- Review: Caesar’s Palace – Palace Tower Room
- Review: THEhotel – Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts (FHR) Rate
- Review: THEhotel – Amex FHR Breakfast and Bathhouse Spa
- Review: Aria Resort & Casino – Deluxe King Room
- Review: The Palazzo – Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts (FHR) Rate
- Review: The Mirage – Resort Queen Room
- New York-New York Las Vegas Review
I’m always interested in Amex FHR rates, especially in Vegas where there’s a lot of value to be had. I was even more interested in the Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts hotels because I got such an amazing value at THEhotel (see posts 2 and 3 of this series).
Similar to my experience with the THEhotel FHR rate, I found that the Palazzo FHR rate was exactly the same as the Vegas.com rate for both Thursday and Friday nights. Thursday was $149 + taxes and fees and Friday was $199 + taxes and fees. I was traveling with a companion that also had the Amex Platinum card, so it was the perfect opportunity for each of us to book one of the nights so that we’d get a new set of FHR benefits each day.
I booked Thursday night and wasn’t able to make use of the early check-in benefit since I got there in the late afternoon. It was a relatively quiet Thursday in the lobby and the VIP check-in line wasn’t any shorter than the standard line. I decided to wait in the regular line, and it moved pretty quickly. I handed the receptionist my driver’s license, Amex Platinum card, and my Player’s Club card. Don’t forget that this hotel is also part of IHG, so you can provide your IHG Rewards number instead of a players card. The receptionist saw that I was staying on the Amex FHR rate and told me she was going to grab my welcome letter.
As you can see, the letter mentions the invited guest check-in, 4pm check-out, a room upgrade, continental breakfast at the Grand Lux Cafe, and a one-time $100 credit at one of several restaurants listed. The only part that’s slightly annoying is that the $100 credit has to be used in one sitting and can’t be carried over to a second meal. Still, if you’re staying with a companion then hitting $100 will be relatively easy at these restaurants. If you’re staying alone, it could still be easy to hit and you’d guarantee yourself a really great meal (I’d recommend Cut for awesome steaks).
I was told I was upgraded to a strip-view King room. I asked if I could get a room with 2 Queens instead, and after a lot of typing and clicking the check-in agent said “We usually charge extra for that, but since you’re staying on the Amex rate I’ll give it to you.” She made it sound like she was doing me a favor, but I was appreciative regardless. I didn’t bother with the $20 trick since it was only one night. I headed straight up to the room.
The suites at the Palazzo and the Venetian are different from traditional hotel suites that have a separate bedroom and living room. At this hotel, they have what’s called a “sunken” living room, which basically means the two areas are literally separated by two steps.
The room is very nice as you would expect. All the furniture is modern and the room was very clean as you would expect from a luxury hotel. The two queen beds each had small seats in front of them that I used to store my carry-on suitcase on, and in front of the beds was a dresser with a TV on top. The closet had the usual items: two robes, hangars, and an ironing board. The safe was in the dresser.
The living room adds a lot more space, and is why this hotel is one of the favorites for large groups of friends that come to Vegas together (i.e. college students). The couch itself can sleep another 2-3 people, and there’s tons of floor space as well. There’s a table with three chairs plus a separate work desk in the far corner, plus another TV.
I had a strip-view room so the views were decent. The hills and flat land in the background help you remember that the Strip is really an oasis in the middle of the desert. I also had a view of the Palazzo pool below, which was empty (and might have been closed) at the time I got to the room.
The room was top notch, and the bathroom was pretty good as well. Double sinks, a vanity area, separate soaking tub and shower, and a separate toilet room make for a relatively spacious bathroom. I prefer the ones at Venetian better since those seem to have a bit more space and the showers there have body spray nozzles which I think are awesome. Still, there’s marble everywhere here and everything is well maintained.
Everything about the room was great, but there was one massive, massive annoyance that I could not stand and made my nights here miserable: the AC was was based on a motion sensor. I don’t know about you, but I’m not exactly moving around much when I sleep, so the motion sensor pretty much never triggered when I was in bed. I continuously woke up from overheating in bed, and I literally had to waive my hand in the air at night to trigger the sensor, which was on the ceiling.
