Vegas recommendations


Jul 23, 2010
New Zealand
Hey everyone. I live in New Zealand (a long way away :D) and am planning my first trip to the states early next year. I am visiting a friend in New York and then planning 3 days in Vegas. As it's my very first time in vegas I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations of where to stay and where to play.
It really depends on what you want to spend for hotel. If it is your first time you should probably stay in the middle of the strip just to experience it. You can go anywhere from extra cheap, like maybe $30/night at Imperial Palace up to hundreds at Caesar's or Bellagio (prob highest end for middle of strip). The best gambling is downtown and at the locals casinos on the outskirts. I suggest going downtown to do most of your gambling if you are going to play any kind of limits above pennies. Even though the cab ride is $20 each way the amount of juice you will save will make up for that.

The other suggestion would be to stay at the Golden Nugget, an expensive 4 star downtown. Then you can walk to the places that have better payouts and maybe take a cab to the strip to see what it is like. It really depends on if you are going to see clubs, what limits you play, the type of hotel you want to stay in etc. There is a room for every price point in LV.
I stayed at the Golden Nugget (didnt think it was expensive) downtown on my first visit. Mistake. Wished I stayed on the Strip as that's where I spent most time. It just blew me away. I think the Strip is a waaaay better location for your first visit to Vegas as there is just so much to see and take in: it takes a whole day just to walk up and down it looking in some of the amazing structures.

I also found the Lucky Nugget casino a bit rubbish, but thats from a slots and video poker perspective only and it may have changed. Breakfast queues were massive and the Starbucks option you also had to wait. The room was OK, but not a patch on Encore (more expensive) or the Venetian (less expensive). In fact the Venetian room was the best room I've ever stayed in and of course the place is well worth a visit for the canals and shops etc.

Would recommend poking around the Luxor, New York, Venetian and Caesars - those were the 4 that stand out from memory. And take the Monorail down to the Mandalay Bay and walk back up. It's definitely worth going downtown (which I think is actually uptown on a compass) for the Freemont St experience one evening, and while gambling might be looser down there (wouln'dt know), I think you'd probably spent $40 a day getting to from the Strip myself.

As for where to play, if it's slots and video poker then the Wynn is recommended. All the latest machines and huuuuge.
Hiya: The rooms at a cheap casino/hotel look exactly the same as the rooms at an expensive casino/hotel do do, "At night with your eyes closed as you are sleeping". How much time do you plan on spending in your room?

imhop: It is much better, to save money, sleep somplace less expensive, and then walk over to the expensive places to Play or take pictures, or whatever. That being said, DO NOT use most of your gambling budget on the first day here. It is so much more FUN to walk around, take pictures, see all the Themed casinos, and such, with money in your pocket vs being almost broke already.

I Suggest playing at the Wynn. You have the Wynn & Encore right next to each other. table games have a $10 min bet. Go downtown at least once, at the top of the hour, and see the light show at Freemont st. expierience.. Min bets down town are $4-$5.

Have Fun first, and Gamble second. Good luck.
You guys both suggest the Wynn but keep in mind that they are very tight with their comps. If you sit at a bar and play VP you can only get 1 comp drink no matter how long you are there. The table game drink service is a bit better but the slot service is horrible. Also you will not get much of anything out of them unless you are a very high roller. The rooms are very nice though. It is north of everything too and there isn't much to walk to there. If you are going to stay on the strip for your first time stay between NYNY on one side north to Caesar's and MGM on other side north to Flamingo (minus Bally's cause it's a dump) and you will be in the think of everything.

As for the Nugget the rooms are very nice, by far the best downtown. To gamble though you should go elsewhere such as Vegas Club, Four Queens, Fremont or Plaza. Those places will have much better games.
Thanks everyone. I think I will definately stay on the strip as it's about the whole experience, not just the gambling :D. I like slots and VP so will definately check out WYNN. Thanks for the recommendation. I imagine the choices will be somewhat overwhelming (which is why I asked for some advice).
Vegas packages

Most major cities from the U.S. and Canada have package deals, so you are looking at significantly less for flight and hotel. Check out travelzoo- they have some of the best deals I have seen. (Not sure if I am allowed to post a link but if you go to you can see "Vegas Holidays" for more deals). Also, a site I have come to depend on for travel and hotel, restaurants and sights reviews is .

p.s. don't miss the fountain show in front of the Belagio (featured on Oceans 11- if there is much wind, they don't have it going fyi) and make sure you walk through the Forum Shops in front of Caesar's Palace. The Forum is a huge covered walkway designed like the ancient streets of Rome, with huge statues - who are set in motion for regular shows, not to be missed!

Good luck and have a blast!
Don't forget the coupon books!

After you pick up your luggage at the airport and right before you go to ground transportation you will see racks upon racks of free magazines which contain valuable info, show schedules and coupons and discounts. I totally agree that since you aren't strickly on a gambling junket you should check in and spend a nice afternoon at your hotel pool (if it isn't too cold) going through all these and pick out the free, cheap, and reasonable things you want to do. That's what we used to do, and we definately saved money which we used later for gambling. Do all of these first and you will have plenty of time and money left to gamble. Stay on the strip. Get the players club cards from anywhere and everywhere you gamble. Usually get some type of "gift" for signing up. Don't know if kids are going with you, if they are the casino Circus Circus is a must see for the free circus acts. And if you get tired of Vegas a nice side trip is to the Hoover Dam. Can do that in an easy half day. Lots of tour operators offer trips from Vegas if you aren't renting a car. Most of all have fun and stay safe. Good luck at the casinos.
Anthony Curtis's, (a former BJ et al AP) ,website
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has numerous current "Best of" LV features (including various deals and/or values, discount or similar coupons, shows, attractions, hotels and so much more that at the same time emphasizes bang for your budget).

He has a monthly newsletter, iirc , that one may subscribe to if desired but that does not detract from the vast wealth of available useful content on his site.

For example, since you enjoy VP , his site has weekly updates of all available VP games at each LV casino along with all the RTP's (notice the full pays:thumbsup:) ,available bet denominations , and more. Check the link out below for current LV VP conditions.

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To get an unforgettable memory you can visit the Nikki Beach Club that will bring the ultimate global beach club, night club and pool party experience to Las Vegas. The restaurant will give the perfect compliment to your trip with the ultimate lunch and dinner and also our infamous Sunday Amazing
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. :thumbsup: Go for this experience!!!
Everyone seems to be in the "get a really nice room" or "get a really cheap room" camp, but the reality is the best answer for most is going to be somewhere in between there. Yes, you won't be in your room a ton, but you still want a nice place to wake up in, shower, wind down etc, and while it doesn't have to be absurd its nice when its comfortable.

If you are going early in the year like January/February, most places are cheap. I was just in Vegas in November and had a very nice room in the MGM for $45/night, and unlike many properties they had free wireless internet as well (can be as much as $12/day elsewhere).

Also there's a ton of nice restraurants in the MGM and its pretty easy to get most places, by taxi ride or walking, you can easily hoof it up to the Bellagio when the weather is mild during the winter (don't try this in July lol).

I definitely agree that for your first time in Vegas, spend a little more and stay on the strip, you will spend almost no time downtown after you get the chance to meander through some strip casinos, and the taxi cost back and forth is going to eat up whatever you'd save staying downtown anyway.

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