle of the day, just when you would be there. I would be tempted to spend the Saturday night at Williams, saving money and breaking the long trip. Just a thought?

Have a great time ??

chrisnjilly is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2004, 09:22 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 112
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
One other thought for you....if you are only in Vegas for 3 nights and are taking an entire day to do the Grand Canyon then you may not want to spend the time messing around with check out and check in at another hotel. Especially since this is your first time to Vegas I doubt you'll spend much time in the room anyways. Everyone's standards for hotels are different and you could find bad reviews on many of the Vegas hotels.
dreamathers is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2004, 12:33 PM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 75
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What great suggestions and helpful information you all have provided. Thank you so much! This has helped tremendously! I can't wait until Saturday!
DJCV is offline  
Old Feb 4th, 2004, 12:04 AM
  #18  
jwc
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 69
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We have been regulars at the Flamingo for several years. We were just there in December. We are fully comped so they give us their best rooms which had just been renovated. The Flamingo is pretty good about trying to give you what you want. When you check in, ask for one of the recently renovated rooms with a view of the Bellagio so you can watch the water show from your room. If they have one available, they will probably give it to you. The Flamingo definitely has the best location with Ballys a close second. The Mirage has the worst location of the 4 you mentioned though it is not bad.

I strongly recommend the Gladys Knight show at the Flamingo and the Jubilee show at Ballys.
jwc is offline  
Old Feb 4th, 2004, 02:38 AM
  #19  
Jayne1973
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Stayed at Flamingo June 2002 and had a good time. We did have a mix up at check in and they had given our room to someone else, but they fixed it all and were very nice about it. Rooms were nice, and ours had a great view of the "Volcano." The Chinese restaurant was great. It's an easy walk to Venetian, Treasure Island and others. Sounds like a nice bonus with the Second City tickets, too. If you are interested in spas, you might see if they are offering a deal on theirs. I worked out up there on the last day and really enjoyed the saunas afterwards. It was a little pampering extra. There was also a fun Italian place almost right next door called Bastita's Hole in the Wall. Apparently it's a Vegas landmark-- they bring carafes of white and red wine when you sit down, and the party begins. Have fun!
 
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
koffee_kat
United States
4
Jan 6th, 2011 11:32 AM
dcmom
United States
8
Feb 18th, 2004 05:11 AM
postwhileworking
United States
12
Dec 15th, 2003 01:39 PM
gluvscats
United States
11
May 8th, 2003 11:44 AM
Jim
United States
17
May 5th, 2003 11:41 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -