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Only a hour flight away from Las Vegas we visit frequently, sometimes once a month. I'll be sharing our trip reports, tips on making the most of your stay in Vegas, reviews of restaurants and shows we have seen, along with my thoughts related to our favorite place to get away from it all.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Las Vegas 2011 Thanksgiving weekend at Palazzo and Mandalay Bay!

We left for Vegas on Friday leaving our 22 year old son at home with Thanksgiving dinner leftovers for 10 people. Flight was good, limo was waiting when we arrived, VIP check-in was quick and except for forgetting my makeup bag at home everything was going smoothly. We came in this trip on a offer for a Fortuna suite at Palazzo, $700 free play, $150 food& beverage and 2 tickets we requested to Phantom for our friends.
After unpacking and a quick trip to the Walgreens for some substitute make up, we went to our favorite slots in the Venetian high limit room to see if we were going to start out lucky. We started out with a win of $375.00 on the $5 dollar Pinball, not great, but good enough. Switched to $5 Top Dollar and hit for only $150.00.
Tried the $5 Wheel of Fortune but no spin for us. Went over to our favorite slot $1 DaVinci Diamonds and lost a few hundred as it was cold as ice. Tried the $1 Cleopatra slot and had a bonus for $500 that put us even as we walked out of the high limit room.
We basically had broken even by the time we were to meet our friends Tricia (Pennyplayer), Michael, Yoke and Graham for dinner at Tao for dinner and that was better then being down so we were happy.
Tao was busy but we ended up with a good corner table upstairs. This is the first time I've been seated upstairs and I think I prefer it over downstairs.
Ceiling shot of Tao.
Buddha outside of restroom area at Tao.
One of the appetizers that someone in our group ordered.
Garlic green bean and onion rings tempura, very tasty.

Thai crab cakes with Mango chili sauce also very good.
Lobster and shrimp with spicy pineapple sauce, a favorite we continue to order.
I believe this was the miso soup with tofu and Manilla clams.
Tricia ordered grilled red snapper with steamed bok choy and ginger lime vinaigrette which I believed she liked.
Randy and I both ordered the miso glazed Chilean Sea Bass with wok vegetables. We love this entree and I doubt we will ever order anything else at Tao. Yoke took our advice and also ordered it.
Graham ordered a plate of sushi, I have no idea which one as I dislike sushi and didn't care. :)
Michael also had sushi and I believed enjoyed it.
Randy and I shared the giant fortune cookie desert with chocolate and vanilla mouse, garnished with fresh fruit and I believe Tricia and Michael also ordered this.
Yoke had the lemongrass creme brûlée.
Graham ordered seasonal fresh fruits with ginger syrup and mandarin sorbet and said it was delicious.
From the empty plates on the table I would say we enjoy our desserts!
Oops, I seem to have had too many of my spicy phuket cocktails and managed to cut Michael mainly out of this photo. After dinner we left Tao and went over to the platinum lounge for expresso's, cappuccino's and tea.
After coffees we said goodnight to Tricia and Michael who had a early flight out in the morning and a temporary goodbye to Yoke and Graham. Randy and I decided to walk back to Venetian and visit our favorite slot the $1 DaVinci Diamonds which decided to suck down our money. We had the same luck with $5 Wheel of Fortune and $5 Top dollar and things were not looking good until we played $5 double triple diamond deluxe with Cheese and hit the bonus for $975.00!
We're still down and decide to slow down our losses by playing the penny slots like Wolf Run, DaVinci, Hangover, Batman and others and they just suck down the bankroll too just at a slower rate. Randy at this point has a headache and decides to go up to the our suite to read and tells me to win our money back. As soon as he is gone, I start winning such as the hit above for $134.00 on penny Ringling Bros Barnum and Bailey. 
I've had some luck on this Ringling Bros slot in the past but tonight it was briefly on fire and I hit for $384.00 on a $2 bet. After that I had a couple bonuses but they didn't pay well so I left this slot and walked back over to Palazzo.
At Palazzo I tried some penny slots without success so I tried $5 Wheel of Fortune and had a win for $300 after about the 6th spin. 
Moving on from Wheel of Fortune I had some minor wins but more losses until I sat down at Hangover and hit a run of bonuses that I hadn't experienced since the first time I played it. Unfortunately I'm a lousy picker on bonuses, but I had bonuses hitting every 3 spins so even a lousy picker like me could win and I built my ticket up to slightly over $1000.00.  After Hangover cooled off I tried a few more slots and finally got a bonus on 2 different Miss Kitty machines. The Miss Kitty machine that had paid me over $700.00 last trip during a bonus this time paid me $11.00 so it was time to retire but thanks to Hangover we were only slightly down for the day at this point.
We slept in late and then I went down to the casino to see if that Hangover slot was still active with the bonuses, while Randy got ready. As I was playing Hangover a gentleman approached and said he loved my blog. After thanking him I asked his name which was Ken, so Ken if you are reading this trip report, thanks for stopping by and letting me know you enjoy reading my trip reports, it was really great to hear!

