I’ve been talking about Toronto a lot lately (mainly because of resolutions and restaurant reviews) and I know I need to switch up the topics. So when I was browsing through photos for exotic destinations for #FriFotos, I stumbled upon my Vegas photos. Ah, Vegas. It’s one of those places you need to go once.
In 2008 after I got laid off from my job as a travel agent, I thought Vegas was the perfect destination. I had already booked it so it seemed like the perfect way to
celebrate, er, remorse about my situation. My travel agent friend, Ivona was up for the adventure so we were fair game for a Vegas extravaganza. We didn’t go fancy but we didn’t skimp either. The final decision was to stay at Planet Hollywood.
Planet Hollywood was perfect for us because as Vegas newbies, it was right in the middle of the strip. It is right beside the Paris and across the street from the Bellagio. It’s also a reasonable walk to the hotels on the north end of the strip: The Venetian, Wynn, and Mirage (which is where another friend of ours was staying and another fantastic option if you’re on a moderate budget). And if you know Vegas, you know the Strip is one long WALK. And here’s a tip about Vegas: always ask for an upgrade. You never know what you can get! So asked we did: “What’s available?” The agent asked us what we’d like “bigger room or better view” so we chose view. Lucky us, we got a view of the Bellagio Fountains and it was quite the site to see the show at night from the room.
The other cool thing about Planet Hollywood is that the rooms are themed by popular movies. We got the room, Empire Records, starring Liv Tyler and the then unknown Renee Zellweger. I’ve actually never seen the movie. Anyone? According to IMDB, Empire Records is about: “The employees of an independent music store learn about each other as they try anything to stop the store being absorbed by a large chain.” Sounds like an Oscar winner. 😉 Oh, and Anthony Lapaglia was in it. Who knew?! Plus, what ever happened to Ethan Embry? The room had a few pictures of the cast and cool items from the movie on the walls.
We each both had a queen sized bed. It was pretty amazing. I loved the decor from the simple yet modern bedding to the subdued yellow stripes on the walls. And honestly? After a hard night of partying, you really do want a good comfortable bed to crash on for a good five hours the next morning. Because as much as you say you won’t sleep, you do. And you need it. But you don’t need to spend dollar bills in other hotels like the Cosmopolitan or Wynn to get a good night’s rest. (But hey, if you can get an awesome deal, hells to the yeah!).
We even got a tub! Woot Woot. Perfect for relaxing.
The hotels in Vegas are pretty much complexes complete with casinos and shopping malls attached within them. Though buffets and fancy restaurants abound, we had a Vegas expert with us to navigate the various fast food choices (his choice; he wanted to maximize gambling so he wouldn’t splurge on food. He was driving us around, so we didn’t complain). Actually we ended up finding some great places in the hotel’s complex including Earl’s of Sandwich. This is probably as healthy as you are going to get in Vegas! And if you do want to go to In N’ Out burger, it is a short drive away, closer to the Mandalay Bay off the strip. Though it’s so close, it’s still a bit far. The mall has your typical upscale shops and chains like Victoria’s Secret. I was much more impressed with the outlet shopping. It really does make a difference to have a car in Vegas to get around.
I’m not sure how the Planet Hollywood would compare to other hotels now. When we were there the City Center was still under construction so it may be worth it to go back. That said, I felt like Planet Hollywood was a very good standard hotel that was central and catered to our needs. It’s a great hotel for first timers with a moderate budget.