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Top 5 Vegas Resorts

Last edit: BillDonovan on Tuesday, 8th March 2016 5:51 pm
Last response by motoman 18th March 12:43am

Top 5 Vegas Resorts. What are yours? Hard to pick just 5, but here are ours:
#5 Mandalay Bay. It has everything, it is big, lots of bars & restaurants with nice variety, huge casino, large sportsbook, easy to ride the tram to get there, a great place. #4 Wynn/Encore. The clubs, the restaurants, the bars, and a nice sportsbook with a snack bar. Just a classy feel everywhere you go. #3 MGM Grand. So many bars and restaurants, the events and concerts. There is always lots of people and lots of energy at the MGM Grand. #2 Planet Hollywood. Just a great vibe to the place. Affordable gambling, and surrounded by the Miracle Mile mall walk. #1 Cosmopolitan. This is party central, great bars and drinks and clubs. More beautiful women here than several of the other casino resorts combined.

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 Chuckmonster responded on Tuesday, 8th March 2016

This is hard. I've got a lot of stuff I like, but I don't think there are five joints that I love top to bottom.

1. Wynn (love Encore but don't like the club crowds)
2. M (love this joint top to bottom - except the location!)
3. Delano (love the rooms, love the vibe... Mandalay Bay is too cavernous for me.)
4. Golden Gate (love the casino, love the size, love the suites. Haven't stayed in the standard rooms since they've been renovated.)
5. Venetian Palazzo all because of the food.

 fatbastard replied on Thursday, 10th March 2016

Chuck - what really trips your trigger about the M Resort? I re-read your review of it.

We only get to Vegas once a year together and usually stay for a week. A couple nights either on the back or front end of the trip we like to stay somewhere quiet like the Four Seasons.

The M looks promising for a quiet two days out of 7 to lay around and not go anywhere. What are your favorite things about the place and why?

 Chuckmonster replied on Thursday, 10th March 2016

The food, the rooms, the vibe, the casino, the smell, the intimacy, the service. It's like having a Wynn quality joint minus the douchebags, club ho's, riff raff and trouble. When I'm there, I'm relaxed... super relaxed.

Plus, the building really is a marvel to stare at. It changes shape depending on the time of day and how the light hits it. Every angle of it is a surprise. Finally, I love the desert. The dirt dirty dirt rock mountain dirt of the desert. M is like a oasis out there with gorgeous views and vistas. I love it.

It sounds like M is sort of what you're looking for... a place to chill and still have the option to get a little weird.

 Ricogreen responded on Tuesday, 8th March 2016

My Top 5 Vegas Resorts.
1. Aria - Really enjoy staying at this resort, usually get really great room rates from Mlife. Carbone was a wonderful addition to their restaurant lineup.
2. Wynn/Encore - Still love the elegance and interior design of Steve's place. Sinatra's is also my favourite restaurant in the city. Not a fan of the reduced Craps Odds.
3. Cosmopolitan - I love the selection of restaurants and bars. I also love the terrace suites.
4. Bellagio - Best looking resort in my opinion, and always love playing cards in their Poker Room.
5. Caesars Palace - I never win there, but still has a great collection of shops, restaurants, and entertainment.

Viva Las Vegas!

 Chuckmonster replied on Wednesday, 9th March 2016

"I never win there"

 HawkInBama responded on Tuesday, 8th March 2016

These are my rankings, nobody has to agree just my thoughts....

#5. D Las Vegas - Casino atmosphere converted me to a fan of downtown.
#4. Planet Hollywood - Fun vibe at craps table, like the music too piped in. Decent rooms.
#3. Bellagio - Just a great property
#2. Venetian - Love the food options and rooms, hate the players club
#1. Cosmopolitan - Not a fan of casino but everything else is A+

 Vegasjeff responded on Wednesday, 9th March 2016

1) Wynn
3) The D
4) PH

 anawas responded on Wednesday, 9th March 2016

1) Bellagio: Despite the PGP(BS), this is more "Vegas" than even the Welcome to Vegas sign
2) Cosmo: Good food, great pool(s), exceptional people-watching, and that chandelier bar
3) Golden Nugget: Full-service casino amid the downtown vibe. What's not to like?
4) Cromwell: Feels like my own private club. Needs more food options, though
5) Tropicana: You never forget your first time in Vegas. Still love the pool

