California Hotel & Casino : The VT Review 2009

In Search Of The Spirit of Aloha

Posted by Chuckmonster

After a four hour blast through the desert in the TripMobile, I arrived at The Cal's parking garage, took a ticket from the kiosk and parked my whip. Thirty yards away, I hopped in the elevator which spilled out 20 yards from the reception desk. Five minutes and friendly smiles later, I had the keys to the room, directions how to get there and a heart filled with the spirit of Aloha. I've never ever ever had a check in experience as effortless and easy as this.

California Hotel Casino Review Hallway

One short elevator ride later - which included a humorous button malfunction detour episode of an octogenarian fellow guest - I arrived on the 14th floor and eventually room 1414.

Before I forget, I'd like to mention that this is the last feature article that will have photos taken on my increasingly lousy PowerShot camera. It has been decommissioned from the fleet and replaced with a shinier model with mega-megapixels. Also, we have given YouTube the boot, and will now be posting our often imitated but never duplicated video walkthrough videos here only. YouTube's automated copyright SWAT bots keep hosing our videos because of the soundtracks. The video of this room (including soundtrack) is posted on the last page of the review.

California Hotel Casino Review Bed

Swinging open the door reveals freshly redecorated room, similar in many ways to the photos I've seen. To the immediate left of the entry is a bathroom, next to which is a two door closet and finally the bedroom. The decor is simple, the room is clean (mostly) and natural light spilling through the wooden blinds adds an amazing touch of homeyness. As far as surprises, what you get is pretty much what you see - a clean, bright, cheery room with the best quality basic comforts you'll probably find.

As for the bed, it featured three pillows, a thick fluffy comforter and spotless linens wrapped around a brand new pillow top mattress. I slept like a rock.

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Comments & Discussion

Not bad for a downtown joint. They look a lot better than those Golden Gate rooms!

Your pictures brought back a funny time from Vegas, My wife was taking a shower and she was complaining about how the shower caps didn't do the job. I went to investigate and had to sit on the toilet and laugh, she had used a spare ice bucket liner. I still tease her now and then.

By the by those rooms look really good for downtown. I am going to Tahoe this year but maybe some could look at the El Cortez Cabana Suites? If not I may see them in Dec.

Actually, the rooms at the Golden Gate these days are not that bad. I was too lazy to ever get around to taking some photos of my room there back in March, but there is a huge difference between the rooms of the 2008 review of the joint and the way they are now. IIRC, there is a link in one of the articles from back in either January, February, or early March to someone's Flikr account that includes photos of the new rooms there. At least their rooms had LCD tvs in them.... :P

The Cal rooms look nice, but as long as I can still get my $19.06/night rates most nights at the Golden Gate, I'm sticking to the GG.

After that toilet comment I was expecting AC/DC for the soundtrack.

I'm guessing that that was a weekend rate? It looks like their base rates for the Deluxe king (pre-tax) run $45-81 on weekend, averaging around $60, and $36 during the week.

That's a pretty decent price for a nice room, even downtown. My guess is that being a block off Fremont is an actual advantage downtown? I've never stayed there.

And are you sure that sticky translucent stain was nail polish?

I think it was a Sunday night. The price was actually on the higher end of things available that night, less than the Fremont and Golden Nugget, but more than everything else. I thought at the time that the rack rate was a little on the high side, but went with it.

Chuckmonster - Excellent review of one of my favorite Vegas haunts. You hit every nail on the head with no bias. Having stayed at the Bellagio, Wynn, and Nugget, we always spend a few choice days at TheCal. It may not be for eveyone, but I'd bet everyone would enjoy a spark of Aloha once in awhile.....Thanks!


What a$$ did they pull this money out of to re-do these rooms? Last I heard they got sold, again, and again, and again with every new owner promising to invest money in the place.
I guess these buyers might actually do it. I'll believe it when I see it but these digs, while not high class or luxe, are definitely an improvement from the mirrored ceiling rooms they have now.

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