Unfortunately Hangover was no longer hitting bonuses for me so when Randy finally made his way down to the casino we ate lunch at Grand Lux where he ordered the cobb salad above.
I had the lunch size portion of the Sonoma Chicken with fruit, nuts, and goat cheese.
After brunch I stopped by the Palazzo box office and picked up the 2 complimentary tickets to Phantom that I had requested, to give as a gift to Yoke and Graham and was pleased to see they gave them first row center seats. 
We then went on to the Grazie gift show to use our grazie points.
We looked around for a few minutes and there was a good variety of gifts to select from.
As you can see I wasn't the only one taking photographs.
Randy and I didn't see anything we wanted so I went and turned in our current points for $700.00 worth of Best Buy gift cards. The next day we would return to the gift show and get our last Best Buy gift card and end up with $800.00 worth.
Just after I used the majority of our points for the gift cards Randy finds a leather jacket he wants. Oops, too late, just have to take a photo and take down the information and hope I can find it online to buy.
Another shot of the Grazie gift show. In the background is the pick up area. Last year they had this in a separate room, this year everything was in one room which I preferred. The free holiday gift this year was a nice pen and a key chain fob, a step above last year's mouse pad in my opinion.
After the gift show Randy wandered off somewhere and it was time for me to meet Lauriek and her husband Foamy from the Slot Machine Forum. Laurie and her husband were in Vegas not only for Thanksgiving but to celebrate their son's 21st birthday! They are a fun couple and I'm so glad we were able to meet each other this trip. After a chat the three of us decide to do a high limit slot pull together so we walked over to the Venetian high limit where we found Randy playing the $5 double triple diamond deluxe with Cheese slot that we had won on yesterday. It had given him two bonuses but he hit collect immediately on both and was quite a bit down already for the day.
Since Randy was on a losing streak he decided just to watch us and not enter our HL pool. Laurie, Foamy and I put in $200 each and started playing $5 Top Dollar in the Venetian High Limit room. No Top Dollar for us. Moving on we went to the $5 Wheel of Fortune where our luck wasn't looking good and we were down to our last couple spins when Laurie hit the spin and won us $750.00.
We then decided to walk over to Palazzo and get a drink at the Platinum lounge and then play the $5 Wheel of Fortune there. I hit a spin pretty quick but only for $125.00. Then I hit a second spin but this one was only for $200. 
We played our ticket down and Laurie got a spin this time for $125.00 and we were just running out of time before they had to meet up with their son for the BlueMan Group show when Laurie hit our last spin and again won $750.00! This was a great finish to our high limit pool and the three of us ended up with our original stake back plus $100 each.
The high limit pool gambling was about the last win Randy and I saw on Saturday. Everything we played like Wolf Run, DaVinci Diamonds, Ringling Bros, Batman, Hangover, Goldfish, etc...think of a slot at Venetian or Palazzo and I think we played it that day,  lost for us. Well at least we had carolers to listen to. 
Dinner was at Wolfgang Puck's Cut restaurant at Palazzo that evening and like always the food, service and ambiance was perfect. I'm not that fond of Wolfgang's other restaurants but Cut for us is always terrific from the start of the pretzel and focaccia bread to the desserts at the end.
Tonight we had their prix fix pre-theatre dinner and after the cheese puff amuse, Randy started out with the butter lettuce salad with point reyes blue cheese and and champagne herb vinaigrette. 
My heirloom beet salad with cheese and pistachios was fabulous for those of you like me who love beets.
We both ordered the prime filet with sides of seasonal greens, baby carrots and artichokes and mac & cheese.
The filet was marvelous, cooked perfectly and their homemade steak sauce was delicious with it so we didn't use the above sauces on the steak, but they were great for dipping the pretzel bread.
Randy ordered his favorite dessert the chocolate soufflé while I branched out with their version of banana cream pie.
Both desserts were delicious and very rich so I couldn't eat too much of them after our entree but Randy soldiered on and finished them.
We had tickets to the late show of Absinthe outside of Caesar's Palace in the tent but had about 30 minutes to waste before lining up for the show so had the taxi drop us off at Bellagio where Randy got to play Ghost Busters for the first time. Our slot was fairly active and we had a few bonuses and minor hits before leaving for Absinthe.
The Absinthe stage is mainly in the center of the tent surrounded by folding chairs, bar stools and some table set up's in the back. 
