If you play a little at the locals casinos, every month you look forward to The Offers, the mailer with the calendar of goodies for the next month. These days, in this economy, The Offers often Suck, but I don't feel like putting Station "Here's $2, yes $2, in free slot play for Shari and nothing, nothing!, for Mike" Casinos on the witness stand right now. I'd rather talk about the M resort.
Is the M resort really a locals casino? It's as pretty as a new Strip casino, convenient to all of the incoming California traffic, has high-end dining and spa, and they offer no movie theatres or bingo hall. (Even South Point, which stopped wooing locals a few years ago and still is trying to make "South Strip" happen, has a cinema and bingo.) But at the same time, they're on Facebook offering ongoing incentives for locals, offering Wednesday deals for casino-hopping seniors (retirement communities run regular shuttles), and they do send out The Offers, with gifts, slot play, and coupons.for every week - sometimes every day of the week.
Thanks to an evening out with visiting friends last November, in January, Mike got The Offers.
Now, some things on the calendar we just ignored. Sure, free wine every week is always handy for cooking, but our kitchen is already busting with free wine (and glasses) from back in South Point's heyday, and even though the M is close, most days we're not making a special trip for a bottle of booze to stick in the cupboard. Likewise, who needs a free two-night stay in one of their hotel rooms? We live here! We'd miss the hammies! (And the World of Warcraft.)
But when the end of the month came, some nagging spirit of adventure - the one I usually try to suppress until such a hazy future date when I'm rich and don't have to hug myself to avoid touching any seatmates on a plane - said, ooo, let's book our free room!
If nothing else, we could at least have fun swiping the toiletries, right?
Mike called, the casino swore that, yes, everything was absolutely free, no resort taxes, no surcharges, no expectations. We booked Friday and Saturday night. After work on Friday afternoon, we giddily threw a few items into a bag and drove down the road.
Check-in was easy. We skipped a little to have a room on the 11th floor (out of 15? 16?), but even the lowest floor with rooms is high enough for good views, and we skipped a little higher to have a king bed and a Strip view awaiting us.
(It's hard to say how much of the pie chart "King Bed" claims under "Reasons to Travel." But I'm not in a cheery enough mood to even think about our bed issues right now.)
Let's start the bar low with a very blurry but important photo. (Yeah, I brought the big camera bag - and forgot the tiny tripod.) In order to get power in your room at M, you have to put your key card in this special slot, shown above. Clever, eh?
After ooo-la-lahing in the bathroom (we'll get to that in a minute), the main area did not disappoint:
I love how the bedside phone looks like a cell. Hey! I live in 2010!
Looking back from the bed, you can see one of the more interesting features of the room. Specifically, you can see into one of the more interesting features - the bathtub with the view.
At first I was all "ew, unfortunate Japanese businessman stereotypes" in my head, but later I came to understand firsthand why being able to see into the bathroom was novel, not creepy.
Speaking of the view, let's ignore the desk area with the flat screen TV and the hidden cupboards of Pringles and M&Ms, especially since I just have this one blurry photo:
And let's look at the view itself:
You can kind of tell that I had already turned around one of the (heavy!) chairs. Later we would eat supper (takeout from Vig's deli downstairs - kind of mediocre, but I don't think we ordered well) facing a long view of the Strip at night. GORGEOUS. If we look up from the pool a bit, you can begin to get an idea (such as a the shakyhanded camera will allow):
(The pool again - where the Steve Miller Band is playing in May?)
Now, let's talk about the amazing bathroom.
Actually, first let's talk about the one problem we encountered in the room, other than dampness by the floor lamp, because it seems like the carpets have been damp in our last ten hotel stays, the Long Beach Hilton excepted. (I'm not exaggerating. It's pretty bad that one of the first things we noticed about the Hilton was that, hey, the floors aren't damp!)
Once some of the "oooooo!" factor wore off in the bathroom in our room at the M, we noticed this ring on the counter:
Bleh. Did no one wipe the counters? Sadly, the rings (which did not seem to be permanent) were still there after maid service the next day.
As with the damp carpet, it's too bad that not assuming your room is clean is part of the modern hotel experience. Who hasn't seen the current affairs programs showing how glasses get "washed," how bedspreads don't, and let's not even mention the bedbugs. (Seriously. Don't. I'll never leave home again. Use the luggage stand, people!)
I'm not saying the room was unclean. In fact, it seemed very clean... except for the unwiped counter. And if they aren't wiping the counter, are they wiping door knobs? Phones? Remotes?
Or was it just a stubborn stain?
I don't know, but the rest of the bathroom was gorgeous. Here I am, standing in the shower stall, taking a photo of Mike:
(Tub to the right, sinks to the left, toilet behind the door in the back.)
I mean, the bathroom has a television built into the mirror!
And now, the best part, the fun of taking a bath in your room at the M resort:
Nice, huh? I was impressed. (And Mike was asleep, just out of frame to the right.)
Okay, so the bath crystals were bland (just crystals, no scent), and I got a huge bruise on my inner thigh (softball sized!) from trying to get in and out of the tub without slipping, but it was still deep and h-o-t. Mmmm.
If modesty should become an issue, just press a button and down comes the shade:
See the grooves along the side of the tub? Perfect for resting your arms as you soak. One of those things you never know you want until you have it.
Later I also had a shower. (Stupid grubby hair.) I had a really hard time squeezing anything out of the shower amenities:
Mike, with his superior upper body strength, was able to get enough out to almost finish up the tubes. (Whereas I just resigned myself to another shampoo at home later.) Nice enough product, though. Not noticeably abrasive.
And finally, above is a photo of a glass (on a coaster! where it belongs! and won't make rings aka evidence!), just because I thought it was kind of pretty.
(If that's not enough, the rest of the photos can be seen here.)
We left that evening, after baths and naps and showers and dindins, hit Fresh & Easy for some Pringles (the minibar was too inspirational), and slept that night at home. The next day we lunched at Mt. Everest (so holy it has yet to get its own post), swung by Palace Station for a little free slot play, then went back to our room to grab the bath stuff and properly check out.
It was hard to say goodbye. Our room! The bed! The view! That bath!
But we did, somehow, after taking a little video: