Posts Tagged ‘USA’

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




High Mountain Pies, 115 W 4th St, Leadville, Colorado 80461, USA

Our friends had put miles onto their truck and gallons into their tank taking us up over Independence Pass on a independence passmemorable trip from Aspen to Denver and we stopped at High Mountain Pies, Leadville, Colorado for a late lunch. We found High Mountain Pies high viewthrough a recommendation from a Leadville local. It was a good recommendation, everywhere else we passed was closed or closing! There is not much seating inside, so we sat outside in the sun.

The view from Leadville is beautiful. The historic city of Leadville is the Statutory City that is the county seat and the only incorporated municipality in Lake County, Colorado, USA. Leadville is situated at an elevation of 10,152 feet and is the highest incorporated city in the USA. It is a former silver mining town and lies near the headwaters of high frontthe Arkansas River in the heart of the Rocky Mountains and is a really interesting town to visit.

high inThe variety of choices on the menu was not wide. However, we chose from a selection of freshly baked pizza, salads, sandwiches and pies. They also offer the most enormous brownies I have ever seen! The toppings on the pizzas are generous and the tastes are strong and fresh. The staff are friendly and courteous but service was a bit slow. There is only one rest room, but it was high pizzaclean. Access for those who are disabled or mobility impaired was good.

If you are planning a trip through Leadville, you could do worse than stop for lunch at High Mountain Pies.

Valerie Penny

Las Delicitas IV, 19553 Mainstreet, Parker, Colorado 80138, USA

Las D outMy friends, my husband and I were enjoying a visit to the lovely town centre of  Parker, Colorado, USA. In the evening, we decided to stop for dinner instead of having to cook when we got home. Our friends suggested Las Delicitas IV, they had eaten there before and enjoyed it. This hidden gem has real authentic Mexican food. The food was pretty inexpensive and the service was fast so despite that recommendation, my husband and I did not have high expectations. We were wrong. The food was delicious! This is a bare-bones, family-owned local chain spot that serves delicious food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.Las D in

The decoration is simple but everything in Las Delicitas IV is spotlessly clean. Everyone in the kitchen had a hairnets. You could see them from the dining room. Also the members of staff were all friendly and helpful. We experienced great customer service. This really made us feel valued as guests: it was so good. Access for disabled people or those with mobility problems is easy too.

Las D foodFood here was also excellent. The salsa was amazing, very tangy and tasty. One of our friends had a burrito and I had the guacamole tostadas. I ate some of it with a spoon so I did not miss any of the delicious guacamole. My husband had a combo and loved everything. The portions were very generous too!  The different entrees had strong unique flavors and the beans were very good too. Despite the large portions we shamed ourselves and made room for fried ice cream puddings: lovely!

Las Delicitas IV is definitely a Mexican restaurant in Parker that produces delicious food and values their customers. I highly recommend it.

Valerie Penny


Tail Gate Tavern and Grill, 19552 E Main St, Parker, Colorado 80138, USA

tail frontMy husband and I joined friends for a wander around the town centre in Parker, Colorado, USA on a very hot summer afternoon in June. It is a delightful, traditional town and offers the best of two worlds: small town living within striking distance of the metropolis of Denver.

We stopped at the Tail Gate Tavern and Grill for a drink and to relax because it has a beer garden from which we could watch the world go by in the fresh air and the warmth, but shaded by the big blue parasols. The Tail Gate Tavern and Grill offers a wide tail outvariety of beers, cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks. It also serves American inspired food from breakfast until dinner and features live bands from time to time. Poker, karaoke, other diversions are also on offer in the saloon atmosphere.

tail drinksWe enjoyed our visit to the Tail Gate Tavern and Grill. Access for disabled people is easy and the restrooms were spotlessly clean. We were not rushed by the staff and the service was friendly, although a little slower than I would have expected, given that they were not particularly busy. We liked the Tail Gate Tavern and Grill  and look forward to stopping here again I am happy to recommend the Tail Gate Tavern and Grill.

Valerie Penny


Peach’s Corner Cafe, 121 S Galena St, Aspen, Colorado 81611, USA

aspenIt had been many years since I last visited Aspen, Colorado, USA. Many years ago I spent a vacation there and am thrilled to be able to say I have skied in Aspen. That is an expensive pursuit there, now. However, more recently when friends, my husband and I visited it was summer and we had no plans to ski. We did plan to shop but we interrupted our shopping to have lunch at Peach’s Corner Cafe.

Peach’s really appealed to us because it is bright and clean. The food is Peachs-Outsideoutstanding and they have something for everyone on their menu, even for me as a vegetarian. My husband tried the burger and was not surprised that it was recently named Aspen’s best burger. Our friends chose salads which were fresh and varied. My vegetarian panini was delicious. It contained a wide variety of roasted vegetables.  The food is awesome and very affordable, especially for Aspen. The service is friendly too and we discovered that his little gem is run and owned by a local. That was a nice touch. They even have free Wi-Fi.

The Peach’s Corner Cafe does great coffee. Coffee is a big thing for my coffeehusband. It is one of the things that he is really fussy about. I did enjoy my latte: it was great. I also appreciated that the cost for the coffee was not extotioante. That is a real rarity for Aspen! The bright atmosphere of the store is nice, as is the decor. There s seating outdoors as well as inside and the view from the outdoor dining area is beautiful. However, we sat inside as it was a bit wet the day we were there.

The cakes and other baked goods are delicious. Apparently, Peach’s buys in from different local bakeries for different things, rather than contracting with just one bakery. That is clever as they choose the best from each. So, the coffee drinks are tasty, the food is top notch and the prices are reasonable. This is no tourist trap it is definitely a place to check out if you are in Aspen. In fact, if you are in Aspen, I would say that Peach’s Corner Cafe is a must.

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