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First time at Grand Desert

Discussion in 'Wyndham Vacation Resorts' started by Shawn p Johansen, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. Shawn p Johansen

    Shawn p Johansen TUG Member

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    Hi everyone,

    My wife and I are new to TUG today!! :whooopie: Thanks to TUG we avoided buying at a sales presentation in Hawaii, (that lady was GOOD! and actually very nice and non pressuring, shocking right!) and we now own 224k at Bonnet Creek (for almost nothing!:banana:)

    My wife and I regularly travel to Vegas, (we don't gamble or any of the "normal' Vegas stuff really. My wife loves the desert so we vacation there so she can relax. We also love to hike the surrounding canyons!) And so we have booked 4 nights at the Grand Desert, this will be our first time staying as owners at a Wyndham property.

    Anything we should be expecting or know about that would catch us off-guard?

    Thanks

    ~Shawn
     
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  2. ecwinch

    ecwinch Moderator

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    Just expect a relentless pressure to attend a "owners update", other than that it is pretty straightforward.
     
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  3. Crafty71

    Crafty71 TUG Member

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    Hi Shawn,

    Sounds like you and your wife are like my wife and I...three days in Vegas and we spent 0.5 days walking the Strip and 2.5 days hiking the canyons nearby...one of our favorites was Turtlehead mountain in Red Rock Canyon. Click here for info.

    It was a solid hike and a great outing and the view of the Strip from up there is great.

    Enjoy your trip.

    Cheers!

    Kevin Craft
     
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  4. OutSkiing

    OutSkiing TUG Member

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    Shawn,

    I assume you'll have a car to drive out to the canyons .. parking is included in the garage under the Grand Desert buildings. Nice pools and hot tubs on the grounds. We drove out to Red Rock Canyon last time we were in Vegas .. beautiful little hikes and there seem to be clubs doing some climbing out there too. We do like Vegas itself not so much for gambling but for the shows. Its not a bad walk from Grand Desert to the strip but they also have a Wyndham Shuttle that will take you to the Hara's. It's well worth a trip to downtown Vegas to see the light show in the evening.

    Some year you'll want to also book into Wyndham Flagstaff for a trip up to Grand Canyon to take in even more desert and canyon. That Flagstaff Wyndham location is quite unique due to the unusual 'cabin with loft' style architecture of the units and the inclusion of a hot tub on the porch of many of the units.

    Bob
     
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  5. alexadeparis

    alexadeparis TUG Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    The parking pass desk is usually a hard sell to do a presentation, be firm. And also don’t answer the phone that will be them inviting you to a presentation.
     
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  6. Shawn p Johansen

    Shawn p Johansen TUG Member

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    Thanks! I was just telling my wife about that she was less than thrilled lol. I was hoping to get some of those Tug T-shirts with the "I paid more for this shirt than my timeshare" on it but they dont apear to be available :(



    EXACTLY!! Turtlehead hu? We have hiked in Red Rock Canyon but not there! We will check that out!

    Thanks


    Usually we use the buss system to get close and then call a Lyft to take us to the trail head, no stress of driving in the Vegas traffic or parking.;) We buy a 3 day bus-pass off strip for about 1/2 the on strip price and there is a Bus to Red Rock Resort, that is only like a 5 min drive from the canyon.

    Wow Wyndham Flagstaff sounds great! My company HQ is in Scottsdale... I think the next work trip will be getting extended!! :)


    Yikes thanks for the warning!
     
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  7. Jan M.

    Jan M. TUG Member

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    We will be in Flagstaff for 5 nights at the end of this month. Any information you can share about the area would be greatly appreciated. We are driving from Las Vegas and plan to visit Sedona and the Grand Canyon either while we are there or as we are coming to or leaving the resort. If I can find something I may book a couple of nights in Sedona too.
     
