Posts Tagged ‘Las Vegas’

MGM Signature Suites, 145 E Harmon Ave, Las Vegas, Nevada 89109, USA

suite towersMy cousin, Michael and his new bride Amanda live in Las Vegas, Nevada. I always choose my relatives carefully. On a visit to the USA earlier this summer, my husband and I made a point of visiting Las Vegas to spend time with Mike and Mandy. It was just a few days, but it was important to us. We looked at a variety of hotels to make sure we chose the right one. suite m&m

Our travel agent in the village, Linda Hill of LAH Travel knows Las Vegas well and visits annually. She always stays at the MGM Signature Suites. It was Linda who recommended the MGM Signature Suites to us. What a good recommendation! We made sure we told our taxi driver from McCarron Airport that we were glad to be back in Vegas, and we did not want to travel through the tunnel. The trip only took a few minutes a cost us $16.00. Linda also advised us to tell him we wanted to go to Tower 2. The MGM Signature Suites has 3 towers imaginatively titled Tower 1, Tower 2 and Tower 3. suite LAHTower 2 is in the middle, so whichever tower our room was in we would not have to walk too far. Good advice. Linda also managed to secure us a rate inclusive of the usual resort fee, so we did not have to pay the usual $20 per night resort fee.

I had read very mixed reviews about the reception staff at MGM Signature Suites and had heard tales of long waits at reception and rooms not being ready for hours. We experienced none of this. We arrived early, before 9am and were quite prepared to deposit our luggage, explore the city and return to settle in to our room after check-in time at 3pm. However, there was no queue at the reception desk, the suite reception2young lady could not have been more helpful and we had a choice of towers and floors available to choose from. We chose Tower 3 as the room there gave us a view over the Strip.

We went up to our room, we had a view over one of the hotel pools to the Strip. The room was spotlessly clean. It comprised a large living area with smart, comfortable sofa and chairs and a desk to work at. The kitchen area included a fridge, coffee machine, cooking area and a wide selection of teas and coffees. There were also two bottles of water in the fridge.

suite room 2The king size bed was enormous and comfortable. there were no many drawers, but as many as we needed and a wardrobe, ironing board and iron. In the bathroom there were two sinks, a jacuzzi bath and a huge shower cubicle. The lavatory was in a little separate modesty cupboard. We were delighted with the accommodation.

So, the advantages of the MGM Signature Suites for us are: the rooms are quiet and well sound proofed, also there is no casino in the hotel, so it is quiet and there is no lingering smell of smoke. The accommodation is central, just off the Strip with great views and near the monorail terminal. The fitness suites and pools are well caredsuite pool for and excellent to use. Without exception, we found the staff to be courteous, helpful and willing to go above and beyond in their efforts to make our visit happy and memorable. The towers are connected to the MGM Hotel and beyond by indoor corridors and all the amenities of the MGM Hotel are readily available to guest at the MGM Signature Suites.

The disadvantages of the MGM Signature Suites for us were: there are very few places to eat in the towers. There are none in Tower 3, In Tower 2 there is a delicatessen called Delights. suite delights3It is adequate and does a good breakfast, but it is very expensive for what it offers. Tower 1 is the home to The Lounge, a lovely, quiet relaxing bar and its prices are typical of Las Vegas hotels. There is also a Starbucks in Tower 1. A Starbucks is a Starbucks. However, there are many restaurants in the District area of the MGM Hotel. There is only one tiny, highly overpriced shop in Tower 1 of the MGM Signature Suites. It is quite a long walk (so far there are 2 moving walkways in each direction) from MGM Signature Suites to the MGM Hotel, especially from Tower 3.suite thelounge6

On our next visit to Las Vegas, because we would like to go to visit again, (Look out Michael!) we will use MGM Signature Suites without hesitation. However, we will stay in Tower 1. It is much closer to the facilities in the MGM Resort, the monorail and the walkway to New York New York and other shops,resorts and facilities on the Strip. The pool in Tower 1 is also adults only: for us that would work well. I highly recommend the MGM Signature Suites in Las Vegas and LAH Travel. The advice we got from there was invaluable.

Valerie Penny


Cafe Martorano: YO CUZ! Rio Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

yo signMy husband and I ended up at Steve Martorano’s Cafe Martorano: Yo CUZ! by mistake. What a happy mistake it was. We had gone to the Rio Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA to see the much advertised magic show by Penn & Teller, only to find I had got our dates wrong and we were there on the wrong night. It was bitterly disappointing. I asked the young man at the ticket desk if there was a good yo saladrestaurant in the hotel that I could treat my husband to dinner to make up for my error. He recommended Cafe Martorano: Yo CUZ!. It was a great shout.

