I've stayed at Bellagio, Flamingo, Tropicana, Planet Hollywood, Polo Towers, Hilton Grand Vacation Resort, Monte Carlo, and The Orleans. I stayed one night at Excalibur before switching to The Venetian. Long story. And this one awful off strip place...I don't even remember the name. I think it had the word Terrible in it, and it was not nice, but were broke and that was all we could manage at the time. Needless to say, I've been to Las Vegas a lot, but I've never stayed at Treasure Island, or experienced Vegas VIP style. This girls trip would be my first. You will spend money when you go to Vegas because the price of everything is high. Food is expensive, shows are expensive, but there is definitely something for every budget and you don't have to do all the extra's to have a good time. MJ and I have gone several times and had a blast without throwing down a ton of money everywhere, but this trip would be slightly different.
I'm kind of obsessed with how much things cost so I'm breaking it all down at the end.
It started off really, really bad. I was living in a fantasy world where flights are never delayed and baggage doesn't get lost, because it hadn't ever happened to me. I checked the status of my flight before I left work that day, but not before we left for the airport so it wasn't until after I checked my bag that I found out my 2:10pm Southwest flight has been delayed to 5:10pm...then 5:35pm. Even the girls who drove made it faster than I did. I hung out at the airport with three of the other girls from my group, watched them get on the 3:45pm leaving me behind when I was at the airport first. I was originally supposed to land in Vegas at 3:30pm, but didn't show up at our hotel until 8:00pm. The girls were already drinking champagne. I was supposed to get there first, but I ended up getting there dead last.
We lost a girl before we even made it to Vegas. The week of, we found out she wasn't going to make it. Then this. I should have known that my rocky start was a bad omen.
Club Night @The Light, Mandalay Bay
I get there, we ate dinner, and then everyone got ready for club night. We decided to do bottle service, so that we would have a place to sit, and with drinks that cost $15 bucks a pop it's a better deal. We were doing it up, VIP style, but our VIP experience was anything but at the beginning. We got to our table around 11:00pm and then our club night organizer discovered that she didn't bring her credit card. Not a single one of us had a credit card with us, so we literally had to cab it back to our hotel and then come back. This took about an hour. Then, the credit card got rejected because it was a very large out of state purchase in a Vegas night club at 12 midnight. No money, no bottles, no fun. The other tables were dancing on chairs, having the time of their lives and we looked like we were sitting in the waiting room of a dentist office. It was terrible! Everyone was looking at us funny and every time a guy in a suit walked by we thought it was security coming to kick us out of VIP because you can't sit there, unless you do bottle service and we had no bottles. We didn't even have anything to sip on. She left to call her bank. She came back and talked to our server, left to go talk to the manager...came back...the manager came and talked to her...we stared at each other....and it just went on and on until I thought we'd have to leave. Let's not even mention that since we all gave cash the money to pay for the entire thing was sitting in our hotel room.
Pool Day @Treasure Island
Vomiting is the worst, so even though I woke up with a raging headache the next morning I felt like I made out okay. I had a really slow start in the morning, but it was nothing that Excedrin, a bucket of chicken tenders and a Diet Pepsi at the pool couldn't fix. I was good to go for the day. If you've ever been to a pool party in Vegas you know that chairs can be scarce and the sun is hot. The best way to avoid the discomfort of languishing in the sun is to pay. The cabana experience was perfection. The only snafu was the worst nachos I've ever had in my life. We really should have sent them back. They were that bad. We had a nice view of the pool, aka the dance floor because that's the only thing that happens in a pool in Vegas. People actually come with hair fully done wearing make up. It's the only pool setting I've ever encountered where the majority of the people don't even bother to get their hair wet. There is no point. Nobody swims and the entire length of this particular pool was waist deep. The DJ was right in front of the pool and everyone stands around drinking and dancing. It was hot. Like 111 degrees hot. We went in and out of the pool at our leisure, and ate and drank all day long. The most I could handle was a light beer for the day. At the end of the day we weren't sun fried and we were able to relax. We lost another girl that night. She had to get home so she took a flight out after the pool.
