The South Point started life being as drearily dull as possible, but it has spruced up, added some desirable restaurants and improved the gaming floor. It's still for a quiet crowd and it aims squarely for the middle. It's sort of like the Toyota Camry of casinos.
Room Quality: Slightly better than average sized rooms with nice furnishings in a sort of depressing mix of yellows and browns. The only real highlight is the big-ass plasma screen on the wall that broadcasts mostly unspectacular local channels. In the regular rooms for us regular folk you have your choice of a king with a loveseat by the window, or two queens with a reading chair (or watching TV chair--your choice). The bathrooms are okay, but below the standard set by the newer hotels, and have a tub/shower combo. Internet is available for a ludicrous daily fee. There is a coffee machine in each room, and thankfully, they don't charge you to use that.
Service Quality: Fair. The plan is for a much larger hotel and much larger casino, eventually, but that hasn't happened yet. In the meantime, expect average service without the pampering the much more expensive places up the road offer.
What You Get Bottles of in the Bathroom: Shampoo, conditioner and a tiny bottle of mouthwash. We don't think it's got alcohol in it, though. We stole several off the maid's cart and never got drunk. But man did we smell minty fresh.
Clientele: Geared toward the middle-age middle-class. They aren't going to try to shock you with loud nightclubs, or coddle you with overpriced restaurants.
How's the Pool? An above average, large lagoon-shaped pool. The main pool is long and good for swimming, even if it is shallow. There are also a wading pool if you have kiddies or don't want to get your shorts wet. A poolside deli serves snacks.
Table Games: All the usual suspects are here, including blackjack, roulette, craps, Pai Gow, Three Card Poker and Baccarat. Nothing revolutionary, but they do pitch a good double deck blackjack game. Craps has lousy 2x odds.
Bet Minimums: Five bucks for the cheapest (but not best) blackjack, and the same for craps. Roulette has dollar chips. Look for $5 usually at Pai Gow, as well as the oddball games.
Machines: A ton of slots, about 40 of them for every table, and it's almost all new stuff, mostly video and all tickets, not coins. The video poker selection is very good, and there is some full pay at the quarter and higher level.
Cocktails? Good cocktail service. it is not at the level of the best downtown service where they can get you drunk fifteen minutes in, but it is better than the Strip standard.
Who Gets Comps? Comps will accrue for all slot play, but not in any fast manner. At the tables, if you're playing $20 a hand, are polite (that excludes us) and make sure they track you, you can score a buffet or coffee shop easily enough.
Baja Miguel: You'll be hard-pressed to spend much in this affordable Mexican eatery. It's upstairs at the South Point, open for lunch and dinner, and has a standard menu of dishes like enchiladas, tacos, burritos and something called a pizzerola.
Big Sur Oyster Bar: It is almost impossible for Matt to eat at any place with Big Sur in the name because of memories. Memories of the time Stinky and he camped in Big Sur right next to two cute girls in a Volvo with a picture of Mao on the dashboard who we were making a play on until that night when we ran into them in the local bar/market where they were having beers with rugged guys and we were buying Fig Newtons. And the next morning they told us our sobbing kept them up all night. If it weren't for memories, though, we'd probably really like this very good oyster bar.
Coronado Cafe: A solid coffee shop with many Chinese dishes. Check for some very good late night specials and otherwise expect to pay a slight premium for better than average coffee shop food. Expect it to be noisy.
Don Vito's: Don Vito's is a traditional, solid, very attractive Italian restaurant with quite a few seafood dishes as well. Expect good portions and good red sauces without a lot of fancy or eclectic hoo ha.
Garden Buffet: There is virtually nothing here to distinguish this buffet from many other Off-Strip ones. That means the prices are good, but the food is generally heavy and greasy. Desserts are fair. Stations include Mexican, Asian, Italian, BBQ and a mediocre salad bar. Expect lots of stuff that's fried. The one highlight is the made-to-order stir-fry in the Asian section
Michael's: Michael's is a truly old-school gourmet room, and we mean that in the best way. They have two seatings each evening in this 50-seat restaurant, one in the early evening and one in the late evening. The menu is limited each night, but you can get escargot, lobster cocktails, filet mignon, lamb chops, salmon and fancy veal. It's pretty dang delicious.
