Why in the middle of writing a script, “Downtown Oliver Brown”, I would hop into James’ Hummer and road trip to Vegas I don’t know. I miss the “Road To Nowhere”, gypsy, just irresponsible, need change of scenery, all of the above—whatever, I’m in Vegas.
So why not a travel blog? This qualifies as work. But what to blog about? I called the Wynn PR department, no spa reviews on such short notice, I was notified. Too bad because I could have used a day at the spa to go along with not writing. Of course I jest! Somewhere around Barstow, James decided we’d be staying at Palazzo. And I’ve never written about this still new hotel…UNTIL NOW!
Now my regular readers know that the style of my writing varies upon my mood, the full moon, cash or lack there of, and on and on….Admittedly, I’m in peculiar mood today, so let’s call this, yet another innovation to the craft of writing, my fast and loose style. Frankly, this could be dangerous to anyone or anything that falls or in this case, past tense, fell into my bull’s eye…So watch out Palazzo!
Actually, I’ve strolled through the Palazzo a few times since it first opened and to be fair, I held off writing about the new addition to The Venetian because it opened its retail in phases and in general I garnered that it opened a bit sooner than optimum—and in a terrible economy. But there’s been plenty of time to get it together so…
Next Day—Tired In A Good Way From Vegas
I liked the Palazzo. I’m not going to do a complete analysis at this point as I was just there overnight to keep James company in some meetings, but here are some highlights: check in was easy. The room was the identical layout as the rooms I’ve stayed in at The Venetian many times—and I like this mini-suite layout, in this case the view was also great. I can’t be sure if it was just the change of scenery or the lighter color scheme and different furniture, but I think I like the Palazzo room more than I like The Venetian room. However, some of my best times in Vegas have happened in The Venetian rooms, if you catch my drift, so no disrespect intended.
Tao at the Palazzo / Venetian remains one of my favorite spots for both dinner and nightlife. The club wasn’t open Wednesday night, but the restaurant was, and dinner was as good or better than the last twenty times I’ve dined there—they’ve never had an off night and our waiter this particular night was a Rock Star. After dinner I chose to smoke a cigar with my old buddy Fat Andy at the bar in the middle of the Palazzo casino floor. The crowd was light, welcome to the recession, but the spot itself has a good open vibe—cute waitresses always help. It would be better if they dimmed the lights…This is not as easy as it sound because the Palazzo is a light and airy casino floor with very high ceilings, but it could be done and it would be transformative—a new place to hangout would emerge in the middle of the casino.
Bellagio still has market cornered when it comes to holiday decorations, but Palazzo’s Thanksgiving decorations are spectacular in both of the large atrium areas. Because Palazzo by design is a little on the austere side the decorations warm it up—having a greater impact than they would at most hotels. On this, my advice is to keep up the good work. Palazzo would be well served to be decorated for every season / occasion throughout the year.
As can happen in Vegas, my gamble of tagging along with James led to a meeting of my own the next day. This was an early lunch at First café in a section of The Venetian that I had not strolled previously. I’ll save the review for later, but the café’s windows provide for a very enjoyable view of the strip. Sometimes it’s great to not feel like you’re inside of a casino—this place does the trick. Oh, and that chef with the ponytail and orange Crocs was sitting two tables over, a sign that the food would be good. It was…Make sure you start with the pretzels! Good company, good atmosphere, good food—GOOD TRIP.
As we rolled down the highway back to Los Angeles I thought about my long and most enjoyable history with Las Vegas. I also thought about the effects of the recession on Sin City and in some ways what’s gone on in Vegas is a sin. The “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” era of success made Sin City lazy—not in terms of construction, but in terms of marketing and customer service. As things went bad the attitude changed some and the customer experience factor went up, but not enough—yet. Because my beloved Sin City is oh so much about making money, I’m betting that my brothers and sisters there will see the neon light soon. IT’S ABOUT GIVING GUESTS A BETTER TIME THAN THEY COULD POSSIBLY HAVE ANYWHERE ELSE…AND FOR LESS MONEY.
You know now that I’ve committed these thoughts to writing, I have one more—I think I’ll head back to Vegas next week and stay the weekend. If you feel like hanging out and getting into trouble I’ll let you know my plans in a few days. Trouble Baby…