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Las Vegas Trip Report March 2019

While there are some definite drawbacks to working for yourself. When it comes to flexibility, it can’t be beaten. Planet Erika and I got fed up with the drab Hungarian Winter, and took a last minute vacation – to our favourite place, Las Vegas.

With only a weeks notice, there was no time for major planning. Luckily Mlife and Caesars came though with comped hotels… and an off-season flight offer from BA capped the deal.

Here are the trip highlights.

Go Knights Go!

The highlight for me was watching the Vegas Golden Knights ice hockey team playing the Calgary Flames. It was a real show, and we had some great seats.

I was sat next to a local regular, a lovely older lady who took the time to explain the game a little for us. Once you understand that the puck needs to cross the blue line before the players, the game makes a lot more sense.

We got into the action and cheered for the Knights – who won 2-1.

A brilliant experience which I’d like to repeat on a future visit.

Go Knights Go!

Not My Kind of Show

Sometimes, you have to take one for the team. At the Gwen Stefani concert at Planet Hollywood, there were lots of husbands / boyfriends doing just that. The ladies with them were enthusiastic, their erstwhile spouses slightly baffled…

I was one of them.

It was a good show, some familiar songs, a stunning set, spectacular dancing… and of course there is no denying Gwen’s talent.

Let’s just say that Planet Erika loved it - and leave it at that.


Good Eating and Drinking

We always choose a couple of nicer restaurants each trip. To fill the gaps there are plenty of buffets / casual places. Here is a roundup of the eating.

Heritage Steak @ Mirage: A great setting right by the atrium, and a solid ambience. I enjoyed the steak (a filet mignon with spinach), though have had better in Vegas. One of those places it is hard to find fault with, yet hard to imagine going back. At a similar price point I prefer the Camelot Steakhouse (see my last report), Top of the World (for the experience / view) and Ruth Cris at Harrah’s.

Spago: We had eaten at this Wolfgang Puck place at the old Forum Shops location. It has now taken the spot at Bellagio where Todd English’ Olives used to be. Great wine, gluten free pasta options and Erika loved her Duck breast daily special. Lovely food, though smaller portions than other places. As a bonus, you get to watch the Bellagio fountains. It was a little cold to get the best view from the Patio this time.

Buffets: These are fill-ins, MyVegas 2-for-1 make them a great way to eat cheaply. Cravings at Mirage is solid (though not special), we did that one twice. Also went to the Bellagio for dinner (over-rated for me) and Aria for lunch (always solid).

Casual: Mon Ami Gabi never fails, another nice Steak Frittes on the patio this time. Found some positive reviews for In and Out Burger on the Find Me Gluten Free app… was looking forward to trying it, only to be disappointed that it was a lettuce wrap (they replace the bun with big lettuce leaves), oh well! Flour and Barley in the Linq promenade have a decent GF pizza base. Quick shout out for Margaritaville and their burgers, again, always a solid option.

Hotels: Mirage and Flamingo

New hotels once again, makes 12 we have stayed at over the years.

Mirage: Decent room, smaller bathroom – though the view made up for it. Have wanted to tick this one off of the list for a while. Happy we chose it, even though nicer places like Aria and Bellagio were also on the comp list. Slot selection felt a little ‘wrong’ compared to other places, some big games like Walking Dead and Sphinx 3D missing. Enjoyed a few breaks from gambling at the Centre Bar, nice location and a decent enough wine list.

Might stay again, might not! Here is the view:

Mirage Vegas View

Flamingo: Somehow missed the ‘Dirty Bird’ before. Happy with the room, which was basic though freshly renovated. This looked out onto the Linq Zipline (along with occasional screams). Hotel and casino is huge, and the location is hard to beat. Does get hectic the moment you step out of the lift at times. Persistent timeshare sales people right by the lifts also got annoying. Would stay again and recommend it as a cheaper end option.

Slots and Table Games

Nothing too exciting to report on the gambling front. We did manage to bring back around 75% of our gambling budget, which is a win of sorts!

Got to play the new Buffalo Diamond slot at the Cosmo. Would recommend this one, which has a progressive free spins element. The free spins at different bet levels go up as you play, with 2x, 3x and 4x multipliers. This gives you a little strategy, you can switch bets to where the biggest free spins totals are. We got the wheel bonus, though did not win multiplier free spins… maybe next time.

Enjoyable spins on Kronos Unleashed, Walking Dead 2, Heidi, 5 Dragons Gold, World of Wonka and Ultimate Fire Link. My old favourite Buffalo Gold was hot and cold this time, a few mid-sized bonuses, though the smaller losses soon reversed those.

Some good sessions on Mississippi Stud, with some fun / lively table line-ups at times.

Wrap Up

Overall, another excellent trip. It took a good few days to recover from all the good eating, drinking, shopping and gambling.

The remainder of the gambling bankroll is safely locked away for the next time. Only having a week to plan was a positive in many ways. Less time to set overly high expectations.

I’m not completely sure when we will return, though the ‘Life is Beautiful’ festival in September has been on my list for a while… we will have to see!

GL at the tables, Mark

PS: Here is a link to my Vegas Trip Report from November 2018




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