Pros: Mystere, Some good restaurants, Comfortable beds, Free "Sirens of TI" show
Cons: Lackluster hotel rooms and casino, Slow check-in
Since we started visiting Las Vegas several years ago, my partner has wanted to stay at the Treasure Island Hotel/Casino resort on The Strip and I thought it would be an interesting place to stay, considering weve been working our way around all of the strip. The Treasure Island Hotel/Casino is located about midway along The Strip and is at the northern end of the newer, heavily developed portion of The Strip.
The resort is located in a great place for people who want to explore the nearby hotels like the Mirage, the Venetian and Caesars Palace. The new Wynn hotel just opened across the street and there are several other hotels and casinos within a short walking distance. Hotels like MGM Grand and New York-New York are a long walk down the strip (get yourself a taxi).
Im not sure why he wanted to stay there so badly, but when I got an offer for a discounted room rate that was, to say the least, a deal, I couldnt pass it up and on our latest vacation to Vegas, we stayed for 6 nights at Treasure Island and in the process got to check out two different rooms, along with the rest of the resort.
First Things First
Treasure Island really isnt Treasure Island anymore. The resort is now called TI, and caters to a distinctly more mature crowd than the original Treasure Island did. If you are going expecting pirates and the like, you are going to be disappointed. A lot of the original styling and design is gone from the hotel and the casino even the celebrated pirate battle in front of the hotel is now The Sirens of TI, a celebration more of scantily clad women with water splashing on them than anything else.
If you can live without the pirates (I was sort of relieved actually), then continue on to TI (formerly Treasure Island)
Location, location, location
As someone who has always stayed at the southern end of the strip (except for that first, unwitting stay at Circus Circus), I was excited to be staying at the northern end of the new part of the Strip. This put hotels like the new Wynn, the Mirage, the Venetian and Caesars within a short walk and other hotels like Paris and the Aladdin only a bit further away.
I really enjoyed the location, but for people who want to visit the hotels towards the southern end of the strip (Luxor, MGM Grand, NY-NY for example), unless you are really up for a walk, taking the taxi or the monorail (which is still quite a walk) is the only real option for getting down to that end of the strip.
To the north are the older hotels and casinos on the strip including Circus Circus and the Stratosphere.
Because we had flown into Vegas late, our check-in process was fairly pain-free. There were only a handful of other people checking in at the time and all-told, it probably took about fifteen minutes from the time we showed up, to the time that we were off to find our room.
The main lobby for the hotel is located to the side of the resort, you dont need to walk through the casino floor to get to it if you dont want to. Most taxis and shuttles drop you off in front of this area and if you go to the doors all the way to the left, youll enter directly into the hotel lobby.
There are lines for check-in, invited guest check-in and for check-out.
When we first checked in we used the invited guest line since the rooms were part of a comp package I had received for playing at MGM/Mirage casinos (that company owns Treasure Island in addition to MGM Grand, the Mirage and several other hotels on The Strip). The room I had originally requested (a nonsmoking one with a king sized bed) wasnt available the night we checked in, so instead they gave us a room with two queen beds for the night and told me to call in the morning on the availability of the room we wanted.
You have the option when checking in of putting a credit card down on the room so you can order in room services, room service and charge meals and drinks to your room.
I did notice as we were in the hotel throughout the week that TI had much the same problem that other Vegas hotels do the check-in lines get awfully long and no matter how many people are working the desks, the lines dont seem to move. I think we lucked out because we arrived at an odd time and the lines werent that long. Another problem at TI is the fact that the check-in area isnt that large, so when you have big crowds, the check-in process can be quite slow.
Getting to your room
The elevators to the casino are located down and around the back of the casino from the hotel lobby, so to get to your rooms, you have to at least walk along the edge of the casino. Luggage service is available, but we decided to carry our own bags.
There is no hotel security at the elevators during the day, but at night you must show your room key in order to get to the elevators.
There are only two central banks of elevators one set for the first 15 or so floors and another for the upper floors. The elevator area can get crowded at times and we did find ourselves more than once waiting some length of time for an elevator up to the room.
