I just got back from Las Vegas (again) and this time I stayed downtown in a little retro Motel/Hotel called the Gold Spike. Formerly the forgotten Travel Inn located one block from the "Freemont St Experience" and on Las Vegas Blvd. The Gold Spike is a "Motel Re-Imagined" where retro meets modern and it offers yet another unique outlook on what staying in Las Vegas is all about. With the mid-century design left intact, the entire property underwent an extensive makeover and now offers an intimate, relaxed, cool vibe experience. Our room had a minimal and retro-cool look featuring creme with dark brown wood furniture and a vibrant aqua splash of color behind the flat screen tv and main wall. It had an ipod docking station, which was perfect to recharge my ipod for my road trip back home.
What did I love the most about this place? The location and not having to deal with lines and lines of people checking in, no large casino's you have to wander through to get to the pool or restaurant. It was clean, didn't smell of smoke and a safe environment. Best of all the I liked the $21 room price... yes $21!
I had friends visiting from my home country of New Zealand and since I only live a four hour drive to Las Vegas what better "Americana" experience is there to see right? Since all of us are non gamblers or drinkers our two day excursion was very inexpensive, from the room to restaurants and free entertainment.
When I go to Las Vegas, I love to sight see, look at all the wonderful "mock" architecture, from the Palazzo to the Coloseum, the Egyptian pyramid and Castle. The gigantic chandeliers and statues, ornate fresca's and enormous dancing fountains. It really is something to experience!
Here are some places to go for free entertainment ~
- Freemont St Experience. Buskers and entertainers are everywhere here. Contortionists, spray paint artists (which is incredible to watch), Elvis and Michael Jackson look a-likes and the amazing overhead light show. Try to miss the "man face down with a cop cuffing you" show. We truly thought it was a street show until the cuffed man spat at the officer!
- The Venetian, The artwork at the Venetian is reason enough to take the stroll through this mega resort. Go to the main lobby and you will be impressed with the effort they went through to put this thing together. The colors are vibrant and the high ceilings give the display a degree of credibility and they also have show times in the Grand Canal Shopping area when Venetian characters show up to sing opera's and dance for the crowds.
- The Bellagio, The gardens are every bit as impressive as the fountain show out front. The seasonal displays always impress you with the creativity by which they incorporate plants and flowers into their designs. Take your time to enjoy the details of each and every portion of the gardens.
Forum Shops in Caesars Palace offers a "fall of Atlantis" fountain show.
The Fashion Show Mall offers.... yup "fashion shows" and while we were there Lacoste was doing their thing!
The Esplanade at the Wynn is pure unadulterated luxury and class. Thank heaven's I had my "thrift store" Dior outfit on and vintage "estate sale" Chanel bag with me.... hahaha! We all oohed.... and aaaahhhhed over several beautiful couture dresses and bags but we're glad we're a practical lot and enjoyed everything with our eyes and not with our pocket books.
The Forum Shops @ Caesars Palace
The Fashion Show Mall
A fashion show as we were shopping!
Don't forget to throw a pair of flats in your bag for all the extensive walking! We were literally out all over the strip for six hours non stop!
Ideas for discounts
-If there is a hotel that you love to stay at, call ahead or email them and ask for a discount off of their rates. I always get 20-40% less.
-Check online for restaurant coupons or savings.
-Groupon Las Vegas... I check the daily discount with Groupon when ever I'm in a different city. Who knows, your favorite spa or hair treatment might be available that day for a whopping 75% discount.
The Rumor Boutique Hotel was another wonderful hotel we stayed in that was within walking distance to the strip and the prices are fab! I contacted the manager ahead of my booking and he gave us 30% off the booking price.