Rio Suites Las Vegas

Rio Suites Las Vegas marquee

Rio Suites Las Vegas marquee, December 2008
Rio Suites Las Vegas marquee, December 2008

Rio All Suites Hotel Las Vegas (a Harrah's Entertainment resort) is about a mile west of Las Vegas Blvd (the strip) on West Flamingo Road, next to the Gold Coast resort and across the street from Palms.

Rio Las Vegas at sunset

Rio Las Vegas at sunset, December 14, 2007
Rio Las Vegas at sunset, December 14, 2007

I would classify Rio as a mid level property except that the rooms are all suites, so it's more upper mid level. I was a guest here twice, the first time was 1995 or 1996 and the second time in December 2000, when I found an incredible price of $25 per night being offered on the Las Vegas Tourist Bureau web site. Quite often I can't remember the specific month and year of past events but I recall December 2000 vividly since I was watching CNN constantly for updates to the Election 2000 controversy (which you may recall was an attempt to conduct a recount of the votes in Bush vs. Gore.) CNN was using portions of Fatboy Slim's Right Here Right Now during transitions to and from commercial breaks at the time so that music is permanently associated in my mind with Rio Suites and winter in Las Vegas.

Rio Suites Las Vegas

Rio Suites Las Vegas Masquerade Tower
Rio Suites Las Vegas Masquerade Tower | Source

My most recent visit to the Rio was in August 2007 when I walked there from the strip in 110 degree heat under the mercilessly blazing desert sun. I bought a white baseball cap in a gift shop in the Rio (yes I thought I was Superman, out in the desert with no hat or sunglasses) and ate lunch at the Starbucks. The above photo was taken during my walk.

The rooms at Rio are a lot like the rooms at the Venetian. They're quite large, clean and comfortable; but the least expensive level of rooms are fairly traditional in their decor. You don't say WOW when you see the room for the first time... whereas properties like Mandalay Bay, Planet Hollywood and Wynn might elicit a WOW.

Rio Suites Las Vegas

Rio Suites Las Vegas as seen from the Palms parking garage roof. The Ipanema Tower is on the left; Masquerade Tower on the right.
Rio Suites Las Vegas as seen from the Palms parking garage roof. The Ipanema Tower is on the left; Masquerade Tower on the right.

The tall tower on the right is the Masquerade Tower, the lower building on the left is the Ipanema Tower. Rio's casino has kind of a Mardi Gras party atmosphere, with frequent "parades in the sky" in one section of the casino (people riding on a tram like thing hanging from the ceiling, throwing bead necklaces down to the casino floor) and their Rio Rita character who wears fruit on her head and poses for photos with tourists. Rio has never caught on as a major party destination, however, like Palms, Hard Rock, and more recently Planet Hollywood.

If you like to walk around exploring then don't stay at the Rio as you have to walk a mile just to get to Las Vegas Blvd. Most of this mile walk is over a long overpass across Interstate 15 which also includes a cagelike fenced in pedestrian walkway which bypasses some of the dangerous Flamingo Road traffic. If you have a rental car or like using taxis and the free shuttles Harrah's provides between all of their properties (Rio, Caesars, Paris, Ballys, Imperial Palace, Flamingo, Harrah's) then there are no disadvantages involved with staying at Rio.

Looking through the fence

Looking through the fencing that surrounds the pedestrian bridge you'll find on the way between Las Vegas Blvd. and Rio Suites
Looking through the fencing that surrounds the pedestrian bridge you'll find on the way between Las Vegas Blvd. and Rio Suites

Rio Suites cocktail server

A Rio Suites cocktail server in the mid 1990s
A Rio Suites cocktail server in the mid 1990s

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