All of TIs rooms on each floor radiate from the central core of the hotel. We stayed in a deluxe room, which to me seemed more like a basic room youd find at almost any hotel anywhere.
The first night we stayed in a room with two queen beds. The room layout was fairly simple you entered into a small hallway and on your right was the bathroom. After the bathroom was a closet that also had a safe. Then the hallway entered into the main part of the room where the two beds were located. On the opposite wall was an armoire that held the television and offered drawers for storage space. There was a small bureau between the two beds along with a desk against the outside wall and a plush chair and a table in front of the window.
The most noticeable feature of the room is the wall to the right of the beds the entire wall is a mirror. Its not an overly useful addition, or even a nice design touch but it is there and it seems to be in the majority of the rooms.
The rest of the nights at Treasure Island we stayed in a deluxe room with a single king sized bed. The layout was exactly the same as the room with two queen beds, except that it was smaller since it only held a single bed.
Depending on your position in the hotel, your room will either look out over The Strip or Industrial Avenue. In both of our rooms, we had views of Industrial Avenue, which isnt all that impressive.
I have to admit I was disappointed with the rooms they were nothing you wouldnt find at a hotel or a motel anywhere else. Even though TI has lost much of its buccaneer designs, I dont think the rooms ever had any character. The colors are muted, the conditions are decent, but not spectacular and overall I just wasnt impressed by either of the rooms we stayed in.
If I wasnt paying a discounted rate for the rooms I would have almost been upset by the quality of the rooms and even at the discounted rate I had, I wasnt too happy. Even my partner was pretty let-down by the rooms. I think he was expecting the Treasure Island theme (or at least the TI theme) to travel throughout the hotel and into the rooms, but it doesnt.
In room services include the ability the ability to order room service, order movies (both regular movies and adult ones), and either access the web via WebTV or through an Ethernet connection (you have to pay extra to access the internet). There are the typical ice machines and soda machines located on each floor.
Temperature control in the rooms is limited. The thermostat lets you pick heat, cool or off and you can either have the fan on low or hi there are no in-betweens and no real way to figure out what the temperature of the room will be. We kept the fan on hi and the temperature on cool and the room was fairly comfortable most of the time.
The only good part of the rooms was the fact that the mattresses are quite comfortable and the bathroom was nice. Both of the queens and the king we had were firm and provided plenty of support. They also seemed fairly new, since they werent that worn in. So even though I wasnt too happy with the rooms, I did sleep well each night. The bathroom was a good size and had an oversized tub and shower.
If youre staying at the hotel, guests have access to full-service spa (it does cost extra), which offers massages, facials and other services. I didnt have a chance to use the spa, but it seemed nice and people were constantly coming in and out of it and didnt seem disappointed.
Theres also a gym that hotel guests can use that offers just about anything youd find at your local gym. My partner and I went a few times and it was great to have a place to work out right in the hotel.
There is a pool at TI, but it pales in comparison to some of the other Vegas resorts pools. However if you want to get wet, it works and there is plenty of room to lay out in the sun and work on your tan. We never went swimming, but we did walk around the pool area just to see what it was like.
Because we had put a credit card down on the room in order to charge stuff to the room, we had to go through the regular check-out process. If you dont put a card down or dont have room charges, you can use the express checkout, which is basically dropping your room keys into a drop box.
TI doesnt have as many restaurants and clubs as some of the larger hotels do. There are eight different restaurants, including their buffet. The restaurants do provide a good variety of choices and most people wont be disappointed in dining at TI, but after a few nights, Im sure youll be looking beyond TI for a meal.
Dishes is the new buffet at TI, which is a vast improvement over their earlier buffet. The buffet serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers quite a few choices for those of us who cant make up their mind. My favorite meal at the buffet was breakfast. I could choose from a pastry area, have my own omelet cooked up, or just stick with the old standbys like pancakes and french toast.
