Breaking from the routine part 2; the Downtown D Casino

I wrote a few days ago about staying at The D Downtown Las Vegas and now I want to  continue on about my experience.  The lobby is small and has only 4-5 stations to check in guests, compared to Strip hotels that  have 3x the amount of stations.

After getting your key, the room elevators are pretty much right behind you.  The elevator system is one I’ve only seen at this hotel, but I’m sure it’s elsewhere.  You go to one central key pad, enter your floor number and the screen tells you which elevator to enter.  You really by pass a bunch of floors this way.   When you enter the elevator, there is no push buttons for which floor because you already entered it on the central keypad.

Once in the rooms, they are clean and comfortable.   Beds were very comfortable and cleaned daily.  The showers have the type of shower head that gives you the rain feeling.

Overall, I say staying here is worth the money and the experience.

Coffee rewards to cost more

Tomorrow starts the new Starbucks Coffee rewards program.  I’m not too sure it’s necessarily an improvement on the old program.  Under the old program, you load your gold Starbucks card with either cash or pay from a credit card and use your Starbucks Rewards card whenever you would buy something.  Coffee, pastry, gum, it didn’t matter what you bought because you only had to use it 12 times to get a free drink.
Using Hawaii prices, you pay for a tall house coffee for around $1.94.  Do this 12 times and you spend around $23. 28 to get a reward.  Under the revised plan, you earn 2 stars for every dollar you spend and when you earn 125 stars, you get a free drink. So you have to essentially spend $62.50 to earn a free drink!  It is $39.22 more! I can see some people buying a Venti Frappuccino with 20 extra shots just see if they can get their money’s worth.
With that being said, if your visiting Las  Vegas and need your daily Starbucks fix to get  your day started, you might want to  avoid the locations downtown Las Vegas and the Strip.  The Golden Nugget has two locations, one near the Carson Tower and one next Fremont Street.  I have noticed that the prices there might even be higher than the airports.  Some drinks are almost double your neighborhood Starbucks.
On the Strip, you can find a Starbucks at the Venetian, Planet Hollywood, The Fashion Show Mall , the Linq, New York New York, the Mirage, Caeser’s Palace, Harrah’s and Mandalay Bay.  As you can bet, because of the locations, the prices tend to be higher.
Do yourself a favor and buy your Starbucks at a location outside of the Strip and downtown areas.  If you leave downtown via Paradise road, there is one just past the Las Vegas Boulevard intersection.  Of course, if you want to spend the money so you can qualify for your upcoming free drink, feel free to spend at these locations.

Breaking from the routine

As I have stated in earlier posts, when most people from Hawaii travel to Las Vegas, they will stay at either The California, The Fremont or the Main Street Station.  These three are the most popular.  I have stayed downtown more often than I have stayed on the Strip and I have found out that one of the latest hotel casinos is worth the stay.
I have stayed at the Downtown D recently and I am pleased by what I have experienced.  It used to be the old Fitzgerald’s Hotel and Casino but it was purchased back in 2011 and completely renovated.  640 rooms got made over and two bars were added.  The owners for this property also own the classic up the street, The Golden Gate Hotel and Casino.
As far as the gaming floor, it is smaller than other casinos, especially if you compare it to the Strip properties.  On the ground floor it can flashy and have a nightclub feel at night; music playing with dancers elevated behind the tables and a very long bar not too far away.  The dancers I just mentioned are also dealers for the D too!  The blackjack tables have evolved with the times where payouts our 6 to 5 for a blackjack and the trend of the side bets are at these tables too.
The second floor harkens back to Vegas a couple of generations ago.  There are older slot machines and even a Sigma Derby!  For those of you who don’t know, it’s the classic old horse race game you play against other players.  It always seems to have people playing it no matter when I walk by.  One of these days I will jump on this to see what it’s all about.
More to come….


at The Cal

Most people from Hawaii who travel to Las Vegas love to stay downtown, especially the California Hotel and Casino. There are so many reasons why it is popular with Hawaii people, but some of the most common ones are (not in any particular order):
• This hotel casino, along with the Fremont, Main Street Station and sometimes the Orleans, are part of the package that Vacations Hawaii has included so we have gotten used to staying there
• The airfare, ground transportation, baggage handling, and meals are all taken care of for one price
• The dealers, cocktail servers, cashiers, front desk, all hotel employees seem so nice and accommodating, just people in Hawaii
• The restaurants have the staples of home; rice, shoyu, teriyaki, macaroni salad etc
• You can roam around downtown and between these properties and you seem to always run into someone you know. I ran into my cousin Floyd and his wife Sharon on three separate trips to Las Vegas. I also ran into my cousin Claire and her husband Tok, who live in San Francisco, on two trips.
I will expand on this posting and break it down further in the next few days