Day Twenty Seven: The M Resort (Comp)
If I were prone to Trumpian flights of conspiracy fantasy, my paranoia would have been off the charts on Thursday night. Not twelve hours after I quoted a representative of Culinary 226 describing Venetian boss Sheldon Adelson as "a horrible human being", I checked in at Mr Adelson's flagship hotel and -- well -- it seems revenge is a dish best served offline.
For a start, the Venetian screwed up my booking: I had planned to stay a single night each in the Venetian and the Palazzo; Thursday and Friday. In fact, when I arrived at 9 p.m. on Thursday I found I had actually been booked into both hotels on the same night. To make matters even worse the person at the front desk was unable to fix the error, leading to the irritating possibility that my credit card would be charged as a no-show for the second room. Cool!
By the time I gave up trying to remedy the booking snafu, it was already heading close to 10 p.m., and I had to be up at 4:30 a.m. the next day to be on television. That barely gave me time to bash out a couple of already overdue columns and grab a couple of hours sleep before my wake up call. Time to fire up the Venetian's wifi and...
Forty five minutes later and I was still sitting on hold with the hotel's IT department. As it turned out, the entire building was without internet access due to some unspecified problem with the server. Quite why the IT department hadn't communicated this fact to the front desk and avoided the need for me -- and presumably countless others -- from wasting almost an hour on hold, I'm not certain. Still, by a little after 11 p.m. everything was back up and running.
For five minutes.
And then it was down again. Net result: two missed deadlines, almost no sleep and a very, very frustrated me. Nicely played, Mr. Adelson.
On the upside, the series of unfortunate events lead to the admirably opportunist PR folks at The M Resort offering me alternative accommodation the following night, and even promising to personally check the wifi was working before I arrived.
Despite the fact that the M Resort is about ten miles south of the Luxor (albeit still on Las Vegas Boulevard) I decided to stretch my 'only staying on the strip' rule to breaking point for one night, for the following three reasons...
1) Since arriving in Las Vegas, everyone -- including staff at rival hotels -- has been telling me to check out the M and its famous buffet. The M is basically the Absinthe of hotels.
2) Staying at the M instead of the Palazzo seemed like a neat way to say "fuck you" to the Venetian while actually staying somewhere that had verifiably operational wifi.
3) Did I mention they were offering to comp me a Flat Suite?
Now, of course, anything I can possibly say about the M is rendered meaningless due to the entirely PR-driven nature of my stay. Not only did the hotel comp me a huge suite -- which was absolutely perfect in every detail, even down to the gallons of Diet Coke someone had left waiting for me on the bar -- but from the moment I set foot in the place, every staff-member I encountered greeted me by name. The guy who checked me in asked me about Absinthe. Clearly someone was really keen to prove that they were better than the Venetian. And they succeeded.
But, while the room was clearly rigged to be a guaranteed win, it's hard to PR-rig a buffet -- and the one at the M was worth the ten mile taxi ride many times over. It's just lucky that I didn't visit during my drinking days -- with free booze included in the price of admission, there's every chance that I'd still be there now.
Anyway, back to reality -- and this week's round up of the previous week in hotel stays, told through the medium of haiku.
Friday: Tropicana ($159)
Upgraded to suite
The world's only bath-less suite
First rate service though
Sunday: Mandalay Bay ($56)
Turn down service brought fresh ice
Small things score big points
Tuesday: Mirage ($99)
Totally fine room
And has dolphins and tigers
and Beatles, oh my
Wednesday: New York-New York ($155)
I was downgraded
Bitched at bad room on Twitter
I was upgraded
Thursday: Venetian ($179)
Waste of time, money
See above for full details
Will never go back
Friday: The M Resort (Comp)
Gave me a free suite
To show up the Venetian
Fuck you accomplished