Here are two different view points on Las Vegas. One from the Bon Voyage Product Manager, Karen, who adores Las Vegas and another from Alan, the Managing Director, who is clearly less of a fan!
Loathing Las Vegas………..
Welcome to Las Vegas – prepare to be “stripped” of your cash!
‘There’s no tea or coffee maker in my room?’ Of course not, sucker, we want you spending money in our on-site Starbucks, conveniently located adjacent to the casino. The smoky casino that is! Yes, incredibly it’s still allowed, but it would be wouldn’t it – they don’t want the smokers running around with spare cash in their pockets!
When I go to Vegas I feel like the raw ingredient entering a sausage machine. In a little while I’m going to be cleaned out, processed and despatched from the other end. The mass of humanity thronging the Strip all seem to buy-in (literally) to being ‘Vegased.’ To me, this is just a city with its hand outstretched. No amenity exists for its own sake, as a place of refuge or because it’s pleasing on the eye…..there is always a commercial imperative.
People tell me to look at the free drinks they give you in the casinos, free casino gaming lessons, a free tram ride. Don’t they get it? Every freebie is an enticement; the entry fee to part you from your hard earned.
And, oh my God, my worst nightmare of all: the buffet line. Enter ‘all you can eat buffet Las Vegas’ as a Google search and you will find over 1million results. I only have to read the first paragraph from a2zlasvegas.com to feel a little queasy:- ‘Las Vegas is more than just blackjack, bingo and poker. It offers quality dining. In fact, it has some of the best buffets in the United States.’
Now I’ve been told off by my wife (she loves Vegas) and the rest of the Bon Voyage team for not being “with the times”. Apparently I should acknowledge the high standards that now exist at the lovely feed lines – I’m still not biting.
I’m sorry but what happened to taking the weight off your feet, tripping through the delights of an eclectic menu and hearing from your charming server about today’s specials?
I admire much of what mankind has devised; a pleasing piece of art, a sleek jetliner or beautiful car, even a suburban semi can have its merits but I draw the line at the Las Vegas Strip:- miles and miles of concrete punctuated by ridiculous edifices (known as casino resorts) each uglier and more outlandish than the last.
And what about those Las Vegas shows? Now this is where I waver slightly because I do admire and enjoy the fabulous Cirque du Soleil productions and think the Beatles ‘Love’ show is genius. But as for the outrageous ticket prices which provide a pension plan and another facelift for the ‘long agos’ and ‘has beens’, you can count me out.
I’m not saying never go to Las Vegas. Everyone should go there once because you will never in your life see anything quite like it. So visit for a couple of days and then forget all about it. There is so much that is so much better in the US of A.
Loving Las Vegas….
Just thinking about booking a trip to Las Vegas makes me smile. I’ve been to my own personal Mecca fifteen times now. On average I stay five nights at a time; once I was there for ten nights. My family (who’d never been, incidentally, but have lots of opinions about it) thought I was crazy but I was in Holiday Heaven. I never want to leave. I find the place totally intoxicating.
Looking back, my first visit to ‘Vegas in the ’80s was a bit of a blur. I had constantly to remind myself to blink – I didn’t want to miss one tiny morsel of what this neon city was showing me. On the ‘plane on the way back, weary, with dry eyes, I just knew that this would be my first visit of many. Gazing around the plane I felt others were thinking the same.
Do you know that in all of the times I’ve been to ‘Vegas I’ve actually only parted with a total of $23 on gambling. As part of the ‘Vegas experience, I do enjoy studying the people who whittle their hard-earned cash away; I just have no desire to do it with mine. There are too many other interesting pursuits there.
Interested to know what my ideal day is in Vegas? Thanks for asking! Well, early morning stroll to The Paris Hotel for breakfast al fresco at Mon Ami consisting of warm croissants and glass of chilled bubbly. Followed by a saunter along to the Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace, where I always go into Abercrombie & Fitch, moan about the darkness of the shop and the extra loud music and walk out again. It’s an age thing. It never bothered me a few years ago.
Next, back to one of my favourite hotels, either The Cosmopolitan or Wynn, where I’ll recharge my batteries by sitting in the sun by the pool, sucking in my stomach and carefully hiding my chunky thighs under a sarong. I’ll probably enjoy a refreshing cocktail; I am on holiday after all.
For lunch I’ll grace Olives at the Bellagio Hotel, where I know what time to order my entrée to coincide with the famous fountain display. The afternoon would be taken up either on a trip into the desert (I thoroughly recommend Valley of The Fire), a boat trip on Lake Mead or a jaunt to the Neon Museum.
The evening is when Sin City comes alive; it’s a joyous sensory overload. My ideal evening in ‘Vegas would be cocktails (I’m not an alcoholic, honestly) in MIX in The Mandalay Bay Hotel. The views are incredible. Followed by a juicy steak in the private dining room at the excellent Smith & Wollensky.
A show is a must; forget Elton John, he’s just going through the motions, I feel. Check out Matt Goss at Caesars Palace. He’s gone from cheesy Boy Band to Las Vegas’s new Sinatra. I’d end the evening with a limo drive (they are reasonable if you chat up the bell boys at the big hotels) back to my hotel, where I’d just soak in the electric atmosphere before I crash out.
So what draws me back year on year to “Lost Wages”? I love its escapism. To me, it’s Disneyland for adults, chewing gum for the eyes, and I can’t get enough.. ….