Every day, we scour social media and blogs to find the best trip reports from among the Vegas-obsessed community (if you’re reading this, congratulations — you’re a member of the club). Below are the best reports from those who agreed to participate in May and June 2023 (some posts in social media groups may have been about trips that occurred in earlier months)! Got something to say? Contact us to submit your own stories for potential publication.

Zack Teibloom

Trip report! Of the dozen or so times I’ve been, last week was my favorite Vegas trip ever. My best friend and I are both becoming first time fathers this fall, so we went for a daddy-moon without the wives.

I used a 2-night MyVEGAS comp at Bellagio and loved it. The room even had a view of the fountain and didn’t need the $20 trick . I used my other four myVEGAS premium rewards for free slot play at Bellagio and Aria and a couple match plays at park mgm. I got $50 more match play from golden gate for showing my Allegiant boarding pass.

A picture of the El Cortez in Las Vegas at night.

We stayed one night at El Cortez and … tolerated it. Our room was a motel room with a DJ blasting music to no one as we tried to go to sleep and there was a praying mantis statue shooting flames that looks kinda cool, but is super loud. Oh well. 

We enjoyed the casino at El Cortez, the $10 blackjack and $15 craps we found at Golden Gate and thought Circa was super impressive and loved the bagels at Biedermans there.

We saw the David Blaine show. He’s incredible. I love that it’s more feats of body control than “tricks.” Definitely see it if you can. The water fountain he turns his body into and holding his breath for over ten minutes is just insane. 

We were already at Resorts World and saw Transfix. I’d also recommend it. Some really cool Burning Man type art installations. I’d say it was barely worth the $70 ticket and the “bars/speakeasy” they advertise were pretty weak, low-quality cocktails. It was still a fun, impressive exhibit. I was glad I played and won a single $100 hand of baccarat before going in. We also saw David Spade and Nikki Glaser at the Venetian, who were both very funny.

The best meal we had was easily Jose Andres’ Bazaar Meat. My god, the steaks were perfectly cooked and every bite we had was spectacular. And it was reasonably affordable. Our bill for two was just over $200 since we didn’t drink.

We played a lot of poker at Bellagio and both won a couple hundred there, but lost it back on craps. Our favorite place to play was Ellis Island. $5 and $10 table with 10x odds, super-friendly dealers, and great vibes. Every time we made a bet we’d bet $1 more for the dealer, Neal, and I’d say “load em up for Neal!” And get everyone at the table to tip and he loved it and kept saying it back and smiling. The good vibes paid off when he forgot to take down my losing pass line bet and then it won three more times in a row.

Even though I lost $500 gambling, the rest of the trip was so inexpensive. We paid $900 each for the whole trip all-in from flights to hotels to shows, meals, cab ride, etc. We got Posh Burger at Aria and it was still free. We got comped the massive burgers and beer at Ellis Island and even split the $18 (or whatever it is now) for the frozen Baileys. I know the price hike is insane but dammit we loved it. We ended up being two of five people at Bellagio Gardens at 4 am Friday night which was cool to see. All in all a great time. Wish I could go back sooner!

Alex Sugarpill 

 

Alright, here’s our full trip report for our mini honeymoon and first real trip to Vegas!

A little context: We got married on a Sunday in early May, and originally planned to honeymoon in Vegas for 4-6 nights in September.

But the Friday before our wedding, we decided that we should make use of the time off we had from work.. so we planned a “mini-moon” for the Tuesday through Thursday after our wedding, booked the flights, and made it happen.

TUESDAY

Got in around 11, left our luggage at our hotel (MGM Signature), and went exploring. Grabbed our monorail passes with a “buy one get one half off” MyVEGAS reward.

Brunch at Avenue Café at MGM Grand because it was quick and had options for both of our dietary needs. Would dine here again for a quick and decently priced meal!

Explored the LINQ promenade and immediately got a blended cocktail to go.. in hindsight we should’ve started with something with less sugar. We can’t drink like we used to now that we’re in our late 20s/early 30s But it’s part of the Vegas experience!

