Golden Gate Hotel & Casino Las Vegas : The VegasTripping Review 2008
Photo & Video Review of the Oldest Joint In Las Vegas
With many of us feeling the pinch of high gas prices and the ripple effects of early stage recession, searching for quality rooms at bargain basement prices is one of the best ways for Vegas junkies to be able to afford Vegas trips in a belt-tightening economy. In our last Vegas bargain hunter excursion, the ground rules were to snag the best rooms possible for under $100/night. We walked away with two nights at the four star rated Golden Nugget at an unbelievable steal deal of $50/night.
This time rules were even simpler - find the cheapest Strip or Fremont Street hotel/casino room possible without sacrificing safety or dignity. Rates found through the VT reservation system proved to be pretty competitive compared to the hotel websites for a Tuesday arrival : El Cortez $75, Fremont $58, Plaza $50, Four Queens $45, Binions $32. As for the Strip : Sahara at $129 and Stratosphere for $104. The Tropicana clocked in at a laughable $177/night rate.
Once again, a Fremont Street institution - this time the Golden Gate Hotel & Casino - won out with the best rates in town. Since the Golden Nugget trip, I've secretly been vying to stay at the Golden Gate. Our quick jaunt through the casino - including a taste test of their famed Shrimp Cocktail - was great, low key, unpretentious fun. If anything I was struck by the intimacy of being in a smaller property and how the employees were gracious, thoughtful and pretty darn awesome.
Case in point : I stopped off at the casino cage and asked the cashier if they had any excellent quality collectable casino chips for my collection. The cashier mentioned that there was an anniversary edition chip with a San Francisco cable car on it, but after looking through her drawer she couldn't find one. I ended up purchasing a standard chip, then headed over to the snack bar to test drive the shrimp. About five minutes later, a casino security guard came up to me and said "the cashier sent me over here to tell you that she found the chip and you could stop by the cage any time to pick it up." Wow. This is the very definition of customer service. Not only did the cashier care enough to go trolling around the vault for the chip, but she had the security guard seek me out in the casino to pass the message on. She was truly shocked and grateful when I gave her a well-deserved tip when exchanging the chips.
That being said, customer service alone doesn't make for a great hotel experience, particularly when the joint in question is literally as old as Las Vegas. The fact of the matter is that this room costs roughly the same amount of dough as one hand of blackjack at one of the cheaper tables at Wynn Las Vegas. To say that I had low expectations while stepping into the lobby from the valet parking lot about 10 steps away is an understatement.