Having been warned on TA and other boards not to sit in the first few rows unless one wants to risk being part of the show we sat in the back against the wall. 
We had heard that Absinthe lost some of its best acts when they went on hiatus for a while, but we enjoyed the show, though we thought a couple sections in the show where the ditzy woman describes some sexual acts and talks about unicorns were a bit over the top and the audience in our opinion didn't seem to find that part as funny as the show must believe it is.
We bought our tickets at a discounted rate on Travel Zoo and there are other discounts available if Travel Zoo isn't offering one so I would advise anyone who wants to see the show to look for one. There are also VIP seats but honestly you don't need VIP seats for this show unless you want to get in 10 minutes before the general seating and like a drink built into your ticket price.
Some of the men and woman in this show have beautiful bodies and several acts with the woman involved have them down to pasties.
Bubble girl above gets inside her bubble strips and then deflates and wears the bubble. It was a cute act.
One of the funniest acts in the show this farce on Cirque performers. The couple above was hilarious and I wish I had taken more photos of their act.
In the above photo is a girl they pulled from the audience and to the right you can see her boyfriend filming. The ringmaster also pulled a 'golden girl', older woman from the audience and the end result was  the older woman burying her face in the younger woman's breast. Both ladies were troopers about this. 
Saturday evening was a beautiful night and we were still full from dinner so we walked back to Palazzo after the show.
Back at Palazzo we thought our luck had changed for the better when once again we hit a bonus on $5 double triple diamond deluxe with Cheese for exactly $975.00. Alas, $1 Da Vinci Diamonds, $5 Top Dollar, $5 Wheel of Fortune and then the penny slots took those winnings and more and we went to bed by 1:30am, big losers!
Sunday we slept in and then walked over for our noon brunch at Wynn's Country Club Jazz Brunch with our friends Yoke and Graham. As we were walking into Wynn we noticed the waterfall by the side doors was under repairs. Also once in the casino it was hard not to notice that not only was the Wynn high limit room closed the large casino floor area outside of it had all the slots removed and construction was going on.
The brunch was fabulous and we had a great time with our friends. For the full review and food porn go to this link:
After brunch we returned to Palazzo and with the exception of a fun bonus on the new Godzilla slot, and a few minor wins we just lost, lost, lost with little play, the slots were like a hoover to us.
Godzilla bonuses are fun in our opinion but seem to be very rare, or else it was just more of our bad luck at Venetian this trip that kept us from getting more.
I had a very brief flirtation with the Star Wars slot, but the last several trips I just can't seem to do much with these slots and when they were first installed it seemed the bonuses were hitting all the time.
We finally gave up on gambling as constant losing isn't fun and went to see the free Winter in Venice show.
The show is in the outside Gondola area of Venetian.
First show starts at 6:30pm and then goes every hour with the last show I think being 10:30pm.
The living statues were on hand before the show starts.
Lady davine was walking around all decorated for the holidays.
I thought the show was entertaining for free and I'm hoping Venetian makes it a yearly tradition.
Basically the show is light and sound with them singing carols.
Before the show started there were ice skaters on the rink and in my hurry to get a good spot to take photos of the show I decided to wait and take photos of the skaters after the show. Big mistake as they cleared the rink for the show and hadn't yet let them return as we were leaving.
After the show we went to First Food and Bar at Palazzo and Randy ordered the ultimate gin and tonic which he really liked. I wanted to have the tiger's blood cocktail again but they couldn't make it due to the blood orange puree not being up to their standards. 
First's pretzel bread is good but not quite as great as Cut's.
Randy said the cobb salad with chicken was outstanding.
I ordered their salmon the same entree I had the previous month there and it was as wonderful as last time.
After dinner we found our luck was still sour and except for the Wolf Run hit above we just kept losing. We finally gave up around 11pm and went up to our suite and ended up watching the old musical Music Man with Robert Preston and Shirley Jones! Yep, you know your gambling as hit a new low when you are watching Music Man in Las Vegas!
Monday we couldn't wait to leave Palazzo and hopefully our bad luck behind so we checked out early around 11:30am and went to Mandalay Bay. Before we left our host had removed all charges so even though we weren't able to give them our usual play due to the lack of wins, I guess he felt we had done our share of losses.

