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I loved the Gold Spike rooms

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  • I loved the Gold Spike rooms

    I had heard these rooms were nice, but I did not expect to be as comfortable as I was there. I was first in 503 and it is a fine room, but I moved to 502 after Wild Bill left that room, and it was much quieter.
    I am not suggesting that the rooms compare with the Orleans let alone any upscale casino, but it does compare well with downtown casinos. I find it much better than the Fitzgerald and better than the El Cortez Pavillion.
    Here is what I like about the room:

    The beds were comfortable.
    They told me that the pool was not heated, but it was. The air was very cold, and I knew I would not try my wetsuit, but the water was bath water warm. I did not need it. I swam in the morning when the air was in the 40's and could stay in the water easily for an hour or more. I was by myself most days. It was great.
    It is a strange pool. About a fourth of it is just a few inches deep so you could recline in the water and still be getting sun. Nice for summer time.
    There are two tiny waterfalls giving the sound of water and acting a bit as white noise. The street is not far, but it did not intrude. Two nice hot showers were there as well. Towels were plentiful except when I went before opening time, and then I called to a maid doing the poolside rooms and she brought me some towels.
    Those rooms look interesting, but I had heard they were smaller than the tower rooms and I don't much like having folks walking outside a window on a balcony just outside my room. this is like the El Cortez Pavilion. It was a bit of a brisk walk back to the main casino and tower rooms, but I liked those better and they have had better reviews.The pool is open at 9 and closes at 10. But one morning I got my times wrong and was swimming at 8.

    That nice celebratory green found in El Cortez Cabana suite walls was reduced to one green wall and green around and behind the television insert. The rest of the room was beige.
    The television was a fine flat screen. I don't watch much of it this trip, but when I do, because of the way it is placed in the wall, it seems to float in a rectangle of darkness. I like the feel of it.

    While there is no closet with a door, the rack for hanging clothes bullt into the furniture on the wall was plenty big enough and included a construction of parallel bars so that it was very easy to hang hand washing in a way that would dry clothes easily. I did my laundry in the sink there.

    Wifi hooked up easily. It looks like they have two accounts, so we can pick the strongest. It all works well and is so nice to have for getting information and directions. I find that I have little energy for carrying my computer to search out hotspots for wifi. Mostly I like the computer for writing up the day's adventures so as not to forget what happened and I do that on the word processor.
    However, last night the computer I took to Vegas crashed and took a nice chunk of my notes with it. My room reflections I had put in the cloud before I left the Gold Spike wifi, so it was still here to revise into a post. I think I'd like having that insurance on future trips.

    The bathroom included an exhaust fan that took the steam out of the room and made shaving easy.
    All plumbing in the bathroom worked perfectly and that is a first for this trip.
    Part of the reason for that may be that each room is inspected after it is cleaned before it is released for booking. Bill and I booked early and the inspector walked up with us, looked around, and told us the bathtup plunger was missing. Bill said to forget it as he would never take a bath, and we were in a hurry.
    "It drains fine," the inspector said.
    Now who would think that a room would be inspected for speed of the drain.
    This guy was efficient, and I could see there would be fewer room surprises.The television included more channels than any other place I have stayed, other than the Koval Super 8. Turner Classic Movies, my favorite station, was included. This means that were I to get sick, or go broke early, I'd be well entertained without the commercials I so hate and avoid at home with taping or Netflix.

    The drawer space is huge and there is a part of the unit that would include a refrigerator and a safe, but is empty and great for dirty clothes.

    There was lots of room for more furniture in the room. Lots of open space waiting for "improvement" with stuff. I liked the open space. The Fountainebleau furniture is very nice, very functional, some of my favorite for storing stuff. Let us hope that improvement is a long way off.

    The ice was very odd. To get ice I had to go to the bar and then they scooped it in the back. They were perfectly nice about it. The ice bucket in Bill's room was huge, so I used that. After this huge feast at the Lucky Club, I could not finish the fajitas and took it home in a bag and kept it on ice in that bucket. While I wrote in the morning I snacked on cold fajita flavored chicken and steak. I could see that with a little planning I could cool a sixpack of water or seltzer in that bucket and have a cold drink when I wanted.

    I first drew a room on the street, so there was some traffic noise, but it really never kept me awake or was a bother. If I listened carefully, and was quiet, I could tell the television was plahying in the room next door, but there was no annoyance and even the sound of typing on the computer seemed to drown it out.
    I brought along exterior speakers so I could use the wifi to listen to Ray Smith's Jazz Decades, my favorite music venue. That worked great. I loved having that music when I had things to do in the room.
    When Bill left, I moved to his room and away from the street. I liked that much better.

    Modifying the negativity of the resort fee are real amenities. Also when I booked the resort fee was listed upfront and named in the booking. There was no mystery. I suggest folks book directly here. Try for a match in discounter prices.

    Deals are frequent and very good. I paid $12 (weekdays) and $27( weekends) plus $9 a night. This makes it a good casino to fill in around the comped places I visit. I don't have the bankroll to play anything other than live limit poker every day over 22 nights, so I need an inexpensive place to rent where I don't intend to play for comped rooms and need not worry about reducing my average daily gambling score by staying for a long stretch.