 Vegasjeff replied on Wednesday, 9th March 2016

Even if your first time was IP Like mine was?lol

 Chuckmonster replied on Wednesday, 9th March 2016

Glad you mentioned PGP... this stuff impacted my list and has already changed where I've been staying recently and in the future. I purposefully didn't book MGM Macau because of this stuff and they don't charge fees there!

 motoman replied on Wednesday, 9th March 2016

Chuckmonster, I’m glad you’re voting with your wallet. After a recent visit (free room at Bally’s for brother’s convention) I’m concerned that our suspicions that the average tourist just doesn’t know / care / think about these things, are true.

My problem is that I’m pretty much tied into Mlife at this point, as I likely will never be in Total Rewards’ demo, have been priced out of Wynncore (in terms of chasing offers), and really had a good time trekking over to Aria, Bellagio and Monte Carlo. Argh….

 anawas replied on Thursday, 10th March 2016

Yeah, @VegasJeff, even if it's the Imperial Palace. Why? For the same reason someone always catches you by surprise at a high school reunion.

 joekollar responded on Wednesday, 9th March 2016

#1 Golden Nugget -This is what all of Vegas should be. Good gamble, good rooms, good pool, good food.
#2 Golden Gate - Most fun place to play and hangout. Good pancakes at Du-Pars too
#3 M Resort - Awesome place all around, might be #2 if it were closer to anything else
#4 Wynn/Caesars Can't decide. Both properties have some great point and some bad points
#5 Red Rock - I really like their casino and the standard rooms are pretty good. The food choices are just so-so.

 fudgewapner responded on Wednesday, 9th March 2016

#1 - Wynn - ambiance, rooms, pool, general feeling
#2 - Aria - new and modern, enjoy the buffet
#3 - Bellagio - classic style, fountain, memories
#4 - Cosmo - hot Millennial-age women
#5 - Imperial Palace - I know it's gone, but stayed so many times. Great location, ridiculous rooms, incredibly ugly building.

 sandyastrogl1de responded on Wednesday, 9th March 2016

1. Monte Carlo - love the Monaco Suite, love breaking even in the casino, love the large-breasted redhead bringing me drinks. Hate PGP, won't be back.
2. Planet Hollywood - love the fountainview room, love the massive number of food choices. Hate re-enacting the Bataan Death March to get from the parking garage to the lobby. We lost 3 stragglers outside the Payless shoe store.
3. Mandalay - love the view from the Foundation Room, love the mix of restaurants, love the sharks. PGP will keep me away.
4. Flamingo - love old, stained, smoky, smelly Vegas. Also love that to have a Profit Growth Plan, you would need actual profits to grow. It'll be a while.
5. Alon - because it pretty much HAS to be better than the current offerings.

 Chuckmonster replied on Wednesday, 9th March 2016

Perfection. I had similar thoughts about Alon and had that on the first draft of my list.

 hurlshot responded on Thursday, 10th March 2016

1. Mandarin Oriental - This place is super fancy. I think it was too fancy for me, really, but I did my best when I stayed there to seem important. The best part was sitting in a spa while overlooking the entire strip, and the amazing Mozen Bistro. I also learned what turn down service is here.

2. The Cromwell - They really personalize the experience here, which is lacking when I stay at a larger resort. The pool is awesome, Giada's is delicious, and Bound is a great bar. Oh, and this is not a kid friendly place, which is great, since the whole reason my wife and I go to Vegas is to escape our children.

3. Cosmo - I haven't stayed here yet, but the food offerings always draw us in for a night or two. Rose. Rabbit. Lie. is probably my favorite experience yet, and China Poblano is top notch for lunch.

4. Aria - Haven't stayed here either, although I have a trip to Vdara planned, but the food always gets me in the door here as well. I like the style.

5. Linq - If you like to visit the spa, Linq is your best deal on the strip. It is a fantastic spa, but they've kept the pricing closer to the Flamingo than Qua at Caesar's. The salt cave is unreal.

 Hyperfocal responded on Thursday, 10th March 2016

1. Cosmopolitan - Sitting on a terrace with a drink, watching the fountains as the sun sets is sublime. Add some great bars, nice restaurants, improved gambling and some great people watching. Rooms are overpriced, but think of them as fountains cabanas and you're good.

