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Old 06-23-2006, 09:18 AM   #1
calena
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Question Las Vegas/LA area

We are a family of five - DD 11, DS, 9, DS 6 - heading to LA for a family wedding. We are flying in to Las Vegas - cheaper and DH wants to see Vegas. Plan on flying in Thurs, driving next day (Fri) to LA for pre-wedding, Sat wedding on beach so spend day on beach, Sun relax with relatives, Mon -Disneyland and then? We fly out of Vegas on Sun again. Thinking of San Diego and want to see Grand Canyon. Any suggestions?
Also, looking for a good hotel in Las Vegas. I was thinking of Mandalay Bay because of the pool... we will be there in late October so hopefully the weather will be good for swimming still. Other hotel options are Excalibur, Alladin or Circus Circus at this point.
Any advice welcome!!!
Deb
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Old 06-24-2006, 10:59 AM   #2
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Sounds like a great---and busy---trip!

1. Driving from Vegas to LA: You need to watch rush hour on both ends. Leave around 9 am from Vegas, or you'll sit in traffic in LA.

2. I'd do at least 2 days at DLR, unless you are frequent CA visitors. Spend at least one day in each park.

3. San Diego is a few hours from DL, and there is tons to do down there.

4. Grand Canyon is 6 hours from Vegas, which is 5 hours from LA. Lots of driving, but if it's a once in a lifetime trip, I'd say do it. If you are just looking for that TYPE of landscape, consider Zion and Bryce Canyon in UT. About 2-3 hours from Vegas.

5. Hotel in Vegas: Mandalay Bay pool is a huge draw. The Monte Carlo (well-located next to NYNY) also has a lazy river (no wave pool) and is significantly cheaper. You might want to check it out. Other hotels you mentioned have relatively "boring" pools. Think Value resorts---some theming, but no slides or anything.

Avoid Circus Circus like the plague---poorly located, and run down (JMHO). Excalibur is great if you have kids, Aladdin should be a bargain---they've struggled since they opened. Venetian is all suites, and comes up on Priceline at $99 often.

Shop price for sure---October is a quiet time for us.

Jumping off soapbox...
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Old 06-24-2006, 10:54 PM   #3
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I would definitely stop at Death Valley NP on your way back to Vegas & spend a night there. To us it was really unique - for a few more hours drive I would go up to Sequoria & Yosemite vs Grand Canyon. They are all wonderful to experience - but think you are going to get sick of driving, and Grand Canyon would be even more. I also agree want to stay 2 days in Disney area.
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Old 06-27-2006, 01:31 PM   #4
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We just did a trip very similar to this. With all the driving we didn't have the time built in to do everything on our list. Our trip went like this. Flew into Vegas on Sunday, spent time with relatives. Monday, drove to LA. Took us about 4 and 1/2 to five hours, with stops and some traffic. Spent the rest of the night doing more visiting. Tuesday was Disney for us. Basically open to close. Wednesday was our beach day, Huntington Beach. Thursday was back in Vegas and a Friday morning flight.

With the extra days you have built in You shoudl be able to get more done than we did. Just make sure to factor in all the driving times and be flexable. I think that saved us from going insane. Have a good trip
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Old 06-27-2006, 07:52 PM   #5
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I stayed at Circus Circus. It seems a bit drastic to say "avoid it like the plague"

It was fine with son and myself.


view of our room:


sure, if my budget allowed me a more expensive room, sure , I would stay at the Mandalay Bay too. Enjoy, wherever you stay!!
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Old 06-29-2006, 12:45 PM   #6
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The Mandalay Bay Hotel is a nice choice if you have kids with you. There's plenty to see and do w/o having to walk very far. The kids will really enjoy MB's Shark Reef and the pool. It also has a really convenient monorail that'll take you from the MB to the Luxor and Excalibur. Having the monorail makes it easy to get to to the MGM Grand (it has a free Lion Exhibit), New York New York and the M&Ms store. The only drawback is that the MB is on the very south end of the strip.

I know this is not one of your choices, but you might want to also consider the Luxor. The rooms in the pyramid are unique. They're big and roomy and the elevator is definitely an interesting ride. I never went to their pool, so I can't give you info on that, but I think it's suppose to be very nice. If you decide to try the Luxor, make sure you request an upper floor pyramid room (the higher, the better).

The Excalibur is okay. It's pretty much a typical hotel room. Nothing unique about it. Same with Circus Circus. It's okay, but its location can be a drawback. These two hotels would be fine choices if budget-conscious, though.

My DH, five-year old DD, three-year old DS and I went to LV a couple of months ago. We stayed at "The Hotel at Mandalay Bay" for a couple of nights, which is an all-suite hotel. Totally different ambiance from "Mandalay Bay." We LOVED the layout of the suite, but housekeeping was not that great. It never showed up the next day to do our room. I actually did a review for Trip Advisor on this hotel, so you might want to check it out.