    Also there is nothing like the El Cortez ridiculous seven night limit after which a $25 fee kicks in on top of the room charge. So I can plan my visits with a great deal of flexibility. I was, in fact, booked for 9 nights in a row but at the last minute 4 Queens gave me more free rooms and I dropped to 6 at the Gold Spike.
    The heating and cooling was very easy to adjust. This was in stark contrast to the Harrah's room I had where some automatic feature turned on a loud fan when I entered, and I could not seem to just turn it off for once and for all. It would click back into some automatic mode. In both rooms at the Gold Spike, the little heater cooler could be simply turned off and the room made very quiet.

    The new Boulder Highway buses, built like the SDX, only with a cheaper residential fare, pick up and deliver just a half block from here.
    On Thursdays I can go out to Sam's Town for the free show Toast of the Town on the HDX and get there in 12 minutes.
    On Monday nights I can go out to Eastside Cannery and see Claudia Castro's Latino lounge act on a slower bus, the BDX.
    During the daytime hours the HDX gets to Sam's Town in 12 minutes because it only makes one stop at Sahara before it gets to Nellis. The BDX makes all the Boulder Highway stops so it takes more like a half hour, but it would drop me at Boulder, Arizona Charlies, or anywhere along the Boulder Highway, and then turn and take me to Sunset Station if I like.
    Or I could easily stay anywhere on Boulder Highway and hop one comfortable and uncrowded bus with my luggage to stay next at the Gold Spike. So I am thinking again of a couple nights at Eastside Cannery for some poker and Claudia Castro.

    In fact, I am back to seeing downtown as the place to stay, a hub with buses that go anywhere and faster than ever. Avoid the Deuce by using the SDX of the WAX or the CX and the strip is quickly accessible. Boulder Highway is accessible. The UNLV campus is accessible. 106 still goes out to Texas Station and Fiesta. and checking in and out downtown is much easier as luggage can just be rolled from place to place, and often the desired room could be arranged more easily by going early and coming back for what I want if it is not available early. I settled for Four Queens North Tower because I was there with luggage and tired after riding buses so I just wanted to get in and get settled.

    I wanted to take the HDX to explore downtown Henderson and especially to play the Club Fortune Casino if it was not too long a walk from downtown. However, my toes blistered and my feet gave out, so I had to strike it off my list. Next trip I'll put it early in the plans.

    And the El Cortez small live poker game is not far away. Fremont is closer than it is from the El Cortez. It is not the best location, but it is not that bad.

    Here is what I did not like:

    There could be more hangers. I'll pack a few next time.
    The door of the room when open makes getting to the small bathroom a bit awkward.
    There are plastic slats on the window and light defuses through them. I can't make the room totally dark.
    No safe or coffee pot. I bring Traveler's checks and my own little coffee pot now and enjoy my own brand of coffee and never run out.

    There could be more outlets, but I carry an extention cord as well as a couple electrical splitters so I can always arrange things conveniently. Many places limit outlets and I have the computer and a sleep apnea machine and like not to have to keep plugging and unplugging. My last casino stay was an unrenovated Harrah's and where I wanted to hook up my computer the outlet box was covered up with a plate. I had to move the table there near my bed and run my extension cord.
    Resort fee of $9

    In the first room, 503, there was a constant pulsing noise of the air conditioning fan outside and just below my window. It worked as white noise, but I'd prefer total quiet and I got that in 502.

    There is no gambling I can play. The VP is terrible. Blackjack has pretty girls and ugly rules. The Megabucks is not my sort of $3 pull. There is no craps table. There is no live poker room. I did not even bother getting a card.
    At the same time that did not seem to matter to anyone. I was well served and they sent me a letter afterwards, thanking me for coming and hoping I would return soon.

    Checkout is at 11 and can be extended to 12. I prefer those that are at 12 that can be extended to 1 simply because that makes it easier to arrange where I am going next.

    And of course, I don't like resort fees, even $9 fees, even those put right up front, and even those with the value in amenities not found other places. However, I understand that this fee is not so much a way to trick newbies at the Gold Spike, but simply a way to pop up first on the discounter sites as the cheapest in downtown.
    I strongly suggest not booking this hotel at or Expedia. Those are a mess with the discounter collecting the resort fee upfront, refusing to admit they do, pretending that the casiono will collect it at checkout (they won't but the fine print says they will) and just avoiding the issue if asked or emailed. Watch their own website for sales. That is how I got $12 weekdays and $27 weekends plus the $9. If you find a good price somewhere, call and see if the Spike will match it. In one conversation they said they would price match discounters.
    I would also suggest booking long stays in short chunks so that smaller individual bookings can be cancelled. I did get my 9 nights reduced to 6, but it took a couple calls before the clerk seemed to know how to do that. I had another 3 day reservation that I needed to cancel and just cancelling it was simpler than making a modification. They would not match their own on line rates by phone.

    I could see how some folks might be a bit taken back by late night walks along Ogden. I used to not like those couple blocks. However, they are very different. The condominium high rise is developed with lighting at the base of it, so that there are no corners. The empty lot has been leveled and there is no debris there. I did not see any street people in that area at all and was never approached for money or bothered in any way. Security seemed to be about, and there was generally activity and people out in the street. It is very different from the way it once was.

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    I'll stay there again. It is comfortable enough to make it my downtown home base and do what I thought I might do at the El Cortez Cabana rooms, slow up the hopping from hotel to hotel even if the rooms are free. The hop to the Orleans and then back with lots of luggage just seemed more bother than a free room with no wifi or heated pool was worth. Hopping around downtown is much easier.