We poked around the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, saw the Fountain of the Gods, and absolutely fell in love with the fake sky ceilings (seriously considering recreating it in my bedroom!)

 

Checked into the hotel, where we had booked a balcony studio room with a strip view. I handed the check-in person a $20 bill and mentioned our honeymoon. Ended up in the best building on a penthouse-level floor with an incredible view, plus a $75 food and beverage credit for our honeymoon. Jury’s out on whether the tip helped, but I was happy to tip the kind person for his work.

Rested a little, got some essentials from CVS (loved having a fridge, coffee maker, and microwave in our room — if we had been there longer I would’ve also used the stovetop!), did a little nearby sightseeing. Got dinner at Tacos and ‘Ritas in MGM Grand — wouldn’t really recommend it, but it was fast and easy.

Headed to Transfix, a pretty cool light art exhibit currently running at Resorts World. I’m not sure I’d go a second time, but it was super cool and worth the tickets. Definitely go at night! The food looked good and there was a bar.

Then we just went back and rested, enjoyed our huge in-room bathtub, and went to sleep.

WEDNESDAY

We had breakfast and coffee/tea in the room, and eased into the day

We then spent the morning at the pool at MGM Signature — this ended up being a perfect way to rest during the day! We soaked up the sun, swam a little, used our F&B credit for lunch and cocktails… It was just perfect. We left around noon and there still weren’t many people at our tower’s pool. Rested in the room a bit then headed back out!

Bellagio Conservatory was absolutely stunning. The spring love theme was perfect for our honeymoon, too

Hopped on the tram to the ARIA to redeem a MyVEGAS reward for a free cocktail at their lobby bar. A friend who recently passed away always wanted to go to the ARIA, so we had to stop for her.

We stopped by the Lady Gaga / Haus of Gaga exhibit at Park MGM. If you’re a fan of hers or fashion in general, it’s definitely worth a visit.

It had been a long 48 hours at this point, so we went back to the room and rested more. Eventually, we emerged for dinner!

True Food Kitchen in the Forum Shops was so fantastic — perfect for dietary restrictions, but they had food to fit all sorts of palates. I got the vegan mushroom pizza and would totally get this again or go back for the vegan burger. My husband’s teriyaki bowl was also delicious.

Watched the Volcano show at The Mirage, and as a first timer, I’d totally go back and watch it again. It was so very cool and I’m glad I got to catch it before it eventually goes away!

Then it was off to Fremont Street Experience — it was overall pretty cool! I think if we had more energy or were more into the music, it may have been more impressive. Next time I’d explore more of the casinos in the area and check out other parts of downtown (open to suggestions!)

We work in nightlife so it was only fitting to end the night at a gay bar – FreeZone was cute! Would go back on a busier night or for a drag show.

Crashed at the hotel and got bad Thai food delivered from Uber Eats, but it prevented a hangover so no major complaints.

THURSDAY

We went to the brunch buffet at MGM Grand. It was fine and relatively inexpensive for a buffet, but we wouldn’t go back unless we were in the area and wanted something fast and easy. Slightly better for people without restrictions, of course. Checked out and left luggage with the hotel.

This was the “run around the strip for hours” final day, so just to hit the highlights:

Loved walking through The Paris, made a short stop at the Miracle Mile shops as well.

Saw a small fraction of the Flamingo exhibit, which was cool. Would go back to see more!

Loved the vibes at The Venetian, beautiful decor everywhere.

Had the best vegan burger of my life at Black Tap in the Venetian — it was a falafel gyro burger. My husband got a salad that also looked great. We sat outside with perfect views of the exterior of The Venetian and The Mirage. I can’t wait to go back!

Wrapped up with some sitting and drinking at the lounge bar at The Signature before heading home.

Back to reality!

We seriously can’t wait to go back and have already been talking about dates. There’s so much we didn’t see, and so much we’d like to see again!

Thanks to everyone in this group for all of the tips! Here are a few of mine:

I’d absolutely stay at The Signature again for the amenities and quiet, but if you want to be in the middle of the action, this is a bit too far south and slightly off strip for that. We might do the Vdara next time. 

