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Smith Family Vegas Road Trip- The Quest for the Perfect Hotel

March 18th, 2009 by bsmith | Filed under Road Trips.
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The Smith Family will be spending our spring break in Las Vegas.  Ken is teaching a class the week before Easter so we will be packing up the Family Adventuremobile (Otherwise known as our new to us Yukon XL) and hitting the road for our first seven day all hotel stay vacation in four years. 

There seems to be a great debate raging on the internet about whether or not Las Vegas is a good vacation spot for families.  We took Justin when he was a preschooler and had a great time.  We stayed at the Excalibur with Grandma, Great Grandma, Aunt, Uncle and Cousins.  We had fun sliding down the water slides and checking out the sights.  I have returned to Vegas on couples getaways since Ken travels there alot for business.  I also attended a wedding with my parents, and remember reveling in a kid free experience at the Bellagio buffet (I never wanted that meal to end!).  I see both sides of the issue.  Vegas has great, inexpensive opportunites for family adventure.   On the other hand, when I go with just Ken, I revel in the alone time, and don’t really want to be surrounded by preschool tantrums.  Although I must confess that I mostly just think to myself…I don’t have to deal with that until Friday- I’m so lucky! 

With this in mind I’m not booking my kids into the swankiest hotel in Vegas despite the spectacular deals right now .(The staff at the Bellagio is breathing a sigh of relief.)  I will do my best to keep my little ones behaving themselves in public and make sure they have plenty of sleep and downtime to prepare for being in the public eye.  At least I am not Angelina Jolie or Katie Holmes being trailed by reporters wherever I go.  If my kids misbehave all I will have to endure is some dirty looks not tabloid scrutiny.  (OK, did the reporter who made such a big deal about Suri Cruise not wearing a coat, ever have a preschooler who hated to cover up?…well maybe it’s just a California thing.)

Now I just have to find the right hotel… I wasn’t to fond of the Excalibur (the sheets kept coming off of the bed!).  With prices being so reasonable right now, I’m looking for a good hotel, good location, and lots of ammenities.  Circus Circus and Excalibur are nice places to visit, but I don’t want to live there.

In looking for that perfect hotel experience that will keep my kids busy and optimally behaved I have uncovered these options:

  • The Golden Nugget-  We plan to stay here on the weekend since its rates are very affordable.  We chose it for it’s amazing pool with shark tank and water slide.  Destiny is very worried about the sharks even though I constantly assure her they are behind glass.  I’m hoping there is a separate pool area where we can hang out.


  • The Hilton Grand Vacation Resort at the Flamingo-  This is our priciest option, but our room would include a kitchenette which would be invaluable because breakfast and lunch are going to get expensive for a family of five and retaurant dining alone with three kids (Ken will be working) sounds less than appealing.  The only room available has one king so we would be breaking out the air mattresses. If we were going in May and the Flamingo waterslides were open this would be a no brainer.  Unfortunately they’re not so I’m still weighing my options.


  • Trump Hotel-  Ken has ruled this one out, because it is lacking in the awesome pool.  If I were making this decision on my own it would be a contender. Great rate for a suite with kitchenette.  Kids package includes the ability to check out board games and popular children’s books. 


  • MGM Grand- The price is right for a large room with two queen beds.  The pool complex is supposed be fantastic with a lazy river.  There are fun things to do…Rainforest Cafe, see the Lions and preview TV shows.  They have an on-site child care center in case we could figure out a way to take Justin to a show.  Close to Excalibur for more fun.

I’m making the choice today…any suggestions?

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