The Board at VegasTripping

Board @ VT RSS Feed Board Topic RSS Feed!

Airfare, Hotels, Rental Cars, Vacation Packages

Southwest Vacations logo!


Advice greatly appreciated!!!

Last edit: VegasVirgin on Sunday, 6th December 2009 12:27 pm
Last response by VegasVirgin 30th January 8:05am

Hello there

First of all, a warning, I'm English so please be patient with me as although I used to live in the US, I've not been back for years.

Am going to Vegas for 6 nights in Mid January for early celebration of Mum's birthday and have tickets for Bette Midler!

Got a fab deal staying in the Venezia Tower section of the Venetian - was keen on Bellagio and Palazzo, but although the Bellagio was the cheapest deal, the room was a bit small for 3 women (all those shoes) and the Palazzo just got more expensive every time I checked out the online prices

First time ever for all 3 of us - mum and 2 daughter, age range of group 30-50 - looking to experience as much as possible whilst there in terms of Grand Canyon Helicopter trip

We are all complete novice gamblers, would like advice on lessons in the hotels and novice-friendly casinos

Basically I would really love advice on everything

Tipping: Is 10% a bit mean/do I leave a tip in the room on a daily basic for the maid?

Room upgrade - Will 20 dollars get me an upgrade to a room with a nice view or do I need to simply ask nicely?

Casinos - which ones to avoid

Recommendations or warnings in general - I have looked at the tips on this site and they are really helpful - if anyone has any more recent info, I'd be grateful

Post Response

Report this topic as inappropriate.

     Add To Itinerary
 blackjacker1979 responded on Sunday, 6th December 2009

Here's what I tell first timers.

Firstly, make time to see everything. The time you will be there will include 3 new hotel openings within a month of your arrival. You will spend time just walking the strip, checking out the various hotels, seeing the sights to see (Volcano, Sirens, Fountains) and generally oohing and aahing. Venetian is a good place to get your jump on parts of the strip from, although it is a bit north of the main action.

I can't tell you much on tours, although I have done Hoover Dam and I would highly recommend it to anyone in awe of engineering/architectural marvels. The Grand Canyon is equally amazing, and I'd say the tours are great therefore.

As far as playing, learning to play specifically, I would recommend going in the early afternoon. This is a slow time on the playing floor, and you'll find more tables where you can learn more. Find a table of a game you're interested in that's open and ask the dealers anything you want to know. A friendly dealer will help you learn the game at your pace if you're alone at the table. I would avoid Venetian/Palazzo, Wynn/Encore and the like for initial lessons. The limits are always too high and tables too full at them. I would recommend perhaps Mirage, TI, or walking a bit further down to Bellagio where you can find some lower limit tables readily.

Tipping is a different story. Here 15% is the standard for most services. I always tip my waiters/waitresses 18%, 10% in that case is considered stingy in the States. Lets say it won't keep your drinks coming in the quickest manner. As far as the maid, I usually leave a $10USD tip at the end of my trip, ranging up to $25 depending on turndown services and the like. Use your discretion here.

Room upgrades are fine to ask for, and I say that loosely. Ask first. Usually if there are empty rooms and you are already booked they may move you up to book your less expensive room. If worse comes to worse they will tell you it will cost more, and you can decide then, but upgrades sometimes come free with nice conversation.

Other than that, have fun. Definitely check out the higher end joints like Wynn|Encore and Bellagio, and certainly Aria and CityCenter in general.

 VegasVirgin replied on Monday, 7th December 2009

Blackjacker1979 - thanks so much for your advice - I'm honestly not stingy and didn't want to offend anyone - plus customer service in the US is so much better than the UK, it's worth tipping generously, unlike not so "Great" Britain where customer service is a dirty word

Will politely ask for upgrade (have just learnt that apparently the Venezia Tower is now the most dated of the rooms at the Venetian) so hopefully they will comp us to the main Venetian complex or even the Palazzo

Apparently there's a big convention coming into the Sands on 19th Jan, so hopefully I'll beat them to it!

