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Isnít it always a nightmare finding a decent hotel when youíre going away? I count my blessings that the trip I won to Vegas recently was accompanied by spending money and free accommodation. Although Vegas has an abundance of hotels it can be quite difficult at times to find one that is not overly priced or fully booked as the town always seems to be milling with people of all different nationalities who head there for short breaks, holidays or day trips to sample the delights of the many casinos, shows and hotel facilities.
The Treasure Island is situated in the middle of The Strip and is easily identifiable by the enormous replica pirate ship that bobs up and down on the clear blue water at the front of the hotel. A wooden walkway surrounded by palm trees runs alongside the water and the hotel can either be accessed here or by going to the entrance at the other side of the hotel that leads to reception. The reception area is enormous and is decorated in calming cream marble, with a vast desk taking centre stage. Ornate tables and chairs are scattered around the reception area so that guests may sit and relax whilst the leader of their party checks in.
We stayed at the Treasure Island for three nights during April 2004 and it was one of the best hotels I have ever had the fortune to sleep in. Hereís whyÖ.
The hotel has a number of rooms and suites to choose from with prices ranging from $79 a night to $600 for the penthouse suite. There are an amazing 36 floors to the hotel with a total of sixteen lifts in service. We quite often had to show the card to our room when we entered the lobby for the lift, no doubt a security measure to stop any of the many visitors from taking hookers to their bedroom, although as only one of us had to show the card I canít really see how that works! Our air conditioned room was decorated in hues of gold and beige and contained two Queen sized beds although these are more like English King sized beds and had plenty of room for two, even after we had gorged ourselves on American food all day. The beds were both covered in a heavy gold coloured bedspread and not only looked luxurious but were heaven to sleep in. The window in our room was from floor to ceiling and gave us a fantastic view of The Strip which at night simply took our breath away with its twinkling lights glittering in the dark night sky. All bedrooms are equipped with a television in an armoire, telephone point and internet connection. It would amaze me if anyone travelled all the way to this marvellous town and then spent any time on the internet, but for a small charge it is possible to connect to the web at any time. Room service is available in all rooms and the prices are very reasonable as well as the menu being extensive. However we did not take advantage of this service purely because we wanted to sample the marvellous restaurants both in the hotel and the rest of Vegas during our stay. Our bedroom was kept spotlessly clean during our stay and we were lucky enough to have clean bed linen every morning as well as a selection of shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, soaps and massage bars in plentiful supply. The bathroom in the rooms are all floor to ceiling marble and contain a large bath/shower toilet and a vanity unit stretching the length of the walls - ideal for us women who need to spread our make up and cosmetics everywhere! Of course all bathrooms contain a shaving point and also a plug near the vanity unit for the use of a hairdryer. A safe is provided in the roomy wardrobe and we used this for storing any cash or passports while we were away from the hotel.
The hotel has four bars, two of which are aimed at the gambling fraternity and open 24 hours per day, and the others
Pictures of Treasure Island Hotel, Las Vegas
Treasure Island 1
geared more towards people just out for a good time in the evening. Tucked inside the promotional leaflets in all of the guest rooms are vouchers for cut price drinks or a free meal to encourage visitors to sample the delights of all of the bars during their stay. We visited the Kahunaville late on the Saturday night and it was still buzzing when we left at 2.45am. The music in the Kahunaville is LOUD and the atmosphere electric so itís not a place to go if you want a bit of rest and relaxation. The bar stuff are kept scurrying around by the huge number of people ordering cocktails and we were entertained all evening by the staff throwing bottles and glasses around until I thought we were extras in ĎCocktailí. The only negative thing about the Kahunaville is that there are no drink menus so unless you are prepared for what cocktail you want, youíre going to have to think fast. This was the same all over when we visited bars Ė no cocktail list, but as I am a bit of a cocktail freak it never presented a problem. The Kahunaville serves the most delicious Vanilla Vodka, which goes down nicely on a mountain of ice and some coke, and itís easy to sit at the bar and watch customers dancing on the many tables or up on the stage and before you know it, youíll have had about eight drinks. A great place and Iíd definitely go back for some lively partying. Not all the bars in the hotel are loud though. For a more relaxing drink I recommend the Mist Bar or the Breeze both of which serve cocktails but in more of a calming and chilled atmosphere, although I hankered for the noisy Kahunaville as they seemed too sedate!■▪EATERIES■▪
Treasure Island has a huge number of places to eat and due to the enormous choice it was impossible to visit them all during our stay. The Terrace Cafť has a relaxed atmosphere and opens all day long serving breakfast, lunch and dinner and also a wide range of snacks. I recommend the full American breakfast although the pancakes are on the same plate as the bacon sausages and eggs as the American way is to eat everything together with some maple syrup thrown over the top. There is quite often a queue for seating during busy periods, but as we are both smokers we found we never had to wait long as us lepers are in the minority now and are seated much quicker! The Terrace offers a wide range of lighter meals as well as more filling items, and the sandwiches are to die for.