Our offer at MB was a Sky View Suite, $600 free play, $200 food and beverage credit and a $350.00 flyback voucher. 
Inside the VIP lounge we discovered that our suite was ready but due to a computer glitch they couldn't make room keys so since our baggage was checked already we went over to THEHotel cafe for brunch where Randy enjoyed a omelet and I ordered the lobster cobb salad below which was very good.
After we ate we returned to the VIP lounge where they still couldn't make any key cards and that included for the regular registration area too. To work around this they had a bellman escort us to our suite with our luggage but since the Sky Suites are on the penthouse floors 60 to 62 and the elevators are private and need a key card to access he had to take us up the service elevators. 
The bellmen have a default key that lets them into the rooms but once we left the room after unpacking we would have to wait for our own key card to return to the suite. Above is the living room area of the Sky Suite.
Bedroom area. At night they did have turn down service where they left water on the bed stands, robes laid out on the bed and slippers waiting, with the radio turned on low.

We had a side view of the strip but looking straight out our view was of the airport.
The Sky View Suites have a full bath and also a half bath.
The full bath below has 2 sinks, a jacuzzi tub, shower and separate room for the toilet.
The shower and jacuzzi tub in the main bath.
There's also a kitchen and wet bar area, with a empty refrigerator to use though ours was not working.
The Sky Suites have 4 flat screen Televisions, one in the living room, one in the wet bar, the bedroom and of course the main bathroom. I liked the lay out and size of the suite a lot the only thing I didn't care for is that the full length mirror for some reason was located outside of the bedroom in the entry hallway of the room. 
After unpacking we went down to try our luck at Mandalay Bay and found that we still didn't have any. They had Ghostbusters but we couldn't get a bonus on it. There was two $1 DaVinci slots that were cold, my favorite $5 Top Dollar X2 X2 did give us a bonus but only for $175.00. Finally we gave up, went by the VIP lounge again where our key cards were finally ready and headed up to Mix for dinner.
Assorted breads from Mix, but the highlight is the peanut butter they serve with them.
We had requested and gotten one of their cabana type booths but since our last visit there they had moved them father back so we didn't have a good view of the strip. Above is Randy's lobster Caesar salad which he loved though he did comment that it could have a bit more parmesan cheese.
The spicy crab salad with hearts of palm, cucumber, green papaya, red pepper and guacamole was great.
We both ordered the Cod Brandade with brown butter, capers, and fried parsley and like times in the past it was outstanding.

