A Weekend In Las Vegas

Last weekend Zen-Den and I went to Las Vegas, a four-hour direct flight from here.  He was going there for work, so I decided to tag along for a 48 hour getaway because I thought that it would be entertaining.  And it was… sort of… in a “well, I guess this is better than sitting home alone” kind of way. Here’s my take on our trip.

The Good: Where We Stayed

Having been to Las Vegas many times before we wanted to see what it’d be like to stay in a non-gaming hotel, so we stayed at the Four Seasons Hotel.  [Not quite as pricey as you might think when booked together with airfare on Travelocity.]  The hotel was clean and quiet and stylish and refined– which was in complete contrast to the smoky and noisy and tacky and loud casinos.  I liked going back to the stillness of our room after the chaos of The Strip.  Very yin and yang.  This was a wonderful choice for us.

The Bad:  Meals.  Shopping.  Shows.

Meals in the restaurants were okay, but very expensive.  Drinks weren’t cheap, either.  Shopping was either high-end designer shops, or the “same-old, same-old” mall stores available all across the USA.  The shows were stale.  Many had been there for years and we’d seen them before;  or they were just another one of those “Cirque du Soleil” shows that all seem the same to me.  Overall, there was nothing special for us about the meals/shopping/shows, so we spent more time in the casinos playing penny slots– which got kind of old.

The Ugly:  Transportation

Getting around on The Strip was slow and difficult.  We didn’t have a car so we walked, used public transportation or grabbed a cab.  Many of the escalators and moving sidewalks were broken.  [I’m looking at you, Excaliber.]  Alternate stairways were dirty.  [Shame on you, Imperial Palace.]  The monorail service was available but it wasn’t easy to find– and inexplicably, it no longer had a stop at the Convention Center.  Tram service between casinos was arbitrary.  [A few signs, clearly posted, with the hours of tram service would be nice, Mandalay Bay.]  Taxis, while plentiful, were painfully slow driving up and down The Strip.   We spent more time getting around Las Vegas than we wanted to and this made us cranky, tired, and not thinking happy thoughts.

In Conclusion:

I used to like Las Vegas because it was so unique and happening, but now it seems like it’s trying too hard– desperate– out-of-touch with the times.  In a world with legalized gambling in 49 states — the ability to have any show delivered to my living room via Netflix — and online shopping, there’s little reason for me to go there anymore.  Sure, we had a good enough time.  But in the future when given the option to go to Las Vegas for a personal vacation, I’m going to pass.  Too much hassle, not enough fun.

[Image above of the Iconic Las Vegas Sign from here.]

[Hello FTC!  So we meet again. Just to be clear, this is only my opinion about my experiences.  I’ve received no money or other compensation for this review. Are we good, FTC?]

8 thoughts on “A Weekend In Las Vegas

  1. I find LV to be a superficial and depressing place; the only reason I went there was for gymnastics meets and I had to do that. It’s turned back into a very sleazy place, not kid-friendly at all.(or gymnast friendly) At our same hotel way south of the strip(team and meet hotel) was a BEER PONG TOURNAMENT. So, there was a not-so-great combo of teenage female athletes and very, very drunk college age boys throwing up in the elevator and staggering around. I haven’t been back since. At least your hotel was nice though. Ours was far away and smoky. We had no car either, thus it was a nightmare to get anywhere on their random transportation.


  2. Margaret, I’m glad to know about your experiences there. It sounds like you had a lousy time, too.

    I’ve been to Vegas 7 times in 21 years. I thought that I knew what I was getting into, but this time I found it to be dull and trashy and bothersome. If we hadn’t stayed at the nice hotel, I would of been a total bitch. But because we could escape to a lovely, friendly hotel, I felt like the situation was tolerable.

    The place ain’t what it used to be. Or maybe I’m not what I used to be. Older = more jaded, perhaps?


  3. I’ve only been once, back in 1989. I like it about as much as I like Disneyland, which is to say that I’ll be fine with never going back. There doesn’t seem to be anything real to me there. And the newer casinos all seem to be about a place (New York, Venice, Paris) that I’d rather be than in their dumb casino.

    The only thing I liked about Vegas was that my BFF was living there at the time, and she came and sat by the hotel pool with me, and we drank gin and tonics in the 110 degree heat. I was 23 at the time, and she and I had put in many years of tanning in our youth, but never with a drink in our hand. That was nice.

    The only place we ate was cheap buffets, which I didn’t like. The front desk clerk at the first hotel we went to (Frontier, now gone) was busy looking at a Playboy magazine and ignored us when we wanted to check in. Everything smelled like smoke. We had a car, but it didn’t have A/C.

    And Disneyland, since I brought it up….gosh, I don’t HATE it. I just like Santa Cruz and it’s cheezy homeyness SO much more than the forced fun feeling of Disney, and at Santa Cruz there’s a beautiful ocean right there and a soft breeze, and food that isn’t Disney food. And it’s 6 hours closer. Somehow it seems more real.


  4. J, I can see why you and your friend liked lazing by the pool. I’d like any activity that included gin and tonics! However, your overall experience sounds about as stupid as mine.

    The weird thing for me is that I’ve been there before and had a really nice time. But that was when Vegas was more family-oriented and the prices were reasonable. And it was well-maintained.

    Z-D and I did feel very sorry for the people who live and work there. Despite being worn out by the bad economy and enduring the decline of the city, so many of them were helpful to us. We were big tippers to the nice ones.


  5. I think the only thing I’d like about LV is the sun. Living in the PacNW makes me very appreciative of sunny weather, so if I went I’d find a nice hotel that was ecologically irresponsible and had a nice big expanse of grass I could lay out on. And then, I suppose, I’d hang out, relax, and dream about not being in LV 🙂


  6. Stephanie, your approach to Vegas sounds perfect to me. Stay still. Do nothing. Enjoy sunlight. It’d be a darned sight better than what we put up with.


  7. wow, i haven’t been to vegas in years (used to go there regularly when i lived in phoenix)…it makes me a little sad to hear this.

    and the FTC? really? really? dang, this reminds me why i no longer live in the US… *sigh*


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