I've never stayed at the Aladdin, so I can't comment on the rooms, but their shopping mall is very, very nice! The hotel is also more centrally located on the strip, so you'd be able to walk over to check out the Bellagio, Paris and Caesar's Palace (huge complex with an amazing shopping mall).

HTH and Good luck in your search!
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Old 06-30-2006, 01:21 AM   #7
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I wouldn't stay at Excalibur. It was really dirty and pretty awful I thought. You might want to look at The Mirage. It is more centrally located, it has a great pool as well as a free White Tiger (I think Tiger, not lion) exhibit, then a pay exhibit with dolphins and all kinds of big cats. It's really nice, and would be fun for kids. If I had kids that's where I would take them. I saw lots of families when I was there and seemed a bit more family friendly than some of the other hotels while still being nice.
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Old 06-30-2006, 09:32 AM   #8
calena
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Thanks for all your comments! I am getting excited. I have read so much negative stuff about Vegas and families I was thinking of scrapping that but I love the thought of all the parks in the area and so does DH. I'll keep ya'll posted as we plan! I'm sure more questions will come up.
THEhotel sounds like a great option from what I have read with the suite idea.
Thanks all.
Deb
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Old 06-30-2006, 03:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calena
THEhotel sounds like a great option from what I have read with the suite idea.
Deb
THEhotel at Mandalay Bay's suite layout was ideal for our family and the location was perfect for us. Other hotels like the Venetian or The Rio have suites but they're open floorplans. What was nice was THAMB's suite had a separate bedroom. Again, be sure to read Trip Advisor's reviews. Our family's experience was posted on April 20th, 2006, if you're interested in reading a full account.

I know that the Luxor has suites with separate bedrooms too. We had reserved a room there as well before going with THAMB. They were similar cost-wise. Another option for suites is Embassy Suites on Paradise Road (next to the LV Convention and a block or so off the strip).

HTH!
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Old 07-07-2006, 12:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PattiPB
Sounds like a great---and busy---trip!

Venetian is all suites, and comes up on Priceline at $99 often.
Not any more. According to discussion on www.biddingfortravel.com, the Venetian has raised their minimum to $119. No one has been able to get it for lower for months no matter how low the going rate has been.
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Old 07-07-2006, 12:51 PM   #11
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San Diego would be nice for your family. You can get some good deals on Hotels and there is a ton to do. Have fun!
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Old 07-07-2006, 05:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xmelissax
I wouldn't stay at Excalibur. It was really dirty and pretty awful I thought. You might want to look at The Mirage. It is more centrally located, it has a great pool as well as a free White Tiger (I think Tiger, not lion) exhibit, then a pay exhibit with dolphins and all kinds of big cats. It's really nice, and would be fun for kids. If I had kids that's where I would take them. I saw lots of families when I was there and seemed a bit more family friendly than some of the other hotels while still being nice.
The Mirage and it's sister hotel, Treasure Island, do not allow children to stay free in their parent's room. I remember mentioning to the Mirage reservationist about needing a crib years ago and they told me that there is an extra person fee, even for infants. He was trying to assure me that "every guest" recieves the same or high level of service no matter what the age. I made reservations elsewhere. I checked recently since I was booking a room for the July 4th holiday, policy has not changed.
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Old 07-11-2006, 11:10 AM   #13
calena
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Thanks for the info. The hotels I have been looking at ask you to post the number of adults and children per room so the price is up front!
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Old 07-11-2006, 02:50 PM   #14
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Because you have under aged children, they will be ridiculously bored. Although Excalibur and Circus-Circus is aimed at families, the hotel I would recommend is the las Vegas Hilton. Your kids will love the Star Trek Experience! New York-New York Hote & Casino has a really cool roller coaster ride that takes you outside the perimeter of the property.

In October, Las Vegas does experience heavy rains on the Strip. Las Vegas sits in a natural 'bowl' where rain water rushes down from the northern parts of the city and it ends up in the Las Vegas area flat lands.

Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam is about 40-50 miles south of Las Vegas and is a doable one day trip.

California Mojave Desert - Regardless of when you are travelling through the desert (Stateline to Hesperia) make sure you carry adequate water supplies for drinking as well as for your car's radiator. Make sure you have plenty of gasoline because gas stations can be 80 miles apart.

At the present time, Interstate 15 is undergoing a widening project in certain stretches of the highway. Slow down as you approach bridges because they are working on the abuttments. I have made 10 trips through the desert to Las Vegas and see so many car accidents. Fove of them were with cars flipped on their roofs!!

Be careful out there.
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Old 07-12-2006, 01:10 AM   #15
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Aladdin is vastly underrated.
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