Elara by Hilton Grand Vacations
Elara by Hilton Grand Vacations, is in Las Vegas on the strip. A great location for a fun time in Vegas.
Video by Coolist
Day One Travel & Arrival at Elara by Hilton Grand Vacations
The trip to Vegas is fast because most international airports offer a direct flight. So, you jump up in the air on the plane and come back down to Vegas. The Vegas Airport is very close to the strip so if you do not mind walking the strip and are fit enough, you need not rent a car.
The transfer from the airport to the resort is fast and cheap enough. If you want a save a few extra dollars, you can catch an Uber, you just need to go to a separate location to meet your ride.
I took a taxi because it was faster and just as easy. It has been a while since I visited Vegas so I think tomorrow I will do some of the main sites and take you along, then on the 3rd day I will focus on some of the great things you can do for free or on the cheap.
This resort is huge and offers suites from 1 to 4 bedrooms. You do not see 4 bedroom suites hardly anywhere. Each 4 bedroom is over 2,300 square feet, so they are larger than most homes. The 1 bedroom is offered in both junior and full suite size so from over 550 sq ft to over 800. Anyway you book you will feel like you are going large in Vegas.
I had the 1 bedroom king suite booked for myself and checked in a jiffy and unbagged my essentials. Then it was time to grab a bite to eat. The flight and time with security was about 7 hours, so it had been a while since I had eaten.
- Cable TV
- Coffee Maker
- Ice Maker
- In-Room Safe
Then the resort itself offers all of these options.
- Free WiFi
- Outdoor Pools
- Fitness Center
- Concierge Services
On site there is a poolside bar and grill and a lobby bar. There is also a Starbucks for those who need their caffeine. I hit the poolside bar for some snacks for dinner and a few drinks. I do not know why, but after a flight I like to have a couple of drinks.
As warm as most nights are in Vegas, I am shocked that the pool bar and grill closes at 6PM but I was able to eat and have two drinks before paying and moving to the inside bar. The lobby bar is open until 10PM or 12AM, depending on the day of the week.
I ran a bit of a tab up before I felt like I had enough. I wrote it off as training for tomorrow because after I did some touristy things, I was going to gamble some and hit them up for the free drinks in the meantime.
Day Two Seeing Vegas
Vegas has a ton to offer anytime of year. They used to call it sin city and in some ways, the name is still valid. People seem pushed by money here, and by lady luck to be out of their normal character.
The resort itself almost feels like it is attached to Planet Hollywood. You are so close. This means that Bellagio Hotel & Casino, Paris Las Vegas, Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, ARIA Resort & Casino, MGM Grand, Excalibur Hotel & Casino, and Luxor Hotel & Casino are all very close by and in the easiest walking distance.
First things first, I wanted a good breakfast. Not one that would have me back and the resort with my feet up feeling stuffed, but enough to give me energy and later absorb some alcohol. Up the strip to the right is Wynn, and everything you read says their buffet is the best. I have been a few times and always have been happy with it. So, that is the direction I head. It is walking distance for the fit crazy and young, for me the old, heavy, and lazy I just grabbed an Uber. I would have grabbed a cab, but when I was in the room, I just booked the Uber on the cellphone instead. By the time I walked down, the car was waiting.
The Wynn buffet is a great example of a Vegas buffet. It is over the top, large, and has just about anything you can think of. For breakfast, it has them all. I ate slowly but only to control my portions so I did not overdo it. What I love about the buffet is not the quantity it is getting to try many things and on your second plate getting what you loved best.
After 2 plates and what felt like a half a gallon of juice, I was ready to find the facilities then go gamble a bit. Most of the shows and things to see on the strip are not open and rolling fully yet at 9:30AM. Things kind of start waking up around 11AM. So, I thought I would move towards the resort, walking to the Venetian next door to Wynn.
I started with blackjack, which is often my home when gambling. I am not a card counter, but I am a stable player who can walk away when I am ahead. I also tend to read the winning digital games well since they are stationed by walking paths, and on the outer layers of the slots or other digital games. These machines are commonly set for a higher chance of wins. Note the house still has the odds with them. This is, Vegas not a, charity but you stand a better chance at the machines closest to the main walk throughs.
I played for about 1 hour and was a few thousand down, so it was a great time to stop while I was behind. I have some loyalty cards at other casinos, but not here, so moving on for gambling is a good call.
Before I go, I take a gondola ride. I know a single guy on a gondola ride for some might be sad, but I just wanted to experience it again firsthand and recall the last time I was here with a date. If she reads this, she should know that I miss her on this trip and some other places we have been. The gondola ride here is not cheap, nor is it the real thing, but for a couple it is a neat thing to do. They have an inside route and an outside route depending on the weather. Indoor and outdoor start at 10AM and it is priced based on the day of the week. Monday–Wednesday: $34.00 per person Thursday–Sunday: $39.00 per person. If you do have their loyalty card, it can be fairly easy to earn this as a free experience, so keep that in mind. You do not have to stay at a casino to use their card, just gamble or spend money there within their loyalty program. Gambling is the fastest way to earn points. But you have to work the system some. You run your money through the chips and cash out with your loyalty card fairly often, then get chips when you go back.
