The Rio Las Vegas Hotel Review Nov 2007

Rio Las Vegas Review

Here is the review of my latest stay at the Rio Las Vegas.

I made my reservation over the phone and the prices were in the $300 range for the weekend, but as a frugal shopper I checked the web the day I was supposed to arrive and the prices had dropped to $145 a night. They tried to say that we could not switch because of the cancellation policy within 72 hours. I had to argue a bit but finally got them to give me the new rate and not treat it as a cancellation. This is pretty much rule #1 check the rates periodically before you leave to see if there is a better deal. During my reservation I specifically asked for the Masquerade Tower on a high floor, strip view and a king bed. I even made sure the reservationist had all that information in my record, by calling back to make sure the first agent had put this in.

When I arrived at the Rio and checked in, I did the $20 trick (if you don’t know what this is just ask us). The lady behind the counter was oblivious on what the $20 meant, which is another story all together. So we started to complete our transaction and she had us down for the wrong tower and I asked her to check for any notes in our reservation, she found them and fixed the reservation and I was off to my room, The room ended up being the wrong side of the building giving me a mountain view, so I traversed back to the front desk to get the room I requested, but they only had a room with two queen beds and the front desk lady said she would put us in the queue for a room change the next morning. Rule #2: Always get what you asked for and complain if you do not or the New Vegas will take advantage of you.

As a side note:
I personally like the Masquerade Tower. The Masquerade Tower is shaped like a crescent moon and I like staying on the outside curve of the building facing the Las Vegas Strip because of the view and the rooms are bigger.

When I finally got in my room here is what I found:
The TV didn’t work
The phone didn’t work, it only had the old pulse dial (There was no way to fix it)
Many lights were burnt out in the bathroom
The bathroom was in need of a good cleaning (which is why I’m giving it such poor toilet ratings)
The door-jam near the shower was rusting very badly
The Bathtub grout needed a good cleaning, grout cleaning products always smell a little weird don’t they? Also
The sectional couch had no support, the cushions were flat.
They have an advertisement for Jim Beam on the side of the building, like they really need any more money. This helps for privacy but takes away from a clear view out the window. It felt like I was looking out a very thick window screen

Rio Las Vegas Review Rio Las Vegas Review Rio Las Vegas Review

Right away I called maintenance, wait the phone doesn’t work, but the phone by the elevator did. So I called about the TV and a maintenance person was dispatched and showed up an hour later only to come in my room and literally bang on the front a/v ports on the TV until the message “please insert the a/v device” went away. So I turned the TV off and back on and the same message appeared, so he proceeded to beat on it some more, yes he was hitting it with his palm. The message went away again, I turned it off and on, and viola it was fixed. I said to the maintenance person, “I would never of thought of beating on the TV to get it work, but at least I know how to fix it in the future”

The other two items, the phone and burnt out lights, I addressed with the front desk. They said they would get a maintenance person up there to fix it, it was never fixed but we found a new toothbrush on our counter, go figure…

We did receive a message from the front desk about our room upgrade, but the phone didn’t work so we couldn’t get to the message without some assistance, but it was all for not since the Rio was now sold out, yea right!

Another Side Note:
Earlier this year I stayed in the newly renovated rooms in the Ipanema after the front desk guy said the rooms were much better since they were renovated, I still wasn’t impressed. For those of you that have stayed at the Rio: They upgraded the TV from a standard tube TV to a 42 flat panel which now hangs on the wall on the opposite side of the room over the table, the picture quality was horrible because they were sending standard def to a high-def screen. They upgraded the Beds and Bedding, which are really nice. They also spruced up the bathroom and I think they changed out the sectional couch. Other than that I didn’t see much difference. One really bad thing was the shower was stopped up and wouldn’t drain, so a call to maintenance was required.

The Rio still needs help and here is why
Customer service. The staff on the casino floor are an unforgiving lot. While cruising the casino, this includes the casino floor, the buffet, shops etc… I was always being cut off by the Rio staff. They were very unapologetic, they would just cut you off or make you get out of their way. If this only happened once I would not gripe but every time I would venture out they seemed to have the right of way. This is total CRAP, what happened to customer service and the customer is always right? I am not sure who is training these people but get a grip. Vegas was founded on customer service and thank you, and yes sir, no sir.

The Rio is faltering and has been since Harrah’s took over. They have made it just another “Hotel in Vegas”. I am sure Harrah’s is making money with their template but the Rio Hotel in Vegas used to be a great place to have a great time and enjoy the experience.