2. Aria - Probably the best luxury value. Once you bump up into the suites, you get a luxury product for 1/2 to 1/3 of what you would pay at Bellagio, Caesars or Wynn. I like the modern designs and the suite service is a step above their normal room services. Good restaurants, nice pool complex with a bit of a relaxed vibe.

3. Gold Coast - This comes out of left field, but it is sort of my Stardust or Westward Ho. Good, cheap buffet, good gambling, generally nice staff. The rooms are surprisingly nice -- the 2009-10 era rooms have exactly the same art in the basic rooms at Aria. Boyd does a good job running enjoyable lower-end joints.

4. Golden Gate - The pit is probably the most classic Vegas experience possible. The great craps crews with the old-school uniforms along with modern dancing dealers. Just wish there was a room better than the new suites. Walked into the suite I booked and thought, awesome, there's even a wet bar, then I realized it was the bathroom sink. GG was my favorite place even before Derek was involved, even though it was very different -- I do miss the 99cent shrimp cocktail and the grandmotherly waitresses who called everybody "hon," as they kept your drink full without asking for another.

5. Imperial Palace - It was always kind of creepy with the carved dragons looking down at a cut-rate Tina Turner dealing blackjack, but for years it was my home base. They would comp me a week in a Luv Tub room anytime I wanted one. There was a special smell and when it rained, you could watch the water show. The sports book was great, lots of big, old-school TVs, but plenty of seating and cafeteria food. I even survived the buffet.

Someone could probably psychoanalyze me based on my picks.

 setzer responded on Saturday, 12th March 2016

#1 Cosmopolitan - Full of win, even when Unwin was in charge. Love the bars, the casino, the dining; aside from possibly price, there isn't much at all here to not like. I definitely want to see the results of their renovations come June.
#2 Cromwell - Customer service goes above and beyond here, and they all personally see that you're taken care of, whether it be at the bars, the casino, or at Giada's.
#3 Planet Hollywood - Very solid property (and unfortunately overlooked because of its "wedging" between Cosmo, Caesars, and Bellagio). I've always had fun here.
#4 Caesars Palace - Though a bit pricey at times, I've always gotten well taken care of here.
#5 The D/Golden Gate - I put down both of Derek's properties, because I honestly cannot decide which one to choose. Whenever I stay downtown, it's usually one of these two. Nothing but good ol' fun all around without the bells and whistles one would expect on The Strip.

 toastcmu responded on Saturday, 12th March 2016

This has been one I've had to think about for a little while. But I'll attempt to come up with a list.

#5: Golden Gate: This was my first foray into DTLV, and it draws me back every time. The blackjack dealers are among the friendliest that I've ever met. Lupe is a hoot at the Cashier's cage, and now the Dice Crew gets me going every time I play. Derek hadn't even gotten in the business when I started coming here, and the renovations have made it even better, imo

#4: Vdara - I know it's non-gaming, but the location is perfect for the price. Close to Aria, Cosmo, Bellagio, and Monte Carlo. It's probably the only place I will stay due to the PGP and no comps for table players.

#3: Cosmopolitan - Love the rooms and the terraces. The food offerings are everywhere, and it's location can't be beat. Will have to get back and try to play here now that they've decided to cater to the gambler a bit more. If they could only reduce prices on those rooms some.

#2: Bellagio - hard to beat your first place you've ever stayed. While I haven't stayed here since the remodel, I just love to people watch.

#1: Wynn - just finished a stay here. Had none of the problems Misnomer saw in his review, and maybe that's the difference between Encore and Wynn at this point. Rooms with no signs of distress, public areas so clean you could eat off of, and plenty of employees willing to help. While I'll never gamble enough to satisfy the Red Card folks, I'll enjoy the reduced rates they give me. I think it's not a surprise that Steve was involved in both my #2 and #1. I found myself looking for similarities and differences between the Bellagio and Wynn this last trip.

