The Tale of the Sandwiched 20′s

The other day at work, I heard my newly hired co-worker talking about how she felt uncomfortable with a guest because he tried the “sandwich”, meaning he put a bill in between his ID and Credit Card upon check in hopes to get a better room or a free upgrade. It made me think about when I was in training, how the manager talked about NOT accepting the money because it’s just wrong, and that it is not five diamond standard and creates bad reputation.

In a way, I agree. The first time someone used the “Sandwiched 20″ technique, I almost freaked out because I felt that I was guilt tripped into needing to upgrade the guest. And I felt almost too awkward to hand the $20 back. To this day, my stomach still turns when the technique is used. What I do for myself after I see the bill, is placing the bill ON the desk in full view, and if the guest wants me to keep it, then I keep it. It still gives the guest an option to take the money back, even though the devil in me is telling me to keep it. But in the end, the real question is: Does the “Sandwiched Technique” really work in Vegas? Continue reading

Quick Summer Hotel Tips in Las Vegas

With summer season arriving in Las Vegas, there is nothing more chaotic than a busy hotel lobby 24/7. With lots of children crying around you  and the line feeling like it’s moving at snail pace, you wonder if you’ll ever get to your room.

Here are a couple tips to help you summer vacation in Vegas go smoothly. These tips WON’T guarantee that you will get what you want (since nothing is ever guaranteed), but merely a guide to increase your chances of getting the room you desire.

TIP 1: Arrive Early

Like I said before, arriving early is key to getting what you want. Summer season is Vegas most busiest season which means sold out hotels everywhere. If you want to secure the bed type or a view, it is best to arrive early to check in. Continue reading

LV Urbanite’s 3 Favorite Pools in Las Vegas

Summer time is fast approaching and it’s already up in the 80′s here in Vegas! That means the swimming pools are now open. Almost all of the pools on the strip are for hotel guests only, but there are some that allow the open public to visit with an entry fee. Here are my top three pools to visit if you are in Vegas! (In no particular order)

Caesar’s Palace Garden of the Gods

Open to the Public?
YES

Prices:
All Non-hotel guests have to be 21 and over to enter the pool
Women: Free
Men: $20 (Thursday~Sunday)

Pool hours: 8 AM – 8 PM

As the name suggests, Caesar’s Palace pool does indeed make you feel like a god. With 7 different pools all named after Roman Gods and planets, you can choose which pool to relax in at different hours of your visit. Need a good tan? Station yourself at the Apollo Pool, the Roman god of light and sun. Hungry and need some fun? Try the Fortuna Pool, the Roman goddess of luck will assist you in a couple of hands of swim-up blackjack. Once you enter the pool area, all you can do is look at the whole landscape in awe. An awesome oasis in the desert indeed.

The Cosmopolitan Boulevard Pool

Open to the Public?
NO, but the public is allowed to visit the pool area

Prices: N/A

Pool Hours:
Sunday-Thursday: 8am~8pm
Friday-Saturday: 8 am~12am

Like the hotel itself, Cosmopolitan’s Boulevard Pool is posh and is vibrant with energy. Whether you go during the day or during the night, it is simply just a beautiful spot to be in. Although only hotel guests are the only ones that are able to use the pools, there are still plenty of things to see for the general public. Other than the swimming pools, the Blvd Pool offers games like ping pong, billards, and foosball to entertain guests. There are also tv’s around the pool area for people to catch their favorite teams. The seats all around the pools are so comfortable that you could literally sleep on it, and the view of the strip is great, even allowing you to see the Bellagio fountains on the left side of the pool. The Cosmopolitan pool is also one of the few pools that opens till midnight on the weekends. Can I get a hot tub?

Mandalay Bay Beach

Open to the Public?
YES, but closed to the public on high demand days

Prices: (per adult, child, baby)
Monday~ThursdayLocals $20 Non-Locals $30
Friday~Sunday: $40 for all

Pool hours: 9 AM – 7 PM

If you’d like to see a beach in the desert, then the Mandalay Bay Beach is the place for you. The Lagoon takes up 11 acres, with 27,000 tons of imported sand and a huge wave pool, it really makes you feel like you’re at the beach. Other than the wave pool, there are a couple of pools you can chill in, including the lazy river, where you can just float around all day. The only downside is that during super busy days there is limited seating, so it’s fairly difficult to find a place to settle down. Mandalay Bay Beach also holds beach concerts; past musicians include Adam Lambert, Daughtry, and Colbie Collete. There is also a beach side casino that hosts blackjack, roulette and craps with a great view of the lagoon. Overall, the atmosphere is great and the environment is very family friendly. Want a more adult atmosphere? Head to the Moorea Beach Club, a European style pool (which means ladies can be topless, most likely a guy’s dream). All in all, Mandalay Bay Beach is definitely a great place to be on your Vegas vacation, be it with family or friends!

