Best advice for hotels & flights to Las Vegas

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Best advice for hotels & flights to Las Vegas

Post by Barefootgirl » Fri May 03, 2013 9:03 am

I've just been invited to a fun friends weekend in Vegas at the end of next month and a bunch are flying in - but from all parts of the US.

Best place to look for flight and hotel deals? I sort of volunteered to find us the best hotel deal.

This will be a Friday through Monday kind of thing.

How many retired people does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Only one, but he takes all day.

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Re: Best advice for hotels & flights to Las Vegas

Post by Randomize » Fri May 03, 2013 12:19 pm

I used expedia for a package deal last summer and was very happy. If you'll have a rental car, do yourself a favor and get a room at Palms Place. It's off the strip just far enough that you wouldn't want to walk but the bang for your buck is fantastic.

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Re: Best advice for hotels & flights to Las Vegas

Post by sesq » Fri May 03, 2013 1:23 pm

I think there is a thread on fatwallet about tipping the check in person at hotels to try to get an upgraded room. Worth a shot.

If don't have points, comps or find a deal you should compare rates with Amex FHR (I think you need the plat card) or Virtuoso (travel agent) who will book close to rack rates but usually package in food or spa credits.

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Re: Best advice for hotels & flights to Las Vegas

Post by BudgetForWealth » Fri May 03, 2013 1:33 pm

I've done the $20 tip to the check-in desk trick. Have been upgraded every time, even on comped rooms.
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Re: Best advice for hotels & flights to Las Vegas

Post by surveyor » Fri May 03, 2013 1:54 pm

Readup on cabbies. Some like to take the tunnel from the airport (not the most direct route depending on where you end up staying). They also charge a fee for using credit cards. Make sure to save money for H&B.

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Re: Best advice for hotels & flights to Las Vegas

Post by fourwaystreet » Fri May 03, 2013 2:45 pm

Check it will give you some insight into what hotels are running what deals. Keep in mind that Friday and Saturday night are more expensive than the other nights of the week. I would stay on the strip and use the free shuttle system that runs from the back of the Belligo to the Monte Carlo, then picks up again at thr Excaliber and runs to Mandalay Bay. I personally would stay on the strip but others prefer a place off the strip. The Mirage, Belligo and Paris are the heart of the strip. Also when booking inquire as to the "resort fee" which is charged above and beyond room rate and is a total rip off.

Enjoy Vegas, it is a great town.

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Re: Best advice for hotels & flights to Las Vegas

Post by TxAg » Fri May 03, 2013 9:46 pm

Not the cheapest (and I've stayed at some cheap places in Vegas) but The Cosmopolitan was really, really nice.....enough so that I didn't mind spending a little more.

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Re: Best advice for hotels & flights to Las Vegas

Post by Johm221122 » Sat May 04, 2013 7:52 am

I was planning a trip in near future, I looked at past posts ...
As always bogleheads give good information

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Re: Best advice for hotels & flights to Las Vegas

Post by patriciamgr2 » Sat May 04, 2013 10:54 am

I don't have any special insight on air travel. On hotels, I'd suggest staying close to whatever activity your group intends to pursue. Driving on the Strip is insane and, if you're not accustomed to the heat, walking long distances in daytime can be less than ideal. If you're booking off-strip, be sure that there's a shuttle to the general area of your activities.

Weekday cheaper than weekends. If you must travel on weekends, you want to avoid popular times (fights; conventions, etc. in addition to holidays); check availability grids on hotel websites before deciding on a date. Then, put your travel dates through the discount package brokers (Expedia, etc.).

We're more outdoors people, but I offer the following based on feedback from people who have visited me: operates kiosks with same day tickets for shows [I haven't used them personally, because locals discounts are usually a better deal]. Most great seats for shows are scooped up by casinos for their gamblers. You can check with your casino-hotel's concierge for info on best seating areas for particular shows. Las Vegas has a new performing arts center which I really enjoy: the Smith Center. In addition to their main event, they have a nightclub venue with great cabaret or jazz artists from time to time. If your group would be interested, check out their website well in advance of your visit.

Be sure to join the membership program at the casino where you stay . Even if you don't indulge in gaming [that's what we call gambling out here], there may be other discounts. If your non-Boglehead friends gamble on table games, ask to be "rated". With slots, your play is automatically tracked as you "earn" comp's [as a BH, you know--of course--that gaming is always the most expensive way to pay for dinner!].

In general, casino "coffee shop" restaurants offer the best deals on food. I always ask about gambler's specials (which may not be listed on menu); because we have many Asian visitors in Las Vegas, the Chinese food (&the Japanese-style breakfasts) are ok. Other dining options on-strip tend to be overpriced without being that good.

Bring sunscreen; lots & lots of sunscreen! Best Wishes for a splendid trip.

