Why Stay At Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas?

I’ve got my next Vegas trip planned.  It’s not for a few months yet, but I’m feeling the excitement already.  Time to breathe a little life into this blog.  I’ll be staying at a time share property just off the strip which I’ve done a few times before.  I think I’ll be able to discuss that option in a future post as it will be my 3rd different time share property there.  I’ve only really reviewed one hotel in this blog so far, and I thought tonight I would build on that.

The following link is about my stays at the Cosmopolitan.  (Speaking of stays at the Cosmopolitan, all of my photos of the front of Planet Hollywood are from the balcony of the Cosmopolitan, but half it is cut off by the tower that is closer to the strip.  I literally only have one good PH photo)

https://paymevegas.com/2014/02/07/my-stay-at-the-cosmopolitan-las-vegas/

066

I thought here I would write about my stay at Planet Hollywood.  I have fond memories of it.  What I can remember anyways.  This trip was my stag, and the mission was to organize a 5 day trip to Vegas for 8 guys, most of whom had never been there before.  This was one of my favorite trips because it’s the only time these 8 guys had travelled together.  We just couldn’t get time and money organized when we were younger, and when we got older, we just couldn’t get time and money organized, but in a different way.  A lot of guys went through a lot of turmoil to make that happen for me, and I love them for it.  I remember being at an airport (in Denver?) waiting for a connecting flight, and we were all stuffing pizza slices into our faces as quickly as possible.  At that moment, in my mind it was already the best stag a guy could ever have, just to have my boys there with me.  Of course it got much better with our arrival in Vegas.

Most of us were broke as shit, I’m not gonna lie.  I had to be fairly sensitive surrounding the booking, and trying to get it into a reasonable price range for everyone.  We started by choosing a weekend in late January, which is probably the slowest weekend in the 52 week Vegas calendar.  There were deals to be had.  It’s a no-brainer that we wanted to stay on the strip, but where did we want to live on the 3-5 star ranking system?  Seemed like the boys didn’t want to totally cheap out on accommodations, but they couldn’t afford to break the bank, so 4 star hotels seemed to be the move.  Hotels that were in the mix included Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand (which I’d stayed at recently, was so big, I thought we’d never find each other in there), New York New York, Monte Carlo, Paris (but for a stag?), Treasure Island, and I think Harrah’s was in there for some reason.

Planet Hollywood usually lives on the higher side of the price range for 4 star hotels on the strip.  It was a long shot at first, but there was some sort of promotion going on that weekend that evened the playing field a bit.  My impression of PH before I had stayed there was that it was a good ‘stag’ hotel.  It’s kind of darkish in the casino, and most of the time they have games dealers that are extremely hot women dressed up somewhat playboybunnyish if that’s a word.  So it’s a nice walk-through, but maybe not for everyone.  It’s hip, and has a party atmosphere, but feels a lot more accessible than some of the other hotels.  I like it for the 20-40 crowd, which is what we were at the time 😉

The rooms are clean, comfortable, but borderline tacky.  Each room has a theme with some memorabilia from a movie that may not be so memorable.  We all stayed on the same floor (except for a couple of buddies who were at the PH Westgate which is the attached tower in behind Planet Hollywood), and I had a look at their rooms, and I don’t know any of those movies.  That said, who cares?  The rooms were adequate, let’s move on.

If I have one complaint, it’s that the elevators are so well hidden, that after 5 nights there, I still wasn’t too sure where they were.  I feel like the location changed every day.  I feel they do this intentionally, so I’ll get frustrated looking for them, and need to take a rest, and while resting I’ll put more money in their slot machines

This was my stag trip.  After the second day, I completely forgot I even had my camera with me.  I have hardly any photos from that trip, and none of PH.  I can tell you this…. One guy ate at ‘Planet Dailies’ just about every day because he had a crush on a waitress that worked there.  Another buddy ate at Earl of Sandwich on multiple occasions and swears by it.  Man, I had trouble pulling guys out of their comfort zones.  These places are great for casual dining.  I’ve also eaten at Gordon Ramsey’s BurGR which is also sensational, and makes my top Vegas burger list below.

https://paymevegas.com/2014/07/07/vegas-burgers/

Other random reasons to stay at Planet Hollywood, should you be considering it……

– The ‘Miracle Mile’ runs through it.  This is a shopping center with some decent restaurants, and I’ve eaten at a few and been happy.  You gotta have a few spots near home base just in case you didn’t think through your dinner plans.  Also, nobody wants to stray too far for breakfast or a good coffee.

– There is a huge 2 level Walgreen’s attached to it.  I always find myself there for one reason or another.  Snacks and supplies my friends.  Also, this particular Walgreen’s has a huge walk in beer fridge.  Sometimes you need some hotel beers, and some walking around beers (I’ll mention here to first timers that you can indeed walk the strip with a bottle of beer in your hand).

– Location!  There are several hotels that could claim to be smack dab in the middle of the strip.  I don’t know if there’s a hotel that could claim to be more centrally located.  I always prefer the south side of the strip for whatever reason.  Shorter cab ride to the airport I guess.  Planet Hollywood is close to absolutely everything.