Vista Cocktail Lounge in Caesar's Palace until 3:15am. I had a few drinks. I was practically falling asleep at 1:00am and my voice was all but gone but I stuck it out. I love this place! It has a DJ. The music was good when it was Shadow Bar and the only thing that changed is the name and the decor. A lot of the hotel lounges are free, but they get you with the drinks.
I was a trooper guys!! I was proud of myself for staying up and out both nights. Getting a group trip together is hard. Chances are things, are going to go wrong. The group texts before hand were exhausting, and I was so over all the planning by the time we showed up, but we got it together and had a fun. Everyone else went home on Sunday but I stayed an extra night and slept at Mom and Dad's house where it's free and food is included.
Money, money, money, money...MONEY!
Transportation: My round-trip flight from San Diego was $189.00. Two girls drove, but I hate that drive and I'd rather pay. It cost the three girls that flew together $30 bucks for a cab ride from the airport. I was already late, and alone, so I jumped on one of the shuttles for $9.00 one way. It will take you longer to get to your hotel depending on how many stops they have to make, but it's always available and it's cheap. The cab from our hotel to the nightclub hotel was $15.00. I love walking the strip, but it was too far to walk in heels. Gotta love Southwest. As compensation for my delay they gave me a $100.00 voucher before we even took off, and emailed a 50% off flight offer code.
Treasure Island Hotel: Two nights in a two bedroom three bath suite was $894.00 inclusive of tax and resort fees. It was basically two adjoining rooms; a regular room (with one bath) combined with a one bedroom two bathroom gigantic suite. It would have been even more expensive, but there was a problem at check in and we lost a room, which worked out because we lost a girl. We had two queen beds and three single roll away beds. Three bathrooms for 6 girls was perfect. Our room was really nice too. I should have taken a picture. The total cost was $149 each.
The Light @Mandalay Bay bottle service: $695 plus tip. I know, I know. On what planet does a bottle of alcohol cost this much? Like really? First of all, setting the whole thing up is kind of strange because they don't put much information on the websites. It's almost like they don't want you to know about it. Most of the bookings are done through promoters. Even if you can book through the club, apparently you will get a better deal with a promoter. I contacted The Bank @Bellagio via some random e mail I had to google just to find and got a reply by text. The minimum for VIP there was $495, but it felt very cryptic. MJ and I paid a guy cash on the street once for club entry and it worked out, so you never know, but I wasn't so sure. One promoter asked my friend for a picture of her and her friends to "see what he could do." Drai's Nightclub was $695 for one bottle, but our table would be outside. We got a really good deal at The Light because our friend new someone who knew the promoter. Normally, two bottles would cost at least $1,000 and some places are that much just for one. We found out that night that one of the girls doesn't drink vodka so we started out planning to split it seven ways, but in the end it was a five way split at $140 each. Our friend felt so bad about how long it took that she didn't make us chip in on tip. Which fyi should be at least 10%.
The Cabana @Treasure Island: The cost was $275 for the cabana plus a $200 food minimum plus tax and gratuity. This included a fruit platter and 1 free re-stock of the mini fridge which contained soda and water. $200 is not hard to do at all. Our food tab ended up at $275 and they tacked on tax plus a 10% gratuity so it totaled out at $318. Two of the girls invited a friend, so that surely upped our tab but it didn't feel worth it to get nit picky about it so we kept the six way split @$100 each.
Food: All the prices in Vegas are jacked up. The average lunch/dinner at the casual dining restaurant in our hotel Friday night; The Coffee Shop was $16-18 bucks for things like club sandwiches, dinner salads and burgers. On Saturday night us three girls sat down at Margaritaville and walked away with a $120 bar tab. The nacho appetizer we split was $18.00. There was a vending machine in the hallway of our hotel offering 12 oz water bottles for $3.00, but you could find people selling them on the strip for $1.00.
So when all is said and done this trip cost me $578.00 plus some extra for food/drinks and a cheap shuttle. We all went into it knowing we would spend money and that we couldn't be total cheapskates. We had a blast. No regrets at all. One of the last messages that went out on our mile long Vegas group text was "that was fun, where are we going next?" Crickets. I think we need to recover from this one first.