Harrah’s Las Vegas

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When you visit Harrah’s Las Vegas today you may never notice that this was once a riverboat-themed casino. The property now known as Harrah’s was originally opened in 1973 as the Holiday Casino.

The casino was purchased by Harrah’s Entertainment and renamed in 1992. Shortly after being purchased it was renovated into the Mardi Gras-themed hotel and casino you see today.

Harrah’s Las Vegas became Harrah’s Entertainment’s flagship casino of the national chain. The hotel is still a priority for the company even though they’ve rebranded as Caesars Entertainment.

Much of Harrah’s has been renovated in the past couple of years. There are new restaurants, renovated hotel rooms and a refreshed casino that feels cleaner than ever. Many of the updates to the property have been done within the confines of the existing spaces so it may not feel very different. For example, the sports book was renovated but remains in the same location with a similar footprint.

Harrah’s sits right in the middle of the hierarchy of Caesars Entertainment’s Las Vegas casinos. It’s not a premier property but the recent renovations move it closer to being in the upper echelon. The hotel and casino offer just about everything you’d want in a Las Vegas casino with the exception of a fantastic pool.

Not only does Harrah’s fit nicely into the middle range of Caesars casinos, but it fits nicely in the middle of the pack of Las Vegas casinos. Harrah’s won’t wow you like some of the luxury casinos in Las Vegas and it shouldn’t scare you like some lower budget casinos might.

Hotel rooms

Harrah’s has undergone a rather large renovation over the past year. Even though the casino floor is cleaned up and has new restaurants and features it still feels the same. However, they recently finished the largest renovation at the property. The newest hotel rooms are in the Valley Tower where with 600 rooms and 72 suites were renovated. The rooms offer a fresh and crisp decor with a modern touch. They’re not fancy and they fit nicely at this mid-range casino.

Early reports from the new Valley Tower rooms has been good with the exception of the bathroom. The renovation removed the bathtubs and replaced them with showers. If you’re a bathroom reader you might be disappointed with the minimal lighting. The lighting can always be changed, but the bathtubs won’t be.

Some of the renovated suites in the Valley Tower have doors connecting to the next room. These connecting rooms can be great for a family vacation. By purchasing both rooms allows you to have a huge suite that includes a room for the kids, a common living room for the family, and a bedroom for the adults. This kind of expandable suite isn’t a feature that you’ll find in many Las Vegas hotels.

The older Carnaval Tower rooms are average size for the Vegas Strip at just over 300 square feet. These are some of the least expensive rooms on the Vegas Strip. You can often find rooms mid-week for $50 or less. What you lose in decor with these rooms, you make up for with a few extra dollars in your pocket.

Dining

Harrah’s doesn’t have many restaurants like some other casinos on the Vegas Strip. However, the restaurants it does have fit their clientele perfectly. Dining options range from a food court/cafeteria combo to a familiar high-end steakhouse.

Flavors Buffet – This is a traditional buffet that offers live cooking stations, freshly prepared seafood, and all-you-can-eat crab legs. This might be the only Las Vegas buffet where you’ll find Churrasco (Brazilian BBQ) in the mix with traditional buffet fare.

Fulton Street Food Hall – This is not a food court, but it’s not a traditional restaurant. It’s similar to a cafeteria but it’s not that either. It’s a combination of each. This food hall offers a wide variety of fresh and affordable food available quickly here.

Oyster Bar – Slide up to this 360-degree oyster bar for a quick casual dining experience. Fresh steamers, shrimp, lobster, crab, clam chowder and calamari are served up daily. Additionally, the Oyster Bar serves offers grilled squid and crab Louis salads, blackened Cajun scallops and cioppino.

Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill – This restaurant was named after Toby Keith’s song “I Love This Bar.” The bar and restaurant combine Southern favorites, burgers, cheap drinks and live country music.

Ruths Chris Steakhouse – The Las Vegas outpost of this national steakhouse chain features something a view that you won’t find at any other location. Its second floor and floor-to-ceiling windows offer a beautiful view of the Vegas Strip that including Caesars Palace and The Forum Shops.

Casino

Harrah’s has a rather large and disjointed casino floor. The flow of the property doesn’t feel natural at first but is easy to figure out after a few visits. When you walk into the casino from the north or south entrances you’ll be greeted by table games. When you enter the casino area elsewhere you’ll see slot machines first.

The entrance to the south by Carnaval Court has one of the most fun craps tables in all of Las Vegas. The low limits table (usually $5 or $10) is inside the casino but close enough to the entrance so you can feel the fresh air. This proximity to Carnaval Court offers a fun vibe you might normally not feel in a casino.

