It seemed like a good idea.
A quick trip to Las Vegas to start 2013 off right.
My kids were going to NYC with their dad. My stepdaughter would be with her mom.
Airfare wasn’t cheap but the last time we were in town, back in August, we walked through a newly renovated downtown hotel on Fremont Street. We had stayed downtown before, at the El Cortez Cabana Suites. The downtown experience was fun. Some good restaurants, local music and a different vibe than staying on the Strip.
So with our pricey airfare, we booked a cheap room at the hotel designated the “Best Newly Renovated Downtown Hotel That Is Not the El Cortez Cabana Suites” or some other cockamamy award that means nothing. Deluxe view for five nights would cost us $197.24 plus an additional $10 per night for a resort fee.
We landed early on a Wednesday, got our rental car and made our way to Los Antojos, our favorite local Mexican joint. Tortilla soup and the best chicken mole I’ve ever had.
And with this sign posted on the wall:
With our hunger sated and having that exciting first day of the trip feeling, we headed over to our hotel. Making our way up the ramp in the parking garage, we noticed that the entire structure was being shored up by what seemed to be a few steel poles.
That should have been our first sign.
At the front desk, we picked up our room key for the north tower. We got up to the room with it’s view of nothing and went back down to the front desk to request a change. After all we had paid an extra $5.00 a day for a “Deluxe Room with View.”
We got a new room, in the south tower on the 16th floor with a view of the Strip. I could see our beloved Wynn hotel far off in the distance. Little did I know that this would come to feel like a taunt.
The room had been renovated, sure. The furniture was modern-ish. The color scheme in muted browns and beiges. And ok, it didn’t feel like the Wynn. No lush carpet, big picture windows or luxurious feel. But I can go both ways. I can roll with the differences. I am NOT a snob.
Or at least I thought so.
I had to pee so I went in to the bathroom and sat down on the toilet. After I was already in mid-stream, I realized that I couldn’t shut the door. I would have had to do that before I sat down because the space was so small. (Sorry dear.)
While I was peeing, I had a chance to check out the old-fashioned shower curtain. My nose could practically touch it when I turned my head. And not just because I have a big nose. Talk about close quarters. And yes, it was a cloth shower curtain. That would end up touching my naked flesh more times than I cared for, causing me to cringe every single time I showered.
Upon further inspection, I noticed there was a lot of hair on the bathroom floor. And even though I am a big hair shedder, I hadn’t brushed mine yet. So whose was it? My husband, who dislikes even my hair on our bathroom floor, used multiple pieces of toilet paper to get rid of it. (Thank you dear.)
After I washed my hands with the totally drying tiny round of soap, I started to look around the room. My glasses were off and I saw something dark on the floor. It was blurry to me. Maybe a leaf. Oh, I hoped so. But no. Upon closer examination, I saw that it was the corner of a partially eaten Hershey’s chocolate bar. Again, not mine.
On the king size bed, there were three small pillows. Each one the size of my ass. And the bed was made up with a very, very thin blanket. No fluffy duvet cover. And since it was going to be in the 30’s at night, I called housekeeping for an extra blanket. I got one. Thank you. (Wonder if it had been previously used to wrap a dead body.)
We quickly unpacked, as I wasn’t quite in the mood to roll around in the the less than desirable sack, and went back out to do a little exploring. After winning some money playing video poker, we came back to freshen up and get ready to go out to dinner.
This was when I found out that the shower drain was clogged. By the time I had finished shaving my legs, the water in the tub was up to the middle of my calf. And I’m sorry if this bothers you, but from time to time, I pee in the shower. Can’t do that if the water is not draining.
There was no magnifying mirror in the bathroom. The sink was high (I am 5′ 2″ and it was up to my breasts or at least the height of them when I am wearing a bra) and it jutted out so far, that I was unable to get close to the regular mirror to see what my makeup actually looked like. And there was no full length mirror so that I could see how my outfits looked.
It’s Vegas. There are way freakier looking people there than me. So I rolled with it.
That night, when we walked out to our rental car in the parking garage we were greeted by a big patch of what could have been either feces or vomit. Over the course of the five days it slowly faded away but nobody ever cleaned it up.
I woke up in the middle of the night that first night to a loud rumbling noise coming from the heater but quickly realized that was better to hear than the noise coming from the Greyhound Bus Terminal that was directly below us.
We did end up buying our own soap, Dove Moisturizing, because my husband’s privates were becoming increasingly irritated. We should have also bought our own toilet paper because my anus is still raw from the sandpaper that was masquerading as toilet paper.
And have I mentioned the smell. Not just of our room but of the entire hotel. Highly perfumed. The kind of smell you use to cover up something horrid smelling. Like a decomposing body. (Once again, I’m thinking the worst.) We were blasted with it every time we walked in..
We talked about changing hotels. Every single day that we were there. But the prices at the Wynn, my favorite hotel in the whole wide world, were high. And because we had pre-paid our room, we would be out that money. And my husband, well he has that mentality.
But we were able to joke about our situation. I can find humor in most things. Like the fact that one slightly dirty Ketel One martini with blue cheese stuffed olives at Allegro in the Wynn cost about the same as a one night weekday stay at our hotel. Or one spa treatment at the Wynn cost the same as our entire stay at our downtown hotel. The price point for our stay became a running joke with comparisons coming with every thing we did.
And don’t get me wrong. We had a great time. When we were out of our room. Hiking out at Red Rock was beautiful.
It wasn’t our best Vegas experience by any means. There weren’t any lazy afternoons spent naked underneath the covers reading a book or enjoying each other’s company, watching in-room porn. I barely was able to get naked so we didn’t have as much sex as we usually do when we’re in town.
Bedbugs were frequently on my mind.
We did try a few new restaurants that were excellent. And went to some of our old favorites. We even made it to the Wynn a couple of times for cocktails, including a dirty martini or two, and a few meals. We hung out with our favorite Stratta/Allegro bartenders and got caught up with them.
But I never made peace with where we were staying. And I don’t think I ever will.
(I probably should have rolled with it a little bit better than I did. But I DIDN’T WANT TO.)
Next time I go to Las Vegas, in the spring hopefully, it’ll be the Wynn or bust.
Because you get what you pay for. Just ask my husband.
Editor’s Note: Because we didn’t raise a huge stink with the hotel (Not in my nature. I’m more of the suffer in silence and bitch about it type), I don’t want to name names. But if you really want to know which hotel it was, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I might tell you.