Finding the Budget Side of Las Vegas Extravagance

Room in The Palazzo

Room in The Palazzo

The hotel room has three flat-screen televisions. Three.

I recently had an opportunity to experience how the other half lives while staying at the Palazzo in Las Vegas. The rooms at the Palazzo are gorgeous. They are furnished with marble countertops, a sunken living room, a five-piece bathroom, and two plush terry-cloth robes. You will also discover a remote for opening and closing the window shade. Because it seems raising it manually is quite primitive.

For a traveler who is used to traveling on a two-star budget, which can include sleeping outdoors and a continental breakfast, the taste of luxury is always a special treat.

Since I was attending a conference with the International, Food , Wine, and Travel Writers Association, or IFWTWA, I had the opportunity to indulge in expensive meals, relax in the luxurious Canyon Ranch spa, and simply witness life from another side.

While those with a large disposable income can stay at five star resorts and partake in hours of expensive spa treatments and fine dining on a more frequent basis, budget travelers do not often get that luxury.

The Two Sides of Vegas…

Once upon a time, Las Vegas was a cheap place to go. Prime rib dinners and elaborate buffets were available for less than $10. Lounge acts were accessible to an average budget. It was all about the gambling.

Today, many hotels on the the Strip lean on the more extravagant side with some of the top chefs in the world opening up restaurants there. Add high-priced shopping and nightclubs that charge an exorbitant amount just to get through the door. In many hotels, rare paintings, ornate chandaliers, and marble inlays confront guests as they check in. Lavish fountains spout waterfalls in the lobbies. It is all about the image.

Despite the renovated facade, underneath the superfluous decor and overpriced drinks, Las Vegas still holds a place for the budget traveler.

The Palazzo and Venetian Extravagance

Otto at Venetian
Otto Pizzeria

During my stay at The Palazzo/Venetian, I wanted to find the more reasonable restaurants and entertainment that I can share with travelers on a budget.

I know most budget travelers will probably not be staying at the upscale Palazzo, but  it is a hotel visitors will not want to miss. The decor in the hotel is changed seasonally, and you won’t find guests that resemble characters from The Hangover.

The restaurants are incredible and there is a certain elegance and style you won’t find in some of the other hotels on the Strip.

Tasting the good life can certainly whet the appetite for extravagance, but as the cliché goes, a champagne life on a beer budget can only go so far.

Eating, Drinking, and Entertainment on a Budget

Tintoretto Bakery
Tintoretto Bakery

If you decide to venture out of your plush 650-square foot hotel room, there is plenty to see at these sister hotel properties. Since The Palazzo is connected to The Venetian, you have access to over thirty restaurants, a spa, an abundance of gaming, live shows, and twelve lounges and nightclubs. I did not see the outdoors for three days.

Here are a few budget-friendly places worth visiting.

Grand Lux. The Grand Lux inside The Palazzo was actually quite tasty for a budget restaurant. Owned by the same owners of The Cheesecake Factory, the restaurant offers large portions from their large menu choices.

I ♥ Burgers.  For a good burger without the fast food flavor or atmosphere, this burger joint fits the bill for a casual, friendly meal. For those patrons of legal drinking age, you can order a spiked milkshake to wash down your burger and fries.

Lagasse’s Stadium. Have a beer and pull up a couch to watch a game on the 9 x 16 foot screen or any of the other screens scattered throughout this sports book lounge. And the best crab cakes I have ever tasted. Seriously.

Tintoretto Bakery. For a casual dining experience in The Venetian, head to this bakery / cafe where you can get a slice of pizza or a pasta dish and a glass of wine for less than one glass of wine at the more expensive restaurants. Great for a relaxing lunch.

Otto Enoteca Pizzeria. Set in the “open air” of Venetian’s Piazza San Marco, ordering a pizza will not set you back, but leave room for the fantastic wine selection. Watch street performers and guests as you sit on the patio of this Mario Batali restaurant.

Salute Dueling Pianos LoungeSit back and have a cocktail while listening to the dueling pianos belt out Jason Mraz or Frank Sinatra in The Palazzo. No cover charge. And if you play the video slots at the bar, you can even get your drinks comped.

La Scena Lounge. Dance the night away to live music in the Venetian. Every night you will find a variety of local bands playing well into the night. The drinks are not super cheap, but the live music and the dance floor are completely free of charge.

In Las Vegas, extraordinary hotels are more prevalent today than years ago. It is one of the few cities travelers can talk for hours about the hotel where they stayed. The Palazzo is certainly no exception to this, but don’t let that deter you from taking a long weekend and pampering yourself to the good life. Even on a budget.

6 Responses to Finding the Budget Side of Las Vegas Extravagance

  1. It is good to find this information about the Las Vegas hotels. One normally feels that everything might be super expensive in this city of dwindling fortunes. You are also right when you mention that the hotels of the city are worthy of long talks. The other day, i was watching on the National Geographic channel the way Venetian was built.
    By the way, I also share with you the passion of writing about travel, the natural and man-made wonders, the people and their amazingly varied cultures and everything else that travel brings.

    Naveen March 25, 2012 at 9:05 am Reply
  2. Pingback: International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Assoc. — IFWTWA » Blog Archive » Las Vegas Annual Conference

  3. Pingback: Las Vegas Annual Conference

  4. I love your post Julie, really, but I don’t understand what is the reason for going to Las Vegas without program to spend money)? I of course understand that there are so much more of other things, but in the rest of the World is no less..

    howtomakegirllaugh October 6, 2012 at 3:50 am Reply
  5. It sounds like you had a great time! Way to indulge and save some money in the process :) You can still get low priced cheap deals if you try off the strip venues and pick up local coupon books. There are some steals there!

    Las Vegas Classifieds October 24, 2012 at 11:50 pm Reply
  6. Love so much las vegas hotels, each one is a travel, will return to this city soon.

    RecentHotel February 21, 2013 at 7:31 am Reply

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