It's a couple of blocks west of the I-15 Freeway, which runs down the side of the Strip, which has its pros and cons. Obviously getting to the Strip from here isn't easy - you could walk to Caesars in about half an hour, but you'd be walking along main roads and I wouldn't do it at night either. However, the resort does lay on a shuttle which drops you off at the Forum Shops.
Then again, its location means you get spectacular, wide-ranging views of the Strip, which are every bit as good as being on it.
The entry level rooms - called "deluxe", in the Palms Tower - are nothing to write home about. Although they're well stocked with Aveda amenities and have flatscreen TVs, design-wise they look more like a business hotel room than a rock star pad. The "superior" rooms in the newer Fantasy Tower are head and shoulders above them with a warm colour scheme and Bose sound systems. Even better, it appears to be pretty easy to get upgraded - two of my friends who recently stayed both asked at check-in for the Fantasy Tower and both were rewarded with gorgeous rooms. NB: this will only work midweek, so if you're arriving on a weekend, I suggest you fork out for the upgrade in advance.
Of course, if you've got money to burn, the suites here are fantastic, the poolside bungalows are brilliant for lounging or keeping a bikini tally, and the "fantasy suites", of which there are eight, are some of the best rooms in Vegas - one of them has two full-size bowling lanes in the living room, another has a basketball court. I repeat, in the living room.
I'm not a massive fan of the casino - it always feels pretty cramped - but according to the Las Vegas Review Journal, its slot machines are nice and loose. I do like the hotel as a whole, though - it's small enough to walk around (yes, even in heels), it's easy to navigate, but there's an inordinate amount crammed into it.
Eating and drinking
Great options. N9NE steakhouse is not only very good, but it's a celeb hangout, too - it's where, in August, Jesse James went public with his new girlfriend, and Piers Morgan has been seen to hang out at the bar. Simon (over at Palms Place) is a cult restaurant run by celeb chef Kerry Simon, with upmarket renderings of junk food - its sunday brunch is legendary. Alize offers gourmet dining on top of the building with spectacular views of the Strip, and Garduno's is a great New Mexican joint on the casino floor.
The buffet doesn't have the biggest selection, but it's reasonably priced and what's there is pretty decent quality.
For drinks, try the Lounge, which has various entertainment options, from the fantastic Santa Fe and the Fat City Horns on a Monday night to comedy and improvisation throughout the week. If you don't want to pay for a ticket, sit at the bar outside the lounge - although you won't be able to see the stage, you can hear everything. Or go up to Ghostbar, on the 55th floor - its outside Skydeck terrace has almost 360 degree views. Looking at the Strip from here will take your breath away - it's one of my favourite bars in Vegas.
The pool has a great party atmosphere - its summer pool parties on Fridays are hugely popular, and there are regular poolside concerts, too - Ludacris, Snoop Dogg and Shaggy all performed this year. There's a good spa and gym, too, and the concert venues rival the Hard Rock - from the Lounge to the Pearl, an intimate venue where Billy Idol, Mariah Carey and Lady Gaga have all performed.
The clubs are also worth noting. Rain is one of my favourite clubs in Vegas - a huge, lofty circular room where Paul Oakenfold has a residency. Moon is a lounge-type club with awesome views of the Strip. Ignore the "club" in Playboy Club - it's basically a casino high up with Playboy Bunnies as dealers, and a bar tacked on. Spectacular views of the Strip, though.
For the most part, it's informal but pretty relaxed - the reputation of the place doesn't seem to have gone to people's heads. Apart from in the Playboy Club, where the women bartenders veer from snooty to downright rude - I won't set foot in there voluntarily any more.
Who stays there
The party set! You'll be hard pressed to find many people under 30. They're also pretty good looking, and they like to dress up.
A daily resort fee of $1.
Pros & Cons
- Fantastic nightlife
- Great for entertainment
- Popular with celebrities
- Party central
- Entry level rooms are boring
- Off the Strip