Natives on Tour in Las Vegas for Thanksgiving


How can I begin this saga? I will begin with regret. Regret that we chose Las Vegas for our Thanksgiving weekend and high regret for the place we chose to stay.  I cannot name the place because that would not be fair, but perhaps you can guess.

The check in process went smoothly and when you are checking in for seven rooms, this says a lot about the registration department of this hotel. I mention “the hotel” because; I never set foot outside of it due the trauma that was to unfold on the inside.

Everyone began to settle into their room assignments.  I upgraded ours because I felt we needed a larger space to meet and greet.

At first the upgraded room from hell looked good. It was on the 62nd floor facing the airport. After enjoying a few take offs and landings we set about nesting.  Within the first twenty minutes my black pants were full of blonde hairs. I called down and asked the front desk if perhaps this was as doggie room. She assured me it was not. There were further masses of hairs clinging to my pants. I called Housekeeping and they came to increase the cleaning process.  Then, an inspector came up to see that the job was done. I took my black sweater and rubbed my arm all along the sides of the bed and furniture. More masses of hairs clung.  The woman’s jaw dropped and she said the house cleaners would come again. They came and this time I stayed to watch the process.  They changed all the bedding and vacuumed all along the sides of the furniture several times and that seemed to solve the problem for cleanliness for the most part. It took the rest of our day to get this job done. What irks me to no end is that I paid good hard earned money for this upgrade from Hell. It was not a free upgrade or a compensated room.

I need to mention that the phones did not work, except for the ones in each bathroom. I spent a good amount of time on the potty seat talking from the bathroom, which possessed the only working phone to call the various people when I needed to get help. They never did fix the phones for normal talking; they got them to work on speakerphone, which is a yelling kind of talking. Talking exclusively on speakerphone is frustrating and headache producing for certain.

We were promised a Thanksgiving dinner for all rooms and considering the cost of Thanksgiving meals, that sounded like a deal too good to be true.  You know how things go.  It was a promise made from air.  I think, though, it was made in good faith if you were willing to stand in line for three hours and still not be assured of reaching the goal line before closing.  We had invited four guests as well, making our group twenty-two. We did wait in line for a while, but the line moved only a foot or so in about an hour’s time.  The restaurant would have closed by the time we got anywhere near the beginning of the line, so we knew our free food was history. It freaked our guests out who were daunted by the task of standing indefinitely in line, so I scouted around and was able to get Raffles to give us a table for twenty-two and all seemed well.  A fortune and one half later we had all been served and ate our Thanksgiving dinner. So as you know to be aware when a deal is too good to be true, it is. That evening, all who had the soup at our Thanksgiving restaurant were violently ill throughout the night and next morning. We had food poisoning in the group and that does put an automatic damper on enjoying Las Vegas. I did not have the soup.

Tempers were flaring. We tried to over come the evening and the morning after! Not so fast here. When we came back to our upgraded room at a hefty price, the roaring was deafening. It was like several trains passing each other. Again, I seated myself on the potty seat to call and get some help with the noise.  They said they went on the roof and turned off the intake hoses to our room.  Even after turning them off, there was no difference in the horrific sound.  Engineering was called twice. Yes, picture me sitting on the potty seat, using the only good phone in this suite. On call number two at 1:00 a.m. and they said I could go downstairs and buy some earplugs; they had done all they could do. Noise is a great equalizer. It makes you take notice of wanting quiet and you begin to long for it.

The next day I called Engineering earlier in the evening, anticipating the horrid noise in the night to come. Engineers came in and out of our room and went up and down to the roof and back down again and again.  Finally, the head engineer had the kindness of heart to tell us the truth. All of the electrical equipment for the entire gargantuan hotel was situated on top of the roof right above our room. He was so apologetic and said he was so sorry but he could not turn off the power to everyone in the hotel just for us. Later that evening, someone from Engineering called and said they would be glad too change our room, but my ever-loving partner in all of this did not want to pack up and besides he was very proud of himself because he had purchased earplugs for me.  I have never worn earplugs in my life and I have to tell you something; you put them in your ears and they swell. Oh gosh, I nearly went mad with the swelling experience.  Then, after the swelling is over, you are plugged in and cannot hear a thing.

After having these major troubles along with some minor ones like the keys not working and not being able to go into the lounge on our floor, so, we had to stand in the hallway while they were cleaning our room. In the hallway I met a man walking wearing a hotel badge. His name is Eddie Moncada. I asked him if I could ask a question and one thing led to another and I told him our troubles, but was sure to tell him that all of the staff were so nice and so well trained.  It is true. This hotel has well-trained and kindly staff members. About an hour later amidst the non-working phones, remnants of past occupants hair, noise, God-awful noise, there was a knock at the door. It was Mr. Moncada bearing goodies to make us feel happier. He brought chocolate covered raisins, jellybeans, sodas, munchies, champagne and a huge dish of chocolate covered strawberries. He made us happy and really went the extra mile for us. Thank you Mr. Moncada, you really know how to help people feel better.

Let me add that the concierge lied to our family who booked show tickets and they appeased themselves by offering $75.00 in drink tickets. I do not drink.  Must have been a pretty big lie for the amount of remittance in the form of drinks.