Randy couldn't resist ordering the chocolate soufflé but while yummy it wasn't as good as Cut's.
I ordered my favorite their specialty the Mix Candy Bar with lime coconut sorbet.
Above is the view from the outside Mix Patio.
After dinner we walked to Luxor again no luck but we did get to play the new WMS pirate battle slot and had a couple minor bonuses but not the main battle one. Strangely enough we were the only ones playing this new slot. Back at Mandalay Bay we continued to lose except for one spin on $5 Wheel of Fortune for $250.00 so we ended up going back to the room early and watching Hangover 2. Have I mentioned that with all the early bed times we had this trip it was for me the most rested trip I've ever had in Vegas!
Next morning we ate at Raffles and while the food was good, the noisy service staff was a real turn off. Not sure what was happening in their kitchen but we had about 10 minutes of kitchen staff having a screaming tiff in Spanish.
I really liked my chicken salad with fresh artichokes, goat cheese, olives and a champagne vinaigrette dressing but doubt I will return anytime soon due to the arguing that I really didn't need to overhear first thing in the morning.
Shanghai Lily just closed at Mandalay Bay so I imagine this wall will soon be removed as renovations are done for the next restaurant to move into their spot.
Randy was due to fly home in a few hours and wasn't in the mood for anymore gambling so we took a walk over to Shark Reef.
We didn't attend to go in to Shark Reef but on a whim I asked if they had discounts for Platinum M-Life members and discovered that Platinum members get in free along with one guest, so we decided to take the tour.
This was our second visit to Shark Reef, the first was about 6 years ago with our son. It's definitely worth a free visit. If you are gold level with M-Life you might want to check and see if that level also gets free admission as I forgot to ask.
I'm not sure what the statue behind Randy represents. I guess I should have read the sign!
I really did enjoy this break from gambling and if you like aquariums you are sure to enjoy Shark Reef.
They let you and the kids touch the stingrays if you want.
Watching the jelly fish can be mesmerizing.
We were lucky to see the endangered sea turtles getting fed.
After Shark Reef Randy left for the airport and told me to win back our bankroll. 
Frankly I wasn't holding out much hope for a last minute winning day at this point so I was surprised and happy to get a spin first thing on $5 Wheel of Fortune for $500.
I was even more surprised when the winning streak continued and I quickly picked up another $300 plus on 5 cent Wolf Run.
The wins continued on Wolf Run and other slots and I was $1000 ahead for the day at 3:30pm when Julie (Malvlover from Trip Advisor) called to say it was time to meet at THEHotel Valet to go over to Wynn. For those of you from TA who haven't meant Julie yet she is a lovely lady and a lot of fun! Below is a photo of Vadreamer, myself, Malvlover and Teachrsue at Wynn's Parasol Up.
The purpose for me to stay over 1 extra day and not leave with Randy was the birthday party for Trish (Lantana from Trip Advisor) that was planned with nine other ladies. Gina, Julie and others had planned a fun afternoon and evening with us starting out at Parasol up for drinks, then a limo ride to the Las Vegas Sign, drop off to see the Bellagio fountains and then limo to the Peppermill for dinner!
Above us our birthday girl Lantana! This evening was one of the best times I've had in Las Vegas due to the fun personalities of the ladies! There's plenty to write up with lots of photos but it will have to wait until after December 10th as requested for security reasons by one of our gals who is in some of my photos that I will post then.
After having a blast at the birthday party I caught a taxi back to Mandalay Bay around 10pm or so and joined Kydds for a drink at Eyecandy one of the casino bars. After our drink we went to the $10 Top Dollar slot to see if Kydds could bring me some luck and I hit the top dollar on the first spin and accepted the 2nd offer of $400. On hindsight I agree with Kydds that I should have likely refused this offer and tried again.
After that win Kydds left to get some sleep as he had a early morning golf game and I found that my luck was still with me and I had some fun on a 5 cent DaVinci Diamonds slot.
Even Ghostbusters finally decided to give me some bonuses and a couple good hits.
One Hexbreaker 2 slot gave me a decent bonus when I was texting with my friend Brian.
The second slant top Hexbreaker 2 slot gave me a great hits on wilds for a win of $615.60 and the wins kept coming with some small ones on Wicked Winnings II.
My luck had turned around but even though I was steadily winning I wasn't getting any more then $1000 ahead for the day and our earlier losses exceeded that. I was thinking of calling it a night as it was now close to 4am when I walked by my nemesis for this trip the $1 DaVinci Diamonds. Darn, I can't resist trying it one last time.
Surprise! After a few modest wins it pays me $500 and I'm now up $1500 for the day. I decide to see if it has any more wins in it and I hit that spin button again and shocker it drops $5080.00!
I was really in shock, it happened so quickly and dropped the next symbols immediately so I don't even know what I won on, though there must have been some DaVinci Diamond symbols involved. The slot attendants quickly paid me and I hit spin again just in case and it still had a few wins left it in for me!
After the hand pay, I had to try a few of the $25 slots just in case this lucky streak was going to continue and I did get a small hit for $250.00 while the slot made it look like I just missed out on winning 2500 credits worth $25 each, oh darn, <grin>.
After that I tried the $10 Top Dollar again and hit for $600.00 on it or 60 credits worth $10 each.
This is where I should have gone to bed but no I tried a few more high limit slots which let me know my lucky streak was finished and off to bed around 5am I went. 
I slept in late the next morning and then I had packed while waiting for room service. The shrimp cobb salad was fine and the nachos below were also okay but I didn't eat much of either. Not sure why I ordered both other then it was free. I had a late check out time at 4pm so I played a bit of Ghost Busters before I left, went to VIP services where they comped off all charges with the exception of the Hangover movie which for some reason can't be comped according to them and then read before heading out to airport.
The flight home to San Jose airport was a rough one due to a wind storm coming in both to California and Las Vegas. No one was allowed to leave their seats for the whole flight including the airline stewards and I was glad to arrive home safely. 

