Showing posts with label Las Vegas deals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Las Vegas deals. Show all posts

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday’s Satchel: Vegas and Miami Eats

We love Vegas Happy Hours – it’s that time period in late afternoon or early evening when restaurants and/or bars offer discount appetizers and drinks. And there are many to choose from on The Strip.

On this trip, with 100+ temperatures outside we didn’t want much more than the small nibbles, so we were off to Canaletto in the Venetian Resort’s San Marco Square.

Often times a Happy Hour requires sitting at a restaurant’s bar which provides an extra bonus: an opportunity to meet some interesting fellow travelers. And this time, it led to a restaurant tip we plan to pursue the next time we head to Florida for a cruise.
vegas 060
We’d struck up a conversation with Vegas visitors, Dina and Rodrigo Gonzalez, from Miami, Florida, and as we munched and sipped together, we learned they are co-owners of Basilico, a restaurant that’s been serving northern Italian cuisine at its Miami Springs location since 1998. (It has been Zagat rated ‘excellent’ every year since 2002!)

Along with their founding business partner, Carlos Loya, they opened a second Basilico, (which is Italian for basil), in Doral in 2010.

We checked out the restaurant’s web site after returning home and now can hardly wait to try one of the two the next time we are in the area. Basilico is located at 5879 NW 36th St. Miami, 33166, 305-871-3585 or 10405 N.W. 41st St., Doral, 33178,  305-406-3737.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Vegas: ACE and Deuce - A Lucky Pair

I've heard from a couple of you, that you will be heading to Vegas in the next few weeks, so before setting out for Arizona, I need to tell you about doing this town "Rick Steves' style". Steves, a Pacific Northwest travel guru, advises Europe-bound travelers  to use the public bus. 

And that's what we did in Vegas. The  bus system runs two buses along The Strip, appropriately named for this gambling haven, The ACE and The Deuce.   ACE is a sleek new addition to the transportation system, having come on line only a year or so ago.  The Deuce, a double-decked vehicle, has long been a popular way for visitors to get from The Strip to Fremont Street (both are known for casinos, entertainment and dining). 

In addition to running 24/7 and having bus stops every quarter mile or so, they also run to snazzy looking transit centers where you can connect to any of the 51 routes in the town - meaning you don't need to stay in just the casino or shopping areas; you can head out and explore the neighborhoods as well.

And they offer tourists like us, multi hour and multi day passes.We purchased the $7 for 24-hour pass (it is only $3.50 for those 60 and older with proof of age) and then we set off to the far reaches of The Strip. 

We explored Town Square, a shopping center on the southern end of the Strip and could have shopped at the two huge outlet store centers that anchor either end of the route; Premium Outlet Stores to the north or Outlet Stores to the south. We  looped around the city's Convention Center and through its new Arts District as this express bus whizzed us to the Fremont Street Experience.

The bus system here is a definite win for travelers.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Jockey Club - a Las Vegas Gem

The Jockey Club
You see that little building dwarfed by the new Cosmopolitan Hotel in the photo above?

Well, that's The Jockey Club, a Las Vegas throwback to the days when names like Sinatra and The Rat Pack were headliners here. 

We hit the jackpot when we picked this place for a week-long stay on The Strip.

We are in a one-bedroom suite with full kitchen and living room, huge closet and a small bathroom (not everything can be big) at the rate of less than $35 a night.  The decor is fitting with a jockey club, deep greens and burgundies and horses - but not for long as the entire place (which looks very good now) is getting a face lift of new furniture and flat screen televisions.  (I need to tell you the beds are as comfortable as Marriott - and here, unlike Marriott, we've had daily maid service as well.)

This gem of a place, a Las Vegas fixture since 1971, is snuggled up against the new Cosmopolitan Hotel. . .psst, a secret: We have access to a hidden away elevator that whisks us up to the Cosmopolitan!  Our picture window opens to a direct view of the Eiffel Tower at Paris and the dancing fountain at Bellagio.

The Vegas stay is the result of a promotion from Interval International, the company that has for years managed Marriott Vacation timeshare exchanges, as well as a host of other properties.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Cheap Meals + Deals = Vegas Wins

Treasure Island on the Vegas Strip
We generally avoid Las Vegas on weekends or holidays because of the high room rates.

But with tourism still taking a hit there, we got a room at the recently-renovated  Treasure Island  (TI) for under $100 a night. (Wynn Resort, across the street was more than $300 a night).

Money-saving Deals:
We used 2-for-1 brewskie/drink coupons at their tropically-themed Kahunaville Bar and Restaurant., The parade of fellow guests to the bar provided the free entertainment.

Opting out of TI's resort fee ($20 a day for Internet access and gym admittance) and passing on in-room Internet at $14.99 for 24-hours ($7.99 for two continuous hours); we walked across the pedestrian bridge to Starbucks for coffee and  free Internet. 

(Note: the Starbucks in the TI doesn't accept coffee cards and doesn't have Internet access.  Coffee Presse, just inside the Palazzo shops, also offers free wi-fi.)

