Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Palazzo 2008 Review Part 2: The Luxury and Bella Suites

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Welcome to the second part of the three part review of the Palazzo. This portion of the Palazzo review, will talk about the 2 different "suites" we had- the Luxury and Bella suites.

If you haven't read part one, you can do so by clicking here. Part one talks about the parking garage, check in, and the public spaces.

And now, let's go onward with the review shall we?
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After we got our room keys, we headed straight for the elevators. Our elevator (also known as a "lift") lobby was near the end of all the elevator lobbies. There were several elevators catering to a zone of floors as expected for such a big hotel, and since the elevators had to travel far, they also went pretty fast. Thus, little waiting.

Entering the elevator, there were ads for the hotel's entertainment and dining venues. Smart thing of Palazzo in my opinion? Whenever they showed Jersey Boys onto the screen, they played the Jersey Boy's music onto the speakers. What do you think would happen if you kept going on the elevators during your stay? Obviously, it would get stuck into your head. And, that can make you want to see the show. Smart marketers....

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Going out of the elevators, we were gretted with a very different look. Why are there these flowers that look similar to what Mirage had? And why is it suddenly so dark looking? Dark grey and dark blue? I didn't see that in the public spaces. Interesting why the management chose to switch it up so suddenly.

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The walkways to the rooms were even darker. It was all very grayish, silverish, and blueish. Plus, the walkways meandered around a lot! Again, another very interesting design. Why not just make it pretty much straight?

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Pretty soon, we reached our rooms, which weren't connecting unfortunately. Also, they were on different sides. So, this would mean two of us would get one type of view. The other two in our party would get a different view.

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(day and night changes in our Bella suite- no sunlight in both photos)

With the simple card swipe, we were in. And what I saw was AMAZING.

I'm pretty sure this was not on coincidence. The check in guy probably did this on purpose! He knew I would be staying in a Bella Suite, and since he knew I was going to write the review (as I had the hat on), he gave me this. I have to say, this was really amazing. The room was gigantic compared to our previous visits. It was bigger than the Luxury suite which our other half of the party were staying in. It was bright and airy.

But what was most amazing was the VIEW.(I'll show you photos of the view in Part 3) This is where the surprise came in! A undisturbed view of a portion of the Las Vegas Strip! From our point, we could see Caesars Palace, Mirage, TI, Fashion Show Mall, and Trump. But that still wasn't the best thing yet.

Because we were on such a high floor, we could see very, very far away. If we weren't looking downwards to see the Las Vegas Strip, we had a fantastic view of the mountains and the cityscape. And since it was a sunny day for most of our stay, we could see many things! Thank you, check in guy. You made my feeling of Palazzo go very positive just because of this nice greeting of yours!

Our other room, the Luxury Suite, had a full view of the Wynn Las Vegas Golf Course, which was also a nice view. You could also see mountains and the cityscape from the luxury suite. But I think the view from the Bella suite was way better!

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Bed portion of the Bella Suite during daytime with sunlight

If you haven't noticed yet, the suites had a gold, black, white, and red tone. At first I thought it would be drab looking, but it actually wasn't. It was more warm and pleasant in my view.

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A circle theme was also present in the room. The paintings had spirals and curves in them. The mirrors and door moldings had circles in them. And even the carpet was textured with circles/ovals all over it.

And let's get down to specifics. I'll start out with the bathroom as it is closest to the entry door.

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The bathroom in both rooms were all very large. Our observation was that the Bella Suite's bathroom was slightly smaller though. There were many features in the bathroom, including big tub, dresser table, mirrors (and plenty of them), double sinks, a separate shower, a LG television mounted on a corner, and a closed off toilet.

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In the shower, there was a good, new showerhead and a easy controller to adjust the temperature (some hotels have really confusing ones!). On the soap counter in the shower, they placed a natural loofah, which was made in China apparently. And if you haven't seen already, it is all covered in glass. The maids must have a hard job with cleaning each room due to this glass...

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The tub in the Bella suite was well, dirty and big. How can a white tub get red scuff marks? I don't know. Anyway, to the side, was a rubber mat, a towel which could be used as a rug, and a bar of soap.

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Here you can see the special make up table, which actually had lots of nice goodies that came with it. There was an amenity kit which came with lots of goodies like cotton balls and swabs and the like (which you should be seeing in a 5 star hotel). In addition, there was some items for your shoes too. The Bella Suite had this, but the Luxury suite was missing it. Hmm... I wonder why.

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The toilet was really, really dark inside. And, the door closed basically by itself. Also included was one of those telephones. Personally, I don't think you should touch it. It was also nice of them to fold the toilet paper (this used to happen in many hotels, but now it looks like it is ending- the Mirage didn't have it already, and they did use to have it).