The restaurant is on the second floor of the Casino area of the Rio Hotel in the Masquerade tower. I liked the trendy atmosphere very much.  The settings were formal enough to make the evening feel special, but the yo lasagnedress code was relaxed and made us feel comfortable. We secured a table by the window overlooking the Rio pool area. It was a lovely to look out as the sunset lengthened the shadows. They have TVs which were showing old movies and videos of the owner giving cooking lessons. Our waitress was friendly. She showed us images of the specials on a tablet. This was great, and probably the first time I did not space out when someone went over the specials of the day. The food was great. The bread brought before the meal was excellent and since we got there right when it opened, it was nice and warm.yo steve

My husband had a domestic beer and I asked for a cocktail. Cafe Martorano: Yo CUZ! does not seem to have a house cocktail, so I chose a margarita. Both were good. I chose the tomato and warm mozzarella to start and my husband opted for the South philly cheese steak sandwich. both sounded simple, but were absolutely delicious.

For our main courses my husband had lasagna which he thoroughly enjoyed. He is partial to lasagna and said this was the best lasagna he had ever had (except mine – of course!). I chose yo puddingthe Spaghetti DOP. The staff offered us fresh paramsan too and that made all the difference. The meals really were marvelous.

I was much too full to order dessert. However, my husband, in the cause of research, of course, chose the red velvet cake. He needed to find out if this was as good as the other courses. He said it was, so I had to try a little to see if he was right. He was, the cake melted in the mouth. It was excellent.

We thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience at Cafe Martorano: Yo CUZ!. We found the service delightful, the view interesting, the ambiance fun and, most importantly, this was one of the finest meals we had had in a long time. I do highly recommend Cafe Martorano: Yo CUZ! at the Rio Hotel, Las Vegas.

Valerie Penny




Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino,3700 W Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, Nevada 89103, USA

rio outOn a recent visit to Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, my husband and I had a chance to visit the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino. This hotel is housed in its own tower. Predictably, Rio is a busy Brazilian themed casino resort offering opulent all-suite accommodation a block from the Strip. It is a lively hotel and a party atmosphere reverberates through the vibrant red, purple and blue neon towers of the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, where large suites, ample entertainment and popular dining combine for the ultimate off-Strip experience.

We ere really taken by the meals at the Rio. The Carnival World rio gambleBuffet certainly delivers on its name and offers the delicious fare of just about everywhere. Another must-try eateries in the Rio is Martorano’s. Our meal there was delicious. Alternatively, you might want to try Hash House A Go Go. It has a home-style atmosphere and serves breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner items in enormous portions. You could also stop for a burger at the BK Whopper Bar or the All-American Bar & Grille. There are plenty of choices.

No Vegas vacation would be complete without a show, so we planned to take in the grand illusions of magical duo Penn & Teller, but due to a mix up we missed the show and lost our opportunity to see them. We also did not get our money refunded by the hotel, rio chipsalthough they re-sold our tickets to someone else. That left a sour taste in my mouth and there was no way my husband wanted to see the male dancers of Chippendales nor did I want to see the beautiful ladies in the topless revue X Rocks! However, both men and women will delight in amazing views of Las Vegas from the VooDoo Rooftop Nightclub, located on the 51st story of the resort’s Masquerade Tower.

This resort exudes high energy fun and watching the tricks and antics of the bartenders is amazing. The vibrant 100,000-square-foot casino floor features more than 1,200 slots, all the favorite table games, poker room, race and sports book and keno lounge. The resort rio roomalso plays host to the main event of the World Series of Poker each year. The staff here takes customer service very seriously, and the service is courteous, friendly and prompt but not intrusive. The suite-sized rooms are also among the largest in town, with amenities ranging from a refrigerator to an in-room safe.

rio poolThe Rio’s pool area, which includes a sandy beach, looks and feels like a tropical paradise. We were very impressed. The Rio also offers fabulous shopping in Masquerade Village and throughout the property as well. We decided against shaming ourselves and avoided trying the VooDoo Zip Line. It is an 800-foot zip ride, it may add excitement at the resort, but we felt it was more excitement than we were looking for. It takes off from the VooDoo Rooftop Nightclub, located atop the hotel’s 50-story Masquerade Tower, guests can cascade toward the Ipanema Tower, reaching speeds up to 33 miles per hour passing the beautiful views of the Las Vegas Strip.

If you are looking for a Carnaval spirit, head to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. Like its namesake in South America, this is a marvelous resort in the middle of the desert. I highly recommend it.