Primarily Prime Rib: Open only for dinner, guess what this joint primarily serves? If you guess prime rib, give yourself five dollars. And us five, too. They also have some simple chicken, fish and beef dishes. Mostly, though, expect slabs of meat in thick cuts (unless you're English, then it gets cut all thin and wimpy), cajun or regular style. The prices are a real deal.
Silverado Steakhouse: The upscale steakhouse in the South Point. The menu is traditional steakhouse with loads of steaks, the occasional seafood, lamb or chicken dish. Good, tasty steaks without a lot of pretension.
Steak 'n Shake: They say steak, but what they really mean is burgers. They say shake, but what they really mean is, well, burgers. Steak 'n Shake is a Southern chain serving a higher-quality burger than fast food, and much better shakes, and the prices are reasonable. We're not convinced it's a better deal than In 'n Out, though.
There are also a Kate's Korner for ice cream, a Del Mar Deli for sandwiches and a Seattle's Best coffee stand for those of you who need sugar and caffeine stimulants.
Bowling: State of the art bowling with computerized scoring means it's really hard to cheat. That's why we won't be rolling on these 64 lanes.
Century Movie Theaters: Sixteen big screens with really fancy sound systems and really nice seats. The niceness of the joint can't mask the crappiness of the movies, though. Still, if you gotta go, this is a good place to do it.
Del Mar Lounge: Dueling pianos are getting to be almost as common as Starbuck's. If we see them in a Starbuck's we know the world is ending. This laid back lounge has them late at night on Thursdays through Sundays, and some other shows or live music other nights.
Equestrian Arena: The equestrian arena has plenty of room for horses and fans of horses, donkeys and mules. They do not do Tijuana-style shows, unfortunately. Expect a lot of shows catering to people who dig big animals. You'll know when the shows are in town by the smell of the guy next to you at the 21 table.
Showroom at South Point: Middle-of-the-road acts in jazz, country and pop music fill the showroom here. Did you know ShaNaNa was still alive? We didn't. Prices are reasonable and it's a nice room, but the shows aren't adventurous.
Number of TVs: Sixty TVs with two really big ones--one for race and one for sports
Number of Seats: One-hundred-seventy-five seats for racing and about 132 more for sports. The race seats all have individual TVs. The chairs for racing are totally average, except the better lounge-style seating in the bar and the better chairs in the sports book area.
How Many Betting Windows? There are eighteen windows. Ten are for race and eight are for sports with electronic signboards behind them.
Free Drinks? You bet the bettors get free drinks. Grab the cocktail waitresses when they go by. Don't literally grab them, though. Trust us, Security will be on you like nobody's business.
Snack Bar? Yes, the del Mar deli is right next door and it serves slightly overpriced finger foods.
Minimum Wager: Five bucks on the sports and two bucks on the races.
Other Notes: The sports book has been expanded and we haven't seen it in its final form yet. The above information, though, will change once we do. The good news is the wagering on sports is pretty fair.
Number of Tables: Twenty-two tables in the finally real poker room. This is a large and friendly room. not pretentious or fancy, but solid for the low-limit player. The desk in the center is large and useful for managing the room.
Comfort of Chairs: Average quality chairs--but with rollers, average tables. If you have a tender bum, the soft peach leather covering of the seats should help. Plus, the seats roll, so you never ever have to get out of them. Need to take a piss? no problem! Just wheel yourself to the bathroom and go.
Closed Room or Open to Casino? The room is very large and spacious and fairly removed from the rest of the casino but it is not closed. There is one side that has a half-height fence, so we wouldn't call it closed. It is not noisy, though.
Game Spreads and Limits: Lots and lots of Hold Em. Thank you, television, for ruining the other games. They have $2-$4 and occasionally $4-$8 limit. The no-limit games are usually $1-$2.
Beginner Games or Classes? Every morning, if someone's interested, they'll teach.
How Crowded is the Room? The room is not crowded. It might sound like it, but there is rarely a wait.
Comps? Earn $1.25 an hour while you play. Earn bupkus while you sit outside the room asking passers by for gas money. There are some high hand bonuses.
How Good Are the Players? A fairly accomplished group of players. You can expect the talent to be better now that they have expanded.
What Else Do I Need to Know? The low-max rake is a pretty good deal. There are multiple tournaments every day which are a decent deal.