I leave again for Vegas early Tuesday morning, December 6th for 3 nights to use my M-Life holiday points and also to see the new Michael Jackson Immortal Cirque show with Terri (socalgirl). I'm considering it part of this last trip since it's so soon again. :) Lantana and some others will either be leaving the day I come in or at the end of the week so I might be able to see them again when I arrive. Also there's a RexFest Meet going on along with a smaller one from the Blonde4ever message board. Kydds will still be in Vegas, and Huddler, Blueboar, Breanna, and many others are coming in for the Meets and some for the rodeo. My friend Brian and his friend are attending the Immortal Cirque show on the same night as Terri and myself so we hope to meet up with them for dinner afterwards at Fleur. Fun times for sure, just hope I don't lose what I just won back.

Tweets for December 6th will start about 7am!


  1. Terrific report, as always. Happy to hear you made a comeback. I appreciate your efforts, especially all the pics.

    Look forward to your review of the MJ show.

    Hope the "streak" continues tomorrow. :-)

    VP Sue

  2. VP Sue, thanks!

    I'm hoping that the MJ show doesn't disappoint me like the Elvis one did. :)

  3. Another great read - so glad things turned around for you! I sure hope to meet you one day, but looks like I'm arriving in Vegas at the same time you will be leaving Thurs eve 12/8, and going to the MJ show on Friday nite. You are one busy lady!!!
    Brensan (VMB, Facebook, and SMF)

  4. Thanks Brensan. BTW, I'm not leaving Mandalay Bay until Friday around 4pm. Not sure where you are staying but if you are around Mandalay Bay Thursday night or Friday afternoon look for me in the casino. Feel free to send me a PM tonight or tomorrow morning on SMF if you think you will be around those times.

