Harrah’s Shines Light on “Resort Fee”

Gold Plated Door on hidden fees that some Vegas resorts have been tacking on to your bill.

As the economy worsened last year, Vegas resorts dropped room rates to unprecedented levels in order to keep their hotels full. But those advertised rates were simultaneously undermined at some properties by something called a “resort fee.” These mandatory fees (essentially therefore part of the cost of the room) have become increasingly prevalent in Vegas.

Maybe, public awareness, and common sense will soon reverses this trend. So, Harrah’s press release offers not only good news that Harrah’s is not using these bogus charges, but the announcement also raises the question of which of their competitors are charging a “resort fee”? For now, to get an answer call any hotel in Vegas you are considering staying at to ask about “resort fees.”

So, what is the resort fee? A “resort fee” is a backdoor charge that covers things as silly as being able to make a toll free or local phone calls from your room or a free newspaper in the morning. Essentially a smorgasbord of random stuff thrown together in order to charge this fee that you are forced to pay for every day you stay at the hotel. Remember this charge is added to what you are already paying for the room. The only difference, between this fee and your room rate: you may not know you are paying this added cost for your room until check-in. That is what happened to me. The “resort fee” is meant to be sneaky.

Shooting in Las Vegas Courthouse

From CNN:

Two federal personnel were shot, one fatally, Monday in the lobby of a federal courthouse building in Las Vegas, Nevada, federal officials said.

“A deputy U.S. marshal and court security officer were shot at the Lloyd D. George Federal Courthouse in Las Vegas this morning,” said U.S. Marshals spokesman Jeff Carter.

“The gunman was shot by Marshals Service personnel and has been pronounced dead. The deputy U.S. Marshal is in stable condition at a local hospital. Unfortunately, the court security officer succumbed to his wounds and passed away.”

The incident occurred about 8 a.m. PT, FBI Special Agent Joseph Dickey said.

Authorities were in the process of securing the building, Carter said.

“We do not know the motive for the shooting at this time, and the investigation into the shooting is still under way,” he said.

What a $300 Massage Feels Like

VegasTripping’s report on the wallet-hurting spa at the new Mandarin Oriental in Vegas.

It was around 3pm. The concierge made a 4pm appointment for an 80-minute massage and informed the spa that I would be heading down (“down” to the 8th floor from the 23rd floor Sky Lobby). The elevator doors open and a young lady greets me with a deep bow: “Hello Mr. E. We’ve been expecting you. Welcome to the spa at Mandarin Oriental.”

They bow a lot here. And you instinctively start to bow back. And before you know it, the bowing gets out of control. It reminds me of that one Simpsons episode: “Now with 20% more bowing!”

I was seated in the gorgeous lobby and told to remove my shoes and hand them to my hostess as a “Chinese symbol of leaving all your cares behind when entering the spa.” She probably just made that part up. I was then given a brief form to fill out indicating health issues and specific areas I’d like my massage to focus on. Why other spas I’ve been to don’t do this, I have no idea. Having your therapist know exactly what you need beforehand so you can just lay at her mercy and melt away is nothing short of awesome.

My personal attendant arrives and greets me with delicious tea as I complete the form. He then takes me on a full tour of the facility. The locker area is a bit cramped, but you get a full toiletries bag (yours to keep) and an incredible, alpaca fur-lined robe. Amazing.

You’ll find the standard amenities of wet and dry saunas as well as a lanconium room (overheated dry sauna), experience showers, an “ice fountain” to rejuvenate between heated facilities, and finally, a hot tub with champagne bubbles.

Vegas Rex Reviews Aria

Vegas Rex tours the newly opened Aria resort/casino:

Anyway, this was the first day I arrived to Aria by private vehicle, and I felt as if I was being dropped off for a flight. Cab and drive-up approaches to Aria require navigating a ramp and/or tunnel, and the long sweeping driveway with large metal awnings reminds me of Dulles International Airport. Hell, the entire property outside of the casino proper reminds me of an airport terminal.

I’m seriously thinking of calling the place “Aria International Airport”.