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And last but not least in the bathroom were some more toiletiries, which were all made by Agraria San Francisco. They were scented in a lemon verbena smell and definitely were of a high quality. The shops downstairs were selling small travel kits of these for a pretty high price!

And do you see a negative in that picture? What are those brown spots, I will ask? Rust?

Enough questioning. Let's move on to what is outside of the bathroom- the bedroom portion of the entire suite.

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Luxury Suite: King Bed

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Bella Suite: 2 Queen Beds

Like how the Venetian is, the Palazzo also has the big headboard on the back of the beds along with some drapery draping over and around it. As for the bed quality, it was a mix of soft and firm- soft on top, but you could feel the firmness on the bottom too. The pillows, as usual with most hotels, were soft but still a bit supportive at least.

For people who are tall, you might find yourself wanting to move that red chaise away, as your feet can easily hit it. Or, you could sleep diagonally.

Another thing about the bed is that besides the first layer that covers the bed, the Palazzo also adds yet another piece of fabric on top. We don't see this too often in hotels anymore, but the Palazzo still does it. Probably makes it easier for their housekeeping staff as they don't need to wash the beds that much...

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Of course, there are also nightstands next to the beds. In the Bella Suite, they share one nightstand, but in the Luxury suite there is one nighstand on each side of the bed. The nightstands have a nifty pull out writing desk (good for the telephone caller, but there's also a special "business desk" in the room too!), writing pad with special BIC Palazzo pen (which twist to open), telephone, and a Timex alarm clock, which also has a auxilary input with a cable already installed and a CD player.

We found the Timex alarm clock to be easy to use, and plus, I liked that they had the cable already installed so that you could just plug in your music player to the cable and play out the music on the speakers. It looks like there is no special need for a iHome!

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Across from the beds and the nightstands is a big LG LCD TV (probably about 40 to 46 inches), cabinet, and plenty of storage for clothing and the like. What is interesting about the cabinet though is that it lights up!

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See the lit top? The maids automatically turn it on for you when it's nighttime. And of course, you can turn it on by yourself. The power button is to the left of the cabinet on the side. You can see it on the photo.

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On the cabinet top, there's also a few wine glasses, regular glasses, corkscrew, ice bucket with bag, and special brown napkins with a P printed on to it on the cabinet. It's a nice feature for those people who need to drink water or have a beverage that they brought or bought in the minibar or at the shops.

What is interesting is that they even made special napkins with a "P" on it. Rarely do I see specially issued napkins in your own room. The Shangri-La properties do this too, but they are a large chain of hotels with many hotels having the same brand and logo. However, the Palazzo only has one location (here). I wonder if Venetian does this; but last time when we visited, there was no such napkin in our room!

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Also in the bedroom area is a closet, which has your usual iron and ironing board and hangars and a luggage rack. But also in the closet are two pairs of slippers which are different. The top one you see in the photo is probably the ladie's version, while the one on the bottom, which has more fabric on the top of the slipper, is probably the men's version.

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And before we move on down to the living room area, let's talk remotes! The remote you see on the left is the TV remote. The right one though is to control the drapery. In case if you are wondering, it's on the wall which "separates" the bedroom and the living room area. The term "sheer roman shade" is the shade that goes up and downward electronically, and it still gives in light. The drapery is the one which covers the whole room entirely.

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The living room area is very interesting. It has a big L shapped sofa that has a microfiber texture on it, a big coffee table which also has magazines on it, the minibar, another TV, a dining table with 4 chairs, and a business desk. But, the thing that I was wondering about for the whole time was the term "sofa sleeper". Does the Palazzo really have one? And what is a sofa sleeper anyway?

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Well, it's true! The Palazzo really does have a sofa bed/sleeper, and the mattress is inside the L shaped sofa. It however, like most sofa beds and sleepers, are not too comfortable. You can easily feel the springs in the mattress.

I would have never really expected a sofa that looked like this to But the negative of the sofa was that the decorative buttons were breaking apart already. That's pretty fast breakage for a hotel that isn't old yet!

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On top of the sofa is another painting which is wavy and yet also has circles on it. The circular theme is continuing!

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Across from the sofa is the TV and the dining room table. The TV is housed in an amoire which also has the minibar, safe, and the guest directories.

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Here's the minibar fridge, minibar, and the safe, which are under the TV, housed in the cabinet.

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Here's a closeup of the snacks. The Palazzo even spent the money so specially package cookies, chips, and snacks! I'm impressed. All these items are on a weight sensor so be careful if you don't want to be charged money.

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Here is the minibar fridge which had many items in it. It's interesting they had the Coco-Cola drinks all in glass. It's not everyday you see Coco-Cola beverages packaged in glass!