Straight up ignore the people on the sidewalk and in the hallways offering anything free, asking if you’re staying for the weekend, etc. If they need to get in your path to get your attention, it’s probably not worth your time.

I’d definitely get the monorail pass again, especially if I’m staying on the east side of the strip. Once you get beyond the Harrah’s / LINQ stop when heading north, it’s less convenient in my opinion.

If you’re vegan, skip the MGM Grand buffet and consider spending the extra money for the one at the Wynn. That’s what I’m trying next time!

Steve Neruda 

Welcome  to the world’s longest trip post about four shows with a small bonus food section. 

I’m just back from six days — three solo and three with my 21- and 23-year olds, centered around seeing Taylor Swift. I also saw SIX The Musical, Mad Apple, and the MIGHTY TESLA. Yep. I’m a show whore.

Some thoughts, in order that I saw them:

Mad Apple

Mad Apple gets an absolute thumbs up from me. Lots of energy — moved at a fast clip, the band was freaking awesome, and the live performance of recognizable songs (and not willowy music and gibberish lyrics at other Cirque shows) during the acrobatics was different and very welcome. There is a very real chance that even if you actively dislike Cirque shows, you will enjoy this one. No artsy dream pieces, no inscrutable story, nobody costumed like a bird.

That brings me to a story. So, I have a long history of being pulled up on stage at various shows. I think this is because 1) I see a lot of shows 2) I love love love being up close and on the aisle and 3) Evidently I look unthreatening and not like someone who will attempt to upstage the artist.

So there I am, in my second row aisle seat thinking, well, there is a better than average chance I’m going to be part of this show. Also, please note edibles are legal in Las Vegas.

The stand-up comic for this show is Harrison Greenbaum. I know Harrison Greenbaum. Not personally, but he has lectured and performed at magic conventions I’ve attended. He is starting a card trick and scanning the audience. “What’s your name?” And here we go. Again.

Most of the next few minutes is a blur, save two aspects. The first is this is day three of me wearing a hearing aid in my right ear and I’m still very much adjusting. In that environment, close enough to hear Harrison live but also hearing his amplified voice while being distractedly blinded by stage lights, all resulted in my hearing about half of what he said, including when he was asking me questions. That’s showbiz.

The second thing I did, when asked to think of a card, was to answer the three of clubs. This was very intentional and meant to send a signal to him that I understood to play along, and would not make trouble. Picking audience members out is a dangerous game, the wrong volunteer plus alcohol can derail a show with a quickness. Picking a card that I know *he* knows is Penn and Teller’s running gag of always forcing the three of clubs in every trick they do was meant as a wink. Which I think worked, because it got a “Really?” out of him.

As noted, the rest was a bit of a blur. Oh, and the drummer threw his stick at me, but that was before Harrison’s act so I do not believe they are related. And… scene.

TESLA

I mean, it’s TESLA. True road warriors. Side note: October 23, 1987, I saw Def Leppard, with Tesla opening. 10,477 days later, July 2, 2016, I saw Def Leppard…. with Tesla opening. Road Warriors. Jeff Keith was always kinda screechy, and that has… not improved. But he’s still bringin it, and the band is tight. They are alternating setlists — you can see spoilers at setlist.fm if that’s important to you.  

T-Swizzle

Not gonna review the show, but need to mention one thing outside the venue. Back in MY DAY, god-fearing folk would protest at Black Sabbath shows. Or Ozzy. Or Judas Priest. Now they are outside Tay Tay’s show, and they brought amplification with ‘em. And so it goes.

SIX the Musical:

Vegas has tried a couple of times to bring in Broadway shows. All have failed. Too long, not splashy enough, what works on Broadway doesn’t work in Vegas, whatever. I think I know the exception to this rule. SIX. It’s only playing 7 weeks at Venetian, and that’s the Broadway touring version, but it seems like an absolutely perfect fit for Paris. The show is 85 minutes long, and never stops moving. It’s easy to follow. The songs are catchy as hell. Unusual for a Broadway show, there were zero set changes, zero costume changes, and none of the cast or band ever left the stage. They just absolutely demanded your attention based on magnetic performances. There were legit laugh out loud moments. Like Cirque, if the idea of a musical does not appeal to you, this is one that might just change your mind. It just plain feels like a Vegas show. Funny and full of joy.

