So you want to feel like a high roller and have cabana boys or cabana girls wait on your every whim? Well you’ve come to the right city. This is Vegas baby and you can have anything you want…..for the right price of course!
I am not gonna get into specifics on what each hotel offers and the such. You can visit this site Vegas Pools. This is one of many sites I checked out before booking a cabana. If your booking a hotel and the pool is a definite deal breaker….and it should be, then check this site out. It has 360 degree panorama of all the major pools. Also check out the website of your hotel to see if they offer any other views or pics. When I booked my cabana I basically was between two hotels….the MGM Grand and the Excalibur. Now I know you cant compare the two. Its like comparing a Lexus to a Ford focus but I was on a budget at the time so I chose the Excalibur because the tower rooms were nice and the cabana was priced right at 150 dollars a day on a Saturday! Compare that to MGM on a Saturday and your looking at about 400 to 500 dollars for the day depending on demand.
Now there isn’t much info out there when it comes to picking a cabana. So hopefully my advice helps. I suggest you gauge your party power. What is party power? Well if you young and in your twenties or early thirties and you want to get crazy and mingle with the wannabees and beautiful people and your willing to shell out the bucks then check out the hottest pools first; Hard Rock, MGM, Wynn, Mandalay Bay and Caesars. These pools offer the very best in amenities and service but at a cost. These cabanas can run any where from 400 hundred to 1500 a day. Tip and extras are not included. You can get a cheaper rate during off season and on weekdays.
If you are on the budget side and still want to have the luxury of a cabana then you should check out some of the less popular pools. I chose the pool at Excalibur. The pool is not the prettiest but it offers everything that the other guys do but at a fraction of the price. The amenities are not the top of the line but you get a nice cabana with fully stocked fridge …no alcohol of course but you get a 42″ plasma. The waitress service was average at best. You can certainly change the attitude of your server or host if you tip accordingly. More on that later.
So you have secured your cabana. Now what? What you dont know is that you can be bumped at any moment or on the very day that you reserved. It all depends on demand. You could be bumped and not even know it. So I suggest that you check on the day before your reservation with the front desk and on the morning of your reservation. You never know if you were bumped for Paris Hilton or some other obnoxious overpaid celebrity.
Now that you have your cabana , you need to understand the cabana etiquette. Everyone in the service industry is expecting a tip. Including the Host , who initially sets you up and your waitress for the day. I usually tip the host a twenty if I am at a budget pool and up to 50 dollars if I am at the Wynn. I usually tip the waitress 50 bucks up front then more at the end of the day. It all depends on how much she served my friends and I and how inappropriate we behaved:).
Just use this as a guide and you will be just fine.
There is a little know restaurant in Seaworld Orlando. Its by far one of the coolest restaurants I have ever visited. Seaworld was keeping this a secrete for some reason and up until last month I couldnt find any info on the restaurant. The restaurant is called Sharks Underwater Grill. If you plan on visiting Orlando and are going to Seaworld this is a must see! You can now visit the link here Sharks. The restaurant sits right in the middle of the aquarium. You are literally surrounded by sharks. It is so cool and the pictures dont do it justice. Just so you know there isnt a bad seat in the house but if you want to have a seat near the glass then I suggest you get to the Host stand in front of the restaurant at 10 am sharp! The restaurant fills up quick especially on weekends and holidays. If you happen to be a season pass holder or passport holder then you get a special benefit. You can reserve your table up to 24 hours in advance by calling the restaurant and stating that you are a passport holder. I booked a table next to the glass for my son’s birthday last year and he absolutely loved it! Dont miss this experience, you will not regret it and your family will be talking about it for years.
The Travel Guy
It seems like every day there is a new travel company touting themselves as the end all be all of search engines. Claiming that they have the very best deals and that you wont find a better deal anywhere else! Come on do you really think we believe this? Its like your used car salesman telling you that the price he gave you is a one time offer and that he is losing his shirt by selling it to you so cheap. The truth is that these search engines make money by booking sales through there widgets, banners or search boxes. Then they take a cut from the hotels, airlines, and car rental companies. Its their job to get you to buy travel from them and them only. Most of the time there is a “booking fee” that is tagged onto the final cost of the purchase.
Now im not saying that you should all together stop using your favorite travel portal to buy travel products. They are very useful in finding the best deals however you need to understand that there are added fees tacked on at the end. As long as you know this then you are a better informed consumer and ultimately will find the best deal.
This is how I search for travel these days. I usually start with my new favorite search engine “Kayak”. This cool engine pulls over 150 sites including Expedia, Hotwire, Priceline and more. Its pretty awesome to see this engine work. I will get into the core features of this engine a bit later. After I run a search on Kayak I then move on to the other big three, Orbitz, Expedia, and Travelocity. I do like Hotwire for car deals and Cheapoair for air fares. Hotwire has some incredible deals on cars. I searched the other day and found a rental for 5 days at a total of 60 dollars! One other point to make is that Travelocity and sites like BookingBuddy.com Subscribe All you have to do is tell them where you want to go and at what price and they will email you when a deal pops up. This isnt as easy as it sounds though, most of the time the deals are off peak and very limited.
Ok so you found the best deal now what? Do you book through the travel portal or direct to the hotel or airline? Book straight with the hotel, car or airline company. Why? Because you wont pay that “booking fee” and will almost always get the best deal dealing straight with the merchant. Here is another reason why you should book direct, I have heard horror stories of travelers left out in the cold because the third party company they used lost their reservation or screwed up their itinerary. Also companies like dealing direct with their customers. Its easier for them to manage your reservation and they dont have to pay commissions to travel companies.
Now a little more about Kayak. The engine is one of the most powerful and user friendly search engines I have used to date. What I like about the engine is that it has an option to query sites in separate browsers. You can actually see what the leading portal sites are quoting at the same time. Another feature I like is that you can choose alternate dates for lower fares by just clicking on the date. I know travelocity and other sites offer this but Kayak makes it easy and quick. Just a few reminders about companies not included in the search. Southwest airlines is not part of their search. Just so you know Southwest does not participate in any search engine. I guess they feel they are better than everyone else. No one can really blame them though, they usually offer some of the most competitive rates in the industry.
visit Traveldealspotter.com for more info and deals.