Pat here and just recently back from the Travel Forum Conference in Las Vegas. I thought I would share a review of my stay at the Paris hotel property – followed by a rundown of some of the sights and activities you might consider including on your next foray to this perennial favorite U.S. destination. Vegas isn’t just for gamblers these days!
CAESAR’S PARIS RESORT OVERVIEW
First, an overview of my recent stay at the Caesar’s Paris Resort on the Vegas Strip. Check-in was quick – I utilized one of the self-check-in kiosks which was very easy, intuitive, and took maybe all of two minutes. My room was on the 29th floor — of course all the way at the end of the hallway – impeccably clean, with a comfy king bed, offering an array of pillows at varying degrees of firmness, totally offering something for everyone. The bathroom was lovely, nicely appointed with handsome finishes – a roomy shower, a separate tub – this could be a great space for families. There was also a comfortable lounge chair with an ottoman assuming that occasionally they entertain visitors who might actually have time to lounge. While this was certainly not the case on my visit, nice to have that option. The room was also nicely set up for business travelers – unfortunately, the desk chair was barely adequate – I’ll be gracious and just tell you that after an hour or so, it felt more like a medieval torture device – they need to address this shortcoming soon.
As to the hotel property itself and the public areas – not surprisingly, it’s themed to make you feel like you’ve landed in Paris. Yes, it’s a little hokey – but surprisingly charming as well, and I actually much preferred this to some of the modern, minimalist hotels where I’ve stayed in Vegas. The conference facilities were convenient, spacious, comfortable, and well laid out … this a great property for a large conference like the Travel Agent Forum. At some of the conferences I’ve attended, the meeting rooms have been so strung out that each day was an endurance run just making your way from one session to the next. Venues at the Paris hotel were well located and I especially note that the climate was well regulated – we weren’t frozen into icicles which is frequently the case at most of these large conferences.
One of our evening events was a reception held at the truly breathtaking pool deck on the third floor of the hotel. Truly, to say it is “expansive” is something of an incredible understatement! Pathways meander around a huge pool – if I were on a leisure trip, I could see whiling away many an afternoon here. In early April, there was still a noticeable chill in the air in the early evening, and unfortunately, it was also extremely windy the night of our event, so much so that I didn’t hang around for more than a half hour or so. Still, this is a great venue and if you stay here, do bring a swimsuit to enjoy a few hours poolside. This venue is absolutely stellar!
The one negative in the public areas – the elevators were, frankly, just filthy. The door tracks looked as if they hadn’t been cleaned since the property opened: the doors, corners of the cars … every single car I was in was equally dirty. It wasn’t like the cleaning staff had missed them for a night or two … more like the hotel opened and everyone forgot they were there. Inexplicable to me as I didn’t see anything else in the entire establishment that didn’t look clean and well looked after.
Food. You’ll have LOTS of great choices at the Paris property. American, Japanese, and of course, French-themed restaurants abound. I ate breakfast and lunch at the Americano Café … the Denver Omelet was as good as I’ve eaten anywhere. Fish & chips were fine and the serving generous enough to be shared. I loved The Bedford – themed to mimic Martha Stewart’s own home. The food was so good that I chose to repeat dinner a second time. I had the prix fixe menu on night one which consisted of a beautifully constructed Caesar salad, pierogi in brown butter made from Martha’s own family recipe, roasted chicken, and upside-down lemon meringue pie. Everything was delicious, but definitely too much food for yours truly! I went back again, this time limiting myself to their Frisee salad and a repeat order of those amazing pierogi. I also indulged in their special bread basket that second night. I was honestly just a bit disappointed in the frisée salad – the greens were fresh but for me, the poached egg was slightly overcooked and the dressing was unexpectedly bland. That said, the pierogis did not disappoint and the bread basket was absolutely delightful.
In addition to The Bedford, I had breakfast twice at La Creperie, sampling both savory and fruit offerings, which were fine. Do be prepared, folks – when you visit Vegas, you WILL dearly for meals at any of the hotel venues. I won’t shock you by itemizing what I spent for meals, but a burger and sweet potato fries plus a fountain soda at Bobby Flay’s burger joint set me back $42. And be prepared: every single venue, including the counter-order places, asks you to add a tip.
SWITCHING GEARS A BIT – LET’S TALK ABOUT WHAT TO DO IN VEGAS
If you visit Vegas for gambling, you can start in at the airport and hit every casino on the strip – the options are endless. But if the famous casinos don’t turn your crank, Vegas has SO much more to offer. This destination is not just for gamblers these days, and it can even be quite family-friendly as well!
Of course, there is an ever-changing list of high-profile headliners and the huge list of ongoing shows that run year-round: magicians, comedians, and production shows with something for all tastes and interests. Some shows are surprisingly affordable – but the better seats for well-known performers are definitely priced at a premium.
Outside of the Strip, you will find some amazing sightseeing options in the surrounding areas. I personally recommend Hoover Dam to anyone interested in history or engineering and construction – it is absolutely fascinating. Certainly, a full-day trip to the Grand Canyon is a must if you haven’t been.
If you want to get active, just 20 minutes away from the Strip, Red Rock Canyon offers incredible sightseeing as well as great hiking trails. If you have a bit more time – Valley of Fire is only an hour away – or Cathedral Gorge, is just a little over two hours up the road. All of these offer great sightseeing and hiking options.
As to alternative accommodations, Vegas offers excellent hotel & resort options beyond the great casino hotels on the strip. There are fabulous family-friendly resort properties. We love the Holiday Inn Vacation Properties that offers 1 & 2-bedroom villa properties ranging from 700-1500 SF featuring full kitchens, washer-dryers, and balcony or patio. The all-suites Platinum Hotel is just two blocks from the strip and has beautiful suites with full kitchens. Or you might like to retreat to the Hilton at Lake Las Vegas, an intimate lake-front property – no casino –great for families where you can relax, shop, kayak – and even take a yacht cruise on the lake.
There are some other fun & fabulous and very unusual activities in the area as well. Axe throwing, anyone? Or perhaps you would like to book a Social Darts tournament for a group of friends! Vegas can’t be beaten as a great destination for group getaways. One venue even offers the opportunity to operate heavy construction equipment in a safe, family-friendly environment. Guests from two to 100 can operate backhoes, crush a car, or sit behind the controls of a mammoth earth-mover. Rates for an hour can be surprisingly affordable, starting at just $60 an hour for the smaller machines … up to $300/hour for the largest apparatus.
Of course, Dancing Moon Travel can help you with all of this and we encourage you to pre-book your special activities and experiences to avoid disappointment! Our typical seamless packages include air, accommodations, transfers, and car rental – we have access to tickets for most of the attractions, excursions, and shows … just let us know what you want to do and we’ll put together a great custom package that is geared specifically to your unique interests!
Do you have questions or want additional information? – feel free to reach out as we’d love to talk with you.
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