Our favourite eaterie during our stay was without doubt The Treasure Island Buffet not just because of the fact that you can eat as much as you like and return for another plateful, but because of the huge choice on the menu. The restaurant has a rustic feel and at first glance the walls look as though they are in dire need of plastering, that is until you realise that they are supposed to look that way! A breakfast here will set you back a very reasonable $8.99 and the choice alone is worth the money. The counters are vast and on each one you will find an impressive choice of pancakes and waffles with different sauces and flavourings, massive joints of meat that are carved in front of you, selection of fried goods although you wonít find fried eggs here because of the buffet nature, instead huge trays of scrambled eggs are provided, soft chewy muffins in every variety imaginable, mounds of sticky Danish pastries, and even large pieces of thick succulent steak, but if you really canít face any of these first thing in the morning there is the option of a fresh fruit counter and also one serving cereals. I admit here and now that I spent a good deal of my time in the restaurant marvelling at the amount of food that some people can eat just because they are able to eat a much as they like and the gargantuan mountains that some piled on their plates made me giggle uncontrollably as they didnít seem to realise that they just looked like piglets! Breakfast on a Sunday morning is slightly more upmarket in the Buffet, and a never-ending supply of champagne to accompanying the normal fayre costs just $14.99 and is well worth the price even though the chances are you could be like me and leave quite tipsy. The lunch and dinner menu here follows the same theme, and offers a huge choice of dishes to suit even the most picky eater.
We visited The Steak House on our first evening in the hotel and although it is advisable to book, we only had a half an hour wait for a table. This doesnít present a problem as there is a well stocked bar in the restaurant so we sat and had a drink there before being called. The bar of course does the obligatory cocktails, but I opted for Vanilla Bacardi, something that Iíd never tried before. I was quickly hooked and happily sat stirring my drink at the bar which looks over the casino in the hotel. The Steak House is classy so itís best to dress for the occasion if you choose to dine here although there are no hard and fast rules. The menu of course revolves around steak although there is some seafood options to choose from, and although the restaurant is extraordinarily busy, steaks can also be served at the bar if you prefer to eat on the go. Not only were the steak gigantic, they were cooked to perfection. Iím a well done person and Steve is a rare, and both of our meals were gorgeous, although the portions were far too large for me, yet suited Steve admirably. A choice of either fries, salad or vegetables are available and are all served separately on silver platters. The onion rings were as big as a side plate and were served on something akin to a mug tree and no we didnít manage to finish them as there were piles of them! Our meal cost us about £25 in English money and was more than worth it but neither of us could manage a dessert from the beautifully calorie laden menu.
All of the hotels on the Vegas Strip offer some form of entertainment to keep the casino players coming back for more and The Treasure Island certainly doesnít disappoint. At present the hotel is home to The Mystere musical, and there are several options available for cut price dinner and show packages either bookable in the hotel or on the internet. The seats are normally priced at $90 and the show seems to be hugely popular. We didnít visit during our stay purely because we had so many other things we wanted to do and see, but if we ever go back, it will be top of my agenda.