The World Carnival Buffet used to be one of those experiences until Harrah’s changed that also. Though it has gotten better the quality is not back to where once was. When Harrah’s bought the Rio the first thing they did was remove the sushi, got rid of the quality and went with easier food to prepare. The Rio World Carnival Buffet was about quality and quantity, now it is quantity and a little quality. Every time I have eaten here the same food always tastes different. How can you have multiple batches of eggs benedict, ribs, mashed potatoes taste so different, this goes for anything they prepare by hand and not “store bought”. I am also really disappointed in the size and preparation of the crab legs. The crab legs have gotten way smaller than they once were. (Yes, I know the seafood buffet is better but lets stick with the Carnival World Buffet, and the Seafood Buffet is closed for renovations. Back to the crab legs, I would not give these things to my worst enemy, they are so watered down you have to squeeze them so they will drain and I they are soaking in regular water and not brine. Also they are over-cooked so badly you cannot get any meat because it sticks to the inside of the shell. This tells me the person cooking them doesn’t know what they are doing. The Rio also used to have steamed crab in the World Carnival Buffet but now it is only iced. I have done my homework on this and have eaten at the Rio Carnival World Buffet for a decade and more times than I care to let on, trust me I am a card carrying member. One redeeming quality for the Rio is our waiter, he has been there for twelve years and I try and make sure we sit in his section, because he will make sure everything is right, there is only one waiter who has been there longer and only by two years.

The Wynn has it to the nines:
The customer service training is very apparent here. After you get up from either the tables or the slots there is a customer service agent to push in your chair and to clean up the mess you left behind. They hold the door for you anytime they can, they are always very friendly and will make sure you are taken care of. Not to leave out the Bellagio but they are a close second.

8 thoughts on “The Rio Las Vegas Hotel Review Nov 2007

  1. The Rio has really slipped, I hope they rebound, I used to love this place.
    I can relate to everything in this post and then some.

  2. Glad to see its not just me. We went to the Rio buffet expecting great things since it had won so many awards…..of course they were from years ago and after eating there I knew why. Never fails to amaze me how companies buy up propertiest that are making money and great then just trash them.

  3. If you were really a “card carrying” member for decades, I would assume you would be getting comped rooms based on your frequent visits to LV. You should also know that the Rio has is an 18 year old hotel and obviously will have some flaws. Paying $300 per night, you can stay at the Wynn or Bellagio. Why even think about Rio!?

  4. Mike,
    Thanks for the Comment.
    Good point about my room at the Rio, it was comped.
    I have to say that I am partial to the Rio becuase because of the room size in the Masqurade Tower and in the past I have been treated really well there. We also liked the buffets.

    The reason for my first visit to the Rio, many moons ago, was a tip from a cabbie. Back then it was a happening place, but a little far from the strip w/ little to no shuttle service and it wasn’t owned by Harrah’s. Ahh the good old days.

    I have to say they are trying to work on their image but they have made som pretty bad choices as far as new Restaurants and the bowling alley. I wish they would call me for some assistance. The buffet has gotten better except for the overcooked crablegs.

    The old/original tower has been getting updates and has had some setbacks due to permits and bad workmanship. I am sure the new tower (Masquerade) will be next on the list for updates.

    Point well taken about staying at the Wynn, up until recently my “reward” points didn’t amount to much. I have been getting some pretty good deals from them in the mail. I do like the atmosphere of the Wynn, I feel comfortable gaming there, though I never win much while I am there. (we all know why that is). However, I did get a tour of the Wynn a long time ago, and got to check out the rooms and I was impressed and plan on staying there soon.

    Thanks again for the great comment, points well taken

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  6. i see that these comments are a few years old. it is Sept 2012 and I am on my first trip to Vegas and I am staying at the Rio… based on what i just read I hope it has gotten better.

  7. We have stayed there recently and the rooms we had were better that the pictures showed.

    It is not as pristine as when it first opened or before Harrah’s/Caesers owned it, but it is still pretty good.
    It is all about the staff, you cannot blame a single room for not staying at the Rio. Yes our rooms were dirty at the time and I am sure the Rooms will be dirty again.
    The cleaning staff has to fly through the rooms and clean them as fast as they can so they can move on to the next room.
    That is why Casinos do a “Refurb”, out with the old in with the new.

    The rust was neglect, and we let the Front Desk know what happened and they put it on their “list” of things to do.
    We are like the secret shoppers with a worldwide audience.

    We like staying at the Rio because of the atmosphere and the Vibe. Don’t forget about the buffets.
    We also like staying in the Masquerade Tower, with a strip view because the rooms are bigger. The Casino bows outward towards Bellagio, so those rooms are just a bit bigger.
    Rooms are large, hence the name Rio “All-Suite”

    If you have any more questions please do not hesitate to ask.

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