– They seem to have a lot of shows.  Britney Spears is there right now.  I can’t say I’m into that, but I did really enjoy the Beatles tribute band that performs there.

– Garrett’s Popcorn.  I know I mention this in every post, and I know that it’s a Chicago thing, and not specifically a Vegas thing, but you must try it if you haven’t, and it’s in the Miracle Mile.  The last couple of the years I’ve noticed the grocery store is filled with wannabe Chicago Mix popcorn brands.  This makes all other forms of Chicago Mix seem ridiculous.  I’d almost stay at Planet Hollywood just to be closer to it.

I’m stopping at Garrett’s because it’s the only other PH photo I have that worked out.  There is one taken in my hotel room when we were getting ready to go out.  The behaviour had already deteriorated so badly at that point, that I don’t feel comfortable showing it.  It in no way would make you want to stay at a hotel with lunatics like this.

023

 

 

My Stay At The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

029

This Vegas blog is gonna get better and better now that I’ve actually been to Vegas again.  Last week I spent 4 nights at the Cosmopolitan Hotel.  When deciding where to stay, I searched through expedia.ca, and looked at the hotels on the strip.  I don’t have the patience to stay off the strip at this point, although maybe in the future I’ll branch out a bit.  I had stayed at the Cosmo last year, so I did have a comfort level with it, as I had really enjoyed my time there.  It’s a little pricier than most of the hotels I was looking at, but it fulfilled all of my requirements, being centrally located, with lots of cool restaurants, and great rooms.  Expedia had a deal which included free breakfast at the Wicked Spoon each day.  That put me over the top, and made it easier to justify paying the extra money.  In a previous post I’ve talked about some of my favorite buffets in Vegas, and The Wicked Spoon tops the list.  Not only were we not going to be buying breakfast every day, but after feasting there, nobody wanted lunch most days either.

016

The service there was great.  It is a 5 star hotel and it’s first class all the way.  I had my son staying with us, so we needed a crib.  When we checked in, the lady at the desk co-ordinated crib drop-off and also asked if we were going to be using the mini-bar, warning us that moving items in the mini-bar would result in a charge to the room.  Anticipating that we might need the fridge for milk for our son, she offered to have someone come up and clear out the mini-bar.  This was thoughtful and a nice touch.  By the time we got up to our room, the crib was there in under 5 minutes.

I love the second floor.  This is going to sound crazy, but one of my favourite parts of the hotel is a spot where there is almost nothing going on.  There are two towers at the Cosmo, and the distance between them is substantial.  On the first floor, it’s mostly casino, but on the second floor there are some shops and restaurants in the front, but there’s a long carpeted path to get to the back.  Pretty quiet there most of the time, but actually a great place to bring a 15 month old who needs to run around a bit.  They play obscure 70’s soul music, and have a lot of great pictures of classic Vegas performers to look at as you walk through like Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Harry Belafonte.  There are 3 TV screens with footage of old Vegas, and some people just stop and watch it for a bit.  It’s a sharp bit of decor that gives a great retro feel without being tacky.  The rest of the hotel doesn’t seem retro at all, but I think its ultra cool that there’s this little quiet pocket where you can take a trip through time as you walk to your elevator.  I also like that they’re paying homage to old Vegas, even though it’s a newer hotel.  

114

I’ve eaten at a few of the restaurants there as well.  I had previously eaten at STK which is a chic steakhouse that usually has a DJ spinning while you eat.  I remember really enjoying it there.  This time I went to China Poblano which is a Chinese Mexican fusion restaurant which is worth going to for the originality of their offerings.  Holsteins is a burger place that has a great beer menu, and specializes in adult shakes.  Probably the most interesting place is the pizzeria which not everybody knows about.  This pizza place (I believe) is open 24 hours, and is located down a hallway with no signage.  I don’t even know what it’s called.  It’s not on The Cosmopolitan website.  It’s a secret pizza place!!  How cool is that??  I had a White Pizza slice.  It was really really good.  Might be the best $5 I spent while I was there.  I would include a photo of that, but I don’t want to blow their cover.

115

If you’re going to go to Vegas and get hooked on it like I did, get a rewards card.  The Cosmopolitan has a good one.  The drawback is that they only own that one hotel, so you can only use it there, but the awesome part is that you can swipe it for any money you spend there, so even if you aren’t a big gambler, you can still get points for staying there and eating in their restaurants.

I don’t have much to say that would be considered negative regarding my trip to the Cosmo.  If I have to nit-pick, I’d say that the doors to your room are loud enough to hear at Caesar’s Palace, so it’s difficult to sneak in after a night of gambling when you have a baby in the room.  Light sleepers beware.  Also, there’s a significant difference between the views from the windows.  If it’s your first time, try to get a room that faces the Bellagio.  That’s the best view.  If you get a suite, you get a balcony, and that’s the only place on the strip where that is the case to my knowledge.

All told, The Cosmopolitan is an amazing hotel, and I haven’t told you about half of the stuff there.  I highly recommend it, and it’s worth a couple of extra bucks in my opinion.

113