My standard hotel reviews include a breakdown by the following topics. Feel free to skip to whichever section you find most interesting.
- Hotel Space / Ambiance
- Food & Drink
Experience the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas
This was my first time at the Rio, which is about two large blocks west of the Las Vegas Strip, or about a 10 minute drive from the middle areas of the Strip (~Linq, Harrah’s, Caesar’s Palace, etc.). The property only has suites, but is in dire need of renovation and restoration, as it has a dark, dingy casino and average rooms. Although I had a complimentary room, the property did not make me feel welcome or valued in any way, and I did not gamble there. Save yourself the trouble, and stay on the Las Vegas Strip.
Immediately at the entrance, we were hit with a blast of cigarette smoke, so we missed the gigantic signs directing us to diamond/vip registration (courtesy of my Starwood Platinum). Having to get in the regular registration line took forever, and although they said we were upgraded “3 tiers’ of room, it still looks exactly the same.
Additionally, the lady at check-in directed me to the VIP registration to get a larger room. However, the associates at VIP check-in were very obstinate and unhelpful, stonewalling me and refusing to do anything to help. Upon entering my room, I called to voice my concerns about initial experience, where they offered to waive the resort fee. This saved me about $30 plus tax, but I should have pushed for buffets. What a poor first impression of the Rio.
The room was decently large and spacious, reminding me of a suite sized room in Planet Hollywood or the W Atlanta, although not nearly as nice as either of them. It smelled of old Vegas (cigarettes, despair, and lost dreams), with the blinds drawn upon entry. It had an excellent view of a dead pool, the zipline, and residential areas of Las Vegas.
The bathroom was intriguing, with an a prep area and sink, with an additional sink in the enclosed bathroom. Additionally, the shower had a weird fogged-over peephole, roughly a foot square.
Hotel Space / Ambiance
The hotel is spacious, with a long, convoluted route in the casino, and even further from the room towers to fitness center. The hotel does not hold a candle to any decent property on the Strip. When the front desk agent referred to the Rio as the “forgotten child”, she was speaking accurately. Additionally, the casino was quite dark and gloomy, and not well lit. It was even darker than a comparable casino (Paris Las Vegas).
Food & Drink
The Rio Buffet is famous for its Carnival World & Seafood Buffet, as one of the more “premium” buffets in Vegas. However, we explored the nearby Palms Casino and enjoyed ourselves there for food and drink.
This time, I did check out the gym. It was quite small and dingy, fully enclosed without any outside lights. Additionally, it closed at 7pm, which I guess makes sense for the clientele, but was jarring to hear during my workout. I tend to work out in the evenings but one common theme I found was many of the gyms that are monitored close at an early 7pm. I did not check out the pool, as it was a bit chilly during the day.
The clientele seemed to trend older, with the main entertainment being Penn & Teller. It’s a short walk to the Palms Casino, with its Ghostbar and eateries. The Rio caters to an older crowd, but for this particular day it was the only Total Rewards property to offer me a complimentary room. I do not see myself coming back, because it makes more sense to stay on the Strip, unless the Rio was the only free room available.
Additionally, the Rio has a shuttle going to Bally’s/Paris or Harrah’s and back, roughly every thirty minutes, convenient to commute to the Strip.
Featured image from the view from my hotel room at the Rio Las Vegas.
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