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  8. Luanne

    Luanne TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    If you are willing a drive a bit you can get to Winslow (and stand on the corner) in about an hour. Have a meal in the Turquoise Room at the La Posada (a Fred Harvey hotel). Then on the way there, or back, stop at the Meteor Crater (about 45 minutes from Flagstaff).

    http://laposada.org/

    http://meteorcrater.com/
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
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  9. Cyrus24

    Cyrus24 TUG Member

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    If you are going out to Winslow, go on out to the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest. The Petrified Forest was really neat. They have a sunset tour to the Grand Canyon that was fantastic. The Parking Pass desk set that pricey (free to us) tour up after they'd messed up a different, less expensive, tour. Yes, we did an update!!! We also did a day trip to the Canyon from Williams via the Train. The observatory in Flagstaff for star watching on a clear night is something fun to do. Walnut Canyon is near the resort. And, catch Montezuma's Castle while in/near Sedona. We were in Flagstaff for a week last May and found it to be a perfect home base for doing day trips. We'll go back as there is just so much to see.
     
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  10. Jan M.

    Jan M. TUG Member

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    To the person who started this thread our upcoming trip will be the first time we haven't stayed at Grand Desert. I prefer the higher floors with view of the mountains. I've really come to love the view of the mountains and desert. This trip we are staying at Grandview Las Vegas, where we are also owners, for the first time. We have 17 nights booked there with a 5 night side trip to Flagstaff. I couldn't touch Grand Desert for what the Grandview stay cost and by staying there it meant we don't have to check out and check back in when we go to Flagstaff. I have to admit we were a little hesitant about staying somewhere else because we love Grand Desert. When I was giving my husband the options and costs I reminded him of what our 6 year old granddaughter tells him about the radio stations when they are in the car together, "Papa, you should try new things."

    When we stay at Grand Desert we sometimes eat at Ellis Island. It is an easy walk from Grand Desert They are known for their $7.99 top sirloin steak dinner special. It has been rated as the best steak special in Vegas for years. However we get one of their nightly dinner specials and haven't been disappointed yet. There are several other eating areas at Ellis too. Metro Pizza, sorry don't know if they still do it but for years they've had buy one get one free, slice or whole pie, wood fired pizzas on Sundays and Thursdays. They also have a barbeque restaurant that is very good. They've added Julio's Tacos since we were last there. From looking at the Ellis Island website I see that Julio's has Taco Tuesdays, two tacos and a shot of Jose Cuervo for $5. Ellis has their own micro brewery and we recommend the hefeweizen beer and their homemade root beer too.

    The reason we don't order the steak special at Ellis is because we like to go to the California Hotel in Downtown Vegas for the prime rib special in their Market Street Cafe. It is $9.99 and includes the salad bar, 8 oz. cut of prime rib, starch (baked potato, rice or fries), vegetable and cherries jubilee ice cream for dessert. My husband sometimes orders one of their other dinner specials but I always get the prime rib. We've never had a bad meal there.

    The other musts for us are the Omelet House on West Charleston and Egg and I on West Sahara. At Omelet House the omelets are huge, enough for two. For an additional fifty cents they will split the omelet and you each get a plate with their wonderful potatoes. My favorite at Egg and I is the chili rellenos omelette.

    We usually go to the Pinball Hall of Fame on Tropicana and have fun walking around looking at all the different pinball games and playing the games too. We try to remember to bring some quarters but they have change there.

    We always go to the Bellagio to walk through the conservatory. They redo the theme and flowers every couple of months. Even if you been there before, say in the Spring, it will be different the next year. We enjoy the water display show at Bellagio too.

    We also usually go to the Ethel M. chocolate factory. I could care less about the chocolate factory tour but I enjoy their cactus garden.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
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  11. OutSkiing

    OutSkiing TUG Member

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    Yes, the Bellagio conservatory is awesome .. always a seasonal theme setup.

    All the other ideas in this Jan M. thread seem great as well .. will have to do some next trip to vegas.

    Bob
     
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  12. OutSkiing

    OutSkiing TUG Member

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    We made a direct developer purchase of Grandview once .. owned it for about 24 hours and then rescinded and bought Jockey Club direct from developer instead. Buying direct was not the smartest thing we've ever done but the Jockey Club is right next to Bellagio overlooking the fountain. Beautiful fountain view and with all the other resorts lit up in the background it's riveting. We have a week every other year there and keep meaning to sell it to get rid of those maintenance fees but then the year for staying rolls around and we can't resist going again. I could stare out the window all day and night. My wife loves the proximity to the slots .. its connected to the Cosmopolitan newly built next door.