Valerie Penny


MGM Grand Hotel, 3799 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, Nevada 89109, USA

mgm roomWhen my husband and I recently met with my cousin, Michael and his lovely new wife, Amanda, we were at the mike 7 amMGM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. On approaching  this colossal, emerald-coloured casino resort we were amazed to see the signature 45-foot bronze lion. It is huge! In fact everything about the MGM Grand seemed huge to us! The hotel is huge, the casino is huge, the shopping area is huge, the choice of restaurants is huge. They include, Joel Robuchon.  

mgm outThe rooms at the MGM Grand were large and absolutely gorgeous. They are modern and have sleek furnishings, glass-topped desks and marble bathrooms. We were in a suite which additionally  had a living area and Roman bathtub. We had a view of the strip and loved how it had the automated curtains that black out everything when the lights are too busy! The pool area was huge too and we loved the amazing lazy river! There are 4 pools, 3 whirlpools, as well as the lazy river. It is a lot of fun.mgm lion

Indeed, the MGM Grand Hotel is like a city within a city. It is a Strip-side, mega-resort that offers all the glitz and glamour one has come to expect from Las Vegas. We are not gamblers but recognise the top-of-the-line casino offered mgm casinoat MGM Grand. There are also fantastic nightclubs and the amazing shows on offer while we were there included David Copperfield and Cirque de Soleil shows. The marvelous location  of the MGM Grand at the South end of the Strip, across from the Tropicana, places it close to all the action in the city.mgm pool

There is a lot to do at MGM Grand. It would be quite possible to have a great holiday and never leave this hotel resort. The only thing we did not like was the smoking in the casino area, but it is evident in all casinos. There is a fun party atmosphere in MGM Grand that will appeal to the younger set and the young at heart. If you are seeking a complete Las Vegas experience, the MGM Grand  offers this in grand style. The resort fee includes WiFi and access to a workout room.

Valerie Penny



Silverton Casino Hotel 3333 Blue Diamond Rd, Las Vegas, Nevada 89139, USA

My husband was thrilled when, during a recent visit to Las Vegas, he discovered a Bass Pro Shop attached to the silverton outSilverton Casino Hotel. At that point there was no choice, we had to spend time there. The Silverton Casino Hotel is housed in a ski lodge-themed venue. This modern casino resort is 8 minutes’ drive from Mandalay Bay on the south end of the Strip. A taxi fare to the strip will cost about $20-25.00, so if you plan to spend a lot of time around the strip, travel costs could be significant unless you use the free shuttle bus, but that only runs to the shops at johnny-rocketsCaesar’s Palace every 3-4 hours. Coach seats are limited to 12 people. The hotel also provides a shuttle bus to the airport, again there are only 12 seats available.

The Silverton Casino Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA combines the comfort of an upscale lodge with casino gaming excitement. It is a full-service casino and hotel located off the Strip. It features an array of restaurants, including a steak house, a Mexican restaurant and a rather silverton pooleclectic buffet. We particularly enjoyed the burgers at Johnny Rockets. It is a 1950s themed burger joint. Admittedly it is part of a chain, but the food was competitively priced and very tasty. It even catered for me as a vegetarian. It amused us to experience the individual juke boxes and stylised furniture.

Live entertainment does play at the Silverton. However, while we were there no silverton tankbig name acts, or shows we particularly wanted to see were showing. There is a seasonal outdoor pool, but it seemed quite small for th size of the venue. Still, we were enchanted by the 117,000 gallon aquarium. It is not surprising that this earned the Silverton the distinction of “Best Free Attraction” in Las Vegas. We also found all the staff at the Silverton Casino Hotel to be helpful and polite.silverton casino

Silverton Casino Hotel also pride itself on having the highest payout casinos in Las Vegas. It also boasts gaming spread across a vibrant casino floor spanning 90,000 square feet where guests can play over 1,750 modern slot and video poker machines and 29 table games including craps, roulette, and blackjack. Guests will also find a sports book courtesy of Cantor Gaming and have access to a High Limit Salon.

silverton roomThe Bass Pro Shop flagship store was the big draw for my husband. He spent hours examining the deals, offers, equipment and clothes for sale in the Bass Pro Shop. Sometimes I went around the store with him, because there was lots of interest to me too. However, sometimes I spent time enjoying other attractions around the resort, but I always knew where to find him!bass pro

Many of the guestrooms at the Silverton Casino Hotel have been remodelled. They are very comfortable and nicely decorated. The rooms feature pillow-top mattresses, in-room Internet and flat-screen TVs. In addition suites have living rooms and Jacuzzis. The resort fee includes the in-room internet, gym access and an airport shuttle.  Free WiFi is available in the coffee shop.

While the Silverton Casino Hotel has many interesting features, we found it to be a long way from the Strip and we prefer t be based nearer the centre of things in Las Vegas.

