Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Terrible's: The Hotel - Not A Bad Place To Crash In Las Vegas!
The Good: Good enough location, Decent sized room, Amenities
The Bad: No grounds, No free breakfast, Smelly from the casino and hallways, Lousy television options
The Basics: Dank and a lacking in atmosphere, Terrible's Hotel is a place to stay cheap in Las Vegas, but not the most comfortable or welcoming.
For the last three years, I have gone to Las Vegas, Mecca of Star Trek fans for the largest domestic Star Trek convention of the year, where I set up as a dealer of Star Trek merchandise. Those who read my reviews know that brand loyalty is important to me (hence my hundreds of Celestial Seasonings tea reviews) and that when it comes to staying places on the road, Choice Hotels is the chain I have allied myself and my dollars with. So, as I sit down to review Terrible's Hotel And Casino, it is important to note that this is not the Mirror Universe W.L. Swarts writing the review.
As well, in the tradition of some of the finest reviewers who have been known to divide out aspects of reviews into separate reviews (the extreme for this that I've found is a celebrated reviewer who reviewed each of the five discs in an Elvis boxed set as a separate review), it is important to note that this review is classified under my Hotel reviews and will be limited (mostly) to just that aspect to the facility. Because this year I began my limited gambling "career" (I'm up $20 so far!) while in Las Vegas, I have decided to start reviewing casinos and as such, keep an eye out in the next few days for my review of Terrible's Casino. (Those who follow my reviews might well appreciate that I have come up with a standardized format for my casino reviews, just like my food, hotel and destination ones!)
As I was planning this year's trip rather last minute, I decided that when the great hotel and casino offers started flowing in this year (the result of my mother's happy gambling time last year) I would give them serious consideration. Last year, I snuck a night at Terrible's Hotel as part of their promotion with the new tower annex and this year, when I saw how much the rates had gone up at my regular Comfort Inn Las Vegas (reviewed here!), I decided to see what offers Terrible's would come up with. When the glossy mailing for a $29.99 room with $25.00 in free play hit my mailbox, I confirmed with my mother that we would be, yet again, breaking with our favorite chain and giving Terrible's Hotel another shot.
So, with two different rooms I've stayed at . . . when looking for an inexpensive place in Las Vegas to crash for a night, Terrible's Hotel is not a bad option.
Terrible's Hotel is located at the corner of Flamingo and Paradise Roads in Las Vegas, Nevada. The proper address is 4100 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, NV and internet direction sites like MapQuest have no trouble finding it. For those not familiar with the little desert oasis known as Las Vegas, Paradise Road is a block over from Las Vegas Boulevard, which is commonly known as The Strip. Las Vegas purists seem to like the Strip for the big, famous, obvious casinos, but it is places right off the strip (like off-Broadway) that often one finds better values and more character.
Terrible's hotel has some character, though it's hard to define on its own.
There are no grounds, but Northerners like myself will be thrilled by the site of the giant palm trees out in front of the hotel. In order to check in to the hotel, one must go to the front desk . . . in the casino. Thus, those of us who are health conscious and loathe cigarette and cigar smoke are subjected to the lousy atmosphere of the casino in order to get checked into their room. This is a significant disappointment and no matter how else I might fall on the experience, it would be a real decent thing if the hotel would put another check in point away from the casino. Naturally, Terrible's would not be thrilled by this idea, but every other major hotel and casino I went to had a . . . cleaner area for checking in the hotel guests. It is disappointing Terrible's did not.
After checking in at the front desk in the casino, visitors must stray through a room and a half to get to the hotel access for the tower (ironically, the cleanest rooms and part of the hotel take the visitor through the most dank part of the casino). Those staying in the Old Wing may either exit the building and re-enter at one of the other outer doors or they may walk around the front desk to as series of hallways that have the same tenor and character as the casino to get to the room.