  5. Hi Diana,

    I am reading and reliving the trip myself, and it was very nice meeting you, sorry I could not stop for longer to chat and rushed off, but only being in town for two days makes for a hectic time. As I said yours is the best blog on the web and the reports are excellent. Thanks again for making all the effort to keep it going. I see we are out there again the same time frame, I arrive on Thursday for a stay at Bellagio also to see MJ on Friday night.

    Hope you enjoy the show, it seems to be highly rated!


  6. Thanks Ken! I hope we both enjoy the show. :) Hopefully next time we run into each other in Vegas we'll get a chance to chat more.

    Have a great trip.

    I'm off to the airport in 5 minutes. :)


  7. Diana,
    I stumbled across your blog this morning and have to say that I love reading it! I will be headed to Vegas for my first time this coming June for my Honeymoon! My fiance and I had discussed several tropical places but decided Vegas would be perfect for us to enjoy our first few days as a married couple. I will most definitely be keeping up with your blog so we can successfully plan our trip! Thanks so much! -Courtney

  8. Thanks Courtney! I'm sure you two will have a wonderful honeymoon in June. I'm away in Vegas right now but after I return this weekend if you have any questions I can answer about restaurants and such just let me know.


  9. I notice you stayed on one of the "penthouse" levels while at Mandalay Bay. I've heard/read in the past that they have a VIP lounge on one of those floors that I guess is similar to a concierge-level lounge that most nicer hotels have, i.e. you can go in and get free drinks and food. Do you know if they still offer that for Penthouse level guests? Since you didn't mention it, it made me wonder if it's still there or not.

    Also, reading your blog has made me really interested in staying at the Palazzo on a future visit, they should compensate you for giving them good press, you've really sold me on checking the place out! LOL

  10. Did you take pictures of Mandalay's room service menu? Is it different than the menu at THEHotel? (What can I say, I'm a room service menu fetishist!)

  11. When I stayed at Mandalay Bay last week I compared it to THEHotel at Mandalay Bay menu and they are the same. :)

  12. Mandalay Bay does have a VIP lounge listed that is on the 62nd floor. But VIP services didn't mention it to me and I didn't ask since I already get free food and it didn't occur to me to use the lounge. If I stay in that suite again in the future I'll ask.

    I really like Palazzo, if you try it I hope you like it too.

  13. Always enjoy reading your trip reports.

  14. I remember reading somewhere once that at Palazzo/Venetian, because some of their restaurants only occupy leased spaced and are owned by the restauranteur and not the hotel, that some of them are not compable if you eat at them, even if you are on a full RFB comp there and charge the meal to your room.

    From your experience, is this true?

    I'd hate to stay at Palazzo & concentrate my play their only to find out at the end of the trip that some of my meals weren't able to be comped by the casino, even though the restaurant was on-property. What has been your experience?

  15. In my experience all the restaurants at Venetian and Palazzo are comparable, so any mentioned in my trip reports can be comped. However, I haven't eaten at some of the fast food places there, so it's possible that those are the ones you can't use for comps. The player's club or VIP services should be able to provide you with any exceptions if there are some.

  16. Absolutely love your TRs. Your style of writing and the pics makes it feel like I'm there. I check this page frequently looking for new posts. Just wanted to say thanks for the Vegas fix!! I will be there on my 8th trip in Feb..Can't wait. Love seeing your big wins and the food porn. Keep up the good work it's really appreciated.

  17. Thanks Anon. :) I'm happy to hear you like the blog and good luck in February!

    I haven't posted my latest trip report yet because the holidays are keeping me super busy but I do hope to get it done before the end of the year.

    My next trip is currently scheduled for January 16th. :)


  18. How would you describe the crowd/"vibe" at the Palazzo? Would you say it is older, younger, diverse? Is it lively, subdued? Crowded, loud, quiet? Upscale, snooty, laid back? etc.

    Also, how would you compare the crowd & vibe at Palazzo vs. Bellagio, Wynn, Aria, etc?


  19. Palazzo and Venetian are almost always crowded with all age groups. You will see the 20 something crowd there for the clubs, but also plenty of middle aged folks and those older. Palazzo's casino is not as crowded as Venetian but it's certainly lively.