The nicer restaurants include Buccaneer Bay (mostly seafood), Steak House (steak obviously), Francescos (Italian), and Isla (Mexican). These are all finer restaurants that require reservations (plan ahead, they book up fast) and while I dont think theyll turn people away in jeans, a more upscale dress-code seems to be in effect. Depending on your tastes, youll probably enjoy some of them more than others and on average, expect somewhere between $30 and $40 a person on the low-end when it comes to menu prices.
More basic restaurants include Kahunaville, Canters Deli and the Terrace Cafe. Kahunaville serves a range of mid-priced meals (for breakfast, lunch and dinner) that have a bit of a tropical flair. Canters Deli serves a variety of sandwiches and sides. Finally the Terrace Cafe is TIs only 24-hour restaurant and serves typical American fare (burgers, sandwiches, and some larger entrees). The foods at these restaurants is decent (personally I think the Deli takes the prize in quality), but service can be spotty, especially at busier times. The lines at the Terrace Cafe tend to get very long and when I was at Kahunaville, service was painfully slow once we were seated.
If you just want a snack, TI has a Starbucks, a Krispy Kreme and a Ben & Jerrys.
There are five different places you can get your groove on and enjoy a drink at TI.
Tangerine is both a lounge and a nightclub and overlooks The Strip and The Sirens of TI show. At Kahunaville in the evenings and at night you can listen to the dueling pianos or enjoy the party bar. The Isla restaurant also doubles as a tequila bar and lounge in the evenings if youre looking for a fine tequila. Mist looks like a hole in the wall, but is actually a small and intimate bar and lounge that is a bit more casual and laid back. Its a great place for a small group of friends to gather and also is a good place to move in and out of if youre in the casino but want to get drinks and be in the bar too. Finally the Breeze Bar serves up basic drinks to keep you going on your Vegas trip.
Tangerine is almost always packed and always busy. If you are a guest at TI, the cover charge is waived, though you still may have to wait to get in during the busiest times. We tended to move in and out of Mist the most it wasnt nearly as crowded as Tangerine and it was just easier to enjoy ourselves there.
TI is also home to the original Cirque Du Soleil of Vegas, Mystere. This is an amazing show and well worth the ticket prices (its actually the most reasonably priced of all the Cirque Du Soleil shows). There are generally two shows each night and you have to have advanced reservations to get a seat. The easiest thing to do is book the show when you book the room so you know you have a ticket when youll be there.
Another big let-down for me at TI was the casino. I didnt really remember it from previous trips and the year before I had really enjoyed the casino at New York-New York, so I was looking forward to gambling at TI.
My first and most lasting impression of the casino is that its almost like an afterthought at TI. The hotel seems to be focusing more on the restaurants and the clubs, especially Tangerine, than the casino or the hotel itself.
It wasnt dirty or run down, but it wasnt up to par when you compare it to the other casinos on The Strip. There were very few new slot machines and a lot of older ones that no one seemed to want to play and there were few tables available for table games.
The casino itself is a good size, but there were rarely crowds (I think everyone realized that casinos elsewhere were better) and you could always find a slot machine. The tables were a bit harder as many of them were crowded and you had to look to find an open one.
Like all casinos there is complimentary beverage service available (though you should tip the waitress) and this service is quite good there was almost always a waitress around to place an order. The casino has also switched all of the slot machines to cashless slots, where instead of coins when you cash out, you get a ticket that can be put into another slot or can be taken to the main cage and you can get the actual cash.
I wish I hadnt been so disappointed with TI I remember on our first visits to Vegas it seemed like such a great place, but I guess with time and with renovation, some aspects of the resort have improved, while others havent.
For both of us, the hotel room was the greatest disappointment. I honestly think that it was on par with a room we had at the Motel 6 down the street and if I had paid full-price for the room, I might have considered changing casinos. For the kind of money they charge for a room (between $120 and $190 depending on the night), Id expect a nicer room.
Add in the lackluster casino and overall if I had the chance, I probably wouldnt stay at TI again (unless they make it free for me). There are some highpoints Mystere is an excellent show, Tangerine is a cool club and overall the restaurants are good.
But in my opinion, while TI is a great place to visit, Id rather stay elsewhere on the strip.
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