    Bob
     
  13. alexadeparis

    alexadeparis TUG Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Do you have full access to Cosmopolitan amenities? I’ve read mixed reviews, some say yes, some say no.
     
  14. CO skier

    CO skier TUG Member

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    Very rare to see a Flatbed Ford there anymore.
     
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  15. Luanne

    Luanne TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Actually it's more fun to eat a meal at the Turquoise restaurant in La Posada and watch all of the trains go by.
     
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  16. CO skier

    CO skier TUG Member

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    I think it is more fun to see a girl slowin' down to look at me. ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018
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  17. OutSkiing

    OutSkiing TUG Member

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    It allows us to 1) Park one car in the Cosmopolitan garage which is attached to Jockey club and 2) Use one of the Cosmopolitan pools, plus of course the Jockey Club pool and Jockey Club fitness center. I think there is another Cosmopolitan pool which we cannot get into and probably a Cosmopolitan fitness center I have not tried to access .. things we have not felt we needed.

    There is a door that goes from a Jockey Club Elevator right through a small lobby and opens into the Cosmopolitan casino. Pretty cool access.

    Bob
     
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  18. OutSkiing

    OutSkiing TUG Member

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  19. sparty

    sparty TUG Member

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    Fellow Oregonian, welcome! We always stay at that Marriott Grand Chateau just up Harmon towards Las Vegas Blvd. Only thing I would say is take the shuttle or have good walking shoes, it's a hike up to Las Vegas BLVD. Sparty from LO
     
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  20. Skipper Scooby

    Skipper Scooby Guest

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    As far as Vegas goes, I recommend going to the Valley of Fire State Park. It is about 1 hour northeast of Vegas. It is a massive park with beautiful vibrant orange and unique rock formations. Many hiking opportunities and many petroglyphs concentrated in certain ares.

    As far as Flagstaff goes, I recommend buying a National Park Pass, either a yearly one or a lifetime senior one. I went there last year for a week and didn't spend a cent on entertainment, except for gas, once the pass was bought. I went in this order, due to challenging weather in May, to Walnut Canyon, Painted Dessert/Petrified Forest, Grand Canyon, Sedona, Montezuma Castle, and Sunset Crater/Wupatki. There are a couple more national parks nearby too.
     
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  21. Jan M.

    Jan M. TUG Member

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    Thanks! We bought the lifetime senior pass last year before they raised the price. We are really excited about being able to use it to visit the some or all of the places you mentioned.

    I'm replying to your post so I can find the list of places quickly. So many times I was sure I would remember which thread I saw something on but when I went back of course I couldn't remember. If you reply to or quote a post you can find it by clicking on Your Content under your own profile page. And I can even do that from my phone too if we are out and about.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2018
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  22. Shawn p Johansen

    Shawn p Johansen TUG Member

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    Wow, I am blow away once again by this community! Thank you all so much! I do not think my wife has ever been more excited for this trip. She keep asking me if I have found anything new for us to to this trip and now i have more things to show her than I could have ever found on my own!

    @sparty Thanks for the Oregon welcome! :)

    With all of this information and new places to go... I think I need new hiking/walking shoes! :thumbup:
     
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  23. TUGBrian

    TUGBrian Administrator

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    such a good thread! these always make my day!

    congrats on finding TUG and saving a fortune! Ive stayed at grand desert and loved it! my suggestion in vegas is to most certainly use the uber app instead of taxis. FAR cheaper and more convenient hands down!
     
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  24. DaveNW

    DaveNW TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Shawn, you do know that Las Vegas is only ~two hours from Zion National Park, right? Head North on I-15 to St. George, Utah, and follow the signs. If you enjoy hiking around the Las Vegas area, you will absolutely love hiking in and around St. George and Zion.

    When I stayed at Grand Desert, I found the walls to be very thin, and noise traveled very far. YMMV. I got suckered in to a Owners Update thing, but said they'd have to come to me. Big mistake. The guy was nice enough and all, but he kept talking, and just wouldn't leave the condo. I finally got up, opened the door, and said, "Ok, we're done here. Goodbye." He gave me a look like I'd wasted his time. Never again.

    Dave
     
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  25. Skipper Scooby

    Skipper Scooby Guest

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    Since you mentioned St. George Utah, Snow Canyon State Park is a beautiful park near there.
     
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