Lisa Loves Las Vegas, part 2: The Stratosphere Hotel and Casino and traveling solo as a female (especially with disabilities) in Las Vegas…..
“Oh I’m going to mess this up, oh this is just my luck, over and over and over again”
It’s also how I feel, usually 99% of the time, about anything I do. And I just found this video, after I wrote my last blog, by Imagine Dragons. And was so excited that they filmed this video at the Stratosphere, as no amount of words or pictures, when trying to explain to my non social media boyfriend, could do the resort, justice.
Even though I’ve spent hours, since coming home from Vegas, on Saturday, trying to explain.
I felt pretty confident, actually, for once, after I booked my trip. And I feel right now like an absolute genius of how my trip played out.
Especially as far as my stay at The Stratosphere…..
And as a complex disabled chick, I did really good getting myself to Vegas and getting around walking. It helps when the hotel/resort that you’ve booked, has the highest observation deck, not only in Las Vegas, but also in the entire United States.
How I ended up at the Stratosphere:
I had been hedging back and forth about going on a trip and going to Las Vegas. I spent dozens of hours looking at travel websites and originally thought I’d end up at Excalibur, Luxor or Hooters. Then based upon my Facebook buds’s suggestions, they said Excalibur or higher end hotels I couldn’t afford.
I had one Facebook friend, who is local, but I’ve never met, strong recommend the Stratosphere, I called them after getting no where with Hooters and MGM, as this was a trip of a lifetime, probably the last trip I’ll ever go on and I explained that to every reservation agent I talked to who weren’t willing to accommodate me at all, within my budget.
Now I understand NO hotel/resort in Las Vegas (let alone, anywhere else) owes an accommodation to a chick with disabilities on a tight budget. But the not only did the reservation agents at the Stratosphere (as I originally called them on Sunday, 9-27-2015, but didn’t book until 9-28-2015 and arrived on the Las Vegas Strip on 9-29-2015, around 10 a.m as I packed light. so I didn’t have to wait around for luggage) were super kind and patient, they did an awesome job of meeting every need/want I asked for, for a reasonable price, for the room I got. As I wanted a room with a nice bathroom and great view, in case my pain levels were too high, to leave my room, let alone, the hotel, much.
The only thing right off the bat, when I got to the resort, early, that was upsetting is not only did I not get an early check in, which I asked about when I made reservation (while I was never guaranteed one, it was alluded that it was a possibility) which I was more than willing to pay for, but my room, actually wasn’t ready until a little before 5 p.m. Which I did have a few things that went slightly awry during my stay, but that the hotel manager Mario, went way out of his way, to make right for me.
And Mario treated me with the utmost kindness, patience and respect, even though he knew I wasn’t a high roller throughout my entire stay….
Service is EVERYTHING to me. And my Spa King suite was beautiful, especially for a smoking room.It wasn’t perfect but it exceeded my expectations and they were pretty high.
I live in a tiny micro apartment that I adore in Downtown Minneapolis. So staying in a hotel suite that was twice the size of my apartment, had a whirlpool bathtub (I haven’t had a bathtub in my last 2 apartments) and an amazing view of the Strip, was beyond awesome.
I will say this and this is a big deal. I got around Las Vegas, all by myself, very well. If money was no object, or if I can talk my boyfriend into going to Las Vegas, next year, I’d stay ONLY at the Stratosphere. when going to Las Vegas. I’d be thrilled if I became a millionaire, to stay in room 22062, again.
What I loved about the Stratosphere was it was as fancy or down to earth as you choose to make it. It was classy without feeling elitist, like the other hotels I happen to check out, such as The Wynn, The Cosmopolitan, Palazzo, Venetian. I couldn’t afford to eat at McCall’s or Top Of The World, even with the discount coupons that I got by staying there. That the stores had a variety of budgets in mind. While I was able to eat what I wanted within reason, do a little gambling (The Stratosphere made NO money on me, basically, with gambling as I lost a total of $22) and shop, something I couldn’t have done, if I stayed at a crappy hotel, as there wouldn’t have been multiple options and a much ritzier hotel I could barely afford the view (but I did enjoy it, as I don’t covet anything I’m not meant to have!!! 🙂 )
Everyone I encountered whether it be staff or other resort guests seem to be having a great time. I didn’t feel too old, too sick, too fat or too disabled to be staying at the Stratosphere, there was great diversity in the guests and no one seemed to be judging one another, they were just there to have a good time. Whether they were there for low key reasons like I was or they wanted to party.
Staying at the Stratosphere with or without children:
Because the the resort has thrill rides, children are to be expected. For people like me, where I was traveling by myself, and wanted a child free vacation (other than my 1st day, where friends who live in AZ who had young kids and we met at Roxy’s, which has awesome food, met me at the resort before I checked in). I chose to get food from restaurants, to go. That way I could eat them in my room and smoke, in peace and quiet. And certain parts of the hotel, such as the Level 107 nightclub and bars as well as the adults only pool on the 24th floor. There is an awesome pool on the 8th floor, that is kid friendly.
Personally, if your kid has asthma, like my youngest, I don’t think Las Vegas is an ideal location unless the property you are staying at is completely smoke free. Because I know my daughter won’t be seeing Las Vegas (she has absolutely no desire to go to Vegas, let’s hope I win the lottery so I can take her to a Diamond Resort, though) , it wasn’t a concern of mine.
Staying at the Stratosphere solo/with disabilities: In my case I was a single solo female with invisible disabilities, so I didn’t look like a walking target. The security at the hotel was excellent, you knew they were there, but it was subtle. I also live in a big city, that’s diverse. I did try on my 2nd night there, to find a Wells Fargo ATM to avoid outrageous fees and I wouldn’t advise most people to go northbound of the hotel by themselves, in Downtown Las Vegas, at night. It’s pretty hard to scare me and it did. The Wells Fargo bank that I did end up finding was closed, didn’t have an outdoor ATM, and I just ate the fees by getting more cash from the hotel and I went on a very low budget, it wasn’t even worth going back during the daylight, to me. I had no problems going out at night, going southbound of the hotel.
But it bears repeating, I know my strengths and weaknesses. I just smiled at those who asked me for money, telling them I didn’t have any, like I do when I’m in Downtown Minneapolis. I didn’t feel comfortable on public transit and I couldn’t afford cabs and I got around just fine, all over the Strip.
I had an amazing time. I’ve never spent that much money on myself. It was the best $850 I’ve ever spent on myself. I can only hope that I can go to The Stratosphere and/or another Diamond Resort, again.
Keep your fingers crossed that I win Mega Millions, tonight, OK? Or I invent/write the next equivalent of Harry Potter 🙂
Note: Because I’m a disabled/disability blogger but blogging about travel, might get myself some new readers, again, I’m a disabled blogger. I understand I don’t write the best. I have cognitive disabilities that make thinking in logical sequence of order and concisely, almost impossible. Thanks…..