When you walk towards the casino from the hotel towers near the back of Harrah’s you’ll walk through a multi-level maze of spaces for slot machines. Off to the side of the casino floor, you’ll find the recently renovated sports book which features 40 new TV’s.

Nightlife

Harrah’s nightlife is mostly focused around two specific bars. The outdoor Carnaval Court and indoor Piano Bar set the stage for a more traditional nightlife experience than you’ll find in the newer nightclubs in Las Vegas.

Carnaval Court – This is an open-air bar and party pit that features DJ’s, live bands, and flair bartenders. You’ll find a party at Carnaval Court happening day and night.

Piano Bar – Dueling pianos, Big Elvis, and karaoke are featured at this lively bar near the Vegas Strip.

Signature Bar – Just a simple casino bar with signature cocktails and video poker.

Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill – One of your best options on the Vegas Strip if you’re a country music fan.

Shows

Harrah’s is a smaller casino but offers a good variety of entertainment. A good amount, if not all, of the shows are geared towards the Baby Boomer generation.

Big Elvis – Pete Vallee performs as a larger than life Elvis Presley weekday afternoons at The Piano Bar.

Mac King Comedy Show – This unique afternoon show contains a combination of quirky humor, visual gags and sleight of hand you expect from a magic show.

Menopause The Musical – This touring musical performs nightly at Harrah’s Cabaret.

Piano Bar – More than just pianos, this bar features The Saxman Duo, Rusty’s All-Star Karaoke, and a Dueling Piano set identical twins Kim & Tamara Pinegar. Best of all, it’s free.

The Righteous Brothers – The headline show at Harrah’s brings you all of their hits including “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’”

X Country – This “Kick’n Topless Revue” is for the adults looking for a new, country music inspired, take on the classic Las Vegas adult revue.

Must-see attractions

Watch Big Elvis – There used to be Elvis Presley impersonators everywhere in Las Vegas. Unlike many of the others, Big Elvis, Pete Vallee, is still going strong after more than 7,000 performances.

Grab lunch at Fulton Street Food Hall – This food hall is a combination of cafeteria and food court. There are lots of options in the unique quick serve dining hall.

Play Craps Almost Outdoors – There is one craps table located right near the entrance to Carnival Court. It’s a rare chance to roll the dice on a full-sized craps table while enjoying fresh air while you’re gambling.

Visit The Piano Bar – This bar offers two things that you won’t find in many casino bars on the Las Vegas Strip – karaoke and dueling pianos.

Party At Carnival Court – Embrace the outdoor party at Carnival Court. Entertainment varies from bands to DJ’s. If you visit during the summer you may even find a few blackjack tables here.

Harrah’s loyalty club

Caesars Entertainment owns and operates Harrah’s. Their loyalty club, Total Rewards, is one of the largest casino loyalty clubs in America. It’s also one of the easiest loyalty clubs for you to earn points and credits to use in a casino.

Total Rewards is one of the few national casino loyalty clubs. Caesars Entertainment operates properties from Atlantic City to Las Vegas and all around the country. Therefore, you’re not limited to earning and using points and credits in Las Vegas. You can earn points and credits at any Caesars Entertainment casino and use at Harrah’s in Las Vegas.

Additionally, you don’t even have to visit a casino to earn Total Rewards points and credits. This is unlike most Las Vegas casino loyalty clubs. Points can be earned through various partnerships that range from online shopping to social games.

Total Rewards can be slightly confusing since you earn two different types or points at two different rates. Tier credits are the points earned that allow you to climb status to earn specific benefits. Rewards points are earned and can be redeemed for shopping, dining, etc.

Tier levels

Here’s a look at the different tier levels and how many credits you’ll need to achieve the coinciding benefits:

  • Gold – Entry Level, everyone starts here
  • Platinum – Earn 5,000 Tier Credits
  • Diamond – Earn 15,000 Tier Credits
  • Seven Stars – Earn 150,000 Tier Credits (Invitation only)

You can earn Tier credits and Reward points from spending money on gaming, dining, entertainment, hotel rooms, shopping, spa treatments and golf at any Caesars Entertainment property. Here’s how to earn both Reward points and Tier credits:

  • Slot Machines – 1 Tier Credit for every $5 you play
  • Video Poker – 1 Tier Credit for every $10 you play
  • Table Games – (blackjack, three card poker, etc.) – Varies on the type of table game you are playing, your average bet and how long you play
  • Poker – Varies on the type of game you are playing and how long you play
  • Hotel, Dining, Shopping, etc. – 1 Tier Credit for every $1

You can earn an additional Tier Credit bonus when you reach certain milestones each day. If you earn:

  • 500 Tier Credits in one day, receive 125 bonus Tier Credits.
  • 1,000 Tier Credits in one day, receive 1,000 bonus Tier Credits.
  • 2,500 Tier Credits in one day, receive + 5,000 bonus Tier Credits. (Double bonus = Diamond status in a day)
  • 5,000 Tier Credits in one day, receive 10,000 bonus Tier Credits. (Diamond status in a day)

Tier credits reset to zero on January 1 since Tier status must be earned each year to maintain your status for the following year.

