During the week, the Palms gets the locals by offering decent video poker, an okay buffet, and other staples of the off-strip resort. On weekends, they attract the young and beautiful people from L.A. with hipster nightclubs and a party atmosphere. Rooms aren't dirt cheap, but reasonably-priced for the quaity, which is above average and stylish.
Coupons Available for The Palms:
$10 free slot play for new members, $10 even money matchplay, triple points for slot club members. (Click Here For More Info.)
Room Quality: The rooms have a upscale Palm Springs or Florida feel to them, like your grandparents' house if your grandparents were cool and had hip furniture. The colors are the obligatory beige and earthtones, and the furniture has clean lines. "Deluxe" (regular) rooms are larger than average at 440 s.f., but nowhere near as the luxury joints on the Strip. Everyone gets a big ol' television. Rooms also include in-room safes, those way-overpriced mini-bar fridges, coffeemaker, hairdryer, iron and full-size ironing boards. Bathrooms are unspectacular, and not up to the standard set by the newer strip joints. The Superior rooms Jacuzzi tubs (although bathrooms are still mediocre), better furnishings and nicer stereos, and are in the new "Fantasy" tower. The towers are tall and skinny, and there are only a dozen or so rooms per floor, so you're never far from the elevator. Views can be incredible if you can see the Strip from this side of the interstate. Or maybe you'll see the mountains. From there, you can upgrade to the Palms Place, which has studio and multi-bedroom suites that are even swankier. If you're a total high-roller, pay the mega-premium and get one of the "fantasy suites" in the new tower. They're like the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo on steroids.
Service Quality: Good, but there seem to be a lot of young (and inexperienced) people working here and they sometimes don't have your interests at heart.
What You Get Bottles of in the Bathroom: La-dee-da, you won't smell like the hoi-polloi if you stay here because they have Aveda soaps as well as fancy shampoos and lotions. We usually scrub up with that pink scratchy powder you find in gas station bathrooms, so this is pretty deee-luxe. Heck, they even have fluffy towels, and not a filthy rag on a roller.
Clientele: On the weekdays it can be fairly quiet and you'll see a lot of locals hitting the slots and the sports book. On the weekends, bring your earplugs because the young California hipsters tend to scream very loud when they hit a nickel jackpot.
How's the Pool? It's not so much used a pool as it is a socializing area. The pool area is off the casino floor. There is lots of room surrounding the pool for deck parties, hanging out, eating, dancing, drinking or meeting friends, but the pool itself is just okay.
Resort Fee: (What is this?)
$15 per night. You get local and toll-free calls, $15 in drink credits per day, free valet parking, and some discounts.
Table Games: A long casino floor because they are hoping for both young tourists and the locals. But table games are concentrated in a small area around a bar in the center. Look for blackjack, craps, roulette, Let It Ride, Pai Gow, a few of the trendy table games that come and go, and Baccarat, including a "high-limit" area where they use money to separate the rich from the stinky like us. If you ask us, money is the worst way to separate the rich from the rest because we always end up with the rest. Blackjack has some hand-held, but mostly is six-deck shoes with surrender.
Bet Minimums: You're mostly going to find $10 minimums. Roulette has a $10 minimum. If you're a high roller, they have the Mint Lounge with special service and pricey games. Keep your eyes peeled for that 6:5 blackjack nonsense, and if you see it, run away as fast as you can.
Machines: Slots from a nickel to the sky. There are 2000 machines and that includes an insane number of the newer video slot machines and more dollar slots than should be allowed to legally assemble in one place. There's a ton of nickels, too.
Cocktails? Well, we have a story to tell about a strawberry daquiri and how long it took to serve it that involves actually leaving and returning the Palms. Let's just say, cocktail service is mediocre.
Who Gets Comps? The slot clubs gives average comps on slots and VP. They'll rate you for pretty much any play at the table, but don't expect much unless you average more than $50 per bet.
24/Seven Cafe: We hope it's not a spoiler telling you that the 24/Seven Cafe is open 24-hours a day. It serves all your favorites like eggs, steak and eggs, ham and eggs, and the occasional pancakes and eggs. Oh, yeah, burgers, sandwiches and salads too. The most interesting thing about it is that local Chinese restaurant Cathay House has a menu, including dim sum, within the cafe.
Alize: Gourmet French, which means lots of rich buttery sauces and small portions. The views from this place near the top are pretty exquisite, though.
Bistro Buffet: A middle-of-the-road with an imagination to be something bigger. You'll find a few unique dishes mixed in with all the buffet staples, but overall this is only an okay buffet and not worth going out of your way for.
Gardunos and Blue Agave: A New Mexican chain that is a mediocre entry for someone who doesn't know the difference between Mexican and New Mexican. In general, New Mexican is spicier and less heavy. Also, this place is cool looking with lots of copper and hanging plants. Blue Agave is an oyster and chile bar.
Little Buddha: Imported from a Paris restaurant titled Buddha Bar, this place offers fresh sushi and Asian food. It's a nice little dark alcove off the casino floor and, while not inexpensive, probably a fair deal as a place to get some peace and quiet. Open for dinner only.
N9NE Steakhouse: Yet another fancy steakhouse based on a Chicago chain. Where the heck are all those Chicagoans getting all these cows? This joint also boasts a champagne and caviar bar so get your nose high up in the air. The food is very good and sort of fancified from the typical meat and potatoes.
Nove Italiano: It's fancy Italian in a strange, modern restaurant. By strange we mean some old-school touches, then animal prints and formed plastics. The appeal is the view and not the prices, which are higher than normal. The menu has a fair share of seafood among the Italian dishes.
