I am never one to say no to a last minute trip to Las Vegas.
And especially seeing as how I’ve recently decided that driving that long beautiful stretch of highway to Sin City may not be all its cracked up to be thanks to the addition of parking fees and the reduction of intercity travel thanks to Uber and Lyft, when the mention of a boy’s trip to see the Super Bowl was tossed my way 72 hours before kickoff my bags were being packed before the question was out of my companion’s mouth. The promise was simple: there would be gaming, there would be dining, and there would be a gluttonous party for the big game. What more could you want.
Having done this before, I assumed like last time we’d pull a decent rate at the host property for the party we’d go to and bunk together. But due to some snafu in the booking system, everyone’s rates seemingly were astronomical and my host, being budget minded, decided on something different. “Where are we crashing?” His answer: The Embassy Suites and the Las Vegas Convention Center. “Where’s that?” Just off Paradise, no casino. “No casino?” No. It took a minute for that to sink in.
In my many years going to Vegas, there are only three times I’ve stayed in a non-gaming hotel. The first was when I was under 21 and couldn’t check into a gaming property. The second was when a snowstorm stranded half of the world on the west coast and all I could find was a Best Western with a dusty duvet to half lay on. But this time we were making the active choice not to stay at a gaming property. I was torn. This could be incredibly relaxing part of me said. Part of me worried it would be quiet…too quiet for a town where the low rumble helps ease me to sleep.
Driving in in the late afternoon, we arrived fairly easily at the hotel, which sits off Paradise just behind the Wynn Country Club. Like all Embassy Suites, the hotel is centered around an atrium, which cuts the building into a U shape with elevators on the north and south side and a connecting bar/lounge across the atrium on the third floor. Check in was a snap, and service was courteous and kind, although there was no offer of help with our bags despite about 15 luggage carts lined up in the vestibule.
Upon check in you are reminded of the things that make Embassy Suites the hotel it is. You room is a suite with a pull out couch bed, in this case attached to a two queen bedroom suitable for our party of three. Breakfast is from 7-10 in the atrium, there’s freebies like cucumber citrus water sorted around and a small indoor pool. There’s also a small gift shop off the lobby, but much like its Strip counterparts, everything is too overpriced to matter.
The atrium itself is light and airy, and helps make the whole hotel feel open. One feature that was missing however was the fountain in the middle. Most of the hotels use them to create white noise and keep the lobby from being too loud, but in the case of our hotel the fountain was just a hole of water doing nothing. Broken. I decided not to toss a coin.
Upstairs, we quickly found ourselves at 920, and with a slide of the card in we went. We could already see through the window from the hall that the lights were on, welcoming us in advance.
Just inside it’s immediately apparent that there is a design theme going on, although it’s a bit all over the map. It’s almost a bit like Caesars and Mandalay had a baby, with the muted colors offset by gold and black bits and pieces. Upon entering the room is a sitting area with coffee table, sofa, side table and armchair. Outlets are a plenty thankfully and I had a place to charge everything. The window shears were burned by a cigarette. Not the best but not something to freak out over. As I ended up on the sofa bed, I will say it was a 5/10, which considering the fact that most I rate at 1/10 is saying a lot. Not too lousy a sleep at all, as a matter of fact all things considered it was quite comfortable.
On the other side of the living area is an entertainment center with a smallish flat panel TV that honestly wasn’t even turned on during our trip because we were so busy. To the left of the TV was a connecting door so that two suites could be joined, and between the two was a small dining table with seats for four and the phone. One thing I noticed is that WiFi was provided by AT&T, and being an AT&T user my cell automatically switched to the network whenever I was in the hotel. Synergy!
Dividing the living and bedroom is a small hallway where the thermostat and air conditioning unit is as well as the bathroom taking up a large chunk of the right side of the room. On the other side of the hallway is a long wet bar, with glassware, a coffee maker and to our surprise a microwave and full refrigerator with freezer. This came in amazingly handy as we often had leftover food and could keep it in the room and reheat it, provided we brought take out utensils with us. Also of use was a nice mini-sink to grab some of LV’s finest tap if we were too parched or lazy to go downstairs for the fancy cucumber/citrus concoction. Also of note, the safe was located just under the microwave. Just in case you want to make sure your leftovers are safe.
So far so good right?
A nice suite in a quiet hotel and a room that was considerably on par with a lot of what you get for far more on the strip. But in the end was the non-gaming trade off worth the benefit of the price. The conclusion, the rest of the room, and a few more surprises are soon to come.
Keep reading, here’s part 2!