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1st visit - Vdara (Lake View) or Caesars (Palace Tower)

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
38 posts
30 reviews
1st visit - Vdara (Lake View) or Caesars (Palace Tower)


My husband & I (Australians in our early 50's - young at heart but not wild partiers, enjoy the good things but appreciate value for money) will be enjoying our 1st ever visit to LV later this month, staying 3 nights from Friday 23rd.

We will be spending 3 weeks all up in the US (after LV we are doing an 8 day road trip - GC, parts of Route 66, Monument Valley, Santa Fe etc) then flying to Chicago for a few days and then onto Detroit for a family wedding). While it will all be great, the Las Vegas bit is really special because I have always wanted to go and despite having been to the US 3 times previously I've never managed to get there until this trip!!!

I really struggled to choose a hotel - so many icons, so much choice, so many opinions!!!!!! and then trying to balance the budget................. the serious shortlist ended up being:

- The Venetian - eventually ruled out because of slightly higher cost and while it is beautiful we have been to Venice so the themeing wasn't an all powerful draw

- ARIA - was drawn to central location, being new (so many negative reviews about older hotels showing wear/age and being smelly) but had an odd lingering concern that we might feel a bit out of place with the cool young crowd - probably silly but it's how I felt!

- Cosmopolitan - ruled out immediately on price (I didn't see it as any kind of value for money for us)

- Caesar's Palace (I initially saw this as the quintessential LV option but ended up being put off by the consistently mixed reviews on the various sites; the reality that the lower end rooms were possibly a bit tacky /showing their age & the cost of better towers sent me looking elsewhere for better value; concerns that overall Caesars might be just too big/busy/noisy/tired/smoky/smelly and that I would regret it

- Mirage (saw this as a possible compromise between $, experience and amenities but ruled it out on basis of too much of a party atmosphere/too noisy and thought that I would be disappointed overall (especially in the room) and think that I saved a few bucks but blew the overall experience)

- Bellagio - was always the dream but just couldn't justify the extra cost (rather have that money for extra experiences and dining etc)

and finally I decided to go with:

- Vdara - location acceptable - set back off the strip but between ARIA and Bellagio, close to the middle of the Strip; no casino and smoke free (I was very put off by all the comments about older hotels and casino's having overwhelming cigarette smells); access to a fridge and coffee making - well that just seemed like a given to me!! and overall it seemed like the best balance of everything - luxury, price, location - I wasn't concerned about lack of casino or restaurants as we intend to get out and about a lot (we aren't gamblers, will have a bit of a go but that's it - more interested in seeing than using).

Almost at my question............

I'm now having a major attack of "have I booked the right place?" Main reasons:

- the pool is more important than I originally considered; given that it will be so hot when we are there some pool time is likely and all the stuff about the Vdara "death ray" and the fact that the Vdara pool seems to be underwhelming ..........

- and I'm starting to worry that the Vdara, while it will be a lovely hotel for sure, may just be a bit too lacking in terms of a LV experience???

For about $30 more than my (refundable) booking for a Deluxe Lake View Suite at the Vdara I have now found a deal for Caesars Place - a Deluxe King in the Palace Tower and I am considering changing to that.

Finally the question ......... Which way - Vdara Lake View or Caesars Palace Tower???

Apologies for the length/detail but it all seemed relevant if I wanted to let you know where I am coming from with my thinking and concerns :) and I would appreciate your thoughts and experiences.



Destination Expert
for Las Vegas
Level Contributor
45,792 posts
3 reviews
1. Re: 1st visit - Vdara (Lake View) or Caesars (Palace Tower)

You are reading too many reviews. Worse that that----you are focusing on the negative reviews looking for reasons NOT TO STAY at a hotel. And guess what? If you look for reasons not to stay at a hotel you can always find one.

Aria is too young, and Mirage is too much of a party hotel? The Mirage pool can be overly crowded and loud during the Summer, but the hotel itself is not full of partiers. Aria, just like ALL of the 4 and 5 star hotels are predominantly occupied by older guests. I read a few years ago that the average age of Las Vegas visitors is over 50. I'm sure this is true, no matter what image certain hotels try and project.

While I personally don't stay at Ceasars, I would certainly recommend it over Vdara for a 1st time visitor. There is nothing wrong with Vdara, and if it was in LA, SF, or Denver I would consider staying there. But Vdara isn't the reason I go to Las Vegas. And I'm guessing it isn't the reason you are going to Las Vegas either.

Caesars Palace has about 20 restaurants, a half dozen bars, showrooms, one of the best spas in Las Vegas, an incredible pool area, and of course a casino. You can only get this kind of experience in a top LV hotel. Or you can stay at Vdara, and have the same type of experience you could get in SF, LA or Denver.

Do yourself a favor. Stop reading reviews, and stay at either Caesars or Aria. They are the reason you are going to Vegas.