    Bellagio, Wynn/Encore, Aria attract the younger crowd too, but like V&P they are all diverse. Personally I find Wynn and Encore the least crowded properties on the strip and possibly the most upscale of all the properties you mention. If you avoid Encore and the club scene there then I would say Wynn is the most subdued casino/hotel on the strip.

    Bellagio is a great property but will always be crowded with a lot of tourists not staying there who are admiring the fountains and conservatory.

    I stay at all those properties as you can tell from the trip reports, but for me personally as a slot player I lean toward Venetian and Palazzo due to the variety of their slots, and the fact they are one of only a couple strip casinos to have their VIP Gold and Platinum lounges open 24 hours a day which is nice for those of us who stay up late. All the properties mentioned have some great restaurants and entertainment offerings.

  20. I've read you mention the high-limit slot room at the Venetian several times, but I don't recall you ever mentioning the high-limit slot room at the Palazzo...does Palazzo not have a high-limit slot room in its casino, or do you just prefer the high-limit room on the Venetian side? Also, have you ever been in the high-limit tables pit at the Palazzo? If so, do they have blackjack & roulette tables in there, or just baccarat? Thanks!

  21. Anon,

    Palazzo does have a high limit slot room but it's much smaller then the HL at Venetian and the slots with a few exceptions start at a higher denomination. Since I usually go through the Palazzo HL room on the way to the Platinum lounge I have played a few of the lower level $1 slots there occasionally and a few of the $5. The reason I don't normally mention it is because I have yet to have a good win at Palazzo's High Limit room. :)

    Sorry, I haven't noticed the high limit table games at Palazzo.

  22. We go to Vegas often, always stay at The Palazzo but never got invited to their VIP line. How do you get this? I'm reading your blog and you seem to go to different hotels in Vegas. So that's why I am curious to know how to get the VIP status since we always book the Palazzo and we don't go to any other hotels in Vegas. Nice blog. Waiting to hear from you. Thanks.

  23. Thanks Helene, I'm glad you like the blog. I'll be posting a new trip report soon from last week when I stayed at Palazzo again and then 1 night at Bellagio too.

    I do switch strip hotels depending on who provides me with the best upfront comps for the date of my trips among comparable properties like Palazzo, Wynn, Bellagio and THEHotel at Mandalay Bay. Love all of them but personally don't believe in being loyal to any one property if they aren't generous in their upfront comp offers to me. :)

    The VIP line is actually the VIP room, it's a room to the right of registration if you are facing the desks. It's also part of the Platinum lounge. I have VIP check in because my gambling level with them is Platinum level (grazie points per year need to be 175,000 or above), which is always why I get complimentary limo pickup from the airport and not due to how many times I have stayed with them.

    There might be others way to get VIP check in but I'm not sure what they are.

    Good luck on your next trip!

  24. Thanks Diana, I appreciate your reply. I guess we must be doing something wrong. We have been a Grazie member since we started going to Vegas. When we go we usually stay at their hotel for more than 6 nights, we eat in their restaurants and we gamble in their casino.

    My DH usually spends 4-5 hrs a day and more at the Blackjack tables. We still have not figured out how to get to the next level up. Do you play only slots? Maybe that's what we should start doing. Is there a minimum we need to spend every day in their casino?

  25. Helene, I mainly play slots and it's easier to see how many points one is getting toward the next level as a slot player.

    If you are paying for the dining and charging everything to your room then you should get grazie points for that in addition to any you gain through slot play or your husband's blackjack. To find out how your husband's blackjack play rates with Grazie one of you will need to talk to a host about that. There's a host stand in Palazzo to the left of their exit to Venetian via the Waterfall walk way and hall if you are facing out toward it. There's also a host stand when you walk into Venetian that way just past and next to the Venetian cashier cage.

    There is a minimum level of play they expect for some of their comps but it varies according to the game one is playing so best to talk to a host regarding what you can expect for the amount of gambling you feel comfortable doing.

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