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Re: Best advice for hotels & flights to Las Vegas

Post by Atilla » Sat May 04, 2013 11:30 am

Go straight to Absolutely the best source for BS-free reviews and opinions on everything Vegas - especially where to stay and where to eat.

No other web site comes close.

Where you stay will be determined by what your group wants. Don't go for just the cheapest rate or you'll find yourself in the former Imperial Palace hellhole.

Unless you want to stay downtown - do not stay anywhere that isn't on the strip. Mid-strip will give you the most options traveling north and south on foot.

On the lower end, we've stayed at the remodeled Tropicana and enjoyed ourselves greatly both with just us and with a group of friends. Location is decent, the property is not super-huge and the pool is a great place to hang out.

Mandalay Bay used to be nicer, but the service has slid downhill big time and it's at the south end of the strip - lots of walking/tram-riding.
THE Hotel at Mandalay Bay - nice all-suite hotel - been there too ,but again, location can be an issue.
Four Seasons - super quiet, excellent pool, very low key and relaxing. Not cheap
Luxor is kind of a dump, but OK. Again - on the far south end of the strip. Pool area is big enough but kind of meh.
Love the Tropicana.
Stayed at Vdara and it was quite nice - a quieter place, no casino of its own. All-suite hotel with full kitchens and immediate access to Aria, Cosmopolitan and Bellagio.
Been at the Paris. Nice enough but the pool is shaped like a petri dish for a reason - blech. Great location though.
Wynn and Encore - swankus maximus. Always stayed in a Tower Suite room for access to the semi-private pools at the Wynn. Not cheap, but very good location to stroll to mid-strip.
Never stayed at MGM, but they have remodeled their rooms recently and the pool area is huge. Decent location, but boy the place is big.

Prime location hotels will be Caesars, Mirage, Treasure Island, Venetian/Palazzo, Bellagio, Paris, Harrah's, Ballys and Flamingo. Right in there location-wise will be Vdara, Cosmopolitan and Planet Hollywood. I'd avoid Harrah's, Ballys and Flamingo - the chance of a crappy room at those three is a bit too high for me.

Post the places that catch your attention and I'm sure you'll get opinions. And go to!

I don't necessarily book my hotel and flights at the same time unless it's a smoking deal. I like to book flight & room separately.

And, if 2 or 3 of you are arriving at the same time - book with Presidential Limo. Round trip online special is about $100 and is more than worth it - trust me on this one.
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Re: Best advice for hotels & flights to Las Vegas

Post by plats » Sat May 04, 2013 4:42 pm

No one mentioned Monte Carlo. If you’re on a budget this one is great. Great location, tram access, buffet, price. Use promo code xsocial.

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avoid the taxi's

Post by Marmot » Sat May 04, 2013 7:53 pm

take the shuttle vans. $8 each way, no big deal. A lot cheaper than the taxi's. They are located at door 7 and 8 I believe (it is the opposite from where that taxi's are).

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Re: Best advice for hotels & flights to Las Vegas

Post by mikefixac » Sat May 04, 2013 10:23 pm

Vegas has a hostel that comes with high recommendations and a lot of fun.

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Re: Best advice for hotels & flights to Las Vegas

Post by dratkinson » Sun May 05, 2013 12:26 pm

Travel, hotel, rental car search engine: You could try It is supposed to do a search of multiple travel/hotel websites (,,...) at once and show you all of the results.

Airport transportation: A vote for the private airport shuttle services. Signs will direct you to them after you pick up your baggage. No need to schedule your arrival in advance as they run with the scheduled airlines and will take you to your hotel on the main strip. (Out of the way hotel? You will need to ask first if they go there.) A lot of the shuttle services offered a lower price if you bought a round trip ticket. In 2010, seem to remember paying ~$10 for the round-trip ticket and was given a token for the return trip. The return trip is scheduled at your call (phone number on the token) from your hotel back to airport. Seem to remember they requested 12-24 hours notice to schedule return trip. Couldn't be easier. Don't lose the token; shuttle driver takes it.

Entertainment: My only Las Veges trip was for a short meeting, so for entertainment, you are on your own. Locally been seeing a lot of TV ads for

If adventurous, your friends might enjoy the "Thunder from Down Under" (bachelorette party) show at the Excalibur. I know nothing about this show, other than old girlfriends enjoyed similar shows in New Orleans in the '70s.

Last night food: Check with your hotel for the closest late night eatery, just in case. They may have a small one on-site catering to simple/quick meals (egg dishes, sandwiches) before the larger restaurants open. This breakfast is much better than no breakfast for an early morning return flight.

If you give out your email address to anyone Las Vegas-related, expect to spend some time upon your return clearing spam from your inbox and opting out of mailing lists.

Have fun. Keep your money in your pocket, not on the tables; let someone else pay the Las Wages light bill.

That's all I remember.
d.r.a, not dr.a. | I'm a novice investor, you are forewarned.

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