 hobgoblin7777 responded on Sunday, 13th March 2016

1. The Mirage - My second trip to Las Vegas was in 1989 when I was in junior high (1st was in 1979 (I was 4), we stayed at the Marina, and other than the bright lights I don't remember to much from that trip.). Although we didn't stay at the Mirage that trip (we stayed at the Stardust - RIP) it did trigger my love and obsession with Vegas. Although MGM has MGMed it there is a lot of nostalgia for me there.
2) Bellagio - While in college I went for the opening. Believe it or not I remember calling for room rates for the first night they were open to the general public and still remember being quoted $150. At the time I thought that's a little over my budget. Still regret not staying there for general public opening night. Especially hearing Hunter and Chuck's discussion potential pricing on Wynn Palace opening night. I think Steve Wynn solidified his title of king of Las Vegas Development with this property. I feel like Bellagio is to Steve Wynn what Thriller is to Michael Jackson. Jackson put out other albums after Thriller but Thriller is what defined him. Bellagio is what truly defined Wynn. To this day it seems Steve and other developers infuse elements of Bellagio into the design of their properties. In my opinion the best hotel/casinos where those developed by Mirage Resorts (Bellagio, Mirage and Treasure Island) prior to their acquisition and modifications by MGM. Imagine what Bellagio would look like now if Steve still was at the helm of Mirage. Note to mention what he would have built on the City Center space.
3) Caesars - Caesars is the grand dame of Las Vegas. Although old it was visionary and entities who have owned her has done a decent job with renovations and maintenance. Love that space in the casino with the ceiling lights arranged in a circular/round fashion and Cleo's barge. Feel like they have been there forever yet still look classy. I miss the exterior blue lighted fencing along the original towers.
4) The D - Like a lot of people I love the vibe of this place. Derek Stevens has an eye for great design on a budget. Believe I read when he acquired the D he spent $15 million on renovating with the new signage outside, Longbar, etc. It totally works. It seems like he has some the the design talents of a Steve Wynn and the ability to pull it off on a shoe string budget like a Bill Bennett (of Circus Circus fame) would do. I also like the old school feeling of the casino (and that I can afford to gamble there). It's cool walking all the way to the back of the property through the banks of slot machines. The meandering paths feel like you're getting lost in the casino (in a good way) - nothing like that classic Las Vegas design. If there is a place that defines classic Vegas this is it. Can't wait to see what DS does with the Vegas Club space. The only thing I feel this place lacks are additional food outlets but I can overlook that because one can trek to Dupars at the Golden Gate for their awesome pancakes.
5) MGM Grand - Love this place just because it's so big. I can always find something to do here. Plenty of restaurants and a super big casino (although I know the Bellagio casino is bigger the MGM's still feels like the biggest). I miss the old days where the Kirk built really really really big things!

 twofours responded on Sunday, 13th March 2016

1. Wynn/Encore love the feeling of the surroundings, the food offerings. How can you go wrong with a Buffet that has smoked trout and duck confit.

2.Like the Station Casinos. We have been trying them out the last couple years. Good gambling. Local vibe away from the strip and it's wallet vacuuming ways.
At Redrock you are walking distance (maybe) from eateries that are manned by chefs that used to ply their trade on the Strip with great pricing. Green Valley is church like quiet in the rooms and I like the appealing structure.

3.Tropicana. It is small, tight, clean easy in easy out and on the four corners.

4.Silverton. Another spotless casino sans smudges and boogers on the slots/ VP machines where we have won more than almost anywhere else.

5.The D for having a place with hotdogs and reel slot machines upstairs. Beers and cocktail combos. You don't get the looks like you have leprosy lighting up a cigar in a casino. Choice when in that mood.

 alFromSanDiego responded on Monday, 14th March 2016

#5 The Mirage - excellent entertainment options, a great book, and comfortable rooms. Terrific people watching late at night, and a very easy casino floor to navigate. For whatever reason, bartenders, dealers seem to remember/recognize me and I'm not going to lie - that counts for something with Al. It makes me feel a bit VIP.

#4 The D. Everything is here for a low stakes wall to wall gamble fest. Snacks at Coney, cheap drinks, loud music to keep you from snoozing and a great Steakhouse if you should make some serious scratch. The D Suite is outstanding for an NFL or NCAA weekend with your buddies.

#3 Encore. I have been lucky to only have the best of experiences in my annual stays at this resort. A treat I give to myself once a year. I love the beds. Slipping from #1 due to some restaurant changes and odds/pay table moves in the casino.

