Monday, April 18, 2011

The place where dreams go to die

Every hope, every desire you have ever had, at one point, existed in the physical realm of our universe. It floated around as a flashing blue sphere, freaking out people on acid, moving in and out of reality. But, like humans, those hopes and dreams eventually die. When they sense that their end is near, they muster up all of their ethereal strength and float to one location; one meeting place of every human hope and desire, one physical nexus of time, space, and telephony (for some reason). Its called the Las Vegas Hilton.

This hotel is the sadest™ place I've ever been in my life, and I've been to orphanages in China. What makes it even worse is that it was once glorious. The Star Trek Experience called this hotel home, and there was a massive casino/bar themed after Quark's bar from Deep Space 9 complete with live actors in full makeup and costume doing performances and interacting with guests. IT WAS ULTRA-GLORIOUS™.

But it is gone. You can still see the faded remnants of such glory in the destitute casino that sits where such excellent once was. The floors, walls, ceilings, bathrooms, bars, and entrances are still build to look like Deep Space 9... but the magic inside is gone. It is now the Space Quest casino and features a bar with no one there and crappy space-themed slot machines.

The main casino of this hotel is a harkening back to the terrible 1970's when everything was cheesy and ugly. All the employees are depressed, all the table games are somehow not fun, and the ambiance is a mix of desperation, local culture, and cubic zirconium.

On the lighter side, I was pretty excited to stay here because this was the first time I got to use my Hilton Honors VIP Gold status at this particular hotel. Since my number wasn't used when the hotel room was booked (because HR booked this one for me), I had to give it to the lady at the front desk. Fearing that they had run out of upgradable rooms, I didn't expect to really be treated to much. Boy was I wrong. Check out the letter I got at check in.



Free breakfast was the best part. They had a special VIP line at the buffet which was always much shorter than the regular line. It really felt good to pass up all those stupid non-elites and head to the front of the line. The room upgrade itself was... ok. It wasn't any bigger, it couldn't have been. It was just organized differently, and had a nicer polish to it. But the view was incredible.





I lost a lot of money to their casino, so I expect that that was because I was also getting a bunch of stuff from them for free. They must rig those damn machines, it was statistically impossible for me to loose so much money so quickly.

The restaurants at the hotel vary from good to not good. The Buffet, Paradise Cafe, Uncle Nicco's, and T.J. Steakhouse are all ok. Benni Hannas and the Cantina are nasty as all hell. So chose your restaurants wisely. I wouldn't recommend eating at any of them unless you didn't have time to hit the strip.

In conclusion, I would never ever stay at this hotel if I were visiting Las Vegas for anything other than manning a booth at a convention at the Las Vegas convention center, because this hotel is right on top of it, making it extraordinarily convenient.

Enjoy.

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