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Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino
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Reviewed February 19, 2013

This was my 3rd stay at the Golden Nugget Las Vegas. On my previous two trips I found my need for comfort and quality well rewarded. On this trip I had enough disappointments to reconsider my loyalty. There wasn't a single incident or moment that led me to believe my presence at the Golden Nugget wasn't highly valued. Instead, it was a pattern of disappointments that added up to me questioning my loyalty.

Some of the disappointments were relatively minor: the crotchety pool security staff member who would not allow me to bring bottles of water for my children who were swimming at that moment. Keep in mind these were $4 bottles of water I had just purchased from the hotel gift shop. They say a little power corrupts absolutely--he made me put my kids' bottles next to him at the towel stand, and fetch my children out of the pool to come and claim their water bottles before I was able to go and sit in a lounge chair and drink mine.

Then there was the mildewy smell in the adjoining room to ours which my father and brother were sharing. The smell can be described as: the room had been smoked in two years ago, then the carpet was soaked in water, and then the room was ALMOST completely dried out before being closed up for two years. The air conditioner helped a little, but the heady (in a bad way) smell never quite dissipated. We could have complained, I suppose, but didn't want to take a chance on even worse and possibly non-adjoining rooms.

In our room, our carpet was loose, the TV channel selection was god awful (but who needs to watch TV in Las Vegas, right?). There weren't enough plugs for modern electronics, the Internet is way too overpriced for the lack of speed and reliability ($12.99/day for crappy internet is beyond weak, it's antediluvian cruelty). The Keurig machines were a nice touch but $10 for 4 K-Cups was too much even for me. I might have bit for $7 but it was just as easy to walk to Walgreens and pick up a box.

I like to bet sports while I'm in Las Vegas. Between the three of us we wagered at least $2K on sports and racing bets. Not high rollers, but a pretty decent chunk of change. But management has made it so hard to get a drink in the sports book (I don't drink but I do enjoy an occasional O'Doul's) that it kindled a kind of resentment that is hard to dissipate. They have apparently told the staff to make bettors beg for drink tickets. If I drop $100 in two separate bets--nothing. If I drop $300 on hoops bets I get tickets for two drinks but only if I make certain to ask for them. Generally the staff in the sports book is competent, but many times the room is either completely under staffed or over staffed with chatty Kathys.

I can't speak much on the Golden Nugget's table games as I don't find the layout friendly enough to the player--all my fellow Midwesterners milling around too closely makes for too much non-essential activity. I'm also just not that into the trend of casting "breasts" in the role of dealer to play in the lounge milieux; I suppose the focus on anatomy is there to give you something to look at while your money is going to support another plastic surgery practice in Las Vegas.

The slot machines are not the worst, but I had gotten used to seeing a couple of $1000+ jackpots being won while playing. This trip, nada.

The food was the biggest disappointment of all. At one point I saw someone with an "Executive Chef" name tag on in the hallway. I wanted to shake him by the shoulders and tell him to get out to a decent restaurant so he would have something to compare with the crap being served at the Golden Nugget. The Carson Street Cafe's food has gotten smaller and less tasty, my burger was dry and my fries were undercooked and skimpy. (Somewhat better is Magnolia's at Four Queens).

Especially to be avoided at all costs (and it was over $100 for four of us) is the buffet. The Golden Nugget's "Executive Chef" should take an afternoon and run over to the Wicked Spoon at the Cosmopolitan on the Strip. The price point is not different enough to get worked up about considering the vast difference in quality, and even an average executive chef could get some ideas on what tastes good and is made from quality ingredients. Not everyone loves a buffet, but a good buffet meal doesn't have to involve swallowing massive amounts of garbage. (Suggestion to Las Vegas media outlets for story: Is Golden Nugget management threatening Executive Chef's family over food costs?)

Good points for the Golden Nugget are the staff (generally), the location, the pool, and although I didn't have a chance to use it this time, the spa. Negatives are as above, so I'm on the fence about recommending the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas. Maybe it's time for me to try elsewhere.

  • Stayed: February 2013
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3  Thank Flowseidon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2013

I've stayed at other hotels in the Fremont Street area, and this is by far the best. Primary advantage is that all the other casinos are within a minutes walk, as opposed to the strip hotels where you have to walk quite a bit just to get to the next hotel. Also the Fremont Street Experience (light show) is fantastic!

Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
1  Thank Chris R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2013

I didn't find much information on travelling with a toddler in Vegas, so thought I'd share my experiences of our family long weekend trip: Toddler, Mom, Dad, Aunt, Grampy and Nanny -- that's me.

Transportation: Mom and Dad didn't want to drag a car seat around while exploring the strip. Who could blame them? So our first challenge was getting around Vegas. Renting a car was over our budget (approx. $500 for the weekend) and I read horror stories about dirty car seats smelling of vomit provided by the car rental agencies. The cab companies I contacted didn't provide car seats.

We opted for a chauffeur-driven SUV limo -- complete with car seat -- to take us to and from the airport. Arriving in Vegas late Thursday night and departing early Monday morning with a tired toddler, we didn't want the hassle of shuttles or cabs. Best decision of the trip!! We chose A1 Limousine, and they were great. Customer Service Reps were VERY cranky of the phone -- but the drivers arrived on time, met us at the baggage carosel and packed all our luggage in the roomy trunk. Drove us to the front door of the Golden Nugget, and met us there on time for the trip home. It cost us about $100 each way (including tips and taxes). Worth every penny.

We rode the RTC bus the rest of the time -- took the Strip Express from Fremont Street to wherever we wanted to go on the Strip. Simply folded up the stroller, and Toddler loved it. No worries about car seats. We bought $8 passes twice, good for 24 hours. But you can also buy a $20 pass which gives you 3 days of tranportation.

Hotel: We loved the Golden Nugget. We chose 2 connecting rooms (Carson Tower) which was great because after Toddler went to bed, whoever was babysitting could watch a movie in the adjoining room. We ordered up a fridge. Bought snacks, water, juice and pop at a local grocery store on the other end of Fremont Street. They also sold beer & wine more cheaply than at the hotel shops, so we made our own cocktails in the hotel room. I have to say the beds were the most comfortable I've ever slept in at a hotel, and I don't usually sleep well in hotels. Rooms were very clean. Only negatives were an old hairdryer, a charge for using the coffeemaker in the room -- however, there's a Starbucks a short elevator ride away in the lobby -- and there was no free WiFi. **Note** We were on the 18th floor, and to our horror, we discovered the windows open, and there are no screens. What a nightmare. Keep your kids away from those windows!!**

Pool - Wonderful. Wish they had jacked up the heat a bit since it was February, but Toddler loved it. Nice Jaccuzi. Enjoyed watching the sharks and fish in the tank, and loved the slide (a bit too much for a 3 -yr old, but the adults enjoyed it!)

Meals: Ate mostly at the Carson Cafe and the Grill, since we have picky eaters in our group, so the Buffet didn't make sense. Good food and service in both places. We treated ourselves a few times on the Strip (The Cheesecake Factory in Caesar's Palace and Maggianos Little Italy at the Fashion Show Mall - Both EXCELLENT!)

Entertainment: is easy for Adults in Vegas, but what about Toddler? Took him to the AdventureDome at Circus Circus, where he enjoyed great rides. Spent most of the afternoon there. Early evening we met up with Spiderman and Batman on the Strip, which was an unexpected treat. We took him to the M & M Store and he enjoyed 4 floors of candy and candy-related merchandise. The rest of the time he splashed around the pool during the day, and early evening we wandered down Fremont Street and enjoyed the music and watching the crazy people. Then it was into bed around 8 pm with whoever was on babysitting duty.

We had a fabulous time, would do it again in a heart beat!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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7  Thank TravelNannie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2013

Stayed at the Golden Nugget for 3 nights. Had a room Carson Tower.
It was a nice big rooom with 2 queen size beds.
The room is getting a little dated but everything was clean.
The pool area was very nice. The kids loved the shark tank and the water slide.

It was a little far from the strip. A taxi to MGM cost us 35$. We tried the bus but it took ages from the strip to the Golden Nugget.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Petter L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2013

I stayed at the Golden Nugget for 5 nights and used it as the base for exploring Downtown Vegas and out-of city-tours ... a perfect choice! This old classic hotel casino is the best of Old Vegas ...
beautiful decor, lots of food and drink options, a world class pool, shark aquarium and poolside bars. Great access to The Fremont Experience and all the excitement ... all airline shuttles and tour operators stop at the front door. Thanks for your hospitality!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank vegasguy1943
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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