Simon Restaurant and Lounge: The celebrity chef is Kerry Simon in this high-end eatery with views of the swimming pool. The food is mostly American and features organic items, including herbs cut right there in the restaurant. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the menu includes smoothies, eggs, burgers, grilled cheese, pizzas and some fancy dinners like lobster and steaks.
The food court by the sports book has McDonalds, Panda Express, Nathan's, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Famiglia Pizzeria, and Blizberry Frozen Yogurt.
Brenden Theaters: 14 big screens for your movie watching pleasure. They show first-run flicks here and have an I-Max screen.
Cosmic Corner: They have a real live psychic right off the casino floor, in the afternoons and evenings. It sounds like a good idea, but the guy sure didn't look very busy when we were there. Check the hours because this is not open all the time.
Ghost Bar: The latest hot trend is for super atmospheric bars, and this is the latest and hottest. It's an eerie, minimalist hotel-top bar done in pale blue and white lighting. Really, it needs to be seen to be appreciated because it is very cool. And the lines to get in can be extremely long and the entry fee is $20, but they just do that to keep the atmosphere pleasant by scaring the likes of us away.
Huntington Ink Tattoo Parlor: A tattoo parlor right off the casino floor, next to the Cosmic Corner (which if you ask us is really stupid, because we bet a lot of people get tattoos, then stumble over to the palm reader, only to have her tell them, "You will regret your decision to permanently mark your arm with those ridiculous 'tribal' markings."
Moon: The Moon is yet another ultra-lounge type place, and once again way up high in the air. It's atop the Fantasy Tower and has a retractable roof. That's pretty cool. The drink prices and cover charge, though, are not. And the decor, while sort of kitschy futuristic, is no better than that at the Peppermill, which is free and really cool.
The Pearl Theater: This is a nice room to see a live performance. The farthest you'll sit from the stage is 120 feet, and you know what that means: you can buy the cheapest seats they offer and not get stuck behind a pylon.
Playboy Club: This is an honest to goodness Playboy Club like they used to have in Chicago and Los Angeles, and your daddies used to take you to when you were a toddler and Mommy was out of town. And he'd leave you with the coat-check girl and you would go in the back and fall asleep on a pile of ermine furs, only to be woken by father as the day broke outside, and he'd ask to borrow five bucks from you for the taxi fare home. We all did that, right? Anyway, it's a posh little nightclub, not too loud, but about as hip as you think the Playboy brand is. Just know that it's a very small room and some space is taken up by table games.
Playboy Comedy: Nothing more than your typical stand-up comedy show, except with slightly bigger names (ones you might even recognize) and a skew more towards younger, edgier comics.
Rain/Theater: By day and early evening, it's a 1200 seat theater. But at night, it converts itself into a crimestopping force to be reckoned with. Oh, wait, no, actually it converts into the three-story Rain nightclub. It's a wildly hip and popular club for folks in their twenties to pay for overpriced drinks and dance to techno, hip hop and other club music. Open on Friday and Saturday nights only.
Number of TVs: 17 medium-sized TVs, one enormous one, and 28 smaller ones grace the top of this quite nice room.
Number of Seats: 140 or so seats for the man who loves horses. They all have mini TVs (50 with interactive betting stations) and the seats are nice desk chairs. One funny thing is that about half the race seats are reserved, and those that are have much nicer TVs. The sports area is considerably smaller with 19 very comfortable loungers and 24 chairs in a lounge area.
How Many Betting Windows? 6 for sports and 13 for racing. There are also 50 seats where you can make your wagers interactively. The board for sports results and lines is electronic, but the race board is handwritten in those magic erasable markers on white boards. We still don't get how those things work. We've spent hundreds of hours at Office Depot making a mess of our hands trying to get to the bottom of it, though.
Free Drinks? You bet your booty they got free drinks, but only if you're betting. Wooowee!
Snack Bar? Not in the sports book, but it's directly across the casino floor from the fast food outlets.
Minimum Wager: The usual deal, $5 for sports and $2 for ponies.
Other Notes: The room is nice and the chairs are primo. It's a shame that there is such a small area for sports bettors.
Number of Tables: Ten tables divided between two different rooms. One of the rooms is dedicated to no-limit and the other is the cheapskate room, as we lovingly call it. The tables have goofy swipes of tropical color on them.
Comfort of Chairs: Average, which is a downer compared to the other chairs, like in the sports book. Heck, maybe they'll let you drag a lounger in here. On the plus side, the chairs have wheels. Whheeeeeeee.
Closed Room or Open to Casino? The rooms are off the casino that is open and, unfortunately, gets all that slot machine racket.
Game Spreads and Limits: $2-$4 and $4-$8 Hold 'Em in the low limit room. The $1-$3 and up No-limit games are $100-$200 buy-in.
Beginner Games or Classes? The lowest limits might be safe for a rookie to wade into.
How Crowded is the Room? Well, one room is definitely cramped, the other an't so bad. Crowded? You may end up waiting an hour to get into a game, but rarely more than that.
Comps? A buck an hour up to $24 a day, which would take, um, let's see, carry the four, subtract three... okay, about 63 hours, we think.
How Good Are the Players? They are good, and bad. They have some top flight dealers in the room and they have drawn some good players. But this place draws boneheaded party boys like no other casino with a poker room, and some of them are emboldened by watching poker on TV. Imagine their surprise when they learn they don't get to see everyone's hole cars with probabilities.
What Else Do I Need to Know? The weekends are crazy, but for the no-limit it may pay off. There is a lot of loose, free money in this game on the weekends.