FOOD:

Cafe Americano in Paris has beignets that are off the hook. Absolutely fantastic.

No surprise here, but Barrys at Circa was excellent. The gnocchi got universal praise. Definitely expect strip pricing. Three of us, only one cocktail, weighed in at a little over 5 bills.

OK, even I am tired of reading this.

Robyn Knezic

I’ve been here for a whole week, leaving tomorrow. A few observations and opinions for what it’s worth:

I’ve been staying at Bellagio. Check in was quick and easy — had $20 in my hand and asked for a fountain view premiere king (honestly I was giggling) front desk person smiled and said of course, and it’s close to the elevators… perfect!

 I’ve never slept on a more comfy bed and I’m going to seriously miss it. The room is completely renovated and housekeeping has been outstanding. I’m leaving a tip because they totally deserve it. The shower pressure has been not so great, but the size of the shower is nuts! You can literally fit 10 people in there

Lots of construction on Las Vegas Blvd as they prepare for F1 in the fall. Taxis are a little slower getting you where you want to go, but it wasn’t a huge issue.

Caesars’ buffet is the bomb. It was the best $80 I spent all week. I ate my weight in the freshest of seafood. There were tons of other options, but I chose to fill up on seafood  

Reservations are a MUST, you can book in advance through OpenTable. Pro tip — seating is limited to 90 minutes, but if you go around eight no one will time you.

Bellagio’s buffet is a cafeteria — save your money. Totally not worth $72. Food was mediocre at best. I went for dinner and instantly regretted it.

I ate at Noodles one night and it was excellent. I had shrimp and noodle wonton soup as well as Mongolian beef, both superb.

I had dinner at Joe’s Steak and Seafood over at the Forum Shoppes at Caesars. It was excellent.

I didn’t really eat breakfast, I grabbed coffee and a bagel most mornings. Food prices are high at Bellagio, so if you’re more budget-minded, you can simply cross the street for lots of other options.

The pool — get there early. Chair hogs are all over the place with towels on loungers that sat empty for hours. Drink prices are steep, but I guess that’s expected.

The casino…. It’s been relatively good to me. I’m up about $500 over the week, so I consider that a win. A lot of machines to choose from, but I still found myself wandering around and not really loving any one particular slot. I didn’t score any jackpots, but it’s only 7pm here on my final night so there’s still hope! Also, I was never offered a drink while gambling, in fact I never saw a server! :( 

I highly, highly recommend Argent Services Group for transportation to and from the airport. Greg picked me up at the baggage claim and is taking me back to LAS tomorrow. The rate is excellent and he is a super nice guy!

Now for the finale, the highlight of my week…..

I sat second row glass for the Stanley Cup game on Tuesday night! I took a crazy amazing video because the whole experience was surreal. The Vegas net was right where our seats were. Check out the pics… it was a once in a lifetime experience.

Aurora Mandy

Just got back from a four day trip — one night at Aria in a standard king (MYV) and three nights in a premier pyramid that was lower than we normally get — floor five — and about 20 steps from the elevator. We thought we would hate it, but there was no noise and it was so damn convenient).

      (indentation ooooo) We used the 30% off for being a MGM member for Avis. It was a nice experience. They have sensors in the car. When you drive in, the app senses it, registers you as returned and a receipt is emailed to you — so easy! The cost was really quite reasonable and way better than getting taxis or Ubers given the amount of going here and there we had to do.

(ahhhh a paragraph, nice?)

The Aria room: damn, how disappointing. The curtains didn’t go high enough, so the sun streamed in early. ewwwww. The toilet ran forEVER. It was clean and the bed and pillows were comfy. The tub was a soaker, shorter than other rooms but deep. Why do I care? Because a tub is great for arthritis after a long day of walking. This fit the bill, but the better rooms have a longer tub. Still, the tub is in the shower so you can fill it up hiiiigh. Mobile check in was screwed up by the bid offer they gave me for an upgrade which showed as not evaluated the entire time. It never was evaluated and we ended up having to go to the desk. Not a big deal but I prefer avoiding the desk and the lines. ( hmm this is still aria but not the room…paragraph, or no?)

