“ Address: 211 E. Flamingo Road / Las Vegas / NV 89169 / USA „
As part of our Californian Road Trip Adventure I knew that we would need to make a stop in Las Vegas. I know a few people who had travelled there and I took on all the information that I could and came to a few conclusions. I knew that we would prefer a hotel that didn't have a Casino, I am not bothered by gambling but I had found out that the casinos get very smoky and the hotels can smell because of it. I also prefer to self-park so wanted a hotel that would give that option rather than just valet parking. I also felt that I wanted to be quite central and near the Strip as lots of hotels seemed quite a way out. The final consideration was that with a teenage son and daughter, the option of at least 3 beds would be good rather than me having to share with my wriggly daughter and my husband sharing with my bed-hogging son.
After spending hours on Trip Adviser and other such sites I eventually opted for the Platinum Hotel which is on East Flamingo Road. It didn't appear to be too far from the Strip and looked centrally located. The hotel offered free self-parking and also had the advantage of not charging a Resort Fee which is quite common for many hotels which can easily add $25-$50 a night to the bill. This is a suite hotel so we opted for the middle range room which was called the Princess Suite as it had two queen beds and a sofa bed.
Driving in to Las Vegas was an experience like no other, there were cars everywhere and obviously most people had no idea where they were as there was manic lane changes and sudden breaking all the time. The hotel was easy to find as it was behind Ballys hotel which is on the main corner of the Strip by Bellagio and Caesars palace and we could see it from the road.
We pulled in to find that the garage had a sign saying "Valet Only" and we were approached by one of the valets. My husband said we were checking in. We were then told it was far too early (we had mistimed our drive to Vegas) and to go away for an hour and a half and try again. I felt he was very rude and since the traffic was so bad it would probably take an hour and a half to simply drive around the block. I said that I would ask in reception and left hubby having a battle of wills with the valet whilst he waited.
The receptionist was lovely and I apologised for being early and he said our room was ready and we could go straight up, he asked what we had planned and I mentioned it was my daughters 18th so he went and got her a free bag which I thought was sweet of him.
I went out to the car and unloaded and handed the keys to the very grump valet, I was amazed we got it back without a huge scrape down the side!
The reception area was quite small so it seemed busy even though there weren't many people about. The lifts were conveniently located right next to the Lobby so we immediately headed up to our room.
The first thing I noticed about the corridor was that the carpets were very dirty. However after a few days in Vegas I realised that the streets were filthy and our shoes were always completely black on the bottom so I think the state of the carpets probably can't be helped even with regular cleaning.
On entering the room we were struck by how large the suite was and it was nice to have a bit of space to spread out in. There was a full kitchen with a washer/dryer which was really handy as we had been on the road a week and it was great to get all our clothes washed. There was then a large open plan lounge area which also had stools up to a breakfast bar attached to the kitchen. The most bizarre thing here was the fact that there was a large wall mounted TV below which was a fire. The day we arrived it was over 40 degrees and it certainly wasn't something I thought we might need!
There were sliding doors which opened on to a small balcony with a table and chairs. We were at the back of the hotel which gave us a view across to the mountains and we could also watch the planes coming in to the airport although we didn't suffer any noise. Looking to the right you could just about see the Stratosphere tower. I wasn't bothered by being at the back of the hotel since the front view would have only been the back of the Strip hotels. The balcony was a bit grubby with no sign that it had been swept in weeks.
The master bedroom had two queen beds and just one small bedside cabinet between the two beds. There was plenty of room for a cabinet on each side and I did find having to put my watch and glasses on the floor on my side of the bed a bit of a nuisance. There was a cabinet with a TV on it and then a built-in cupboard in the corner. I felt that this left the room feeling a bit bare really and the furnishings didn't seem to be of a particularly good quality considering the hotel sell itself as being luxurious. The built-in cupboard contained the safe but it was so high up that I could only use it by standing on a stool which was a bit ridiculous really.