Benefits

Each tier you reach with Total Rewards brings greater benefits. The benefits are minimal for Gold and Platinum but really kick in when you reach Diamond. If you only visit Harrah’s once every now and again just having the entry level card is good enough for a small discount.

If you visit Las Vegas more often, then you’ll want to consider the upper tiers. The resort fee deduction alone might make reaching Diamond worth the spend. Here’s a look at the benefits for each level of Total Rewards.

Gold

  • Room discounts, special offers and more based on your activity
  • Turn Reward credits into free play at a rate of $1 per 200 Reward Credits ($5 increments, up to $500 each day)
  • Earn Great Gift Wrap-Up points at select properties
  • Special member pricing at participating restaurants
  • Exclusive pre-sale access for select shows

Platinum

  • Everything from Gold plus
  • 15% discount at casino gift shops
  • Gift up to 5,000 Reward Credits to a friend (limit of two transfers per year)

Diamond

  • Everything from Platinum plus
  • No resort fees! (Currently up to $32 per night)
  • Priority lines at hotel check-in, restaurants, casino cages and the Total Rewards Center
  • Access to Diamond Lounges
  • VIP Reservations Hotline
  • Guaranteed Room with 72 hours notice in Las Vegas
  • 15% off best available advertised rate on rooms and suites. (You’ll sometimes receive complimentary room rates at this level)
  • Annual celebration dinner of $100
  • 20% discount at casino gift shops
  • Discounts at Total Rewards golf courses
  • Turn Reward Credits into free play at a rate of $1 per 175 Reward Credits ($5 increments, up to $500 each day)

Seven Stars

  • Everything from Diamond plus
  • Complimentary room (must give 48-hour notice)
  • Upgrade to best available room at check-in
  • Complimentary early check-in / late check-out
  • Annual celebration dinner of $500
  • Companion Card for a friend to enjoy your benefits
  • Annual retreat to any Total Rewards property
  • Invitation to Signature Events
  • Seven Stars Signature Experiences eligibility (based on current year’s Tier score)
  • 25% discount at casino gift shops
  • Turn Reward Credits into free play at a rate of $1 per 125 Reward Credits ($5 increments, up to $500 each day)

Total Rewards partners

Total Rewards offers its members benefits that extend beyond Caesars Entertainment hotels and casinos. You can earn and use points and credits with a group of outside partners. The partner list changes often but includes Norwegian Cruise Lines, Hertz car rentals, Hawaiian Airlines, Atlantis Paradise Island, Starwood Hotels, Caesars Online Casino, Caesars’ Total Rewards credit card and more.

Total Rewards connects 40 casinos around the country including these Las Vegas casinos:

  • Caesars Palace
  • Paris Las Vegas
  • The Cromwell
  • Planet Hollywood
  • Bally’s
  • Flamingo
  • The Linq
  • Rio

Total Rewards online

Total Rewards was one of the first casino loyalty clubs to go online. The website is constantly evolving and offers a better user interface each time. It’s not perfect, but the Total Rewards website is better than other casino chains.

Since Total Rewards was one of the first to go online, it should be no surprise that they were one of the first with a mobile app. Today’s Play by TR app is one of the most useful casino and loyalty club apps. The app offers information on your Total Rewards account including points and offers while also including information on all Caesars Entertainment hotels, casinos, restaurants, shows, nightlife and more.

The Play by TR app is on of the most useful Las Vegas apps. It replaces the need for nine individual casino apps. The app is easy to use and has everything you’d want in a casino and loyalty club app.

Total Rewards best bets

  • Sign up – You receive discounts on hotel rooms and some restaurants just for signing up.
  • Go Diamond and skip resort fees – If you plan on visiting Las Vegas more than once a year the complimentary resort fees are a legitimate value.
  • Go Diamond and skip the long lines – Priority service is everything in Las Vegas. Skip lines at check-in, some restaurants, casino cashiers and the Total Rewards desk.
  • Upgrades – Hotel room upgrades are often available to higher tier members. Free upgrades are great but getting exactly the hotel room you prefer is a perk not everyone will see.