We used a MYV free cocktail for the lobby bar. The service was great; the noise level low —  a nice change. Drinks were from the first page on the menu. I had the French 75 variation with red wine (kinda weird, lol) and afterward an espressotini (very good). They served a snack mix with drinks.(out of order…oh well Paragraph!)

Backtracking; We went to the Coronado at the Southpoint casino on our way in because we flew in very late and nothing was open. Plus, their late night menu is a Vegas staple so why not? I got the $6.45 NY steak and eggs. The steak was cooked as I asked; it was thin and not awesome but it was $6.45 and it was fine with a sprinkle of salt. The eggs were cooked perfectly and it was served with browns and toast (with jelly…they specify lol). Coffee is decent. Definitely worth $6.45 . My husband had the bay shrimp for $2.45. It was what you expect from bay shrimp and came with a ton of the little buggers. (Neeeext Paragraph)

We went to the Smith center for Tina Turner the Musical. We bought tickets before she passed. I’m not sure if that affected availability, but I highly recommend the show (DV trigger). The smith is modern and very nice.

Back to MGM — We went to proper eats in Aria for breakfast. It was… improper. The kiosks weren’t working, so you had to stand in long lines which defeated the purpose. The egghead had all of five choices (they all have limited choices to speed things along). It took much longer than it should and that impacted the experience. Eggslut at Cosmo was better — and bigger. I wouldn’t go again.

We went over to Bellagio and took in the conservatory. I thought the display was rather lackluster as compared to previous showings. Fans of Moana will like it. We got MYV bogo gelato. It was…gelato. lol it was good. 

Luxor: mobile check in went fine and my mobile key worked great. Check in was available early. The room was fine. There was no tub. The shower was not the refurb with the half wall — it had regular slide doors. It had a rain head. If you like that sort of thing, you’ll be happy. There was no fridge or coffee maker. (I always sit at a machine and get coffee and Baileys or Kahlua and cream in the morning anyway lol).

We went to the Excalibur buffet on a MYV bogo. The omelets are, of course, great, and the French toast was like I make at home…so good (not hard like some regular old French toast).The breakfast sausage was breakfast sausage. The bacon was ok — not plasticky. They have crepes which they crow about — they serve them with cold canned fruit…nooo why not heat the fruit??? Anyway, no thanks. The chorizo potatoes were tasty. The fried chicken was sad. It was nicely crispy and had some flavor, but was over cooked, so… dry as a bone. The desserts were mostly misses but there were a couple of good ones. (Perhaps all the food should be gathered under one subject. Damn)

We used a MYV discount for Diablos Cantina and went up and got nachos (meh — drowned in white “cheese” sauce and ceviche (hubs said it was okay). Neither of us were eager to go back. (If you do MYV, use the one for Public House instead IMO). 

We went over to NYNY and went to 9 fine Irishmen (we used bogos for beers at 9 fine and entrees — different sittings and used the MYV Bogo sweet shot and scream pass for the coaster). The sweet shot is gross — skip it. I also got the peppermint patty martini. It was good. The coaster is cool, but if you have a bad back well…think jerky wooden coaster with lots of camel backs. We always get the fish n chips at 9 fine. Hubs got the bangers n mash and he liked it. The blacksmith was a good layered beer as usual. 

Next, we left the strip for downtown! 

Went down to Fremont and had Happy Hour at Oscars in The Plaza. My sister and I had bubbles for 9 bucks a glass and meatballs for 11. They were very good, if a little dense. The sauce was great. The ricotta is house made and so good. Hubs got the four-buck-a-piece shrimp. They were huge and very good. 

For those debating: THE USE OF A MYVEGAS ROOM THE NIGHT BEFORE OUR COMPED STAY IN NO WAY IMPACTED OUR COMPED STAY, FREE PLAY OR FOOD AND BEV. I didn’t come home a winner technically, but I have cash to bring home so i’m counting it a win LOL

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Viva Las Vegas!