Layover in Las Vegas
February 28, 2011 6:50 AM   Subscribe

I've got a 6 hour layover in Las Vegas today. What can I do with my carry-on bag and how can I get to the strip and get a meal relatively cheaply?

Looking for tips on how to make the most of my time during a layover. I want to see the crazy lights and strangeness that Las Vegas can offer. What's a cheap and good way to get into the city from the airport (and back again around 9:30pm)? Where can I get an inexpensive but decent buffet? Where can I put my carry-on bags while I do this?
posted by msbrauer to Travel & Transportation around Las Vegas, NV (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Just take a taxi, and bring your bags with you into the buffet. I recommend the Spice Market in Planet Hollywood! Have fun!
posted by Grither at 6:52 AM on February 28, 2011

Response by poster: I should say that I plan on using my time to take pictures and don't want to be encumbered by luggage. Maybe in 2003 I had a 2 hour layover and managed to ride the rollercoaster on top of a hotel; our group put bags in lockers in the airport. Are those still around?

What would a taxi cost from the airport to the strip?
posted by msbrauer at 6:55 AM on February 28, 2011

You can check your bags in into any casino seriously-- you don't have to stay there. Just some dollars for tipping the porters.

There's a bus that will take you to the strip as well.

Strip taxis are ~$20
posted by sandmanwv at 7:02 AM on February 28, 2011

As for January 6th, I can vouch for the existence of pay-per-hour lockers on the gate side of security at LAS. I was flying VirginAmerica. Unfortunately I can't remember the cost.
posted by mrsshotglass at 7:34 AM on February 28, 2011

Seconding the check your bags at any hotel\casino. It's free, secure and convenient. The shuttle is a good idea as well.
posted by zephyr_words at 7:42 AM on February 28, 2011

Shuttles are great and cheaper but they run with less frequency than taxis. If you are trying to maximize your free time, take a taxi.
posted by mmascolino at 8:34 AM on February 28, 2011

I'd stick with the locker - don't underestimate the amount of time it's going to take to check and retrieve bags from a random hotel, let alone what happens if they don't find them quickly.
posted by mrs. taters at 8:35 AM on February 28, 2011

Transportation/time concerns mentioned above are very valid.

The best thing I could imagine you could do is take a cab (wait in cab line-- don't take any rides from people claiming to offer a ride for cheaper: wait in the official cab line the airport staff will direct you to), ask for "no tunnel" (there's a tunnel route that feels fast, but is more expensive, that cabbies like to take people through), and hit a property that's in a good location and isn't seedy.

I can't tell you which buffets are good or not: I haven't eaten at any of them. But I can say that a nice property to visit would be Bellagio. You could, based on time, also walk to City Center with Aria and see some spiffy architecture, but as with most things on the strip, the walk time is longer than one would expect. There's a route and low skywalk you can take from Bellagio to Aria, but it's a little convoluted, and even the staff of both properties sometimes can't point out which way to go exactly.

As Grither said above, Planet Hollywood isn't a bad idea at all. The casino is clean, and has an energetic vibe. It connects directly to the strip and there's a lot of people watching to be had.

Bellagio's nice, too, and nice to walk around. There's a fountain show that's pretty fun to watch, and a bar just off the lobby called the Petrossian. Get a Bellini there. Watch the show. Cab it back. You can check your bag in at the front desk.

Final recommendations:
1. Official cab, "no tunnel," to Bellagio
2. Check in bag at Bellagio
3. Eat. Not sure about the buffet. There's a small noodle restaurant that's not bad, pretty decent, and pretty quick
4. Check out the conservatory and all its pretty flora
5. Go to the Petrossian, get a Bellini, look up in the lobby and check out all the pretty glass, walk out front, enjoy fountain show
6. Pick up bag, cab it back.

Be sure to alot yourself plenty of time for going through security again. Might be worthwhile to ask the front desk how much time you need to get back and through security, based on where you're flying out to.

Have fun!
posted by herrdoktor at 9:37 AM on February 28, 2011

I was just there last week, and can tell you that the Wynn was by far the best buffet we encountered. Expensive for dinner, but only ~$4 more for lunch (before 3 or 4 PM) than at the Bellagio or someplace else mid-grade. Wynn also has the best menu add-on I have ever seen: $8 for a bump to unlimited champagne/bloody mary/mimosa. With some perseverance, my wife and I killed a couple of bottles between us in the 90 or so minutes we were there.
posted by Mayor West at 9:53 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

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