While surfing the Net at Starbucks, (using our own Netbook) we found Monday and Tuesday night rates had dropped to 'reasonable' at The Palazzo (across the street) so we booked ourselves there for $139 a night using Expedia. Upon check in we received a sheet of discount coupons that included 2-for-1 drinks, discounts at several restaurants and  $25 in free slot machine play at their casino for each of us. Using the coupons: we sipped Prosecco at the Double Helix bar, dined at Dos Caminos and played the penny slot machines - all of which, we may not have done without the coupons. Another win for them and for us.

The Palazzo
We got the best airfare on Alaska Air by flying Friday and Wed. Check the airline's rate calendar and if you can, adjust your travel to the best fare travel days.

Ah, the bottled water as mentioned before: street vendors, sell  for a buck a bottle - same size inside can cost from $2.49 - $3.19.

Free Shows:
While entertainers headline and productions dazzle on many of the casino/hotel stages, we have discovered a number of free shows are incredibly entertaining as well.

Treasure Island has a great free pirate show on the street side of the resort several times each evening. Check the posted show times and then come early to get a good spot for sidewalk viewing. (We used another 2-for-1 coupon and sipped a glass of wine, watching the show from the TI's balcony bar).

We watched the Piazza mime finish his show and then were serenaded by costumed strolling minstrels who entertained with Italian tunes while we made the most of Happy Hour drinks and dining at the bar in Canaletto Restorante Veneto along the Grand Canal in the Venetian (connecting the Venetian to the Palazzo).

Their Happy Hour offers a good selection of cheap eats and drinks for $7 each before 6 p.m. We sipped our wine, ate thin crust pizza and a plate of calamari and enjoyed the free entertainment on our last night in town.
Pirate ship 'burns' during TI free show

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Vegas 'N Demand'

Vegas tourism seems to be on an upswing.  A single convention of broadcasters brought 85,000 people to the city while were there (and there were three other significantly-sized conferences going on at the same time). We arrived albout the same time as contestants in -- and spectators of -- the weekend's International Bull Riding Competitions.

Hotel room rates aren't quite the deals they were last year but can still be found with a bit of research.  Another way to save money and have a great time in this 'adult Disneyland' is to seek out Happy Hours where beverages and/or nibbles are offered at cut-rate prices for an hour or two in the late afternoon or early evening, sometimes longer. Times and deals vary with the establishment. Our recommended spot:

The Paris Hotel and Casino's Napoleon Bar where Friday evening we sipped two tall chilled draught beers for $6; a steal by Vegas prices. And while enjoying our cool ones we were treated to one of the best shows we've seen in a Vegas lounge - and it was free.

Napoleon's is a sprawling French-themed and decorated bar, located between the casino and convention wing of the hotel; a place where we've seen on previous visits two pianists perform 'dueling piano' medleys.  The entertainment line-up on weekends has gone doo-wop and Motown with  'N Demand , a talented four-some who not only had those of us in the audience in the palms of their hands but had folks walking past the bar clustering at its windows to watch.

The group is performing Friday, Saturday and Sundays at 6 and again at 7:30 p.m. Their hour-long performance -- not to mention the Happy Hour drink deals -- is more than a reason to head to Napoleon's. And if you can't make it to a performance, click their name to see a sample of their show.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

"Phantastic" deal on Vegas' Phantom

The Las Vegas Venetian has been home to a production of "Phantom of the Opera" for several years. . .so why did it take us until last week to finally go to one of the most spectacular musicals we've ever seen?

Price. It's that simple. When prices -even at the discount shops -are above $100 for a 'good' seat, it lowers our enthusiasm proportionately.

So an ad in a free, pocket-sized 24/7 Magazine (found in taxis and on displays in the Fashion Show Mall) was what finally got us to the musical, by way of the Web. We logged on to and found at least three discount options available on certain performances while we were in town. We booked seats third row back from the front of the mezzanine, smack dab in the middle of the section (you do want to be high for this show) and got them for $69 plus taxes and fees. Without the discount the same seat was $135 on the web. When we picked up the tickets at will-call we asked if we really had saved money. The clerk reported that our seats would have been $145 each plus taxes and fees had we purchased at the counter. Once again, a little research saved a lot of money.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Vegas "Deal-ing"

We are taking a Vegas sunbreak thanks to Expedia ( dealing up some good prices on packages. We'll fly round-trip, on Alaska Airlines ( from Seattle, staying four nights at Wynn for $808 - total package price for two. It was a winning hand for us.

We probably should have tried one of the new City Center hotels ( the $11+ billion, 68-acre mega-development on the Las Vegas Strip between the Bellagio and Monte Carlo, but decided to stay loyal to Wynn, where we have consistently had great service, enormous rooms with floor to ceiling windows that provide expansive views such as the one I added to this post. (For those not familiar with Vegas, that space-age like structure at the bottom of the photo is the entry to the Fashion Show Mall.)

City Center began its phased in open this month so we do plan to explore the hotels there: Aria, the hotel/casino with 4,004 guestrooms, 16 restaurants and 10 bars and lounges; the non-gaming Vdara Hotel and Spa, which brought a total 1,495 new suites to the Vegas inventory; and the Mandarin Oriental, a combination of 392 guestrooms and 225 residences - and six restaurants.


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