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Rio Las Vegas - Original "Suite" Review
December 11, 2011 11:49 pm

I arrived at the valet on a Friday at 4:00PM and it was pretty empty. The same at the front desk where there was only one couple waiting before me. I was pretty surprised considering it was the first weekend of the big NFR rodeo. I was given a room on the 13th floor of the original, Ipanema Tower, which was not one of the recently remodeled rooms. It was the Rio standard "suite" that is really just an oversized room with a seating area. For a regular room, its really pretty decent. About twice the size of a normal room; it has a couch, coffee table, TV armiore and a desk in addition to the bed and side tables. The bathroom area is off the entryway with a huge vanity with sink outside and another sink in the bathroom. Other amenities in the room include a safe, Keurig Coffeemaker, mini-bar, hairdryer and iron.

While there was no real big complaints with the room, the general overall impression that was left is that the place is just tired. There were numerous stains on the carpet, a permanant water stain on the vanity, a beat-up, old 27" tube TV and no alarm clock. The couch cushions were sinking into the couch and the windows hadn't been cleaned in sometime. Even the outside of the building has the paint peeling off, Come on, man!

Downstairs, there hasn't been a whole lot of change over the years at Rio. Harrah's constantly is tweaking the place but it is largely the same as a decade ago. There is a mediocre collection of restaurants which skew towards the pricier end, none of which is overly acclaimed. The best restaurant in the joint has always been the Carnival World Buffet but since the introduction of the dreaded "Buffet of Buffets," it's nearly impossible to get in. This Friday night was no different with a line that was easily 100 deep. The casino area is large, resembling any Strip casino, filled with a ton of slots and the tables have your typical crappy Harrah's rules. Most of the minimums on Friday and Saturday were $15 and up, even early in the morning. I do have to give them props for excellent drink service. I played about an hour in the casino and was constantly attended to though I am still kinda freaked out by the male cocktail waiters!

Overall, the stay at Rio was perfectly mediocre which is the experience Harrah's delivers. They churn volume and that is their business model. If you don't know any better and don't expect much from your hotel, it may just be the perfect choice aside from it's non-Strip location. However, knowing what the options are, I would be hard pressed to stay at Rio again anytime soon.

Rio Room Pictures

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