Some visitors to Las Vegas want the glitz and glamour of the strip, and some prefer to stay a little away from the hustle and bustle and only head that way if they wish to partake. The Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino is the latter.
It is also the venue where Elvis held a residency for seven years and performed 636 sold-out shows to excited audiences – and you can even stay in Elvis’ suite, which has been recently rebranded as the Markus Klinko ICONS Sky Villa where its namesake’s iconic photography of other legendary performers adorn the walls. In 2014, Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino inherited part of Elvis’ legacy by acquiring the property where he performed in what is now the International Theater and where he called home when he was in town.
When I visited the property, I had the opportunity to stay in the Premier Room, complete with a living room, large bedroom, and huge jacuzzi tub. All that was missing was Elvis. And there were rumors about his ghost still hanging around for those Elvis fans who might want to try your luck at poltergeisting.
Westgate Las Vegas Resort has all the amenities a visitor could ask for, and honestly, you don’t even have to visit the Las Vegas strip unless you are just curious. For the Las Vegas junkie, this is an excellent option to have some fun without the Las Vegas attitude.
My colleague with whom I filmed “In Lies, the Truth” and I was there for several nights, and my first stop on arrival was the Rikki Tiki Sushi right inside the hotel. While Vegas tends to be pretty expensive we were given a $100 credit and found that plenty for two people drinks included. So, there is a place in Las Vegas where you can gamble and eat and not have to take out a loan.
You can also opt for a show after dinner, like the Soul of Motown Las Vegas, which will get you going for the first night, and then try some gambling after the dinner and the show. The casino was not as crowded when I was there, and while you can take the tram to the strip where the crowds were excessive, Westgate Las Vegas is the sort of place you don’t need to leave unless you want to during your stay.
For breakfast, we headed over to the buffet, which was a little overpriced unless you are one of those people who can’t stop eating; either way, the food is buffet quality, and there are many choices. In fact, for buffet junkies, you will find not only breakfast food but food that runs the gamut, so if you are up all night and want to head in for a late, late dinner instead of an early breakfast, you can have that too. The buffet is near the SuperBook Lounge, so head over after a meal and do some betting while you watch one of the enormous television screens. Again, it was not crowded when I was there, so there was plenty of room to spread out and play.
While at the SuperBook Lounge, you can also have lunch and plenty of options on the various menus. Bar food, faster food, and snacks to keep you going until dinner, and ask for one of the pods to eat and gamble for more privacy.
Another dinner option inside the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino is Benihana. Billed as “more than just a restaurant, it’s a unique culinary adventure like no other,” diners can sit in the front row to watch as their food is prepared in a Japanese exhibition. While most people are familiar with Benihana, this one at Westgate Las Vegas is also one of the world’s most prominent Benihana restaurant locations and is worth the dinner experience. Unless you have a large party, you will be dining with strangers, which is the only setback if you prefer privacy. However, the chef show with the throwing of the knives and the chopping and cooking is good fun Las Vegas style.
One of the main features at the Westgate Las Vegas Casino & Resort is the very popular Edge Steakhouse. As a food writer, I have been to many steak houses, and this stacks up with the best of any that I have dined at in my foodie career. If you use that source for your restaurant recommendations, I was told the Edge Steakhouse at Westgate Las Vegas is the number one rated Las Vegas Steakhouse on TripAdvisor.
However, I really enjoyed the bar before dinner because the bartender knew about his drink and made me a few good ones. I am a Scotch drinker, and I always appreciate a bar with staff that knows how to concoct the perfect match for a good evening, in this case, a good Las Vegas evening.
During the day, I recommend hanging out around the pool, and if you want privacy, the cabanas or daybeds are worth the extra charge. Next to the pool, they also have the Serenity Spa, where I spent a few hours on one of my days. Most Las Vegas spas do not impress me because I am a spa junkie, but the Serenity Spa stood out above many of the routine spas you find in this town. I recommend the 50-minute Custom Massage, and the therapist can put together what works best for you when you arrive.
My colleague and I did take a trip on the Las Vegas Monorail steps from the resort, which was very convenient to head to the strip for a few hours. In our case, we were happy not to stay on the strip because it was crowded with rowdy drunks larger than what I remember. As we took the late tram back to Westgate Las Vegas, we gave a sign of relief to be back in our Premier Room at the resort.
And, while I can report no Elvis or Elvis ghost sighting, I can say the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino was a nice weekend getaway for two if you like the desert, the sparkling lights, and the allure of winning big money if you are feeling lucky.