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Frontier Hotel 1942-2007

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"This is the end result of all the bright lights... and the comp trips, of all the champagne... and free hotel suites,
and all the broads and all the booze. It's all been arranged just for us to get your money.
That's the truth about Las Vegas. We're the only winners. The players don't stand a chance. "

-- Sam "Ace" Rothstein, Casino, 1995

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hotel Review -- Planet Hollywood

Disclaimer:  Planet Hollywood is now owned/controlled/managed by Harrah's.  Most likely this will result in a steady deterioration of service and facilities the longer Harrah's operates the hotel.  Please note that my review of Planet Hollywood may not even be applicable 3 months from now depending on what Harrah's does with the property.

Aside from new ownership by Harrah's, Planet Hollywood (PH) is great hotel and in a great location.  It's location rivals the Flamingo in terms of location, and the hotel is so much better than the Flamingo in terms of updating, cleanliness, and overall atmosphere.  The room rates between PH and the Flamingo are usually pretty close, so why a person would stay at the grimy old Flamingo as opposed to PH is beyond me.

The location of PH is outstanding -- right in the middle of the strip.  Bellagio and City Center are across the street, with Paris right next door.  The Miracle Mile shops are also located within PH which is a nice shopping diversion should one want that.  A short walk gets you over to Caesar's and the Flamingo.  Overall, the location of PH is outstanding in terms of access to the LV strip. 

The room we stayed was very nice.  Nothing special, but updated, clean, flat panel TV.  View was of the pool and part of City City Center and the Bellagio.  Compared to the ratty rooms over at the Flamingo, the value of PH is so much better.  The same room at the Flamingo would have had blue carpet, a tube TV, and pictures on the wall from circa 1987.  If you are choosing between the Flamingo and PH, and the rate is the same or similar, by all means stay at PH!

Here are a few things to note if you stay at PH:

Gaming:  Harrah's now controls all gaming at PH.  This means 6/5 blackjack, high table limits, and rip off machines.  The gaming area of PH is actually pretty fun and lively with loud music playing constantly.  If you don't care about getting screwed and want to have a good time, PH is the place to be.  If you are going to lose money and get grinded down, at least have a good time, right?

Sportsbook:  Nice a sportsbook tucked away from all the action -- which means hardly any Feldmans or lookie loos in the place.  There are also no annoying machines in the area to disturb you.  Chairs are really comfortable, nice flat panels, clear projection TV's.  The PH sportsbook is a nice place to relax, watch sports, and have a few drinks.

Pool:  Pool looked nice from our room, but we did not ever get out there.  There are two pools, but they are not huge, but the pool deck is enormous.  There appears to be lots of room to spread out without crowding.  I will get back to PH and do a pool review one of these days.  Here's a merged photo I took from the room:

Parking:  Do not, I repeat do not, park in the parking garage if you are staying at the hotel.  The parking garage is ridiculously far from the actual hotel -- you have to walk through the entire Miracle Mile shops and go down an elevator to get to the front desk.  Don't be cheap -- park the car in the valet.

Music:  There is music blasting at all hours inside the casino and just about every public area inside of PH.  Fine, I can deal with that -- that's part of the atmosphere and vibe.  However, the blasting music inside the elevators is a bit much.  If you are looking for a "quiet" and "relaxing" type of place, PH is not for you.

Major Annoyance:  There is a timeshare complex at PH -- it is called PH Westgate.  I don't believe the timeshares have anything to do with the actual hotel.  However, there are time share hustlers all over the place trying to get you to go on a "tour" of the place.  They use the usual tricks of offering you free stuff, then hustle you into a "tour."  After the "tour" you get the BS high pressure tactics to buy a timeshare.  The timeshare hustling is really annoying and is frankly offensive.  Basically every person that enters the PH casino or the Miracle Mile shops gets accosted by a timeshare hustler.  It's bad enough that I would consider not staying at PH again.  Here's a photo I took of the PH Westgate:

I have always wondered this about timeshares:  If a timeshare is a such a great deal and has so much value, why is there such harassment to take a "tour" and why is there such high pressure to buy a timeshare?  Seriously, if a timeshare at PH Westgate was such a good deal I would imagine people would be lining up to take tours instead of being hounded inside of PH.

Final thoughts:  I really like PH, but I fear PH will start a slow and steady decline now that Harrah's has its hairy hand all over it.  I can see PH being run into the ground just like the Flamingo.  It will eventually just become another low-roller cattle call hotel in the evil Harrah's empire.

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