We thought our troubles with this non-named hotel were over, but when we got home and had a little time to check over the bill, we found that they have added up the charges for 6 of the rooms at a $2.75 over-charge in the hotel’s favor.  I haven’t been able to check our bill for room 62313 because I inadvertently deleted the email. The nearly three dollars over charge is hardly noticed by guests, but if you do that to every guest who checks into your hotel for 365 days a year; you have made yourselves a pretty hefty chunk of change.

I am hard pressed to say anything nice about this famous Las Vegas hotel, except the staff is well trained or is it practiced because they have had to do this coddling to so many other guests every day, day in and day out.

If you do figure out the hotel and/or you are the hotel, do not send  anything, even for free, because even for free, I cannot subject my family to any more challenges your hotel has so far presented to us.

I know most of you have had different and more glamorous times in Las Vegas. I envy your good times, and applaud you for having them.



11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. terri d.
    Jan 07, 2011 @ 15:07:09

    ok, ok…what is the hotel–the suspense is overwhelming?! as usual, keep those blogs coming…happy and healthy 2011 to you and yours…Terri


  2. Bette Sallus
    Jan 07, 2011 @ 15:29:45

    I’ve never been a fan of Vegas, and when I’ve had to visit it was “by demand” (when Gerry was with Hughes Aircraft we’d often host parties there, but Hughes paid for everything!) and service was great; also, I find gambling very boring.
    Your recent fiasco was the same weekend as Irwin’s 80th wasn’t it? And I thought it was so glam that you were in Vegas with your whole family. . . little did I know. Better luck next time. And you should name the hotel so everyone can avoid it.


    • Sheila Clapkin
      Jan 07, 2011 @ 15:34:28

      I will tell you in person. Gosh it was not fun. But we did have time as a family. Kind of…
      thank you for reading. I am pleased.


    • Sheila Clapkin
      Jan 07, 2011 @ 21:47:03

      Yes our fiasco was the same weekend as Irwin’s 80th. We left early, not that I minded, and drove from Vegas to San Pedro for the party celebrating Irwin’s ascent into the world of octogenarians. Thanks for the New Year’s wishes and the same to you. I know you need to have a Happy and Healthy New Year.


  3. sheila rutherford
    Jan 07, 2011 @ 18:12:34

    I am so sorry that you all had such a horrible experience but I agree with your other friend that you should name the hotel so the rest of us don’t have to go thru what the Clapkins did. Good Health and happiness in 2011.


    • Sheila Clapkin
      Jan 07, 2011 @ 21:45:53

      Yes, Sheila, I should have the guts to woman up and tell you, but I just can’t. I know people who have stayed at the very same hotel and had a wonderful time. I can’t believe it, but that is what they said. Anyhow, thank you so much for he comment. I am thrilled and will tell you the hotel privately, probably. Love to you and all of yours. Aloha.


  4. Bill Kornbluh
    Jan 07, 2011 @ 19:57:54

    I don’t agree that it would be “unfair” to name the hotel. They booked you into a noisy room and the knew it when they did it.
    Adding the soup and phone fiasco should have embarrassed them. At the very least, especially as part of a 7 room party, your room should have been free.
    I would send a polite but, angry letter to the president of the company. In my experience, they will do something to mollify you.

    P.S. To Skip:
    Congratulations on joining me in the ‘No longer just a mere senior’ generation. You’ll feel ancient only for a while. Then will almost forget about it. Having a young, exuberant wife helps.


    • Sheila Clapkin
      Jan 07, 2011 @ 21:52:50

      You know what? I didn’t realize people would want to know and thought of protecting the hotel and my life. Don’t they put contracts out on your life in Vegas, break your legs up, go after your family? Or was that in the early days? It was an awful weekend. Awful. I did write a letter and they offered to take off he upgrade costs for one night. Maybe some day when I think it through I will get up the courage to bash them and tell their name out loud. But for now I am scared and shy.
      Happy New Year. Hoping all finds you well.
      Thanks so much for reading. YOU are my hero.


  5. Marcella
    Jan 07, 2011 @ 21:36:09

    Read your blog. I’m not a fan of Vegas so I have no idea what hotel you were in, but I’ll probably never go there anyway so it doesn’t make any difference. Do enjoy your writing a lot more than you enjoyed your Thanksgiving.


  6. Jo Ann
    Jan 15, 2011 @ 09:33:25

    You are a wonderful story teller – sad you had this story to tell.
    When I heard you say you were going to Las Vegas, I thought that was so nice and easy to take the family and go away for thanksgiving but it was neither nice nor easy. For me, I would miss my sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and our barbecued turkey….
    Happy Healthy New Year….
    See you on Wednesday
    Jo Ann


    • sheila clapkin
      Jan 15, 2011 @ 12:59:34

      Jo Ann, You know I missed my sweet potatoes, the turkey, stuffing and all that goes with preparing and having the Thanksgiving meal. Guess where we will be next year??? You have guessed right!!
      Thanks for reading and double thanks for leaving a comment.
      See you soon.


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