It is all about how much you spend at the end of the day.
The gondola is something that if you comp it with points, it is a treat. If you are ahead gambling and have no concern with money, or you generally have no concerns about spending on vacation, you should do it. If things are tighter, it is not a must do.
I am a sap for all touristy things but even I would give it a C+. Now if you are in love, just spend the money, selfie it up, and make your friends ill with how in love you are. Got to have fun with it.
Next I kept walking back South towards the resort down the strip. I skipped Harrah’s but did stop a Caesar’s. At Caesar’s is the highest Ferris wheel in the world.
“HIGH ROLLER” FERRIS WHEEL High Roller Ferris Wheel offers 360-degree views of Las Vegas Valley.
550 feet tall, the High Roller is currently the largest Ferris wheel in the world.
Take a 30-minute ride in one of its 28 cabins or even select one of their open bar cabins and have a party or a celebration high above Las Vegas. Unless you have a fear of heights, this is a fun thing to do for sure.
They also have a happy hour offering, which is basically the same ride but with an open bar for the 30 minute experience. That can be fun, especially with a group.
While here, check out the STRATOSPHERE TOWER Stratosphere Tower is the tallest freestanding observation tower in the United States, stretching over 1,100 feet above Las Vegas.
The tower is especially famous for its attractions, including one of the highest thrill rides in the World, such as X-Scream. You can jump from the tower on their SkyJump, which holds the Guinness World Record as the highest commercial decelerator descent facility. I was not up for the jump, but I did pay to go up in the tower and it was worth it for the view.
By the time I made my way back to Bally’s, I was ready for a few drinks and to put in some time gambling. I have a loyalty card with some points already on it for Bally’s, so it put me in a good category here. Bally’s is a part of the Caesar’s program so you can benefit from the loyalty program at both locations.
If you game you likely know about these cards already. if not skip the cards because they do not offer the value they once did. But if you are gambling anyway, it makes sense to work the system some with the loyalty programs.
Day Three Free Things to do and See
We have seen some paid experiences yesterday but today it thought I would talk to you about things to go and do that are free or cheap. Maybe you did not want to spend a great deal, or maybe the casino took everything but your shirt the day before. These things will allow you to have some fun.
Fremont Street is a street in downtown Las Vegas. It was the original center of the city and home to the first famous casinos such as Binion’s Horseshoe, Eldorado Club and Fremont Hotel and Casino.
While most big casinos are now located on The Strip, Fremont is still a must-see place in Vegas.
Part of the street is covered by an enormous LCD display featuring Viva Vision light shows. And one of the most spectacular ways to see the lights of Fremont Street is by flying on their SlotZilla zip line.
EXTRAORDINARY AND UNIQUE STORES
Vegas is a place full of extraordinary and unique stores that you will hardly find anywhere else in the world. Experience the taste of Coca-Cola products from around the world in the Coca Cola store. There is an M&M’s Store or experience chocolate heaven in Hershey’s Chocolate World right across the street. And even when you want to get a cocktail on the street, choices in Vegas are slightly different from other places.
One place people love to look around is the shopping area in Bellagio with its fascinating fountain show that you can see while you are there. Fountain display is every 30 minutes from 3:00 PM – 8:00 PM and it is a great free experience.
In Vegas during your birthday month?
If you visit some casinos during your birthday month, they sometimes give you offers, for example. If you’re at Park MGM, they give you $25 in free slot play. So, I got to go there and get a free slot play, which you can’t go wrong with that. Excalibur, they give you $20 free slot play. I’m sure there are other ones, that’s just to list a few.
Also, you know I like pizza. Pizza is my thing. So, if you want a free pizza, if you go to Grimaldi’s website you can sign up for their email and you get a free 16-inch pizza.
Early Evening Vegas free things to do
Since the resort is close to Paris, don’t miss the light show
Another fun free thing in Las Vegas on the strip is pretty new, and that is the light show at the Paris Eiffel Tower. They have a replica of the Eiffel Tower – a smaller version of it and every day, starting at sunset until midnight – every half hour, they have a light show, lighting up the whole Eiffel Tower.
At the Mirage
Is the volcano show. You can see the mirage volcano show at night – Sunday through Thursday 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday 8 p.m, 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.
The next thing is the atrium, which is inside. They have waterfalls in there, beautiful plants which they rotate out frequently. So you’ll get to see different exotic plants, basically, every time you’re in there.
Something else you can do for free is to visit the Miracle Mile shops. If there’s one place you’re going to be able to afford to shop on the Vegas Strip, it’s probably here. These are some of the cheaper stores but of course, you can window shop for free and don’t miss the rainstorm show that happens every day. So, I don’t know if there is more to this rainfall show than this.
Some people find it cool, like the nine-year-old girls across the way who thought it was “SO AWESOME!” But it’s like fog and water comes from the sky. I think the technology is interesting and on a hot day why not a little rain.
Want your own dream Vegas vacation? Then seriously consider Elara, by Hilton Grand Vacations as your Vegas, base of operations for whatever fun you want to get up to. Just book through TZort.