January 2007
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It’s the Strat again

Let’s talk about the next trip before I’m done talking about the last one then…

Mansion are putting me in a top notch room in Caesars Palace for Friday and Saturday night, but as I’m going early I need somewhere to stay for the first five nights.  January is typically very quiet and great for room offers, and I’ve already had a few attractive looking mailers to help do things on the cheap.

Harrah’s properties from $45/night:
In fact, when I clicked the link in the email, none were actually $45.  Flamingo rates started at $60 but there was nothing available on the dates I wanted for less than $90 at the start of the week.  All rates were well into three figures by the Wednesday.

Aladdin from $49/night:
"Your last chance to stay at the Aladdin" before it finally becomes Planet Hollywood.  Claire went hunting for Silver Strikes here last week whilst I was playing at Caesars and reported a much changed interior – not a single fake plastic jewel in sight.  The offer is available only on six random dates in January, but it includes my first two nights.  However it already says the Sunday is sold out (yeah, ok) and every other night is $169.  In fact the Las Vegas Hilton was also showing sold out for the duration of my trip, which I don’t believe either – unless there’s a very large Star Trek convention on I don’t know about.

Terribles free stay:
This one actually is pretty good.  The envelope promised an "Exciting Special Offer!!! Inside!!".  Yes!!! Punctuated! Like! That!!  It’s two midweek nights free, and it wouldn’t cost the earth to extend it for three more nights.  Although Terribles isn’t half as smokey and dingy as it used to be, I’d still feel pretty isolated there by myself.  It’s walkable to the Hard Rock, possibly to Tuscany, otherwise I’d need a car or a lot of cabs to get anywhere.

So the criteria for choosing a place came down to (a) must have internet so I can work and (b) must be close to a good card room so I can play.  The Hilton looked a good first choice at first – even though it’s a (large) block away from the strip it’s on the monorail, and would definitely be somewhere I could work.  After this trip I’m dubious about the quality of internet access downtown, and many of the rooms are small and probably wouldn’t have a desk, so even the superb $29/night poker rate at Binions would be a dodgy gamble.

I set Travelaxe on the case and it gave me a few options.  Call me a snob, I just didn’t fancy the Gold Spike – even at $22/night.  But this is why Travelaxe rocks – it found me a Premier Tower room at the Stratosphere for $53/night, when their direct booking web page said $99 upwards.  There’s still a $5/night resort fee to add, and their internet isn’t cheap ($49/week) but I know the net works and I know that rooms in this tower have desks – we were there last Christmas.  Actually we’d booked a World Tower room – the much smaller hotel building, presumably left over from Vegas World – but there was some blood on the bathroom walls (I do have a photo, but really it could be of anything) which we discovered was plenty reason enough to get an instant upgrade!

As well as being a home-from-home (this will be the 7th time I’ve stayed there I think), the Strat is a great location for me really.  It has the shortest cab ride to downtown of any of the strip hotels and it’s walkable to the Sahara which has decent poker tournaments three times a day, and a monorail station.  At $5 a ride, when you can get a cab to almost anywhere for $10, I’ve always though the monorail would only really be worth it when you’re travelling alone.  Now I guess I’ll find out.