Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino Review (Las Vegas, Nevada)
The Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, owned by Harrah's, is located just off the Vegas Strip. Although some prefer to
be situated directly on the Strip, there is little to no inconvenience to staying at the Rio, as free shuttles run every
fifteen minutes, dropping customers at either Paris, Caesar's, or Harrah's. The rides only take five minutes
and run all day into the early morning hours.
The rooms at the Rio are spacious, with a large living area and plenty of room to spread out. However, the last few years have seen a slight decline in the appearance and upkeep of the Rio. The word on the street is that Harrah's is trying to sell the property, and it shows in a lack of attention to detail. The standard room is still equipped with a large rear-projection tv, rather than the flat screens that now occupy so many Vegas rooms. The complimentary soap and shampoo are still provided, but the mouthwash and toothpaste are not. Thin sheets cover the beds, with blankets available only on request. The room safe needed to be reprogrammed every time it was opened. Still, these are minor stains, and the Rio could quickly make them disappear with a little attentiveness.
The Rio features a long, winding casino floor, with many rows of slots broken into groups by four different sections of table games. The slots had plenty of availability, and were loose enough that one individual hit a $4000 jackpot on a quarter machine, then hit the same jackpot on the same machine again within an hour. (this might have been too loose for management; the machine was promptly roped off and disassembled). The tables had single-deck, double-deck, and full shoe versions of blackjack, roulette, pai-gow, let it ride, Hold’em, and craps. Action was brisk at the tables, even though Rio's table minimums started at mostly $25 for blackjack; only the single deck was as low as $15. Strip hotels, by comparison, had many $10 games, and the neighboring Gold Coast had $5 tables. Dealers were friendly and talkative, for the most part. The heaviest traffic seemed to be at the craps and blackjack tables. Pit bosses were open and relaxed, making players comfortable. Drink service was steady and attentive.
The sports book at the Rio is one of the town's best. Parimutuel enthusiasts won't want to ever leave, as the hotel makes it clear, both through service and posted signs, that the horse and dog players will receive the king's treatment; sports fans are just along for the ride. The rows of seats come each placed before a private desktop cubbyhole, perfect for reviewing forms, programs, and tout sheets, along with personal tvs,to watch one's race of choice.. The expansive wall of televisions includes over a dozen large screen tvs on the left side featuring the biggest sports matchups; the right side holds as many screens again, on this side high-definition flat screens showing simulcasts of races around the world. The electronic tote board to the right is huge, easy to read, and contains all the sports plays one might want. Drink service here was the best in Vegas.
The Rio features several regular shows; Prince was the featured entertainer til recently. Now, the hotel is in a state of remodeling some restaurants and showrooms, and the entertainment is on a slightly smaller scale. Penn and Teller's magic act is featured nightly.
The food at the Rio is generally very good, with a variety of selections. Although the Seafood Buffet and the Twisted Kilt Pub were both closed for renovation until March, the World Carnival Buffet makes for an excellent meal. This buffet is not quite as elaborate nor as exotic as the Bellagio, but prime rib and snow crab are both well-prepared, along with items from Mexican, Chinese, Italian, and Japanese cuisine. Service was very friendly and prompt. The Rio also hosts the All-American Café, open from lunch until the wee hours and making some of the best burgers in town. The service was spotty in the front part of the café, with tables left unbussed for long periods and drinks left needing refills; but the back, more elegant room of the café had excellent service, with both superb seafood and steak choices. The king crab legs and the ribeye chop were both sensational.
The nightclub of note at the Rio is the Voodoo Lounge, fifty floors up with an adjoining steakhouse and an outdoor patio view of the Strip. Food at Voodoo was good, but overpriced for the ambiance of being with the "beautiful people"; food as good or better could be had with better service at half the price at the steakhouse at the All-American Café. The nightclub certainly had its share of eye candy, though, and the 32 ounce Autralian lobster tail had to be seen to be believed.
The Rio also features an expansive pool, giant conference and meeting facilities (this is where the Main Event of the World Series of Poker is held), and a large retail area, as well as showcasing the Mardi Gras in the Sky show hourly, above the casino floor.
All in all, the Rio is an excellent mid-range hotel, with friendly staff and plenty of entertainment and dining choices. With a little attentive management, it could be even better.
Reviewed by Terry Goodwin, Senior Writer for casino reviews website, Casino Gambling Web.
Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino
3700 W. Flamingo Road
Las Vegas, NV 89103
General #: 866-746-7671