Thanks again


 blackjacker1979 replied on Monday, 7th December 2009

If you've already booked at Venetian, I would call and see if its possible to move over to Palazzo. I think you'd enjoy the place more than Venetian or even an upgrade to Venezia (it is a trek and a half just to get to the room, including multiple elevator rides.)

My pleasure to help.

 Todhunter responded on Sunday, 6th December 2009

OK, first figure out what game you want to play and do some reading ahead of time. Most games have online tutorials. And remember that gambling is entertainment that you pay for just like you pay for a movie or a live show.

If you're staying at the Venetian, you're right near Casino Royale and Imperial Palace, two low-roller places that are good for inexperienced players. If you are ever made to feel bad or stupid, leave as soon as you can clear your bets. If you have a lot of small-denomination chips, it can be rewarding to shove them to the dealer and curtly demand "Cash me out" but it loses its impact if the rude dealer shoves them right back because it can't be done....

There are a ton of things to do and there will never be enough time to do them all. The more you read in advance the better equipped you'll be to make decisions because almost everything you will read when you get to Las Vegas will be an ad rather than an objective review or recommendation.

Personally, I like magic shows and recommend the often-overlooked Mac King afternoons at Harrah's.

As far as tipping is concerned, I figure out what 20 percent of the tab is. That, I figure, is a generous tip and then I evaluate how good the service was. Do they deserve a generous tip?

For more detail on Las Vegas, besides this site I recommend,, and my own Las Vegas page, but be warned that other parts of my site can be offensive.

Have fun.

 VegasVirgin replied on Monday, 7th December 2009

Todhunter - really useful tips - I will also check out Mac King

Thanks so much, people on here are incredibly helpful

 parchedearth responded on Monday, 7th December 2009

Venezia was a good room choice. As to an upgrade, Venezia is set back from the strip so a view room is probably not much difference. Also, the next upgrade level is a big leap so you probably won't get it free. You can always ask, but you should be fine with your current room.

Most properties (including Venetian/Palazzo) offer free lessons for most games. Usually they are in the late morning (10am). Palazzo and TI are good clean casinos that aren't too crowded. There are casinos (Casino Royale) with lower minimum bets, but they can be dark, noisy, dirty, and crowded.

I recommend tipping $1 for each drink (at tables or bar), at least 15% at meals, $1 in the taxi line, and a couple dollars for the cab driver.

Save the Grand Canyon until later in your stay when you need fresh air. If you start running low on money, walk the strip or watch a movie in your room. There is a new half-off show ticket booth in Casino Royale next door to the Venetian. If you want a view of the strip, check out Mix, Eiffel Tower, Voodoo, Ghostbar, or Playboy.

 VegasVirgin responded on Saturday, 30th January 2010


A massive thanks to all of you who offered advice - an absolutely fabulous trip, thanks to you!

Free room upgrade (our room wasn't ready when we checked in) to a Terrace view in the Venezia tower - yes it was a bit of a walk at 4 in the morning, but that's the price you pay for a bit of peace and quiet when you actually need a few hours shut eye!

Bette Midler was the best thing ever, we also saw O at Bellagio - again brilliant show.

Our helicopter night flight was great - we were lucky and got the best seats with great views.

City Centre is awesome, and we really just enjoyed traipsing down the Strip and looking inside the hotels.

The food was of an incredible standard (this was a "big" birthday trip so we weren't watching the pennies) for me, the places that stood out were Olives, Cirque and Fix at Bellagio; Mesa at Caesars and Cut at Palazzo.
Also enjoyed MargaritaVille at Flamingo (kitsch but great Margaritas)

Would have gained a couple of kilos, but I was a good girl and slogged it out a few times at the Canyon Ranch gym to make up for the millions of calories.......

To make things even better, I even ended up $400 better off after my "beginners luck" gambling at Venetian and Bellagio

Even after 6 days, there was loads we didn't manage to do

Want to go again SOON!