Los Angeles, CA
Level Contributor
2,623 posts
1 review
2. Re: 1st visit - Vdara (Lake View) or Caesars (Palace Tower)

I would switch to Caesars for sure, it is classic Vegas all the way and has everything you could want. The Palace Tower rooms are very nice and right next to the pool complex which is just about the best in Vegas. They are a bit of a hike out to the Strip but not near as far away as you would be at Vdara. At check in ask about an upgrade to the Augustus Tower, fountain view, these rooms are the same as the Palace Tower but newer and the view is as good as Bellagio if not better. You may be able to do this for a nominal fee or even free if you are lucky and ask nice. A $20 bill slipping out of your hand onto the counter might help, lol!

I like Aria too and Ktinca gave you great info and advice. I would choose Caesars if it was my first trip and I could afford one of the better rooms, which the Palace rooms are. To me, Caesars Palace IS Las Vegas. The hubby and I traveled to Vegas for decades dreaming of the day we could afford to stay there and I'll be checking in to the Augustus Tower again next week, can't wait! Have fun and good luck!!

Edited: 09 August 2013, 11:44
Level Contributor
2,692 posts
116 reviews
3. Re: 1st visit - Vdara (Lake View) or Caesars (Palace Tower)

If the pool is important, switch to CP. The pool at Vdara is nothing special while CP has 8 to choose from. Vdara's rooms are nice yes but for that price I would switch to CP.

Level Contributor
209 posts
10 reviews
4. Re: 1st visit - Vdara (Lake View) or Caesars (Palace Tower)

Yeah, I vote for a switch to CP as well. While Vdara is nice, it could be a hotel in any city in the world. There's nothing "Vegas" about it.

Level Contributor
103 posts
5. Re: 1st visit - Vdara (Lake View) or Caesars (Palace Tower)

Caesars all the way. As long as you are not in a room in the Roman Tower you will be fine.

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
38 posts
30 reviews
6. Re: 1st visit - Vdara (Lake View) or Caesars (Palace Tower)

Thank you all for your replies and advice - much appreciated - and yes I will be switching to CP :) And with that settled it's just full on looking forward to what's coming - can't wait.

LaRue 1975 - enjoy your trip.

Thank again.

Los Angeles, CA
Level Contributor
2,623 posts
1 review
7. Re: 1st visit - Vdara (Lake View) or Caesars (Palace Tower)

Thanks Sharon! You made a good choice, here are some tips for Caesars. You will have a Keurig coffee brewer in your room but they charge 12 bucks for the Kcups in the mini bar. Bring a few with you and you can save quite a bit there. I also bring coffee mugs as I hate drinking out of a paper cup and I can't remember if the paper cups are out or in the mini bar with the Kcups.

If you are bothered by smokers try the Forum casino, it has higher ceilings and fresher air. The Palace casino is part of the older building so has the low ceilings and it can also get very noisy in there near the bar next to the lobby, especially on weekends. The smokers rule the casinos in Vegas so be prepared for that, no way to totally avoid it unless you stay out of the casinos altogether.

Don't get discouraged if you feel totally lost trying to navigate your way through Caesars when you first get there. It is an older property that has been added onto and improved many times over the years so it can be perplexing, lol! You will get the hang of it pretty quickly though and appreciate all the different areas and amenities it has to offer.

The Payard bakery which you will pass by on the way to the Palace Tower has awesome coffee, pastries, candy and other goodies. Try the quiche for a quick easy breakfast, yum! I don't do fine dining but for casual eats we like the Cheesecake Factory and La Salsa Cantina in the Forum Shops and I hear the new Italian place Camines is supposed to be excellent so can't wait to try that. You are probably looking for something nicer and you will have scores of excellent high end/famous chef restaurants to choose from between Caesars and the Forum Shops.

I am a bit older than you and feel very comfortable at Caesars so I am sure you will too. If you have any questions feel free to ask, safe travels and have a great trip!

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
38 posts
30 reviews
8. Re: 1st visit - Vdara (Lake View) or Caesars (Palace Tower)

Thank you so much for the tips LaRue1975 - really excellent info :)

Tyne and Wear...
Level Contributor
1,646 posts
57 reviews
9. Re: 1st visit - Vdara (Lake View) or Caesars (Palace Tower)

For the exact reasons stated above about the vdara not being a 'vegas hotel' (for whatever that is meant to mean) I would recommend it totally, and well above Caesars ... its an oasis of calm and a very relaxing place to be and to come back to at the end of a night

We have now stayed there twice and will be back again in a few weeks for yet another week there and I wouldnt look beyond it now.

dont worry too much over it though, you will have a great time at either :)

Level Contributor
5 posts
8 reviews
10. Re: 1st visit - Vdara (Lake View) or Caesars (Palace Tower)

Hello.I am from England and stayed at the Vdara last September for my partners 30th and the hotel was fantastic. I would highly recommend. What was lovely was after a long day walking round and gambling etc it was nice to be able to walk through a nice quiet reception to the room. It would depend if you would like to stay in a noisy hotel. The bar was also lovely at the Vdara to start the night off.