It may be one of the most famous tourism marketing slogans of all time, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” I was able to see this slogan in action! As a heads up, it now has new meaning to me!
Regular readers would know that we are currently on our “Winter Sun” tour of the USA and Mexico. We checked into the Excalibur Hotel on the Vegas strip after a grueling drive from LAX to “Sin City”. Excalibur Hotel is one of the 14 MGM casino hotels located in Vegas.
Each hotel is themed and appeals to a slightly different consumer and budget. All the properties feature wall to wall gaming machines and I was quite surprised that in order to check in we had to weave our way through roulette tables and blackjack games with the children.
I chose this particular hotel because it seemed to have the best pools and a water slide. The hotel is also made to look like a castle so I knew this would appeal to the kids.
I’d like to say we woke up bright and early, bounded out of bed and was ready to start the first day with vitality. In reality we managed to drag ourselves out of bed just after ten o’clock. It was all we could do to make it to the pool area.
Thankfully I had guessed we might need a day to recover and nothing was booked in except lazing by the pool.
We had arrived just one week before Spring break. Vegas was busy, the sun was shining and the temperature was perfect! The pool deck area was huge and includes an adult only pool and spa, which was which was off limits for us given we had two children in tow. Not to worry, for families there were two large pools, one included the water-slide which had caught my attention when I booked the hotel.
There was also a spa, “Drenched” Poolside Bar and Restaurant and very inviting private Cabana’s. Bikini clad beauties were everywhere taking drink orders and looking after the every whim of guests.
The first thing we discovered was sun lounges were at a premium! We managed to round up two lounges and made ourselves comfortable watching the kids play. That lasted about 2 minutes. We were literally baking in the dessert sun.
It took about two minutes more before we decided we were going to “pimp our day.” The Cabana’s were available for hire and we wanted one.
Some hotels charge an hourly rate for cabana’s but Excalibur charges per day. The rates start out at $US250 per day, but the price falls quickly depending on how many cabana’s are still available.
Due to our late start getting down to the pool area, and Brett’s powers of negotiation we were able to secure the cabana of our choice for just $US100.
Each Cabana include 4 comfy sun lounges, a large day bed in the shade of the cabana, a fridge with soda’s and water. There were also packets of chips, a dining table and chairs plus a television? The selling point for the kids was a water lounge to take into the pool. I just wanted my own spot in the crowded pool area so I could catch up on more sleep.
We had our own hostess who would looked after additional refreshments such as cocktails and food from the restaurant. The private hostess wasn’t really necessary for us as Brett looked after his own drinks… the Australian way. I was just happy to chill in the shade.
By just 11.00am or so it was apparent that many people were planning on a big day of drinking by the pool. Poolside shots were just $5 and they were being lined up everywhere. The bikini girls (hostesses) were certainly being put through their paces rushing from the bar and back like worker bees. I noted to Brett that responsible service of alcohol is obviously not a big concern for staff. The name of the game here seems to be service with a smile, then upsize it!
Upsizing has been everywhere. We had only been in the country one hour before we were offered our first upsize. I had booked a mid sized vehicle for the trip, upon pickup we were asked
“Would you like to upsize to a convertible?”
“Hmm, no, If I wanted a convertible I would have ordered a convertible”. I thought.
Upon checking in at the Excalibur we were asked if we wanted to upgrade our room for an additional charge. Hmm, well I hadn’t even seen the room yet, but I was pretty sure if it was the room I had booked it would be fine.
Every food purchase we have made has come with a host of optional extras we may wish to add to the order.
At the pool masseurs walk around offering massages, back and neck treatments. I can’t help but wonder what the upsize is on a massage! Regardless, they seem to be a popular poolside activity.
A little curiosity I noticed was all the American tourists had turned their sun lounges away from the pool. It took me only a moment or two to realise they were turning to face the sun! These sun worshipers were trying to suck up every last ray of sunshine.
I couldn’t help picture the scene from “Something about Mary.” When Mary & Magda are on the rooftop catching some sun. By afternoon the sunburn colors ranged from a light splotch pink to deep angry red. I silently hoped the gift shop sold Aloe Vera!
Eventually the children began to make hungry noises so we asked our private hostess for the “Drenched” Pool Bar menu.
For a resort restaurant the prices were very reasonable. The burger with Cheese and Bacon was just $12.00 and came with a choice of fries, waffle fries, potato chips, potato salad or coleslaw. It arrived and we were shocked! It was huge!! The kids only managed half each, so the two burgers fed the whole family.
At 6.00pm something very strange happened. The pool area was evacuated! In the full blazing sun, staff closed the pool area at 6.00pm every evening. The only logical reasoning for shutting the pool 3 hours before twilight would be to get people into the gaming rooms early.
I’m not sure why they felt the need to evacuate the pool. The casino was full 24 hours per day. Each morning I would come downstairs to get my coffee and these tired souls would still be at the machine and pressing the buttons.
Even if you were ordering a cocktail at the bar there were gaming machines available for use. Vegas is the city that never sleeps! Everywhere you look someone is partying! The music pounds from vehicles as they drive by and everyone is in holiday mode and going hard.
So back to my little story. It took only a night in Vegas to have a new understanding of the phrase “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” I went downstairs to get my morning coffee, I returned to hear a couple arguing in the hallway.
Seems the hubby had been locked out of the room for an indiscretion the previous night. He was still too drunk to even get a sentence together effectively. Although he didn’t deny his dalliance, he seemed to think it was “noble” that he didn’t know her name and she didn’t mean anything. Not surprisingly this didn’t wash with the wife. Things went from bad to worse as the wife suspected her girlfriend of being involved. Hubby didn’t deny the indecent act but still insisted it was a random hook up. So to cut a long story short wifey checked out of the hotel without the hubby. I saw him later that evening sleeping in the hallway.
What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.