Valerie Penny



New York, New York 3790 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, Nevada 89109, USA

ny barOn a recent visit to Las Vegas with my husband and I particularly enjoyed the New York New York Hotel and Casino on S Las Vegas Boulevard. It is set between The Monte Carlo and Excaliber. The ‘Big Apple’ casino hotel is on the Strip and features several towers built to resemble the New York skyline of the 1930s. It creates a really interesting ny, ny outvista and is an exciting place to be. We really enjoyed the ambience of this hotel. There are bars and casinos open 24 hours a day: amenities also include a traditional roller coaster 203 feet above the Strip, live entertainment, as well as more than a dozen bars and nightclubs, a casino with weekend DJs and go-go dancers, and several restaurants.

The rooms are smaller than at some other hotels but it is good value for the money and it is certainly worth staying here at least once. Rooms are sophisticated ny room 2with marble bathrooms, WiFi and flat-screen TVs. The suites also have whirlpool tubs, mini fridges and Bose stereo systems. There is a pool deck that residents may enjoy. It includes a pool and deck space, with cabanas and a jacuzzi. To me, the size of pool seemed a bit small for the size of the hotel. 

The New York, NewYork resort is an exciting environment.  At the time we were there Cirque du Soleil were providng one of the shows. Zumanity by Cirque du Soleil, is a seductive twist on reality, making the provocative ny roller coasterplayful and the forbidden spellbinding. The show is part burlesque and part cabaret, Zumanity is certainly a show you will never forget. Other attractions include the traditional roller coaster. This is a bit uncomfortable, indeed, my daughter acquired several bruises from her ride. Still, it offers some exciting views over the Strip. 

The shopping at New York New York is fun. It includes the Hershey Shop, at which we saw the biggest Hershey Kiss in the world. Maybe it was a small person in a costume! We also saw a Statue of Liberty made of jelly beans. Also, Stupidiotic is brilliant! It is a specialty retail store featuring a ny shopswide variety of ingenious products and ideas. Some are amusing; some just confusing. We also enjoyed the SoHo Shop with its New York style fashions, ladies fashion apparel, jewelry, shoes and designer handbags. 

New York, New York have polite, helpful staff. It is on the Strip at one end of the monorail. It is conveniently located, close to many other hotels, casinos and ny nightattractions. This is a lively resort that has an awesome theme but is not for the faint-hearted or for those looking for a peaceful stay. We really liked New York, New York and if you enjoy a busy resort, this one is for you.

Valerie Penny


SLS, 2535 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, Nevada 89109, USA

slsMy husband took the opportunity to ride the monorail in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA when we visited recently. It links many of the famous hotels on The Strip. At one end of the line is the MGM Grand while the SLS is at the other. We were curious as to what SLS stands for, but a local tour guide told us that it does not stand for anything. The name of this chic, new hotel is just SLS. This  property is at the north end of The Strip, farther from most other hotels and casinos. sls pool

Hotel definitely seems to cater to a younger crowd as loud music played by the main pool but few people were really swimming. We also noticed that the second pool was quite small for the size of the hotel and pools closed rather early each night. Still, the SLS is a hotel that really tries to represent the essence of the sexy, modern Las Vegas.

sls roomThe rooms are not all that large and do not have a great deal of storage. However, they do come with nice showers and unusual amenities, including mirrored ceilings! So, the ambiance of the hotel was lively and exciting at night. The SLS would definitely suite those who seek an exciting yet relaxing time in Las Vegas. There are lots of things to do in and around the SLS. There are several restaurants and many shops. Unfortunately, a few of the restaurants sls fred segalwere oriental and the food was not to my taste. Also, the prices in the hotel shops were somewhat more than I would have been willing to pay.

However, SLS is at the end of The Strip nearest to The Down Town area of the city. There are a wide variety of shops there, including the “Pawn Stars” shop that features on TV. We did not go into that because there was a long pawn shopqueue outside as they were filming the afternoon we were there. I did not want to stand in the heat to get into the shop.

We did enjoy the beer garden, although it was a bit close to the main road. It offered unusual cocktails and the adjacent Umami Burger is an outpost for gourmet comfort eats. There was also sports betting as a change to the usual casino betting. I tried the pomegranate margarita with the black pepper rim. Delicious, provided you like pomegranate and pepper. I do! 

The staff were rather a mixed bag. Some of them were terrific and offered great service but some of the others IMG_0444 (1)seemed to feel that it was beneath them to look after their guests. That was a bit tiresome. SLS is a stylish hotel and would suite many people but it was not exactly what we were looking for this time.

Valerie Penny