The bathroom was enormous and was entered via the door in the bedroom or the one in the lounge. Unfortunately the doorlocks were a bit loose so we had to tell each other when we were in the bathroom as it were easy to walk in on someone. There were two sinks in a surface but no shelves. There was also a shower cubicle and a large sized spa-bath. The bathroom also contained a built in cupboard which we used as a wardrobe. There were plenty of toiletries and a good number of large white towels too.
When we returned to the hotel in the evening we started to have problems. I went to make-up the sofa-bed to discover that there was no spare linen. We tried all the cupboards and searched in the base of the sofa but there was nothing. Luckily my daughter was only using a sheet as it was so hot so we managed to cobble together a sheet from her bed and a cover from ours and then a couple of pillows so that my son had something to sleep with. We then said goodnight and turned out the lights, only we couldn't! The kitchen light simply would not turn off, we tried every switch and even pulled the key card out of the slot by the door to turn all the electric off but nothing worked. We ended up phoning maintenance who were sending someone who would be 10 minutes, needless to say 45 minutes later we phoned again and they didn't know where he was (the hotel isn't that big!). I got really cross and tried thumping the flat switch by the wall and eventually the light turned off so some very dodgy wiring there. We never did see the maintence man, maybe he is still wandering around.
One thing we were very pleased to see in the kitchen was a kettle, this is a rarity in American hotels and for any Brit who craves a decent cup of tea in the morning it is a godsend. It was at this point that we noticed that we only had 4 of everything by way of kitchen crockery and utensils. There were only 4 of us but considering the room sleeps six it seems a bit strange.
Las Vegas is very much a tourist area but it does have a large homeless problem so I was a little nervous about walking around off the Strip, particularly at night. The location of this hotel didn't prove to be a problem for us. It is a few minutes' walk from the back of Ballys hotel which you can walk through to access the Strip. A couple of times we did have to walk past homeless people on the derelict ground by the hotel, they did shout but it didn't bother me although my son was more upset by it. If I was travelling on my own with children I would probably have made sure I chose a hotel that had direct strip access as I wouldn't have been keen to walk back at night. Once through Ballys you are really in the heart of the Strip and seeing how large some hotels are and their location I decided ours wasn't too bad. The position on E Flamingo road also meant it was really easy to get out of the hotel when we wanted to drive out of Las Vegas to visit other places like the Hoover Dam.
The hotel has a swimming pool which is on the 5th floor. When we visited it was so hot and extremely humid that I couldn't even face going to the pool area. We looked at it once but the temperature was intense as there was no shade and it was surrounded by walls which were radiating heat too and we couldn't even contemplate the idea of sitting there although it looked fine and there was an inside/outside bit of pool too and it had a nice view. We rapidly scurried back in to the air-conditioning though!
When we checked in we were told that wireless internet was only available in the lobby and on the 5th floor by the pool and restaurant. We were on the 14th floor and we managed to get wireless fine so I don't know why they told us that. There was wired access in the rooms but of course that is not suitable for all devices.
We didn't try the restaurant as we were trying to stick to a budget and there were other places in Vegas that we were planning to eat so I can't comment although the room service menu that I looked at appeared to be rather expensive to me. The hotel also boast a Well Spa but I am not really a Spa sort of person and the prices ranging from about $60 for a pedicure to $250 for a massage just didn't appeal to me.
We stayed at the Platinum Hotel for 3 nights at a cost of £324 for the four of us. The large size of the suite meant that we had plenty of space to relax after a very busy first week and the air-conditioning was always on full since the weather was really hot. If I was travelling with my husband I would probably consider staying here again, the housekeeping left a bit to be desired but the quiet, non-smelly nature of the hotel was absolute bliss after the manic monstrosities that make up the Strip. I liked having a balcony and there was also a large window in the bedroom which gave us great views too. Being set a block and a half back from the Strip would mean that if I was travelling as a single female I would feel a bit more vulnerable and I would probably choose somewhere else.