Finding the rooms is fairly simple and the front desk staff is quite knowledgeable about such things. This latest trip, I stayed in the Old Wing on the bottom floor. The room was actually the smallest I stayed in on this trip, measuring 29 X 13 1/4 ft., including the space for the bathroom. The room did not seem terribly small, though, even with our two queen-sized beds and the dresser, table and chairs and night stand.
Upon entering the room, there was the briefest of hallways representing the bathroom, which was accessible through a door when one entered the actual room space. The bathroom consisted of a toilet and shower with the sink and mirror kept outside the isolated room.
I do not have measurements on the Tower rooms, but I seem to recall ours being slightly larger last year. If they are not larger, they are better lit and cleaner, to be sure.
Rooms in the Tower section start in the $45 range and with this year's current deal of $29.99 (with $25 back in gaming!) the Old Wing seemed like it would be fine for a night. The thing people who travel a lot know from experience is that a room that is called nonsmoking is only truly that if: 1. It never has been a smoking room, and 2. the hotel segregates the linens from smoking and nonsmoking rooms (most people don't think about that).
Both rooms easily passed the flush test and the tower nonsmoking rooms are clean and odorless. The older rooms - I checked three of them - despite being nonsmoking rooms have the aura of nicotine and faint smell of tobacco permeating them. To be sure, the scent is faded - though that might just be because it is weaker than the scent saturating the adjacent casino - but it is still present. As well, the linens bear the faint scent of cigarette smoke and nicotine. It's not like they were hang dried in the smoky casino, but the scent is noticeable. Those with allergies should definitely look to the tower instead.
The other surfaces were generally clean. There were no problems with last year's tower room. The old wing room this year, though, had peeling wallpaper, a few stains on the rug and the tub was not clean enough that I felt comfortable taking a bath. The tile could stand to be regrouted, too.
The rugs were colored dark enough to obscure dirt, but the windows - looking into the courtyard - were streaked and the flatscreen television was dusty.
In every room there was the standard coffee packets, shampoo, conditioner, and lotion, along with an air conditioning unit. The shower is not designed for tall people - in either style room. I understand that people are of different heights and they want those who are not so tall to be able to reach up and redirect the head of the shower, but at 6 ft. 2 inches, it is annoying to have to take a shower in a facility where the head is (literally) at chest level.
The hotel provided a free surprise under one of the pillows, which was a buy one, get one free buffet meal and that was a decent perk on top of everything else. Other than that, this was a very basic hotel room; it is clear Terrible's is prioritizing the casino and buffet over the hotel.
There is no free breakfast at Terrible's. While there is a 24 hour cafe/grill and a kick-butt buffet from 7 A.M. until 9 P.M., they are not complimentary to those staying at the hotel. I imagine room service is available (I saw trays outside several rooms in the tower) from the cafe, but I shudder to think of the expense.
Each room has a wide screen, flat screen television. This would be real awesome as an alternative to going to the casino or leaving the hotel room, save that the television has approximately fifteen television stations and at least one of them is the Terrible's network!
The only real hotel-like perk to Terrible's is the fitness room on the second floor in the tower section. One needs a room key to get in, but this is also where the free high speed internet terminal is. Many of the workers at the hotel do not seem to know about the public terminal in the weight room, so it is easy to use at all hours of the night and is rather convenient.
This is an average (at best) hotel and I'm ultimately not recommending it (though the tower rooms are not a bad option for a night) because it is just not clean enough or comfortable enough. This is like the Las Vegas casino/hotel equivalent of the Econolodge; it's cheap, but you're getting what you pay for. But, hey, what did I truly expect for (in the end) $4.99 + tax?!
For other hotel reviews, please be sure to visit my reviews of:
Hunt Valley Inn Marriot – Hunt Valley, MD
Super 8 Motel Newcastle – Newcastle, IN
Comfort Inn Carrier Circle - Syracuse, NY
For other hotel or travel reviews, please be sure to visit my (newly updated!) Travel Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2012, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.