If you’ve never been to Vegas, just know that there’s a tendency for it to get very HOT most of the year. The AC in Vegas is essential – it’s a basic necessity in hotels. To not have the ability to turn it and keep it on while sleeping is absolutely absurd to me.
I stayed at this hotel again recently and was ready to MacGyver my way to a solution. Interestingly, the sensor was different in my second room. It was part of the thermostat itself in that room. Thankfully, the thermostat was located in the pdirection the vent was blowing. I grabbed the free sewing kit in the bathroom, stuck the needle through a napkin so it was dangling from the string, and attached the needle to the remote control holder above. When the vent was on, it blew the paper, causing it to move around just enough to trigger the sensor. I wish I took a picture of this contraption because I was darn proud of myself!
Update: I DID take a picture! Just found it:
Anyway – just be cognizant of this fact if you stay at this hotel. I wish they’d have another system, like placing your key card in a slot near the door, but they made it a bit more difficult. You have been warned!
The American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts program comes with free breakfast and a $100 food and beverage credit at this hotel. The free breakfast is a continental breakfast at the Grand Luxe cafe downstairs (basically a Cheesecake Factory), and boy was it disappointing.
It was just some fruit, a muffin, and some other pastries. If we had to pay, the total cost would have been $9 per plate, and even that seemed far too high of a price for the food we received. Vegas has some terrific food options, so to start off the day with this was kind of disappointing. Luckily I still had the $100 certificate to make use of, and we used it at Table 10, which is an Emeril Lagase restaurant if that means anything.
We didn’t take pictures of all the food, but most of it was pretty good. I had the truffle mac & cheese and I didn’t like it at all – it was SUPER oily and greasy and I felt sick afterward, so I’d caution against that. My friend said the filet was good and the ravioli was also not bad. We wanted to make sure we got the full $100 value out of the voucher so we ordered some extra items to get as close as we could to the century mark, and I think we did pretty good! I don’t really recommend this restaurant. There are other, better options on the list.
I mentioned earlier in the post that I needed to stay two nights and I was traveling with a companion that also had the Amex Platinum card. I booked the first night and my friend booked the second on a separate reservation, ensuring that we’d receive another $100 credit. Because of the late checkout and early check-in benefits, we actually had two rooms between 12pm and 4pm! The second night we decided to have dinner at Sushisamba, a sushi restaurant in the Palazzo shopping center.
I only took one picture because I was busy eating, but the food here was very good but also very expensive. Sushi isn’t the most filling food there is, and the $100 credit didn’t take us very far so be cautious about that if you decide to eat here. The food and service was excellent and the restaurant was crowded on Friday night.
Other and Checking Out
The pool area definitely filled up on Saturday morning. The view is slightly different (lower) in the above picture because the second room was on a lower level. It was an identical room otherwise.
Checking out in Vegas can be an adventure, especially on the weekend when tons of other people are headed home. Instead of doing express checkout, which is encouraged at most Vegas hotels, I opted to wait in line since there were charges to the room that I wanted to verify. It’s a good thing I did – there was a huge error on the bill. The Table 10 restaurant bill of $101 was due to be charged, but I quickly pointed out that I had a $100 credit that should have been applied. After talking to a supervisor, the front desk agent was able to remove $100 from the total, leaving just the extra dollar and tip amount. Be sure you check your hotel folio on FHR stays!
The Palazzo is a great hotel with a great room. Aside from the AC issue, which in mind is pretty significant, I really wouldn’t have any complaints. It’s about a mile walk from this hotel to the Cosmopolitan/Aria in case you’re interested in walking. I didn’t think this walk was too bad, but it depends heavily on the weather. The food options for the $100 credit are pretty good and I think the rate of $149 was an excellent value for the stay. Don’t forget there’s a pesky resort fee, but note that Jamison of Points Summary got the fee waived plus other perks using the $20 trick.