Trip Report: Caesars Palace Staycation

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My wife had a convention at Rio this week. We decided to make a staycation out of it.

I searched my Total Rewards offers from Caesars. I had free rooms at all properties this week. We chose a room at Caesars Palace as we’ve never liked Rio, even during its prime.

We were offered a free Forum Tower room on the Total Rewards website. When we arrived at Caesars Palace on Wednesday, the front desk gave us an upgrade to the Octavius Tower. It is the rear tower on the southwest corner of the property.

The room was large and newly remodeled. It had a classic chair and couch among the modern furnishings. The bathroom was huge. It had a whirlpool tub and was recently updated.

The only negative of the room was that the number of people that would scream in the hallway in the middle of the night was the highest I’ve ever experienced. It wouldn’t normally be a problem as we’re night people, except we had to get up early in the morning.

Diamond Lounge visits

My wife and I visited three Diamond Lounges the first night. We went to the ones at Caesars Palace, Harrah’s and Flamingo. As we learned, some are better than others. That will be covered in a future post.

Diamond Lounges offer salads, nachos and a warm dish. The theme tends to be Asian, like a meat and noodle or an Indian dish. Diamond players receive unlimited free drinks. The brands of beer, wine and liquor tend to be what is typically given to players on the casino floor.

We didn’t eat at the Diamond Lounge. Instead, we opted for the overpriced food court at Bally’s.

Day of work and play

I dropped my wife off at Rio early Thursday morning and got an 8am start on my workday. It usually begins around noon, which is about the time I got finished for the day.

I decided to go downtown and play Joker Poker at Plaza for the afternoon. It felt odd to go to a place I frequently play, yet not recognize any of the players or employees. That’s because I usually play during swing shift or graveyard.

I also played some video poker at Caesars Palace. I did this to show action for the free room. I played some 100-play 9/5/4 Double Double Bonus. I won $100 one session, while losing $150 in the other. Considering the house edge and not hitting a royal or four aces with a kicker, this was reasonable based on my coin-in.

I picked up my wife at Rio late in the afternoon. We went back to the Caesars Palace Diamond Lounge for drinks before a small meal and a show.

Absinthe is the best show we’ve seen

We decided to go to Absinthe that night. It was the best show that my wife and I have ever seen. The only show that came close to it in the seven years we’ve lived in Las Vegas was Spoofical, which is the same genre of raunchy comedy. Unfortunately, Spoofical didn’t have a long run. Absinthe is enjoying a run of 11 years.

Absinthe has several audience participation segments. If you sit in the first two rows, you should be prepared to become part of the show. Those were some of the best sets. Viewers that would prefer an anonymous experience should sit closer to the rear of the venue. It is small enough that there is no such thing as a bad seat.

We sat at a VIP table near the bar. There were two sets where part of the performance took place on the tables right in front of us. Our seats were old bar stools with a bar-top table. The other VIP seats in this section appeared to be old wicker chairs with sturdy tables that supported the performers. There was significantly more space in the VIP area when compared to standard seating.

Check Your Total Rewards

If you play at Caesars properties, and have a Total Rewards card, log into your account and try to reserve a room. I did that and discovered free rooms that were not listed under my offers. This is common, especially during slow periods in Las Vegas, or in regional markets. Make sure that you give some play to keep those offers coming.

Players that do not have a Diamond or Seven Stars Total Rewards card will have to pay a resort fee and parking in Las Vegas, even on comped rooms. That’s certainly worth the trade off for most rooms. Diamond and Seven Stars players have the resort fee waived. Platinum cards and higher can be used to open the parking gates at all Caesars Las Vegas properties.

More Pictures of Octavius Tower Room

John
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