The front of the hotel is the venue for a four nightly show mysteriously named The Sirenís of TI (Treasure Island for the uninitiated). Due to the fact that the show is performed on replica pirate ships, if the weather is windy it does not take place and we were only able to catch it on our last night in the hotel because of the gusty conditions. However, Iím glad we did as the extravaganza was stunning. A battle between two pirate ships is re-enacted and is simply stunning. A bevy of buxom beauties command one of the ships and they have to prove to the swarthy men on the other vessel that they are the supreme beings. The show features acrobatics, dance and of course music and it had nothing to do with the fact that there were a lot of rippling muscles on display that I found it so appealing! Residents of the hotel do not have to pay to watch the show and we even got VIP viewing Ė always gratifying when youíre ushered past the poor people that have had to pay for the privilege of watching!
If all of this isnít enough to persuade you to visit Treasure Island, thereís more. The hotel sports a stunning variety of shops within its confines where it is possible to buy clothing, food items as well as alcohol and gifts. We purchased some goodies from most of the shops and all were reasonably priced apart from the snack items such as crisps and biscuits, which could be purchased elsewhere. A Starbucks coffee outlet is also in the hotel, and this seemed to busy no matter what time of day we passed, no doubt due to the casino players who needed to keep awake all night. We also frequented the Ben and Jerryís ice cream store where we purchased bowls or cones full of the most fantastic ice cream ever but be warned, the portions again are gargantuan and an American scoop of ice cream is worth three of our English ones.
The Mirage hotel is adjacent Treasure Island and although itís not far to walk, there is a monorail service operating between the two or those people who have eaten far too much food and can not possibly make the five minute trek. We did use this on one occasion, purely just to experience it and it was heaving so is obviously well used.
Of course the pulling power of the Treasure Island, together with most of the hotels along the strip is the Casino which is open all day and night. It doesnít matter what sort of gambling takes your fancy, be it craps, poker, blackjack, roulette or just the lure of the one armed bandits, then the casino has everything. The sheer size of the place is enough to take your breath away and when you enter the hotel for the first time all you hear in the tinkling of cash as it cascades from the winning slot or the excited shouts of people winning. The atmosphere in the casino was electric, and we spent a few hours popping a few dollars into the machines although we didnít win much, but it was really interesting to watch the hardened gamblers at work. The holidaymakers and serious gamblers are easy to tell apart as the professionals donít bat an eyelid even if theyíve won thousands whereas the occasional gamblers practically have a convulsion each time they win!
So is that it? No siree. The hotel also sports a swimming pool and a spa area free to use for hotel residents and the spa offers a range of beauty treatments although it is imperative to book an appointment. The spa takes up the whole of the third floor and has a huge range of equipment within its glass walled perimeter and Iím sorry we didnít have time to use it as Iíd have loved a bit of pampering for a morning. A golf course is also available, again free for hotel guests and it did surprise me how many golfers there were staying whilst we were there.
As Vegas is the wedding capital of the world, the hotel has its own chapel which we did go and have a peek at while we were there. Adorned with flowers leaving a glorious scent as well as making the pews look romantic, the chapel is beautiful and is an ideal setting for the special day. Wedding packages are offered by the hotel and the chapel seemed very well used during our stay, until it almost became normal to see brides in pristine white dresses bustling through the foyer on our way in or out.
The day we left I was genuinely sorry to say goodbye to this wonderful hotel that had been our home for the past five days. I have promised myself that I will return again and for a longer period next time so that I can acquaint myself with the few bits that I missed during this trip.
Full details of the wedding packages as well as all of the other amenities in the review are available from the website at www.treasureisland.com and I can say without reservation that the staying at the Treasure Island lives up to all that pictures on the site promiseÖÖand more.
An experience to be treasured indeed.
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