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And here is the safe, which had a very interesting way of opening it. Anyway, it was of a good size, and it fit our 14 inches widescreen laptop adequately. In addition, there were two power plugs in it! I've never seen a safe with power plugs in it. So, with all the interesting things about the safe, I made a video on it.



And there it is...and yes, that code was made specially for the blog and for my Tripadvisor account.

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Last but not least, there is a business desk in the suites living area,which is equipped with tons of electrical ports to the side, a Brother copier/fax and printer, blank sheets of paper, telephone, internet cable, and another writing pad and pen.

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The internet cable is actually quite interesting with a big dome made just for the cable. Again, it's another thing I've never seen in most hotels. And if a hotel had one, it didn't look this special!

Another positive of the internet service was that it was cheaper than what Mirage asked for, even if it was a more expensive hotel compared to the Mirage. I was expecting the prices to go the other way around with the Palazzo being more expensive, but it was not the case?


Services


There was a special turn down service at night, where the maids would set up the beds for the night. They would also clean up anything that you dirtied, and sometimes do special things for you. For example, I left our toothbrushes in the bathroom counter so that we didn't need to get it out of the luggage later on. After returning to the room after the turndown service, I found out they had actually put a handtowel under all the toothbrushes. It was very nice of them to do this!

Another thing they do as part of the turndown service is to put chocolates on the bed, which also have Palazzo packaging on it. However, only one of our rooms got the chocolate!

Lastly, they also put ice into the ice bucket, which is yet another great feature. Not all hotels of this caliber even do this service so it was nice of the Palazzo to give us ice as part of the turndown service.

Calling the concierge was another service we used. We asked about our coupons for a reservation at Woo and the concierge responded in a very kind and professional way. We also asked him about a blinking red dot on the ceiling of our room, as we were interested (and too tired to go out, so we stayed in the room. Plus, it was raining!) about it.

What was it? Well, it was a sensor to see if somebody is in the room. Apparently, no blinking means someone is in the room. Hmm...very interesting.

Overall verdict of the Palazzo?


Well, our experience was pretty good for the most part. Our rate offered many coupons which they said would be a good value, which is also one of the reasons why we booked. However, we found them really not to be. For the slot credits, there were special limitations to it; like if you cashed out, you could only take out what you earned and not their original 50 dollars worth in credits. And for Woo, we found out there was a 50 dollar minimum purchase (which we didn't know beforehand- now, they say the it on their website). In addition, you couldn't split the check to be able to use both of the coupons (we had one per room).

Another negative would be the minor inconsistencies in the housekeeping and amenites. I would have expected the same features and amenities in both rooms. However, we found some to be missing, such as the amenity kit in the Luxury Suite, and no chocolates in our Bella Suite.

Lastly about the room was that you could hear noise a lot. The air conditioning had a light hum to it. In addition, you could hear what was going on at the Strip. Although very muffled (you can not hear it if someone is talking), we could hear the sounds of the Fashion Show Mall's speakers as well as the Mirage Volcano very lightly during the day/night. We couldn't hear Treasure Island's Sirens of TI though because at the time, the free show went "dark".

Personally, I also didn't really like the darkness of the hallways leading to the rooms. It felt really out of place, as the rooms were all very bright colored, and so was the public spaces in the Lobby, but the hallways ended up being dark. It just felt weird why the designers chose to make the hallways dark!

Obviously, there were positives. The room for the most part was very, very clean (clean towels too), with the exception of the red scuff mark on the tub, which we didn't use anyway. All the bad parts were things that would be very expensive to be fixed- for example, one of the stone countertops (at the separation of the bedroom and living area) had some permanent stains on it due to the cups and drinks. You however, can't do anything to fix it other than buying a new slab of stone (that would be a bit too expensive!).

In the room, I also liked that the electrical functions of the room were up to date, with plenty of electrical ports and updated electronics that weren't outdated to the fact you would consider it to be a pain.

As for the hotel itself, I liked that it was bright and airy, with high ceilings (I couldn't touch the ceiling when I was on the bed standing in the room- I could at the Mirage). In addition, I liked the parking garage which was very high tech and updated to show the number of spaces available.

The service at the registration desks were also very good. I was surprised that the check in person really answered to my request and even snuck in a surprise.

Overall, I would rate this hotel about a 93 percent- they could improve by clearly stating their offers and what you need to do with them (now they do), as well as making sure everything is consistent so that everybody has the same features. They could also make the experience a bit more personalized if they really wanted to be a really good hotel, like the Shangri-La properties.
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Part 3 will be coming up shortly! It's just a mix of views, which were really good!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

can you show a picture somewhere with the hotel pens in las vegas you have been collecting?

EatTravelEat said...

Anonymous,
Maybe? Haven't got much time now but I'll think about it for a later post :).