USA California / Nevada / Arizona Road Trip May 2016 Day 8 – Las Vegas Part 2

Before I begin to describe our second day in Las Vegas, I want to retract part of the statement in my last blog where no photos of the landscape were taken during the drive between San Francisco to Las Vegas. It turns out that one of my friends did actually manage to take some shots of the landscape so I thought I’d share a couple of them.

Here’s one of the many wind turbines near Mojave. I may be wrong though as I wasn’t 100% sure exactly where we were at the time.

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The long stretch on the road towards Vegas.

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Although I don’t have any photos of this, I do love driving into Las Vegas where you can see the city from so far out with the bright lights in the background. I can imagine that some people might find this irritating as it makes Vegas appear closer than what it actually is.


Onto our second day in Sin City, although granted an extra late check-out at the Palazzo, we decide to leave around 12:30pm and hoped for an early check-in at our next hotel which would be the Marriot Grand Chateau. The reason why we chose this hotel is because of the option for a 2 bedroom villa with easy access to the strip and no casino downstairs. This would be our first experience in a Las Vegas hotel without a smokey atmosphere downstairs. This was also the hotel not available for our first night in Vegas.

Marriot Grand Chateau (MGC) is situated next to Planet Hollywood. It’s close to the strip yet very quiet. The drive from Palazzo down South Las Vegas Boulevard took us past The Mirage, Caesars Palace, Bellagio, Paris, and Planet Hollywood before turning left onto East Harmon Avenue. The check-in time is normally 4pm. With it being 1pm only, I was hoping some super duper leeway would be given due to my status with Marriot Rewards.

The check-in staff member was great. He wasn’t able to give us a room immediately which wasn’t surprising considering the time, but he was more than happy to request a high floor corner villa to be cleaned for our party. He said we would be contacted by either email or phone call as soon as it was ready.

MGC doesn’t have self parking like the other mainstream hotels on the strip. It’s all valet parking only. I suppose for the hotel this is a good thing as it allows them to be in control of who goes in and out of the car park and where each car is parked. At the same time, if something happens to your car then what would happen in terms of liability? The longest we had to wait for the car was 10 minutes. Not bad considering this is normally the time it takes for you to walk to your car from the lobby in a Vegas hotel. Unless you are lost of course.

With this we leave our luggage at the hotel and wait for our car to be handed back to us. With our stomachs crying our for food we get into the car and take a quick 2 minute drive to Aria hotel as we had read good reviews for the buffet there.

The Buffet at Aria lunchtime brunch on a weekend costs $31.99 excluding taxes. I have tried hotel buffets at The Mirage, Harrahs and MGM and sadly two out of three of these were quite poor. On the other hand, I have to admit The Buffet at Aria was a very good choice. Arriving at 1:30pm on a Saturday lunchtime also turned out to be great timing in the end too. At first it was quite worrying as there was no queue to enter the restaurant and nor were there many people inside. The lunchtime rush had been and gone it seemed.

There were many serving stations. Fish Market was smack bang right in the middle with a salad station opposite and then the various international cuisines located around the side.

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My only disappointment was the dedicated Asian cuisine station. I was really looking forward to eating some Siu Mai dumplings but the closest they had were Har Gau dumplings. I took one look at these and thought “these don’t look great, i’m hoping the rest of the food here doesn’t look as bad”, needless to say I was wrong, very wrong! Other choices here included classic chinese choices such as char siu buns and special fried rice. Thai and Vietnamese dishes were also available. The pho cooking station was quite popular.

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Living in Singapore means it’s not often I get to eat traditional UK breakfasts anymore. I took one look here and thought both sausages and bacon are definitely going to be tasted! Nice location for the lasagna…..

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Maybe this is where the lasagna was supposed to be?

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The chicken parmesan lasagna tasted great! πŸ™‚

Without pasta there would be no pizza….

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The carvery meat counters were great. I haven’t had a traditional roast dinner since back in the UK in December 2015. This made up for it.

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The beef was super soft and melted as soon as I tried it. Perfect texture. The confusion I had was the gravy tasted more like BBQ sauce.

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To go with the roasted meats….

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Excellent choice of seafood that included snow crab legs and crawfish!

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There was a small selection of sushi and sashimi on offer. I only took this photo so not the full spread. I didn’t try any but it did look good.

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The cheese and meats selection which is ever so popular in certain European countries that include France, Belgium and Holland.

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If you are a dessert lover, then this is definitely the place for you! I will let the photos do the talking but the choices on offer were excellent.

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I went for the Oreo cake with 2 scoops of Gelato ice cream on offer.

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Overall, this is definitely one of the best buffet meals I have had in Vegas and will definitely come here again in the future.

After dessert I check my phone and notice I had an email sent to me by the hotel around 30 mins after we left. Our room was ready.

We head back to the hotel and are given a room on the floor in the 20’s with the last number 25 (that’s all I remember). A corner suite with a view of the airport in one room, and the strip in the other.

The seating area in the living room was quite big and very comfortable for our group.

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The dining table next to the seating area.

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After 8 days on the road, our group decided it was time to take advantage of the facilities in the kitchen that included a washing dryer!

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The master bedroom had one queen bed with an ensuite bathroom that contained a hot tub.

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The second bedroom had 2 double beds.

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Space wise, the villa was huge and had plenty of space for all our luggage and clothes.

The second bedroom had a really good view of LAS airport.

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Back to the master bedroom….view of MGM Grand with Luxor and Mandalay Bay in the background. We could also see Excelsior too but couldn’t get it in the same shot.

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After unpacking we make our way to Las Vegas North Premium Outlet to do some bargain hunting.

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We head back to the hotel around 9pm and grab a quick bite to eat in the mall at Planet Hollywood. An early night is much needed as the next day we would be heading to Grand Canyon South Rim.


About mlee888uk

I am a frequent traveller who likes to share his experiences from different locations around the world on various websites. No more will I be confused and all will be shared here on 1 place. This blog at times will include reviews on airline experience, hotels, restaurants, and various city and town locations. Note these are all my own words and I am not associated with any of the companies featured unless stated. Hope you enjoy reading my blog.
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