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chelsea Feb 6th, 2006 02:17 PM

las vegas in 3 nights!
We're going to Las Vegas for the lst time in late winter. May be staying at the Mirage as it seems to be mid level reasonable and centrally located. Any thoughts re: our choice? Also, we're not sure where to make reservations for dinner, somewhere mid-level in cost, but nice. Any thoughts on favorite casinos would be helpful too. We only have 3 nights for this quick get-away. But I'm sure it won't be our last trip there. Thanks for all the help.

lifelist Feb 6th, 2006 03:38 PM

The Mirage is an excellent choice for a first visit. Good casino, nice rooms, great location. Pool won't be much of a factor mid-winter.

In terms of casinos, what kind of gambler are you? High Roller? Low Roller? (i.e. what sort of limits/games are you looking for) Also, what kind of vibe do you want? Young? Old? Party Hard?

chelsea Feb 6th, 2006 06:30 PM

Thanks for your reply. We're definitely not high rollers. My husband does the craps table, probably closer to low than high; he wants me to try baccarat (?), but I've never played before. I guess I'll have to look it up. We will do some slots and maybe roulette. In addition, I think we'll check out some of the newer hotels. I chose the Mirage over Mandelay Bay for the location and also because the pool thing is out for now...too cold. How about food? any suggestions? Thanks again

kflodin Feb 6th, 2006 06:53 PM

Chelsea, I wouldn't worry about picking which casino to visit. 3 nights is plenty of time to do a lot of casino-hopping on the Strip. Checking out the casino/hotels with their wild themes is really a highlight for most tourists even if you're not gambling. And, if you like to gamble, you can do a little gaming at each stop. Favorites of mine include:
* Bellagio for the gorgeous indoor gardens, hand-blown glass flowers hanging from the ceiling near the check-in desk and, of course, the dancing fountains (a must at night, especially, but day is good, too). Also visit the "world's largest chocolate fountain" in the rear of the hotel.

* New York New York because they've done a terrific job with designing a stage set version of New York City streets, which cracks me up every time I'm there because I live in the real thing!

* Venice for the canals and the gondolas and the gorgeous interiors and its wonderful shopping.

* Caesar's because it's so damn campy and it has, in my opinion, the best shopping around in the Forum shops (and lots of mid-level bistro type luncheon/dinner choices).

But they're all a hoot. Take in a bunch! If you enjoy reading up in advance, the Unofficial Guide to Las Vegas gives you a good rundown on the themes as well as the gaming odds at each place.

As for gaming, I know Bellagio is known for its table poker. In general, the minimum stakes are cheaper downtown (the older section) than the strip, but if you're just going to dabble, don't worry. See where Lady Luck takes you and play a little everywhere! BTW, many of the casinos (and I'm sure Mirage is one of them) offer classes re: the different games during the slow(er) afternoons. Ask about it when you check in.

The Mirage is an excellent choice. Well located, friendly vibe.

Food is so totally happening at Las Vegas now if you're a foodie. Search restaurants on this board and follow lots of threads for some ideas!

And, consider taking in a show. Las Vegas has terrific theater choices. I love "O" at the Bellagio and I saw Avenue Q here in NYC, and I know it has a version there, too. There are a lot more -- Celine, Elton, comedy, etc. Do a little Internet search.

You could always spend more time there, but 3 nights is really not that short. Keep in mind that Vegas NEVER closes, so you can party 24 hours and catch up on sleep when you get home!

Have a great time. I LOVE Las Vegas. It's the one place I feel totally on vacation.

lifelist Feb 7th, 2006 07:46 PM

If you're comfortable with $10 minimums on the table games, then most of the casinos on the center strip will be o.k. Places like the Bellagio and Caesars will go to $15 minimums as the evening wears on, but places like Paris, Bally's, NYNY, Monte Carlo, etc... will probably have some tables in your range.

Baccarat is easy to learn since you don't actually have to make many decisions. You either bet the player, the bank, or the tie. Really, it's no more difficult then betting on a coin flip. All the casinos offer lessons, so you might want to look into that.

The Casino Royale has cheap craps - $2 minimums, but it's not much of a casino.

Sorry, I can't help much on restaurant recommendations. I usually stick to the coffee shops and buffets. You might get a better response to your questions on the Las Vegas Talk board. It's a very active board all about Las Vegas:

tmway2000 Feb 7th, 2006 08:15 PM

For food, what do you consider mid-level prices?

I had the most fantastic meal at Delmonico's in the Venetian. It's a steakhouse within Emeril's empire, and I was actually really hesitant to go (hate his shows) but the food was wow. Great service too. Steaks run about $30.

If you want something more informal and hip, I can recommend FIX at Bellagio. Food is good (low-key American but done highbrow, like fried mac-n-cheese sticks, mini kobe burgers, lobster tacos, etc) but the service sucks. You'll need reservations at either location.

Oh, I just thought of two others, both in Caesar's and not too pricey: Mesa Grill and the Spago Cafe.

chelsea Feb 10th, 2006 02:05 PM

These suggestions have really helped us. So many choices, so little time! We've gotten tickets for Mystere and have added dinner before the show at Francesco's at TI. It was a package deal with the show...dinner at Delmonico's or Francesco's. So we thought the Italian restaurant seemed more intimate. We'll probably do a buffet for another dinner; possibly Bellagio, Venetian or Paris, I think. I'd like to try a few casino's; my husband has recently discovered craps, so we'll probably look for several casino's with tables that won't bleed us of our stash in 30 minutes! One question though: what to wear. I know jeans are okay, but I'm not into jeans alot. When do we go more dressy, and when more casual? Ah, another question, where would be a cool place to go for drinks after the show? We're baby-boomers, not X-gen, but we love to dance. Though I've heard the weather recently has been warm, I'm thinking it may be cool in 3-4 weeks. Any other tips are much appreciated. Thanks.

1JAR Feb 10th, 2006 09:59 PM

You can wear anything..and believe me people do. Would suggest a nice pair of black slacks (won't shjhow if you sit in something) and a nice dressy blouse for show night.
As for drinks there is a bar I think called "Red" where they serve every vodka known and has an ice bar and will let you borrow a mink to wear (ice bar is cold) Fun different and maybe romantic...

visormom Feb 10th, 2006 10:04 PM

Chelsa..we always stay at Paris, but make a reservation EVERY time we go to Vegas to eat at Onda's in the Mirage. They have the most wonderful lobster bisque you will ever taste...OMG>>>>they were renovating the last time we were there, so we didn't get "our fix". For years, this wasn't even on the have to ask for is truly an incredible experience...has a big fluffy pastry on a word>>>>DECADENT!!!

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