Friday, December 21, 2007

Las Vegas Hotel Review: The Rio

The Rio has a Carnivale fun theme that really
rocks. Its almost like a city unto itself. You might want
to leave, but why? You've got great food, entertainment,
a casino, a spa, a wedding chapel, shopping, hot lounges,
nightlife and even the Lucky Strike lanes!

The Rio used to bill itself as the only all suite
hotel in Las Vegas. To be fair, they weren't
really suites. They were just huge living room
bedroom combinations with a bath. But in 1990,
this place was revolutionary.

The Rio was a big, friendly, rocking, fun place with some
of the best video poker around. It basically was a locals
casino since there wasn't easy access to the strip at the time.
The same employees were there from the beginning and
remembered your name. It had great food at low prices
and the buffet was legendary. Rio Rita was running
around the casino with a fruit basket on her head
conducting impromptu casino contests and giving
out prizes.

Harrah's took over and messed with something good.
They Harrahized the place. Gone is the good video
poker. Gone are the employees who remembered
your name. The food prices skyrocketed. The buffet
declined and is slowly regaining some of its former
glory. Its just not the same. Sadly. Its Harrah's.

The rooms in the Masquerade Tower are easy to
access and the hallways are wider and brighter.
If you self park, you can walk into the casino, take an
escalator and be at your hotel elevator in a minute.

The rooms, er, suites, are a huge room with a sofa,
chair, cocktail table, eating table with two chairs and
your bed or beds. The bathrooms have a shower tub combo
a little bit of marble. The sink and vanity are outside in a dressing
area so someone can shower while others have access to the
mirror area and sink. Regardless of what tower you are in,
the rooms have awesome floor to ceiling windows.

They used to have coffee pots and refrigerators in this dressing
area, the last time we stayed the coffee pots were history.
When we asked about it, they mumbled some lame answer
about 9/11 and against code. I think they just wanted me to
head down to Starbucks and get some high priced high
octane caffeine.

The rooms are comfortable, clean and the toiletries are
basic. The towels are average. Its not high end here, but
its really spacious and comfy. Its a great room to relax
from the casino and the nightlife.

The pool here is an experience. There is not one but
four pools and one has a sand bottom. How fun!

The Rio has so many dining choices from the cafe, buffet to
Indian, Italian, seafood and Mexican restaurants, its hard
to decide where you want to eat. If you want to club and
party, hit the Voo Doo Lounge. Its 51 stories above the strip
and the view is freaking amazing!

Don't miss the free Masquerade Parade in the Sky show
in the Masquerade village. Its a song, dance review with
a twist: the floats are on the ceiling. If you are lucky,
you can catch some mardi gras beads they throw from
the floats. Or you can pay and be on the float in costume.

Harrah's may have changed the place, but its still a fun
place to stay AND play.

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