#2 ARIA, from the moment my nude body stretched out on the brilliantly soft new comforter I knew we were on to something special. What does it for me here is simple: The Food and the energy of the casino on a busy Saturday night. 5/50 Pizza, Sage, Jean Gorges, Carbone. Shut the hell up!

#1 Cosmopolitan. Look, 90% of my feelings concern the utter joy I have while enjoying the view from a wrap around suite. So? I also do love the buffet, China Poblano and the cocktail program. I also like the slot play here and... whatever, it's the view. Entertaining on that terrace is a blast and I love holding a drink and contemplating whilst hoping the mist from the fountains will kiss my toes with wanderlust. Housekeeping is outstanding here, for what its worth (still the view)

 wpsteel66 responded on Thursday, 17th March 2016

My hotel/resorts experiences in Vegas are not as diverse as others…I have stayed off strip only once and stayed predominately at MGM-owned properties...but I will give my opinion to this question.

I based my response on hotel room, craps tables/conditions, casino energy/vibe, fitness center, spa (for the wife), restaurants, and level of feeling welcomed.

1. Aria
2/3. Delano/Vdara
4. Mirage
5. Caesars Palace

Although Vdara has no casino and limited food options, an easy walk to either Aria or Bellagio.

 christhewriter responded on Thursday, 17th March 2016

Nice but not cheap haha... I stayed at Days Inn and it was great!

 motoman responded on Friday, 18th March 2016

1. Wynncore. After a few on-the-cheap trips, we stayed at Wynn the year it opened and WOW. Just wow. We were on the verge of broadening our Vegas horizons but that first stay made it all moot. Hit the internet and found Two Way Hard Three, then Vegas Gang and VegasTripping. Stayed exclusively at Wynncore for the next five or six years. Encore had superior rooms and I have to admit, I never personally had to suffer the douche crowd. Wynn’s public spaces are much nicer. Love that walk connecting the properties in back thru the conference area. We still go for lunch at Terrace Pointe and Country Club.

2. Aria. Who’d’ve thunk it? Count me among the many skeptics when Murren’s Folly was under construction and for a considerable time thereafter. But after being dragged kicking & screaming from Wynncore to stay with friends at Vdara, we began to absorb the cool modern vibe. One last stay at Encore convinced us that it had become a bridge too far. Next trip was corner rooms, then Sky Suites, then no looking back. (Until PGP….)

3. Cosmopolitan. Haven’t stayed in a room there (brother & sis-in-law have, upgraded by the desk to a Wraparound Terrace even — but during the problematic early period). Don’t even consider — actually avoid — the nightlife scene. But Holsteins and The Henry are now regular stops. There’s no denying the mystique of the recently-discontinued advertising campaign and the miracle that the place even got built when it did, and somehow became The Cool Place. During the day, there’s much less of the douche scene.

4. Vdara. OK, so not really a Resort if you must include a casino. But this was the place that moved us out of Wynncore, and the cool modern blandness was actually not so bad. Very chill lobby bar. Kitchenettes from its condo origins (or full kitchens & laundry in above-basic rooms) are a nice bonus. Quiet retreat only steps away from Aria, and a few more steps from Cosmo & Bellagio. Many room choices and view options, and a great alternative for those who must bring small kids.

5. Planet Hollywood. Only stayed here once, when it was an independent. You’d never recognize the old (new) Aladdin, and that’s a good thing. Casino was fun and still had some good Blackjack then. Was not so impressed with the well-regarded Spice Market Buffet. Signed up for the player’s club just in time for it to be nullified by the conversion to Total Rewards. Mall is more accessible than Crystals or the shops within Wynncore & Bellagio. (Two ABC stores for cheap beverage & snack runs!)

Honorable Mention. Tie: Mandalay / Delano and Rio. These are a bit of a cheat. Stayed at neither property, but enjoyed the view from both, and would take Vegas Virgins for those views. Rio was a fun dinner party and while Voodoo is not in the top tier of Vegas steakhouses and its decor is straight out of the ‘90s (maybe even 80’s?)…. did I mention the view? Witch Doctor drink gimmicky but fun to share. Double cheat on Mandalay: after being denied Foundation Room as one of our party was in shorts, we headed to what was still THEHotel and Mix. Happy Hour drinks while gazing up the Strip was one of those Kodak Moments. Would’ve stayed in Mandalay’s two-bedroom endcap suites if not for location and other places we already liked better.