17 August 2015

USA Road Trip | Las Vegas - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

I still can't decide if I love Las Vegas or if I hate it. Most places I visit (and I'm sure you're the same) I know within hours if I like it or not! There are the odd few places that grow on me (for example Milan) but even then I can normally sense that I just haven't quite 'got' the place yet.

Vegas is different. I'd go from being in love with the poolside cocktails to hating the poverty that creeps on to the strip. So here's Vegas in all its glory (or otherwise)...

The Good

1. The hotels are absolutely incredible! Yes, they are extravagant and excessive but EMBRACE IT... you do realise you booked your trip to Vegas, right? And on the topic of hotels... A standard room in a 5* hotel in Vegas can be as little as £100. And a 'standard' room is nothing short of beautiful, think marble steps and three televisions.
2. The weather is very hot most of the year making it a great winter break. Prepare for temperatures of 40 celsius PLUS in summer. Drink plenty of the free ice cold water (and margaritas, which aren't so free) and break when you need to.
3. There is so much to do and much more than just gambling and I would love to go back to Vegas to explore more. A fantastic blog for things to do (101+ actually) is Local Adventurer.

The Bad

1. The price of food is somewhat higher than most other places we visited. Admittedly the food is fantastic and many of the restaurants boast famous chefs and Michelin Stars, but it does mean you need to do a little research first before plunging in! The choice is also somewhat overwhelming. Holsteins burgers come highly recommended, in fact it was the best burger I've ever had!
2. The casino staff mean business, which can be very intimidating if this is your first time in a casino! There are often morning sessions for beginners and if we were there longer we would have definitely gone to a session to make it a little less uncomfortable.

3. And the casinos are a surefire way of spending your money almost instantly. Expect minimum bets of $10 which means $100 can be gone in minutes (quite literally). Set your limit and buy yourself some time by spending time on the slot machines. Don't forget to bell for services - drinks are free, just remember to tip a few dollars per drink to keep the server coming back to you!

The Ugly

1. All along the strip are people flicking business card on their hands and passing them to you. They aren't promoting a local club or show, they are promoting prostitutes. Though prostitution in Las Vegas is illegal, several surrounding counties have legal brothels.

2. Whilst there is plenty of money chucked about in Las Vegas it rarely trickles down and the homeless are part of strip experience. It's saddening and hard to walk by without being affected even sightly.

3. Crime is also a problem when you move away from the strip/downtown area. Consider how you're going to get somewhere and ask your concierge before you go whether it's safe to walk. If you're staying off the strip, drive and park for free at the hotels which have multi storeys underneath for no charge, provided you self-park.
What are your thoughts on Las Vegas? A bit of adult fun or is it a bit much for you?

Ps. Las Vegas is the perfect stopover to/from the Utah national parks and the Grand Canyon... Talking of which Grand Canyon North Rim is up next, as always keep your eyes peeled on the Facebook page!

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