There are just so many pools available on the strip, and I haven’t even gotten the chance to visit them all. But these 3 so far have caught my attention with the atmosphere, pool design, and environment. The current fad for Vegas hotels is to create Party Pools, like Wet Republic at MGM Grand or the Hard Rock Hotel’s Rehab or European Style pools like Moorea at Mandalay or BARE at the Mirage. One of the best atmosphere’s I’ve experienced was at the Monte Carlo Pool. Everyone was out having a great time, throwing footballs at the small wave pool, and playing beach volleyball. My point is that, whether you’re looking for a party atmosphere or just relaxation, the pools in Vegas will never fail to disappoint. Just make sure to bring some sunblock  and avoid being turned into beef jerky!

Current Vegas Deals – 4/21/11

The Mirage

3 day sale (last day today) – Rates start at $71

Mandalay Bay

Spring Break 2011 Promotion - Rates start at $79

30% off Room Rates (use code under ‘offer code’): PSCA35

Monte Carlo

Summer Escape 2011 - Rates start at $56

MGM Grand

Spring Break 2011 Promotion - Rates start at $70

The Cosmopolitan

Click for different deals - Cocktails, passes to Marquee Day & Night Club, Late check out and more

Caesar’s Palace

Click for different deals - Buffet passes, Celion Dion tickets and more

Treasure Island

TI Palooza (Spring & Summer Sale) – Up to 35% off standard room rates and Mystere show tickets and much more

TV Ad Special – Rates start from $79 (Sun-Thur) 2-for-1 tickets, dinner and much more

Ten Things Your Hotel Agent Wishes You Knew

After reading this article from Yahoo on what the 9 things hotel clerks won’t tell you, here are some tips and pointers from my experience in Vegas that all front desk agents would like you to know when you are checking in to your hotel in Vegas:

  1. We always need to see a form of Identification and Credit Card at check In
  2. This seems simple, but a lot of guests often don’t realize just how important an ID is for front desk agents. Many guests will check in, tell us their name, and expect us to check them in without any proof of identity. Some guests roll their eyes or ask ‘really?’ before taking their ID’s out. Yes, it may be a tedious task to pull out your ID from your wallet, but we have to make sure that you are who you say you are… and to make sure that you are 21 or older. And yes, if you lose your key and you want to get another one, you’ll have to show your ID again. (There are guests that get annoyed only because they think it’s pointless.) Trust me; it’s not pointless, unless you want us to let strangers into your room. This leads me to point number 2.
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The Suite Life

Are the suites in Vegas worth the money?

When you are on a budget, you generally try to save as much money as possible on your vacation trip. But then you feel that since it is a vacation, you’d like to splurge a little bit. So you hop online to book a reservation and start to look at the suites that the hotels have to offer. You feel like you would like to have a larger room… but is it worth it?

When my friends and I visited MGM Grand a year ago, mid March for a birthday trip, we originally booked a Bungalow Suite room with two queen beds for $139 a night for two nights. It was already a fairly good deal especially since we were 7 college students on a budget. MGM’s largest suite, called the Marquee (a two bedroom suite), was selling at $600 a night at the time we booked and there was no way we could afford that. When we were checking in however, the agent told us that we could get the Marquee Suite for just $150 a night extra. $150! In total that would only be $290 a night instead of the $600 at the original price. Granted, we were lucky because their occupancy was low and it wasn’t super busy, but because of that, the hotel was willing to sell the suites at a discount. For us, it was a great deal because we are paying just a little more per person for a room that is 900 sq ft more. (Plus, it’s always better when you least expect it!)

Now I know not everyone is in need of a suite that large, so here is an example break down on the different tiers of room types based on the rooms at Mandalay Bay Hotel & Resort on the strip.

TIER 1: Deluxe Room (DR)    TIER 2: Spa Suite (SS)      TIER 3: Great Room Suite (GR)
Continue reading

Guide to Tipping in Las Vegas

How to tip like a pro and not come off looking like a cheap tourist… Not just in Vegas, but anywhere you go!

There are always questions on how much you should tip certain people that help you on your trip. By no means do you HAVE to tip, but some of these professions live off of the tips that they receive. If the worker is going above and beyond their call of duty, then you should show appreciation by tipping! And to be frank, if you tip, you WILL get better service. Nothing like saying thanks with a five dollar bill!

Here is a simple rubric on how much you should tip for services:

Bartender: $2+ per drink (or more depending on the price of the drink)
Make a friend out of the bartender with your tips and he’ll get you a free drink


Cocktail Waitresses: $1 to $2 per drink
The more you tip, the faster you will receive you your drink

Continue reading